Do I really need dryer balls?

You can do laundry without dryer balls, but why would you want to? After experiencing the benefits of wool dryer balls, you’ll never want to do another load without them. They save money, reduce dry time, fight static, and make clothing soft. Plus a whole lot more. 

“I love using [Smart Sheep] dryer balls.” —Miss Marple, verified Amazon purchaser (five stars)

Quick links:

What is the dryer balls job?

Why should I use dryer balls?

Are tennis balls better?

Or plastic dryer balls?

Are dryer sheets better than dryer balls?

How do I get the best out of my dryer balls?

If you’d like to experience the magic for yourself, buy Smart Sheep wool dryer balls and upgrade your laundry routine.

What do wool dryer balls actually do?

Wool dryer balls massage your laundry, gently lifting and separating the fabrics. This constant movement keeps items from clinging together into bunched up balls of wrinkles. Instead, they get even airflow and dry smoothly.

The balls also help lift the fibers on a micro level. This allows static charges to dissipate instead of building up. The result? Softer clothes and linens with less cling when they come out of the dryer. 

Add scent to your wool dryer balls with our essential oil spray. As they tumble, they slowly release a light, fresh scent onto your laundry. It's like a hint of lavender, orange, or citrus without overwhelming perfumes or harmful chemicals.

“I recently decided to give wool dryer balls a try, and I must say, they have completely transformed my laundry routine! These little balls of magic have not only shortened drying times but also left my clothes softer and smelling amazing. I was initially skeptical about their effectiveness, but after using them for a few weeks, I'm a believer.” —JCastro, Amazon purchaser (five stars)

Why do I need wool dryer balls?

Laundry can feel endless—wash, dry, fold, repeat. But wool dryer balls offer a simple hack to refresh your routine and make laundry greener. 

These woolen spheres have some great benefits for your laundry.

Wool dryer balls save money by eliminating the need for disposable products. For example, a $10 package of wool balls can handle 1,000 loads, while a $5 box of 60 dryer sheets would need to be purchased 17 times to match the same number of loads. This reuse over several years leads to significant cost savings compared to single-use dryer sheets.

They also lower electricity bills by shortening drying time. As they aerate clothes and reduce static, 2-3 wool balls can cut a 60-minute drying cycle down to 40 minutes. With a shorter run time, the dryer uses less electricity to get clothes dry, reducing energy consumption and costs.

“These [Smart Sheep wool dryer balls] have made an incredible difference in getting lint off my towels. The towels are super plush and even after years of use, will leave substantial amounts of lint in the trap. I wish I had gotten these years ago - after just a few months of use - towels changed weekly, washed bi-weekly - the towels no longer leave lint behind just from use.” —Eve Vulgaris, Amazon purchaser (five stars)

Wool dryer balls vs tennis balls vs plastic balls

When it comes to shorter drying time, protecting your health, and softening your laundry, wool dryer balls outperform other types of dryer balls by far.

Wool dryer balls

Wool dryer balls are the best choice for you, your health, and our planet. Here’s why:


Wool dryer balls

Other types of dryer balls

Effectiveness at reducing drying time and static cling






Environmental friendliness



Hypoallergenic and non-toxic



Safe for all fabrics






Tennis balls

Many people use tennis balls as a cheap substitute for dryer balls. But tennis balls really suck for laundry.

  • Not designed for laundry use—can damage clothes
  • Lint and fuzz from the tennis balls can cling to fabrics
  • Dye from brightly colored balls may bleed onto clothes
  • Risk of melting if dryer heat is too high
  • Need replacing much more frequently than wool dryer balls
  • Made from a variety of materials with negative environmental impact
  • Not recyclable

Tennis balls can’t even begin to compete with wool dryer balls in the laundry. They belong on the tennis court, or in your dog’s mouth—but not in the dryer.

Plastic dryer balls

Like wool dryer balls, plastic dryer balls help separate clothes in the dryer. They’re not nearly as effective as wool dryer balls.

  • Don't soften fabrics or absorb excess moisture like wool
  • Can produce excess noise during drying
  • Not eco-friendly—plastic ends up in landfills
  • Can't be scented naturally
  • Offgassing from plastics is bad for your health

Wool dryer balls vs dryer sheets

Dryer sheets may smell fresh, but that scent is full of bad chemicals that damage your family’s health. Dryer sheet toxins coat your fabrics and invade your air: the EPA has identified several hazardous air pollutants in dryer sheets.

It doesn’t end with harsh chemicals. Single-use dryer sheets are an ecological nightmare. They take hundreds of years to biodegrade and they pollute waterways. They also add additional cost to your family’s budget. 

In contrast, wool dryer balls save money, energy, and time. Ready to make the switch from dryer sheets to wool dryer balls? Order our premium wool dryer balls and upgrade your family's financial and physical well-being.

6-Pack Original 100% Wool Dryer Balls

How do I use dryer balls?

