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Best dryers 2021

Best dryers 2021: A mother and daughter fold laundry after it has come out of the dryer
(Image credit: Getty)

The best dryers make lightwork of drying clean laundry. These brilliant clothes dryers take your wet laundry and return them to you in perfectly dry condition. What’s not to love? To aid you in your search of finding the best dryers we’ve rounded up the top-rated dryers from reputable brands.

We’ve put together a selection of the best dryers, with factors including energy efficiency, capacity, design, and usability all taken into consideration. Below, you’ll also find ratings and individual dryer reviews so you can discover all you need to know.

Our promise to you

If you’re wondering where to start in your quest to find the best clothes dryer, start off by looking at the capacity. How much laundry do you have? Will you be washing and drying your clothes every day? If you answered yes to the above, it’s probably best if you invest in a machine that comes with at least 7 cubic feet of capacity. Secondly, consider how you want your dryer to be powered. Nowadays, there’s a number of ways in which dryers can be powered with electric dryer options and gas models available. In today’s market you can even get dryers that can be stacked on top of one of the best front load washers – this saves on floor space and prevents you from bending down.

Thirdly, we’d suggest considering each dryer’s energy rating. Yes, you might pay more for a machine that’s Energy Star certified, but it will save you on running costs in the long run. Whether you are looking for a budget model or want to pay a bit more for a GE or LG dryer, discover our round-up or best dryers below. Or, take a look at our guide to the best washer dryer combos for more ways to save space in your home.


Best dryer overall

(Image credit: GE)

This is the best dryer you can buy

Specifications
Type: Front loader
Capacity: 7.8 cu. ft
Cycles: 15
Programs: 5
Features: Sanitize, Sensor Dry, Towels and Sheets, Wrinkle Free, eDry
Warranty: 1-year
Reasons to buy
+Large capacity+Wi-Fi compatible+Huge range of cycles
Reasons to avoid
-No steam setting

The GE GFD55ESSNWW is a large 7.8 cubic foot capacity dryer with a range of modern features. It’s Wi-Fi enabled, so you can pair it with your phone and receive status updates remotely, and you can also pause, start and stop your drying cycle. This is a mid-price dryer, and it comes with an average of 4.7 stars in user reviews, making it one of the most popular models out there.

What the users say

The GE GFD55ESSNWW dryer scores highly in user ratings across various retailers, averaging 4.8 out of 5 stars. Users praise how quietly this machine operates and that there’s a built-in lint trap. The capacity is also another plus point for users. Some users, however, found the lint trap to be unhelpful and said it was difficult to override the sensors if you want the dryer to continue working.  

Sturdy and well engineered, its generous space has ample room to tackle a full load or larger items such as sheets, blankets and towels. Its wide hamper door makes it easy to unload laundry, and the Intuitive Touch Controls makes it simple to set or customize your own options. 

GE covers this dryer with a one year warranty, which is standard for the dryers in this guide, but not outstanding. It lacks a steam setting, but it does have cycles to prevent wrinkles, and a sanitize setting to ensure your delicates are as clean as can be. 

This dryer comes with an adjustable vent, which means it’s easier to place in any space. You can also stack it with its matching washer to cut back on space, and it’s got an equally clean and sleek design.

Best gas dryer

(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung DV45K6500GV is a smart dryer with plenty of steam cycles and a large capacity.

Specifications
Type: Front load
Capacity: 7.5 cu. ft.
Cycles: 14
Programs: 5
Features: Wrinkles Away, Anti-Static, Auto Dry, Cool Down, Damp Dry, Delicates, Heavy Duty, Knits, and Quick Dry
Warranty: 1 year
Reasons to buy
+Energy Efficient+Generous capacity+Plenty of smart cycles
Reasons to avoid
-Gas dryers cost to install

The Samsung DV45K6500GV is our top choice of gas dryers. It’s got 14 cycles, four of which are steam-enabled and can sanitize or de-wrinkle your laundry. This dryer also pairs with Samsung’s SmartThings app, allowing you to monitor your laundry remotely and even control it. 

