Doing laundry is just one of those chores that we all have to get on with. While we can't make it disappear with the click of a finger, we can make it a bit easier - that's where dryer balls come in! An eco-friendly alternative to dryer sheets, dryer balls have become popular in recent years. But why should you buy this type of product and where do you even begin shopping for these magical balls?
After explaining the benefits of dryer balls and discussing the various materials that they can be made from, including organic wool, lightweight plastic, and durable rubber, we'll review our favourite products from Amazon and eBay. We'll compare the quality, effectiveness, and price of the different brands available online, to help you choose the best ones for your budget. Let's get started!
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In this section, we'll go through the different materials that dryer balls can be made from, as well as a few other important points to remember when shopping for this type of product.
So, what are dryer balls made from? Usually it's wool, but there are other options too such as plastic and rubber. We'll run through the pros and cons of each material here, to help you decide which one you'd prefer.
Wool is undoubtedly the most effective material when it comes to assisting drying, so it's the preferred material of most manufacturers. It's highly absorbent and will soak up lots of excess moisture from your clothes, cutting down drying time significantly.
You can also add a few drops of essential oil to this type of material if you want to make your laundry smell fragrant and fresh without the use of synthetic fabric softeners.
As woollen dryer balls are heavier than those made from other materials, they do unfortunately make a fair bit of noise when they're rolling around in your tumble dryer. Furthermore, they can sometimes leave lint on your clothes and they aren't suitable for use in vegan households.
One of the most common complaints about dryer balls is that they can be noisy as they bounce off the walls of your tumble dryer. This may cause issues if your machine is near your bedroom or if you live with people who work different shift patterns.
Enter the lightweight plastic dryer ball - these are much less dense than ones made from wool and create only a light thump as they bounce around the machine, rather than a heavy thud!
The downside to plastic is that it's unable to absorb excess moisture from your clothes like wool does. Still, balls made from this material will reduce static, separate your clothes nicely, and won't keep you up at night with incessant banging!
Dryer balls made from rubber may be a little noisier than plastic, but they don't leave any fibres remaining on your clothes like woollen balls do. This type of material is also particularly good at separating your clothes and increasing airflow around the drum.
While dryer balls made from rubber are generally designed to last longer than wool ones, in reality many split or break after repeated use and will need to be replaced.
If you or your children have particularly sensitive skin, or anyone in the house has any allergies, make sure you go for a hypoallergenic product.
Most woollen options are suitable for those with allergies and plastic tends to be fine too, but rubber can sometimes irritate sensitive skin. To give you peace of mind, we'll mention whether a product is hypoallergenic in the specification table below each review.
If you're trying to reduce your waste as well as do your laundry in a more eco-friendly way, woollen dryer balls are your best bet.
Plastic and rubber balls are usually packed with chemicals, whereas woollen ones are made from 100% natural ingredients with no added chemicals or synthetics. This means that they are usually biodegradable and will break down in around 6 months if placed in warm, damp soil.
When browsing dryer balls, remember to check the durability - not all brands will last for the same amount of time!
Good quality dryer balls should last for at least one year or around 1000 washes; anything less than that doesn't make sense economically or environmentally, especially if you're making the switch from single-use dryer sheets in order to reduce your carbon footprint.
The last thing to check before you hit that all-important buy button is the size of the pack. Some packs only contain 2 or 4 dryer balls, while others come with as many as 6!
Bear in mind that the number of balls that you need will correlate to the size of your laundry load. If you own a large dryer or tend to do one huge load at a time, you'll need around 4 or 5 standard-sized dryer balls. If the balls are extra large, you should only need a couple to get the job done.
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Natural Dryer Balls
Our Top Choice for Eco-Friendly Drying
Detergent Laundry Ball
An Extremely Durable, Budget-Friendly Option
Wool Dryer Balls
A Superb Product With Award-Winning Customer Service
Eco Dryer Balls
Ethically Made and Extremely Efficient
Flor De Lis
Wool Dryer Balls
Designed to Make Your Clothes Smell Divine
Wool Dryer Balls
A Chemical-Free Option for Those With Sensitive Skin
Minimise Static With This Product's Unique Texture
Scented Balls That'll Soften Your Clothes
Wool Dryer Balls
Cute Designs That Make Laundry More Fun
Merino Wool Dryer Balls
Affordable, Organic, and Biodegradable
These XXL dryer balls by 8-Natur.com are some of the largest on the market - this means that they can absorb more moisture and reduce drying time by up to 30%! Plus, due to their size, you only need to pop a couple into each wash for wonderfully fluffy laundry.
Made from unbleached, 100% pure Merino wool, these balls will last you for well over a thousand washes. They'll save you a considerable amount of time, energy, and money - that's why they're our top pick!