It's easy to use wool dryer balls

  1. Toss 2-8 dryer balls into the dryer drum, depending on how big your load is. More balls for more clothes. Add a few drops of essential oil if you want your laundry scented like a spring meadow.
  2. Fire up the dryer, and let those dryer balls work their magic. They'll bounce around, separating and aerating your clothes allowing free air flow. Your fabrics will dry faster, without getting twisted and knotted together.
  3. For big loads of laundry, increase the wooly workforce to 4-6 balls. They'll power through even the toughest laundry loads.
  4. If static cling is shockingly bad, lightly spray balls with water before drying. The moisture helps neutralize static, so you can cuddle your fuzzy sweaters again.
  5. When the cycle ends, take out your laundry. Revel in the soft, fluffy, static-free results. 
  6. Let wool dryer balls rest until the next wash day. Then put them back on laundry duty, where they'll work hard for over thousands of loads.

With just a few wooly helpers in the dryer, you'll wonder how you ever dried clothes without them. Give it a try and see the difference yourself!

How many dryer balls per load do I need?

Laundry isn't an exact science, so don't stress about using the "right" number of wool dryer balls. Just throw a handful in! More balls for bigger loads, fewer for smaller ones.

But if you're the type who likes some guidance, here are a few rules of thumb:

  • For average loads, go with 3-4 dryer balls. 
  • Add 5-8 wooly helpers for medium loads.
  • Load up 9-12 balls to conquer the extra-large loads.

Really, you can't overdo it with dryer balls. If in doubt, add more! Or play around to find your perfect number where the laundry gets fluffy and fragrant using as few as possible.

How long do dryer balls last?

Our organic wool dryer balls are exceptionally durable, lasting up to 1,000 drying cycles. That's an impressive amount of laundry! 

Not only are these dryer balls cost-effective, but they also provide a natural alternative to fabric softeners

If you notice any signs of wear and tear, such as fraying or unraveling fibers, it may be time to consider replacing them. To learn more about recharging your wool dryer balls, take a look at our article.

“After eight months of use, I still have all six Smart Sheep Dryer balls (they are holding up, no unraveling like the other brand, smell pleasant, are keeping their shape, etc).” —Bluebug29, Amazon purchaser (five stars)

Do dryer balls help with static?

Wool dryer balls reduce static by slowly releasing small amounts of moisture and lightly brushing fabrics.

To help your wool dryer balls work their magic and reduce static in your dryer, follow these tips:

  1. Avoid over-drying clothes. Static electricity loves dry fabrics, so turn off your dryer a few minutes earlier. This will leave some moisture in your clothes, preventing static and reducing energy usage.
  2. Don't overload your dryer. If your load of laundry is too large and the dryer is too full, the balls won't be able to work effectively. They need space to bounce and separate clothes, allowing better airflow and more even drying.
  3. Separate synthetic and natural fibers. Synthetic materials like polyester and nylon are more prone to static cling. When they mix with natural fibers like cotton or wool in the dryer, static happens. 

Wool dryer balls FAQ

Do dryer balls really reduce drying time?

Wool dryer balls reduce dry time. These balls work by creating space between clothes in the dryer, allowing for better air circulation. This helps to evenly distribute heat and moisture, resulting in faster drying times. Additionally, dryer balls can also help to soften clothes and reduce static.

How long do you use dryer balls?

The lifespan of dryer balls typically depends on the material and quality of the balls, as well as the frequency of use. On average, dryer balls can last for several months to a year before they start to lose their effectiveness. However, it is important to regularly check the condition of the balls and replace them if they become damaged or worn out.

Are dryer balls worth the hype?

Wool dryer balls have gained a lot of hype in recent years as an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to dryer sheets. They reduce drying time, soften clothes, and eliminate static cling. 

Can you use too many dryer balls?

You cannot use too many dryer balls. In fact, using more dryer balls can actually help increase the efficiency of your drying process. The additional balls help to separate and fluff the clothes, reducing drying time and improving air circulation. 

How often do you recharge dryer balls?

Regularly recharging them every 1-2 months revives their fluffiness, so they remain effective. Recharging helps wool dryer balls maintain their ability to softly circulate air, separate laundry, decrease drying time, and eliminate static. 

Do wool dryer balls lose their effectiveness?

Wool dryer balls can lose their effectiveness over time. As they are used in the dryer, the wool fibers can become compressed and less fluffy, which reduces their ability to separate and fluff the laundry. 

The dryer balls can also start to wear down and become less effective at reducing drying time and static cling. With proper care and maintenance, such as periodically fluffing them up or replacing them when they start to show signs of wear, you can extend their effectiveness.

Do dryer balls damage fabric?

Wool dryer balls do not damage fabric. In fact, they can actually help to soften fabric and reduce static cling. Dryer balls are typically made of materials such as wool or rubber, and they work by bouncing around in the dryer and separating the clothes, allowing for better airflow and faster drying times.

Further reading

How can I keep my sheets from balling up in the dryer?

How can I make my own wool dryer balls?

How to add essential oils to wool dryer balls?

How to use dryer balls for down jackets

What are the benefits of natural clothing stain removers?

What are the best laundry detergents for sensitive skin?

Is it safe to use dryer sheets on baby clothes?

Why is the clothes dryer making my laundry smell burnt?

How do I get the musty smell out of my towels?