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Best tumble dryer balls for fast and efficient clothes drying

Clothes taking an eternity to dry in your tumble dryer? Adding tumble dryer balls can help separate garments, soften your fabrics and dry your clothes more efficiently.

By Lucy Cotterill | Last updated Dec 5, 2023


There’s nothing quite like snuggling into a soft and fluffy towel straight from the tumble dryer, but if your towels are coming out flat and rigid, or taking what seems like a lifetime to dry, it may be time to add some tumble dryer balls to your load. 

These small plastic or woollen balls are placed directly into the machine on top of your clean washing, helping separate garments, reduce static and fluff up your fabrics as they dry. As a result of improved airflow, tumble dryer balls help your machine be more efficient, resulting in shorter cycle times and a far softer feel across your favourite clothes and fabrics. 

Mumsnet users love a bit of laundry chat, so we first tapped into the tried and tested experiences of Mumsnet users, seeking their feedback on the tumble dryer balls that they’ve used, rated and would recommend to others. We then researched wider consumer feedback, before consulting the views of industry experts to bring you our definitive list of the best. 

Whether you opt for wool tumble dryer balls, plastic tumble dryer balls or even extra large tumble dryer balls for larger loads we’ve researched the best options you can buy to add a boost to your laundry routine.

Best tumble dryer balls at a glance: 

  • Best overall tumble dryer balls: Lakeland Dryerballs Tumble Dryer Balls | Buy now 

  • Best budget tumble dryer balls: Ecozone Dryer Cubes | Buy now

  • Best wool tumble dryer balls: Little Beau Sheep Laundry Dryer Balls | Buy now

  • Best plastic tumble dryer balls: Kikkerland Hedgehog Dryer Buddies | Buy now

  • Best long-lasting tumble dryer balls: 8-Natur Tumble Dryer Balls | Buy now 

1. Best overall tumble dryer balls: Lakeland Dryerballs Tumble Dryer Balls 

Price on writing: £9 | Buy now from Lakeland

Key specs: Material: Plastic | Number in a pack: Two

What we like

  • Affordable set of two

  • Helps prevent static and tangling during a cycle

  • Reviewers reported reduced drying times 

  • Durable and long-lasting

What we don’t like

  • You may want an additional set for larger loads 

What Mumsnet users say

We got some from Lakeland and I must admit I was a bit sceptical, but they are great, fluffy clothes, quicker drying time and you get to play hunt the ball at the end of each load - what more could you want?!”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user ptmum)

“I have some from Lakeland and they're good. I think they really do help with softness, no idea about time. They make a cracking foot massager when rolled underfoot too!” (Recommended by Mumsnet user suzi2

Our verdict 

They may look a little like miniature massage balls, but these brightly coloured tumble dryer balls are praised by Mumsnet users and reviewers alike for their ability to separate clothes and soften fabrics during the drying cycle.

Thanks to their spiky plastic design, these durable tumble dryer balls stop clothes from sticking together as they spin, prevent static and reduce trying times by improving the circulation of warm air around your machine. Some reviewers reported a reduction in drying time of up to 45 minutes, helping you get your towels dry, fluffy and ready to use in next to no time. 

While they come with an affordable price tag, you may want to buy a second set for larger loads. 

Read next: Best tumble dryers 2023: heat pump and condenser dryers for every budget

2. Best budget tumble dryer balls: Ecozone Dryer Cubes

Price on writing: £5 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs: Material: Plastic | Number in a pack: Two

What we like

  • Budget-friendly price point 

  • Helps smooth out creases and wrinkles 

  • The soft rubber design is gentle on clothes whilst fluffing fabrics 

What we don’t like

  • May want a second set for larger loads 

Our verdict 

If you’re keen to embrace the energy-saving benefits of tumble dryer balls but don’t want to spend a fortune, these Ecozone dryer cubes make an affordable, budget-friendly choice. 

With an innovative square design made from soft rubber, these dryer balls have smaller spikes that can separate fabrics without the risk of damaging your clothes’ delicate fibres. 

