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Best 120V Portable Clothes Dryers [2019 Guide]

Panda Portable Laundry Dryer beside dry towels
Portable Tumble Dryers are only one type of portable dryer. Learn about our options below.

The Panda 3.75-cu.ft. Compact Laundry Dryer has a relatively large capacity at 13.2 lbs (about 6 or 7 wet bath towels) while still remaining portable with a weight of 48.5 lbs.  You get a wall-mounting bracket included as well as a 1-year warranty.  Need something even smaller?  The Magic Chef 1.5-cu.ft. Compact Dryer is one of the smallest 120V tumble dryers available with a capacity of 5.5 lbs (about 3 wet bath towels) and weighs 38 lbs.

Compact tumble dryers are generally 24-inches wide with varying depth and height based on capacity. If the Panda still seems too small for you, there are some larger options in the portable dryer category that we’ve included below, but the price jump might shock you as these are higher-end models.

Important Note

This article is primarily about portable dryers that work with a standard 120-volt/60 Hz/15-amp outlet. There are compact dryers that require a 220-240V socket, and you can find those in our Best 220-240V Compact Dryers Buying Guide.

Also, we’d like to clarify that the standard voltage for sockets in the USA is 120V. However, people often use 110V interchangeably as historically 110V, 115V, and 117V have been used at different times and places in North America. Similarly, sockets for high-voltage appliances, such as laundry washers and dryers, is 240V, but it is often discussed as 220V-240V. Source

In this guide, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the features and performance of 120V mini tumble dryers and washer/dryer combos.  These dryers are smaller versions of their 240V counterparts and typically weigh between 30 and 100 lbs depending on what capacity you’re going for.  Clearly, the lighter models can easily be moved when not in use (great for an RV) and are considered portable, but the larger models are best kept in a dedicated spot (best for an apartment).

You should consider these dryers if…

  • You’re in a small apartment or have limited space.
  • You don’t have a 220V-240V outlet available.
  • You’re looking for a dryer that will work in your RV, boat, or camper.
  • You don’t have a dryer vent hookup available.  These electric dryers can be vented indoors.

What Does A Portable Washer and Dryer Setup Look Like?

Drying is only half the story, so with that in mind, here’s a complete portable washer and dryer set that might work for you.  If you’re interested in reading more about the different types of portable washers to complement your dryer, then check out our Portable Washing Machine Buying Guide, otherwise here’s a solution that will work great in an apartment.  If it doesn’t look like this setup will work for you, there are plenty more options to choose from.  For an RV, you are likely looking for a portable washer/dryer combo.  Check out the Splendide WD2100XC Vented Combo Washer/Dryer.

Giantex portable washing machine
Giantex 1.6-cu.ft. Portable Washing Machine

This type of portable washing machine is best used with a water faucet or standard 3/4″ FGH hot/cold connection as a water source.  The Giantex Washer can be hooked up to a faucet or standard washer hot/cold supply and automatically fill and drain as needed until the wash cycle is complete.  You will need an adapter for the 3/4″ FGH connection.  More info on using this washer is in our Portable Washing Machine Buying Guide. Also, if you think you’ll need to move the washer to the sink when you’re doing laundry, get a dolly for easy transport.

panda portable dryer
Panda PAN760SF 3.75-cu.ft. Portable Dryer

The Panda Portable Dryer is one of the largest 110-120V compact dryers that is light and affordable.  Don’t have a vent hookup?  That’s okay.  The Panda can be used along with an indoor dryer vent/filter.  We highly recommend the BetterVent Indoor Dryer Vent as this design doesn’t use water to trap lint and has an effective filter.  The BetterVent is easier to maintain than the other solutions we’ve tested.

Looking for a Different Drying Solution?

If a 120V portable tumble dryer isn’t quite what you’re looking for, then there are more 120V options as well as compact 240V dryers. Maybe you want to avoid having to vent a dryer indoors or you’re looking to save money on your electric bill.

Check out our Choosing the Best Portable Clothes Dryer page to see all the options you can choose from when it comes to portable and compact dryers.

We’ve got a ton more info below to help you make the right purchase.  Use these navigation links to get to the section that interests you.

Quick Picks

Here’s a comparison table of some other portable tumble dryer options you may want to consider. Take measurements of the space that you plan on keeping the dryer and see which option works best for you. Ideally, you want to take full advantage of the space you have available so that you can get the most laundry done at once. Also, remember some of these dryers can be mounted on a wall, which saves you floor space and allows you to stack the dryer above your portable washing machine.

