Takes large loads and only 30 minutes for a cycle at max capacity. Fits in closets. Intuitively adjusts temperature and time based on drying needs. Remembers favorite settings and connects to a smartphone app for controlling and monitoring cycles.
May take time to learn the features and settings.
Smart dryer can connect to WiFi for control via app or voice assistant. Steam features fight wrinkles or refresh worn but unsoiled clothes. Hamper door is convenient for filling and folding. Advanced sensor drying to save time and energy.
Some customers have difficulty with the app.
Sensors save energy by adjusting cycle time. Low-heat options help reduce power use even more. Moistens clothes for easier ironing. Has built-in indicator to tell when its exhaust ducts need cleaning. Runs fairly quietly.
The 30-inch depth makes it a little shallower than competing models.
Sensor drying saves energy. Lightweight and compact design for better maneuverability. Features a smaller footprint while maintaining a standard capacity. Has interior light. This model also makes minimal noise.
Size may not accomodate thick comforters effectively.
Takes 30 minutes to dry at max capacity. Smart Dial streamlines settings and remembers often-used cycles. Cycle settings are customizable. Can be stacked with a washer. Steam removes odors, wrinkles, static, and 95% of pollen.
Steam cycle is intended for a full load, so it adds too much water when steaming only a few garments.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Electric dryers rank just behind room heating, water heaters, lighting and refrigerators when it comes to household power use. That’s saying something since the others on that list are powered on all or most of the time, whereas your dryer may run for a couple of hours every few days. So, it’s a good idea to look for the most efficient dryer you can find.
The energy efficiency of an electric dryer is denoted by its combined energy factor (CEF), measured in pounds per kilowatt hour (lbs/kWh). The CEF determines whether an electric dryer gets Energy Star certification. Standard electric dryers, those with a capacity of 4.4 cubic feet or larger, should have a CEF of 3.93 lbs/kWh or higher. If this is a little too technical, just remember to pick a dryer that’s Energy Star certified.
Electric dryers get a high CEF rating by taking advantage of features such as a moisture or dryness sensor, a low heat setting and delayed start. A moisture or dryness sensor, also known as moisture sensing or sensor dry, stops the dryer when it senses the clothes are dry. This not only saves energy but also helps reduce wear and tear on clothes by preventing overdrying.
Energy Star-rated electric dryers also have an “eco” mode that uses lower temperatures, conserving power. The ability to delay or schedule a drying cycle can save you power and money if you strategically run the dryer when power costs are low.
We made a list of our top electric dryers. We think the Maytag 7.4-cubic-foot 240-Volt Smart Capable Electric Vented Dryer is the best dryer you can buy, while the Samsung 7.5 cu. ft. Stackable Vented Electric Dryer with Sensor Dry offers plenty of features for the buck.
This 7.4-cubic-foot side-by-side (not stackable) dryer from Maytag uses advanced moisture sensing to cut down on power use and overdrying. It has a drop-down hamper-style door for easy filling and emptying. Maytag’s “Extra Power” button adds time and heat to any dryer cycle.
The steam features are especially impressive. By applying steam to its drying cycles, it reduces static without the need for residue-heavy dryer sheets. It also applies steam via a wrinkle-fighting feature that tumbles clothes for up to 150 minutes after a cycle ends. What’s more, it can refresh clothes that don’t need washing.
The dryer has a total of 13 possible drying cycles with five individual heat settings, including a quick-dry cycle for smaller loads. It’s Wi-Fi capable, has a smartphone app and is compatible with Google Assistant and Siri. Like other Maytag appliances, it is made in the United States in Marion, Ohio.
This budget-friendly option comes with a sensor-dry feature that adjusts both time and temperature to get the best drying results while saving power. As a 7.5-cubic-foot model, it’s stackable, so it can go on top of a matching Samsung front-load washer to save floor space. Several nice touches make it a pleasure to use, including a handy interior drum light for finding that one missing sock and melodic notifications that alert you when a cycle is done. It also has an indicator that tells you when it’s time to empty your lint filter.
