8 Best Portable Dryers And Compact Units On The Market

8 Best Portable Dryers And Compact Units On The Market

Last updated: May 2019

Modern dryers have come a long way from the bulky and noisy models of ancient times. Nowadays, several models display tech-friendly features as well as fresh levels of functionality to help you cut back on the drying time. In fact, portable appliances have rapidly soared in popularity over the past few years, enabling you to invest in one of the best portable dryers for apartments without sacrificing any floor space.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a portable dryer, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Gas or Electric?

In order to make the proper choice, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the differences between electric and gas models. The first thing to keep in mind is that dryers utilize more energy than any other household appliances, except for the fridge. Drawing parallels between electric and gas models will also help you find the best dryer for your circumstances.

If you’re on a limited budget, an electric dryer might suit your needs better since they are far easier and cheaper to set up. Additionally, these dryers are also low maintenance, which will help you cut back on costs. In these dryers, the fan and heater are directly powered by electricity. On the other hand, gas-powered dryers use propane or natural gas to power such components. However, it’s important to keep in mind that gas dryers can be significantly more expensive than their electric counterparts.

Still, if you want to invest in a dryer that will get the job done more quickly, it’s better to opt for a gas model since these tend to require less warm-up time. When you purchase a gas dryer, it’s important to have a dedicated gas line that’s already set-up and ready to go.

Making the right choice

When browsing, there are other things to consider in order to make an educated choice. For example, you first need to establish how much space you’re willing to give up. While you’ll undoubtedly find more than your fair share of machines as you go through the dryers for apartments on the market, you do need to take precise measurements of the floor space that you’re willing to allocate to the appliance. The home appliance market also offers stackable designs that will minimize both clutter and floor space.


When looking for the best portable dryer, it’s also important to pay close attention to the different features that accompany most models. Here are some of the most popular features:

End-of-Cycle Signal

Some dryers emit a tune or beeping sounds to alert you that the cycle is done. This can be quite convenient if you want to avoid constantly having to check the machine since leaving dried clothes for an extended period of time in the dryer can result in wrinkles. In some models, it is even possible to lower the signal volume for nighttime.

Moisture sensor

This is a crucial feature to look out for when buying your portable dryers for apartments. In fact, because it’s such an important feature, most models now come with a sensor, including budget-friendly ones. A moisture sensor will also prevent your clothes from over-drying, while helping you save up on energy.

Extended tumble

Some dryers can tumble for up to three hours or more, enabling you to reduce the risk of wrinkles if you’re unable to take out your clothes as soon as the cycle is done.

Different programs

The first thing to keep in mind is that more expensive machines tend to have more extensive programs than cheaper ones. However, it’s also good to know that even cheaper appliances have some basic programs that are dedicated to heavier or lighter garments.

Delayed start-up

This is quite a useful feature for users who want to save energy since it enables you to set the dryer for any off-peak time during the day.

Steam drying

One of the most innovative features in portable dryers, steam drying has been shown to be more advantageous than traditional hot air drying. On the other hand, machines enhanced with a steam drying feature tend to be slightly more expensive than the hot air counterpart. In fact, these machines are recommended to people with small children who need to sterilize their clothes on a regular basis since steam drying can actually sterilize the clothes.

Long term reliability

Once again, the age-old adage applies- the cheaper the machine, the shorter its lifespan. Therefore, if you don’t plan on switching clothes dryer anytime soon, it’s best to fork a little bit more and invest in a solid apparatus that can sustain its share of wear and tear. Do pay attention to the terms and conditions of the warranty as well since these can come in quite handy if your appliance ever breaks down.

With all these points in mind, here are some of the best portable dryers on the market:

Panda 3200 rpm Portable Spin Dryer 110V/22lbs Stainless Steel

Panda 3200 RPM spin dryer

With a stainless steel drum that ensures a lengthier life, this dryer is ideal for apartment since it ensures an easy mobility, in spite of its large capacity. In fact, this dryer is mobile enough to be used on a boat, RV and dorm rooms.