Magic ChefPandaPandaSplendide
Magic Chef MCSDRY15W por;table dryerPanda PAN40SF portable dryerPanda PAN760SF portable dryerWestland Splendide WD2100XC washer/dryer combo
Dimensions (WxDxH)23.8" x 16.1" x 19.5"23.6" x 17.1" x 27.6"23.5" x 22.5" x 27.6"23.5" x 22.6" x 33"
Drum Volume1.5 Cu. Ft.2.65 Cu. Ft.3.75 Cu. Ft.
Capacity (wet laundry)5.5 lbs8.8 lbs13 lbsWash: 15 lbs; Dry: 11 lbs
Temp SettingsCool, Warm, Hot, Air DryCool, Warm, Hot, Air DryCool, Warm, Hot, Air Dry10 Wash cycles; 3 Dry Cycles
VentlessOptional;
Indoor Dryer Vent Not Included
Optional;
Indoor Dryer Vent Not Included
Optional;
Indoor Dryer Vent Not Included
Optional;
Indoor Dryer Vent Not Included
Wall MountYes; Brackets IncludedYes; Brackets IncludedYes; Brackets IncludedNo
Weight38 lbs44 lbs48 lbs148 lbs
Power110-120V110-120V110-120V120V, 60Hz, 11A
Warranty1 year1 year1 year1 year; extended warranty sold by Splendide up to 5 years
Model#MCSDRY15WPAN40SFPAN760SF-GPSWD2100XC
View at AmazonView at AmazonView at AmazonView at Amazon

Where Can I Put A Portable Tumble Dryer?

A mini dryer can fit in unconventional places, such as on countertops, under your kitchen counter, in cramped storage closets, and even mounted on the wall. Being able to plug your dryer into a standard 120V outlet means nowhere is off limits as long as you can fit the dryer.

 

Does your apartment have a balcony?  You could keep your dryer in the outside closet and pull it out when you need it so that you don’t have to vent it indoors. 

Another solution is to simply vent the dryer out of a window as this avoids the extra humidity from the dryer exhaust but might not help much for temperature depending on the season.

RV’s and boats are excellent examples of situations where you can benefit from the portability of these dryers. Smaller models can even be stored away when not in use so that they’re not in your way.

All of the portable tumble dryers we’re reviewing can be used with an indoor dryer vent, which means you don’t need to vent the exhausted air outdoors. Excess lent is captured by a filter that you must clean often.

How Do 120V Dryers Perform Compared To 240V Dryers?

It’s important to understand the electrical requirements of the dryer your buying as well as the electrical capabilities where the dryer is being installed. The most common voltage found in U.S. households is 120V, but we have 240V (often called 220V) outlets in our laundry rooms for our clothes dryers and washers. The current requirements are also critical as most 240V outlets can handle up to 30 Amps, while 120V plugs are usually on a 15A breaker circuit.

Make sure you’re not plugging your dryer into an outlet on the same circuit with other high-current appliances.

Key Points

  • A higher voltage means that a lower current is required to transmit the same amount of power.
  • Your electric bill is based on kilowatt-hours. A kilowatt-hour (KWh) costs the same regardless of voltage, so there is not necessarily a difference in cost between 120VAC or 240 VAC.
  • A 120-volt / 15-amp rated dryer will take longer to produce the same amount of heat as a 240-volt dryer on a 30-amp circuit.

To expand on the last point, this isn’t as bad as it sounds since we’re concerned with compact, low-capacity dryers. Large 7.0 or 9.0 CuFt capacity dryers would be horribly slow with low voltage and current, but the compact dryers we’re looking at here are in the 1.0 to 4.75 CuFt capacity range. That’s much more reasonable.

To summarize, while compact dryers aren’t necessarily any more or less expensive concerning energy costs, they do require more time to perform the same job as a 220-240V dryer.

You can expect a full load to take 2 to 2.5 hours to completely dry with a 120V dryer, even the high-end models.

Capacity and Load Sizes

The capacity of standard washers and dryers are usually given in units of cubic feet and is the total volume of the drum. A good rule of thumb is that you want your dryer to have twice the capacity of your washer to be sure that the dryer can handle the maximum load of the washer.

Drum Capacity1.5 Cu. Ft.2.6 Cu. Ft.3.65-4.0 Cu. Ft.
Laundry Weight5.5 lbs8.8 lbs13 lbs
Estimated Example Load2.5 Bath Towels4 Bath Towels6 Bath Towels

The table below is from the manual provided with the Panda PAN40SF 2.6 cu. ft. portable dryer that we are testing.  In our test at the near-maximum capacity, we comfortably fit 4 large bath towels (52″ x 29″) that were fresh out a washing machine after the spin cycle.  You could fit one more towel, but we decided to see how it performed with 4.

All weights in the table are with wet laundry after a spin cycle in a washer.

