Dryer balls vs. dryer sheets

Laundering & Fabric Care

Dryer balls made of wool are more sustainable and natural than those made of plastic. Plastic dryer balls have spikes to better increase airflow and reduce drying time.

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Are dryer balls or dryer sheets best? 

Before purchasing detergent and other laundry products, people often consider how the products they use affect themselves, their loved ones and even the environment. When it comes to your laundry routine, there are several different detergents, spot removers and other laundry items available. Drying products play just as much of a role as the type of detergent one chooses. Dryer sheets and dryer balls are both useful items, and each has their own advantages.

Dryer balls

Dryer balls are fairly newer products. They have grown in popularity in recent years because they offer benefits that dryer sheets simply don’t. Though the product is new, the idea isn’t. Previously, some people used tennis balls to do essentially what dryer balls do today. Though the upfront cost is more than dryer sheets, they last much longer and are reusable.

Dryer balls pros

Dryer balls are fragrance-free, chemical-free, additive-free and hypoallergenic. This makes them ideal for those with sensitive skin and allergies. Some of their main benefits include reducing the amount of drying time for your laundry. Furthermore, you’ll likely see a dip in your electric bill after making the switch. They’re also reusable (up to at least 1,000 loads and more for some brands). Dryer balls are mainly made from wool or plastic, although bamboo and other vegan-friendly options are available. They are great at preventing your laundry from clumping and wrinkling and are great at fluffing your items.

Dry balls cons

Dryer balls can be quite noisey. Depending on their size and the material used, you might hear them “clunking” around in your dryer. Unlike dryer sheets, they don’t prevent static cling and usually come unscented. There are a select few scented dryer balls on the market, but the options are limited.

Best dryer balls

Friendsheep Organic Wool Dryer Balls

Friendsheep Organic Wool Dryer Balls: available at Amazon

These handmade dryer balls are made in Nepal from 100% New Zealand wool. They’re eco-friendly and organic. Each ball can be used for at least 1,000 loads. They don’t leave behind any lint and reduce drying time by 20–40%.

Whitmor Dryer Balls

Whitmor Dryer Balls: available at Amazon

These plastic dryer balls are able to lift and separate laundry to decrease drying time. The spikes help to fluff up and soften your laundry. The reduction in your laundry rubbing together reduces static cling. The balls come in a set of four and cost only $8.

Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls

Smart Sheep Wool Dryer Balls: available at Amazon

These dryer balls have been seen just about everywhere, including Yahoo Lifestyle and ABC News. The wool balls are handmade in Nepal by women and minorities who are paid a living wage. With over 52,000 majority positive reviews on Amazon, they’re worth checking out. 

Dryer sheets

Dryer sheets are tried and true to many. Their scents are strong and they make your clothes feel incredibly soft. There are many options to choose from and they can be bought from just about anywhere. Fabric sheets offer certain benefits that other products don’t.

Dryer sheet pros

Dryer sheets make your clothes smell and feel great. They also reduce the static in your laundry. They’re made from polyester and can be bought at an affordable price. Dryer sheets are extremely convenient and easy to use. When you’re done, simply toss them in your trash. With so many different scents available, you’re sure to find one that you enjoy.

Dryer sheet cons

Dryer sheets contain harsh chemicals that can irritate those with sensitive skin. There is concern that these chemicals can be harmful after repeated exposure. The chemicals used to coat the sheet can also leave a film-like coating on your laundry in order to achieve their softness. It’s also recommended that fabric sheets are not used on sportswear, towels, microfiber and kids’ pajamas. Additionally, because they are used once and then disposed of, they’re not environmentally-friendly.

Best dryer sheets

Bounce Fabric Sheets

Bounce Fabric Sheets: available at Amazon

Bounce fabric sheets help to eliminate wrinkles, repel lint and pet hair, reduce static cling and can be used in both HE and regular drying machines. This fan-favorite has an incredible scent that has kept loyal fans buying these sheets for years. The fabric sheets are available in small boxes of 34 sheets and bulk boxes of 240 sheets.

Molly’s Suds All-Natural Dryer Sheets

Molly’s Suds All-Natural Dryer Sheets: available at Amazon

If you’re looking for dryer sheets that are compostable and plant-based but still deliver on quality, these are a top choice. The dryer sheets are vegan and free of harsh chemicals, dyes, waxes and animal derivatives. They come in recycled cardboard packaging. 

Downy Fabric Sheets

Downy Fabric Sheets: available at Amazon

Downy fabric sheets have a classic scent that almost anybody can recognize. Downy fabric sheets hold their scent and are great at reducing static cling. They also come in a variety of choices for consumers to experiment with different scents. In addition, Downy makes their products at a factory that uses 100% renewable energy and doesn’t produce any landfill waste.

Should you get dryer balls or dryer sheets?

Both dryer balls and dryer sheets offer something for every consumer. But if your concerns include the environment, keeping your home and loved ones free from unnecessary chemicals and reducing your electric bill, then dryer balls are the best choice. However, if great-smelling laundry and soft clothes appeal to you, consider purchasing dryer sheets. 

Whichever your choice, it’s easy to switch if you change your mind, as both are easily accessible and often affordable.

 

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Ashley Willis writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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