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If you snagged an electric dryer during the height of the pandemic, you hit the laundry lottery. That’s a good thing, though retail prices spiked as much as $200 on some models compared with 2020.
“Dryer pricing was on the upswing before the pandemic, but it looks to me the average increase has been around $100-plus per unit over the last two years,” says Dean Landers, president of Landers Appliance in Baltimore, who blamed short supply, intense demand, and factory retrofitting for the inflation.
You’ll see plenty of dryers selling for $1,000 or more, and manufacturers often design them to pair with matching washers and charge the same price for each machine. We used to see more solid options in the under-$800 price range, but you can still find efficient, less-expensive options.
Dryers are improving each year and technology is filtering down market. Just know that midrange dryers may vary in performance, settings, noise, and design. They also might sacrifice some bells and whistles like Wifi, touchpads, sleekness, and efficient moisture sensors.
“Moisture sensors are the most important dryer feature,” says Richard Handel, Consumer Reports’ lead laundry appliance tester. “Compared to thermostats, they more accurately determine how dry your clothes are, then shut the machine off or move it into a cool-down mode.” That prevents overdrying, which is tough on fabrics and wastes energy and money.
You’ll find nearly 180 full-sized and compact models in our dryer ratings from a range of brands including Electrolux, Fisher & Paykel, GE, Hotpoint, LG, Maytag, Samsung, Speed Queen, and Whirlpool. We buy and test electric dryers, the more widely sold type, and use the test results to create the ratings for their gas versions, because past tests found they perform similarly.
To make it easier for you to choose, we combine test results, predicted reliability, and owner satisfaction into an Overall Score for each model. The filters in our ratings will also help you narrow your selection.
Below, CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of top-rated electric dryers that typically sell for $800 or less. (Of course, prices fluctuate.) We'll guide you down the middle road to find dryers that suit your budget.