 

Drying CapacityDrying Times
High HeatLow Heat
3 lbs30 minutes55 minutes
5 lbs60 minutes110 minutes
7 lbs120 minutes120 minutes
9 lbs200 minutes200 minutes

Using a Portable Dryer in an Apartment

If you’re considering a portable dryer for your apartment, you likely have limited space to work with or you don’t have a dryer exhaust vent (and maybe hot/cold water outlets for a washer as well).

You’ve got a few options…

  1. Simply get a portable washing machine that can partially dry your laundry via its spin cycle, then hang dry your laundry to complete the drying process.  This avoids indoor venting and portable dryer and you only need one machine, but drying space can be an issue.  Taking advantage of wall space can be helpful with wall-mounted drying racks.
  2. If you have a dryer exhaust vent, space is your only concern so getting the largest capacity portable dryer you can fit in your laundry room is best.  Keep in mind most portable dryers are 24″ wide with varying height and depth depending on capacity.
  3. If you do NOT have a dryer exhaust vent, you can go with a ventless setup, set the dryer up to vent out of a window, or even set it on your balcony when you need to use it.  You can get creative with where you place the dryer since it can be plugged into any outlet in your apartment.
  4. Don’t forget many portable tumble dryers can be mounted on the wall (into studs, of course) or you can use a laundry stand.  If you go the wall-mount route, be sure to check with your landlord about putting holes in the wall.

Going Ventless

There are a couple of caveats about venting your dryer indoors due to air quality and safety considerations.

  • Can’t use dryer sheets. They can release dangerous chemicals into your home’s air. Only use dryer sheets if your dryer is vented outdoors.
  • You cannot vent a gas dryer of any kind indoors.

You can buy indoor venting kits for most portable tumble dryers, but gas dryers cannot be vented indoors.  In this article, we are only reviewing 100% electric dryers, but for completeness, we wanted you to know about gas dryers. More information on these indoor venting kits can be found below.

Calling it “ventless” is a bit misleading as it really means the dryer is vented directly into the room it’s sitting in.  This means the warm, humid air gets mixed with your living area’s air.  Unless it’s wintertime, this likely means it will be somewhat competing with your air conditioner.  

How Does Indoor Venting Affect Temp/Humidity?

Panda Portable Dryers tests indoor venting setup
Our Test Setup (not a permanent installation)

This is probably the biggest question you might have when it comes to bringing a portable dryer into your apartment.  To be completely transparent about how we conducted this test, here’s some information about the indoor and outdoor conditions.

Test Conditions

  • Outdoor Temp: 90° F
  • Indoor A/C Setting: 72° F
  • Temp/Humidity Sensor is located 5 feet from the dryer exhaust
  • The room is 12′ x 15′ and has a large west-facing window.
  • Single HVAC vent and a typical ceiling fan
  • BetterVent Indoor Dryer Vent used for filtering the dryer exhaust
  • The dryer is plugged into a Kill-A-Watt for power measurements

As you can see, the outdoor conditions, as well as the window, aren’t favorable.  However, this isn’t supposed to be a favorable test, but rather how we would actually use a ventless dryer set up in our location.  On a clear day with no chance of rain, we could easily set the dryer on our outdoor patio and avoid heating up the apartment, so that’s something to keep in mind.  Panda does not recommend using the dryer outdoors, though if there’s no chance of it getting wet there shouldn’t be an issue.

Our test unit is the Panda PAN40SF Portable dryer with a 2.65 cu. ft. capacity, or about 9 lbs of wet laundry.  We did this test several times using the same 4 towels after putting them through our washing machine and its normal spin cycle.

  • Laundry Starting Weight: 10.2 lbs
  • 4 damp towels (each about 46″ x 27″)
  • Low heat (850W max) – with the timer set at 200 minutes

 

Now, this load finished well before 200 minutes, but on our Panda dryer, the timer setting also corresponds to a heat setting.  For this test, we used the low setting, which sets the max wattage to 850W, and the 200-minute mark corresponds to a heat setting of “Hot.”

Test 1 Panda dryer settings
Settings for Test #1

The process of recording this data was to simply write the measurement into our spreadsheet in 5-minute intervals.  The indoor temperature was taken with a ThermPro temperature/humidty gauge, while the temperature of the air exiting our BetterVent indoor dryer vent was taken with a infrared thermometer at a distance of 16 inches from the vent.

Test #1 low setting - temperature and humidity graph

The temperature peaked around 78° and held steady, while the humidity stayed around 60%.  

This is somewhat a worst-case scenario as our A/C was also battling the typical summer heat and our large window usually makes this room a few degrees warmer than the rest of the apartment.  Overall this test went surprisingly well and even sitting in the room was not uncomfortable at any point.  If you had to do several loads in a row it certainly could push the temperature and humidity up a few points, but you also could avoid doing laundry during the day and wait for the evening or nighttime if this doesn’t seem manageable in your situation.

