7 Best Dryer Balls for an Eco-Friendly Laundry Room

Best wool dryer balls

Who doesn’t love soft, static-free clothing fresh out of the dryer? Dryer sheets and fabric softeners are popular because of their ability to accomplish this goal. But at what cost?

There is both a health and financial cost to using dryer sheets and fabric softeners. The average household spends $65 per year on fabric softener – over 5 years that adds up to $325! And scented dryer sheets emit acetaldehyde and benzene through dryer vents. These are toxic gases classified by the EPA as carcinogens.

The good news is there’s a healthy and budget-friendly alternative: dryer balls. These reusable balls are budget-friendly, eco-friendly, and effective. Here are the 7 best dryer balls currently on the market. 

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Budieggs Wool Dryer Balls

Sale
Budieggs Wool Dryer Balls Organic XL 6-Pack, 100% New Zealand Chemical Free Fabric Softener for…
  • ★ CARE YOUR SKIN-No Chemials,No Allergy!100% Premium New Zealand Wool,NO FILLERS, NO CHEMICALS, NO SYNTHETICS! Our organic dryer balls care your family in a green,safe&eco-friendly way with love!
  • ★ CARE YOUR FABRICS-Fluffy,fragrant and luxurious experience for softening fabrics,reducing wrinkles,twisting,tangling,lint&pet hair!
  • ★ CARE YOUR BILL-No repeated cost on liquid softener&dryer sheets,gentlely lower bouncing noise than plastic balls,cutting drying time in a creative way!

These dryer balls are made of 100% New Zealand Wool. They’re hypoallergenic and safe to use for babies and those with sensitive skin. Plus, they can be scented naturally with a couple of drops of essential oil. 

Reviewers love that these dryer balls cut down on drying time and leave clothes super soft at the end of the cycle. They are also relatively quiet in the dryer and super durable. They last 1000 loads, but one reviewer noted that her set was still going strong even after that time. 

Pros:

  • All-natural 100% wool
  • Helps laundry dry faster 
  • Relatively quiet in the dryer
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Limited decrease in static cling
  • Limited capability for removing wrinkles

Specs:

  • Material: Wool
  • Quantity: 6
  • Colors: White 
  • Diameter: Approximately 3 inches
  • Price Per Ball (at time of publication): $2.00

Best Budget: Snugpad Wool Dryer Balls

Reviewers love these Snugpad Dryer Balls for the decreased drying time and the softness they add to the laundry. These balls are a great budget option and accomplish everything a fabric softener would with a natural material that you can feel good about. They cut down on dryer time and eliminate lint and static cling, leaving clothes soft and ready to wear.  

SnugPad is a small business with over 27,000 five-star reviews for its dryer balls on Amazon. The company is also American owned and operated, so these balls are manufactured in the US.  

Pros:

  • All-natural wool 
  • Cuts down on drying time
  • Reduces lint and static cling
  • Manufactured and operated in the US

Cons:

  • Some reviewers warned that these balls did not last the promised 1,000 loads

Specs:

  • Material: Wool
  • Quantity: 6
  • Colors: White
  • Diameter: Approximately 3 inches
  • Price Per Ball (at time of publication): $2.16

Best Oversized: Smart Sheep Premium XL Wool Dryer Balls

Wool Dryer Balls – Smart Sheep 6-Pack – XL Premium Natural Fabric Softener Award-Winning – Wool…
  • As Seen In: Yahoo Lifestyle, Real Simple Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Slate, Bustle, and ABC News. Winner of the 2019 “Best of the Best” product awards by Hearst Media. Makes a great gift or stocking…
  • Eco-Friendly: Our dryer wool balls last for a thousand plus loads. Replaces dryer sheets & liquid fabric softeners, Reduces garbage waste. A healthy, petroleum-free alternative to plastic dryer…
  • Shortens Dry Time: Use of a wool dryer ball saves time, money, and energy! Use 3 laundry dryer balls for small/med load, 5-6 for large.

These extra-large dryer balls have been featured everywhere from Good Housekeeping to Slate as the premium option in dryer balls. They are available in super cute patterns; reviewers love the impressive results. Like most other options here, these balls are made from all-natural wool. They are a little more expensive, but if you’re looking for an oversized version. 

Smart Sheep is another female-run small business. They manufacture their dryer balls through ethical, fair trade practices in Nepal and promise their workers “a strong living wage.” 

