What Are Dryer Balls? (The Ultimate Guide)

It seems as if Dryer Balls are all the rage recently; everyone is either using them or talking about them! But you might be wondering what exactly dryer balls are. If so, you’ve come to the right place! We have created this handy guide for you, to answer all your questions about dryer balls; from what they are and what they can do, to storing and using them, and even recommendations for some of the best dryer balls out there!

What are Dryer Balls?

Dryer Balls are balls, usually made from wool, plastic or rubber, that you put in your dryer, typically to replace dryer sheets. They generally come in two sizes: regular or extra large.

Feel free to watch my dryer ball YouTube video about what dryer balls are and how many you should use: 

What Do Dryer Balls Do?

Dryer Balls slip and tumble between clothes in the dryer and separate them, which helps fight wrinkles and counter static, and can even cut down on drying times.

What are the Different Types of Dryer Balls?

There are three different types of dryer balls: wool, plastic, and rubber! Below, we explain what each of these different dryer balls are.

Wool Dryer Ball

Wool Dryer Balls are made from tightly packed wool and are environmentally friendly. They are super soft and can be found in white or black. You can add natural essential oils into the wool ball to create a nice scent into your laundry, which is a plus compared to plastic and rubber balls.

Plastic Dryer Balls

Plastic Dryer Balls are hypoallergenic, made from non-toxic substances, and are safe to be used with all types of fabrics. They are great at reducing static in your load of laundry, like dryer sheets would do. The plastic balls are either soft or squishy top touch, and have a bunch of spikes on them.

Rubber Dryer Balls

Rubber Dryer Balls are similar to plastic dryer balls. They are hypoallergenic and made from non-toxic substances. Rubber dryer balls are typically soft and squishy, great for keeping your laundry in good shape.

What’s the Difference Between Wool and Plastic Dryer Balls?

There are a few differences between wool and plastic dryer balls. Plastic dryer balls are often more durable than wool; with plastic dryer balls you do not run the risk of them eventually separating. Though wool dryer balls are quieter in the dryer, are environmentally friendly, and can be scented with essential oils.

Do Dryer Balls Actually Work?

Dryer balls do actually work! They can cut down on drying times, lessen static in your clothes, and soften them, too. Just make sure you use enough based on the size laundry load.

How Do You Use Dryer Balls?

It’s easy to use dryer balls! Place 3 or more dryer balls, depending on the size of the load, into the dryer first and then add the clothes, and you are good to go! Dryer balls are made to withstand heat, of course, so you can run your dryer like you normally would!

Can You Reduce Static Even More by Dampening the Dryer Balls with Water?

You can definitely reduce static even more by dampening the dryer balls with water! Getting them wet helps boost humidity in your dryer which aids in eliminating static cling.

What are the Best Dryer Balls?

1. Tru Earth Dryer Balls

my wool dryer balls by tru earth

Tru Earth Dryer Balls are a great choice. They come in a pack of 4 and each of these balls is made from 100% organic sheep wool from New Zealand. Since they are organic, that means no synthetic materials or chemicals were used to make these dryer balls, so they are perfect for babies or those with sensitive skin. These dryer balls are designed to soften clothes without leaving wrinkles behind and even keep them from tangling in the dryer, which makes for a quicker, more even drying.

2. S&T INC. Reusable Laundry Dryer Balls S&T INC. Reusable Laundry Dryer Balls, Soften and Fluff Laundry, Dark Blue, 2.5 in, 6 Pack

S&T INC. Reusable Laundry Dryer Balls are a great choice if you’re looking to purchase dryer balls. They come in a pack of 6 and each of these balls is made from non-toxic, hypoallergenic plastic and are reusable. There are three colors to choose from: blue, dark blue, and orange. They have been designed to reduce drying times and soften clothes, and are machine washable for easy care and cleaning.

3. Wooly Heroes Dryer Balls Wooly Heroes Dryer Balls - 100% Organic Wool - Sustainable & Eco-Friendly - Dry 1,000 Loads

Wooly Heroes Dryer Balls are a cute, even kid-friendly, alternative to regular wool dryer balls! They come in a pack of 6 and each ball has the face of a different animal etched into them, and these etchings are done by women from underprivileged areas in Nepal in ethical working conditions for fair wages. Made from 100% organic New Zealand wool, these balls are designed to soften and fluff clothes while providing a wrinkle-free dry, and the animal features make laundry enjoyable!

4. Handy Laundry Wool Dryer Balls Wool Dryer Balls - Natural Fabric Softener, Reusable, Reduces Clothing Wrinkles and Saves Drying Time. The Large Dryer Ball is a Better Alternative to Plastic Balls and Liquid Softener. (Pack of 6)

The Handy Laundry Wool Dryer Balls are a great, no-frills choice, and come in a pack of 6 extra large balls, which means you don’t have to use quite as many at one time. Each ball is rolled by hand, made with 100% New Zealand wool without synthetic fibers, and are designed to soften and fluff clothes while providing a quick, even, and wrinkle-free dry.