Test #1 low setting - watts during cycle graph

The Low and High setting on the Panda PAN40SF dryer set the maximum wattage of the dryer, while the timer also sets the heat at the beginning of the cycle.  As you saw in the picture above, the 200-minute mark is at the “Hot” setting and starts the dryer off at the highest heat it can produce on Low (around 850W) or High (around 1500W).

In our wattage graph, you can see how the dryer started high – nearly 900 watts – and decreased over the duration of the cycle as the timer reaches the next lowest setting.  The idea is that by the time your laundry is dry it has cooled down as well.  

How Much Power Did Test #1 Consume?

Cycle Time2 Hours 10 Minutes
kWH1.91
Cost per kWH (local cost)$0.1076
Total Cost$0.2055

You’re looking at about $0.20 per load with a load this size.  Assuming you do one load per day, that would be about $73.00 per year.   If you hang-dry some of your laundry, such as towels or pants, or use other eco-friendly approaches to your laundry you can keep your power bill down.  Unless you’ve spilled food or got sweaty, then you can usually wear pants for an extra day or two.  Towels can be hanged after your shower and reused multiple times.  

If you’re adjusting to an apartment without a large washer and dryer it might not be as bad it seems with one of these portable dryers.

More Information

We will be publishing a thorough review of the Panda PAN40SF Portable Dryer soon (July 2019). The data above is from one of the tests we performed to quantify how indoor venting affects the living space. You’ll be able to find a link here once the review is published.


Using a Portable Dryer in an RV

The vast array of different RV/camper sizes and types mean there isn’t a catch-all solution for handling laundry.  With that in mind, we’re going to look at a few different options that should cover most of the everyday situations you might run into.

RV’s and campers sometimes come with pre-installed washer/dryer setups. However, your if your RV doesn’t have a designated location for a washer/dryer system then you’ll need to do some work, or consider a different solution.

 

Top Choice

Splendide WDC7100XC Washer Dryer Combo

Westland Splendide WDC7100XC Washer/Dryer Combo

The Splendide washer/dryer combo is a popular model that has overwhelmingly positive reviews from full-time RVers. It’s built with RV travel in mind, with heavy-duty springs and shock absorbers, and super-silent technology.

Features:

  • 120V / 60Hz / 15 Amps
  • Dimensions: 33-1/8″ H x 23-1/2″ W x 22-5/8″ D
  • Max Wash Capacity: 15 lbs
  • Max Dry Capacity: 11 lbs
  • Draws about 11 amps
  • Weighs 148 lbs
Check Amazon Price

If you’re replacing a worn-out washer/dryer machine in your RV, then it’s as simple as matching up the connections and getting the machine in place.  The vent connection on the Splendide is located 11″ down from the top on the right-hand side when looking at the machine from the back, which is typical.  

One of the maintenance tasks that you’ll have to keep up with is checking the vent line for lint clogs, which you should be doing anyway.  One owner of the Splendide said he needs to clean the vent line and the internal machine connection once per year.  This is important because reduced air flow can cause the dryer to overheat and blow a fuse.  If you notice your laundry takes longer to dry then that’s a hint that you might need to check the vent piping for clogs.  

For New Installations

If you don’t currently have a washer/dryer machine in your RV, you will need to install a dryer vent so that you can vent the dryer outdoors.  It’s always a good idea to hire a professional for a task like this if you’re not confident in your DIY skills since you will need to cut into the wall and through the exterior of your RV.

Westland VID403A Deluxe Dryer Vent Kit

What You’ll Need For The Installation

What If I Don’t Want To Install A Vent?

Maybe you don’t have the space or don’t want to cut a hole in the side of your camper.  Whatever the reason, there are alternatives that you can consider which don’t require venting.  

It’s hard to beat the convenience of having the all-in-one solution of the washer/dryer combo, but if you’re willing to hang dry your clothes you can avoid products that produce heat and use a spin dryer instead.

Panda Spin Dryer

The Panda Portable Spin dryer weighs 22 lbs and is essentially a standalone machine that does a washing machine’s spin cycle.  If you hand wash your clothes with a non-electric mini washing machine, such as the Laundry Alternative Wonderwash, then you can use this machine to remove as much water from the laundry as possible to shorten drying time.

Obviously, you will need to hang dry the laundry to complete the drying process, but this method doesn’t generate heat, uses minimal electricity, and can be used in even the smallest RV or camper as long as you have a 110-120V power source.

Another Possible Solution for an RV

Now, if you want to flip this problem on its head, then you could get a portable washing machine that has a spin cycle.  Once your laundry has been spun as dry as possible, you can hang it up just like with the spin dryer situation above, and this avoids having to manually wash your laundry.  