What the users say

The Samsung DV45K6500GV scores a respectable average of 4.3 out of 5 stars. The features on this dryer were a hit with users, with lots of reviews praising the anti-wrinkle setting. Others also liked the spacious capacity and the fact that this machine is energy efficient. There were some complaints though, and they included users struggling to easily adjust the temperature on the dryer.  

Gas dryers typically cost less in energy usage than their electric counterparts, and on top of this the Samsung DV45K6500GV is ADA compliant and Energy Star certified. It’s got a large 7.5 cubic foot capacity that can tackle king size comforters or hefty loads of washing in one go. 

As with all gas dryers, the Samsung DV45K6500GV will cost extra to install. However, once it’s up and running we think this is a great option. It has smart sensors that can adjust your cycle’s temperature and timing to make sure your dry doesn’t overrun, or leave you with damp laundry. Some complain that you can’t adjust the temperature on this cycle, but with plenty of other cycles to choose from, we still think this is a great choice of dryer. 

Best smart dryer

(Image credit: LG)

Does all the brain work for you

Specifications
Type: Front loader
Capacity: 7.4 cu. ft
Cycles: 12
Programs: 12
Features: SmartThinQ Wi-Fi App Control, works with voice-activated Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, SpeedDry cycles
Warranty: 1-year. LG Motor has 10-year
Reasons to buy
+SmartThinQ Wi-Fi App gives you complete control +Advanced technology features 
Reasons to avoid
-Loud Difficult to read -LED control screen in a dim room 

This high-tech, LG LG DLEX3700W smart stackable front load electric dryer with TurboSteam, Sensor Dry does all the brain work for you. At just a touch of a button, you can customize and monitor your laundry cycles from your smartphone. 

What the users say

Averaging 4.7 out of 5 stars in users reviews, the LG DLEX3700W dryers is highly recommended by lots of its users. The capacity and features went down well and the smart-enabled capabilities were also popular too. Some users found the LED control panel tricky to read because it doesn’t feature a backlight.  

This model is one of the most versatile, user-friendly, and reasonably priced Smart dryers on the market. It is well designed and powerful thanks to an advanced aluminized alloy coating. Features include a TurboSteam function that ensures wrinkle-free garments through its high steam temperature. The Sensor Dry feature matches inside moisture levels to the correct drying temperature, and adjusts the cycle accordingly. It also has the practical Steam Sanitary cycle that uses steam to safely sanitize those 'non-washable' items such as children’s toys or pillows. If you don’t have time to spare, the SpeedDry setting is efficient for drying clothes evenly in 15 minutes. 

The highlights of course are the WiFi-enabled capabilities that allow more flexibility to manage your laundry. The handy notifications keeps you updated on your drying progress, and you’ll never even have to leave your sofa! 

Considering you can expect to spend thousands on a premium Smart dryer, the LG LG DLEX3700W electric dryer with TurboSteam, Sensor Dry is value for money. 

Best budget dryer

(Image credit: Amana)

An inexpensive dryer that gets the job done

Specifications
Type: Top loader
Capacity: 6.5 cu. ft
Cycles: 11
Programs: 3
Features: Automatic Dryness feature, Wrinkle Prevent option
Warranty: 1-year
Reasons to buy
+Simple controls +Timed Dry cycle to save energy 
Reasons to avoid
-Stiff door -No steam option 

If you’re after an inexpensive dryer that gets the job done, the Amana NED4655EW is an excellent choice. The added bonus is that you can find it on the market for just under $400, which is a bargain.

What the users say

The Amana NED4655EW is a bestseller and it has an impressive 92% recommendation percentage on Home Depot’s website. Despite being a more budget dryer, users find this model to be efficient at getting the job done. The price itself was also a real plus for many reviewers. There were criticisms of the dryer door being stiff to operate, however.  

Although it is 'no-fuss', with a smaller capacity, it has practical features to ensure completely dry clothing. The Automatic Dryness feature senses the inside temperature and adjusts the drying cycle to prevent overheating. It also has the convenient Wrinkle Prevent option for crease-free garments at the end of each cycle. So you won’t have a load to iron! If you only have a few items or limited time, the Timed Dry cycle is useful for setting to your specific schedule. You can set this up to 60 minutes, which is also energy efficient.

While this may not be advanced as other models, it’s ideal for a budget yet efficient dryer. This model is more suitable for couples or small households with basic requirements. 