5. Whitmor Dryer Balls Blue Whitmor Dryer Balls - Eco Friendly Fabric Softener Alternative (Set of 4)

Whitmor Dryer Balls are a great choice if you don’t want to use wool dryer balls. These plastic balls, colored a light blue, come in a pack of 2 and each of them is made from non-toxic plastics. They are reusable and designed to soften and fluff clothes while providing a quick, even, and wrinkle-free dry.

How Long Do Wool Dryer Balls Last?

One Wool Dryer Ball lasts 1,000 loads, which, depending on how often you use them, can mean one will last for years of near-daily use. Wool dryer balls do not need to be replaced unless they become damaged.

How Long Do Plastic Dryer Balls Last?

Plastic Dryer Balls also last for more than 1,000 loads, which, depending on how often you use them, means they can last for years of everyday use. 

What’s the Difference Between Dryer Balls and Dryer Sheets?

The main differences between Dryer Balls and Dryer Sheets are: First, dryer sheets usually have chemicals that give synthetic fragrance to your clothes, whereas dryer balls do not. Second, dryer sheets soften clothes using a fatty molecule that covers the fabric. Dryer balls tumble between layers and fabrics to soften them naturally, without leaving behind any residue that might be irritating to sensitive skin.

Why Choose Dryer Balls over Dryer Sheets?

There are many reasons why you might choose dryer balls over dryer sheets.

First, dryer balls are proven to reduce drying time which can save you money. Second, dryer balls are reusable where as dryer sheets are not, and can last for years, thereby cutting down on constant purchasing costs. Third, wool dryer balls specifically are more environmentally friendly than dryer sheets; and all types of dryer balls are hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin. They do not leave behind any chemical residue on your clothes the way dryer sheets can.

Do Dryer Balls Help Soften Your Clothes?

Dryer balls can definitely help soften your clothes, though the end result may not be as obviously soft as it is with dryer sheets. To combat this, feel free to use 3 up to 6 balls at once, instead of just 1, and that should help if there are any issues with softness!

Dryer Balls FAQs

Can You Use a Tennis Ball as a Dryer Ball?

You can definitely use a Tennis Ball as a Dryer Ball! Just put the tennis ball in the dryer, like you would a normal dryer ball, and it should work the same. You can even use essential oils on a tennis ball to scent it, just as you can with regular wool dryer balls.

How Should You Store Dryer Balls?

It is easy to store your dryer balls! For the most part, all types of dryer balls can be kept in the dryer for ease of access, but if you use wool dryer balls and wish to store them somewhere else, just make sure to keep them in a well-ventilated area! This will ensure that your dryer balls last as long as possible! Many wool dryer balls come in little bags making it a great place to store them.

Are Dryer Balls Eco-Friendly? Wool Dryer Balls XL, Handmade Organic Dryer Balls Laundry Reusable Natural Fabric Softener, Dryer Sheets Alternative, 100% New Zealand Wool Extra-Large Dryer Ball,Reduce Wrinkles & Saves Drying Time

Dryer balls are definitely eco-friendly, especially the ones made from wool! Since they are reusable and last for so long, they are a good alternative to single use dryer sheets, which often have chemicals built into them. These chemicals can leave harsh residue on your clothes and can also discharge toxic air from dryer vents, which is bad for the environment.

Do Wool Dryer Balls Have a Scent?

Wool Dryer Balls generally come unscented, though some companies specifically sell scented wool dryer balls. You can also scent them yourself by using a few drops of essential oils.

Can You Add Essential Oils to Wool Dryer Balls for Scent?

You can definitely add essential oils to wool dryer balls to give them scents, and it is easy! Just apply a few drops, usually 5-15, depending on the size, to each ball, wait for them to dry, and then use them! You can use the same scent for each ball or you can mix it up to make your clothes smell even better. And if the scent ever fades over time, just add a few more drops.

Final Thoughts

Dryer Balls are here to stay, as an environmentally friendly and inexpensive alternative to dryer sheets. They are easy to use, easy to store and take care of, and you can rest well knowing that you’re drying your clothes with safe materials that are friendly to the world and your household.

But it’s not just the environment and sensitive skin that dryer balls are easy on; you’ll also find that, in the long run, you are saving money. You won’t have to purchase dryer sheets multiple times a year any longer, and your clothes will dry quicker, saving you money in energy bills.

There are many options to choose from when it comes to dryer balls, and no matter which one you choose–wool, plastic, or rubber–they will all do the same job, and they’ll do it well!