A Complete Guide on How to Choose a Dryer

Is it time for a new clothes dryer? Maybe yours is outdated, loud or just doesn’t get the clothes dry anymore. If it's been a while since you shopped for a new dryer, you’re probably going to be a bit surprised about all of the brands, types and optional features available today. That’s why we put together this How to Choose the Best Dryer guide – with information and tips to help you decide on the best new dryer to meet your unique needs and budget.

Before you decide on a dryer, you’ll want to think about dryer design, size, capacity, features and controls. We’re breaking it all down here, so you know what to look for to get the best dryer in 2024.

In this article, we’ll cover:

Types and Styles of Dryers
Looking at key differences between an
electric dryer versus gas dryer is important. Both are capable of drying your clothes effectively, but which type is better? Understand that both types of dryers use electricity. However, gas dryers also require a source of natural gas or propane.

Let’s look closer at each dryer type:
Electric Dryers vs Gas Dryers

Wondering: should I get a gas or electric dryer? Or: what are the benefits of a gas dryer compared to electric? In general, gas dryers heat up faster than electric dryers. Gas burners are instantly hot when the gas is ignited. Electric coils take longer to heat up and therefore take longer to dry your clothes. However, modern electric dryers are very well designed and perform better than they have in the past.

Benefits of gas dryer usage include:

  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Quicker drying
  • Use a standard 120-volt electrical service outlet

However, there are some drawbacks to gas dryers, too, including they:

  • Typically cost more to purchase
  • Must be vented
  • Require a gas service line

Benefits of electric dryers include:

  • Can be less expensive to purchase
  • Have more models to select from
  • Repairs are typically easier and cheaper

Some of the downsides to electric dryers are:

  • Use more electricity
  • Can take longer to dry clothes
  • Require a 240-volt outlet

How to tell if dryer is gas or electric?

How do I know if my dryer is gas or electric? Look at the back of the dryer and see how many connections there are. An electric dryer will only have a single 240-volt plug. A gas dryer will have a 120-volt electric plug plus a thin stainless steel gas line connector.

If you’ve decided that you want a gas dryer, but there’s no gas line to your laundry room, you’ll need to have one installed. The average cost for the service is about $350, but depending on where you live and who you hire, the price could range anywhere from $150 - $1,000.

Vented Dryers vs Ventless

Conventional clothes dryers are vented, meaning they draw in air, heat it and circulate it to dry clothing. Moisture builds and requires an outlet, which is what the ventilation system is for. Many people like vented dryers for their large drum and quick dry time. However, because vented dryers need to be placed close to an exterior wall, space can become an issue.

Modern ventless clothes dryers utilize condensers to transform warm air inside the drum into water and then channel it into a collection reservoir. Since there’s no need for external ventilation, ventless dryers can be placed anywhere. They’re also easy to install and require minimal maintenance. That said, ventless dryers will cost you more upfront and they typically take a longer time to dry clothes.

Compact Dryers

Compact clothes dryers are perfect if you have limited space or low laundry demands. They’re considerably smaller than full-size dryers, typically measuring just about 34 inches high, 24 inches deep and 24 inches wide. They’re more energy-efficient and less expensive than larger dryers. Clothes dry very quickly, and because of their smaller dimensions, they're great for small apartments, condos or laundry spaces.

What Size Dryer Should You Buy

Consider the typical laundry room size before you decide on your dryer. Standard dryer dimensions for width are 27 - 28 inches. Standard dryer depth is up to 35 inches, and they range in height between 35 - 45 inches. It’s important that you always have the exact dimensions of the dryer you’re considering and accurately measure the room you intend to put it in.

Some newer machines with larger capacities can be even bigger than the standard sizes listed. It’s recommended that you add at least 6 inches to your space to ensure plenty of room will be allowed between the dryer and the walls around it. Also, you want to leave at least one inch in between the dryer and washer for best performance.


Choosing the best clothes dryer has a lot to do with the amount of space you have available. You must have enough room for the unit to fit so that the doors can open fully in all directions and have sufficient ventilation area around the dryer. You also need to be able to get the dryer through all the doors in the path to your laundry room or space where your dryer will be installed. Do you need stackable units? Be sure to measure the height you have available. And, keep in mind that front-loading machines are typically deeper, while top-loaders are usually wider.


Drum capacities on new clothes dryers range between 2 and 10 cubic feet. Do you have king-size bed linens, couch covers, pet beds or other very large, bulky items that require a larger drum? Or, are your children moving out soon and your laundry needs will decrease? Think about what your general laundry habits are.

