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Clothes Dryer Reviews

By: Kelly Burgess on March 10, 2017

Editors' note:
LG, Kenmore and GE are the best overall, high-capacity and inexpensive electric dryers, respectively. Maytag and Amana come out on top in the gas dryer category. But if those don't work for you, no worries, we found a number of top-performing dryers -- and name a washer to match -- for any size family or budget.

LG DLEY1701V Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity - 7.3 cu. ft. Cycles - 12 Size (w,d,h) - 27" x 28.38" x 40.16"

Best electric dryer

The LG DLEY1701V is a great dryer at a price that also makes it a great value, experts say. Its 7.3 cubic foot capacity is big enough for all but the fluffiest king comforters, and it's fully-featured, including steam clean technology, a drying rack and 12 drying programs -- including one you can customize. This model comes in graphite steel, but is also available in white as the LG DLEY1701W (Est. $900). Gas versions are also available.

Kenmore Elite 61633 Review
Runners Up
Specs that Matter Capacity - 9.2 cu. ft. Cycles - 7 Size (w,d,h) - 29" x 33.5" x 43.5"

High-capacity electric dryer

If you are doing the laundry for a very large family or a very small village, check out the 9.2-cubic-foot Kenmore Elite 61633. It's sensors are reported to work very well, so that it effectively dries -- without over-drying -- very large loads. It also includes a drying rack for even more versatility and a popular steam option. This dryer comes in metallic, but is also available in white as the Kenmore Elite 61632 (Est. $1,100) and in gas versions.

Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity - 7.4 cu. ft. Cycles - 12 Size (w,d,h) - 27" x 30.5" x 44"

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 foot capacity is plenty for all but the largest items, and it's reported as quiet and sturdy when in use. It also includes a few handy settings, including extended tumble (to keep wrinkles at bay) and a user-customizable My Cycle option. This dryer only comes in white, but a gas version is available.

Maytag MGDB855DW Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity - 8.8 cu. ft. Cycles - 11 Size (w,d,h) - 29" x 32.81" x 42.81"

Best gas clothes dryer

Experts and owners rave about the 8.8 cubic foot Maytag MGDB855DW. It's plenty big enough for almost any family, even handling large comforters, and has plenty of features, including 11 pre-programmed dry cycles. But what reviewers really love is the included drying rack and the steam option for handling touchups and delicates. This dryer also comes in metallic slate as the Maytag MGDB855DC (Est. $1,200), and there is an electric option as well.

Amana NGD4655EW Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Capacity - 6.5 cu. ft. Cycles - 11 Size (w,d,h) - 29" x 27.75" x 43.38"

Cheap gas dryer

Owners of the Amana NGD4655EW make it one of the highest-rated gas dryers we saw. Hundreds of happy reviewers say it's fast, efficient and easy to use. It looks very basic, 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.

Clothes dryers should be effective, yet gentle on your wardrobe

In general, buying a clothes 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 if 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 enough features for most people, while higher-priced models may have additional drying cycles, steam options, and at least two exterior color options.

When it comes to choosing a clothes dryer, you have two choices: gas or electric. Electric clothes dryers, which require a 240-volt wall outlet, are slightly less expensive than comparable gas dryers. 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 dryers 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
Recently Updated
Clothes Dryers buying guide

What every best Clothes Dryers has:

  • An accurate moisture sensor.
  • A drying rack.
  • Adequate drying cycles and options.

Read More »

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