If you have a lot of space in your home, you can have a laundry dryer of any size. But you’ll need a compact portable dryer if you live in small areas, such as a dorm room, RV, or small apartment.
A portable spin dryer is smaller than a full-size dryer, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space. You can even move it out the way when not in use. Here are our picks and reviews of the best portable dryers.
Our Picks for Best Portable Dryer
Below are our top picks of compact clothes dryers that provide powerful performance and great value for money.
Euhomy Compact Dryer
This Euhomy Compact Laundry Dryer may give some full-sized dryers serious competition. Despite its relatively compact size, it has a drying capacity of 26.4 pounds due to the 3.5 cubic feet available within the stainless steel tub. And it comes with a charger.
The stainless steel material enhances the lifespan of the Euhomy compact laundry dryer because it is highly resistant to rust. And the 1500W power capacity allows it to reach a maximum temperature of 140°F, which is great for fast drying. Also, it has a large diameter with a flip function that makes it energy efficient when drying clothes. So, if you want a machine that consumes less energy.
Another great addition to this portable tumble dryer is its multi-function LCD with four different drying programs that dry fabric based on your needs, depending on humidity levels or whether you want to deodorize, iron, or dry it fast. And its reverse tumble action allows for very even drying.
There’s also a wide-angle door with transparent glass to watch your load and remove all your clothing comfortably. If you open the door, the drying action stops until you close it again. And on the side, some handles enhance portability. Furthermore, it is relatively quiet and doesn’t shake a lot.
You can vent the Euhomy compact dryer can inside if you wish. But first, you need to buy a venting kit and connect its detachable vent hose via the exhaust connector. Alternatively, you can redirect the vent outside through a door or window.
COSTWAY Compact Dryer
It can accommodate up to 10 pounds of wet clothing. However, it only weighs 37.3lbs, making it lightweight and easy to move around.
The COSTWAY Compact Laundry Dryer consists of a white stainless steel drum that makes it more rust-resistant and durable. And this particular model comes with a manual and an exhaust vent.
In addition, at 37.3 pounds, this tumble-drying machine’s compact size makes it the best option for limited spaces like dorm rooms and apartments. And you can also mount it on the wall or the rack. Alternatively, stack it since the control panel is at the bottom. Thus, it will be within easy reach.
Worry no more if you are worried about how long it will take to dry your clothes. This high-performance compact electric dryer works quite well due to its 850W power. All you need to do is limit your clothes to 5.5 pounds each session so they will dry quicker. Also, it utilizes the forward and reverses tumble action for better drying.
However, trying the different drying modes by adjusting the temperature settings will enable you to find the correct temperature for your fabrics to maintain their quality for longer. And you can do other chores as you wait for the set time to end.
It is worth noting that this is one of the best products if you prefer quiet tumbling. The noise is relatively low and won’t interfere with your daily activities. Also, it has an excellent internal detachable multilayer filtration system that allows you to quickly eliminate the lint buildup.
An added advantage of the front-loading COSTWAY dryer is that it enables you to vent inside or outside. This vented dryer has a plastic hose you can connect to the rear dryer vent. You can then find an additional flexible pipe for external venting. And the plastic spacers it has will help with the wall mounting while allowing for proper venting.
Panda Portable Dryer
The 1.5 cubic feet Panda compact laundry clothes dryer is compact and only weighs 37.5 pounds. However, it can still dry 5.5 pounds of wet clothes at a time. So, its small size makes it an excellent option if you have a small home or gym. It will also come in handy if you want to dry your baby’s clothes separately.
Like other options in this list, the drum of this laundry dryer consists of a stainless steel tub that is rust-resistant and durable. It also includes a detachable lint filter, mounting brackets, and an exhaust pipe. In addition, it has adjustable exhaust vent parts that allow for indoor venting. n exhaust vent
In addition, at 850 W, the electric portable dryer is more energy efficient than many other dryers, even though it takes longer to dry clothes. But it has a control panel with different modes that shift between low and high temperatures while setting the drying time you desire, which ranges from 20 to 200 minutes. Also, it produces only 70dB of noise, which is relatively low and tolerable.
Important Features to Look Out for When Buying a Compact Dryer
Below are some things you should be aware of when buying a compact portable dryer for clothes.
What is a Compact Dryer?
The average full-size dryer usually measures 27 inches wide. However, the height and depths of the dryers tend to vary depending on the design. For example, front load dryers tend to have an average height of 39 inches and a depth of 32 to 34 inches. On the other hand, top load dryers tend to be 42 to 44 inches high and 27 to 28 inches deep.
Of course, some brands may make their standard dryers much bigger than the average, especially if their design enables them to handle bigger items or have a high capacity.
However, a compact portable laundry dryer is meant to be much smaller, so it can fit within tinier spaces. That is why a typical drying machine for a tiny home, dorm room, or RV could be as small as a standard dishwasher. So, it won’t be unusual to see one with an average width and depth of 24 inches and a height of 34 inches.
It’s, therefore, safe to assume that a portable clothes dryer will be smaller and lighter, making it easier to move around and store. As a result, it will also have limited cubic feet of space within which to put your laundry. However, it will likely save you energy, water, and even detergent.
How Does a Portable Dryer Work?
How a mini dryer works will depend on the type of dryer. Typically, all portable clothes dryers remove the water from the clothes. But the action by which these items are dried varies. Also, how the heat within the machine is removed differs.
