We've updated this roundup to include the Samsung DVE45R6100C. We're testing lots of dryers right now, so stay tuned for further updates!
While the basic idea of the washing machine has been around for centuries, brands are still finding new and fascinating ways to make the process of doing your laundry easier and more efficient. From apps that allow you to start a load of laundry from your phone to a fold-down sink for easy rinsing of stains, cool new features are being introduced all the time. In our humble opinion, though, steam is one of the best features to have on a washer or a dryer. A dryer with one or more steam cycles/options can easily help you to refresh your summer wardrobe at the end of winter, or tackle an entire load of dirty and wrinkled laundry.
Finding a dryer that can meet all of your needs and has a steam cycle can be a little challenging, but we're here to help. With our lab-tested reviews, we've already done most of the heavy lifting for you. Our favorite right now is the Electrolux EFME627UTT(available at AppliancesConnection for $993.00) because of its outstanding drying performance and myriad of useful features, including steam.
These are the best dryers with steam we tested ranked, in order:
Maytag Bravos XL MEDB835DW
Whirlpool Cabrio WED8500DC
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The Electrolux EFME627UTT dryer is great-looking, has simple controls, and is rich with cycles and options, including Perfect Steam, which can help to relax wrinkles away. Its Quick Dry cycle completes in a mere 15 minutes. Though the Normal cycle is slow, the Heavy cycle takes only an hour. While cycle times may vary, we found that each cycle got clothes more than 99% dry each time, and that temperatures never got hot enough to start damaging clothes. The Electrolux EFME627UTT represents the perfect balance between cycle times and cycle temperatures.
As the counterpart to the stellar Electrolux 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.
We have plenty of experience testing these products in the lab, but we've also used them like normal people would in the course of their daily lives, which means that we have a great sense for what appliances are bargains at their price points, and which appliances have really useful extra features (as opposed to the kitchen-sink approach to features).
With all this in mind, you can feel confident that when we recommend a product, we're giving it our Reviewed stamp of approval, which means two things: firstly, this appliance performs well, and secondly, this appliance is easy to use. We're always reviewing new products, so stay tuned for our reviews and roundups of the latest products in laundry, refrigerators, dishwashers, and vacuum cleaners.
Every dryer that comes into Reviewed’s labs gets put through the same testing regime, which addresses both performance and user-friendliness.
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.
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 solid recommendations for someone looking for any type of dryer at any price point.
What You Should Know About Dryers With Steam
In these busy times, people are always looking for labor- and time-saving devices and appliances—just look at the success of the robot vacuum!
That’s the idea behind adding a steam cycle onto a clothes dryer: by paying extra for a water hookup (in addition to the normal dryer venting), you’ve just reduced the amount of time you have to spend ironing your clothes to make them look clean and pressed.
Clothes irons remove wrinkles from your clothes in two ways: with its weight and with steam. Most fabric is thermoplastic, which means that at high temperatures, the fabric is malleable and can easily change shape, but once it cools down, the fabric retains that new shape. So the fabric in your clothes takes on a new shape (gets wrinkled) when it stays in a crumpled position for a more than a day (e.g. tossed into a laundry hamper), but the steam from the iron relaxes the fabric, and the weight of the iron squishes the fabric flat again. When your fabric cools down post-ironing, it’s back to its pre-wrinkled state.
With a steam cycle in a dryer, you’re getting one of the two aspects of a clothes iron that makes it effective. As mentioned earlier, a steam cycle relaxes the bonds in the clothes fabric, however, without the weight of an iron, there’s a good chance that a steam cycle won’t completely remove every wrinkle. It might remove minor wrinkles on clothes that are thin and have large enough weaves to let the steam in (like jersey cotton), but for stiffer fabrics and huge, noticeable wrinkles, you’re still going to need to pull that iron out. However, a steam cycle should do part of the job for you, and reduce the time you’ll have to spend taking that shirt to task on an ironing board.