Boasting a quick cycle time, the Panda 3200 rpm is also ideal for clothes that have been hand-washed. Ideal for anyone who’s on a budget, this portable dryer did receive plenty of positive reviews, especially because of its exclusive gravity draining feature. According to customers, this particular feature made it easy for them to set up the dryer just about anywhere they wanted in their apartment.

Customers also liked the durability of the machine, as well as its relatively quiet function, especially when compared to other dryers. A few people were also receptive of the fact that the machine did not vibrate as much as other models, making it easier for them to use it at night. Another feature that most people liked was the brake, which ensured that the spinning stopped immediately after stopping the machine.

Customers did point out certain drawbacks in the machine: for example, one person commented that the outside of his dryer started to rust after some time as a result of escaping water droplets. On the whole, however, the dryer was extremely well-received by most people.

Tidalpool Electric Portable Clothes Dryer - Laundry Drying Rack

Tidal Pool

Enhanced with a laundry drying rack, the Tidalpool electric dryer has a capacity of 22 pounds and was extremely well-received by the great majority of customers. With an exclusive protection safety feature that has been added to prevent both melting and burning, this electric dryer has also been shown to prevent wrinkle as well as general signs of wear and tear. According to most customers, clothes came out quite smooth when compared to other models. Because of its compact size and 7.9 pound lightweight structure, this clothes dryer can very easily fit in small spaces, another feature that was extremely well-received by virtually every customer.

In addition, customers were also appreciative of the UV-C lamp which helped obliterate any bacteria such as Norovirus and E.Coli. As a result, this dryer was a firm favorite among customers with small children. Moreover, customers reported that this dryer was also compatible with delicates. The 1200W motor has also been shown to provide a more even and efficient drying time, which made this dryer ideal for busy individuals.

According to users, the Tidalpool electric dryer also prevented lint formation as well as color bleeding, which is why most people could also use this apparatus for darkly pigmented clothes. As far as drawbacks are concerned, a few people did complain that the assembly process was quite complicated and time-consuming. A handful of customers also found that the appliance was on the noisier side, which made it hard for them to run it at night.

The Laundry Alternative Nina Soft Spin Dryer, Ventless Portable Electric Dryer

The Laundry Alternative

One of the best portable dryers for apartments, the Laundry Alternative Nina Soft Spin Dryer has been conceived to help users cut back on both money and time when doing their laundry. Extremely budget-friendly, this dryer doesn’t even require a special outlet or vent, something which several users appreciated. With a capacity of 12 pounds, the 110V spin dryer has also been shown to be quite gentle and quiet, which makes it ideal for anyone who wants to use it at night. According to customers, a load of laundry only needed around five minutes or less to dry. As far as its economical size is concerned, the Laundry Alternative Nina dryer only measures 14 x 14 x 24 inches.

In fact, customers have claimed that they were successfully able to use this appliance for heavier garments in the likes of denim, cloth diapers and even cotton towels. Because it is on the quieter side, they were also able to use the dryer at night. According to users, this dryer does come with a fairly large dent in the front to let out water.

Another positive feature that was highlighted by most customers was the large handles which they used to easily lift the dryer and place it just about anywhere they wanted in their apartment. As far as the drawbacks are concerned, a few people did bemoan the fact that the portable dryer did not come with adequate instructions, which made the setup process problematic for beginners.

Panda Portable Ventless Cloths Dryer Folding Drying Machine with Heater

Panda Ventless Clothes Dryer

With a plethora of positive reviews to its name, the Panda Portable Ventless Cloths Dryer Folding Drying Machine is easily among the best portable dryers on the market. With a 120V outlet, this dryer is- according to the majority of customers- extremely easy to assemble and disassemble, which makes it perfect for users who are on the move. In fact, customers claimed that the dryer didn’t even require a special outlet or vent during the drying process. Some people also said that the warm air motor helped their garments come out soft, clean and devoid of creases. As a result, their clothes were much easier to iron afterwards.

Customers additionally claimed that the timer dial render the appliance significantly more practical for them since they didn’t have to be on standby as they waited for the laundry to be  done. Users were also able to hang loads of up to 22 pounds right in the dryer to ensure that the clothes remained smooth and dry, thanks to the stable diffusion of gentle air. A splash foot cover is also included for ease of use. Another feature that people liked was the stable foot, which limited vibrations.

