9 Benefits of Dryer Balls (Yes! They Work Better than Sheets)

If you’re thinking about getting some dryer balls you might be wondering, what do dryer balls do? Dryer balls do a myriad of things, so many that I had to write a whole post dedicated just to the benefits of dryer balls.

Wool dryer balls can reduce dryer time, last for 1000 loads, can be recycled, are eco-friendly, are hypoallergenic, help decrease static, prevent wrinkles, can have scents added, and are easy to make yourself.

This post is your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about dryer balls. Some of these sections will just be an overview, if you want to know more, I’ll link out to another one of my posts that goes more in-depth into that topic.

Well, we’ve got a lot to cover so let’s get started!

Table of Contents

What Are Dryer Balls?

How long do wool dryer balls last

Before we go over all the great benefits of dryer balls, let’s first talk about what dryer balls actually are.

Dryer balls can be plastic or wool. Wool dryer balls are felted balls of wool that you put in your dryer with a load of laundry.

Plastic dryer balls are plastic balls with little spikes on them that can provide most of the same benefits as wool dryer balls.

To see the difference between wool and plastic dryer balls, jump to that section here.

Dryer balls are very simple devices but they provide plenty of benefits.

Seeing all the benefits of dryer balls is what you’re here for, so let’s not waste any more time.

9 Benefits of Dryer Balls

With so many fads out there, it’s hard to tell which things are worth the fuss. So, what’s the deal with wool dryer balls?

Well, I’ve got nine benefits of dryer balls that make them worth using. Let’s start checking them off.

1. Decrease Dry Time

benefits of dryer balls

The best benefit and biggest selling point of dryer balls is that they decrease the dry time in your dryer.

Some users even report it decreases their dry time by up to 50%. Think of how much money you’ll save on your energy bill by decreasing the amount of time it takes to dry your clothes!

Have you ever done a load of laundry and discovered that your clothes were all clumped together and the ones in the middle of the clump were still wet?

Well, dryer balls actually prevent this clump from happening.

Dryer balls increase airflow in your dryer by bouncing around and separating clothing in the dryer. See? No clump.

This better airflow decreases the amount of time it takes to dry the clothes thoroughly.

So simple and yet such good benefits.

However, this is but one of the nine great benefits of dryer balls. Let’s keep moving down our list.

2. Last for 1000 Loads

Next up is the fact that they last for a really long time.

Dryer balls can last for 1000 loads of laundry.

In fact, most sets of dryer balls have six dryer balls in them and you only use 3-4 per load. That means one set of dryer balls could last as many as 2000 loads.

That’s insane! Think of all the laundry you’ll get with all the benefits of dryer balls for only the cost of one set of dryer balls.

If your wool dryer balls start to wear out, you can also recharge your dryer balls by washing them in the washing machine with a load of laundry.

This wash cycle refreshes and rehydrates the dryer balls allowing them to last even longer.

If your dryer balls start to expand or lose their shape, it’s time to retire them.

Lucky for you, our next little section covers what you can do when it’s time to retire your dryer balls.

3. Can Be Recycled

Can you Recycle Wool Dryer Balls

Your dryer balls can be like your favorite toy as a kid, you love them so much that eventually, they start to wear out.

Well, unlike your favorite toy, wool dryer balls can easily be recycled and repurposed.

Wool dryer balls can be recycled anywhere that also recycles textiles and, because they’re made from natural materials, wool dryer balls can also be composted.

If you don’t have a way to compost them, they can also be repurposed into other things. Here are some wool dryer ball repurposing project ideas.

Since dryer balls can be recycled, that means they’re eco-friendly which just so happens to be benefit #4.

4. Eco-Friendly

As we just discussed, wool dryer balls can be recycled which certainly ups their sustainability score. But, there are lots of other reasons why wool dryer balls are eco-friendly.

We have also already discussed that wool dryer balls decrease the dry time needed which means less energy used which means more eco-friendliness. Yes, eco-friendliness is definitely a word.

Another reason wool dryer balls are eco-friendly is that they last for 1000 loads of laundry. This benefit we also already discussed, it’s like I planned it that way or something.

This long-lasting ability means fewer single-use products used such as single-use dryer sheets.

Wool dryer balls are also made with sustainable materials. Sheep’s wool is sheared off the sheep once a year, then it’s allowed to grow back and sheared again.