As they spin in the machine, the Ecozone tumble dryer balls bounce around with your clothes, improving airflow, aiding drying and relaxing fibres without the need for additional softeners or fabric conditioners. With the ability to smooth out creases and wrinkles, you may even find your clothes need less ironing as a result. 

Read next: Best ironing boards to keep clothes smooth and wrinkle-free

3. Best wool tumble dryer balls: Little Beau Sheep Laundry Dryer Balls 

Price on writing: £22 | Buy now from Amazon

Tested by MNHQ: Read our review of Little Beau Sheep laundry dryer balls

Key specs: Material: Wool | Number in a pack: Three

What we like

  • Attractive design made from soft, natural wool

  • Eco-friendly product with no chemicals or dyes

  • Set of three 

  • Quieter than plastic alternatives 

  • Long-lasting 

What we don’t like

  • More costly than plastic options 

  • May want a second set for larger loads 

What Mumsnet users say

“Tumbledryer balls made from wool are an absolute life changer!” (Type of dryer balls recommended by Mumsnet user Ylvamoon

Our verdict 

They may not come cheap, but this set of three tumble dryer balls with an adorable sheep design makes the perfect addition for smaller loads in your machine. Made from soft natural wool, they’re also a sustainable, long-lasting and eco-friendly choice that can quickly become a firm favourite in your laundry routine. 

Completely free of dyes and chemicals, these soft wool balls are not only quieter than plastic designs, they are more gentle on your fabrics too, fluffing up your towels and relaxing fibres without the need for softeners or tumble dryer sheets.

Read next: Best budget washing machines as recommended by families

4. Best plastic tumble dryer balls: Kikkerland Hedgehog Dryer Buddies

Price on writing: £11 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs: Material: Plastic | Number in a pack: Two

What we like

  • Cute design

  • Effective at fluffing up fabrics and removing static 

  • Help remove leftover pet hair during the cycle 

What we don’t like

  • Some reviewers found they fell apart after prolonged use

  • Can be a little noisy in the machine 

What Mumsnet users say

“Put these in my husband’s stocking at Christmas - they're great”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user downtonupton)

“I have some hedgehog ones that are very noisy to start with but once they get going and get within the washing they do get quieter” (Recommended by Mumsnet user User748956

Our verdict 

These cute little hedgehogs may be super cute, but it’s fair to say they aren’t just a gimmick - these spiky plastic tumble dryer balls help actively lift and separate your clothes during the drying cycle, improving the flow of hot air to soften fabrics and reduce the build-up of static as they dry. 

The plastic design can be a little noisy and can wear out over time, but by improving your dryer’s efficiency they can help your clothes dry faster, saving money and energy in the process. 

Read next: Best lint remover to get rid of lint, hair and bobbles from clothing

5. Best long-lasting tumble dryer balls: 8-Natur Tumble Dryer Balls

Price on writing: £9 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs: Material: Wool | Number in a pack: Six

What we like

  • Claim to reduce drying times by 20-30%

  • Made from firmly felted, natural wool 

  • Can be used with essential oils to add fragrance if preferred

  • Large pack suitable for both small and large drying loads 

What we don’t like

  • The brand name 8-Natur has confused some purchasers - there are six dryer balls in the bag 

Our verdict 

If you’re looking for tumble dryer balls that won’t fall apart or wear out even after some fairly extensive use, this bag of long-lasting natural wool tumble dryer balls could be just the ticket.

Made from soft, firm felted natural wool, these larger-sized balls help absorb moisture and create more space between your clothes as they spin, increasing airflow and claiming to reduce drying times by 20-30% as a result. 

They come in a handy storage bag, and with six in the pack, you can opt to use three or four for a small load or throw them all in when your drum is a little more full. 

