Dryers buying guideGas? Electric? What features do you need in a new dryer? CNET's smart appliances team walks you through it.
Hey, I'm Ry Crist, this is a dryer and this is our dryer buying guide video. So this model is the Samsung DV457 and it's a smart dryer. It's top of the lines. It's got this 8-inch touch screen. You can control from your smartphone. It's grid aware so it can detect when the best, most energy efficient times to run hour. It's a very nice dryer. But we'll back up here. Let's start at the beginning. If you're looking to buy a dryer, you might want something simple, you might want something fancy, but either way you're gonna need to choose between electric or gas. Gas dryers will cost you about $100 more, but they're also typically a little cheaper to operate over the long run. Now this depends on the energy usage rate in your area. If gas is really expensive where you live, then you should probably stick with an electric dryer. But if you're electric bills are always giving you headache and you wanted to take it done out of them, a gas dryer can be a very sound investment. Now keep in mind that if you want to get a gas dryer, you're going to need to have a dedicated gas line in your laundry room and not all rooms will have this. If you don't, you have to have one professionally installed and that can cost upwards of $500 or $600 so you'll have to budget that. If you're getting an electric dryer, you're gonna need to be sure to have a 240-volt electric outlet. A 240-volt outlet is not the standard socket you'll see in your living room. It's this big bad boy here with a circular plug. The next consideration is gonna be the size of your dryer's drum, the capacity, how much it's gonna hold. Now, this one here has about 7.3 cubic feet space in there and that is quite a bit. If you had a large family, this would be a great dryer for you. But if it's just you and a roommate, or you and a partner, you might not need this much space. So how do you know how much space you need? We'll figure out what your washer's capacity is. A good rule of thumb is that your dryer's capacity should be about twice as big as your washer's capacity, maybe a little less. So if your washer has 3 cubic feet, you might want to aim for about 6 cubic feet, maybe 5.5 it will be fine. Now, if you can hit that perfect 1:2 ratio, a full load from your washer should come out nice and dry after a full cycle in your dryer. Keep in mind though, if you're getting a matching set, a washer and dryer they go together, then you don't really need to worry about this. Once you lock down the basics of your dryer purchase, you'll wanna take a look at the features available in the models that you like. Some features that I like to look for include motion sensors in the drum. These are great for detecting how dry the clothes are during the cycle and they can even shut off the dryer automatically when it's done. That way, you don't overdry, you don't waste energy, you don't shrink your clothes. They are really nice features. You can also look for dryers that have steam settings like this one. The steam settings can allow you to do all sorts of new things with your dryer. You can clean throw pillows and curtains and toys, other things you couldn't typically clean elsewhere and you can use steam to get rid of wrinkles in your clothing, which is fantastic. If you're willing to pay top dollar, you can get a smart dryer like this one and get some smart functionality built in to your machine. Like I said, this one you can control from your phone. It's smart-grid aware. It's got a lot of cool things that other dryers just can't do. However, it's a lot of money and you're gonna wanna make sure that these features are compatible for you. In some areas, Smart grid technology isn't available. Here in Louisville, we cannot use that feature. And also with this dryer, not all phones are supported. It supports iOS devices and Samsung Galaxy devices, but it doesn't support other Android devices like the Nexus. So if you hadn't one of those, you'll be out in the cold and that's not what you want after spending well over a thousand dollars. For more helpful information on buying your next dryer, check out the rest of my buying guide or take a look at our reviews to figure out which models you like the best. For CNET, I'm Ry Crist.