If you're looking for a new clothes dryer, chances are that an electric model is what you need since 80 percent of all dryers sold are electric. If so, we suggest you start your search by checking out the LG DLEX8000V (Est. $1,300). This dryer just happens to be the mate to the Best Reviewed washer in our washing machines report, the front loading LG WM8000HVA (Est. $1,200). The praise it gets isn't as extensive or effusive as its companion washer, but what's there is positive enough to make this dryer a terrific choice either as a companion machine or on its own.
The LG DLEX8000V has a graphite steel case, but it's also available in white as the LG DLEX8000W (Est. $1,200). As the price would indicate, this is a very well-equipped washer, with a steam cycle, a drying rack, a reversible door, 14 drying programs and 11 drying options.
In one professional test the DLEX800V is a top pick, earning Excellent scores for drying performance, capacity and convenience. At 9 cubic feet it should be large enough for even the largest family's laundry needs.
Jonathan Chan at Reviewed.com looks at the white version of this LG dryer and draws largely the same conclusion. However, he does note that the moisture sensor is a little too sensitive when drying bulky items, such as comforters, and perhaps not sensitive enough in the dryer's normal cycle. Still, Chan concludes, "Its nine cubic foot interior is more of a canyon than a drum, and it has plenty of specialty cycles for getting out wrinkles and even stains. It even did a good job on the Normal cycle, albeit getting clothes pretty toasty in the process."
Owners agree with the experts' conclusions, with hundreds of users giving input and very high ratings at retail sites such as HomeDepot.com and BestBuy.com. Users praise the LG DLEX8000V's excellent drying performance and plethora of handy features. Most also say it's very easy to use and is a perfect partner to its companion washing machine. The washer/dryer pair are stackable when purchased together.
A gas version of this clothes dryer is also available, in graphite as the LG DLGX8001V (Est. $1,300) or in white as the LG DLGX8001V (Est. $1,250). Both of those dryers should perform comparably to the electric version.
If the LG DLEX8000V is a bit too rich for your blood, you might want to take a close look at the Samsung DV42H5000EW (Est. $800). While it doesn't get the accolades of our Best Reviewed pick, it does pretty well for the price, getting an Excellent rating for drying performance at the same professional testing organization where the LG takes top honors. The Samsung also earns Excellent ratings for noise and convenience, but it's smaller, 7.5 cubic feet capacity earns just a Very Good. However, if that's all the capacity you need, it should not be considered a drawback. At Reviewed.com, Chan is plenty impressed, saying, "The Samsung DV42H5000EW boasts one of the best price-to-performance ratios we've seen in a long time." He ultimately bestows an Editor's Choice award on this dryer.
Although it's not totally tricked out, the Samsung DV42H5000EW has plenty of features for all but the most laundry-obsessed, owners say. Those include nine cycle settings; and the sensor settings are said to be very accurate, with the dryer turning off at the appropriate time for drying without over-drying. This Samsung dryer also comes with Smart Care, so you can troubleshoot any issues right from your smartphone. One big plus, users note, is that this dryer is much faster than most, taking just about 40 minutes to dry an average load.
The Samsung DV42H5000EW pairs up with the Samsung WF42H5000AW (Est. $800) front load washer. While the washer doesn't get as high of ratings as the dryer, they're not too bad, either, with owners largely pleased by the set. Both appliances come only in white. The gas version is the Samsung DV42H5000GW (Est. $900).
If being able to wash that king-sized comforter is a priority for you, or you have a big family and want to dispense with your laundry as quickly as possible, the Samsung DV56H9100EG (Est. $1,500) is another top choice. At 9.5 cubic feet it's the largest residential dryer available, Reviewed.com reports, and a fitting companion to the Samsung WF56H9100AG (Est. $1,300) which we review in our separate report on washing machines.
