Which dryer is best?

Unless you prefer to take the time to dry your clothes on a line, you probably use a dryer. There are a dozen reasons to shop for a new one but hundreds of factors to consider. How the dryer is powered, how much laundry it can hold and what drying modes it has are some of the most important.

The best dryer is the Samsung 7.5-Cubic-Foot Platinum Electric Dryer With Steam. It uses a standard electrical hookup, can hold more than enough clothes and has a steaming mode to reduce wrinkles.

What to know before you buy a dryer

Power source

Dryers are powered via electric or gas hookup.

  • Electric models are most common. They cost less upfront and can be installed in any home with a proper outlet. The downside is their energy consumption, which can cost more over 10 years than a gas dryer.
  • Gas models are uncommon. They have higher upfront costs and require special natural gas connections most homes lack. They also still need access to electricity. Their installation is complex and typically requires a professional to complete. However, they have two considerable benefits. They have much lower energy costs and dry clothes much faster.

Capacity

Capacity is given in cubic feet. Dryers come in three capacity tiers: compact, standard and oversized.

  • Compact models have capacities between 1-3 cubic feet. They can handle up to 8 pounds of clothing, enough for one to two people.
  • Standard models have capacities between 3-5 cubic feet. They can handle up to 16 pounds of clothing, enough for three to four people.
  • Oversized models have capacities of 5-plus cubic feet. They can handle up to or more than 20 pounds of clothing, enough for five or more people.

Dimensions

Dryer dimensions are hard to predict as they rarely align with capacity. For example, one 5-cubic foot capacity dryer could be a few inches smaller all around than another. When shopping, know how much space you have for installation, leaving a minimum of 3 inches empty space on all sides.

What to look for in a quality dryer

Modes

Most dryers have a huge variety of modes including timed or sensor drying, temperature changes and the use of steam. It may seem beneficial to have as many modes as possible but ask yourself if you’ll actually use all of them. If not, you’re wasting money.

Light 

It may seem unimportant, but not having an internal light can be a frustrating experience. The recessed drums of a dryer make it difficult for light to enter, so it will be hard to see if you’ve retrieved all your items.

How much you can expect to spend on a dryer

A basic dryer big enough for one person costs $400-$700. Midrange options good for any circumstances cost $700-$1,000. The huge feature-packed models can cost as much as $2,000-plus.

Dryer FAQ

Are there safety precautions to take when using a dryer?

A. Yes, with the most basic being ensuring your electric or gas connection is secure and properly installed. If you are even slightly unsure of your ability to install properly, hire a professional. Also, routinely check your power connection to make sure it stays secure. Leave at least 3-6 inches of space on all sides for proper ventilation. Don’t overstuff the dryer, and make sure to empty the lint trap after each cycle. Finally, don’t let the dryer run while you’re away from home, lest a fire start when you’re away.

Are there things I shouldn’t put inside a dryer?

A. Yes. Delicates shouldn’t be dried unless your dryer has a specialized setting for them. Antimicrobial clothes and any kind of shoe shouldn’t be dried, either.

Do gas-powered dryers leave a gassy smell on clothing?

A. Not if the dryer is operating as it should. If you do smell gas, you have an extremely hazardous situation on hand that a professional will likely need to be brought in to fix, preferably immediately.

What’s the best dryer to buy?

Top dryer 

Samsung 7.5 Cubic Foot Platinum Electric Dryer With Steam

Samsung 7.5-Cubic-Foot Platinum Electric Dryer With Steam

What you need to know: This has plenty of features at an excellent cost.

What you’ll love: A matching washing machine can be bundled for a discount. The steam setting kills 99.9% of bacteria and greatly decreases wrinkles. The door is reversible. It’s also available in a gas-powered version and it comes in three finishes.

What you should consider: It can make a surprising amount of noise. Some consumers had issues with the heating element failing within a few years.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Top dryer for the money

Whirlpool 7 Cubic Foot 120 Volt White Gas Vented Dryer With Autodry Drying System

Whirlpool 7-Cubic-Foot 120-Volt White Gas Vented Dryer With Autodry Drying System

What you need to know: It has more than enough space and capability.

What you’ll love: A matching washer is available in a discounted bundle. It has 14 drying cycles with three temperature levels. You can choose a drying length or let AutoDry detect when clothes are done to prevent overheating them. The door opens downward to stop clothes from hitting the floor.

What you should consider: Drying time can be much longer than with most models and on rare occasions, it needs a second cycle to fully dry. It isn’t stackable.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Worth checking out

LG Electronics 7.4 Cubic Foot Vented Smart Electric Dryer With Sensor Dry

LG Electronics 7.4-Cubic-Foot Vented Smart Electric Dryer With Sensor Dry

What you need to know: This is a great dryer for smart-home enthusiasts.

What you’ll love: A matching washer is available in a discounted bundle. Sensor Dry runs the dryer precisely as long as each load needs. It’s Energy Star certified, runs quietly and is stackable. And it can connect to your phone for alerts and troubleshooting.

What you should consider: Drying time is a little longer than with most models, and it doesn’t have an interior light. A few consumers had issues with door leaks.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

 

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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