To most people, a clothes dryer is a pretty straightforward proposition. It’s basically a metal box that takes wet clothes and dries them. They are certainly an appliance that makes cleaning and maintaining your clothing and linens a lot easier; however, many homeowners don’t give them much thought, until they need a new one. If you are on the market for a new clothes dryer, finding the best one for your needs can be a bit challenging. There are so many different options available, which can make it difficult to determine which dryer will best suit your needs.
To help you on your quest for finding the best clothes dryer, we have put together this handy buyer’s guide. In this guide, you will learn about the different types of clothes dryers that are available, the factors to consider when shopping for one, the different features they can offer and the best brands of clothes dryers. With the information presented in this guide, you will be well informed and prepared to purchase the best clothes dryer for your particular needs.
Types of Clothes Dryers
You have your choice when it comes to clothes dryers, as there are several different options available. In order to find the best clothes dryer for your needs, you have to have a firm understanding of the different types of clothes dryers that are available.
The primary factor that differentiates clothes dryer is their power. You have two options:
- The gas clothes dryer
- The electric clothes dryer
A gas dryer will cost you more upfront; however, they will save you money in the long run, as they will keep your electric bill down. Electric dryers run on electricity, and they require a lot of electricity to operate, so while they may be less expensive to purchase, they will cost you more over time.
With that said, clothes dryers that are powered by electricity offer more options than gas powered models. There are three different types of electric powered gas dryers, which include:
- The vented dryer
- The condenser dryer
- The heat pump dryer
The Vented Dryer
This is the most common type of clothes dryer, and it is also the most basic type. Generally, they are less expensive to purchase, but they are more expensive to run. The heat and moisture that they produce are vented out, which has the potential to make your laundry area muggy.
The Condenser Dryer
This type of dryer is usually more expensive to purchase than a vented dryer. They recycle hot air by extracting the water vapor from the clothing and sending it back through them instead of simply expelling the moist air, as a vented dryer does. They also dry clothing more efficiently than vented dryers.
The Heat Pump Condenser Dryer
This is the most energy efficient clothes dryer; however, their purchase price is higher, but you will save more money over time. In fact, the cost about 63 percent less to run than a vented dryer of similar size. Another advantage is that the heat pump condenser dryer does not put out heat or humidity.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Clothes Dryer
There are a number of factors that you should take into consideration when choosing a clothes dryer. By taking these factors into consideration, you will be able to purchase the best clothes dryer for your specific needs. Some key factors to consider include energy efficiency, capacity and price, among other things. To learn more about the factors that we think are the most important to take into consideration when purchasing a clothes dryer, please keep on reading.
Clothes dryers are more energy efficient than ever, but they still do use a lot of energy. With that being said, you want to consider how much energy the dryer you choose uses. The more energy is uses, the higher your utility bills will be. The amount of energy a dryer uses will be displayed on its tag. Those that receive energy star ratings are those that are the most energy efficient. It is important to note that dryers that are more energy efficient will be more expensive to purchase, but they will save you a lot of money in the long run.
How much laundry the dryer can accommodate is another important factor to consider. You want to make sure that they dryer offers enough space to not only accommodate your clothing, but to actually dry them all, too. If you have a large family or you do large loads of laundry, look for a dryer that has a larger capacity.
You should also consider the types of settings that the dryer offers. Different settings mean that the dryer will dry in different ways. High temperature, low temperature and delicate are just a few of the settings. Some clothes dryer even offer settings for adding more moisture in to the machine and the clothes, which can be handy when drying certain materials.
You should also consider the durability of the dryer. If you tend to dry heavy weight garments and items that feature things like heavy zippers and buttons, you are going to want to choose a dryer that can withstand the constant beating of those materials inside the drying drum.
You are also going to want to consider the size of the dryer, which is different than the capacity. Clothes dryers vary in size and you want to make sure that you purchase one that will fit in the space you intend on using it. To determine what size you need, make sure you take measurements of the area where the dryer will be placed, including the lengths, the width, the depth and the height. Take those measurements with you when you go shopping so that you can find a dryer that will fit in your space.