The Samsung DV56H9100EG is one of a handful dryers to earn Recommended status in one expert roundup, earning Excellent scores for drying performance, capacity and convenience, a Very Good for noise. While it lands near the top spot in that comparison, capacity is weighted in that review, and larger washers get high ratings, in general. However, if you don't need the capacity, the higher price of this washer makes it less practical.
Reviewed.com points that out as well, with Chan noting both the cost and the size of the dryer as an issue. This Samsung dryer is wider than most models, and might not fit into some laundry rooms. Chang also highlights some other specific strengths and weaknesses. The DV56H9100EG is slower than many washers in its normal cycle, meaning that to take full advantage of the time savings its extra capacity promises -- it can hold up to 32 pounds of laundry -- you'll need to make full use of that capacity with each dryer load. On the other hand, performance with bulky laundry and delicate fabrics was above the norm.
There are far fewer owner reviews of the Samsung DV56H9100EG than of the other dryers in this report, probably because of the size and cost, but what we found was highly positive. Users, most of whom purchased it precisely because they wanted a large capacity washer, rave over how well it dries large loads of laundry as well as large bedding items. The onyx finish also comes in for a lot of kudos for its attractive appearance. This clothes dryer also comes in white as the Samsung DV56H9100EW (Est. $1,200).
There's a gas version, too, the Samsung DV56H9100GG (Est. $1,400), which gets a thorough review by Allison Milionis at DigitalTrends.com. She complains a bit about the learning curve needed to master the dryer's many options, but otherwise has mostly positive things to say about it.
As we noted in the introduction to this report, you don't really need a lot of features on a dryer, what's important is that it dry your clothes without being too rough on them. To accomplish that and still keep some cash in your wallet, we recommend the GE GTD65EBSJWS (Est. $700). It's the mate to our Best Reviewed cheap top-loading washer, the GE GTW680BSJWS (Est. $540).
The GE GTD65EBSJWS gets some of the best reviews of any dryer we saw, with owners saying it's fast and efficient and they feel they got a great value. Although it's just 7.4 cubic feet, users also say it's plenty large for all but the fluffiest king size comforters. It does well in professional tests as well, earning Very Good ratings for drying, capacity and noise, an Excellent for convenience (which denotes ease of use).
Jonathan Chan at Reviewed.com is similarly impressed, calling the GE GTD65EBSJWS, "A solid option at a fair price." He says it runs a bit too hot, but also doesn't get clothes 100 percent dry, something that is considered a plus, as over-drying can shorten the life of your clothing. His one quibble is that the lint trap is an awkward design that makes it difficult to remove the screen and put it back, a complaint we saw echoed in owner reviews. Still, that's a tiny complaint.
In spite of its moderate price point, the GE GTD65EBSJWS boasts some pretty nice features, including 12 drying cycles and four temperature settings. The My Cycle option is very popular, as it allows you to program in a preferred cycle to make it faster to choose for subsequent use. Owners say the sensor cycles perform very well.
The GE GTD65EBSJWS is only available in white. The gas powered option is available as the GE GTD65GBSJWS (Est. $800).
If your budget's even tighter, take a look at the Maytag MEDC215EW (Est. $500). While Matthew Zahnzinger at Reviewed.com gives it a middling score of just 4.9 out of 10, he also says that it's a good choice if you just want dry clothes.
Owners, however, are ecstatic. Based on thousands of reviews, the Maytag MEDC215EW is one of the highest-rated dryers we saw in any price class. Users praise the generous, 7 cubic feet capacity, and say it's quiet and dries fast on the normal cycle, but can be slow on heavier cycles. Those who were just looking for a basic, sturdy dryer say this Maytag offers outstanding quality, features and value for the price. Those features include 15 cycle options as well as three temperature options.
The Maytag MEDC215EW can pair with two washers, the 3.6 cubic foot Maytag MVWC415EW (Est. $550) or the 3.5 cubic foot Maytag MVWC215EW (Est. $450). We don't review either washer in our washing machine report, but they get good ratings from owners. This dryer is also available as a gas-powered model as the Maytag MGDC215EW (Est. $600).