It’s true, there aren’t as many decisions to make when buying a new dryer compared to a new washing machine, but today’s models incorporate new technologies, like heat pumps to save energy, can come vented or ventless, have specialty cycles to steam and sanitize, work with Wi-Fi and apps, and more. That’s a lot to consider! The Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab knows just how to help.
Overall, our laundry dryer recommendations for 2019 are:
Top Lab Pick: Samsung 7.4 cu. ft. Gas Dryer
Best Value: Amana 6.5 Cu. Ft. 11-Cycle Electric Dryer
Best Compact: Miele T1 Heat-Pump Eco & Steam WiFi Connect Dryer
Best for Big Families: Maytag 8.8 cu. ft. Electric Vented Dryer
Easiest to Use: GE® 7.4 cu. ft. Capacity Aluminized Alloy Drum Gas Dryer
Most Innovative: Samsung 7.5 cu. ft. FlexDry Electric Dryer
Luxury Pick: LG 9.0 Cu. Ft. 14-Cycle Smart Wi-Fi Electric Steam Dryer
Most Unique: LG Styler Steam Clothing Care System
While you’re shopping, keep three things top of mind:
Do you want a gas or electric dryer? If you are replacing a dryer you already have, it’s easiest to simply get the same type based on whatever utility is in your laundry room. Gas dryers require a gas line hook-up while electric dryers require a 208V connection. If you are remodeling and running new lines anyway, you may want to make a switch. Gas dryers are more expensive to purchase up front — about $100 — but usually cost less to run over time than electric dryers do.
Next, think about venting. Virtually all dryers require venting to the outside to safely remove lint, heat and moisture from your home. If you live in an apartment or want to install laundry appliances on the second floor or somewhere where outside venting isn’t possible, a ventless model is a great option. Here, the excess water collects in a chamber or drawer that at the end of the cycle must be emptied into a sink. Most ventless or condenser dryers are compact models, but some new larger models can be vented or not.
Lastly, there’s energy efficiency. Manufacturers are incorporating heat pumps into the appliances. They take the hot moist air from the drum and instead of sending it out of the house through the vent, cool it down to pull out the moisture (which collects in the tray you empty) then re-heat and recirculate the hot dry air back into the drum to continue drying. This cuts down on wasted energy and because there is now a measurable difference in the amount of energy different dryers use, you’ll see the yellow Energy Guide labels on dryers, like you’ve always seen on washers and other appliances. Check the yellow label to get an idea of how much energy a model will use, how much it will cost you to run and how it compares to others in the market before you buy.
How We Tested:
When we test dryers, we install each one in a climatology chamber to maintain the same temperature and humidity conditions for each model. We then look at the length of time it takes to dry different types and size loads on their appropriate cycles, how thoroughly they dry, and how well cycles that claim to remove wrinkle do so. We also make sure no tangling or twisting of clothing is observed. When we evaluate ease-of-use, we take into consideration factors like how intuitive and easy the control panel is to use, how easy the lint filter is to clean, remove, and replace, and how easy the interior of the drum is to access.