The Nuoshen dryer balls may be the cheapest option on our list, but they're also some of the most durable. They should last you around 1400 washes, making them ideal for larger households with lots of kids!
Made from hypoallergenic PVC, these are a brilliant buy for people with sensitive skin or those who prefer not to use products containing animal-derived ingredients. The spiky nodules effortlessly soften your clothes while the balls will reduce the overall duration of drying cycles by up to 25%!
KinTor dryer balls are another product made from 100% natural, organic Kiwi wool. They're packaged in a charming cotton bag that would make a thoughtful gift for an eco-conscious friend. Or, of course, the bag will make a fab accessory for your own laundry room.
KinTor has won awards for their superb customer service, which is always a good thing to look out for when you're shopping online - just in case you have any questions about the product. This is an excellent option for those who want a simple, no-fuss bag of balls!
The dryer balls from Friendsheep are 100% natural, organic, and handmade by a fairtrade company. They'll leave your clothes and towels feeling exceptionally soft and fluffy while absorbing up to 30% of their weight in water.
We love the fact that these dryer balls come in an adorable recycled laundry bag and have a star design - it makes a nice change from the usual plain white. Since they're chemical-free and hypoallergenic, they're also safe to use even if you or your little ones have sensitive skin.
Essentially, these wool balls work in the same way as most other ones on the market, but these have a special feature - they come with a mini bottle of lavender essential oil! Just squeeze on a few drops before you pop them in the dryer and your washing will smell divine, without the use of any harmful chemicals or fabric softeners. They also come in a cute little bag, which is great for hanging in your laundry room.
Of course, the scent of lavender isn't everyone's cup of tea, and it may irritate sensitive skin. If you're looking to add a bit of luxury to your laundry though, we highly recommend this product!
Made from high-quality wool from New Zealand sheep, these dryer balls from Snug Pad are totally natural and organic. This makes them suitable for even the most sensitive skin. Furthermore, they soften and fluff your clothes while eliminating the need for ironing - pretty amazing!
The downside is that these balls are only reusable for one year, which isn't as long as other products on our list. Some reviewers have also found that they increase static on occasion!
The Whitmor Dryer Balls are made from rubber, so they're a handy vegan alternative to wool. The unique pointy texture is great at reducing static and softening your clothes, plus they're a lot quieter than other materials when rolling around in your machine.
Although these balls are made from a non-toxic material, they aren't as durable as wool dryer balls, since they can be prone to breaking or splitting. They also only come in a pack of 4 so aren't ideal for larger families.
EcoEgg dryer balls will reduce drying time by 28%; a significant chunk that'll save you heaps of money and energy in the long run. Their design features nodules to soften your clothes, eliminating the need for fabric softener - another win for the environment! Plus, they contain essential oil sticks which add a lovely fresh linen fragrance to your washing.
The fragrance sticks will need to be replaced after about 40 washes though, and there are only 2 eggs in each pack. While this is fine for smaller households, those with big families will need to buy several packs to match their laundry load.
These hypoallergenic wool dryer balls contain no synthetics or chemicals, so they're ideal if you have sensitive skin. As well as plain white, they come in several cute designs including smiley faces and dinosaurs - this could be handy if you want to rope your kids into helping with the laundry!
These dryer balls sadly don't seem to soften wrinkles in clothes much, but they do soak up excess water and can reduce drying time by up to 40%! Plus, as they're extra-large, they do an excellent job of separating towels and bedding.
With the ability to dry up to 1000 loads of laundry, this pack of dryer balls is pretty good value - especially when you compare them with disposable products such as dryer sheets.
The balls are 100% organic and biodegradable, as they're made with Merino wool from New Zealand. They don't reduce drying time as much as some of the other options on our list, but at least they're affordable!
Dryer balls work just like disposable drying sheets, soaking up any excess moisture left in your clothes after washing and increasing the airflow inside the drum of a tumble dryer, which all helps to make your laundry dry more quickly. Minimising the time spent running your machine will reduce your energy bills too - it's a win-win situation!
Dryer balls also act like a natural fabric softener. As they bounce around inside your tumble dryer, they beat your clothes and reduce static. This means that you can cut out using a separate softening product altogether.
Overall, dryer balls are a great eco-friendly product - they minimise electricity use, only need replacing every 2-3 years, and can be used instead of chemical conditioners to smooth out your clothes.
After all this talk of laundry, you might find yourself wanting to invest in a better machine so you can get the most out of your new dryer balls! Click on the links below to see our favourite tumble dryers and washer dryer combos.
After reading through our article, you'll be an expert when it comes to dryer balls. We've given you all the information you need to know and shown you the best ones on the market - now it's down to you to pick! Do you have a favourite yet?
Author: Roxy Pratley
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