We love the Samsung DVE45R6100C dryer because of its killer Normal cycle—with a cycle time of 51 minutes and its ability to get our test load of wet laundry 100% dry, it’s one of the most effective Normal cycles we’ve ever seen. The Normal cycle may run a little hot, with temperatures topping out at 153°F, but if you’re consistently dealing with large loads of wet laundry, you’ll appreciate this dryer’s drying power.
From a design perspective, the DVE45R6100C is one of the first Samsung appliances to have the eagerly-awaited champagne finish. Additional steam (Steam Sanitize and Refresh) cycles and cycle customization options (cycle dryness, temperature, and time) only add to the appeal of this dryer. Between its strong drying performance, good looks, useful cycles/options, and a retail price that won’t break the bank, the Samsung DVE45R6100C is a great dryer all around.
The LG DLEX9000V isn't just gorgeous—it works better than most dryers we've tested, and got the laundry in every one of our test cycles more than 99% dry. It doesn't come cheap, but it rocks best-in-class features, including steam cycles and a massive 9.0-cubic-foot capacity. Another bonus is FlowSense, which tells you when something is wrong with your ventilation (rather than with the dryer itself). Since dryer fires are a major cause of fires in the home, this awesome feature will really help to put your mind at ease, especially if it's been a while since your dryer vent has been cleaned.
With a veritable cornucopia of wash cycle options and features, this dryer can easily deal with a variety of fabric types and items sizes—it has no trouble with big items like comforters, and gets shirts wrinkle-free. Even though it's a big investment, we say its performance justifies the cost, so if you need a powerful yet sleek dryer and have some extra cash on hand, be sure to check out the LG DLEX9000V.
If you want a dryer that gets your clothes 100% dry, regardless of which cycle you select, then be sure to check out the LG DLEX3700W. While this dryer runs a bit hot (temperatures max out at about 170°F; most dryers tend to stay around 150°F), it has a Speed Dry cycle that finishes in 25 minutes, has a clean, streamlined aesthetic, and, best of all, it has steam.
With steam options and cycles like TurboSteam and Steam Fresh, it's easy to quickly refresh musty clothes that you need on short notice, or to gently relax wrinkles without needing to spend quality time with a clothes iron. Between its stellar drying performance and steam feature, the LG DLEX3700W will make laundry day a breeze.
The Maytag MED6630HC dryer is the perfect combination of looks, usability, speed, and power. This Maytag dryer has a sleek, futuristic look that would do any laundry room proud. Because it has a large central dial and a streamlined control panel, it’s easy to select the cycle that’s right for your wet laundry load. If you’re looking for steam options, this dryer has two: Steam Refresh and Wrinkle Prevent.
The MED6630HC has one of the best Quick cycles we’ve ever tested. In addition to only taking 15 minutes to get our test load of laundry 99.6% dry, it did all that without raising the temperature to the point where you’d have to worry about heat damage to your clothes (typically 150°F or above). Even better, of the four cycles we tested (Normal, Quick, Heavy Duty, and Delicates), each cycle got our test load of laundry nearly or entirely 100% dry. For a dryer that gets your clothes dry the first time, with no muss or fuss, check out the Maytag MED6630HC.
There are a lot of reasons to love LG dryers, and the LG DLEX3900W is no different. In additional to all the usual bells and whistles (i.e. cycle time, temperature, and dryness customization options), this dryer gets major points for having multiple steam cycles and options (Turbo Steam, Steam Sanitary, and Steam Fresh), as well as a special Antibacterial cycle for easing your mind after someone in your family has been sick.
This dryer wowed us with its short cycle times and powerful drying. The Quick cycle finishes in a speedy 25 minutes, and managed to dry 99.8% of our test laundry load. The Bulky cycle was equally impressive, and completely dried a comforter, among other things, in about an hour. One minor quibble is that the Normal Cycle takes about 90 minutes, and reaches temperatures as hot as 170°F. We're on the record as preferring dryers that maintain temperatures below 150°F in order to maximize the lifespan of your clothes, but if you're looking for a dryer that's fast and powerful, you can't go wrong with the LG DLEX3900W.
The Electrolux EFME527UTT dryer is great-looking, easy to control, and full of cycles and options. Like the Electrolux EFME627UTT, it has the detergent drawer for laundry pods and Perfect Steam, which is powered by its built-in water heater to maximize hot water temperatures for sanitizing, wrinkle removal, static removal, and odor removal.
