The three questions you need to ask

When it comes to your dryer, all that really matters is that your fuzzy socks come out warm and your dress shirts come out less wrinkled (using the Wrinkle Shield option, of course). But have you ever considered what powers your dryer?

Surprisingly, when shopping for a new dryer, that’s exactly what your first consideration should be. Gas or electric: what’s right for you? Ask these three questions to help you find the dryer to bring the (right) heat — for every sock and dress shirt.

1. What’s the difference between gas and electric dryers?

Whirlpool® gas dryers

Gas Dryers: Electricity powers the drum, fan, lights and controls, but natural gas or propane generates heat.

Whirlpool® electric dryers

Electric DryersElectricity powers the drum, fan, lights and controls and generates heat. 

Front loading washing machine and dryer

2. How do I know what I need?

Simply check the hookups in your laundry room. If you have a 110/115-volt electrical outlet (this is what every standard outlet looks like in your home) and a capped-off gas line nearby, you’re set up for a gas dryer. If you have a 240-volt electrical outlet, which is larger than a standard outlet and contains three or four holes, then you’re set up for electric.

3. Should I convert my hookups?

Go gas if:

  • You already have (or are installing) a natural gas source.
  • You’re planning on staying in your home for at least five years.
  • You’re looking for slightly faster dry times.

Go electric if:

  • Your laundry room is already equipped with a 240-volt electrical outlet. 
  • You’re looking for a lower MSRP than comparable gas models.
  • You want quick installation (no dedicated gas line required) and easy maintenance.
Woman removing sweater from front loading dryer

Heat up laundry day with Whirlpool

Now that you’ve made this critical initial decision, everything else will come easily. Gas and electric dryers offer comparable performance, innovation and convenience — and a variety of sizes/capacities and styles.

So whether you’re sanitizing baby clothes, ensuring his lucky shirt’s fresh and ready for the big test tomorrow or washing and drying her princess comforter because it’s covered in treats from last night’s sleepover, we’ll help you care better.

Check out our top picks below or shop all gas dryers and all electric dryers.

More laundry tips and tricks

Find the right washer and dryer fit for your home.

The long and short of it: laundry pair measuring guide

You’ve found your laundry dream team. Here’s how to make sure your new washer and dryer will fit.

Is a front load or top load washer right for you?

Washers: top load vs. front load

Loading from the top or the front? Agitator or impeller wash action? Trim or sleek style? We’ll help you make the tough decisions.

Do you know what the tumble dry symbol means?

What does tumble dry mean?

To tumble dry or not to tumble dry: that is the question. Wait, what does tumble dry even mean? Find out here.

Appliance IQ

Want more answers to your kitchen and laundry questions?

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*MSRP is Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. Dealer alone determines actual retail and advertised prices.