Read next: Best heated clothes airers for drying clothes quickly

6. Best sustainable tumble dryer balls: Gleener Puffer Dryer Dots

Price on writing: £17 | Buy now from Lakeland

Key specs: Material: Wool | Number in a pack: Four

What we like

  • Made from ethically sourced wool

  • Reduce drying time by up to 30%

  • Gentle on fabrics 

  • Long lasting 

What we don’t like

  • Costly

Our verdict 

If you’re after a truly sustainable choice, the Gleener Puffer Dryer Dots are made from 100% Ethically Sourced New Zealand Wool, making them a great biodegradable alternative to using disposable tumble dryer sheets.

Completely free from chemicals and hypoallergenic, they maximise airflow around your dryer to help remove wrinkles and reduce drying time, naturally softening and fluffing your towels during the cycle. With a smooth, soft surface, they stop clothing from sticking together, while being gentle on more delicate items such as those filled with down.

They may not come cheap, however, Gleener claims that these long-lasting natural tumble dryer balls will see you through up to 3000 drying loads - approximately 3 years worth of laundry, making them excellent overall value for money. 

Read next: Best washer dryers 2023: space-saving models for your home

7. Best tumble dryer balls for static: OrgaWise Wool Dryer Balls

Price on writing: £9 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs: Material: Wool | Number in a pack: Four 

What we like

  • Super soft New Zealand wool

  • Long-lasting

  • Set of four in a handy carry bag 

  • Reduce static charge in the dryer 

What we don’t like

  • Recommend you use 5-6 balls for larger loads, so you may need a second set 

Our verdict

Static buildup in your tumble dryer can be a right pain, causing fabrics to stick together, rub against each other and cause damage to your clothes in the dryer.

These OrgaWise Wool Dryer balls are an effective solution. Made from super soft natural New Zealand wool, they not only help lift fabrics away from each other as they spin, they aid air circulation, prevent static charge and accelerate drying times by up to 30%. 

Absorbing water without shedding lint, you can even add a few drops of your favourite essential oils to add a little scent to your load. With a life span equivalent to 2000 dryer sheets (or twenty bottles of fabric conditioner), they’re a sensible investment for your laundry. 

Read next: The 17 best laundry detergents according to Mumsnetters

8. Best large tumble dryer balls: Ezhippie 6XL Quality Dryer Balls

Price on writing: £13 | Buy now from Amazon

Key specs: Material: Wool | Number in a pack: Six

What we like

  • Long lasting extra large size 

  • Super soft New Zealand wool

  • Helps reduce drying times by 30-40%

  • Reduces creasing and static 

What we don’t like

  • Some reviewers noted that they had a slight smell after use 

What Mumsnet users say

“I use four of these, cut drying time cut in half!”  (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Livingmagicallyagain)

Our verdict 

The larger the balls (ahem) the more efficient they can be in your dryer, creating larger voids between your clothes and extra space for the warm air to circulate. Claiming to reduce drying times by 30-40%, these soft and gentle dryer balls can save time and energy while taking good care of your clothes. 

These extra-large wool dryer balls for Ezhippie are substantial in size, with firm-pressed wool on the inside that absorbs moisture and reduces creasing during the cycle. Available in a variety of pack sizes, you may wish to opt for the larger pack of twelve if you regularly wash larger loads. 

Read next: Best dehumidifiers to beat damp and mould at home

How do you use tumble dryer balls?

Exact instructions for tumble dryer balls may vary depending on the brand and their material, however, as a general rule, you should add your clean, wet washing to the tumble dryer as usual, taking care not to overload your machine. 

Without adding additional fabric conditioner or tumble dryer sheets, simply place the dryer balls on top of the pile of clothes (using two to four balls for small loads or four to six when drying a more substantial amount)

When you start the cycle - the balls will move around with your washing as they dry, preventing your clothes from sticking together and improving airflow around your dryer. 

How many times can you use tumble dryer balls?

How long your tumble dryer balls last depends on the material, the quality and how often you intend to use them, with the best tumble dryer balls being built to last years. For the longest-lasting tumble dryer balls, you should opt for natural fibres such as wool which tends to be more durable than plastic. 