Panda PAN56MGW2 Portable Washing Machine

Panda PAN56MGW2 Portable Washing Machine

The Panda Portable Washer has a 1.6 cu. ft. capacity which holds up to 11 lbs of laundry and is powered by a standard 3-prong 110V plug. The washing machine connects directly to a standard faucet and the drain hose can be put in the sink.

Features:

  • 120V / 60Hz / 15 Amps
  • Dimensions: 34″ H x 19″ W x 20″ D
  • Max Wash Capacity: 11 lbs
  • Weighs 51 lbs
  • 1-year Warranty
Check Amazon Price

There are many possibilities when it comes to laundry in an RV, but the space you have available and the sacrifices you’re willing to make are what ultimately decides what product best fits your needs.  Without a doubt, an all-in-one solution like a washer/dryer combo is the most convenient long-term way of keeping your laundry clean on the road, but it’s one of the most expensive solutions we’ve outlined here.

If you’re in a smaller RV and usually rely on laundromats or machines at campgrounds, then maybe one of the simpler solutions is best for you for occasionally washing laundry on the road.


Indoor Dryer Vent Options

Most compact ventless dryers have a filter like the one shown below. It’s inside the drum and acts as the first stage of filtration for the dryer’s exhaust, which helps to keep your ambient air clean.

Dryer filter inside portable dryer
Dryer filter inside portable dryer
Dryer filter removed for cleaning
Dryer filter removed for cleaning

These filters usually need to be cleaned at least once a week, but this really depends on how frequently you use the dryer.

Now, this isn’t enough filtration to vent the portable dryer indoors.  You will need to attach an indoor dryer vent to the dryer’s exhaust port.  We’ve got a few models shown below that will work with any dryer.

We highly recommend the BetterVent Indoor Dryer Vent.  You don’t have to deal with adding water to the lint trap (or emptying it), as it’s merely a set of filters for the air to pass through. You will need to clean out the filters after every few loads.

The Deflecto and Dundas models use a reservoir of water to trap lint. After every one or two loads, you will need to add water and possibly clean out the trap.

BetterVent indoor dryer vent

BetterVent Indoor Dryer Vent

Does not use water. Double filter system. Needs to be mounted vertically on wall; parts are included for installation.

BetterVent replacement filters

Replacement Filters

The indoor dryer vents below are alternatives to the BetterVent, and at the time this article was updated they were significantly cheaper.  However, they use water to capture lint and some people find them more inconvenient to use than the BetterVent style dryer vent.

Other Vent Options

Deflecto dryer vent kit

Deflecto Dryer Lint Trap

Uses water to capture lint. Transition duct, 2 clamps, and lint trap are included. Vertically mount on the wall; parts are included for installation.

Remember, these types of attachments do not get rid of the heat. If you live in an area with hot summer weather, then consider getting a dehumidifier to keep in the same room with your ventless dryer. Obviously, the smaller the dryer and the shorter the length of your drying cycle the less heat and humidity you will have to deal with.


Dryer Comparison Tables by Capacity

We’ve grouped the dryers by the capacity of the drum, which is usually provided by the manufacturer in units of cubic feet. You might also see dryer capacity given by the maximum weight of a load.

More Info on Dryer Capacity and Size

All of the portable tumble dryers shown below have a 24-inch width.  The larger capacity means the dryer as more depth and/or height. 

Taking measurements of the area you’re going to install the dryer is your first task. Keep in mind the pipes and hoses as well. Generally, the standard exhaust vent is 4 inches in diameter. Don’t forget to leave room for the door to open and close!

The measurements we include in our product tables below:

  • Overall Dimensions (WxDxH)
  • Drum Volume

Capacity can also be shown in terms of the weight of the wet clothes being loaded. We include the drum volume when it’s provided by the manufacturer’s specifications, but if we can’t find documentation, we will include the clothes weight if it’s provided.

A good rule-of-thumb is you can fit about 3 lbs of wet laundry per cubic foot of dryer capacity.

If you’re considering a washer/dryer combo model, then keep in mind that they’re usually larger than a standalone dryer or washer. Among washer/dryer combos and the standalone dryers within the same capacity range, we typically see the height and depth (how far it sticks out from the wall) being the dimensions that account for their larger size. Once you pick a width that you can work with, start looking at height and depth.


1.0+ Cu. Ft. Capacity Dryers

There aren’t a ton of options in this size category, but these models have all the essential features and support ventless drying. Only the Panda comes with the ventless kit, but if you prefer the other models, the kit can be purchased separately. Overall we think the Panda is an excellent choice for the 1.0+ CuFt category.

