The best drying balls of 2023 (2023)

The best drying balls of 2023 (1)

Written bycailey lindberg

Updated January 3, 2023

dryer ballsjustify to solvesome of themworst laundry problemshow to reduce drying time and prevent clothes from sticking together during the cycle. They contain far fewer chemicals, act as a natural fabric softener, and are better for the environment than disposables.dryer sheets. But do they really work?

When we started researching, we realized that with so many different shapes and sizes, dryer balls on the internet can be something of a rabbit hole. So we went to the testing lab to see if they could improve their laundry loads and figure out which ones are the best to buy.

After several loads of laundry and several soaked band shirts later, that was itBudiegg's Wool Dryer Balls (available on amazon)They are our top pick for their construction and wool quality, as well as their ability to get soft. While there are countless brands of dryers that you can buy, we've found these simple, organic, and eco-friendly products to be the best way to keep your clothes clean.

The best drying balls of 2023 (2) The best drying balls of 2023 (3)

overall better

Budiegg's Wool Dryer Balls

Our best overall, the Budieggs Wool Dryer Balls had several advantages over the competition. We've found them to be durable and strong, and we believe these dryer balls can withstand 1,000 loads or more. Budieggs are chemical free and claim to be hypoallergenic which was great for mesensitive skin.

Budieggs had better drying performance than the other products we tested and left my clothes very soft. In our lab tests, however, the Budieggs did slightly dampen our shirts after a single load, but that was true of all the products we tested. The comforter we dried was also damp in the middle, but our research found that most comforters don't dry completely without the use of tennis balls, longer drying times, and higher drying settings.


  • reduced drying time

  • Continuous

  • Hypoallergenic

In contrast

  • left some wet things behind

  • Requires long drying times for heavy loads

Buy now on Amazon

The best drying balls of 2023 (4) The best drying balls of 2023 (5)

the best wool

Intelligent dryer balls made from sheep's wool

Made from 100% New Zealand wool, these Smart Sheep balls had a soft feel and were the most luxurious material we tested. Smart Sheep is also made by women and minorities who earn a living wage. They were clearly of high quality and could be used again and again despite some disadvantages.

As with the Budieggs, the inside of the duvet we used in the test still felt damp and the jerseys weren't completely dry, but this could be remedied with a longer drying time or higher settings. While Smart Sheep was more expensive for dryballs, the quality of the wool and the way it is made can justify the price.


  • organic wool

  • ecologically correct

  • quality construction

In contrast

  • Need longer drying times

  • left some wet things behind

Buy now on Amazon

How we test dryer balls

The best drying balls of 2023 (6)

the tester

I'm Cailey Lindberg, review team writer and resident of New England who has a four month old Basset Hound puppy. Since it sheds almost everything, I became interested in products that remove pet hair without obsessively running a lint roller through my black clothes. I currently test, edit, and write products for Review and delve into the inner workings of the restaurant industry at Toast, a Boston-based software company.

We brought Sandor home two months ago and quickly learned how much basset hounds shed, especially with the oddly mild winter we've had in Boston this year. No matter how many dryer sheets I used, nothing would remove the dog hair from my clothes. To help other pet owners and to reduce drying time for people who simply avoid doing laundry until Sunday night, we decided to test a few dryer balls to see which ones are most effective for your clothes.

The exams

The dryer ball test was intense, and our lab team spent weeks washing towels, t-shirts, and a queen-size comforter all in one, over and over againMaytag washing machinemiLG dryer. Each load was weighed before and after each wash and dried on a normal cycle for exactly 40 minutes. For each set of dryer balls, we dry each of the three loads in a timed drying cycle and measure their weight after drying. A tennis ball was also included with each load for comparison.

Aside from more extensive lab testing, I took the products home and used them in my daily laundry with my GE dryer. My test load included several T-shirts by the band Tool, as well as a pair of black yoga leggings covered in dog hair. I was pleasantly surprised to find that pet hair was greatly reduced after I took my load off and that previously stiff undershirts felt soft.

What you should know about dryer balls

We've found that dryer balls can generate quite a bit of static electricity when used in your laundry room. Through this hiccup, we've found that when using dryer balls, it's wise to cut the normal drying time by 10 minutes to avoid this. If you have already overdried your load, you should dampen the wool dryer balls and run them for a few minutes to remove any static build up.

Dryer balls can reduce lint and pet hair, which I've found to be correct in testing. My black leggings, which were always completely covered in Basset Hound hair, completely unraveled after using wool dryer balls. If you have sensitive skin, blotting balls are a much better alternative to blotting sheets.