If your tumble dryer balls start to crack, split or show significant signs of wear, it may be wise to replace them to avoid damage to your clothes. 

Do dryer balls damage the tumble dryer?

Not when used correctly, no. In fact, good quality dryer balls can actually make your tumble dryer more efficient, reducing drying times by allowing the air to circulate better between your clothes. If your tumble dryer has auto sensors, you may find your machine needs to run for less time as a result.

You should keep an eye on your dryer balls to ensure they are still fully intact and fit for purpose, replacing them as and when required. 

Will tumble dryer balls remove pet hair?

While it’s not their primary purpose, dryer balls, in particular those made from wool, can also be effective at catching loose pet hairs from clothing in the machine. If any lint or fibres still remain, you may find using a lint remover or lint roller more effective in the long term. 

Can you ‘recharge’ wool tumble dryer balls?

After substantial use, wool dryer balls can begin to flatten or build up with lint, fluff and moisture absorbed during the drying cycle. The good news is, you can actually revive and recharge your tumble dryer balls - ironically by putting them through the wash.

First, remove any obvious hair or lint, either by hand or using a lint remover. Then either pop into your washing machine in a laundry bag on a warm wash cycle (without detergent) or wash by hand and bring to the boil, before leaving to air dry for a couple of days. If you’re short on time, you can also dry them in the tumble dryer on high heat.

After recharging, you should find the wool's effectiveness and absorbency improve. 

What to consider when buying tumble dryer balls

Here are some things to consider when choosing the right tumble dryer balls for your household 

  • Pack size - How large do your tumble dryer loads tend to be? If you only use the tumble dryer for fluffing towels and the occasional rushed school uniform, a small pack of two to four dryer balls should be sufficient. If you’re planning to dry more substantial loads, you may want to opt for a larger pack or purchase more than one set - something worth considering when factoring in the cost. 

  • Noise - Does the noise level concern you? Plastic dryer balls can be really efficient but they can be noisy as a result of their harder exterior. If you have an open-plan kitchen or work from home in the same room as your dryer, you may want to opt for quieter wool alternatives.

  • Fabrics - Do you have a preference for material? Plastic tumble dryer balls tend to be cheaper, but noisier and less durable than their wool counterparts. Wool is obviously a more sustainable and eco-friendly choice, making a soft and gentle alternative to fabric conditioners and dryer sheets.

  • What size are they? - The bigger the tumble dryer ball, the more space it can create between items of clothing, aiding airflow and reducing drying times. Larger balls tend to last longer too, without becoming misshapen or flat after extended use. 

What are the best tumble dryer balls?

For their overall effectiveness, budget-friendly price point and easy-to-use design, the Lakeland Dryerballs take our top spot for the best tumble dryer balls you can buy today. If you prefer a quieter, more eco-friendly design, the pack of six large wool balls from 8-Natur offer a long-lasting natural alternative. 

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users 

Since the increase in energy prices, there has been a lot of debate within the Mumsnet forums on how to make laundry more energy efficient, with many users sharing their hints and tips on everything from the best energy-efficient tumble dryers to heated clothes airers and tumble dryer balls. 

First, we sought out the trusted opinions of Mumsnet users, to get their feedback on the tumble dryer balls that they rate, recommend and have used as part of their laundry routine.

We also looked out for any negative reviews, where Mumsetters highlighted products that they felt were poor quality, broke easily or simply struggled to provide any tangible benefits. 

Expert opinions

Next up, we considered reviews and feedback from trusted industry experts. We want to be confident that the products we recommend are fit for purpose, so we looked out for award-winning products or those that were well regarded in the marketplace, including those recommended by cleaning and laundry experts.

Authentic consumer reviews

Finally, to bring you our definitive list of the best tumble dryer balls on the market, we thoroughly investigated genuine, in-depth customer reviews on retailer sites such as Amazon and Lakeland to get wider consumer experiences regarding the products on our shortlist. 

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.