/ Washers & Dryers

Drum Capacity and Material


Courtesy of Bosch

Most dryers will offer you between 5.7 and 7.5 cubic feet of capacity.

Dryer Capacity
Households with a lot of laundry will find that a dryer with a big drum reduces the number of loads and therefore the time and energy spent drying clothes. It also makes it easier to dry large items such as comforters or blankets that might otherwise require a trip to the Laundromat or dry cleaner. Think about how your family might be changing — the birth of babies, children returning home after college or an elderly parent moving in — when you buy your washer and dryer.

Don't get sold on labels such as "king-size," "super," "plus," or "extra-large" capacity. Manufacturers also might define drum size by the number of jeans that it can dry, or the pounds of laundry it can hold.

To compare apples to apples, look at cubic feet of capacity. Dryers usually range from 5.7 to 7 cubic feet, with some manufacturers now making models with up to 7.5 cubic feet of capacity. A compact dryer usually offers 3.4 to 3.8 cubic feet.

Your dryer should offer about twice the capacity of your washing machine-clothes need room to move to dry efficiently and without wrinkles.

Drum Material
Like washing machines, most dryers use one of three drum materials: plastic, porcelain or stainless steel. However, because the washer has already done the hard work, the dryer drum doesn't take as much abuse, and stain and rust are less of a concern.

Plastic tubs are long-lasting, lightweight and less expensive. Porcelain-coated tubs are durable and easy to clean, but porcelain can chip. The highest-end models use stainless steel, which is easy to wipe clean and doesn't stain or rust.