Best high-end dryer

(Image credit: Maytag)

High-performance dryer, with all the bells and whistles

Specifications
Type: Top loader
Capacity: 9.2 cu. ft
Cycles: 10
Programs: 5
Features: PowerDry system, Extra Moisture Sensor, Steam Refresh Cycle
Warranty: 1-year
Reasons to buy
+Extra large 9.2 cu. ft capacity for large loads +Powerful drying results in a faster  time +Very quiet
Reasons to avoid
- No Wi-Fi capabilities 

The Maytag MEDB955FW electric dryer is a high-performance dryer, with all the bells and whistles. Designed to quickly handle heavy-duty loads, this model is equipped with a range of premium features to deliver professional results. 

What the users say

Scoring an impressive average of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Home Depot’s website, the Maytag MEDB955FW’s big capacity was popular with reviewers who have large families. Some users found that their laundry routine was a lot quicker than before, and the choice of dry settings was very helpful. Some users found this dryer too bulky for their laundry room and found the control position to be a nuisance.  

Well engineered, this dryer is sleek and modern with a handy magnetic door latch. Perhaps the more practical design feature is the extra large 9.2 cu. ft. capacity that easily accommodates large loads or bulky items. This also helps to significantly reduce the number of loads and use less energy.  As you would expect from a premium model, it boasts impressive, advanced features. Moisture sensors are convenient in adjusting moisture levels to the correct drying times to save time, and its PowerDry system efficiently dries a full load in a much quicker time. 

A minor drawback is the size may be too big to fit into a compact laundry room. However, this is more suitable for large households with plenty of laundry to tackle. 

While it is more expensive, the large capacity and professional results makes it a worthwhile investment. 

Best dryer for small spaces

(Image credit: Bosch)

Best dryer for small spaces

Specifications
Dimensions (WHD): 23.5 x 33.25 x 25
Type: Front loader
Capacity: 4.0 cu. ft
Cycles: 15
Programs: 4
Features: Time Dry, Wrinkle Block program
Warranty: 1-year
Reasons to buy
+Stackable +Condensate drying so no duct required
Reasons to avoid
-Longer drying cycles -No steam option

If you don’t have enough space for a standard sized dryer, the Bosch 300 Series Dryer is small yet powerful. At 24-inches, it fits well into compact utility spaces or can be stacked with the appropriate kit. Set in a quality stainless steel tub, it is built to last and looks sleek. Operating on a condensate system, this model is ventless and doesn’t require a duct during installation. This also works by retaining the moisture inside the drum, which enhances overall drying performance.

What the users say

This model has an average user rating of 4 out of 5, which is a little disappointing compared to other dryers in our round up. The main complaints center around slow drying times. It’s not all bad though, as users did praise the selection of cycles and the compact design.  

With 15 cycles, it offers more than enough settings to choose from. This includes the practical Time Dry and Delay-Start which are handy for when you’re busy. And the convenient wrinkle block program effectively reduces any creasing at the end of each cycle. It does have a smaller capacity at 4.0 cu. ft. however, this is still adequate for drying medium-heavy loads. If you do require more loading space or have a large household, this is probably not ideal. 

Bear in mind that as this is a ventless dryer, cycles can take much longer. However, its top cleaning results, practicality, and not to mention space convenience, make it a worthwhile investment.

Best no-frills dryer

(Image credit: Home Depot)

The GE GTD33EASKWW is a great choice if you want something to just get the job done.

Specifications
Type: Front loader
Capacity: 7.2 cu. ft
Cycles: 3
Programs: 4
Features: Automatic Dryness feature, Wrinkle care option
Warranty: 1-year
Reasons to buy
+Good value +Works quietly+Good capacity
Reasons to avoid
- Limited features - No steam functions 

If you can’t bear the thought of parting with a ton of cash just to get your clothes dry, then the GE GTD33EASKWW could be just what you’re looking for. This dryer may look humble in comparison to some of the others out there, but when it comes to drying your laundry it holds up well against its more expensive competitors.

