Here's how to compare different kinds of dryers, such as gas and electric, and prioritize your laundry preferences. With a little research, you'll find the best dryer for your home.
Before you buy, measure the space for the new dryer.
You'll also need:
If space is at a premium, go vertical with your washer and dryer. There are many viable compact laundry centers. And don’t forget that some front-loading washers and dryers stack to save space; 2-in-1 options are also available, meaning you can wash and dry in the same unit.
Check your dryer connections. All dryers use an electric motor to tumble clothes and an electric fan to distribute heated air. The difference is the source of heat generation — some use natural gas, some use electricity. Your decision to purchase gas versus electric will depend on whether you have a gas line in your laundry area. If you want to change your dryer’s fuel source, you’ll need the help of a professional contractor.
Electric dryers use twice the energy of an ordinary household electric current. Most run on a 240-volt current to heat up coils and require a special 240-volt outlet in your laundry area.
The purchase price of a gas dryer can be slightly higher than that of an electric dryer, but it’s typically less expensive to operate. It usually takes only a year or two to make up the purchase-price difference due to energy savings.
Before you leave home, take note of whether your outlet requires a plug with 3 or 4 prongs, and pick up a new power cord when you buy your dryer.
Door Mount: Choosing between a side-mount or top-down door comes down to personal preference. A top-down model provides a handy folding shelf, while a side-mount one makes for an easier reach. Some side-mount models are even reversible, allowing you to adjust the door’s swing so you can install your dryer anywhere you choose.
Top Mount Lint Vent: Positions you for easier cleaning than in-drum options.
Cycles: Today’s machines do more of the thinking for you. Go for cycles like:
Capacity: Don’t judge how much a dryer will hold by words like "Super Capacity" – adjectives vary between manufacturers. Consider the cubic feet of the dryer and whether or not your king-size comforter (typically 4 cu ft or larger) can tumble comfortably inside.
Space: When space is at a premium, consider going vertical by stacking a front-load washer and dryer. If your space is flexible, front-loaders, front-loaders on pedestals and top-loaders are all smart options. Pay close attention to the depth and width of your laundry space. Front-loading machines are generally deeper, and top-loading machines are generally wider.
Digital Displays – Sleek and stylish, digital displays offer an updated appearance with the benefit of cycle countdowns and child locks.
NSF Ratings – The National Sanitary Foundation rates machines based on their ability to destroy allergens and bacteria on fabric.
Vent Blocking Indicator – This lets the user know it’s time to clean the dryer vent.
Drum Light – An illuminated interior helps you catch every last sock in the load.
Drum Rack – This is attached inside the drum for flat, heat-aided drying without the tumble.
Extended Tumble – By tumbling clothes at regular intervals, this feature keeps a load fresh and wrinkle-free if you can’t get to it right away.
Silent Operation – This allows users to mute the end-of-cycle signal on machines located close to living or sleeping areas.
Matching Set - Your washer and dryer are engineered to work together. If a washer has a higher spin speed, it means less drying time. Your matching dryer has special cycles and sensors to keep clothes from overdrying, helping them last longer.
ENERGY STAR® certified dryers use less energy and can save you money over time. Even better — they do it without giving up the performance and garment care features you want. Learn more about ENERGY STAR dryers.