Its Quick Dry cycle finishes in a mere 18 minutes, which is a huge selling point. While not every cycle is as short as Quick Dry, each cycle is equally effective—all of the major cycles we tested got the test loads of laundry more than 99% dry. If you want both the bells and whistles and the great dryer performance, look no further than the Electrolux EFME527UTT.
For families that generate a lot of laundry, the Maytag MEDB955FC dryer has the room for it. With its 9.2-cubic-foot 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 40 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.
There's nothing we love more than a dryer with lots of steam cycles, and the Samsung DVE50R5400V delivers. With steam cycle options like Steam Sanitize, Wrinkle Away, and Refresh, you can easily get rid of nasty laundry odors or bring some life back into clothes that have been languishing at the back of your closet.
Even better, each of the dryer cycles we tested were able to get a wet load of laundry more than 99.8% dry. You'll especially appreciate the Quick Dry cycle, which got everything 99.9% dry in just over 30 minutes. In addition to its great performance, there's also the multitude of cycle and cycle options that come with most Samsung dryers. If you want the flexibility of having steam options in your dryer, and you also want strong drying performance, check out the Samsung DVE50R5400V.
The Samsung DVE45R6300V dryer doesn't joke around when it comes to getting your clothes dry—almost all of our test laundry loads for every cycle we tested (Normal, Quick, Bulky, and Delicate) came out 100% dry, which is no small feat. With this Samsung dryer, total drying is accomplished with longer cycle times (the Normal cycle takes about two hours), and hot drying temperatures (the Quick cycle, which only takes about 30 minutes, reached a max temperature of approximately 175°F). Dryers that get hotter than 150°F on a regular basis can expedite wear-and-tear on your clothes, so it might be best if you bump down the temperature setting on the control panel.
In addition to great drying performance, this dryer also has a Sanitize cycle, a Wrinkle Prevent feature that keeps tumbling your clothes until you can get them out of the dryer, tons of cycle customization settings and options, and a Heavy cycle that can get everything dry in 47 minutes. Best of all? The DVE45R6300V is Bixby-enabled, which means that if you're a fan of the Samsung smart home ecosystem, you can ask Bixby to do some of the heavy lifting for you when it comes time for laundry day.
The Samsung DVE60M9900V is a 6.1-cubic-foot front-load dryer with an integrated 1-cubic-foot top dryer, providing the flexibility to dry a few delicate items on top at the same time as a family-sized load runs in the main drum. Even better, all of the cycles we tested got the wet laundry load more than 99% dry.
For the delicate items, you can even tell the DVE60M9900V which type of garment is in the top dryer: Sweater, Shirt/Blouse, Undergarment, or Accessory. The front-load dryer has all of the high-end features you could want: a great normal cycle, a special cycle for bedding, and three steam options (Steam Sanitize, Steam Wrinkle Away, and Steam Refresh). If you want both guidance and flexibility when it comes to drying your laundry, we think the DVE60M9900V is worth the high price tag.
The 8.8-cubic-foot Whirlpool Cabrio WED8500DC dryer has 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. As for steam options, "Steam Refresh" is great for giving new life to stuffed animals that have been sitting in the playroom for a while.
While some of the cycles didn't get the test loads as dry as we hoped they would (the WED8500DC struggled with drying bulkier items like a comforter), the Normal cycle, which should work just fine for most of your drying needs, got everything 100% dry. If you want a dryer with steam, a large capacity, and a very intuitive user interface, look no further than the Whirlpool Cabrio WED8500DC.
Julia is the Senior Scientist at Reviewed, which means that she oversees (and continually updates) the testing of products in Reviewed's core categories such as televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, and more. She also determines the testing methods and standards for Reviewed's "The Best Right Now" articles.
Cindy Bailen loves writing about major appliances and home design and has spent over 15 years immersed in that. In her spare time, Cindy hosts pledge programs for WGBH-TV in Boston and other public television stations.
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Senior Lab Technician at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.