While clothes dryers are typically sold with accompanying washers, there’s no rule saying you have to buy them that way. For those of us with laundry machines hidden away in garages or basements, a matching pair isn't that important. You can just pick your favorite of each.
Over the years, hundreds of dryers have passed through our labs, and we test them from every angle. The chief concern: Can the dryer get clothes dry in a timely manner without damaging them? Next, we test extra features like steam or smart connectivity. Finally, we analyze the fit and finish. The very best dryers have sturdy doors, drum lights, and easy-to-read buttons.
We looked over the data of every dryer we've tested and found the best of the best. Among those, the Maytag MED7230 (available at Maytag) tops our list with excellent performance and a number of features that make laundry day easier.
Due to supply chain challenges and soaring demand, there is widespread unavailability of home appliances and long wait times for delivery of backordered product. If you're a consumer in need of a washer or dryer, here are the best places to buy in-stock appliances right now.
NOTE: This list is composed of electric dryers, but you'll find a link to each dryer's gas counterpart (where available) below. While gas dryers tend to be more efficient, gas and electric versions of the same product should perform identically.
If you’re looking for a replacement dryer, the Maytag MED7230HW is a solid pick.
This appropriately-priced mid-range option has all the features you want and some you didn’t know you needed. It boasts simple controls, solid drying performance, and decent smart features. Its drying performance is especially strong for its price point, on most cycles. Its Regular cycle finished faster than the average—64 minutes vs. 71—and got our test load of laundry 100% dry each time.
You'll also love its smart features, which include notifications when you need to adjust a load to ensure proper drying. Nobody likes finding out their comforter or sheets balled up and insulated a bunch of damp laundry from drying properly. As far as standard smart features, the MED7230HW can notify you when a cycle is done, offers a remote start, and sends diagnostics and repair info when something goes wrong.
The Maytag MEDC465HW dryer is a basic dryer with old-school aesthetics that gets the job done. While you may not get the frills and features found on more expensive options, this Maytag's Normal cycle can get your laundry 100% dry in just 53 minutes. The dryer's interface, comprised of four knobs, is streamlined and easy to operate, even for novices.
The Wrinkle Control setting continues to tumble the laundry load after the cycle has finished to prevent wrinkles. The well-lit drum means you'll never miss a sock, even in a dark basement. If you want top-notch dryer performance on a budget, the Maytag MEDC465HW is for you.
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 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.
With its large central dial and 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 manages to dry your clothes quickly will without raising the temperature to the point where you’d have to worry about heat damage (typically 150°F or above). Even better, the test loads in the Normal and Delicates cycles came out 100% dry. For a dryer that gets your clothes dry the first time, with no muss or fuss, check out the Maytag MED6630HC.
We love the LG DLEX7900BE because it’s effective. Not only did the test loads from all four major cycles (Normal, Speed Dry, Delicates, and Bedding) get more than 80% dry, but the Speed Dry and Delicates cycles are highly effective.
The Speed Dry cycle will dry a small load in about 25 minutes, and the Delicates cycle keeps temperatures cooler (around 109°F) so as not to damage special fabrics like those found on lingerie and sportswear. While the Normal cycle runs a bit long, as with most LG dryers, you have the option to reduce the cycle time (although there may be a tradeoff with laundry dryness).
Unsurprisingly, this LG dryer is full of neat cycles, cycle options, and features, including an Anti-Bacterial cycle (which gets up to 178°F), two steam cycles (Steam Fresh and Steam Sanitary), a steam option (TurboSteam), and Wrinkle Care.
Even better, the laundry door can open to the side or downward, giving you flexibility when it comes to popping wet, heavy laundry loads into the dryer without wrenching your back. Basically, whatever wet laundry you can dish out, the LG DLEX7900BE dryer can handle.
The stylish-looking GE GFD85ESPNRS dryer shouldn’t be hidden away in a laundry closet—with its Royal Sapphire finish, it could be just another lovely piece of decor in your home. With this dryer’s wide range of cycles and options (including PowerSteam cycles, a Sanitize cycle, a Reduce Static option, built-in wi-fi, and Damp Alert) though, you’ll appreciate its functionality even more than its aesthetics.
While we found that the cycle times on this dryer were relatively long (a Quick cycle clocked in at about an hour), the Normal, Quick, and Delicates cycles all got the laundry load more than 97% dry. Temperatures can run a little bit hot on the Quick and Bulky/Bedding cycles, but as long as you’re not using these cycles every day, your clothes won’t experience too much wear and tear. For a dryer that looks as good as it dries, check out the GE GFD85ESPNRS dryer.
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 genuinely 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 are plenty of laundry machines on premises!). Our main goal is to discern: How easy is it to actually use this dryer? This involves cumulatively assessing the control panel, the door, the vent, and any smart features.
By combining the performance data with our own observations, we can make solid recommendations for any type of dryer at any price point.
What You Should Know About Buying Dryers
Whether it’s an emergency replacement or you’re just looking to change up your laundry room, there are a few things to consider when purchasing a new dryer.
Before you head to the stores, be sure you know the size constraints on your dryer. We’re not just talking about the available width in your laundry room, although that’s definitely important.
Are the doorways in your home wide enough for a dryer to fit through during delivery? Will narrow or tight staircases present a problem? Take a tape measure and check the doorway width against the dryer’s specs, making sure you have a few inches of clearance.
Most dryers have capacities ranging from 7.3 to 7.5 cubic feet, enough to deal with the laundry that can fit in most washing machines. However, if you have a high-capacity washing machine (5.0 cubic-foot capacity or greater), you’ll need a dryer that can keep up with the bigger laundry loads, typically one with a capacity of 8.0 cubic-feet or greater. Otherwise, your dryer may struggle to dry large laundry loads in a single dryer cycle.
Keep your budget constraints in mind. Dryer prices can run the gamut from $500 to $2,000 or more, but most sit in the $800 to $1,200 range. We have recommendations for some dryers with very low prices, but you can generally find great dryers at any price point. It just takes a little research and figuring out which features and design elements you can live without.
Also, if you can afford to wait, most appliance manufacturers and retailers tend to offer steep discounts around major holidays. Vigilantly searching for deals can save you hundreds of dollars.
How picky are you about your dryer cycles? Do you want to be able to set specific cycle temperatures, drying levels, and cycle duration, or would you prefer to just hit two buttons and start drying? Do you want a cycle just for denim jeans?
Consider how you do laundry on a day-to-day basis. If you prefer a straightforward process, you’ll probably want to buy a lower-tech dryer. Even if extra customization seems appealing, it may not make sense for you to buy a dryer loaded with features you won’t really use.
Are you considering a dryer with steam? Steam is an easy and effective way to reduce wrinkles, remove stale smells, and refresh clothing.
However, if the dryer you’re eyeballing has steam, be sure to find out exactly how the dryer gets the water needed to create that steam. Most dryers will require access to an additional water line, but some dryers have a drawer where you can manually add water. If you don’t have that necessary water hookup, you may pay extra for a feature you can’t actually use.
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager 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.
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.
Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.