The 8 Best Dryer Balls to Reduce Static and Drying Time
To be honest, I never truly believed that dryer balls—often made of wool—could actually cut down on drying time and help elongate the life of your clothes, but I'm officially a convert. Not only did my recent loads of laundry have zero static after using my new favorite dryer balls, but I spoke with Branch Basics co-founder Kelly Love (who happens to know a lot about natural laundry practices) about how dryer balls really work and why you should use them instead of dryer sheets.
What's the difference between dryer balls and dryer sheets?
If you're unsure how dryer balls can really be effective, Love suggests giving them a try because they are great for reducing lint and static, and will even grab pet hair.
"Dryer balls separate clothes better than dryer sheets, allowing hot air to circulate more evenly and efficiently, which then reduces drying time," she says. "Because the wool from the dryer balls is so absorbent, dryer balls can reduce drying time by 10 to 25 percent. Ultimately, over-drying can damage clothes as well as increase static. You can also use lower temperature settings with dryer balls, which also helps reduce damage to clothes.
How can I tell if dryer balls are actually working on my clothes?
"The primary way is by shorter drying time. If your clothes take less time to get dry in a dryer cycle, you know they're working," Love says. "They should also help minimize static and wrinkles. It's worth noting that synthetic clothing like workout clothes can create a lot of static so I recommended hang-drying to get the most static-reducing benefits."
If you've been using dryer balls for a while, you should remember that they typically last up to 1,000 loads of laundry or about two to three years. Even though your dryer balls may experience pilling, they are guaranteed to continue softening your clothes without the added toxic chemicals of dryer sheets. Since I just started using wool dryer balls regularly, one of my favorite tips that Love shared is sticking safety pins through each ball (you should be using three per load) to help discharge and static. She also suggested if you like a little extra fresh scent, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil before using them on a no-heat tumble dry setting.
If you've tried all the cult-favorite laundry products including everything from this best-selling fabric defuzzer to this portable clothes steamer, now's the time to bite the bullet and finally hop on the dryer ball bandwagon, too. Below you'll find the eight best dryer balls to try, because who said you had to keep using the same boring laundry products?
The Best Dryer Balls to Try
- Best Overall: Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls
- Best for Linens: Branch Basics
- Best Organic: Woolzies Wool Dryer Balls
- Best for Lint: Handy Laundry Wool Dryer Balls
- Best for Static: Parachute Wool Dryer Balls
- Best for Pet Hair: Ecoigy Wool Dryer Balls
- Best Plastic: Whitmor Dryer Balls
- Best Wrinkle-Reducing: SnugPad XL Wool Dryer Balls
Best Overall: Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls
With more than 35,000 five-star ratings, Smart Sheep’s dryer balls are one of the best-selling sets on Amazon. They’re handmade in Nepal from a quality New Zealand wool that softens your laundry while minimizing static, lint, and wrinkles. Perfect for any load size or cycle length, whether it be towels, bedding, or clothes, each ball is designed to last between two to four years. Plus, they’re hypoallergenic, so they won’t irritate sensitive skin, and also help prevent your clothes from balling up in the dryer.
Best for Linens: Branch Basics Dryer Balls
Eco-friendly and made in the U.S., these dryer balls are completely pesticide-free, chemical-free, and won’t leave a residue on your clothing like a dryer sheet or fabric softener might. According to reviewers, the large size of these sustainably-made wool dryer balls makes them great for big loads and increasing the softness of their linens, particularly when it came to the fluffiness of their towels.
Best Organic: Woolzies Wool Dryer Balls
With more than 3,000 five-star reviews, this set of six dryer balls made from 100 percent organic wool is a customer favorite because reviewers claim they last a lot longer than 1,000 loads, and they also come in other fun colors, including gray, pink, and purple. They’ve even been found to reduce drying time by 25 percent, which your wallet will thank you for later.
Best for Lint: Handy Laundry Wool Dryer Balls
Made from pure New Zealand wool and free of PVC materials, this top-rated dryer ball set tackles lint with ease thanks to its tightly-wound and felted exterior. They have over 22,000 five-star ratings and more than 3,000 glowing reviews on Amazon; shoppers noted that they even help remove lint from notoriously fuzz magnets like black cotton leggings, sheets, and blankets.
Best for Static: Parachute Wool Dryer Balls
Parachute’s dryer ball set will help you say goodbye to pesky static and hello to fluffy softness. It’s made from 100 percent New Zealand wool, which is hypoallergenic and free of chemicals. Reviewers shared that the dryer balls help remove static cling from clothes and linen better than their go-to dryer sheets, adding that they also make a huge difference in drying time. In fact, the brand says their version dries in 50 percent less time than other dryer balls.
Best for Pet Hair: Ecoigy Wool Dryer Balls
While these may seem like your average wool dryer balls from the outside, Amazon shoppers shared that they’re actually a must-have for pet owners for their cat and dog hair-removing abilities. One reviewer wrote, “We have cats and dogs and the hair never goes away. Not only [is there] no hair on [our] clothes, but [they’re] static-free and smelling clean.” They also help decrease drying time up to 40 percent, and they’re sensitive skin-friendly and biodegradable.
Best Plastic: Whitmor Dryer Balls
Those who prefer plastic dryer balls to wool ones are in good hands with this four-piece set from Whitmor. Their spikey design actually massages your clothes while they’re drying, which helps remove static, lint, and wrinkles while boosting softness. Reviewers also noted that their rubber material doesn’t bang against the dryer and that they’re quieter than similarly-styled dryer balls.
Best Wrinkle-Reducing: SnugPad XL Wool Dryer Balls
These dryer balls from SnugPad make wrinkling a worry of the past with their premium wool and extra-large design, which helps them lift, separate, and better absorb moisture from your laundry. The result: less static and even fewer wrinkles. According to Amazon shoppers, who have given this dryer ball set over 14,000 five-star ratings, they work well with a variety of fabrics and they also saw an improvement in lint and the vibrancy of their clothes. One reviewer shared, “What surprised me was the white clothes are whiter… and all types of fabrics just feel better, softer, and fluffier. I now realize they had been feeling like there was a film on them.”