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Gas vs Electric Dryer | Which Is Cheaper? (50 Models Compared)

Gas and electric dryers come in similar sizes and styles with similar performance standards. The choice comes down to the initial price, installation costs, and energy costs of running a dryer long-term. Because you shouldn’t convert gas to electric, you need to be confident in your decision.

Here, you’ll find a price comparison by brand and size. We also cover unexpected factors that could lead to extra costs beyond the upfront price.

An electric dryer is usually $100 cheaper than a comparable gas dryer. However, gas dryers generate energy savings that typically offset the higher upfront cost within five years. 

Compact Dryer Costs

Compact: Less than 4.5 cubic feet. 

Prices in these tables are based on the manufacturers’ websites and do not account for sales, which can reduce prices by hundreds of dollars. Sales tend to be applied consistently across both gas and electric models.

BLACK+DECKER BCED37 Portable Dryer, Small, 4 Modes, Load Volume 13.2 lbs., White

Average cost of compact gas dryers ($)Average cost of compact electric dryer ($)
SamsungNone available949
LGNone available999
GENone available749
WhirlpoolNone available849
MieleNone available1,599
MaytagNone availableRecently discontinued
ElectroluxNone available1,399
KenmoreNone available660-779
SpeedqueenNone available1,589

The smallest gas dryers are typically 6 cubic feet.

Standard-Sized Dryer Costs

Standard: 4.5-7.3 cubic feet. 

Average cost of standard gas dryers ($)Average cost of standard electric dryer ($)
MieleNo gas model available in North America2449
ElectroluxNone available (8.0 cu. ft. is standard for Electrolux)None available (8.0 cu. ft. is standard for Electrolux)

Mega-Capacity Dryer Costs

Mega: 7.4 cubic feet and above.

Average cost of mega-capacity gas dryers ($)Average cost of mega-capacity electric dryer ($)
MieleNone availableNone available
SpeedqueenNone availableNone available

Overall Cheapest Dryer Type

Electric dryers are typically cheaper than comparable gas dryers. That explains why the majority of dryers sold in the US are electric. But there are other factors to consider than the upfront price of the model.

Each fuel type has pros and cons in terms of long-term costs (gas is better for energy bills but worse for maintenance costs) and installation costs (it depends on what your home is equipped with).

Long-Term Costs

Gas dryers turn out to be cheaper in terms of energy savings over time.

Natural gas is usually cheaper than electricity. However, this depends on local energy prices, and you might not see results right away. US News estimates that it takes five years for the energy savings to make up for the higher upfront cost of a gas dryer.

Electric dryers are less efficient, which further increases energy costs. Electric dryers heat up more slowly and don’t get as hot, so each load takes longer.

However, gas dryers cost more to maintain. This is because they should be repaired by a licensed technician, whereas homeowners can change belts and filters on an electric dryer as a DIY project.

Find out if Your Dryer Is Taking Too Long (Drying Time Table)

Installation Costs

Installation costs depend on your home’s existing infrastructure. An electric dryer requires a 240-volt outlet. A gas dryer requires a standard 120-volt outlet plus a gas hookup.

Gas dryer 120 volt outlet vs electric dryer 240-volt outlet

It can cost at least $200 to install a new 240-volt outlet. This would cancel out the average price difference between a gas and electric dryer. 

But if you have outlets and hookups for both options, a gas dryer would cost more to install. You need a plumber or other licensed technician to make sure the gas hookup is secure.

By contrast, installing an electric dryer just means plugging it in and hooking up the vent—as long as you already have a 240-volt outlet.

Does the Trend Differ According to Capacity?

Capacity does not matter for standard-sized and mega-capacity dryers. Electric dryers are consistently $100-150 less expensive than their corresponding gas model. The difference comes when there is no corresponding gas model, as for compact dryers. 

So, the most important difference between capacities is that compact dryers are almost always electric. Compact gas dryers fell out of production about 10 years ago. Compact dryers are often used for upstairs laundry rooms, kitchens, and apartments—where it’s less common to find a gas hookup.

Most of the above manufacturers make only two to four compact dryers, often without offering a basic no-frills model. You’re more likely to encounter stock or supply chain issues. For example, Whirlpool’s $849 compact dryer is out of stock in my area, so my only option would be their $1,249 ventless compact dryer.

If you need to fit a dryer in a small space, you might need a ventless model, which is more expensive. A compact dryer can cost as much as a standard-sized dryer, so it’s only recommended if you cannot fit a regular model.

KoolMore FLD-5CWHP 24" Electric Ventless Heat Pump Dryer, 4.4 Cu. Ft, for Small Home or Apartment, Stackable Unit, Wrinkle Prevention with Sensor Technology, 16 Drying Cycles [240V], Medium, White

Long-Term Costs

Capacity can affect energy savings over the lifespan of your dryer.

It’s important to choose a size that fits your laundry loads. Consistently underfilling a mega-capacity dryer will waste energy and disrupt moisture sensors. On the other hand, compact dryers take longer and tend to be less efficient, even if you only need to do small loads. 

The following Consumer Reports video evaluates energy-saving features that are often available in all capacities.

Eco cycles do not significantly reduce energy bills and an Energy Star-rated dryer only saves about $20 per year. But a moisture sensor makes a difference as it recognizes when clothes are dry faster than a traditional thermostat.

Does the Brand Matter?

For every brand that we researched, electric dryers are cheaper than comparable gas dryers. The difference in price between comparable dryers is typically about $100. Except for compact sizes, brands tend to make exactly the same model in gas and electric versions.

One partial exception is Maytag. Overall, Maytag gas dryers tend to be about $150-200 more than their electric counterparts, rather than $100 more. However, that varies depending on what sales are available and whether you buy from Maytag or from an appliance store.

Brand matters most for compact dryers.

For example, Samsung’s compact models tend to be smart dryers with high-end features. Miele’s compact dryers are all heat pump dryers, raising the prices by several hundred dollars. By contrast, GE is one of the few brands to offer a basic, fairly cheap compact dryer.

Some brands offer a more limited range of products. Miele specializes in high-end compact electric dryers and it’s difficult to find Miele dryers larger than 4.5 cubic feet. This is a rare instance in which compact dryers are often cheaper than standard-sized.

Miele’s gas dryers are not available in North America, so it is difficult to compare gas and electric prices for that brand.


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