Essential oils can be added to some dryer balls to make clothes smell better. Using dryer balls instead of dryer sheets also allows lower temperatures to be used, preventing damage to clothing. Wool dryer balls also have significantly fewer chemicals than traditional dryer sheets and minimize waste as they are reusable, effectively lowering your energy bills.

Can tennis balls dry your clothes?

Tennis balls have traditionally been used to speed up drying time and add a bit more lint to the garment. During testing, we found that tennis balls were more useful for heavier items like duvets and towels, but they can't soften clothes. Extra large products also work well for bulkier items, but during our testing we found tennis balls to be the best option.

While some manufacturers recommend new tennis balls to prevent buildup on your down comforter, Lifehacker says the Soap and Detergent Association doesn't endorse the practice. Be careful when using a new tennis ball with your quilt, as it may stain if the paint melts in the heat.

How to use dryer balls

The best drying balls of 2023 (7)

Using dryer balls is easy, add them to your machine and watch them work. Adding dryer balls to your washing machine effectively separates your clothes and lets in more heat. Six or more dryer balls may be required to sufficiently dry clothes for a large load. For small loads, 3 or fewer dryer balls should be enough.

Keep in mind that dryer balls aren't as effective with large loads because they need space to function properly. One downside to dryer balls is that they make a lot of noise in the dryer. Replace your wool dryer balls every 1000 loads (or 2-3 years) to keep them working and looking good.

Do dryer balls work? Do they shorten the drying time?

When it comes to wool dryer balls versus dryer sheets, wool dryer balls win overall. When used correctly, they also minimize wrinkles and static electricity and reduce drying time by 10 to 25 percent.

What is the difference between wool dryer balls and plastic balls?

Balls of yarn are heavier and separate clothes better, resulting in faster drying times. Plastic balls don't make as much noise when drying, but they didn't perform as well as wool balls in our tests. In general, we found that the plastic balls we tested left clothes damp, even after prolonged drying.

Other dryer balls we tested

The best drying balls of 2023 (8)

Whitmor dryer balls

We didn't see much of a difference between the plastic and wool models in terms of moisture, but thermoplastic products like Whitmore dryer balls weren't as effective at softening duvets and t-shirts. However, these thermoplastic dryer balls are more durable and would likely last over 1000 loads. While they don't have any special properties, Whitmor dryer balls are a solid choice if you don't want to use wool in your clothes and softening your fabrics isn't as important.


  • Continuous

In contrast

  • Not effective for softening fabrics.

$11.33 at Amazon

The best drying balls of 2023 (9)

Friends dryer balls made from sheep's wool

The Friendsheep Organic Wool Dryer Balls were hands down the cutest products we've ever tried, and they're shaped like a sheep, penguin, and sloth. We chose the sloth shaped dryer balls and found them to be a lot of fun to use. Although Friendsheep were a novelty, they were also made from high-quality New Zealand wool, making our t-shirts and duvets soft to the touch. We enjoyed using them, but they lacked the drying power.

Unfortunately, the inside of the duvet we dried was still damp and our shirts felt a bit damp. Since Friendsheep is more expensive than other dryer balls we've reviewed, you might not want to consider it if you're interested in trying dryer balls for the first time. On the other hand, the cute designs can encourage your kids to help with the laundry.


  • beautiful shapes

  • fun to use

  • soft clothes

In contrast

  • Caro

  • left some wet things behind

Buy now on Amazon

The best drying balls of 2023 (10)

SnugPad Wool Dryer Balls

Made from New Zealand wool, the Snugpad is baby safe and chemical free. However, they could not collect many points for quality, durability or drying performance. In our tests, the garment was still damp after drying for 40 minutes. If necessary, this can be changed by a longer drying time or a higher drying temperature. However, they were the cheapest of the bunch; So if you want to try dryer balls without a big financial investment, the Snugpad can be a good budget option.


  • safe baby

  • chemicals free


In contrast

  • fragile design

  • and learning

Buy now on Amazon

The best drying balls of 2023 (11)

Woolzies Wool Dryer Balls

One thing the Woolzies recommend for them is the ability to use essential oils on the fleece fabric to make your clothes smell delicious. Just add a few drops and let them work their magic. Woolzies are also organic and chemical-free, but they didn't work as well as other wool dryer balls on our list. In fact, they fared worse in terms of drying performance. The entire duvet was still damp after we dried it.


  • organic wool

  • chemicals free

  • It can be used with essential oils.

In contrast

  • Low drying performance

  • very expensive

Buy now on Amazon

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Meet the dressing room

The best drying balls of 2023 (12)

cailey lindberg

Team-Autor, Updates

Cailey Lindberg is a full-time doggy mom and review writer for @sandor_thebassethound. In his free time, he writes about music and history for Mental Floss.

View all reviews by Cailey Lindberg

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