Best Compact Dryer

In the world of dreams, every appliance you own would be top of the line – including your dryer.

You’ll get there. But if right now, you’re a dreamer on a budget, you have two options. You can stay moist till you make it, or you can invest in a great compact dryer.

There are lots of circumstances in which a compact dryer is the perfect option for you. College student with a small space and small budget? Compact dryer. Looking to downsize but not sure where to start? Ditch the uber-dryer and go compact.

Hate the wait of air-drying but can’t fit or afford a regular dryer? Compact is your best friend. On an energy-efficiency jag? Go compact.

But which compact? There are thousands on the market. How do you choose the compact dryer that’s right for you, your needs and circumstances?

We’ve sifted the options out there and compiled a short list of the best compact dryers on the market. Each of the highly-rated options we’ve researched are under thirty inches tall, lightweight and can be displayed proudly or stored out of sight when not in use.

Take a look, and let us find the micro-model that’s perfect for you.

Top 5 Best Compact Dryer

OUR TOP PICK

Panda Portable Compact Laundry Dryer, 3.5 cu.ft, 13lbs Capacity, Black and White, PAN760SF

Summary

If you have at least a little space to play with and at least a little budget at your disposal, the most substantial offering from Panda might be just what you’re looking for.

Boasting a 3.5 cubic feet capacity, its sleek stainless steel drum can hold up 13 pounds of washing at once, balancing the fact that it’s the most expensive dryer on our list by offering the biggest laundry load too.

The stylish black and white design compliments any home’s aesthetic, with internal elements also made of stainless steel to prevent rusting and a 110-volt outlet suitable for usage anywhere. This offering, slightly larger than many of its competitors, outshines them too by producing a colossal 1500 watts of power when not in Eco mode, reducing the time it takes to get your fabrics fully dried.

Though it can hold more and is a little taller than its competitors at 27 inches, its 48 pound weight is by no means the heaviest on the list, retaining the portable nature of the compact dryer and allowing for wall-mounting or placing on a shelf should you desire.

The removable lint catcher is a bonus and a breeze to remove, clean and reinstall for optimized usage, while an automatic shut-off feature means you’ll never wonder if you forgot to switch it off!

Pros:

  • Can dry up to 13 pounds of clothes at once
  • Inbuilt Eco-mode and automatic shutoff for peace of mind
  • Removable lint catcher included

Cons:

  • The highest energy consumer on our list at a hefty 1500 watts

EDITORS CHOICE

ROVSUN 13.2LBS Electric Compact Clothes Dryer, 3.22 Cu.Ft Portable Front Load Tumble Laundry Dryer w/Stainless Steel Tub, Easy Button Control, Ideal for Home, Apartment, Dorm, RVs, White

Summary

One of the more powerful options for portable electric dryers, the Rovsun boasts 1300W of power and a roomy 3.22 cubic feet capacity, meaning it can dry up to 13.2lbs of laundry in one cycle - the perfect option for a bigger family with slightly more storage space.

Although it packs more punch than some of the other dryers on our list, it still only weighs 59lbs and stands at 27.5 inches, so there isn’t much compromise on the portability; it can also be wall-mounted, freestanding or attached to a rack.

A large stainless-steel drum rotates your clothes both clockwise and anti-clockwise, with its S-shaped rotator purpose-built to prevent tangles, iron out wrinkles and preserve more delicate materials.

The simplistic touch-operated control panel makes using this compact dryer a dream, with a range of temperature settings, multiple drying modes, and a variety of timer functions to suit all uses.

The inbuilt ultraviolet disinfection lights work to kill 99% of bacteria present after washing, lending parents with young children and plenty of laundry some much needed peace of mind.

Rovsun also offers a year’s warranty on this dryer, so you can dry safe in the knowledge that any issues within the first twelve months of ownership will be resolved hassle-free.

Pros:

  • Largest capacity of all models listed, with room for 13.2 pounds of laundry per load
  • Inbuilt S-shaped rotator irons out wrinkles while UV lights serve to disinfect laundry
  • Easy to use touch-operated controls

Cons:

  • The broader range of settings result in a higher power consumption, so this isn’t the most energy efficient 

BEST VALUE

COSTWAY Compact Laundry Dryer, 110V Electric Portable Clothes Dryer with Stainless Steel Tub, Control Panel Downside Easy Control for 4 Automatic Drying Mode, White

Summary

Slightly more expensive than some of the other models on our list, the Costway dryer compensates for its higher price tag with a hefty capacity, allowing for 10 pounds of drying at once - though manufacturers recommend sticking to 5.5lb loads for the most efficient and speedy cycles.

