A person placing a blue towel into a dryer

Types of Dryers: Exploring Options For Your Home

Designed to be hard-working and dependable, your dryer is key  to making laundry a painless task. This guide will walk you through the different types of dryers that are on the market and help you learn which option is ideal for you.

What types of clothes dryers are there?

There are several different types of dryers, and they can vary by configuration, heating element, capacity and more. Learn more about the different types of dryers below to find one that works best for you. Maytag brand has a wide array of gas and electric dryers with top load or front load configurations to give you more options to consider.

1. Gas dryers

Gas dryers use your natural gas line or propane to heat the air in the dryer’s drum to dry your clothes. Since they do not require as much electricity as electric dryers, operating costs may be more budget-friendly over time, depending on the current prices of utilities. Before purchasing and installing a gas dryer, ensure your laundry room is properly equipped with a gas hookup and proper ventilation. Consult a professional for any questions during this process.

If this sounds like a good fit, browse Maytag brand’s collection of gas dryers. These models are built to last and equipped with helpful features to help you get laundry done, like the Maytag® Pet Pro Top Load Gas Dryer, which traps and removes pet hair from clothes.

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2. Electric dryers

Electric dryers function by sending electrical currents through metal coils to create heat. This heat flows through the dryer via a blower or fan to dry your clothes. These types of dryers require a four-pronged, 240-volt electrical outlet and proper ventilation to install. For questions about electrical requirements, consult a licensed electrician.

Browse Maytag brand’s variety of powerful electric dryers with convenient features to help you tackle laundry day, like the Quick Dry cycle on this Maytag® Smart Top Load Electric Dryer, which dries small loads fast.

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A Maytag® washer and dryer set in a laundry room with brown cabinetry A Maytag® washer and dryer set in a laundry room with brown cabinetry

3. Front load dryers

This type of dryer is designed with a door that swings open in the front of the dryer. Maytag® laundry pedestals help make it easier to access your laundry by lifting the dryer 10-15.5 inches. Front load dryers are ideal to match with front load washers and allow for space-saving flexibility with the ability to stack units for closet installation or if you have limited space.

Maytag brand offers gas and electric front load dryers with matching washers for a dependable laundry set.

Space-saving tip: stack your front-load machines

If space is at a premium when it comes to your laundry room, then stacking your washer and dryer is an excellent space-saving option. There are plenty of dryer models that have stacking capabilities, as well as washing machine counterparts. Just make sure that both units are front-load models and that the product description specifically states that it’s a stackable model. Stacked laundry centers and washer/dryer combos within a single unit are also available.

You can purchase a stacking kit, like this one from Maytag brand, for your existing washer and dryer. But, prior to stacking them, ensure they’re stackable and that the washing machine has a larger footprint than your dryer, as it will need to go on the bottom. To ensure you purchase the proper stacking kit, reference the owner’s manual for specific information.

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A person adding a blue and white shirt to a dryer A person adding a blue and white shirt to a dryer

4. Top load dryers

While all dryers technically load from the front, Maytag brand has a variety of top load dryers designed to match the aesthetics and cycles on top load washers for a uniform set. The control panel on this type of dryer can be found near the top of the machine, similar to its matching washer. Unlike their front load counterparts, top load dryers cannot be stacked and are generally installed side-by-side with a washer.

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A dog laying in front of a white Maytag® washer and dryer set A dog laying in front of a white Maytag® washer and dryer set

5. Standard vented dryers

In vented dryers, a heating element raises the temperature of the air in the dryer, and the moisture from the wet clothes is vented through aluminum ducts. Vented dryers come in gas and electric models and require periodic vent cleaning for optimal dryer performance. This is the most common type of dryer.

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6. Ventless dryers

Perfect for compact areas such as apartments or closets, this type of dryer operates without the need for ducts to expel air. Instead, it condenses moisture from air inside the drum, collecting it in a removable drawer, or expelling it via a drain hose. Since gas dryers require venting, ventless dryers are powered by electricity. Learn more about the two different types of ventless dryers.

Condenser dryers

A condenser dryer circulates air through a condenser and heats it. This heated air flows into the dryer drum and absorbs moisture from the wet clothes. The condenser then cools the air by turning it to water, which is emptied via a drain hose, rather than the air, through ventilation. This process repeats itself until the drying cycle is complete.

Heat pump dryers

This type of ventless, electric dryer uses a refrigerant system with cold and hot coils to heat the drum and dry your clothes. Heat pump dryers are electric appliances and do not have external air ventilation.

How do ventless dryers work?

A ventless dryer works by continuously recirculating air through the dryer drum to absorb moisture from the laundry. Then, moisture is condensed through a heat exchanger, unlike vented dryers, which circulate this air outdoors through a duct.

A closeup of clothes inside a dryer A closeup of clothes inside a dryer

Are different dryer capacity options available?

Standard dryers are typically around 27" wide and have between 5 and 7 cu. ft. of capacity, while compact models are about 24" wide and have about 4 cu. ft. of space. If you have a family that runs through clothing quickly, there are large capacity models available that can accommodate more than the standard 7 cu. ft.

What dryer options are there for smaller laundry rooms or closets?

For tight quarters and apartments with limited space, a compact, ventless dryer could be an ideal option for you. Stackable washers and dryers are another great way to save space and can often fit in a closet. Learn more about stackable washer and dryer dimensions to find the right size for you.

How to choose a dryer: features you should consider

When you are choosing a dryer, consider factors like drying cycles, drum capacity, configuration, and energy consumption. Take into account the amount of space you have available, whether you’re replacing a dryer that isn’t drying anymore or installing a new machine for the first time. 

If you’re installing a dryer for the first time, check whether you have the room and capacity for a duct, since most standard dryers require venting. If this isn’t a possibility, a ventless dryer may be the ideal option for you. Regardless of the type of dryer, ensure you have the voltage requirements for installation.  Gas dryers require a 120-volt outlet, while electric models require a 240-volt outlet. Keep in mind that a gas dryer will also require a gas line.

What type of dryer is right for you?

Choosing the right dryer depends on your laundry room’s layout and your specific needs. Without a gas connection, an electric dryer becomes the optimal choice. For those with limited space, stackable laundry sets or compact dryers are worth considering. Conversely, for daily laundry tasks or larger loads, opting for a large capacity dryer equipped with convenient features can help you do more laundry in less loads. Regardless of your requirements, exploring Maytag® dryers can help you find the perfect model to meet your needs.

Shop all Maytag® dryers

No matter what type of dryer you need, Maytag® dryers are built to last and equipped with features to help you dry clothes faster, like the Extra Power Feature available on select models, or Smart Appliance technology to manage your laundry from anywhere.1 Select Maytag® dryers are ENERGY STAR® Certified and come in various sizes, so you’ll be sure to find the right fit.


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