Clothes Dryer Buying Guide

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Clothes Dryer Buying Guide

While a clothes dryer’s job may seem basic, new models offer a variety of features designed to properly care for clothes, as well as dry them. Review the following models, sizes and features to help find the best clothes dryer for your home.


Full Size Dryers

Full-size dryers are the most frequently purchased style of dryers. They typically range from 27 to 29 inches wide, and are front loading, with controls either on the top, or on the side.


Full-size clothes dryers usually cost between $300 and $2,000, depending on brand, size and features.

Space-Saving Dryers

Smaller than the average dryer, space-savers are designed to be placed in apartments, lofts and other areas with minimal space for laundry appliances. These small dryers can be tucked away, or stacked on top of a space-saving washing machine.


Space-saving clothes dryers usually cost between $250 and $1,000, depending on brand, size and features.


When purchasing a new clothes dryer, selecting the right features for you and your needs can make a large difference in your experience with the dryer.

Moisture Sensing

One helpful feature on some new clothes dryers is an automatic moisture sensing feature. This feature determines the level of moisture in your clothing, and can stop itself when it has determined that your clothes are dry. This can help prevent over drying, which may lead to shrunken or worn out clothing. Also, less energy is used when a drying cycle is stopped short once clothing dry, rather than completing the entire cycle unnecessarily.


Another helpful feature is extended tumbling. If you often put clothing in the dryer and continue to do chores or even leave the house, clothing can begin to wrinkle if left in the dryer too long after completing the drying cycle. Extended tumbles continue to rotate the clothing for sporadic periods after the cycle has completed, helping to keep fabrics fresh and fluffed.

Drum Rack

If you have ever tried to dry unusual items like shoes, you’ve probably noticed how noisy and clumsy the process can be. Drum racks offer a place to set items that need to be dried that you do not wish to tumble around the inside of the dryer.

Side vs. Bottom Opening Doors

Clothes dryers will have one of two options for opening and closing. Some models feature a square or round door that opens to the side, while others will have a square door that opens downward. Newer models tend to have round, glass, side opening doors, allowing you to view the laundry within. One benefit to the downward opening door can be the door acting as a shelf, allowing you to rest some clothing on it while you empty the dryer.

Digital Controls

Clear controls allowing you to understand what options you want, and easily program them are important on any appliance, dryer included. Some models may feature digital controls, which are especially helpful when many features are included. If you do not select a model with digital controls, be sure the turn-dial controls are easy to read, and list features you want/need in your clothes dryer.


To help prevent clothes from wrinkling, some dryers feature a steam setting. Steam may also help reduce clothing odor, making this feature a good buy for anyone looking to upgrade from their current dryer’s capabilities.

Where To Buy

While dryers can be found at many specialty appliance stores, home improvement stores, hardware stores and more, the follow retailers are popular choices:

  • Sears
  • Home Depot
  • Lowe’s
  • Best Buy

For another option to save money on purchasing your new clothes dryer, visit local retailers to view the machines in person, and decide on which one you would like to purchase. Look online for deals and sales on that particular model, and you may find savings not available in store. If you do buy your new dryer online, always be sure to make you purchase through a reputable retailer with thorough credit and identity security on their website.

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