We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
There are hundreds of dryers available on the consumer market, so how do you tell which is the right one?
With so many kinds of options, it can be tough to sort the wheat from the chaff.
That's where we come in! At BestReviews, we want to help you pick the perfect dryer for your home.
We're dedicated to writing the most honest and unbiased reviews out there.
We never accept free products from manufacturers.
Instead, we buy products off of store shelves, test them in our labs, consult experts, and examine feedback from product owners.
Our ultimate goal: to become your go-to source for trustworthy product recommendations whenever you’re faced with a buying decision.
At the top of this page, you'll find our five favorite dryers on the market. These highly rated products all qualify for our top-contender list.
Note: The above product recommendations were updated August 2017. The products below were our original choices and have yet to be updated.
A dryer's size impacts where you could potentially place it in your home. In terms of capacity, the benefits are clear: the larger it is, the more you can fit into a single cycle—including bigger items like quilts and comforters.
It’s usually considered prudent to find a dryer that has at least twice the capacity of your washer. Otherwise, there won’t be enough room for the laundry to properly air out. However, some consumers have good reason to choose a compact unit, such as a lack of space.
Bill has been a hardware store owner, locksmith, and general home repair guru for over 40 years. His ability to solve problems and repair every item in every situation is a true gift. In his spare time, you may find Bill working in his garden, tending to his perfectly manicured lawn, or riding his bike.
Finding the right dryer isn’t as simple as whether or not it can dry your clothes. A number of factors impact a dryer's performance. For instance, is the machine energy-efficient? Paying more upfront for a machine that uses less electricity could result in lower utility bills and, in some cases, a tax rebate.
Additional factors, such as noise level, speed, and features, can also impact your buying decision.
The price of a dryer generally depends on two things: size and features. There are several different sizes on our shortlist. Machines with cool extras such as steam drying technology and wrinkle-free settings typically cost more, but these added conveniences are often worth the money—especially for large families where both adults work and time is limited.
If you hate to iron, look for a dryer that has anti-wrinkle capability. Many new machines even have steamer functions to make your clothes extra fresh.
Those who regularly do large amounts of laundry will want to look at the LG Electric Steam Dryer. At 158 pounds, it's heavier than many competitors, but it's externally similar to both the Amana and Speed Queen at 34 x 29 x 41 inches.
In terms of load, the LG's internal capacity of nine cubic feet stands out from the crowd. Large households could definitely take advantage of it, as could some small businesses.
The Speed Queen Electric Dryer is slightly larger than the Amana at 31 x 32 x 47 inches, and it weighs 15 pounds more at 140 lbs. Those increased exterior dimensions allow for more room inside. In line with many of its rivals, the Speed Queen will hold seven cubic feet of laundry. That means that bulky bedding and small rugs could potentially be dried in this machine.
Always clean your lint filter after every cycle. Failure to do so could lead to a lint fire starting in your dryer.
The Panda Portable Compact Clothes Dryer lives up to its name with external dimensions of approximately 24 x 17 x 28 inches. Though not as light as the Laundry Alternative, it's still pretty easy to move around at 44 pounds. It even comes with a kit so you can mount it on a wall if you want to. Capacity is 2.65 cubic feet, which Panda says is equivalent to 8.8 pounds. That's not a lot of space, but it's sufficient for many singles and couples.
Don’t overpack your machine. Clothes need to expand and float free, otherwise they will wrinkle.
At 28 x 29 x 44 inches and 125 pounds, the Amana Electric Dryer is a full-size machine that you wouldn't want to move around too often. It offers a load capacity of 6.5 cubic feet, which is a bit less than some of its rivals. (Seven cubic feet is common.) However, the difference is minimal.
If you live in a small apartment or want a portable dryer for an RV, the Laundry Alternative may pique your interest. It's just 19 inches in diameter and 32 inches tall, and it weighs only 20 pounds. Given those dimensions, it doesn't have a huge capacity. The Laundry Alternative can hold 22 pounds, according to the company, though how this is measured we don't know. (Dryer loads are normally rated in cubic feet.) We do know that it's the biggest dryer of this type that we've seen.
Clean out the dryer hose once a year with a dedicated lint brush. Lint buildup can make your machine run slower and use more electricity.
Few dryers on today's market offer the broad range of features that you get from the LG Electric Steam Dryer. At a glance, it's obvious there's a lot on offer here: where most dryers make do with a knob or two, the LG has knobs, buttons, and a digital control panel. There are five temperature settings and 14 pre-programmed options.
The LG may look forbidding at first, but its functions are easily selected. They're also helpful. We like the "SteamFresh" function that livens up clothing rather than putting it through an entire wash cycle. We also like the "SteamSanitary" option for cleaning toys and other non-washables. Not surprisingly, there's over-dry protection, and the door can be hung on either side. The lint filter is a simple device, mounted in the front like the Speed Queen.
Although the Speed Queen Electric Dryer offers only three heat settings, owners enjoy plenty of flexibility within those options with settings like "Cool Tumble" and "Max Dry." There's also an over-dry sensor, though some owners complain that this isn't as effective as it should be.
The easy-to-clean lint filter drops into the front of the machine, and the door can be fitted on the right or left side. Speed Queen keenly focuses on the durability of this model, emphasizing its commercial-grade exterior cabinet and ADA compliance.