The shearing process is harmless to the sheep and if they aren’t sheared they can actually suffer some major health problems.

No chemicals are needed to grow the wool and the wool grows back naturally on the sheep. Boom, sustainability.

If you’re looking for an easy change to help decrease your carbon footprint, wool dryer balls are the way to go.

On to one of the next benefits of dryer balls in our sustainability journey.

5. Hypoallergenic

A lot of people switch to wool dryer balls because they have sensitive skin and can’t use dryer sheets.

Dryer sheets use a lot of chemicals and scents which can be harsh on the skin.

Dryer balls are a great alternative to dryer sheets, however, some people also suffer from a wool allergy.

If you’re one of those people don’t worry, you can also use reusable dryer sheets or plastic dryer balls which are even more hypoallergenic than wool dryer balls.

Regardless of what alternative to dryer sheets you use, they give you many of the same benefits without any of those pesky chemicals.

These benefits include decreasing static, preventing wrinkles, and you can even add scents. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves because those are the next benefits of dryer balls we’re going to discuss.

6. Decrease Static

Picture this, you’re just doing your laundry, minding your own business, and zap! The static attacks.

It’s just the worst.

Decreasing static is a big reason why people continue to use single-use dryer sheets.

Wool dryer balls don’t eliminate static completely, but it’s much better than if you didn’t use anything at all.

But, lucky for you, I have a couple of hints to help you with static while using dryer balls.

First, if you put a wide variety of materials in your dryer at the same time it will help immensely with static. By this, I mean drying cotton with polyester with whatever other fabrics you can dry and with your wool dryer balls.

This diverse mix helps prevent static from forming at all and, since dryer sheets are made of polyester, it’s also partially how they reduce static.

My other tip for you is to pin a safety pin to one of your dryer balls. Sounds weird, but let me explain.

Metal is super conductive, meaning it’s really good at collecting static. So, by putting a safety pin on your dryer ball, you’re giving that static a place to gather.

Then, whenever it tinks against the metal side of your dryer, it will discharge all the static it’s gathered into the metal of your dryer which eliminates it from your laundry. SCIENCE!

Now, these tips are not 100% perfect, but they still help make it so you don’t have to use dryer sheets.

7. Prevent Wrinkles

what are wool dryer balls

Coming in at seventh place in our list: preventing wrinkles.

Here we come into another contest between dryer balls and dryer sheets.

Dryer sheets help prevent wrinkles in your clothing by using fabric softeners. Dryer balls help prevent wrinkles by using steam.

Hold up, dryer balls aren’t filled with water, how do they use steam?

Well, dryer balls will absorb the moisture from your laundry while they’re tumbling around inside your dryer.

Then, the moisture will get released as the dryer balls heat up making steam.

Steam plus clothes equals fewer wrinkles.

You can use this handy little trick to help unwrinkle clothes that are super wrinkly but that are completely dry already. Here’s how.

Run a dryer ball or two underwater for a little bit to get them damp, then throw them in with your wrinkly laundry.

Boom, homemade steamer!

This is one of the great benefits of dryer balls, but if you leave your clothes all crumpled up in the dryer for too long after they’re done drying, they will get wrinkly again.

8. Added Scents

We are nearing the end of our list so keep bearing with me.

You can add whatever scent you would like to wool dryer balls by using essential oils. Personalized scents, how cool is that?

Now, if you’re really attached to that fresh laundry smell, there are actually some essential oil blends that copy that smell.

It’s pretty easy to add scents, all you have to do is make up a little mix of whatever essential oils you want and then spritz your dryer balls with it before you turn on the dryer.

Here’s a video on how to make an excellent essential oil mix.

Now, before you go getting too essential oil crazy, let me give you a word of warning.

Some essential oils can be irritating to your skin, so make sure you test your essential oil mix on your skin before you use it in your laundry.

9. Easy to Make

how to make dryer balls

Last but certainly not least, dryer balls are super easy to make.

If you’re like me and you don’t like the idea of buying something that you could easily make yourself, then dryer balls are the project for you.

All you need is some pantyhose, a pair of scissors, and some wool.

Your wool can come in the form of wool roving, wool yarn, or wool fabric scraps.

To make them, just roll your chosen material into a ball and stuff it into the bottom of the pantyhose.

Then, tie a knot and stuff another wool ball in the pantyhose. Continue this process until you can’t fit anymore or you run out of materials.