As far as the downsides are concerned, very few drawbacks were reported about this clothes dryer. A few people did complain about the noise level but this was not a widespread issue.

Panda Small Mini Stainless Steel Tumble Dryer5.5-6.6lbs Compact Apartment Dryer

Panda 5.5lbs portable dryer

Its compact size coupled with its rapid performance did earn the Panda Small Mini Stainless Steel Tumble Dryer a solid reputation on the home appliance market. In fact, because it is so compact and- more importantly- on the less noisy side, some customers even stated that they were able to set it up in gyms, nurseries and other rooms where it was inevitable to escape frequent garment washing. Customers also found that the dryer was ideal for smaller clothes like socks, handkerchiefs, towels, shirts, yoga suits, baby clothes and underwear, among others.

In addition, users were also quite appreciative of the mounting brackets and lint filter that accompanied the appliance. According to them, these features did help them cut back on their energy bills. More importantly, customers also quite liked the simplicity and straightforward operation of this dryer, which made it easy for them to find their way around the apparatus, even if they were complete novices. With this dryer, customers could also choose their desired temperature, based on the type of clothes they were drying.

Because of its excellent operation, virtually no negative feedback was received for this apparatus.

XtremepowerUS Portable Tumble Dryer

Extreme Power

With a see-through window, the XtremepowerUS Portable Tumble Dryer also features a stainless steel drum which guarantees longevity and solidity. Extremely compact and lightweight, this tumble dryer measures 28 x 17 x 24 inches and only weighs 50 pounds. One of the best portable dryers for apartments, this tumble dryer comes with a timed dry setting and boasts a load capacity of 8.8 pounds, which is ideal for couples or solo users. Customers found the installation to be quite easy and straightforward, with most people needing only a few minutes to set up the machine.

As for the drawbacks, a few persons found that the dryer took longer to run since it runs on 100 volts as opposed to larger apparatuses that normally run on 220 volts. Some customers also claimed that the lint traps were a bit complicated to clean since they had to be tugged away from the machine. Additionally, a few people also claimed that caster wheels would have rendered this portable dryer even easier to use.

Magic Chef MCSDRY1S 2.6 cu. ft. Laundry Dryer, White

best portable dryer

With a capacity of 2.6 cubic foot, the Magic Chef MCSDRY1S 2.6 cu. ft. Laundry Dryer has been ranked among the best portable dryers on the market. This particular machine has been especially well-received by customers because of its wall mountable feature. Indeed, users even receive a full kit that will enable them to mount the dryer to the wall for ease of use. This can also help to save up on floor space if you live in an apartment. Customers quite liked the PTC heating element that accompanied this dryer: according to them, this helped to cut back on the drying time, enabling them to run several loads during the day. For ease of use, the Magic Chef also includes a fully adjustable timer control, which largely facilitated ease of use.

In addition, customers also liked the variable cold or hot air setting, which is a significant change from other models that mainly come with hot air only. This came in quite handy to users who live in warmer climates since they were able to use the dryer without overheating the entire room. In terms of drawbacks, one customer was unable to turn his machine back on after a few loads but this was an isolated issue.

Panda Portable Dryer 2.65 cu.ft/8.8lbs 110v

Panda 2.65cu

With a 120V outlet that can be plugged just about anywhere, the Panda Portable Dryer only weighs around 44 pounds, which is quite easy to carry around. Customers were quite receptive of the transparent lid that enabled them to keep an eye on their laundry, without having to constantly open and close the lid. In addition, the stainless steel drum also ensured longevity while enabling the machine to withstand quite a lot of wear and tear.

With a wall mounting kit, the Panda Portable Dryer also includes an exhaust vent as well as a removable filter which guaranteed ease of use. According to the majority of customers, this portable dryer is also less noisy than other models, which meant that they were able to use it in apartment buildings or at night.

As far as drawbacks go, some people did say that the installation process was more complicated than they’d anticipated, with one customer claiming that his dryer was delivered with missing parts.