Magic Chef
Panda
Costway
Magic Chef Compact Electric MCSDRY15W 1.5 cu. ft. Laundry Dryer, White
Panda 1.50 cu.ft Compact Laundry Dryer, White and Black
COSTWAY Electric Compact Laundry Dryer, 10LBS Capacity Portable Clothes Dryer with Stainless Steel Tub, Control Panel Downside Easy Control for 4 Automatic Drying Mode, White
Dimensions (WxLxH)
19.5" x 16.1" x 23.8"
19.5" x 16" x 23.8"
19.5" W x 16.5" D x 24" H
Body Volume
4.32 Cu. Ft.
4.3 Cu. Ft.
4.46 Cu. Ft.
Drum Volume
1.5 Cu. Ft.
1.5 Cu. Ft.
1.5 Cu. Ft.
Wattage
850
850
850
Temp Settings
4
4
4
Cycle Settings
Adjustable Timer
Adjustable Timer
Adjustable Timer
Ventless
Yes; Indoor Kit Not Included
Yes; Indoor Kit Included
Yes; Indoor Kit Not Included
Weight
37.5 lbs
37.5
37.5
Model#
MCSDRY15W
PAN725SF
23598-CYPE
Magic Chef
Magic Chef Compact Electric MCSDRY15W 1.5 cu. ft. Laundry Dryer, White
Dimensions (WxLxH)
19.5" x 16.1" x 23.8"
Body Volume
4.32 Cu. Ft.
Drum Volume
1.5 Cu. Ft.
Wattage
850
Temp Settings
4
Cycle Settings
Adjustable Timer
Ventless
Yes; Indoor Kit Not Included
Weight
37.5 lbs
Model#
MCSDRY15W
Panda
Panda 1.50 cu.ft Compact Laundry Dryer, White and Black
Dimensions (WxLxH)
19.5" x 16" x 23.8"
Body Volume
4.3 Cu. Ft.
Drum Volume
1.5 Cu. Ft.
Wattage
850
Temp Settings
4
Cycle Settings
Adjustable Timer
Ventless
Yes; Indoor Kit Included
Weight
37.5
Model#
PAN725SF
Costway
COSTWAY Electric Compact Laundry Dryer, 10LBS Capacity Portable Clothes Dryer with Stainless Steel Tub, Control Panel Downside Easy Control for 4 Automatic Drying Mode, White
Dimensions (WxLxH)
19.5" W x 16.5" D x 24" H
Body Volume
4.46 Cu. Ft.
Drum Volume
1.5 Cu. Ft.
Wattage
850
Temp Settings
4
Cycle Settings
Adjustable Timer
Ventless
Yes; Indoor Kit Not Included
Weight
37.5
Model#
23598-CYPE

All three of these models operate at the same wattage and can be vented indoors. In addition to the lent filter, there is an exhaust filter that must be cleaned as well. The exhaust filter helps make sure no lint makes it out of the dryer if you’re venting it indoors.

Test 1 Panda dryer settings

 

The heat generated by these models is similar to a small space heater of similar wattage. It’s not too uncomfortable, and indeed is significantly less heat than a standard, full-size dryer. You can expect full loads to take 1.5 to 2.5 hours to completely dry, but this depends on the temperature setting you use, type of fabric, and wetness.

The dry cycle settings for all three models are essentially the same. You get 4 different temperature settings with an adjustable timer.

  • Cool (0-20mins)
  • Warm (20-120mins)
  • Hot (120-200mins)
  • Air Dry (0-80mins)

The times shown above are the timer settings you’ll want to use when drying a load to achieve the desired temperature. There are warmup and cooldown periods, so if you’re going to dry a load in an hour, you will want to set it to one of the higher settings to make sure it dries at a hotter temperature than if you had just set the timer to an hour. 

One thing to be aware of is that you can overdry your laundry with a timed dryer.  Many of the more sophisticated units, especially in the washer/dryer combo section below, have sensors that automatically detect the moisture level and heat within the dryer to determine when your laundry is finished.  You’re not going to get that with these portable dryers.  It’s best to get an idea of how long a typical load takes and check the dryer around the 1.5 hour mark.

If you have space, jumping into the 2.0+ CuFt category is recommended. You won’t want to get the smallest possible dryer, but instead, see how much you can squeeze into your space.


