Last Updated 11/30/21
Hang-drying clothes can be time-consuming, messy, and leave creases and wrinkles in all your favorite outfits. That’s why it’s vital to invest in a dryer that takes care of your clothes in all the ways human hands and the elements just can’t. But what should you be looking for while you’re on the hunt for a great dryer? At Grand, we have dryer options for every household, with features that can help you save time and money, all while making your life much easier. Our team of experts have put together these guidelines to help you decide which dryer will fit best in your home and fulfill your family’s needs.
In This Article:
- 3 Quick Checks Before Shopping Laundry
- Size and Capacity
- Quick Guides
- Vented or Ventless?
- Dryer Door Styles
- Sanitizing, Allergen And Other Wellness Washer Features
- Additional Dryer Features
- ENERGY STAR Certified
- Upgrading Your Laundry Room
Before you even get into sizes, styles and features, it’s best to know some things to look for in your home and your laundry room that may limit your options when selecting a washer or dryer. This quick checklist discusses how to determine your fuel (gas or electric) as well as connecting, venting and sizing considerations that could impact your laundry choices.
They’re on the internet, so they must be true! But seriously, reviews should always be considered. It’s important to maintain the right perspective, however. A customer that has had a bad experience is far more likely to write a review than a person that has had a good experience. On the negative side, a bad review is a bad review - there’s no sugar coating it. On the positive side, however, it indicates that items with great reviews exceeded customer expectations to the point that the customer felt compelled to leave a favorable review of the product.
The big question at the heart of your dryer search is going to be electric versus gas. These are the two main types of dryer on the market, each with their own special features and challenges. Be sure to know the difference and decide what will work best for your home before you begin to browse.
Electric dryers tend to be more common and less expensive than their gas-powered counterparts—though not by much. They are typically easier to install and maintain, making them popular with people who move house often, or don’t want to deal with tricky maintenance. If you don’t already have a gas line running to the area you plan to keep your laundry machines, this option will be much easier to install and set up. Note that the majority of standard-sized electric dryers will require a 220-volt outlet, so be sure to check your home outlets before you buy.
Though they’re a bit more expensive, gas dryers tend to be more efficient, which can save you money in the long run. These dryers are popular for drying clothes in about half the time compared to electric models, and they last a long time. Some people are able to hang on to their gas dryers for over a decade! They’re a durable and energy-efficient option that, despite a slightly higher price tag, are well worth the investment.
If you are replacing an existing dryer but do not know if you need to shop gas or electric, check out our visual guide on how to identify your correct fuel type.
Capacity is a big deal for a good laundry machine. Appliance experts recommend getting a dryer that has twice the capacity of your washer if you have enough space in your home. That way, wet clothes have plenty of space to spread out and dry efficiently. When picking out a new dryer, consider both the space you have available and your family’s laundry needs. Here are in-depth guides that cover the major options you’ll get to pick between when it comes to dryer size and capacity.
Most standard dryers are about 27 inches wide. Sometimes you can find extra capacity models that run a few inches wider, but usually, dryers will be taller or deeper to accommodate the extra space. Having a washer and dryer the same width means that your washer and dryer will fit more easily side-by-side. When you’re eyeing a special dryer, be sure to measure your space and make sure your laundry room, basement, or kitchen has enough room.
Compact dryers are great for saving a little extra money if you don’t do much laundry, or for saving space in a small apartment. Measuring in at around 24 inches wide or smaller, compact models can fit easily under counters or in closets if you don’t have a dedicated room for your laundry.
Read more on Small Space Solutions
Stacked laundry units with both a washer and a dryer used to be the name of the game in space-conscious living situations, but all-in-one washer-dryers are quickly making headway. Any kind of combo unit is great for small living spaces, but you’ll have to take into account the dimensions of your home. Stacked units typically include a washer on the bottom and a dryer on top, and have smaller capacities, but are great for tucking away into tight corners or in closets, since they’re slim and narrow. All-in-one models have more variable sizes and capacities, and tend to have that sleek laundry-chic look so many buyers are looking for, but they can sometimes be bulkier and less effective at drying clothes.
Another major consideration to take into account is whether you want a vented or ventless dryer. Vented dryers are more common by far, but there are some pros and cons to each that you should weigh before taking the plunge.
Vented dryers work by pumping damp air from the dryer directly outside of the house through built-in vents. Most dryer models on the market are vented, and they have the benefit of being cheap and fast at drying clothes. However, they do require some additional installation, and you have to have vents already placed in your home. They tend to have higher energy costs over time as well.