There’s no steam, and it’s not Wi-Fi connected, but you can use a Samsung app to diagnose any error codes on its screen.
Another Samsung dryer worth considering, this model is designed to go side-by-side with a Samsung top-load washer. A couple of inches taller and thinner than the stackable option mentioned above, this model has an opaque front door to go with the clean look of a side-by-side top-loading washer.
This Samsung gem dries via sensor, adjusting time and heat intelligently. It has a drum light so you can peek inside for loose articles, and the lint filter indicator reminds you to clean the filter so the airflow stays clear.
Select from 10 preset cycles with the easy-to-access front dial, and enjoy the pleasant audible notifications for all its controls, which are also printed in braille. Though it lacks steaming and Wi-Fi, it’s a solid, handsome option for your laundry room.
LG makes a number of well-received appliances, and this one, which is notable for being very quiet, is an apt example.
Its stackability helps you save floor space, and its 30-inch depth is intended to fit in more laundry closets. It has eight drying cycles including a 15-minute speed dry cycle, and you also have the option to lightly moisten dry clothes for easier ironing. The auto-fluff feature periodically tumbles a finished load every three hours, so if you’re not home right when the load is dry, no worries.
This LG dryer’s sensor-dry feature and low-heat cycles help save you energy. An interesting feature is the ability to sense clogging not just on its lint filter but also along its entire exhaust duct. Thanks to this, you’ll know if the exhaust efficiency becomes compromised so you can clean the ducts.
Easy to use, this one has four drying cycles for simple operation and an auto-dry option for sensor-based, power-saving drying. It’s quiet even if used on a second floor or near a bedroom, so you don’t necessarily have to relegate this machine to the basement — a bonus if you prefer not to lug loads of laundry up and down the stairs.
This GE dryer has an adjustable audible end-of-cycle alert and an extended tumble option after a cycle to reduce wrinkling. It also has an interior drum light. Interestingly, it can work with a vent as far away as 120 feet, making placement more versatile.
The second Maytag on our list, this one shares many main features with our top pick, including a time- and heat-boosting Extra Power button and advanced moisture sensing for saving energy.
As a stackable model, this Maytag dryer has a square swing door instead of a hamper door. We like the sleek, modern look of the dark glass. It has 10 drying cycles, including a quick dry option, and it can keep a load tumbling up to 150 minutes after a cycle ends to save your clothes from wrinkling (and you from ironing).
This choice lacks steam options and doesn’t connect to Wi-Fi or other smart home features. You also have to buy a power cord separately, and depending on your dryer power socket, you’ll want to know beforehand whether you need one with parallel or diagonal prongs.
Hotpoint is a longstanding United States brand that’s very popular in the U.K., where appliances are often smaller. The Hotpoint Electric Vented Dryer is compact yet still a decent size with 6.2 cubic feet of capacity. At 27 inches deep, it’s shallower than other standard dryers. Some people really like this, as it can fit in places other dryers can’t.
Four dryer cycles are offered, including auto-sensing and three heat levels that you control with straightforward dials. It has a wrinkle-free tumble setting to keep clothes moving after a cycle is done. And the venting capability is long — as far as 120 feet — so you have some flexibility when you’re deciding where to put your new appliance.
It’s not stackable and has no steam options, and unlike some other choices, this dryer sounds a loud buzzer when a cycle’s done. But if you like simplicity and a smaller size, check this one out. It’s another of our expert’s top picks.
The Whirlpool Stackable Electric Ventless Dryer is sleek and modern-looking with a 7.4-cubic foot capacity. As a ventless dryer, it recirculates warm air over wet clothes and extracts moisture by means of a condenser, draining the excess water out a drain line such as that used by a washer.
Ventless dryers tend to cost more upfront, but they save you money by using around 30% less energy than conventional dryers. And since a vent isn’t needed, they can be installed almost anywhere — as long as there’s a way to drain the extracted water.