Another important factor to take into consideration when choosing a clothes dryer is the price. These machines can vary significantly in price. Generally, electric dryers are less expensive than gas dryers, but they will cost more to run. Also, the larger the dryer is, the bigger the capacity and the more features it offers, the higher the price tag will be. You want to make sure that you are spending an amount that you are comfortable with, so it’s important to determine how much you want to spend before you start shopping.
Features Clothes Dryers Can Offer
There are a number of features that clothes dryers can offer. These features are intended to make the dryer easier to use and more efficient. As mentioned above, the more features that a clothes dryer offers, the more expensive it will be. It’s important to have an understanding of the different features that are available so that you can determine what types of features you want or need.
Here is a look at some of the most popular features that clothes dryers can offer.
Favorite Cycle Setting
If you dry clothes on the same setting a lot, this is a handy feature that you may benefit you. With the simple touch of a button, you will be able to turn the dryer on to operate at the setting that you use the most. This saves you from having to go through pre settings.
With this feature, the drum of the dryer will periodically reverse the direction it moves in during a drying cycle. This helps to keep your clothing and large items that you are drying, such as bedding and towels, untangled.
If you want to ensure your clothing is really clean, look for a dryer that features an antibacterial setting. This cycle will kill up to 99.9 percent of germs on your clothing, making sure that they are as clean as possible. If you are interested in this feature, make sure that the antibacterial cycle is certified by the NSF.
If you have small children in your home, safety locks are a wise feature to look for. With this feature, you can prevent the door from being opened and prevent cycles from being changed, or the dryer from accidentally being started.
Some clothes dryers also feature digital consoles. These consoles make it easy to read and choose the settings. They also light up, which will make it easier to select your settings and your cycles if your dryer is located in a dimly lit space.
Removable Drying Racks
This feature is intended to be dry items that can be damaged by tumbling, such as sneakers, stuffed animals and delicate materials. Place the items on the drying rack and they will absorb the heat, but they won’t be tumbled around the machine.
Moisture sensors in the drum will detect the moisture remaining in the load of laundry and will automatically stop the cycle when your laundry is dry. This feature helps to reduce war and tear on your garments, extends the life of the dryer and reduces your energy bills.
With this feature, you can dial up to a three hour period of unheated, intermittent tumbling, which will help to keep wrinkles from setting into your laundry. This is an ideal feature if you are will be doing your drying before going to work or you won’t be able to fold the laundry for an extended period of time.
Steam Refresh Cycles
Dryers that offer steam refresh cycles can freshen and take the wrinkles out of your laundry if they have been left in the dryer.
Permanent Press Cycle
This feature delivers a shot of cool air into the dryer at the end of a cycle. It helps to remove wrinkles from your clothing and locks in freshness.
Some dryers come equipped with built in storage drawers. These drawers are very useful, as they allow you to store things like dryer sheets and other items that you may use frequently when you are doing the laundry. They keep these items close at hand and keep your laundry area neat and clean.
The best clothes dryers come equipped with a warranty. Should anything happen to your clothes dryer during the span of the warranty, you could have it repaired or replaced, or you could have your money refunded. Do make sure that you read the details of the warranty so that you understand exactly what it covers.
The Best Clothes Dryer Brands
There are dozens of manufacturers that produce clothes dryers, which can make it difficult to determine who makes the best dryer. To help you, we have tested out several brands of clothes dryers and have read user reviews. Our findings have determined that the following brands of clothes dryers are the best of the best.
One of the most trusted names in the large appliance industry, Maytag produces some of the highest quality clothes dryers on the market. They offer a range of options and features and are constructed of high quality materials. Users report that Maytag dryers last a long time and come with excellent warranties.
Another trusted name in the appliance industry is GE, and their clothes dryers are top notch. They also produce a wide range of dryers that offer a variety of features. We found that they were very well constructed, were durable and were very easy to use.
LG produces dryers that boast the most cutting edge technologies and a wide range of features. We liked how energy efficient their models are and how well they dried laundry.