Pros:

  • All-natural wool 
  • Available in cute designs 
  • Made by a small business that promises that their workers are “paid a strong living wage”

Cons:

  • A little more expensive 
  • Reviewers recommended washing before use to maintain a neutral odor 

Specs:

  • Material: Wool
  • Quantity: 6
  • Colors: White, Grey Sheep, Black Penguins
  • Diameter: Approximately 3 inches 
  • Price Per Ball (at time of publication): $3.33

Best for Scent: Essential Wool Dryer Balls Made for Essential Oils

Wool Dryer Balls – Made for Essential Oils 6-Pack, Organic Reusable Natural Aromatherapy Diffuser…
  • ✔️ MADE FOR ESSENTIAL OILS – Reusable Organic Wool Dryer Balls made exclusively for use with EO!
  • ✔️ PATENT PENDING DESIGN – Design allows more even distribution and larger amount of oil storage for multiple loads than external application.. Use a ball dropper or regular oil dispenser with…
  • ✔️ IMPROVES LAUNDRY – Reduce static, use any essential oil!

These dryer balls have a unique design, featuring five regular wool dryer balls and one ball with a hole in the middle that allows you to add drops of essential oil to the ball. The oil diffuses throughout the ball and transfers to the laundry while drying. With this design, reviewers say the scent lasts anywhere from two to five loads!

Essential Wool promises that their dryer balls are entirely chemical-free, once again made with all-natural wool. The small business also provides a risk-free guarantee, so you can send them back if you don’t love them.

Pros:

  • Made for use with essential oils to add fragrance to clean laundry, even comes with a dropper
  • Decreased drying time 
  • All-natural wool 
  • Good quality 

Cons:

  • The hole in the central ball made for use with essential oils tends to close up after a few cycles, making it harder to add the oil

Specs:

  • Material: Wool
  • Quantity: 6
  • Colors: White, gray 
  • Diameter: 3 inches
  • Price Per Ball (at time of publication): $2.83

Best Colorful: Friendsheep Colorful Wool Dryer Balls

Friendsheep Wool Dryer Balls Organic Lavender 6 Pack XL Premium Reusable Cruelty Free Handmade Fair…
  • 100% ORGANIC, FAIR TRADE, HYPOALLERGENIC, CHEMICAL FREE, REUSABLE, BABY SAFE, BIODEGRADABLE. Made of premium New Zealand wool, contains no fillers or additives. Perfect for those with sensitive skin…
  • ECO-FRIENDLY AND REUSABLE FOR 1000+ LOADS, replaces dryer sheets & liquid fabric softeners. Makes your laundry soft and fluffy, reduces wrinkles and static cling, and shortens drying time by up to 40%…
  • YOUR PURCHASE PROSPERS FAIR TRADE: MAKE THE DIFFERENCE! Carefully handcrafted by nepalese women for fair wages in ethical working conditions: medical care, education, and purpose to empower…

These dryer balls are a little pricier than other options on this list, but you get what you pay for! In addition to their bright, fun coloring, they also boast organic, cruelty-free wool that’s both fair trade and biodegradable. Reviewers love how soft these balls leave their laundry, and note that these dryer balls make great gifts!

Friendsheep is a small business that manufactures its dryer balls in Nepal with ethical practices, including fair wages, medical care, and education. They are dedicated to handcrafting their products with no filler or additives. 

Pros:

  • Organic, fair trade, all-natural, cruelty-free, and biodegradable 
  • Help reduce drying time by up to 40%
  • Comes in a compostable package 

Cons:

  • On the higher end of the budget
  • No information is readily available about how they achieve these colors or what kind of dye they use

Specs:

  • Material: Wool
  • Quantity: 6
  • Colors: Pastel rainbow
  • Diameter: 3 inches 
  • Price Per Ball (at time of publication): $5.33

Best Novelty: Wooly Heroes Dryer Balls

Wooly Heroes Dryer Balls – 100% Organic Wool – Sustainable & Eco-Friendly – Dry 1,000 Loads
  • DRY YOUR CLOTHES FASTER OR YOUR MONEY BACK. NO QUESTIONS ASKED! Dryer balls laundry speeds up drying time by 20%-40% so you save time, money, and energy! This or your money back. Guaranteed for life.
  • ALL NATURAL, ECO-FRIENDLY CHOICE TO DRY YOUR CLOTHES! Annie from Amazon.com says “They really helped bring the dry time down. They are not only beautifully designed but they are also so practical and…
  • MADE FROM 100% PURE NEW ZEALAND WOOL. These dryer wool balls contains no chemicals or synthetics. Perfect for sensitive skin, babies, toddlers, and pets!

