Wool Dryer Balls vs. Plastic

Wool Dryer Balls vs. Plastic

Before we look at which type of dryer balls are best, it’s important to understand why you should use them at all. 

Dryer balls work by getting between your clothes and separating them, exposing more of your clothes to heat and therefore shortening drying times. 

Dryer balls not only help clothes dry faster, but they pummel your clothes as they spin round which softens your clothes and helps straighten out creases. The increased airflow reduces static.

In comparison to dryer sheets, dryer balls are more environmentally friendly as they are reusable. Not only that, but dryer sheets can contain chemicals that can potentially irritate sensitive skin. 


Wool vs. Plastic

Once you decide to add dryer balls to your laundry lineup, there’s one more decision to make: plastic or wool. Here are the pros and cons of each which will help you make your choice. 


wool dryer balls


  • They absorb moisture, further reducing drying time
  • They are made from a natural material
  • They are odourless
  • They are durable and last for a long time
  • They aren’t loud when bouncing around in the dryer


  • They can leave fibres on your clothing
  • They cost more than plastic dryer balls
  • They may not be suitable for vegans as they are made from animal products



plastic dryer balls


  • Plastic is durable and long-lasting
  • Manufacturers can adjust their shape to give them spikes or nodules which further separate clothing and allow it to dry faster
  • They are a cheaper alternative to wool
  • They are suitable for those who don’t wish to use animal products


  • They are not as environmentally friendly as wool as they are not biodegradable
  • Plastic dryer balls may make more noise than wool dryer balls as they are hard


Which Dryer Balls Come Out on Top?

wool dryer balls and plastic dryer balls

In summary, both options are long-lasting and effective at decreasing drying times. In terms of quantity, you can use the same number of plastic or wool dryer balls in your load. 

Where they differ is the environmental implication and the price. Wool dryer balls are better for the environment as they are made from natural materials and they biodegrade. However, they can be costly, so plastic is a great option for anyone on a budget. 

For some recommended products, see our guide to the best dryer balls in the UK.