Still very much portable at 37.3 pounds, it can be mounted on a wall or rack - bracket not included - or can stand freely on its own. On the less powerful side at 850 watts, Costway’s dryer would suit an eco-friendly user looking to reduce their electrical usage as well as their energy bills!

This model is advertised as particularly quiet, appropriate for those with children and/or pets, people who work from home or are sensitive to loud noises.

Added to which, the sturdy steel drum promises a long lifespan. Five dryer functions are integrated to suit varied fabrics and load sizes, allowing the user to set a duration and temperature that suits each individual cycle.

This dryer might cost you more, but it more than makes up for that in versatile features. 

Pros:

  • Room for 10 pounds of laundry per load
  • A lower wattage of 850w makes for a cheaper energy bill overall
  • Built to minimize sound pollution

Cons:

  • The most expensive compact on our list

RUNNER UP

Panda 110V Electric Portable Compact Laundry Clothes Dryer, 1.5 cu.ft, Stainless Steel Drum Black and White, PAN725SF

Summary

Amazon’s top choice for compact dryers, the most affordable dryer on our list also happens to be the PAN760’s sleek little brother.

Ridiculously lightweight at 37.5 pounds and only 24 inches tall, this unassuming but fierce offering from Panda makes for stress-free shelf mounting, easily achieved with an included wall bracket.

Powered by a standard 3 prong 110V outlet emitting 850 watts, this model might take a little longer than others to dry your clothes, but it saves on electricity bills in the long run.

Recommended for use as a second dryer for a larger family, a vent exhaust pipe is included, alongside a mounting kit and levelling legs for versatile indoor usage in any room. Its drying cycles range from 20 to 200 minutes, resulting in perfectly dry clothes no matter the weight of the load.

Arguably the most attractive compact dryer on our list, the polished exterior of this contemporary design would look fantastic in any modern home. If you can, spend an extra 15 dollars.

Why? Because it will get you an indoor ventilation kit, so that whether or not your home has a pre-existing condensation problem, you can minimize the moisture output of your dryer.

Pros:

  • The most affordable model on our list
  • Eco-friendly at 850 watts
  • The smallest but sleekest compact dryer on the list

Cons:

  • Ventilation kit must be purchased separately

RUNNER UP

Magic Chef Compact Electric White MCSDRY15W 1.5 cu. ft. Laundry Dryer

Summary

If you want to get a quality dryer, you should seriously consider the Electric Dryer from Magic Chef. At only 38 pounds and standing 24 inches tall, it is perfect for those who need to fit their white goods into a highly confined space.

Best suited to smaller laundry loads, its space-saving design is just the thing for use in apartments or student accommodation - you can even fit it in a motorhome!

But for all that, it doesn’t lack any of the essentials you want from a dryer. It comes with four timer settings, two temperature settings and an air-dry option, to ensure it takes proper care of all your fabrics.

Powered by a standard 110-volt (120 VAC, 15 amp) outlet, there is no need for a professional installation or extra wiring – you literally just plug it in and off you go! Requiring only 850 watts of power, it dries up to 5.5 pounds of clothing at once and is kind to your electricity bill to boot.

A durable stainless steel design ensures the longevity of the drum, giving you long term value for money, while the transparent window lets the user keep an eye on their clothes as they dry.

For all its small size, the Magic Chef is keen to please, and brings a host of extras to your drying game. An inbuilt anti-wrinkling function allows for continued tumbling at the end of each cycle, helping to pre-iron your fabrics before they even leave the dryer.

Also included are a wall mounting kit, an air intake and lint filters as standard, so you can find the perfect place to tuck it away, no matter what your living situation. The Magic Chef is one of the cheapest compact dryers on our list, but don’t be fooled into thinking that makes it underpowered or ineffective.

There’s power enough to make your life a whole lot better and drier here. That it costs less than a lot of other driers is just the bonus thrown in.