These dryer balls are a great option if you want something happy to brighten up your laundry routine. They are 100% all-natural wool and promise to reduce dry time by 20 – 40%. These balls do the job while adding a little whimsy to your laundry routine. They’re also an excellent choice if you’re looking for something made by hand instead of in a major factory. 

Wooly Heroes is dedicated to providing sustainable, non-toxic products to help you care for your family and your household. All of their products are gentle on the skin while also being gentle and safe for the planet.

Pros:

  • Handcrafted
  • 100% all-natural wool 
  • Super cute design
  • Reduce dry time by 20-40%

Cons:

  • Some reviewers noted that the balls had a very strong wool smell and needed to be washed several times before use

Specs:

  • Material: Wool
  • Quantity: 6
  • Colors: Multi-colored
  • Diameter: Approximately 3.5 inches
  • Price Per Ball (at time of publication): $5.00

Best Vegan: Dragonfly Dryer Balls Bamboo Dryer Balls

Vegan Dryer Balls Organic Bamboo Activated Charcoal Infused
Image via Etsy

According to reviewers, these vegan dryer balls can do everything their wool counterparts can without the wool. They soften clothes, reduce drying time and minimize static cling. These are a great way to go if you’re looking for a vegan option, or if you’re simply allergic to wool or looking for an option without that wool smell. 

These balls are handmade by an Etsy seller who promises that her products are cruelty-free, all-natural, hypoallergenic, and anti-bacterial. The balls contain no dyes and have the natural color of the bamboo fibers used in their manufacturing process. 

Pros:

  • Vegan, cruelty-free 
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Hand made 
  • Organic

Cons:

  • Longer shipping 
  • No returns 
  • The highest price on the list

Specs:

  • Material: Bamboo fiber, activated charcoal 
  • Quantity: 3
  • Colors: Gray
  • Diameter: Unlisted
  • Price Per Ball (at time of publication): $11

Considerations Before Purchasing

Material

  • Wool: the most common choice for sustainable dryer balls. Wool is all-natural, renewable, and provides excellent material for shortening drying time.
  • Bamboo: a vegan and environmentally friendly alternative to wool, great if you’re avoiding animal products or allergic to wool.  
  • Charcoal: like bamboo, charcoal is an excellent alternative to wool for dryer balls. It has natural anti-bacterial properties, leaving your laundry extra clean.
  • Silicone/Plastic: Many companies also make silicone and plastic dryer balls, but I prefer the all-natural options for their sustainability and the non-toxic ingredients. 

Size

The number and size of dryer balls you need depends on the capacity of your dryer and the size of each laundry load. For larger loads, it’s best to use more of the larger balls. For smaller loads, you can use fewer smaller balls. Most of the options on this list are the extra large variety, around 3 inches in diameter. 

Quantity 

The larger your laundry load, the more balls you should use. For a regular load, use 3-5, and for an extra large load use all 6. 

Color

Most of the above dryer balls come in white or gray, but more colorful options exist to spruce up your laundry room with some fun. Look for options that use non-toxic dyes like vegetable or plant-based dyes or low-impact, fiber-reactive dyes. These dyes are Oeko-Tex standard 100 certified, have no toxic substances, and require very little water to rinse. 

Scent

Most wool dryer balls come naturally unscented, although they can sometimes carry a natural wool smell with them. If you want to maintain the scent of your fabric softener, add a couple of drops of essential oil directly to wool dryer balls. The heat and steam in the dryer will help the scent transfer to your fabrics as they dry.

