When you’re ready to upgrade your dryer, you have plenty of new features to consider. New clothes dryers offer improvements in size, convenience, performance and efficiency over your old dryer. Here are the best features to look for when shopping for a new dryer.
Extra-large capacity dryers
Bigger is almost always better in a dryer — as long as you have enough space in your laundry room. Whether you have an extra-large capacity washer, or you tend to overload your regular washing machine (bad idea!), a dryer that can easily tackle large loads is the best feature you can look for in a new dryer. Having a larger dryer also means you’ll finish your laundry quicker.
In general, you want a dryer with about twice the capacity of your washer. The largest dryer models are 9 cubic feet, which is paired with 5-cubic-foot washers.
Upgrading your dryer size is a good idea even if you have a smaller washer — it leaves more room for air to circulate, so your laundry dries faster.
Electronic dryer controls
Choose a dryer with electronic controls to better control temperature and cycle time in your dryer. Electronic controls use moisture and temperature sensors to dry your clothes to perfection — no more damp towels or fried delicates.
Electronic controls also help improve the energy efficiency of the drying process by shutting the dryer off at the right time, wasting no heat or electricity by running too long.
Reversible dryer door
The position of your washer and dryer is dictated by the position of your water supply. That positioning can be awkward is you have a dryer with a door that swings toward the washer — forcing you to toss wet laundry over the door and into the dryer drum. By getting a dryer with a reversible door, you can attach the door so it swings away from the washer, giving you a clear shot from the washer into the dryer.
Stackable laundry appliance
Whether you want to stack the dryer on top of a front-load washer or on a pedestal, stackability is a top feature to consider.
Stacking your dryer on top of a compatible front-load washer frees up space in your laundry room and raises the dryer door to eye level, so you don’t have to stoop to unload the dryer.
Stacking your dryer on top of a pedestal also raises the dryer to you don’t have to stoop as much. And a pedestal with a drawer provides convenient storage space in your laundry room.
Buying a new dryer with a smart electronics lets you monitor and control the dryer remotely from your smartphone.
With most smart dryer controls, you can use an app to start or stop the dryer, and be notified when the dryer is done. Some smart dryer controls alert you when it’s time to clean the lint screen or when the exhaust vent is clogged. You’ll also be notified when the control detects a problem or failure in the dryer.
Steam dryer cycles
Steam dryers offer the following enhanced cycles and options:
- Steam Sanitation uses steam to sanitize items such as bedding and children’s clothing. NSF-certified sanitizing dryers reduce 99.9 percent of microorganisms and prevent significant carryover of contamination to subsequent dryer loads.
- Steam Refresh reduces wrinkles and odors from clothes.
- Static Shield injects steam into the dryer late in the drying cycle to reduce static cling.
- Steam Dry periodically injects steam into the load to prevent overdrying.
Although white is still the most popular color for laundry appliances, it’s not your only option. Manufacturers offer appliances in on-trend colors to add flair to your laundry space. Choose one of the many fashion colors available, such as blue, gold, gray, black or metallic.
Ventless heat pump dryer
Heat pump dryers use a compressor and evaporator to remove moisture from clothes. They don’t connect an exhaust vent to the outside of your home, so they’re easy to install. These dryers are ENERGY STAR certified to reduce energy use by at least 28 percent over standard electric dryers. And heat pump dryers work at lower temperatures, so they are easier on fabrics that standard dryers.
The downside is the price. Expect to pay 25 to 50 percent more for a ventless heat pump dryer.