One easy way to determine the capacity you need is to double your clothes washer capacity. For instance, if your washer has 3 cubic feet of space, then you’d probably do well with a dryer that can handle 6 cubic feet of clothing. Thinking about what your laundry needs are in advance can help you get the right-sized dryer.

Dryer Colours and Finishes

Dryers come in many different colours and finishes to help match other appliances, countertops, style, decor and paint colours.

  • White: White clothes dryers are traditional, clean and simplistic.
  • Gray: Gray dryers are modern and sleek with variants like silver, titanium and stainless.
  • Black: Black clothes dryers and appliances look sophisticated and fit in with many home decor styles.

What Features to Consider Before Purchasing a New Dryer?

Now that you know about all the different types of dryers, what are some additional features you might want to consider before purchasing? Coast Appliances has washers and dryers with all the latest and greatest features to accommodate all your laundry needs. Let’s explore!

  • Energy Star Qualified: Appliances with the Energy Star distinction use less energy and save you money.
  • Wifi Connectivity: Smart features allow you to schedule delayed cycles, check on existing cycles and be alerted when a cycle completes, all on your smartphone.
  • Digital Displays: Intuitive and easy-to-read, digital displays make doing laundry just a little bit enjoyable.
  • Stackable: Stackable washers and dryers are excellent choices if you want full-power performance but have limited space.
  • Dual Dryers: These side-by-side front-loader dryers and washers are equipped with smaller washers or dryers on top of the units.
  • Drum Light: LED lighting inside the drum helps you to see and access contents.
  • Drum Rack: Specialized drying racks inside the drum make drying bulky or delicate items a snap.
  • Steam: This feature saves you water and money by tumbling your garments in a steam bath to release wrinkles and odors.
  • Wrinkle Guard: Using moisture sensors, the wrinkle guard feature ensures equal drying throughout all items in a load.
  • Variety of Cycle Types: Modern dryers offer more cycle types like Eco-Friendly, sensor dry, sanitation cycles and steam cycles.

What are 2024’s Best Dryer Brands?

Expert online clothes dryer comparisons compare clothes dryers to determine which dryer is best. A good clothes dryer will perform on many levels, from conserving energy, to looking attractive, to being appropriate for your laundering habits.

Which is the best dryer? It’s difficult to say, since there are so many variables, but here are some of our favorite brands, based on our nearly-50 years of experience in the industry:

GE Dryers

General Electric was founded by Thomas Edison in the late 1800s. You can be sure that GE is still committed to putting out excellent appliances that work well and will last for years and years.

Electrolux Dryers

Headquartered in Sweden, Electrolux competes with Whirlpool as the world’s largest appliance manufacturer by units sold. The company has been in business for more than 100 years, and they consistently receive high marks in consumer ratings.

LG Dryers

Three different LG dryers made the US News “Best Dryers of 2024” list. LG is known for innovative appliances that serve the needs of real people. LG’s new washtower is an example of their innovation, if you don’t know it yet take a look here.

Take some time and explore all of thequality dryers at Coast Appliances. We have a huge selection to choose from and our customer service representatives are friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable!

Dryer FAQs

What temperature should you dry clothes?

Modern dryers can operate at temperatures between 123 F - 176 F to suit your unique drying needs. Note that different fabrics require different temperatures to avoid shrinking.

How often should you clean a dryer vent?

Appliance maintenance experts recommend cleaning your dryer vent at least twice yearly. It never hurts to do it more often though, especially if you dry a lot of clothes.

What happens if you don’t clean a dryer vent?

If lint builds up excessively, it can prevent your dryer from being properly ventilated, which can cause heat build-up and potentially cause a fire.

How long is the average dryer cycle?

How long is a typical dryer cycle? Typical drying cycles are about 45 minutes. Of course, it depends on the amount and type of garments you’re drying. Sometimes, a dryer needs two cycles to dry extremely heavy items like rugs or blankets.

What brand of dryer is most reliable?

The appliance experts at Coast Appliances have been assisting valued customers for more than 40 years and we only carry the most reliable and quality products. Here are some of the dryer brands that are popular with our customers:

Call, shop online or visit us today. We offer friendly, valuable help that doesn’t waste your time or money. Let us help you next!

The information on this article is not a promise of service. While we present the most accurate information we can, customers must check each brand and model for the manufacturers' information. Each model has their individual care and maintenance guidelines, normal expected use and lifespan with proper maintenance and care. Customers are responsible for checking information for their appliance, the user manual, manufacturer guidelines as well as using professional services.