Best Dryers for Large Families of 2018

By Cindy Bailen, Jonathan Chan, Julia MacDougall, and Matthew Zahnzinger

Anyone with a lots of kids knows how quickly laundry can pile up. If you're tired of your free time being dominated by household busywork, you might want to consider upgrading your appliances.

If you do more laundry than the average person, that means you'll want to look at high-capacity machines. We've already covered the best washing machines for large families, but unless you're a big line-drying aficionado, you'll probably want a dryer to match. Lucky for you, we've got that covered as well. Our favorite right now is the Electrolux EFME627UTT (available at AppliancesConnection for $1,025.00).

If you have the space to spare and want to cut down on the time you spend doing chores, consider one of our picks for the best dryers for big broods. You can rest assured that all models come with our experts' seal of approval, but if you're looking for more details on a particular dryer, click through to read our full review.

— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Updated November 19, 2018

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Electrolux 627 dryer Best Overall
Credit: Electrolux

Electrolux EFME627UTT

  • Editors' Choice

Electrolux EFME627UTT

Best Overall

The Electrolux EFME627UTT dryer is great looking, has simple controls, has a capacity of 8 cu. ft., and is rich with cycles and options. Its Quick Dry cycle completes in a mere 15 minutes. Though the Normal cycle is slow, the Heavy cycle takes only an hour. As the counterpart to the stellar EFLS627UTT washing machine that has a spot in the detergent drawer for laundry pods, this dryer is another great addition to the Electrolux laundry family. Read the full review.

What makes a dryer good for a large family?

Maytag_MEDB955fC_large_capacity
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jonathan Chan

Capacity

When we recommend a dryer as one that’s good for large families, we’re mostly looking at that dryer’s capacity. A dryer’s interior is rated in cubic feet, and the higher the number is, the more wet laundry you can fit into the dryer.

The average washing machine has a drum capacity between 7.3 cu. ft. to 7.5 cu. ft. With this dryer size, you can dry a family of four’s weekly laundry load. When you have a larger family, however, chances are that you’ll have bigger and more frequent laundry loads; in this case, we look for dryers that have capacities with a minimum of 8.0 cu. ft.

According to the Spruce, you shouldn't overload your dryer with wet clothes; the wet laundry should max out at about 2/3 of the space in your dryer. For an 8.0 cu. ft. dryer, that translates into about 5.3 cu. ft. of wet laundry, which is about 1.5 times more than the amount a normal family of four generates in a week. Chances are, if you have a large capacity washer, then you'll need a dryer that can keep up with an increased laundry load.

The largest dryer on our list, the Maytag MEDB955FC, boasts a capacity of 9.2 cu. ft., which can take a laundry load of about 6.1 cu. ft., should be able to dry any laundry load that the Kenmore Elite 31633, the largest washer we've ever tested, can fit in a single cycle. According to Kenmore's website, that's about 30 bath towels into a single load. Clearly, if you have lots of kids and adults in a single household, you'll need a dryer that can properly dry whatever size laundry load your large capacity washer can fit.

Speed and Performance

Another spec that makes a dryer good for large families is cycle time. Sometimes, even with large capacity dryer like the ones listed here, you’re still going to be running multiple cycles of laundry in a given day; it’s best for everyone if those cycles don’t take too long.

You’d think that more wet laundry would automatically translate into longer dryer cycle times, since, you know, there’s more laundry to dry. However, some brands have come up with ways to efficiently dry large laundry loads fairly quickly, without over-drying the laundry load. For example, Electrolux's LuxCare Dry System is able to sense humidity in clothes without touching them, which means that the Electrolux EFME627UTT can get all of your clothes dry, rather than just the ones that touch a sensor and tell the machine it's still wet. The Normal cycle on that Electrolux dryer takes about 96 minutes, and according to our tests, removes 100% of the moisture in a normal laundry load.

So for the best dryers for large families, our list has dryers that have a large capacity and quick/effective dryer cycles.


How We Test

Every dryer that comes into Reviewed’s labs gets put through the same testing regime, which addresses both performance and user-friendliness.

Dryer_testing_2
Credit: Reviewed.com / Julia MacDougall

We weigh a dry king-sized comforter, apply a certain amount of water to it, weigh it again, and then toss it in the dryer to see how much moisture the dryer removes.

Performance tests include:

Drying performance – How much water does each major dryer cycle actually remove from your clothes, and how quickly can it achieve that level of dryness?

Maximum temperature – We record the maximum temperature in each dryer cycle. Some like it hot, but if dryer temperatures get too hot, it could damage your clothes.

Dryer_testing_1
Credit: Reviewed.com / Julia MacDougall

We wrap a temperature reader in a sock and throw it in with a dryer load to see how hot the dryer actually gets on each cycle.

The best dryers completely dry your clothes at a temperature that is hot (140°F-150°F) but not too hot (lest your clothes be scorched or damaged), and have short cycle times.

Beyond these performance tests, we also assess the usability of each dryer, based on our experience, both during testing and during more casual use (one perk of working at Reviewed is that there is plenty of laundry machines on premises!). Our main goal is to get the answer to one question: how easy is it to actually use this dryer? This involves cumulatively assessing the control panel, the door, the vent, and any smart features that are included.

By combining the performance data with our own observations, we can make the solid recommendations for someone looking for any type of dryer at any price point.