Condenser dryers pull air directly from the room and heat it up. The air flows into the dryer drum, absorbing moisture, then gets cycled through the condenser to remove moisture, where it’s reheated and sent back into the drum. This system is more efficient than vented models, and has lower energy costs in the long run, though these models are typically more expensive, and they will need to be emptied regularly or connected to a hose to drain the extra water.
Ventless Heat Pump
Heat pump dryers have been popular in Europe for years, but they’re only just starting to gain traction in the US. They use a similar system to condenser dryers, but they’re even more efficient. Easy installation and huge energy savings are just a few benefits of these models, but they do typically have higher price tags and can be harder to find. Currently, only Whirlpool and LG offer heat pump dryers in America, but with countries like Switzerland banning comparatively high-energy vented dryers from the market, that could be changing soon.
Selecting a dryer door may seem second-thought, but its mechanics can be the solution or problem of your laundry routine. We break down the details between three dryer door designs, along with the benefits and considerations each offer.
The definition of clean is always changing. Many washers can clean better than ever while taking great care of your clothes, with feature specific cycles like sanitization and allergien removal. Explore the brands and products that are setting the industry standard for sanitizing and deep cleaning.
The world of dryer features has exploded in the past few years. Where dryers previously had basically had one function—dry—you can now find washers with all kinds of high-tech advancements that do everything from make clothes cleaner to let you control cycles from your smartphone. When picking out a dryer, think about what features would fit best into your laundry routine.
As with washing machines, steam cycles have become an increasingly common option for clothes dryers in recent years. The steam setting works by adding moisture and heat during or after the drying cycle to help release wrinkles. This helps keep your clothes looking crisp and cuts way down on time spent ironing.
If wrinkly clothes are a big concern, a dryer with an extended tumble feature will rock your world. For up to an hour after the cycle is complete, these dryers can run a heat-free tumble cycle, to keep clothes fresh before you pull them out of the dryer and prevent wrinkles from setting in.
Great for households with pets or allergies, a (National Sanitation Foundation) NSF listed dryer has extra germ-fighting power and can help provide an extra blast of sanitation. Some dryers even have special “sanitize” cycles that can help eliminate bacteria and germs, pet dander, and more.
Noise can be a big issue for dryers. Cheaper models tend to rattle the floor and vibrate the walls with every tumble—not exactly ideal for when you’re trying to run a quick load after the kids go to bed. But there are plenty of high-end models that pride themselves on silent cycles—or at least cycles that minimize all the racket. For a small price bump, you and the kids can sleep soundly during that last load of laundry.
Some dryers come with a special sensor that can detect exactly when clothes are done drying. That way, if you set your drying cycle to 30 minutes, but the load is done in 20, the dryer automatically stops when it senses the clothes are dry. This helps save energy and money, and it keeps your clothes from getting worn out from overdrying. This function is required on Energy Star certified dryers, so if eco-friendliness is a priority, you might want to look for a washer that includes it.
Get connected anywhere, anytime with a Wi-Fi enabled laundry. As smart homes continue to expand in popularity, every major brand has introduced dryers with app connectivity for immense benefits in ease and control. On these models, you can check your machine’s efficiency, customize dry cycles, and best of all, start or refresh a load remotely. Paired smart dryers can also automatically adjust cycle settings appropriate for the laundry. You don’t even have to be home to do it! Best of all, smart appliances can send phone notifications on maintenance and care, making laundry easy and helps you keep your machine in good condition.
We all want to save energy and - perhaps most importantly - money when operating our appliances. Thankfully, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a list of standards for efficient home products and identifies models that meet those standards with its ENERGY STAR® certification badge. The purpose of the badge is “...providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions” (energystar.gov).
When it comes to dryers, price points have everything to do with features. If you’re looking for a model that dries fast, runs silently, and has all the latest connectivity features and functions, expect to shell out close to $1,000 on your new dryer. If you’re looking for something smaller and more basic, you can find models for $500 or below. How much you’ll spend depends on the features that you think will make your life easiest. So, when you start budgeting your purchase, think about how much laundry your family goes through, and how important it is to you to have all the latest bells and whistles on your new laundry machine.
Still need more reasons to ditch your rickety washer and dryer? A new laundry pair actually offers more than just improved features, styles, and energy-efficiency. See what 3 under-the-radar reasons our experts recommend that can make a big difference in your life.