Spin Dryers vs. Tumble Dryers
Many small portable dryers are likely to fall under the spin dryer category. You can take your wet laundry from your portable washing machine, put it in the dryer, and watch as it employs centrifugal forces while spinning your clothes to eliminate excess water.
Since spin dryers use centrifugal forces to remove most of the water from your clothes, they don’t use much energy and time. Each spin session may last about three minutes, but it is the equivalent of running a conventional dryer for at least 25 minutes. Also, they tend to be much cheaper.
In addition, a compact portable electric dryer has a large capacity. Therefore, you can pack more laundry in a small space since air is not required to circulate to dry the clothes.
However, compact spin dryers don’t fully dry your clothes, so you must hang them to dry. In addition, they may be pretty noisy, which can be bothersome if you prefer quiet.
On the other hand, tumble dryers use hot air to air dry clothes. So, for example, if you use an electric clothes dryer version, once you switch it on, the electrical current will create heat by heating the electrical coil within the machine. These coils are similar to those found in ovens. Then a fan in the dryer will blow the heat. And the clothes, which are in the drum, will be rotated using paddles in the drum and start to dry.
The tumble dryer has a thermostat for regulation, so the high temperatures don’t overcook your clothes. And there is also an electric motor to power the fan that brings in the air for heating. In addition, many dryers have a lint filter to catch the fluff from your laundry.
Generally, tumble dryers consume more energy. Also, they have a low load volume compared to spin dryers of a similar size. That’s because if you pack in the clothes, they won’t dry well since hot air will have difficulty circulating through the drying rack. And it would take you a long time to dry them.
Vented Dryers vs. Ventless Dryers
Most tumble dryers, whether electric or gas-powered, use high temperatures to dry clothes, producing a lot of heat. When that heat dries the clothes, it leaves behind steam that must be removed. And that is where an exhaust pipe or vent comes in.
Vented dryers are usually attached to an external vent that allows the humid air within the drying machine to be removed. Those that are gas-powered also need a vent for carbon monoxide removal. And your dryer also needs an exhaust filter to prevent lint buildup, making it a fire hazard.
Generally, vented dryers are cheaper and have a high load capacity. They also dry the clothes faster and won’t impact a room’s humidity levels much.
On the other hand, ventless models are the best option if you want a compact portable dryer to go with your portable washer. That is because they do not require an external vent. And they come in two primary forms.
Condenser dryers use a heat exchanger to cool the air entering the tumbler before it is reheated. The water from the clothes left behind will then be collected in a removable water collection tank or channeled out through a drainage tube.
Since condenser dryers recycle and reheat the same air, they use less energy than vented versions. Also, they are kinder on clothes.
The other form of the ventless dryer is the heat pump dryer. The dryer machine uses a heat pump to keep the air inside it (warm air from the room) continuously hot while it is in use. Since it operates at a lower temperature, it can be twice as energy efficient as a condenser dryer and kinder on clothes. But unfortunately, it also takes longer to dry laundry. And it can be noisy.
Avoiding a gas-powered ventless dryer is always advisable because you are more likely to experience carbon monoxide poisoning.
How to Vent a Portable Dryer?
If a ventless compact portable dryer is not an option, you need one you can vent. Venting a dryer into a small space can be tricky, but it is possible.
Below is the simple procedure for venting a portable dryer.
- Find the exhaust fan at the back of your compact portable dryer and attach the exhaust pipe.
- Connect the right dryer duct to the exhaust pipe and use clamps or dryer vent tape to seal it tightly.
- Run your duct to the nearest door or window.
If you live in an RV, it would be impossible to vent your dryer through the door or window. In such a case, you need to buy an indoor vent kit and follow the instructions to attach it to the dryer’s venting system.
Portable Dryer FAQs
Do portable dryers need a vent?
Yes, portable dryers need a vent in order to properly exhaust the hot air generated during the drying process. Without a vent, the heat and moisture will remain trapped inside the appliance, which can eventually lead to damage.
For a ventless dryer, you’ll need a combo washer/dryer which is ventless and uses heat pump technology to dry clothes. These will set you back about $1,200.
How long does a portable dryer take to dry clothes?
A portable dryer typically takes between 30-60 minutes to dry clothes, depending on the size of the load. Most can only dry a few garments at a time, so it’s important to check the capacity of your appliance before using it. If you have large loads of laundry to do, a portable dryer may not be the most practical option.
Are small dryers worth it?
Small dryers can be a great choice for those who are looking for a compact and affordable drying solution for their laundry. The key to knowing if a small dryer is worth it will depend on the size of your laundry load and the amount of money you want to spend.
Small dryers typically cost less upfront than larger dryers, but may not offer the same features, energy efficiency, or efficiency in drying clothes as larger models do.
If you have a large family or need to regularly dry multiple loads of laundry, a small dryer may not suffice. Ultimately, it’s important to consider what your needs are before deciding if a small dryer is right for you.
All three compact dryers on this list offer something for the buyer. But it’s up to you to decide what you like better. For a high load volume, the Euhomy dryer is the best option. But it’s also the most expensive of the three. If money is an issue, you should consider the Panda portable dryer, which is energy efficient. However, it’s the smallest of them all.
Our overall pick is the Compact laundry dryer, which combines the best of the Panda and Euhomy dryers. It has a decent load capacity and energy efficiency and is relatively lightweight. So, it offers the best value for the money.