What every best Clothes Dryers has:
- An accurate moisture sensor.
- A drying rack.
- Adequate drying cycles and options.
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 DLEY1701V (Est. $1,000). This dryer just happens to be the mate to the Best Reviewed top loading washer in our washing machines report, the LG WT1701CV ($1,000). It gets such high ratings from both experts and owners that we can confidently recommend the DLEY1701V as a terrific choice either as a companion machine or on its own.
The LG DLEY1701V has a graphite steel case, but it's also available in white as the LG DLEY1701W (Est. $900). This is a very well-equipped dryer, with a steam cycle, a drying rack, a reversible door, 12 drying programs and eight drying options.
At ConsumerReports.org the DLEY1701V is one of the top picks, earning both Recommended and Best Buy nods. In testing there, it also gets Excellent scores for drying performance and convenience, and is rated Very Good for noise. At 7.3 cubic feet it's plenty large enough for most families and most bedding -- we saw comments that larger, king-sized quilts needed to be taken out once or twice during the cycle and repositioned to dry thoroughly -- while very fluffy, king-sized comforters may not fit at all.
Jonathan Chan at Reviewed.com also reviews this LG dryer, and is not quite as satisfied as ConsumerReports.org or most owners, although he ultimately gives it an 8.5 out of 10. His chief quibble seems to be the issue we mentioned above -- that comforters don't tend to dry very well without repositioning. In every other area, it performs very well and he offers particular praise for its normal cycle -- which he says is on the long side (about an hour) -- but very effective, and for its included drying rack and steam functions, which make the DLEY1701V very versatile. In conclusion, Chan says, "For the price, you're paying for the plethora of features that the DLEY1701V carries. If you have need of a rack dry or wrinkle reducing cycles, it's worth it."
Chan also likes the LG DLEY1701V's front control panel, saying that it's easier to use than the traditional set-up that puts the controls on a rear-apron panel. Owners agree, and we saw a number of comments about how much users love to be able to see the controls with the lid open, and that the front panel merely adds to this dryer's attractive appearance. They also have almost nothing but praise for the DLEY1701V's performance, saying it's very efficient and the sensors are extremely accurate.
A gas version of this clothes dryer is also available, in graphite steel as the LG DLGY1702V (Est. $1,000) or in white as the LG DLGY1702W (Est. $900). Both of those dryers should perform comparably to the electric version. This LG series of dryers are covered by a one-year warranty, and also include SmartDiagnosis, which enables you to connect with a service representative to troubleshoot problems via phone or with a smartphone app.
If you'd like to pay a little less for your new dryer, you might want to take a look at the Samsung DV42H5000EW (Est. $720). While it doesn't get the accolades of our Best Reviewed pick, it does pretty well for the price, getting Excellent ratings for drying performance, convenience and noise at ConsumerReports.org. They also give it a Best Buy nod. At Reviewed.com, Chan is also impressed, saying, "The Samsung DV42H5000EW boasts one of the best price-to-performance ratios we've seen in a long time." He ultimately gives it a score of 8.8 out of 10 and 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 dryer also comes with Samsung's Smart Care feature, 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 saying they're quite 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 Kenmore Elite 61633 (Est. $1,200) is a great choice. At 9.2 cubic feet it's a fitting companion to the Kenmore Elite 31633 (Est. $1,200) which we review in our separate report on washing machines.
The Kenmore Elite 61633 earns a rating of Excellent for drying performance and noise at ConsumerReports.org, Very Good for convenience. While there aren't a lot of user reviews, those we spotted are very complimentary, with virtually all giving it a 5-star rating and saying that it blows through big loads of wet laundry very effectively -- drying without over-drying. And they love that it can handle even the biggest, fluffiest comforters, not to mention what would be several loads of laundry in a smaller machine.
This Kenmore dryer is fully-featured too, with several sensor technologies to adjust the drying time and temperature for most effective performance. A steam cycle allows you to toss clothes in for a quick freshen up -- always a popular option with folks in a hurry. And it includes a drying rack for things you don't want to be tossing around -- like delicate sweaters or bulky sneakers. The 61633 is metallic, but it also comes in white as the Kenmore Elite 61632 (Est. $1,100) and in gas versions.
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. $550). It's the mate to our Best Reviewed cheap top loading washer, the GE GTW680BSJWS (Est. $550) (covered in our washing machines report)
The GE GTD65EBSJWS gets great reviews from owners, with most 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 bulkiest king-size comforters. It does well in professional tests as well, earning Very Good ratings for drying performance and noise and an Excellent score for convenience at ConsumerReports.org.
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 it 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. $700).
If your budget's even tighter, take a look at the Maytag MEDC215EW (Est. $400). 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-foot 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 pairs with the 3.6 cubic foot Maytag MVWC416FW (Est. $450). We don't review that washer in our washing machine report, and its owner satisfaction is lower, overall, than with the dryer, but is still pretty good. The MEDC215EW is also available as a gas-powered model as the Maytag MGDC215EW (Est. $600).