Pros:

  • Cheap but effective at a smaller size
  • Lower wattage required - an eco-friendly option
  • All filters and mounting kits included

Cons:

  • A small drum capacity means more frequent drying with larger loads

Best Compact Dryer Buying Guide

If you’re convinced that a compact dryer is the revolutionary household helper for you, there are a handful of things to consider before you take the plunge and commit to buying your own.

Space

One of the greatest rewards of using a compact dryer is that they can be placed anywhere in your home, though the room in which it operates should ideally be well-ventilated to prevent mold growth from excess humidity.

Most models are free standing, can be put on a shelf and are compatible with wall brackets; so long as it is placed on a solid surface, it doesn’t matter whether you have carpets, linoleum or hardwood floors. Remember they are suitable for mobile homes too!

Though all of the compact dryers we have listed are under a metre tall, they do vary in width depending on the drum capacity - if you have more laundry to dry and you can make room for a larger model, it might be worth the price increase to save on waiting time between loads.

For instance, a capacity of 1.5 cubic metres would wash around 5.5 pounds of laundry at once, where a 3.5 cubic metre drum could wash up to 13 pounds - that’s more than double!

Check Your Accessories

Typically, a compact dryer will come with the necessary additional vents and pipes for quick and easy installation, but some models might not include a ventilation hose or wall-mounting accessories - ensure you double check before you commit to buying!

A few of the options above have additional features such as an Eco mode or anti-wrinkling functions - keep an eye out for those if you’re looking to save time or the planet.

Time

Should you have a lot of laundry to do on a regular basis, it might be worth factoring the additional time it will take for your clothes to dry using a compact model into your decision - for some, this compromise is more than worth it because otherwise they would be doomed to a life of air drying.

For others, their need to dry more clothes quickly outweighs the benefits of opting for a smaller machine.

All The Fashionable Settings

Are you a fashionista with a varied wardrobe? If so, it might be worth checking how many settings each model has for temperature and time. Some will have fixed cycles that come pre-installed, where others, like the Panda, allow you to make your own choice, guaranteeing protection for your more delicate clothes.

Shush

If you live in student dormitories or an apartment building, the noise that can be made by the compact dryer and its potential to disturb your neighbours should be considered.

Though they are much quieter than the dramatic rattling of their standard-sized counterparts, some models, like the Costway, have been designed with the intention of keeping sound to a minimum, which might help when making your decision, not to mention when trying to win friends and influence people. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put a compact dryer anywhere in my house? 

For the most part, yes. It is recommended that the dryer be used in a well-ventilated room with its hose placed by a window, but that’s as far as location limits go, and the majority of products tend to include adaptations such as levelling legs or wall brackets to make this a little easier.

Will it fit a standard outlet?

Every model listed here comes with a 110V wall adaptor, which can be plugged into any standard outlet, so there’s no need for any finicky wiring or the shock of hidden extra costs for professional installation.

Can I dry any fabrics?

As with regular sized dryers, there are some fabrics that just shouldn’t be tumble dried. That being said, so long as you follow the instructions for washing, the compact dryer is suitable for anything from jeans to bedsheets. 

How do I ventilate the dryer?

The models on our list all include a venting hose to be attached to the back of the dryer and ideally to be placed leading outdoors. If that’s not possible, you can buy a venting hose separately, as with the smaller Panda model.

Should the included hose not be sufficient, there are replacement ventilation kits you can pick up for as little as fifteen dollars.

How long will it take to dry a load of laundry? 

That depends on the size of the load and the temperature being used - the heavier the laundry and the cooler the setting, the longer it will take to dry. On average, it should take around an hour to properly dry a small (5.5 pound) load.

Are they suitable for outdoor use?

Though they are considered portable, compact dryers are powered by mains electricity, meaning they need to be plugged in at all times - if your outside space has a shelter that will protect the dryer and your outlet or extension cord from the elements, it could certainly be used that way, but indoor use is recommended. 

Will it function for as long as a regular dryer? 

It is difficult to predict how long any product will last, but as long as you take care of it, there’s no reason why you can’t use a compact dryer for years - you can extend its lifespan by using and regularly cleaning out the lint trap to prevent trapped dust, as well as consistently cleaning any removable parts.

Do I need to buy any additional accessories? 

Most compact dryers will come with everything you need to install and begin using them right away, but others might require you to purchase additional ventilation equipment or shelving brackets - always double check before you buy!