Clothes Dryers: Ratings of Sources
ConsumerReports.org rates nearly 150 electric and gas clothes dryers; each receives an overall rating plus individual scores for drying performance, capacity, convenience and noise. Not all the dryers rated here have actually been tested, however; some are evaluated based on their similarity to tested models. The ratings for dryers cover a much wider range than most products reviewed at this site, with overall scores ranging from very good to poor. Some dryers are discontinued. Top picks are specifically recommended.
Reviewed.com looks at a number of dryers, considering factors such as design, usability, performance and features. They also conduct formal testing to see how well each dryer performs on different settings including normal, delicate, bulky and quick drying. Testing is well explained. Some dryers are discontinued, but those older reviews are helpful if you're shopping in an appliance outlet. Top products are clearly identified by Editors' Choice and Best of the Year designations.
HomeDepot.com sells hundreds of gas and electric dryers. Some dryers have a handful of reviews, while others have hundreds or even thousands. HomeDepot.com's user reviews are drawn from its own customers, but also from those posting on other sites, most often manufacturer websites. These additional reviews provide a wider base of reference, and appear to be unbiased, since negative as well as positive reactions are posted. However, these manufacturer-site reviews are duplicated at numerous other sites across the web, including Lowes.com and AJMadison.com, which makes getting a true assessment of user sentiment much more difficult.
BestBuy.com is a good source to check for user reviews of dryers. Although it does not have as large a volume of reviews as HomeDepot.com, we still found several mostly electric dryers with high ratings and hundreds of reviews by Best Buy shoppers. BestBuy.com provides links to additional reviews at manufacturers' sites, but does not tally those with its own user reviews. That makes BestBuy.com the best site for getting a second (or first) read on user satisfaction.
Lowe's, a major home-improvement retailer, sells more than 200 dryer models. User feedback on this site looks high, but is inflated in many cases by reviews taken from manufacturer web sites. While these reviews are unbiased, it appears, most duplicate feedback we saw elsewhere, including HomeDepot.com. Because of that, you are probably best off considering user reviews at HomeDepot.com or Lowes.com, but not both.
Sears.com sells around 300 clothes dryers and is the only retailer of Kenmore dryers, so it's a good source to check for reviews of that brand even though most Kenmore dryers receive no more than a handful of owner reviews. Other brands listed appear to have much more feedback, but numbers of reviews are greatly inflated by reviews taken from manufacturers' sites, and Sears does a poor job making that clear. Some reviews are from verified Sears's buyers, however.
Online appliance retailer AJMadison.com has a good selection of clothes dryers. Once again, reviews are sometimes taken from manufacturers' web sites, so total numbers of reviews can be misleading. On the positive side, AJMadison.com clearly identifies those reviews that are sourced elsewhere so you can determine how helpful the feedback on a specific model truly is.
TopTenReviews.com rates and ranks dryers on the basis of features, efficiency ratings and the maker's customer support and general helpfulness, but apparently not on performance. The most useful feature is a specification chart that compares the rated dryers side by side, plus some educational information, such as how many towels you can fit into a dryer of a given size. Many of the dryers listed are older models, but most seem to still be available at retail. Testing, if done, is not detailed.
DigitalTrends.com, a technology news and reviews site, tests only a few dryers, but their reviews are thorough and include pros and cons and in-depth testing. Dryers are also give an overall score, out of a 5-star total. Some dryers are also named as "Recommended Products."