2.0+ Cu. Ft. Capacity Dryers

Magic Chef
Top Pick
Panda
Haier
Magic Chef MCPMCSCDRY1S MCSDRY1S 2.6 cu. ft. Laundry Dryer, White
Panda PAN40SF Portable Compact Cloth Dryer, 2.65cu.ft, 9lbs, White
Haier HLP141E 2.6 cu. ft. Compact Electric Vented Dryer
Dimensions (WxLxH)
23.6" x 17.1" x 25.6"
23.6" x 17.1" x 27.6"
24.88" x 16.75" x 27"
Drum Volume
2.6 Cu. Ft.
2.65 Cu. Ft.
2.6 Cu. Ft.
Wattage
1400
850W on Low; 1500 on High
1400
Temp Settings
4
4
3
Cycle Settings
4 Options with additional Eco Mode
Adjustable Timer
5
Ventless
Optional; Indoor Kit Included
Optional; Kit Not Included
Optional; Kit Not Included
Wall Mount
Yes; Bracket Included
Yes; Bracket Included
Yes; Bracket Included
Weight
48.4
48 lbs
57.3
Model#
MCSDRY1S
PAN40SF
HLP141E
Magic Chef
Magic Chef MCPMCSCDRY1S MCSDRY1S 2.6 cu. ft. Laundry Dryer, White
Dimensions (WxLxH)
23.6" x 17.1" x 25.6"
Drum Volume
2.6 Cu. Ft.
Wattage
1400
Temp Settings
4
Cycle Settings
4 Options with additional Eco Mode
Ventless
Optional; Indoor Kit Included
Wall Mount
Yes; Bracket Included
Weight
48.4
Model#
MCSDRY1S
Top Pick
Panda
Panda PAN40SF Portable Compact Cloth Dryer, 2.65cu.ft, 9lbs, White
Dimensions (WxLxH)
23.6" x 17.1" x 27.6"
Drum Volume
2.65 Cu. Ft.
Wattage
850W on Low; 1500 on High
Temp Settings
4
Cycle Settings
Adjustable Timer
Ventless
Optional; Kit Not Included
Wall Mount
Yes; Bracket Included
Weight
48 lbs
Model#
PAN40SF
Haier
Haier HLP141E 2.6 cu. ft. Compact Electric Vented Dryer
Dimensions (WxLxH)
24.88" x 16.75" x 27"
Drum Volume
2.6 Cu. Ft.
Wattage
1400
Temp Settings
3
Cycle Settings
5
Ventless
Optional; Kit Not Included
Wall Mount
Yes; Bracket Included
Weight
57.3
Model#
HLP141E

The Panda PAN40SF is the model you saw in our tests earlier.  We highly recommend this dryer and it includes the wall-mount brackets and only requires you to buy an indoor dryer vent if you plan on venting indoors.

The features and settings on these three dryers are almost exactly the same; however, the Haier doesn’t have an adjustment knob for the timed dry and instead has 5 different pre-programmed times.

It may not be evident until you actually have one of these compact dryers in front of you and you start loading it that you realize how big the jump from 1.5 CuFt to 2.5 CuFt capacity really is. Drying large blankets is impossible for smaller dryers. Just to reinforce what was stated above, if you have the space to spare then get the largest compact dryer you can reasonably fit. You’ll be thankful.


3.0+ Cu. Ft. Capacity Dryers

Magic Chef
Panda
Whirlpool
Danby
Costway
Magic Chef MCSDRY35W 3.5 cu ft Compact Electric Dryer, White
Panda 3.75 cu.ft Compact Laundry Dryer, White
Whirlpool LDR3822PQ White 120V Electric Dryer
Danby DDY060WDB Portable Dryer, White
Costway Electric Tumble Dryer Compact Stainless Steel Clothes Laundry Dryer (3.21 Cu.Ft.)
Dimensions (WxLxH)
23.6" x 21.5" x 32.2"
23.6" x 21.2" x 26"
23.88" x 20.75" x 32.5"
23.62" x 21.44" x 32.45"
23.75" x 22.5" x 27"
Body Volume
9.46 Cu. Ft.
8.45 Cu. Ft.
9.29 Cu. Ft.
9.5 Cu. Ft.
8.35 Cu. Ft.
Drum Volume
3.5 Cu. Ft.
3.75 Cu. Ft.
3.4 Cu. Ft.
3.2 Cu. Ft.
3.21 Cu. Ft.
Wattage
1500
1500
1500
1500
1500
Temp Settings
3
4
3
3
4
Cycle Settings
4
Adjustable Timer
3; Adjustable Timer
4
7; Adjustable Timer
Ventless
Optional; Indoor Kit Not Included
Optional; Kit Included
Optional; Kit Not Included
Optional; Kit Not Included
Optional; Kit Not Included
Wall Mount
Yes; Brackets Included
Yes; Bracket Included
No
Yes; Bracket Included
No
Weight
48.4 lbs
48 lbs
91 lbs
57.3 lbs
57.2 lbs
Model#
MCSDRY35W
PAN60SF
LDR3822PQ
DDY060WDB
23047-CYWH-CS
Magic Chef
Magic Chef MCSDRY35W 3.5 cu ft Compact Electric Dryer, White
Dimensions (WxLxH)
23.6" x 21.5" x 32.2"
Body Volume
9.46 Cu. Ft.
Drum Volume
3.5 Cu. Ft.
Wattage
1500
Temp Settings
3
Cycle Settings
4
Ventless
Optional; Indoor Kit Not Included
Wall Mount
Yes; Brackets Included
Weight
48.4 lbs
Model#
MCSDRY35W
Panda
Panda 3.75 cu.ft Compact Laundry Dryer, White
Dimensions (WxLxH)
23.6" x 21.2" x 26"
Body Volume
8.45 Cu. Ft.
Drum Volume
3.75 Cu. Ft.
Wattage
1500
Temp Settings
4
Cycle Settings
Adjustable Timer
Ventless
Optional; Kit Included
Wall Mount
Yes; Bracket Included
Weight
48 lbs
Model#
PAN60SF
Whirlpool
Whirlpool LDR3822PQ White 120V Electric Dryer
Dimensions (WxLxH)
23.88" x 20.75" x 32.5"
Body Volume
9.29 Cu. Ft.
Drum Volume
3.4 Cu. Ft.
Wattage
1500
Temp Settings
3
Cycle Settings
3; Adjustable Timer
Ventless
Optional; Kit Not Included
Wall Mount
No
Weight
91 lbs
Model#
LDR3822PQ
Danby
Danby DDY060WDB Portable Dryer, White
Dimensions (WxLxH)
23.62" x 21.44" x 32.45"
Body Volume
9.5 Cu. Ft.
Drum Volume
3.2 Cu. Ft.
Wattage
1500
Temp Settings
3
Cycle Settings
4
Ventless
Optional; Kit Not Included
Wall Mount
Yes; Bracket Included
Weight
57.3 lbs
Model#
DDY060WDB
Costway
Costway Electric Tumble Dryer Compact Stainless Steel Clothes Laundry Dryer (3.21 Cu.Ft.)
Dimensions (WxLxH)
23.75" x 22.5" x 27"
Body Volume
8.35 Cu. Ft.
Drum Volume
3.21 Cu. Ft.
Wattage
1500
Temp Settings
4
Cycle Settings
7; Adjustable Timer
Ventless
Optional; Kit Not Included
Wall Mount
No
Weight
57.2 lbs
Model#
23047-CYWH-CS