LG DLEX9000V

  • Best of Year 2017

LG DLEX9000V

The LG DLEX9000V isn't just gorgeous—it works better than most of the dryers we've tested. It doesn't come cheap, but it rocks best-in-class features, including steam cycles and a massive drum. Its 9.0 cu. ft. capacity means that it has no trouble with big items like comforters, and our testing shows that it was able to completely dry said king size comforter in just under an hour. Even though it's a big investment, we say its performance justifies the cost. Read the full review.

Maytag Bravos XL MEDB835DW

  • Editors' Choice

Maytag Bravos XL MEDB835DW

The best word to describe the Maytag Bravos XL MEDB835DW is "reasonable." It's reasonably priced and it dries clothes reasonably well. While the Rapid Dry only worked on a small laundry load, and the Bedding cycle wasn't as effective as we hoped, the Normal cycle was able to completely dry a normal laundry load in about 50 minutes. As long as you stick with the normal cycle, this 8.8-cu.-ft. capacity dryer will help you turn laundry day into laundry hour. Read the full review.

Electrolux EFME527UTT

Electrolux EFME527UTT

The Electrolux EFME527UTT dryer is great looking, easy to control, and full of cycles and options. The Quick Dry cycle only takes a mere 18 minutes, while the Normal cycle, which got our laundry load 99.8% dry, clocks in at just over an hour. This dryer also has steam options, which allow you to spend less time ironing your clothes, and more time doing literally anything else. As the counterpart to the top-scoring EFLS627UTT washing machine, which has a spot in the detergent drawer for laundry pods, this dryer completes the pair. Read the full review.

Maytag MEDB955FC

Maytag MEDB955FC

For families that generate a lot of laundry, the Maytag MEDB955FC dryer has the room for it. With its 9.2 cu.-ft. capacity, there's plenty of room for you to put in your king size comforters; the best part is that they come out totally dry and fluffy. Admittedly, the cycle times are on the longer side: the Normal cycle took about an hour and forty minutes, while the Bedding cycle that dried that comforter was only a few minutes shorter. Rapid Dry, though, is a real treat, and almost completely dried a small load of laundry in 14 minutes, which is nothing to sneeze at. With its recessed door handle, magnetic door, and big, easy-to-read control dials, the Maytag MEDB955FC is designed to be easily operated with one hand, presumably while you shepherd kids or pets around with the other hand. Read the full review.

Whirlpool Cabrio WED8000DW

Whirlpool Cabrio WED8000DW

The Whirlpool Cabrio WED8000DW has a a capacity of 8.8 cu. ft. and a slick touch screen control, which the user operates from left ("What to dry") to right ("How to dry"). It may take some time to get used to this interface, as some of the common cycles (like a "Quick" cycle) are only accessible by selecting and editing one or more feature options, rather than just hitting one button. We tried the Normal cycle with "Mixed" laundry, and this Whirlpool dryer was able to dry the entire load in a speedy 53 minutes. That cycle ran a little hotter than 150°F, so be sure to relegate lingerie and sports jerseys to the Delicates cycle, where they can be completely dried at a lower temperature in just over an hour. Read the full review.

Whirlpool Cabrio WED8500DC

Whirlpool Cabrio WED8500DC

The 8.8-cu. ft. Whirlpool Cabrio WED8500DC operates on the same "What to dry" and "How to dry" platform as the Whirlpool Cabrio WED8000DW; the two dryers are very similar. The WED8500DC, however, has a few extras that the WED8000DW lacks. Not only is the Normal cycle with "Mixed" laundry a few minute shorter, but this dryer also includes "Steam Refresh" as one of the prominent cycle options; using steam is a great way to giving new life to stuffed animals that have been sitting in the playroom for a while. Read the full review.

Kenmore Elite 81983

Kenmore Elite 81983

The Kenmore Elite 81983 is chock-full of features that are bound to make your life as a parent easier. Not only is the capacity, at 9.0 cu. ft., big enough to handle whatever a washing machine can dish out, but most of the drying cycles only take about an hour. The Normal cycle was able to get our standard laundry load 100% dry in about 67 minutes. The 81983 also has multiple steam cycles for aiding in de-wrinkling and refreshing musty linens. The neatest feature, though, is Static Shield, which lightly sprays your laundry with water so as to reduce static cling (and the likelihood that you'll get zapped when you do laundry in dry weather). If you want total control over the drying process, this is the dryer for you. Read the full review.

Kenmore 69133

  • Editors' Choice

Where To Buy

$899.00 Sears Buy

Kenmore 69133

The Kenmore 69133 dryer (the electric counterpart to the Kenmore 79133 gas dryer) is a solid dryer that can get most laundry loads dry in about an hour. While this dryer didn't get any of our test loads completely, 100% dry in a single cycle, it performed pretty well on the Normal cycle, where load was almost entirely dry by the cycle's end at 54 minutes. Despite its imperfect drying, this dryer is still a great pick for large families because of a number of convenient extra features: Wrinkle Guard, which keeps tumbling your laundry after the cycle's over to prevent wrinkles from setting in, Sanitize, which can kill household bacteria and germs, and Touch Up, which uses a bit of steam to refresh lightly-soiled clothing so that they can be worn again without chucking them in the washing machine. Read the full review.

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