What the users say

It’s safe to say that the GE GTD33EASKWW is a very popular choice with over 7,000 user reviews on Home Depot’s site alone. Pros for users include the spacious dryer drum, quiet operation, and high efficiency. Not everyone is so impressed though, and a few users mention that the timer is too loud and the lint catcher isn’t very effective.  

Do large loads with ease thanks to the roomy 7.2 cubic foot capacity, and with a design that minimizes dryer noise, you can easily have it going while you’re watching TV. The three heat selections allow you to customize for fabric care, and the wrinkle care option does a good job of reducing creases in your clothes, perfect if you’re not a fan of ironing!

At just under $600, this affordable dryer comes with just what you need to get your laundry dry without a ton of extra and confusing features that you might never use. It’s designed with a reversible door, so it’ll work beautifully wherever you’re wanting to position it, and there’s a loud alert when a cycle finishes to remind you to remove your clothes. While it may not have a bunch of snazzy features, the low price of the GE GTD33EASKWW coupled with its large capacity makes it ideal for homes of all sizes. 

Best dryer for energy efficiency

(Image credit: Home Depot)

A dryer with a wide range of features, including WiFi connectivity, that’s great for busy families.

Specifications
Dimensions: 44.25 inches (H), 27 inches (W), 28.98 inches (D)
Type: Front loader
Capacity: 7.3 cu. ft
Cycles: 8
Features: Damp Alert, Delicates, Cotton, Heavy Duty, Permanent Press, Quick Dry, Sanitize, Wrinkle Free
Warranty: 1-year
Reasons to buy
+ Smart home connectivity + Large drum size 
Reasons to avoid
- Vented - Door doesn’t lay flat 

The LG DLE7300VE is a dryer that offers a whole host of premium features in a mid-market priced package. At nearly $1,000 it certainly isn’t cheap, but it is about half the price of some ventless models and can offer a wide range of cycles, excellent drying performance, and even smart home connectivity. 

What the users say

The LG DLE7300VE scoops up an average star rating of 4.6 out of 5. Families like the large drum capacity and the customizable settings are also a hit. Smart controls are also a popular feature with users. Some reviews fault the SensorDry technology by suggesting it’s not very effective at detecting when the clothes need a little longer to dry. 

It’s a great option for families as the spacious 7.3 cubic foot dryer can easily handle large loads and bulky items, like comforters, helping you power through laundry day much quicker. As an Energy Star rated model, the LG DLE7300VE won’t have a big impact on your monthly bills either.

As a vented model, it won’t be suitable for every home. You will need to ensure there is a suitable spot for an outlet nearby and they can be trickier to install, so you may want to choose to employ a professional to install this dryer for you.

Best ventless dryer

(Image credit: Home Depot)

A ventless dryer that may be pricey, but has great drum capacity and drying power.

Specifications
Dimensions: 38.75 inches (H),27 inches (W), 31 inches (D)
Type: Front loader
Capacity: 7.4 cu. ft.
Cycles: 7
Features: Bulky Items, Delicates, Damp Dry, Heavy Duty, Quick Dry, Towels and Sheets, Wrinkle Free
Warranty : 1-year
Reasons to buy
+ No vent required + Energy efficient 
Reasons to avoid
- Noisy - Slow to dry 

If you live somewhere where vented dryers are prohibited or simply prefer ventless dryers, then the Whirlpool WHD560CHW is a great option. Ventless dryer options are still relatively few and far between, and those that are available tend to be costly, but they are easier to install and many people find them to be a convenient option. 

What the users say

Some users find the Whirlpool WHD560CHW to be expensive. Scoring 4.3 out of 5 on Home Depot’s website, the dryer is criticized for not being as powerful as a vented option. There are plenty of positive reviews, however, and they include comments that suggest this dryer is quiet and convenient.  

At well over $1,000 the Whirlpool WHD560CHW is up there with the priciest options on this list, but it is Energy Star rated, which will help keep monthly bills low, and we think it’s well worth considering. It’s built to be durable too, so at least it’s an investment that won’t need to be replaced quickly.

The Whirlpool WHD560CHW doesn’t have as many advanced features as the LG DLE7300VE, but it still has a large drum capacity and a wide range of drying controls too. This model also features a huge 36 custom options and an anti-wrinkle function to prevent extra time ironing creases out of your clothing. 

