by Jane Magaro, Cheapism.com
morguefile.com/phototogoSave the cherry red for a great dress and the sleek styling for your hair. Stackable dryers with LED lights and space-age design may have a high-end look, but what's the point if they're hidden away in a basement laundry room or behind a closet door? If you have the space, consider a plain, white dryer that sits beside your washing machine. You can use the cash you save to expand your wardrobe.
Here are Cheapism's picks for the best budget dryers under $500:
- The Maytag Centennial MEDC300XW electric dryer features a 7-cubic-foot capacity, 10 drying cycles, and a moisture sensor that gauges when clothes are dry and automatically ends the cycle. This Maytag dryer impresses experts and user reviewers with the number of features it offers for the price; it starts at $488. Maytag also offers an equivalent gas model, the Centennial MGDC300XW, starting at $552.
- The Admiral AED4475TQ is a Home Depot-exclusive electric dryer with 6.5 cubic feet of capacity, five cycles, and three temperature options. Users call it a dependable dryer, and it starts at $359. A gas-powered version, the Admiral AGD4475TQ, starts at $499.
- The Amana NED4500VQ electric dryer offers seven automatic cycles, three temperature settings, and an end-of-cycle buzzer for a starting price of $359. Reviewers appreciate how quickly it dries a load of clothes, as well as the capacity of the 6.5-cubic-foot drum. The gas-powered Amana NGD4500VQ starts at $397.
- The GE GTDX100EMWW is a 6-cubic-foot electric dryer with three drying cycles and three temperature settings. Note that this $386 model has a lint trap at the front, inside the door, a location some users strongly prefer to the top of the machine. Reviews also laud this dryer's reliability and interior light. The gas version, the GE GTDX100GMWW, starts at $450.
Before purchasing a dryer, check your hookups at home: Dryers can be powered via a 240-volt electrical outlet or a gas line. Electric dryers make up a majority of the market and cost up to $150 less than gas-powered dryers, but a gas dryer should make up the difference through energy savings in the long run.
In reviews posted online, users comment approvingly on the capacity of most full-size dryers -- even the cheap ones. They offer between 6 and 7.5 cubic feet, which is plenty for a full load of laundry. Pay close attention to drum size only if you regularly launder sizeable loads or large items such as comforters.
Related: Best Cheap Clothes Irons
Budget dryers offer few specialty cycles but all the necessary basic settings and even energy-saving auto-dry options, which turn the machine off automatically when clothing is dry. More expensive dryers -- and a few budget models, such as the Maytag Centennial MEDC300XW -- gauge this using a moisture sensor, which can measure clothing dryness more accurately than the temperature-based sensors on most low-cost dryers. More important than myriad settings and advanced features is overall performance, and the best budget clothes dryers will get your laundry dry just as well as a fancier, pricier unit.
More from Cheapism.com:
Budget Hair Dryers
Cheap Sewing Machines
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