Best Dryers Under $500

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TUMBLE AND DRY

Cheapism.com's picks for the best dryers under $500 are basic yet proficient. Forget about lots of fabric-specific settings, fancy displays, and other advanced features reserved for pricier models. But take comfort in knowing that these budget-friendly appliances get clothes dry. And their relative simplicity appeals to users who don't need a zillion settings or sophisticated electronics.

While cheap electric dryers are our primary focus, we've thrown in a couple of gas models for those who want, or need, to go that route. There are also a few pricier options that offer good value for buyers seeking something compact, a steam cycle, or more room for the bulkiest loads. Smart shoppers can take advantage of holiday sales for even bigger savings.

Hotpoint HTX21EASKWW
Photo credit: Courtesy of lowes.com

HOTPOINT HTX21EASKWW

Good Basic Electric Dryer Under $500
Price: $329 | Buy it from Lowe's

Pros:

  • At 6.2 cubic feet, dryer is still roomy enough for smaller households; slightly more compact size can fit in smaller spaces.
  • Experts give it very good marks for quiet operation.
  • Reviewers like simple-to-use dial controls.

Cons:

  • Short on extra features, such as an end-of-cycle signal or wrinkle prevention.
  • Experts give it middle-of-the-road marks for performance, questioning effectiveness of temperature sensor

Takeaway: Some buyers are wary of overly complex dryers -- more bells and whistles means more things that can break. The Hotpoint HTX21EASKWW is a solid pick for anyone who wants to keep things simple, especially smaller households that don't want to overpay for a larger-capacity dryer that isn't really needed.

GE GTD33EASKWW
Photo credit: Courtesy of homedepot.com

GE GTD33EASKWW

Good Roomier Electric Dryer Under $500
Price: $398 (sale price) | Buy it from Home Depot

Pros:

  • At 7.2 cubic feet, it's very spacious for a budget-friendly dryer.
  • Experts give it very good marks for quiet operation.
  • Includes wrinkle-shield option, end-of-cycle signal.
  • Reviewers like simple-to-use dial controls.

Cons:

  • Experts question effectiveness of temperature sensor; some reviewers say laundry takes too long to dry.
  • Some owners dislike very loud, long end-of-cycle buzzer.

Takeaway: With its 7.2 cubic-foot capacity, the GE GTD33EASKWW is one of the largest reliably cheap basic dryers -- well suited for households that need a bigger unit without paying for unnecessary extra features. It isn't overly loud and comes with a wrinkle-shield option; some owners say the buzzer makes them jump out of their skin.

Samsung DV40J3000EW
Photo credit: Courtesy of homedepot.com

SAMSUNG DV40J3000EW

Best Electric Dryer with Moisture Sensor Under $500
Price: $398 | Buy it from Home Depot

Pros:

  • Sleek electronic display is rare for a budget-friendly dryer.
  • Extra features include lint-trap indicator, wrinkle prevention, and child lock.
  • Very spacious for a cheap dryer at 7.2 cubic feet.
  • Moisture sensor is effective, say experts and owners.

Cons:

  • Some reviewers report issues with the heating element failing after just a few months.
  • Lacks interior light.

Takeaway: A top-notch yet cheap dryer with a few added features, the Samsung DV40J3000EW is hard to beat. For a price that won't strain the budget you'll get a range of bells and whistles rarely seen in less expensive machines, including eight drying cycles, an LED display, and a moisture sensor that helps save energy and washables by turning off the dryer when everything is dry – not before, and not long after.

Whirlpool WED4815EW
Photo credit: Courtesy of lowes.com

WHIRLPOOL WED4815EW

Best Low-Noise Electric Dryer Under $500
Price: $399 (sale price) | Buy it from Lowe's

Pros:

  • Relatively spacious for a budget-friendly dryer at 7 cubic feet.
  • Experts give it very good marks for quiet operation.
  • Owners laud effective drying of bigger, bulkier loads.
  • Includes wrinkle-shield option.

Cons:

  • Tests indicate temperatures may be too high for some delicate clothing.
  • Experts question effectiveness of temperature sensor.

Takeaway: Experts and most owners say the Whirlpool WED4815EW is the model to buy if you want an appliance that will reliably get clothes bone-dry. This dryer also gives users a little more space for a very modest price, and adds a wrinkle-control option that is often absent on the cheapest dryers.

Amana NGD4655EW
Photo credit: Courtesy of bestbuy.com

AMANA NGD4655EW

Barebones Gas Dryer Under $500
Price: $400 | Buy it from Best Buy

Pros:

  • At 6.5 cubic feet, dryer is roomy enough for smaller households; slightly compact model can fit in smaller spaces.
  • Dries clothing quickly and efficiently, owners say.
  • Includes wrinkle-prevention option.
  • More efficient long-term than electric dryers.

Cons:

  • Temperatures may be too high for some delicate clothing, experts say.
  • Experts question effectiveness of temperature sensor.

Takeaway: Gas dryers are pricier than their electric counterparts, but the Amana NGD4655EW is one of the most budget-friendly gas models currently available. Owners say it offers solid performance and long-term savings without forcing them to pay for features they don't need.

Maytag MGDC215EW
Photo credit: Courtesy of lowes.com

MAYTAG MGDC215EW

Best Cheap Gas Workhorse
Price: $499 | Buy it from Lowe's

Pros:

  • At 7 cubic feet, it's spacious for a budget-friendly gas dryer.
  • Includes wrinkle-prevention option, interior light, end-of-cycle signal.
  • Dries clothing quickly and efficiently, owners say.
  • Comes with 10-year limited parts warranty on drive motor and drum.

Cons:

  • Some reviewers gripe about build quality, including hard-to-operate door, flimsy handle.
  • Dial cycle-control is imprecise, some owners say.

Takeaway: One of the most popular inexpensive gas dryers on the market, the Maytag MGDC215EW is a fast-drying workhorse that offers a couple of practical extras without a lot of expensive, unnecessary frills.

GE Spacemaker DSKP333ECWW
Photo credit: Courtesy of ajmadison.com

GE SPACEMAKER DSKP333ECWW

Bonus Pick -- Suitable for Small Spaces
Price: $578 | Buy it from AJ Madison

Pros:

  • 3.6-cubic-foot unit is compact, stackable, portable and ideal for small apartments or dwellings where space is limited.
  • 120-volt dryer uses standard three-prong household outlet, making it easy to install anywhere it can be vented.
  • Dryer is quiet and works surprisingly well for compact unit, reviews say.

Cons:

  • Costs as much or more than dryers twice the size.
  • Lacks useful extra features like end-of-cycle alert, wrinkle control, or reversible door.

Takeaway: Owners say the GE DSKP333ECWW gets their clothes drier than comparable compact models. They laud the convenience of being able to use a standard household outlet or stack it with a compatible washer. At just 2 feet across, it's easy to wedge into a tight closet or other small space.

Whirlpool WED49STBW
Photo credit: Courtesy of homedepot.com

WHIRLPOOL WED49STBW

Bonus Pick -- Cheap Steam Option
Price: $450 (sale price) | Buy it from Home Depot

Pros:

  • Includes steam-refresh cycle, a feature often found on only the priciest models.
  • Earns very good expert marks for drying performance and convenience.
  • Comes with extras including moisture sensors, wrinkle prevention, interior light, end-of-cycle signal.

Cons:

  • Temperatures may be too high for some delicate clothing, experts say.
  • Some reviews say moisture-sensor, steam cycles leave clothes too damp.

Takeaway: Gotta have a steam dryer? The Whirlpool WED49STBW is one of the cheapest options out there with this coveted feature. At 7 cubic feet, it has enough space for all but the largest households, and many users appreciate the old-school drop-down door, saying it makes folding clothes straight from the dryer easier.

Electrolux EFME417SIW
Photo credit: Courtesy of homedepot.com

ELECTROLUX EFME417SIW

Bonus Pick -- Big and Feature-Rich
Price: $700 | Buy it from Home Depot

Pros:

  • Mega-capacity 8-cubic-foot drum can fit very large or bulky loads.
  • Can be stacked; includes more features than budget models, such as steam and delayed start.
  • Experts say temperatures aren't too hot for delicate clothing, but still get loads dry.
  • Very good marks from experts for quiet operation, performance, convenience.
  • Energy Star-rated.

Cons:

  • Available only in white.

Takeaway: Whether you want a mega-capacity dryer, a more modern-looking model, or an Energy Star appliance that can save money long-term, the Electrolux EFME417SIW is a good pick for those willing to spend a bit more. With 8 cubic feet of drum space, it can take on the biggest loads, and it includes desirable extras such as a window, interior light, child lock, and electronic controls.

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