Then, put your little string of dryer balls through the washing machine and dryer on high heat 2-3 times until they’re thoroughly felted.

If you don’t want to waste water, wash them with a load of laundry and kill two birds with one stone.

Finally, cut your dryer balls out of the pantyhose and, voila, wool dryer balls.

I wasn’t kidding when I said they were super simple. But, for those of you who still have questions, check out my post all about how to make wool dryer balls.

Dang, we made it to the end of our list already! It was a pretty exhaustive lift about the benefits of dryer balls, but, you might still have some questions.

Lucky for you, this post is just getting started, we’ve got a whole bunch more stuff about dryer balls. Keep chugging to expand your knowledge even further.

How to Use Dryer Balls

how to use wool dryer balls

You’ve made it through the list of the benefits of dryer balls and I succeeded in convincing you to get some, fantastic!

But now that you’ve got them, how do you use dryer balls?

In order to know how to use them, we have to know how they work.

Dryer balls help reduce dry time by bouncing around inside your dryer to separate your laundry which increases airflow.

Because they have to bounce around, it’s important to make sure you give your dryer balls room to work. In other words, don’t overfill your dryer.

I usually shoot for my dryer to be about half full or less. Luckily, that’s about as much as I can fit in my washing machine, so it all works out.

Dryer balls usually come in a set of six, but you only need 3-4 per load depending on how big your dryer is.

Now that you know how to use dryer balls, just toss them in with your dryer load and let them do their thing.

Simple, easy, and yet oh, so effective. But, dryer sheets are just as easy, so why not use them instead?

I’ve got your answer in the next section, leggo.

Dryer Balls Vs Dryer Sheets

Dryer Balls vs Dryer Sheets

Well, well, well, so my list of the benefits of dryer balls wasn’t enough to convince you to get rid of your dryer sheets, huh?

How about we talk about and compare the two and then you can decide once and for all which one is better.

This’ll just be a quick overview comparison, if you want a more thorough look, check out my ultimate breakdown of dryer balls vs dryer sheets.

1. Sustainability

As you can imagine, sustainability is the big reason why people switch from dryer sheets to dryer balls.

Dryer sheets are made to only be used once, they are made out of non-sustainable factory-made materials, and are coated in non-sustainable chemicals.

Wool dryer balls can be used for 1000 loads, reduce the energy needed per dryer load, are made out of sustainable materials, and can be composted or recycled after they’re worn out.

Boom, boom. Wool dryer balls hit it out of the park when it comes to sustainability.

You could use reusable dryer sheets which are kind of a hybrid between dryer balls and dryer sheets.

Reusable sheets do not contain the chemicals regular dryer sheets do, but, they’re still made out of synthetic materials, don’t reduce dry time, and cannot be composted.

2. Benefits

We’ve already talked about the 9 benefits of dryer balls in this post, so let’s see if dryer sheets and reusable dryer sheets can hold up to the dryer ball standard.

Dryer balls can reduce dryer time, last for 1000 loads, can be recycled, are eco-friendly, are hypoallergenic, help decrease static, prevent wrinkles, can have scents added, and are easy to make.

Dryer sheets help decrease static, prevent wrinkles, and make your laundry smell fresh. But, they cannot decrease dry time, are not reusable, cannot be recycled, are not eco-friendly, can cause skin irritation, and you cannot make them yourself.

Reusable dryer sheets last 500 loads, are somewhat eco-friendly, are hypoallergenic, help decrease static, prevent wrinkles, and can have scents added. But, they don’t reduce dry time, aren’t made with sustainable materials, and you can’t make them yourself.

With all that information we can easily compare the three.

In terms of the benefits you get, wool dryer balls come in the first place, closely followed by reusable dryer sheets, and regular dryer sheets bring up the rear.

We have one last thing to consider between dryer balls and dryer sheets; cost.

3. Cost

Let’s look at a quick breakdown of the cost of dryer balls, dryer sheets, and reusable dryer sheets.

A pack of dryer balls is usually between 20-30 dollars for a pack of six. But, since you only need three dryer balls per load, this set of dryer balls can last around 2000 loads, That’s the equivalent of 2000 dryer sheets.

Now, a box of dryer sheets can vary greatly by brand but they range around 10-15 dollars for a box of 120-140 sheets. So, two boxes of dryer sheets are equivalent to the cost of a pack of dryer balls but only give you about 280 loads of laundry.

