BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Effective boot dryer that includes 4 drying posts to handle multiple garments or boots at once. Extension tubes for taller items. Runs quieter than you'd expect for such a large unit and is very easy to operate with a dial. Can run with or without heat added.
Takes up a lot of floor space and does not run at a high heat temperature.
With an easy-to-use 2-hour timer, folding design, and adjustable tilt, this is a user-friendly and portable choice. Heats up to 104 degrees to dry boots, socks, helmets, and gloves thoroughly while a built-in fan helps circulate heat.
No carrying bag and it may need to be placed in a separate case while traveling.
Long-lasting device that'll keep your boots and shoes dry. Works faster than other models in this price range. Simple design that has been proven over time to work effectively and works with all types of footwear materials safely.
Wide boots may not fit well. Only 2 drying posts on the unit.
Kills bacteria, mold, and fungus in footwear. Safe for heat-molded shoes. Includes adjustable tube configurations to fit all footwear and even gloves. Offers optional heat and deodorizer settings, and comes with independent switches that allow for customized operation.
Operation of the boot dryer may be too loud for some.
The drying ports rotate 180 degrees to accommodate hiking and ski boots. Hot, 105-degree air circulates through the boot for thorough and efficient drying. An automatic shut-off function prevents mishaps.
Some buyers report that this model smells strongly of burning plastic when in use.
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.
A good boot dryer removes moisture much more quickly than leaving footwear to air dry. Your boots are ready to use again in a fraction of the time. There are other benefits, too. Active drying reduces unpleasant smells from bacteria and helps prevent mold and mildew, which can damage the structure of your boots.
Boot dryers aren’t just a great idea for outdoor enthusiasts. They’re also invaluable for all kinds of workers whose boots get wet during the course of their workday. In those cases, a boot dryer can even pay for itself by reducing the number of extra pairs of boots you need to buy.
PTC: Positive temperature coefficient dryers are among the cheapest boot dryers. These are usually small, portable units that you insert into each boot. An interior ceramic element warms up quickly to a preset level. However, these dryers work quite slowly, so you might have to leave your boots to dry overnight, sometimes longer.
UV: The major advantage of using ultraviolet light is that while it dries the boots, it’s also very effective at killing bacteria, mold, and other organisms. When it comes to footwear, that means your boots are deodorized and sanitized as they dry. These dryers are another inexpensive solution, but they are typically even slower than PTC models, which does affect their popularity.
Gel: These consist of plastic casings filled with silica gel, a desiccant that is excellent at absorbing moisture. What’s more, these dryers require no power source at all, so they would seem ideal for use while camping or hiking. Unfortunately, like UV and PTC dryers, these are quite slow. The gel does eventually get to the stage where it can’t absorb any more moisture, but they can easily be refreshed by leaving them in the sun or at moderate heat in an oven for a couple of hours.
Thermal convection: This is the most common method used by boot dryers. These draw in room temperature air, use a heating element to warm it gently, then circulate it through your footwear. They tend to have quite low energy demands and are very quiet.
Forced air: These use the same principle as convection boot dryers but add a fan, forcing the air across the interior surface of the boot and speeding up drying as a result. While these are the most efficient boot dryers, the fans do create some noise. It’s not particularly intrusive, but it depends on where you want to put your boot dryer. These are also more expensive than other types.
Propane: Designed to be used when camping or in other places where there’s no power supply, these use the convection principle, but with a 16-ounce gas bottle as the power source. They’re fairly efficient (a single bottle can last several days) and very portable, but the initial cost is high. Additionally, they can only be used outdoors. They’re definitely the right solution for some people, but not for most homeowners.
Number of boots: Boot dryers can hold either one or two pairs of boots at the same time. The basic design is intended to accommodate ankle-length boots (and shoes, of course). Extension tubes are used for longer boots. Depending on the model, these may be included but often cost extra, which is something to think about when comparing prices.
Gloves and mittens: Gloves and mittens can usually be dried over the standard boot dryer posts, but some dryers provide specific extension tubes or even a separate glove dryer unit (which frees up boot drying space).
Dimensions: If you have a particular location in mind, you might want to look at physical dimensions. Pictures alone can be deceptive. Wall-mounted models aren’t common, but they free up floor space.
Timer: A timer is quite often supplied. The boot dryers we looked at offer anywhere from 1.65 to 3 hours of drying time. With the more powerful forced- air models, this is often enough.
Heat: One or two models have low and high heat settings, enabling you to dry boots more quickly if necessary.
Inexpensive: The cheapest boot dryers are corded devices that slip into your boots. You can find them for around $15 to $20 per pair. Their main drawback is that they don’t have a fan, just a heating element, so they are slow.
Mid-range: Good-quality convection boot dryers start at around $35 for those that dry a pair of boots and $50 for those that dry two pairs.
Expensive: High-end forced-air models that include a pair of long boot extensions usually run to about $70 or $80. Propane boot dryers are in the region of $100.
Most boot dryers use warm air, which slowly accelerates drying. As such, they are very gentle on your footwear, regardless of what it’s made from. In fact, during our research, we didn’t find a single incident where any of these devices had damaged boots. Nevertheless, there are a few sensible precautions to take for your boots and for your own safety.
Q. Are boot dryers safe to leave unattended?
A. With electrically powered models, yes, as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. There is usually advice about where to place the unit and the maximum run time. UL and CSA certificates, if provided, prove they meet certain standards. As with any device, you should read and follow these instructions for your own safety. Different precautions are required for propane-powered models, which are not intended for indoor use.
Q. Are boot dryers expensive to run?
A. No, and as we’ve seen above, some cost nothing to operate! Electric models don’t use a lot of energy because they produce low heat. Many are comparable to a standard light bulb. If you need to know exactly, you’ll have to do some basic math based on the wattage of each device (the formula can be found online). Propane models run off of affordable 16-ounce bottles.
Q. Does a boot dryer need regular maintenance?
A. Most require none at all, apart from an occasional wipe with a damp cloth to keep them clean. Depending on the model, it might be important to keep an eye on air intakes to make sure they don’t get blocked. This is more likely in homes with pets (because of the extra hair) or when the boot dryer is used in a garage or shed. Just take a quick look each time before you use it.
Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.