The best dryer balls

Laundering & Fabric Care

Experts suggest attaching a safety pin to wool dryer balls to reduce static cling. Adding aluminum foil balls to a particularly clingy load can also help.

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Which dryer balls are best?

On laundry day, fabric softeners and dryer sheets leave a lovely lasting scent. Lovely, that is unless you have allergies. However, dryer balls are a great fragrance-free alternative. You receive the benefits associated with dryer sheets, such as less static, fewer wrinkles, shorter drying times and fabric softening without the heavy scent.

Also, they can be used hundreds of times each, potentially saving you money and avoiding adding to the collection of dryer sheets already in landfills around the world. Our top pick is a set of six made with high-quality organic wool.

What you need to know before buying dryer balls

The basic idea with dryer balls is they bounce through the wet clothing, separating items and layers, allowing warm air to circulate through for faster drying times. They also soften everything in the process by colliding with the fabrics over and over. Wool dryer balls retain and redistribute heat as they circulate through a load. 

There are more than one kind

Dryer balls come in either wool or plastic offerings, and there are advantages and disadvantages with each. Wool dryer balls are quieter than plastic ones, but they sometimes leave natural wool fibers on clothing. Plastic dryer balls make noise, but they are generally less expensive and leave nothing on apparel.

Drying times may vary

Drying times depend on many factors, including the power of your particular dryer, the size of the load, fabric types and more. There are also disputes about dryer time claims. Even if dryer balls only saved a few seconds each load, it adds up over the years. And no one can dispute dryer balls lead to less in the landfill and fewer chemicals in your laundry.

They have a lifespan

Dryer balls will eventually wear out. Though they have a significant lifespan, experts estimate both wool and plastic options last 2-4 years. 

What to look for in a quality dryer ball

Dryer balls are an excellent alternative for allergy sufferers, those who care about the environment and those looking to save money, among others. This makes the choice subjective, and the best dryer ball for you might not be the best for someone else. 

For vegans, a plastic dryer ball without animal products whatsoever makes the most sense, but others may value the potential softening effect of the natural oils in wool dryer balls. We picked a set that we think would work the best for most people, but in some ways, buying a small pack of a couple of different kinds makes sense to experiment and find what you might like best. The following are a few other elements to consider.

Size

Dryer balls come in different sizes, with some as small as golf balls and others a little larger than softballs. However, all have a similar positive impact on laundry.

Color

The color of plastic dryer balls does not matter, but the wool ones require some consideration due to the fibers they may leave on your clothing. You might want to get one color for your whites and one for your darks so that you don’t have tiny black fibers on your white towels, for instance. 

Options for scent

Even for those with allergies, a light scent can be a nice addition to your laundry. With wool dryer balls, you simply add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the surface. There are also some plastic dryer balls designed to allow the addition of scent. They are generally much more expensive than other plastic options, though. 

How much you can expect to spend on dryer balls

The average dryer ball should last 2-4 years, and most sets cost $10-$30. That means, at any price point, there is a potential to save money in those 2-4 years on the dryer sheets you will no longer purchase.

Dryer ball FAQ

How many dryer balls do I need per load?

A. Anywhere between two and four should be fine for most loads. For larger loads, it is worth doubling that amount. It would be difficult to use less since they come in packs of at least two.

How do I know it is time for a new set?

A. The wool balls will start to unravel and pill, and the plastic kind will crack. Don’t worry too much about a bit of discoloration on either type of dryer ball, though, as it won’t transfer to clothing. 

What are the best dryer balls to buy?

Top dryer balls

Friendsheepy Organic Eco Wool

Friendsheepy Organic Eco Wool

What you need to know: This handmade and fair trade choice is a guilt-free option with a fun graphic and comes in a nice storage bag.

What you’ll love: This handmade choice is built to last.

What you should consider: You may get a slight wool smell with this one, but it will likely fade over time.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top dryer balls for the money

Buddiegs Organic Wool

Buddiegs Organic Wool

What you need to know: This is not the cutest option, but it works well, has lots of fans and costs about a third of what the top product does.  

What you’ll love: The low price and carrying bag will be noticeably excellent.

What you should consider: There were some reports that these left laundry a little more wrinkly than expected.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Whitmor Dryer Balls

Whitmor Dryer Balls

What you need to know: If you do not want to use animal products of any kind, this is a great choice.

What you’ll love: The spiked design helps soften fabric and shorten drying times.

What you should consider: There’s not an easy way to add scent with this option.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Angie Parkinson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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