Inside the drum of this Whirlpool machine, four individual baffles keep laundry loose and aerated for better drying. There are 36 possible drying options, including an eco setting, an extra 150 minutes of tumble time and three separate sensors to monitor your laundry. In short, this is an up-to-date appliance that’s worth the investment.
If you want a truly compact dryer, consider the Electrolux Ventless Dryer with IQ-Touch controls. As a ventless dryer, it doesn’t need an exhaust duct or hose. It just needs a way to drain condensed water. This stackable dynamo can fit almost anywhere at 24 inches deep, 23 inches wide and 34 inches tall.
The capacity of this dryer — 4 cubic feet — isn’t big enough for large blankets or comforters, but it’s good enough for small loads of 3.3 pounds at a time. It’s quite familiar in Europe, where Electrolux is a market leader. This choice from Electrolux boasts 12 drying cycles, advanced options to save energy and an intuitive touch-and-dial control. It can also reverse tumble to help untangle and unsnag laundry.
There are two size considerations when choosing a dryer: inside capacity and outside dimensions.
Inside capacity: If you routinely do big loads of laundry, you’ll likely want a dryer with a large capacity. The largest capacity generally available is 9 cubic feet, which is big enough to hold about 15 bath towels. Compact dryers with an average capacity of 4 cubic feet only hold about six bath towels. Most people choose a machine somewhere in the middle. The average dryer capacity is between 7.3 and 8.3 cubic feet. A good rule of thumb is to pick a dryer that’s twice the capacity of your washer.
Outside dimensions: Measure your laundry room space before shopping for a dryer. The typical full-size dryer is somewhere between 25 and 35 inches deep, 25 and 30 inches wide and 35 to 45 inches tall. Remember that you need at least 1 inch of space between your washer and dryer, 6 inches of clearance behind your dryer and 3 inches of clearance between the side of your dryer and the wall. This allows for proper venting and leaves room for the exhaust duct.
Stacking: If you don’t have enough room to place your washer and dryer next to each other, consider stacking units. While all-in-one compact stacking units are commonly used in apartments and other small homes, you can find full-size stacking machines that are held in place with brackets.
Aside from a moisture sensor and delayed start, there are other features you may find helpful that can save you energy or time.
Steam: This handy feature releases a small burst of steam while the clothes tumble, helping eliminate wrinkles and odors.
Sanitize: This super-high heat setting kills bacteria in your laundry, helping to reduce the risk of illness and allergies. It’s a great feature if you wash cloth diapers, pet bedding, or a lot of clothes that have been worn for outdoor activities.
Detangle: At the end of the drying cycle, the dryer slowly reverses direction, helping to unwind sheets, towels and other large, long items that tend to do the twist during the drying process.
Smart technology: This allows you to monitor and control your smart dryer from your phone. You can also monitor its energy usage. You’ll even get an alert when your clothes are dry and ready to be folded.
Express dry: This cycle uses larger fans to speed up the drying process.
Wrinkle guard: If you can’t remove your laundry right away, this feature periodically gives the load a tumble, helping to reduce wrinkles and ironing time and saving more energy.
It isn’t rocket science, but the following tips will help you make the most of your electric dryer and keep it in good working condition.
A. Shopping around can definitely uncover bargains, but in general, you can expect to spend between $300 and $1,100 for a vented electric dryer and $800 to $2,000 for a ventless model. For most people, a dryer in the $500 to $1,000 range is ideal. This is where you can find quality brands with dependable performance and plenty of up-to-date features.
A. Given that most dryers aren’t expected to last longer than 10 to 13 years, it’s likely not worth the cost to repair it. Depending on what needs fixing, repairs can range from $100 to $400 or more. If your repairperson gives you a quote on the higher end of that range, it’s time to find a new dryer. Chances are you’ll be happier with an updated model, as they are often more energy efficient and include handy features.
A. While it looks nice and is convenient to own a matched washer/dryer set, it’s not absolutely necessary. Mix and match if you like. In fact, you might have to do this if your old washer is still in good condition but you need a new dryer.
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