Reusable dryer sheets cost between 10-15 dollars. There’s not as much research done on how long these guys last, but from what I’ve found they last an average of 500 loads of laundry.

In terms of cost in the long run, again the order comes out as dryer balls, reusable dryer sheets, and, lastly, dryer sheets.

Hopefully, that gives you enough information to make an educated decision between dryer balls and dryer sheets.

Another comparison to look at before you decide what to get is which kind of dryer balls are better for you; wool or plastic.

Wool Dryer Balls Vs Plastic Dryer Balls

wool vs plastic dryer balls

Clearly, there are many benefits of dryer balls. But, this post has mainly focused on wool dryer balls, until now.

Here I’m going to break down and give a brief comparison of wool dryer balls vs plastic dryer balls.

We already know what wool dryer balls can do, but in case you don’t know, here’s the list of the benefits of dryer balls again.

Wool dryer balls can reduce dryer time, last for 1000 loads, can be recycled, are eco-friendly, are hypoallergenic, help decrease static, prevent wrinkles, can have scents added, and are easy to make.

Now let’s talk about plastic dryer balls.

Plastic dryer balls can reduce dry time, they do the same thing wool dryer balls do and bounce around in the dryer separating clothes and increasing airflow.

But, plastic dryer balls are not as durable as wool. They are reusable but they won’t last 1000 loads.

Plastic dryer balls are not made with sustainable materials which means they’re not as eco-friendly, but they can be recycled like other plastic items.

Plastic dryer balls are very hypoallergenic. They don’t contain any irritating chemicals and are a great alternative for people that have a wool allergy but still want to use dryer balls.

Plastic dryer balls help decrease static electricity but not as much.

Lastly, plastic dryer balls cannot prevent wrinkles, have scents added to them, and you cannot make them yourself.

Despite not having those last three benefits, plastic dryer balls still give great eco-friendly benefits for someone looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

If you want a more thorough comparison, check out my post dedicated to wool vs plastic dryer balls.

Wrap Up

Huzzah! We’ve made it to the end! All that’s left is to make sure you got everything you needed to know out of this post.

That’s right, it’s recap time!

First, we talked about all 9 benefits of dryer balls. And here they are for one last time.

Wool dryer balls can reduce dryer time, last for 1000 loads, can be recycled, are eco-friendly, are hypoallergenic, help decrease static, prevent wrinkles, can have scents added, and are easy to make.

You probably have that memorized by now. But, after reading my phenomenal post about all the benefits of dryer balls, you decided you should get some. Great decision.

So, then we talked about how to use wool dryer balls. Just make sure not to overfill your dryer with clothes and throw 3-4 dryer balls in with your laundry. They really are that simple.

Close to the end, we did a side-by-side comparison between the benefits of dryer balls and the benefits of dryer sheets.

Last but not least, we compared wool dryer balls to plastic dryer balls.

I really tried to cover all my bases here. Hopefully, now you have all the knowledge you need to make educated decisions about dryer balls.

Now, enough out of me, get out there and make something awesome!


How Do You Store Wool Dryer Balls?

In general, wool dryer balls need to be stored in a cool dry place. This ensures that your dryer balls won’t get moldy or mildewy. You can store your dryer balls in the dryer in between loads or, dryer balls are usually sold in a canvas bag, which is also a great place to store your dryer balls.

How Often Should You Wash Wool Dryer Balls?

You should wash your dryer balls around every 250 loads. After a few hundred loads, dryer balls can start to loosen up or get stiffer. If you find that the texture of your dryer balls has changed from how they were when you first got them, you should wash them. All you have to do is throw your wool dryer balls into the wash on high heat.

Do Dryer Balls Remove Pet Hair?

Wool dryer balls can help with removing pet hair. Because they’re made out of wool, they’re kind of sticky to other fibers. This stickiness grabs onto other kinds of fiber which can help gather in pet hair and other kinds of lint.

Can You Use Dryer Balls and Dryer Sheets Together?

There’s nothing wrong with using dryer balls and dryer sheets together. However, there’s no need to use them both. Dryer sheets can help reduce static electricity more than dryer balls do, but, a big reason for switching to dryer balls is to get rid of one-time-use dryer sheets and the chemicals they use.

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