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

Whether you have concerns about your current dryer or you’re deciding between dryer types, this table will help you determine typical drying times for a wide range of dryers and cycles.

Drying times vary significantly based on dryer type, model, and load. Luckily, you can be strategic about how you use your dryer to optimize its performance.

Gas and electric dryers take around 40-50 minutes for a normal cycle, with gas dryers being slightly faster. It’s normal for heat pump and condenser dryers (and Eco Dry cycles on all dryers) to take well over an hour.

Drying Time Table

These times (in minutes) are averages for standard-sized dryers. Data is sourced from manufacturer specifications and cycle times reported by consumers.

Gas dryerElectric dryerHeat pump dryerCondenser dryer
Auto-dry drying time (min)38-4540-6080-14571-115
Quick dry drying time (min)20-3020-3530-4030
Eco drying time (min)60-9070-112110-165100-130
Cotton load drying time (min)50-6060-75110-13570-90
Delicates load drying time (min)15-3525-4030-4830-40
Synthetics load drying time (min)35-4040-4590-12060-70
Wrinkle-resistant/permanent press drying time (min)30-4030-4071-8050-70
Air fluff drying time (min)5-90*5-90*5-90*5-90*
*Because air fluff cycles tumble clothes without any heat, the times will be similar regardless of dryer type.

Gas Is Fastest; Heat Pump Is Slowest

Gas dryers heat up faster and run hotter than any other type of dryer. This extra heat means that gas dryers are 5-15 minutes faster than electric dryers, depending on the load and model.

Washing machine and gas dryer inside the laundry room

Electric dryers are still much faster than ventless dryers (heat pump and condenser).

Condenser dryers use heating elements to warm ambient air, while heat pump dryers warm air through condenser coils filled with compressed refrigerant.

The main difference is that heat pump dryers are a closed system with no extra heating element, so they use less energy and run at lower temperatures.

Heat pump dryers reduce energy bills and are gentler on clothes. However, they can take over twice as long as a vented dryer, and they have a smaller capacity.

Eco Dry Takes Much Longer

Eco Dry can take over twice as long as a normal cycle for gas and electric dryers, as it limits energy use by using less heat.

For heat pump dryers, the difference between normal and Eco Dry is slightly smaller because normal cycles are already so long.

Tip: Samsung automatically sets dryers to Eco Dry, which you may want to turn off.

Quick Dry Caveat

Quick Dry sometimes refers to a timed cycle capped at 30 minutes (this is how Samsung defines Quick Dry). Some heat pump and condenser dryers advertise a 30-minute Quick Dry cycle, but clothes may not be fully dry at the end.

Dryer Type Makes Less Difference for Low-Temp Cycles

Because they use less heat, heat pump and condenser dryers perform best on lower-temperature cycles—though they still take longer than electric or gas.

Delicates and synthetics dry faster and at lower temperatures than cotton, which absorbs more water and handles high heat. Delicates could feasibly take 30 minutes on both a gas dryer and heat pump dryer.

Permanent press is faster than the normal cycle, partly because it does not apply to heavy loads.

Air Fluff

As noted in the table, because air fluff cycles tumble clothes without any heat, the times will be similar regardless of dryer type.

Air fluff has a range of uses. You should be able to toss in wet clothes for 10-15 minutes to prepare them for air-drying, fluff dry linens for 10 minutes, or use 1-2 cycles of 60-90 minutes each to dry a small load of delicates.

Dryer control panel showing air fluff no heat

Sensor Cycle Drying Times Vary More

On newer dryers, the auto-dry cycle tends to rely on a moisture sensor rather than a traditional thermostat. Unless you use a timed cycle, your machine will keep going as long as it detects moisture.

That can lead to more variation in drying times. If your washing cycle left your clothes wetter than usual, your sensor dry cycle will last longer.

Avoid underfilling the dryer when using sensor dry. If there are only a handful of items tumbling around the drum, they will hit the sensor inconsistently and lead to an incorrect reading. The sensor will detect that clothes are dryer than they are and stop prematurely.

If you’re having issues with sensor dry cycles stopping too early, try more strictly sorting clothes by fabric type. Some materials, like cotton and terrycloth, hold a lot of moisture. Tossing in wet towels with light polyester items will confuse the sensor.

Is My Washing Wet or Cold? (Here’s how to be sure)

Change Is a Good Indicator of Problems

The table above provides time ranges to account for differences in fabric type, load size, and model. If your dryer conforms to the averages in the table but you’ve noticed a significant increase in drying times, that could be a sign that something is wrong.

Increased drying times can indicate a number of problems, including:

  • Lint screen needs to be cleaned (after each cycle or every couple of cycles). 
  • Clogged vents due to lint build-up can be a fire hazard. Vacuum vents after unplugging the dryer and removing the duct. 
  • Washing machine problems cause clothes to be too wet when they enter the dryer.
Cleaning dryer lint, dryer exhaust vent with lint and repairing washing machine

Reducing Drying Time (Normal Function)

If your dryer is functioning normally but you don’t like how long it takes, you can take steps to reduce the drying time:

  • Dry small loads on the Quick Dry cycle. If necessary, adjust the Quick Dry timer to over 30 minutes.
  • Partially dry on the line before putting it in the dryer. Instead of air-drying clothes as a last resort if the dryer doesn’t fully work, you can air-dry first and then finish in the dryer to keep clothes soft and unwrinkled.
  • Let your clothes sit in the washer for about 10 minutes after the cycle ends, then run an extra spin cycle.
  • Dry smaller loads at a time. You should ideally fill ⅔ of the drum. Smaller loads are less energy-efficient but faster. Just remember: if you have a moisture sensor, smaller loads might actually trick the dryer into stopping too soon and leaving clothes wet.

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