The 9 Best Dryer Balls of 2022 to Shorten Drying Time and Soften Clothing

We chose the Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls as our best overall pick because they are made of 100% premium New Zealand wool, free of chemicals, and many designs.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

9 Best Dryer Balls of 2022

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If you’re looking for an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to dryer sheets or fabric softeners, you should consider adding dryer balls to your laundry routine. The best dryer balls decrease drying time and soften your clothing while reducing wrinkles, static cling, and pet hair. You can choose from wool or plastic and purchase just one or a multi-pack.

Before creating this list, we researched options and turned to Patric Richardson, the Laundry Evangelist, about the factors to consider when shopping for the best dryer balls. According to Richardson, dryer balls should be firm and smooth, about the size of a tennis ball. We chose the Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls as our best overall pick because they are made of 100% premium New Zealand wool, free of chemicals, and available in three designs.

Here are the best dryer balls, according to our research.

Best Overall: Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls

5
Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls

Smart Sheep

Why You Should Get It: Made of 100% New Zealand wool, these dryer balls do not contain any chemicals, synthetics, or fillers which makes them a great choice if you have sensitive skin. 
Keep in Mind:
Since these dryer balls are on the large side, they may take up more space in your dryer than others on our list, so you might not be able to dry too much clothing at once.

Made of 100% premium New Zealand wool, these natural dryer balls are free of chemicals, synthetics, or fillers, making a great choice if you have sensitive skin or are washing baby clothes. They are also free of petroleum which is sometimes found in plastic dryer balls.

Smart Sheep is a women-owned and operated company manufacturing the best dryer balls from Nepal. They use ethical fair-trade practices and are inspected and packaged in the U.S. by work-from-home moms. These handmade, eco-friendly wool dryer balls can be used more than a thousand times. They are a great alternative to liquid fabric softeners and dryer sheets, which help reduce landfill waste.

These wool dryer balls help dry clothes faster which saves time, money, and energy. Use them to soften your clothing, reduce wrinkles, and trap pet hair. We recommend using three for small or medium loads of laundry and five to six for large loads of laundry. The extra large size is ideal when drying larger items like towels. There are three colors and designs to choose from–white, marching penguins, or gray smiling sheep. As a perk for ordering this six-pack of wool dryer balls, you’ll also receive Smart Sheep laundry detergent strips for free.

Price at time of publish: $20

Product Details:

  • Quantity: Six
  • Material: Wool
  • Scent: Unscented

Best Budget: S&T INC. Reusable Laundry Dryer Balls

Reusable Laundry Dryer Balls

S&T INC.

Why You Should Get It: These plastic dryer balls are affordable without sacrificing function.
Keep in Mind:
They can be noisier than wool dryer balls when hitting the sides of your dryer.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative to dryer sheets, try these reusable plastic dryer balls. They come in four colors (blue, dark blue, light blue, and orange) and can be purchased as a four or six-pack to fit your preferences. For best results, use two to three of these plastic dryer balls in a standard-sized load of laundry and four to six in large loads of laundry. If they get dirty, throw them in the washing machine to keep them fresh after multiple loads of laundry.

The best dryer balls evenly dry your clothing while reducing the overall dry time, which is why we love these. They increase airflow and decrease dry time by lifting and separating your clothes while in the dryer. They also have plastic tips, which help soften your clothing and decrease static. We recommend these plastic dryer balls because they offer a quick, affordable, and energy-efficient way to soften and fluff your laundry. Just remember that they may be a little noisier than wool dryer balls.

Price at time of publish: From $10

Product Details:

  • Quantity: Six
  • Material: Plastic
  • Scent: Unscented

Best Splurge: Friendsheep Wool Dryer Balls

4.6
Friendsheep Wool Dryer Balls

Free the Ocean

Why You Should Get It: These organic wool dryer balls can reduce drying time by up to 40%.
Keep in Mind:
They are more expensive than most dryer balls but offer great features, making them worth the price.  

Although more expensive than the other dryer balls on our list, these by Friendsheep are worth the splurge because they can reduce drying time by up to 40%. They are made of 100% pure New Zealand wool and free of chemicals, fillers, and fragrances–safe to use if you have sensitive skin or when washing baby clothes. This set comes with six extra large wool dryer balls with koala bear designs. They can be safely used with all types of laundry, including colored, white, and dark clothing. 

If you want to minimize time spent doing laundry and do your part in helping the planet, consider these eco-friendly wool dryer balls. They are free of plastic and come with compostable paper packaging and an organic cotton storage bag. Best of all, Friendsheep plants one tree for each pack sold. These fair trade wool dryer balls are handmade in Nepal, supporting underprivileged women, fair wages, and ethical conditions.

These splurge-worthy wool dryer balls made our list because they are hypoallergenic, eco-friendly, and effective at drying clothing. We also love that they maintain the absorbency of towels and help remove pet hair and lint. Even though they are a little pricey, you’ll save money in the long run because you won’t have to use dryer sheets or fabric softener. 