Best compact dryer

(Image credit: Home Depot)

A compact dryer that’s built to squeeze into a wide range of tight spots.

Specifications
Dimensions: 31 inches (H), 23.9 inches (W), 20.75 inches (D)
Type: Front load
Capacity: 3.4 cu. ft.
Cycles: 3
Features: Automatic Temperature Control, Damp Alert, Lint Filter, Digital Cycle Countdown, Sensor Dry, Timed Dry
Warranty : 1-year
Reasons to buy
+ Stackable + Sensor drying technology 
Reasons to avoid
- Not Energy Star certified - Short on cycle options 

If you’re not sure whether you can find the space for a dryer in your home, the Whirlpool LDR3822PQ could offer you a great solution. It’s small, stackable, and has a shallow depth that means it can squeeze into a small space better than other dryers on the market. 

What the users say

For a compact dryer, the Whirlpool LDR3822PQ exceeded some user’s expectations. Overall this machine averages 4.5 out of 5 stars and users also found that it was “easy to operate and has a very good capacity.” A few reviews do mention balancing issues with this dryer though.  

Being so compact, it’s not a surprise that this dryer does have a smaller drum capacity than other dryers on the market. It’s a little short on cycle options too, there are no steam or express cycles, but it’s still a great little dryer that can more than adequately dry laundry loads.

While it is the cheapest dryer on this list, it’s not Energy Star certified like the other models on this list, so it could have a bit more of an impact on your monthly bills.

How to find the best dryer for you

There are lots of things to take into consideration when you're shopping for a new dryer. Here are some things to start with.

Price
Dryers range in price from $300 on the budget end to over $1,000. Higher-end machines usually have larger capacities, more settings options, and upgraded features such as moisture sensors. Another thing to consider is the cost of using the dryer. Products with Energy Star certification and energy-saving modes can reduce the amount of energy consumed each time you do a load of laundry.

Capacity
A National Association of Home Builders study concluded that washers last an average of 10 years and dryers last an average of 13. If you don’t have the budget to replace the whole set at one time you may be picking out a dryer on its own, without the manufacturer's matched pairs recommendations to guide you. A good general rule is to pick a dryer with roughly double the capacity of your washer. That way even the largest load you can fit in your washer will have sufficient room to move around and get thoroughly dry.

Energy source
Not everyone has a choice of gas or electric hookups, but if you do it is worth noting that gas dryers and electric dryers tend to perform similarly. There are subtle differences in cost, though. Generally, gas dryers cost more initially but less over time than electric dryers. Gas dryers also tend to run at slightly higher temperatures so they dry laundry faster.

Key features and technology
Most modern dryers have a wrinkle-prevention mode where it tosses a load of laundry intermittently after a cycle to prevent excessive wrinkling, so you don’t have to worry about returning home to a load of crinkled clothes. Some dryers also allow you to delay the start of a load so you can time it to finish just when you or someone else gets home.

The best dryers have a generous selection of cycles so you can customize the setting to whatever type of laundry you’re drying. Some dryers have drum lights so you can see if you, for instance, leave a stray sock behind. Other nice features to look for include a reversible door, vibration reduction, a child lock, and an end-of-cycle signal to let you know it’s time to gather your washing.

Design & appearance
In addition to finding the right dryer features for you and your family, you want a dryer that looks nice and will complement the room it occupies. A matching pair creates a nice aesthetic. Often these appliances sit in kitchens and other areas where people see them, so they shouldn’t be an eyesore and should blend with the room.

The design should be practical and straightforward, with an intuitive control panel that lets you easily perform functions like adding steam or activating wrinkle reduction.

Energy efficiency
In recent years, companies have developed dryers that cut down on the use of electricity while saving you money on utility bills. Top-quality clothes dryers have advanced sensor systems that monitor the moisture content in clothing and stop the cycle when your clothes are dry, resulting in significant energy savings. Lint filter and duct-clog monitors also help conserve energy (and guard against fire hazards) by keeping airways clean.

What are the different types of dryers?

Ventless dryers

While vented dryers are perhaps the most common type of dryer, there are some other options available that might come in handy if you do not have a way to vent the air. Some ventless options can also save a lot of energy.