Read on for more details about our best dryers for 2019, and complete your set by shopping our best washing machines of 2019: TOP LAB PICK Samsung 7.4 cu. ft. Gas Dryer SAMSUNG homedepot.com $898.20 SHOP NOW
This powerhouse dried our towels in under 40 minutes and left test swatches less wrinkled than all others. Even on its longer, low-temp Eco cycle, the results were impressive. We like its easy-to-see-and-use controls and the sensor that alerts you when the duct is blocked. Plus, you can diagnose problems and get quick solutions via an app. BEST VALUE Amana 6.5 Cu. Ft. 11-Cycle Electric Dryer AMANA homedepot.com $397.80 SHOP NOW
This dryer proves that fancy features alone don’t guarantee better results. This machine has basic knob controls, timed and automatic cycles, and not much more, but does the job as well as more expensive models. Some cycles were a bit longer or hotter than with others we tested, but temperatures held steady, it has the option to keep the drum tumbling when the cycle is over to keep creases from setting in and the lint filter was large and easy to clean. Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
BEST COMPACT Miele T1 Heat-Pump Eco & Steam Wi-Fi Connect Dryer MIELE abt.com $1,899.00 SHOP NOW
Perfect for installation in small, out-of-the-way spaces, this dryer is small on the outside but has a big inner drum and works without the need for outside venting. Energy efficient and gentle on clothing, it doesn’t skimp on cycles and features with special settings for wool and silk, table linens and drapes, denim and more. The drum reverses tumbling directions throughout the cycle to keep clothing from tangling and creasing and it’s speedier than other ventless dryers we’ve tested. Pop in a special Miele FragranceDos capsule to give laundry a fresh scent. BEST FOR BIG FAMILIES Maytag 8.8 cu. ft. Electric Vented Dryer MAYTAG homedepot.com $728.10 SHOP NOW
The super clear, responsive-to-the-touch control panel on this dryer will have even the most inexperienced laundress drying clothes like a pro. The PowerDry cycle ups the heat for more thorough drying while Rapid Dry speeds through small loads in as little as 15 minutes. Need something sanitized? There’s a cycle for that, too. It’s oversized drum and large door opening mean big, bulky loads are as easy to do as small ones. Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
EASIEST TO USE GE® 7.4 cu. ft. Capacity Aluminized Alloy Drum Gas Dryer gringerandsons.com $828.00 SHOP NOW
If large loads are the norm for you, this GE is up to the job. Its 7.4 cu. ft. drum is roomy and its wide door opening and easy-to-grab handle make it a cinch to load and unload. The control panel is clear and uncomplicated and we we’re always impressed with GE’s tangle-free results and its speedy (under 30 minutes) Delicates cycle. There’s a rack for drying shoes, sweaters, hats and anything that you prefer not to have tumbled. It’s even Wi-Fi-enabled for monitoring via a smartphone. MOST INNOVATIVE Samsung 7.5 cu. ft. Capacity FlexDry Electric Dryer SAMSUNG bestbuy.com $1,499.99 SHOP NOW
Just like its companion washer, this dryer is two machines in one. Fill the bottom dryer with your usual everyday loads. There’s steam to de-wrinkle, refresh and sanitize fabrics and multiple fabric, dryness, and temperature settings to better customize every cycle to every load. But what’s really unique is the delicate dryer up top with a flat mesh shelf inside to gently circulate air around sweaters, accessories, lingerie, or any delicate item that shouldn’t be tumbled. Use the dryers separately or together and get your nighties off the shower rod for good! Advertisement – Continue Reading Below
LUXURY PICK LG 9.0 Cu. Ft. 14-Cycle Smart Wi-Fi Electric Steam Dryer LG homedepot.com $1,297.80 SHOP NOW
This mega-capacity machine is the ultimate choice for those with a decked-out laundry room. Its elevated and angled door design meansloading and unloading is less strenuous on your back. The control panel is integrated on the door for a sleek look and easy access which leaves room on top for a sliding door and mini storage compartment for sock clips, pins or any little items you need to keep handy but out of sight. And with 14 programs and 13 options at your fingertips, the cycle combinations are virtually unlimited. TurboSteam de-wrinkling and sanitizing, Wi-Fi connectivity and app controls, and the ability to download extra drying cycles not currently on the panel round out the high-end features on this top-of-the line dryer. 3-IN-1 CHAMBER LG Styler Steam Clothing Care System LG pcrichard.com $1,999.97 SHOP NOW
The LG Styler is a freestanding cabinet that turns tap water into steam to refresh fabrics in 20 to 67 minutes. It can be plugged into a regular outlet and does not require an additional water hook-up. It can hold three hanging items and and a pair of pants. Also, it has a shelf for toys and pillows so you can sanitize them. The Styler is perfect for reducing allergens, odors, drying items like damp coats, or refreshing seasonal items. SARAH BOGDAN, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING INSTITUTE Product Analyst, Home Appliances & Cleaning Products LabSarah Bogdan, a trained mechanical engineer, researches and evaluates home appliances and cleaning tools for the Home Appliances & Cleaning Products Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute — whether she’s assessing irons and vacuums or detergents and cleansers, she’s constantly analyzing data and tracking what’s buzzing with consumers. CAROLYN FORTE, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING INSTITUTE Director, Home Appliances & Cleaning Products Lab and Textiles, Paper and Plastics LabCarolyn Forté, a certified consumer science expert, is the director of the Home Care & Cleaning Products Lab and the Textiles, Paper and Plastics Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute.