If you have laundry to do, but you don't have money to burn, there are plenty of clothes dryers that will get the job done without costing a mint. For budget-minded shoppers who can live without some of the luxuries that come with higher price tags — like lots of fabric-specific settings, steam cycles, a fancy display, and the very latest technology — we've rounded up reliable dryers that are large enough to serve a medium-size household and cost around $600 or less. Consumers willing to pay a bit more for a few bells and whistles, as well as large families looking for a mega-capacity model, will also find some relatively affordable options on our list. We've even got one compact dryer for apartments and RVs. Many of the dryers pair with matching washers, some of which are reviewed in our roundup of the best cheap washing machines.
Electric dryers are our primary focus, as they're the most commonly used, but several of our picks come in gas-powered versions. While gas dryers do tend to cost a little more upfront, they can be cheaper to operate over the long term.
Evaluating cheap dryers can be difficult. The basic design and features are relatively consistent among models. Standard full-size dryers tend to have about 6 or 7 cubic feet of capacity — which is sufficient to accommodate oversize items such as a comforter — and many now come with sensors to regulate cycle times and prevent overdrying and damage to delicates.
To identify the very best choices, we carefully sorted through expert assessments from sources that conduct hands-on testing, including Consumer Reports, Wirecutter, CNET, and Reviewed.com. Equally important was feedback regarding real-world performance and longevity from everyday users in reviews on retailer sites such as Home Depot, Lowe's, Best Buy, and AJ Madison. We found that, in general, models by GE (which owns Hotpoint) and Whirlpool (maker of Maytag, Amana, and Roper dryers) dominate among the low-cost options. Appliance giants Samsung and LG also make strong offerings and are particular favorites with consumers, although they tend to fall on the pricier side of the spectrum. And keep in mind that warranties on clothes dryers, regardless of price, tend to be relatively short; most cover only one year. Nevertheless, manufacturers say a decent dryer should last at least 10 years or more with normal residential usage.
Editor's Note: Listed prices were accurate at the time of writing and represent the best deals at major retailers. But sales on these appliances are frequent and prices can fluctuate from one week to the next, sometimes by more than $100. It often pays to track prices and check multiple retailers before making a purchase.