Price at time of publish: $32

Product Details:

  • Quantity: Six
  • Material: Wool
  • Scent: Unscented

Best Wool: Handy Laundry Wool Dryer Balls

Handy Laundry Wool Dryer Balls

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Why You Should Get It: These reusable and durable dryer balls are handmade with 100% New Zealand wool.
Keep in Mind:
These dryer balls don’t have a scent, but you can add essential oils.

We chose the Handy Laundry Store Wool Dryer Balls as our pick for the best wool dryer balls because of their quality and drying efficiency. Made of 100% New Zealand wool that’s tightly hand-rolled, felted, and free of fillers, these wool dryer balls are long-lasting and durable.

The best wool dryer balls cut down dry time and save energy which is why these wool dryer balls made our list. With a three-inch diameter, these oversized dryer balls are larger than many of the options on our list, meaning they are a good choice for drying items like towels. They lift and separate laundry while in the dryer, creating better air circulation and reducing drying time by up to 25%. This allows you to dry your clothes more quickly while saving energy costs. 

Using these wool dryer balls helps your clothing feel fluffier and softer without dryer sheets or liquid fabric softeners. Other benefits include fewer wrinkles and static cling. Although these dryer balls are unscented, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a fresh scent.

Price at time of publish: $12

Product Details:

  • Quantity: Six
  • Material: Wool
  • Scent: Unscented

Best Scented: Woolzies Organic Lavender Wool Dryer Balls

lavender wool dryer balls

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Why You Should Get It: These organic wool dryer balls feature essential oils to keep your laundry smelling fresh. 
Keep in Mind:
The essential oils should be added after your clothes are already dry, which requires additional time in the dyer. 

If you’re looking for scented dryer balls, try these organic lavender ones by Woolzies. They are made of 100% pure New Zealand wool (like most of the options on our list) and are free of chemicals, fillers, or additives. To keep your laundry smelling fresh, use the included essential oils. You can choose from four different scents, lavender (our favorite!), Citrus Clean, Petal Fresh, and Still Breeze, but are sold separately. To use the essential oils, add three to six drops to the dryer balls and throw them in the dryer with your clothes after they are dried. Run a no-heat, air-fluff cycle for 10 minutes.

These eco-friendly and hypoallergenic dryer balls come in a six-pack. For best results, use all six with a large load of laundry and three with a small load. Since they are designed to keep your clothing soft and fresh while removing static and wrinkles, you may not need to iron your clothes which could save you additional time. These reusable scented dryer balls are anti-shedding and suitable if you’re sensitive to wool. 

Price at time of publish: $23

Product Details:

  • Quantity: Six
  • Material: Wool
  • Scent: Lavender

Best Plastic: Whitmor Dryer Balls

 Whitmor Dryer Balls

Why You Should Get It: These plastic dryer balls have soft spikes to help soften your clothing. 
Keep in Mind:
Although a good value, this set only comes with four dryer balls, and most on our list come with six.

These eco-friendly plastic dryer balls have soft spikes that naturally fluff up and soften laundry without using chemicals or toxic materials. They also lift and separate your clothing while in the dryer, which provides more efficient airflow and reduces drying time. 

These dryer balls are designed to prevent clothes from twisting, tangling, or rubbing against each other which results in less static. They are also effective at reducing wrinkles, so you might not need to iron your clothes after they come out of the dryer. Using these dryer balls also helps eliminate waste since they can be used in place of fabric softener. These durable and reusable plastic dryer balls have a 2.63-inch diameter and come in a set of four. At less than $10, they’re a great value.

Price at time of publish: $9

Product Details:

  • Quantity: Four
  • Material: Plastic
  • Scent: Unscented 

Best Set: Kainga Recka Wool Dryer Balls

wool dryer balls

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This set comes with eight hypoallergenic wool dryer balls that can reduce time by 20% to 30%.
Keep in Mind:
The printed sheep designs on the wool dryer balls may fade with continued use but will not damage your clothing.

We chose the 8-pack Kainga Recka Wool Dryer Balls as the best set because they are high-quality, all-natural, and hypoallergenic. Many of the other dryer ball sets on our list come with four or six, but this one has eight which makes it a good choice for larger loads of laundry. 

A few benefits of using these wool dryer balls include softer clothing, reduced wrinkles, and less static. They can be used with clothes, sheets, and towels and last for about 1,000 loads of laundry. Like many others on our list, they are handmade using 100% organic New Zealand wool and free of chemicals. As an eco-friendly alternative to plastic dryer balls or fabric softeners, they can reduce drying time by about 20% to 30%, saving time and energy while protecting the environment.

These wool dryer balls have sheep designs that are printed with natural organic plant pigments, so you don’t have to worry about the dye getting onto your clothes. However, the patterns may fade a little with time.

Price at time of publish: $15

Product Details:

  • Quantity: Eight
  • Material: Wool
  • Scent: Unscented

Best Oversized: KINTOR XL Wool Dryer Balls

organic wool dryer balls

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Why You Should Get It: These extra-large wool dryer balls help your clothes stay fluffy and free of wrinkles.
Keep in Mind:
Since they are handmade, you may notice differences in size, color, and texture.