If you are in a hurry to dry clothes, toss in a dry towel with the rest of the load. The towel will help draw in moisture.
The first thing to note about the Panda Portable Clothes Dryer is that it's a 110-volt machine. It will run perfectly fine on 220 volts, but the drying cycle may take a little longer. That said, you get a fair amount of flexibility with the Panda. You can run it on low or high settings, or you can just use cool air. A useful chart helps you estimate how long each load will take. Finally, the lint filter at the back of the machine is easy to remove and clean.
If you're worried about damaging your delicate fabrics in the dryer, the Amana offers a clever solution: a sensor within the machine that halts the cycle if it detects over-drying. There's also a "Wrinkle Prevent" option that makes your life easier if you can't fold your clothes right away.
Eleven drying settings are included. At first glance, the control knob for these cycles may look a bit confusing. Once you're familiar with it, though, you'll enjoy options for timing, heat, drying quickly, and saving energy. The lint filter is right up front where it's easy to clean, and the dryer door can be mounted on the left or right.
One of the main advantages of the Laundry Alternative Mega Spin Dryer is that it doesn't need any kind of venting. As such, it's a "go-anywhere" machine. Spin speed is 1600 RPM. That sounds impressive, but the Laundry Alternative doesn't actually have any kind of heating element to assist drying; it only spins your clothes. Some owners think this is fine, but others complain that their items are still a little damp when the cycle ends. To be fair, the company does say that the machine will get clothes "90 percent dry in two to five minutes." Clothes should be hung out to finish drying.
This is a simple machine with no program choices. You just load it and turn it on for the required time. There's a safety catch on the lid so it will only run when closed, and you can't open it by accident.
If you are drying clothes that tend to pill, such as sweaters and denim, be sure to turn them inside out first.
For consumers who are short on space or need something portable, the $159 Laundry Alternative is a viable solution. It's simple but well-made, and the manufacturer's confidence in the product is underlined by a three-year warranty. Few competitors offer such a guarantee at any price!
Owners do tell us the Laundry Alternative presents them with a couple of challenges. First, if you have a modern washer that finishes with a fast spin, this machine is kind of pointless. Second, there's the lack of heat. While some people are satisfied with clothes that are "pretty dry," others find it unacceptable.
It's not easy to find a quality full-size dryer for $430, but that's what you get with the Amana Electric Dryer. While it may not be overloaded with bells and whistles, the features it does have are useful, and its straightforward approach attracts many people. Feedback is almost entirely positive. Owners understand that it's a basic appliance, but they say it dries quickly and efficiently— which is all they really want.
When drying a down duvet, toss in a couple of tennis balls for the last twenty minutes. This will help puff up the down and circulate everything better.
Panda calls its Portable Compact Clothes Dryer an apartment model. Indeed, that name sums up the machine quite well. It doesn't have a huge capacity, but $249 isn't much to pay for a dryer that will fit just about anywhere. (It's very popular in vacation cabins and RVs.)
Most owners find the Panda to be surprisingly quiet, although one or two say their machine has developed a "squeak." Beyond that, complaints are few and far between. The majority of owners rate it as a reliable, low-cost dryer that's ideal for small spaces.
The Speed Queen Electric Dryer is a "standard" machine. It takes a load of seven cubic feet, which is common. It's 27 inches wide—also common. It will cost you a competitive $1099, and for that money, you get a well-made product with few critics.
A few people have said that the Speed Queen is noisy, but that's not a frequent complaint. In its class, it's tough to beat. If you're looking for a high-quality dryer for a family home, we doubt you'd be disappointed with this one.
The LG Electric Steam Dryer is a high-end machine that's packed with features designed to make your life easier. There's usually a price to pay for premium quality, and in this case, that price is $1439. Is it worth the money? Just ask owners. The overwhelming majority—even those who were skeptical at first—will tell you it is.
LG is one of the leading brands in home appliances, and the company's Electric Steam Dryer illustrates just why the company continues to dominate the market.
The versatility afforded by this machine’s numerous drying cycles is unprecedented, and its nine-foot cubic capacity is equally impressive.
At 29 inches, the LG is wider than most. This must be considered if you're replacing an existing machine and space is tight. Other than that, owner satisfaction ratings are extremely high. Most think the $1439 LG Electric Steam Dryer is worth every penny. Perhaps that's because it isn't just a dryer—it's also a laundry problem solver that helps make your chores easier.
The LG Electric Steam Dryer's unparalleled feature set, coupled with its top-of-the-line performance, earn our top marks.
Each of the machines we've rated is spectacular, but the winner of our Best Bang for your Buck award is the Amana Electric Dryer.
We like the Laundry Alternative for its go-anywhere portability and the Panda for its compact size, but they're rather specialized machines. The Amana is a machine for every family. It's efficient, quiet, and cheap.
Its capacity is slightly smaller than some competitors at 6.5 cubic feet, and it doesn't have all of the functions and features of some other dryers out there. But owners simply don't care. It dries clothes, towels, and bedding quickly and economically. It gets the job done.
The $430 Amana Electric Dryer hangs tough with its more expensive rivals, and it receives our highest endorsement as the best budget dryer on the market.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.