Condenser dryers

These dryers use a heat exchanger that removes moisture from warm air that has passed through your wet laundry. Once the moist air comes out of the drum it goes back into the condenser, where it is cooled to removed moisture. The resulting liquid is then pumped to a drain hose or a tray. These models can leave a room rather humid and function best in a room with good ventilation.

Heat pump dryers

This style of dryer takes it even a step further. When the moist air is created in the drying drum, it goes through a heat pump. A cold side condenses the moisture and the resulting mixture goes down a drain pipe or into a tank. The warm side reheats the remainder of the air to be used again for drying the laundry. Heat pump dryers don't leave the room they occupy moist, which makes them better for apartments and other small spaces. They also use very little energy, about half of what condenser dryers and vented dryers use. They do require a bigger initial investment and their drying cycle takes longer.

Best dryers FAQ

Which is the best quiet dryer? 

No matter your budget, you should be able to find an excellent and capable dryer that doesn’t disturb you as you relax. In recent years, manufacturers have geared their machines towards quieter running, so that even if you have your dryer in close proximity, you won’t have to hear every motion as your cycle completes.

Within the more high-end range of the best dryers, the Maytag MEDB955FW electric dryer can deliver when it comes to quietness, alongside a variety of fancy features including a magnetic door latch. It’s equipped with a SoundProtection design to ensure that all of its moving parts don’t cause loud noises. 

If you need something more affordable, then the GE GTD33EASKWW is a low fuss, and low-cost alternative, that still has excellent ratings when it comes to quietness. It’s also really efficient, meaning it won’t cost you the world to run either. 

Do tumble dryers shrink clothes?

Due to their drastically high temperatures, dryers are a different environment to get accustomed to compared to other washing appliances. Not all materials react in the same way when you put them inside a dryer, so there are certain things to be mindful of. 

The materials to be most conscious of when loading your dryer are softer, more delicate ones, such as those with wool, cotton and synthetic fibers. These are most at risk of a nasty case of shrinking, so always check the label before you dry them. 

Shrinking happens when the hot air that’s pumped into your dryer tightens the fibers of soft clothing and causes it to become smaller. The tossing and turning motion added to this means that it’s even more likely that drying will have an unwanted effect on your clothes, compared to washing. To avoid creating clothing that might fit your pets better than they fit you, always be vigilant with checking your clothing labels, as well as lowering the heat if you’re afraid of accidental shrinkage. 

Can tumble dryers kill germs?

Lots of newer dryers have sanitizing settings, with certain machines claiming to kill 99.9% of harmful bacteria. This sounds like an excellent tool to have within your home, but is it true? 

In short, yes. High heat within dryers can kill off harmful bacteria, which is great news, especially in a post-pandemic world. The sanitize cycles in dryers are utilizing their high-temperature settings in this way, and are best when used for a little longer too. If you don’t have a dedicated sanitize cycle, then remember that high heat is the essential element to killing off bacteria and set your machine accordingly.

Are tumble dryers expensive to run?

While energy costs will vary depending on the model, settings, and Energy Star certification, a fairly good tumble dryer should cost anywhere between around $40 and $140 per year to run in energy costs. This is around $85 per year on average. Gas dryers are typically cheaper to run than an electric dryer but the downside is that they’re generally more expensive to install at first, so your initial investment will balance out over time.

If you want to keep running costs low, make sure to choose a model with an Energy Star certification. More modern tumble dryers often come with energy-saving settings that will also help to chop down on the energy you use per cycle. For instance, a tumble dryer with a moisture sensor system will switch off your cycle when it detects your clothes are dry, helping you save costs down the line. 

How long do dryers last for?

Spending money on a new dryer means you’re probably wondering just how much use you can get out of your machine, perhaps before deciding on a cheaper or more expensive model. On average, you can expect to have your dryer for around ten to 13 years before it’ll need replacing, although some brands promise that their models can last up to 25 years. Of course, the lifespan of your dryer is entirely dependent on how well-maintained its parts are, as well as how much you’re using it. 

Some newer machines benefit from having a moisture sensor, meaning that you can know as soon as your drying is done, and prevent overuse. That’ll keep your appliance in better condition in the long run. 

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