The Panda PAN60SF is one of the highest-rated models in this category, and from our experience with the PAN40SF we can say that the performance and quality are great for a dryer in this price range.  You must purchase an indoor dryer vent if you want to vent indoors, just like the other models we’ve reviewed in this article.

For a modest weight and size increase, you get quite a bit more capacity than with the PAN40SF, so if you’ve got the space to spare then getting the largest portable dryer you can fit is the best option.


Top 120V Compact Washer/Dryer Combos

Westland SplendideWestland SplendideLGLG
Westland Splendide WD2100XC washer/dryer comboLG WM3997HWA washer dryer comboLG WM3488HW washer dryer combo
Dimensions (WxLxH)23.5" x 22.25" x 33.12"23.4" x 22" x 33.75"27" x 29.75" x 38.7"23.5" x 26" x 34"
Drum Volume15 lbs Wash / 11 lbs Dry Capacity15 lbs Wash / 11 lbs Dry Capacity4.3 cu. ft.2.3 cu. ft.
Temp Settings5555
Cycle Settings13131414
VentlessYes, CondensingYes, Indoor Vent Kit Not IncludedYes, CondensingYes, Condensing
Weight148 lbs148 lbs211 lbs156 lbs
Electrical120V, 10.5 Amps120V, 10.5 Amps120V, 10 Amps120V, 10 Amps
Model#WDC7100XCWD2100XCWM3997HWAWM3488HW
View on AmazonView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon

One thing to keep in mind about washer/dryer combos is that they’re heavy.  Significantly heavier than either a washer or dryer alone.  That means your not going to be able to mount these on the wall.

Many washer/dryer combos using ventless condensing technology for the dryer, but you can also get a standard heat pump as well such as the WD2100XC above. 

How does a condensing dryer work?

Ambient air is pulled into the dryer and heated by a heating element, similar to a standard heat pump dryer, and hot air circulates the drum and evaporates moisture from the laundry.  The hot and humid air is circulated through the condenser which cools it and water is collected under the condenser which is then pumped out of the drain hose.  The drain hose can be put into the washer drain.

This results in less humid air being exhausted into the room than with a standard heat pump and this method uses a less intense heat so that fabric isn’t damaged.

Now, if you’re buying for an RV you generally don’t want a condensing dryer.  For such small living spaces, you don’t want the dryer exhausting air back into the RV, so you’ll want to stick with a standard vented dryer like the Splendide WD2100XC.

For an apartment, these are an extremely compact and efficient option if you have very limited space and no dryer vent connection, but you’ll need a drain for the washer and condenser function.


Final Thoughts

We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with any of the dryers we’ve discussed above. What worked for your apartment or RV?

Leave a comment below or contact us through email if you have any questions.

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