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How to Buy a New Clothes Dryer

Laundry is a weekly task that everyone needs to do. A good clothes dryer makes the process of doing laundry faster, easier, and with less effort.

Picking a new dryer for your home is an important decision. You need to decide what is valuable to you and what kind of dryer you need in your laundry room. We've made this buying guide to help.

What is a dryer?

A dryer is a type of laundry appliance that uses heat and motion to dry clothes. A dryer is often paired with a washing machine.

What types of dryers can I choose from?

There are two main types of dryers:

Dryers are almost always front load, and rarely ever top load.

There are many brands of dryers, including Samsung, Kenmore, Maytag, Whirlpool, Amana, LG, and more. You can find members-only pricing for many of these brands at Sam's Club and

How do I buy a clothes dryer?

First, you need to identify whether a gas dryer is even an option for your home by identifying if you have a natural gas line in your laundry room.

Then, check reviews of dryers for answers to questions like:

  • How well do they dry clothes?
  • How long is the dry cycle?
  • How energy efficient is it?
  • Does it steam dry clothes to reduce wrinkling?
  • Is the capacity big enough for the amount of laundry your household produces?

Then find the model that fits in your laundry room space. Do you need a compact dryer? Do you need a pedestal? Are you stacking this dryer on a washer? Picture how you will use your dryer day after day, and find the right fit for your space.

Finally, determine whether you can vent your dryer outside. If you can't (which may be the case in apartments or other multi-family units) then a ventless dryer (also known as a condenser dryer) is your best option.

Once you answer these questions, you will know what options you have, and you can choose the best value from those options.

What is a good clothes dryer to buy? offers a variety of options from top brands Samsung and LG, both of which appear on Good Housekeeping's 2019 list of best clothes dryers. also has members-only offers on great values from NewAir.

What Types of Clothes Dryers Are There?

Electric dryer

Electric dryers use heating coils to dry clothes. A new electric clothes dryer with typical capacity can range from about $500 to over $1,000.

Gas dryer

Gas dryers use a gas burner to create heat to dry clothes. A new gas clothes dryer with typical capacity also ranges from about $500 to around $900.

Should I get an electric or gas dryer?

Gas dryers cost less to run because natural gas costs less than electricity, and because the hotter temperature natural gas provides means the dry cycle for gas dryers is shorter. This means that gas dryers have a lower cost of ownership on a per drying cycle basis.

You must have natural gas in your home in order to use a gas dryer. If you don't, you will need to pay a professional to run a gas line to your laundry room, which adds to the cost you must consider an electric or gas dryer. has member-exclusive pricing on clothes dryers so you can find the best value.

Pros and cons of electric vs. gas

  • Price range: Both electric and gas dryers have similar price points.
  • Cost per load: Gas dryers may cost up to 50 percent less per load in terms of energy costs. The difference depends on energy efficient characteristics, so make sure you compare specific models for an exact comparison.
  • Power requirement: You must have natural gas in your home in order to use a gas dryer. If you don't, you will need to pay a professional to run a gas line to your laundry room, which adds cost.
  • How well they dry: Gas dryers create higher heat, which means clothes get dryer, faster. The shorter drying cycles mean you can do more laundry in a shorter time.

What is the best type of tumble dryer?

All clothes dryers are tumble dryers. In addition to gas dryers and electric dryers, you can choose:

  • Vented dryers
  • Condenser dryers
  • Steam dryers

Which is better, a vented or condenser tumble dryer?

Most people prefer a vented tumble dryer, if your home has a way to vent a dryer outside.

What Size Dryer Do I Need?

Choosing the right size dryer

The size dryer you need depends on the size of laundry load you typically do and the size of your laundry room space. If you have a small laundry room, you may need a stackable clothes dryer or slim dryer with less load capacity.

Common sizes of dryer drums (in cubic ft.)

  • Mini clothes dryers and compact dryers at have capacity ranging from 3.6 cubic feet to 4.2 cubic feet
  • Typical large capacity clothes dryers at have capacity ranging from 7.0 cubic feet to 7.6 cubic feet
  • Mega-capacity clothes dryers at have capacity of 9.0 cubic feet

What do terms like king-size or ultra-capacity mean?

These terms refer to mega-capacity clothes dryers with capacity of 9.0 cubic feet, which is 20% to 25% more than the typical clothes dryer.

What are the dimensions of dryer sizes?

Dimensions of dryers can vary by several inches, even for dryers with similar capacity. Visit to see the height, weight, and depth of Samsung, LG and NewAir clothes dryers.

How do I see if a dryer will fit in my home?

Measure the space in your laundry room. If you are getting a vented dryer, make sure to leave for the vent and the hoses to fit behind the dryer. You will also want to make sure you have enough clearance for the dryer to open.

Brands of Dryers at Sam's Club

Sam's Club proudly carries many brands of the best dryers.

Which Dryer Features Should I Consider?

Clothes come in many different options. Here are some to consider.

  • Smart dryers: These smart home dryers are connected to wifi so that you can check their progress or make changes using a smartphone or smart speaker. These remote controls make it easier to know when to go to the laundry room to take the laundry out or switch the laundry.
  • Delayed start mode: This allows you to choose when you want to start the dryer without physically being near it.
  • Sensor dry: The moisture sensors in this dryer automatically turn it off when clothes are dry. This prevents over-drying and is an energy efficient feature.
  • Steam cycle: This feature is designed to reduce wrinkles in clothes. If you dislike ironing, a steam feature on a dryer is worth it.
  • Energy savings: Some dryers are manufactured with energy efficiency in mind, to reduce the energy cost for each load. Look for the Energy Star logo or other certifications for more details.
  • Detangling cycles: Detangling-assist features keep your clothes, sheets, and towels from getting tangled together during tumble drying.
  • Hinge placement: In addition to deciding between a front load dryer and top load dryer, consider which way you want the door to open to fit your laundry room layout.
  • Noise: Some dryers have quiet modes or sound dampening features to reduce noise in your home.
  • Storage: Some dryers offer pedestals or other areas with storage.
  • Drying rack: These racks go inside the dryer to help you dry delicates, sweaters, and shoes.

FAQ - Clothes Dryers

Is it worth it to buy the clothes dryer warranty? offers dryers with manufacturer warranties. If you expect heavy use for your dryer, you may want to consider an extended warranty to protect your investment.

Do tumble dryers cost a lot to run?

This depends on many factors, including whether the dryer is a gas dryer or electric dryer, how long the typical dryer cycle is, and the energy efficiency of the dryer. This means the range of energy cost per load can range from 15 cents to 50 cents a load. This is a better way to consider costs for a clothes dryer than the cost per hour.