A Maytag stainless steel washer and dryer set in a laundry room.

If it’s been a while since you shopped for a dryer, you may be surprised by the number of new features and options that are available on today’s models. One of the most talked about – and possibly misunderstood – is steam drying. Curious about steam dryer pros and cons? Wondering how steam dryers work? We’ll help you learn more so you can decide if a steam dryer is right for you.

What is a Steam Dryer?

A steam dryer is a clothes dryer that offers a steam drying option, which functions similarly to a traditional garment steamer to help remove wrinkles and static, and keep clothes looking fresh. Steam dryers also offer regular, non-steam tumble dry cycles such as delicate, permanent press and air dry.

An open Maytag dryer with a blanket coming out.

How Does a Steam Dryer Work?

A steam dryer uses hot air to dry clothes, just like a conventional dryer. However, it can also use a steam cycle, which uses hot, moist air to penetrate fabrics. This can help reduce wrinkles from clothing, towels and other items. Conventional dryers have multiple settings for drying different fabrics. In contrast, steam dryers have options that can help you reduce wrinkles in fabrics to cut down on ironing time. This is especially useful for fabrics that need to be ironed, but aren’t stained and don’t need to be washed.

What are the Pros and Cons of Steam Dryers?

Before buying a major appliance, it’s important to consider potential benefits and drawbacks so you can make an informed choice.


Top view of a metallic slate Maytag dryer with steam.


  • Reduce wrinkles and static. 
  • Save water and energy because you do not have to re-wash and dry clothes. 
  • Can be used as an alternative to dryer sheets to reduce static and help clothes come out looking fresh.


  • Higher up-front costs.
A close-up of a dryer control dial with cycle options.

Do I Need to Install Additional Plumbing if I Want a Steam Dryer?

No! You can connect your steam dryer to a water source by using a “Y” hose connector. This allows both your washer and dryer to connect to the same water source – no extra pipes are required.

Clothes resting in a Maytag dryer.

How Do I Know if a Steam Dryer is a Good Option for My Family?

Before you purchase a steam dryer, consider the pros and cons along with your family’s lifestyle. If you iron often or want to freshen clothes without washing them, a steam dryer may be right for you. If you’re still not sure how to choose the right appliance, our dryer buyer’s guide can help point you in the right direction.

Shop all Maytag® dryers

Built to deliver the drying power you expect on laundry day, dryers by Maytag brand are available in a range of convenience and control features, like The Extra Power button that puts dynamic drying control on any cycle at your fingertips. Discover select Maytag® dryers with features like the Quick Dry and Sanitize cycles or the Wrinkle Prevent and Reduce Static options.


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