Dryer Ball Comparison Table

Product Image
Budieggs Wool Dryer Balls Organic XL 6-Pack, 100% New Zealand Chemical Free Fabric Softener for...
SnugPad Wool Dryer Balls XL Size 6 Pack, Natural Fabric Softener 100% Organic Premium New Zealand...
Wool Dryer Balls - Smart Sheep 6-Pack - XL Premium Natural Fabric Softener Award-Winning - Wool...
Wool Dryer Balls - Made for Essential Oils 6-Pack, Organic Reusable Natural Aromatherapy Diffuser...
Friendsheep Wool Dryer Balls Organic Lavender 6 Pack XL Premium Reusable Cruelty Free Handmade Fair...
Wooly Heroes Dryer Balls - 100% Organic Wool - Sustainable & Eco-Friendly - Dry 1,000 Loads
Product Name
Budieggs Wool Dryer Balls
SnugPad Wool Dryer Balls
Wool Dryer Balls – Smart Sheep
Wool Dryer Balls – Made for Essential Oils
Friendsheep Wool Dryer Balls Organic
Wooly Heroes Dryer Balls – 100% Organic Wool
Material
Wool
Wool
Wool
Wool
Wool
Wool
Set Quantity
6
6
6
6
6
6
Colors
White
White
White, Grey Sheep, Black Penguins
White, gray
Pastel rainbow
Multi-colored
Diameter
3″
3″
3″
3″
3″
3.5″
Price
$9.97
$9.59
$19.95
$16.95
$32.00
$33.95
Product Image
Budieggs Wool Dryer Balls Organic XL 6-Pack, 100% New Zealand Chemical Free Fabric Softener for...
Product Name
Budieggs Wool Dryer Balls
Material
Wool
Set Quantity
6
Colors
White
Diameter
3″
Price
$9.97
Buy Now
Product Image
SnugPad Wool Dryer Balls XL Size 6 Pack, Natural Fabric Softener 100% Organic Premium New Zealand...
Product Name
SnugPad Wool Dryer Balls
Material
Wool
Set Quantity
6
Colors
White
Diameter
3″
Price
$9.59
Buy Now
Product Image
Wool Dryer Balls - Smart Sheep 6-Pack - XL Premium Natural Fabric Softener Award-Winning - Wool...
Product Name
Wool Dryer Balls – Smart Sheep
Material
Wool
Set Quantity
6
Colors
White, Grey Sheep, Black Penguins
Diameter
3″
Price
$19.95
Buy Now
Product Image
Wool Dryer Balls - Made for Essential Oils 6-Pack, Organic Reusable Natural Aromatherapy Diffuser...
Product Name
Wool Dryer Balls – Made for Essential Oils
Material
Wool
Set Quantity
6
Colors
White, gray
Diameter
3″
Price
$16.95
Buy Now
Product Image
Friendsheep Wool Dryer Balls Organic Lavender 6 Pack XL Premium Reusable Cruelty Free Handmade Fair...
Product Name
Friendsheep Wool Dryer Balls Organic
Material
Wool
Set Quantity
6
Colors
Pastel rainbow
Diameter
3″
Price
$32.00
Buy Now
Product Image
Wooly Heroes Dryer Balls - 100% Organic Wool - Sustainable & Eco-Friendly - Dry 1,000 Loads
Product Name
Wooly Heroes Dryer Balls – 100% Organic Wool
Material
Wool
Set Quantity
6
Colors
Multi-colored
Diameter
3.5″
Price
$33.95
Buy Now

FAQs

How do you use dryer balls?

Dryer balls are straightforward to use. Just throw them in the dryer with your wet clothes and press start. You can even store them in the dryer between uses. 

What do dryer balls do?

Dryer balls absorb extra water in the dryer, making your clothes dry faster. They also move through the dryer, separating fabrics, softening clothes, and eliminating wrinkles. Many dryer balls also help gather lint away from clothes. 

They’re beneficial when drying things like throw pillows and bed sheets that might need extra help to fully dry and return to their original softness. 

How long do dryer balls last?

Most dryer balls will last about 1,000 washes, or four years, whichever comes first. 

How many dryer balls should you use per load?

It depends on the load size, but anywhere from 3-6 dryer balls. There is no such thing as using too many, so putting them all in for some extra softening power can’t hurt. 

What is the difference between wool and plastic dryer balls?

Wool dryer balls are made of all-natural, renewable, non-toxic ingredients, whereas plastic dryer balls are made of non-renewable plastic. Both are reusable, and both will soften laundry, but wool is biodegradable when it’s reached the end of its lifecycle, while plastic is not. 

Why Trust A Clean Bee

Olivia Smith is a Bay Area-based writer covering eco-friendly and sustainable home and cleaning products. For this piece, she focused on customer reviews as well as price and materials. She looked at picks in vegan and non-vegan materials as well as a range of different prices and designs.

Best eco friendly wool dryer balls

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