Before buying a new dryer, make sure you know where it's going and how much space you have for it. Take precise measurements of height, width and depth as well as the clearance from doors and walls; you want to be sure that the dryer door can open fully, and that nearby doors can close properly.
Dryer doors open from the side or from the bottom. Some models allow you to switch a side-swing door so it opens from the other side, but not all. Be sure to take that into account as well. Don't forget-you will also need room for an external vent duct. (And a washer, too, of course.)
A typical full-size dryer is about 27 to 29 inches wide. Height can range anywhere from 36 to 44 inches. If you purchase optional pedestals that make front-loading washer and dryer pairs easier to load, they will add another 12 inches or so of height. However, the pedestals also serve as drawers, saving other storage space.
In a condominium, town home or other small residence where those sizes or set ups take up too much room, you have several alternative options:
If you have a front-loading washer, you have the option of stacking the matching dryer on top of it.
A compact dryer, which is 22 to 24 inches wide. Some can be stacked with a matching compact washer, and some are portable. The drum capacity is smaller than that of a full-size dryer, however.
You can also buy one of two types of washer-dryer combos.
The more common kind is called a laundry center or stacked washer-dryer unit. Rather than consist of two separate components, it is just one appliance, with a top-loading washer on the bottom and a gas or electric dryer on top. It's the same width as a full-size washer.
The other type is an all-in-one washer-dryer, in which clothes are washed and then dried in the same tub.