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Dryer Balls vs. Dryer Sheets: Which Should You Use?

The Sauce Boss
Jul 19, 2023
Laundry Tips

Dryer balls and dryer sheets both reduce static and soften clothes, but dryer sheets infuse your laundry with a light fragrance. On the other hand, dryer balls are unscented and may also help your clothes dry faster.

Buckle in, because we’re diving into one of the most divisive laundry room debates of the past decade: dryer balls vs. dryer sheets.

Let’s get one thing straight: both of these options are better than just throwing your wet clothes in the dryer and hoping for the best. That said, each comes with pros and cons. Before we explore those, let’s start with the basics.

  • Dryer sheets work by releasing a blend of heat-activated fabric softener, lubricants, and fragrances into your laundry during the dry cycle. 
  • Wool dryer balls work by separating between garments as they dry, allowing the hot air to circulate more easily.

Dryer sheets and dryer balls are both effective ways to stop static and fluff fabric. However, there are some key differences between the two.

Read on to learn how dryer balls stack up to dryer sheets so you can decide what to use when your next laundry day rolls around.

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Dryer Balls vs. Dryer Sheets: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Keep reading to see how dryer balls compare to dryer sheets across seven key categories:

Stopping Static

Dryer sheets are coated with surfactants that neutralize positive and negative electrons that make your clothes cling together.

Dryer balls can also reduce static by creating separation between your garments. They also retain a touch of moisture, which prevents clothes from over-drying—another culprit of static cling.

However, the fact that dryer sheets are literally engineered to stop static gives them the edge here.

The winner: dryer sheets

Drying Time

Wool dryer balls tumble between the layers of your laundry, allowing warm air to circulate faster. This effect can help your clothes dry twice as fast. Dryer sheets prevent clothes from sticking, but they can’t create separation between your clothing items.

The winner: dryer balls


Dryer sheets are coated with heat-activated fragrances that release onto your clothes as they dry, infusing them with amazing scents.

Dryer balls are unscented, so the only fragrance on your clothes will be what’s leftover from your laundry detergent.

The winner: dryer sheets

Pro tip: If you’re bored of your laundry smelling like…laundry, toss in a luxury scented dryer sheet from Laundry Sauce.

Reducing Wrinkles

Most dryer sheets are infused with softening agents and lubricants that minimize friction, which in turn prevents your clothes from wrinkling and creasing as they dry.

Wool dryer balls also prevent wrinkles, but they do so naturally. For starters, they keep your clothes from tangling together. But they also absorb and release moisture, creating a slight steaming effect that makes laundry less prone to wrinkles.

The winner: It’s a tie

Softening Clothes

Dryer sheets are coated with a small amount of fabric softener which releases onto your clothes as they dry. Once the cycle is complete, the clothes should feel soft and smooth to the touch.

Dryer balls fluff your clothes during the dry cycle, which can make them feel slightly softer than if you skipped them. But it’s not quite the same as having them coated with a fabric softener.

The winner: dryer sheets


Dryer balls have three traits that make them a win-win for the planet and your clothes

  • They’re reusable and can last up to 1,000 loads, reducing waste
  • Wool is biodegradable and compostable
  • They reduce drying time, conserving energy

Dryer sheets, on the other hand, need to be discarded after every use.
The winner: dryer balls (assuming you use wool dryer balls, not plastic ones)

Skin Sensitivity

Wool dryer balls are naturally hypoallergenic. They’re also free from added fragrances, fabric softeners, and surfactants that could potentially irritate sensitive skin or trigger an allergic reaction.

The winner: dryer balls


Dryer balls can be slightly more expensive up front, but they pay for themselves over the long run since they last for up to 1,000 loads.

It’s easy to go through dryer sheets quickly (especially if you do a lot of laundry) so you’ll end up buying them way more frequently than dryer balls.

The winner: dryer balls

The Bottom Line: Should You Use Dryer Balls or Dryer Sheets?

If you want your clothes to smell sexy and feel softer than a cloud, dryer sheets are the clear winner. However, if you want to shorten your dry cycle, save energy, and steer clear of added ingredients, dryer balls are your new best friend.

No matter how you roll, Laundry Sauce has the best goods in the game.

Our luxury dryer sheets come in four sophisticated scents: Australian Sandalwood, Egyptian Rose, Indonesian Patchouli, and Serbian Pine.

Meanwhile, our XL wool dryer balls are made from tightly compressed 100% premium New Zealand wool that’s compatible with light and dark-colored clothes.

Whether you’re #TeamBalls or #TeamSheets, everyone in the Sauciety is a winner.

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