Best electric dryer

The LG DLEX8000W is as beloved by owners as it is by experts, who overwhelmingly make it one of the top-rated dryers we saw. At 9 cubic feet its capacity is plenty generous, and it's loaded with advanced features, including a steam cycle, drying rack and 14 drying programs. This model comes in graphite steel, but is also available in white as the LG DLEX8000V (Est. $1,200). Gas versions are also available.

Samsung DV56H9100EG
Samsung DV56H9100EG

High-capacity electric dryer

If you are doing the laundry for a very large family or a very small village, check out the 9.5-cubic-foot Samsung DV56H9100EG. While size is the most notable feature, the DV56H9100EG is equipped with all the latest options and is a solid performer. However, those with lesser laundry loads can find better and cheaper alternatives. This dryer comes in onyx, but is also available in white as the Samsung DV56H9100EW (Est. $1,200) and in gas versions.


Best cheap electric dryer

In professional tests, the GE GTD65EBSJWS earns very good ratings for drying performance, which is really all you need in a dryer, experts say. The 7.4 cubic feet capacity is plenty for all but the largest families, and it's reported as quiet and sturdy when in use. In spite of its budget price, it includes a few handy settings, including extended tumble (to keep wrinkles at bay) and a My Cycle option.

Maytag MGD5100DW
Maytag MGD5100DW

Best gas clothes dryer

Experts and owners rave about the 7.3 cubic foot Maytag MGD5100DW. It's plenty big enough for most families, even handling large comforters, and has plenty of features, including nine pre-programmed dry cycles. But what reviewers really love is the steam cycle, which refreshes clothing and other household items without having to put them through a full cycle. This washer also comes in metallic slate and there is an electric option.

Amana NGD4655EW
Amana NGD4655EW

Cheap gas dryer

The Amana NGD4655EW is one of the highest-rated gas dryers we saw, with owners saying it's fast, efficient and easy to use. It looks basic, yes, but also does a great job of drying clothes without over-drying them. The sensors are reported as quite accurate, and there are 11 pre-programmed drying cycles so you can just toss your clothes in and walk away, or tweak your laundry to your heart's content.

See a side-by-side comparison of key features, product specs, and prices.

Clothes dryers should be effective, yet gentle on your wardrobe

In general, buying a dryer is much simpler than buying a washer; they're less complex and there are usually fewer options available. Since the washer is the more difficult decision, consider starting your research in our washing machines report (assuming you need both of these laundry appliances, of course). Several of the top-rated washers we identify there have matching dryers that are also well regarded. We discuss dryer options for all of our Best Reviewed washing machines in this report. However, if you don't need both, or getting a matched set doesn't fit into your budget, experts say that all a clothes dryer really needs to do is dry your clothes, without wearing them out too quickly.

You can get a decent, basic clothes dryer for $500, sometimes even less during sales, or pay more than $1,000. The most basic clothes dryers usually offer a decent enough array of features for most people, while higher-priced models add features such as additional drying cycles, steam options, and more exterior color options.

When it comes to choosing the best clothes dryer, consumers have two choices: gas or electric. Electric clothes dryers, which require a 240-volt wall outlet, are less expensive to buy than comparable gas dryers by anywhere from $50 to $150 on average. However, since gas rates are generally lower than electric rates, gas dryers are much cheaper to operate. ConsumerReports.org notes that over their expected lifetime, the savings in energy costs with a gas dryer will probably make up for the difference in purchase price.

Despite this, EnergyStar.gov says that about 80 percent of clothes dryers sold today are electric. That tracks with our own research and we found far fewer user or professional reviews for gas dryers. Tests show little difference in performance between gas and electric versions of the same dryer -- ConsumerReports.org no longer even tests gas dryers, noting that "…gas versions [of the tested electric dryers] appear in our Ratings because we expect them to perform comparably." In view of that conclusion, we include the corresponding gas dryer (or electric dryer in the gas category) for each model covered in our report.

What are your other laundry room needs?

While this report covers full-sized clothes dryers meant to pair up with a full-sized washing machine, your laundry room may be too small for that combination -- especially if you live in an apartment or condo. If that's your situation, we cover laundry centers -- models that combine a washer and dryer in one unit -- in our report on washer-dryer combos. Also, to press out the last of the wrinkles in your dress clothes, or to just put the finish on your look, check out our reports on steam irons and garment steamers.

Finding the best clothes dryers

We found current and credible professional reviews for all types of clothes dryers at Reviewed.com and ConsumerReports.org, as well as reviews for some individual machines at a few other sites. All of these sources do thorough, well-explained testing, and often come to the same conclusions, ratings-wise, for the same machines.

Owner-written reviews are just as useful for finding the best dryers, especially when it comes to gauging long-term durability and the manufacturer's response to complaints and warranty issues, considerations that aren't measured in professional tests. We found the best user reviews for washers at retailer sites such as HomeDepot.com, BestBuy.com, and Lowes.com. Occasionally, you see some reviews at these sites that originate elsewhere, notably the manufacturers' sites. However, we took the existence of these duplicate reviews into consideration to find those washing machines that score best with owners.

Elsewhere in this report:

Best Electric Dryers | Best Gas Dryers | Buying Guide | Our Sources

Back to top