If you’re looking for oversized wool dryer balls to keep your laundry extra-fluffy, try this all-natural set by KINTOR. Our favorite features include shorter drying time, softening laundry, and fewer wrinkles. These dryer balls can also help reduce static cling and collect lint and pet hair from clothing. Since they are made of 100% New Zealand wool without any fillers, chemicals, or synthetics, they are gentle enough to use when drying baby clothes or for those with sensitive skin. You can reuse them for 1,000 plus loads of laundry, which helps save energy.

These 2.95-inch diameter organic wool dryer balls come in a package of six with a bonus cotton gift bag. Use three to four for a small or medium load of laundry and six for a large load of laundry. Although these dryer balls are unscented, you can add a few drops of essential oil to enhance the smell of your laundry. We recommend these extra-large dryer balls because they are eco-friendly, efficient, and reusable. However, you may notice numerous sizes, colors, and textures because they are handmade. Ringing in at $10 for a package of six, they're a great value. 

Price at time of publish: $9

Product Details:

  • Quantity: Six
  • Material: Wool
  • Scent: Unscented

Best Organic: Molly's Suds Wool Dryer Balls

molly's suds wool dryer balls

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: These organic dryer balls are made of wool, sourced from sustainable farms, and certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny.
Keep in Mind:
Some natural color variation occurs since these wool dryer balls are manufactured without toxic dyes or chlorine bleaching.

These organic wool dryer balls are made from 100% New Zealand wool that is naturally cleaned and hand-felted by a fair-wage factory in Nepal. Certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny, the wool that is used for these dryer balls is sourced from sustainable farms in New Zealand. These organic dryer balls do not contain any chlorine bleaching, harsh chemicals, toxins, or fragrances, which means they are safe for you and the environment.

As an eco-friendly alternative to dryer sheets, these reusable dryer balls work for about 1,000 loads of laundry. You won’t need to replace them until you notice loose fibers, which likely won’t be for three years, depending on how much laundry you do. They help your laundry tumble, which provides better airflow and heat circulation to speed up the drying process by up to 30%. These dryer balls come in a pack of six, and you can choose between white or black. It also comes with a muslin bag for convenient storage. For a few dollars more, you can purchase a set that comes with essential oils. Use three dryer balls for a small load of laundry and six for larger loads to keep your laundry soft, fluffy, and wrinkle-free.

Price at time of publish: $13

Product Details:

  • Quantity: Six
  • Material: Wool
  • Scent: Unscented

The Bottom Line

The Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls earned a spot on our list because they are made of 100% premium New Zealand wool, free of chemicals, and available in three designs. If you’re looking for a plastic option, we recommend the Whitmor Dryer Balls which are effective at reducing static cling.

What to Know About Dryer Balls Before Shopping

Quantity

You can purchase single dryer balls, but most come in a set that is convenient and cost-effective. Many of the options on our list come with six dryer balls, but you can find options with all different quantities ranging from two to 12 dryer balls. 

Pay attention to the cost per piece and make sure you purchase the quantity for your laundry needs. If you tend to have large loads of laundry or frequently wash items like towels, you may want to choose a larger set. For the quickest drying time, use two to three dryer balls in a small load of laundry and five to six in a large load of laundry.

Material 

Dryer balls are made of wool or plastic. Most of the options on our list are handmade of 100% New Zealand wool. We also included some plastic materials that cost less than their wool counterparts. 

Wool is typically the preferred material for the best dryer balls because it’s heavier than plastic which means it can break up your clothing better for shorter drying times. Wool dryer balls are quieter than plastic dryer balls and better at absorbing moisture. “I prefer wool for two reasons,” Richardson says. “You can add scent to them if you wish, and they absorb some of the moisture of the dryer and release it back gradually as steam to help with wrinkles.”

Scent 

When shopping for dryer balls, you’ll notice most are unscented. However, you can also purchase scented dryer balls if you want your clothing to have a specific scent beyond the smell of fresh laundry.

Our pick for the best-scented dryer balls comes with essential oils so you can control the amount of scent. You can also buy regular unscented wool dryer balls, add your favorite essential oils–like lavender, citrus, or eucalyptus–and change the scent over time.

Your Questions, Answered

What do dryer balls do?

Dryer balls are an eco-friendly alternative to dryer sheets and liquid fabric softeners. “They speed up the drying time a bit and keep the centrifugal force of the dryer working, so clothes are less wrinkled, and large items like sheets don't knot up as badly,” Richardson says. The best dryer balls also soften clothing, reduce static, and trap pet hair.

How many dryer balls should you use per load?

It depends on how big the load is. “You need at least two, but if you have a larger dryer you can use more,” Richardson says. Two to three dryer balls are often sufficient for a small load of laundry, but you’ll probably need five to six for a larger load–especially if you are washing items like towels. 

Are dryer balls worth it?

Yes–dryer balls can help you save time, money, and energy by reducing drying time. They are affordable and reusable which makes them an essential part of doing laundry. 

Who We Are

Erica Reagle is a freelance writer focusing on interior design and the home. For this story, she spent several hours researching important considerations when shopping for the best dryer balls. Erica also gathered insights from Patric Richardson, the Laundry Evangelist.

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