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Which carpet dryer is best?

A carpet dryer is a powerful type of fan that pushes away wet air and pulls in dry air. Dry air sucks up water and accelerates the evaporation process. If you own a business or a home with carpet that requires regular cleaning, you should own a carpet dryer.

The perfect carpet dryer is the appropriate size and has the right features for your space and your needs. Our top pick, the Stanley Air Blower, features three speeds and is easy to move and adjust.

What to know before you buy a carpet dryer

Fan type

Carpet dryers use axial or centrifugal fans. An axial fan looks a lot like a ceiling fan. It resembles a flower with petals spinning around and around. A centrifugal fan looks a lot like a paddlewheel boat. It’s enclosed in a cylinder and turns in a circle.

Centrifugal fans create a higher-pressure airflow that’s perfect for targeting concentrated spills, but they’re slower at drying out an entire room. For larger spaces, an axial fan’s even distribution is your best bet.

Cubic feet per minute

Cubic feet per minute, or CFM, is the amount of air a carpet dryer can move in 60 seconds. The higher the CFM, the quicker your carpet will dry. Remember that this is cubic feet, not square feet. While it’s understandable to think your carpet is the only thing that needs to dry out, that’s not the case. The air around your carpet needs to dry out, too.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification recommends using a 2,800 CFM carpet dryer for every 300 square feet of wet carpet. For a large space, you may need more than one carpet dryer.


Horsepower or HP is the least important of the three major considerations when buying a carpet dryer, but it’s worth talking about to prevent a common point of confusion. More horsepower does not necessarily mean a higher CFM or faster drying. The main reason to pay attention to horsepower is if you’ll be using your carpet dryer in an old building with a temperamental electrical system.

Most carpet dryers come with 1-HP, ½-HP or ¼-HP. The higher the HP, the louder your machine will be.

What to look for in a quality carpet dryer

Adjustable features

Some carpet dryers feature a timer. A timer prevents you from running your unit for too long and wasting energy. It’s also a good way to remind yourself when it’s time to move your machine to another part of the room.

Another important feature is fan speed. Basic carpet dryers only have one speed, but midrange models should at least have options for low, medium and high. Some high-end models have additional speeds beyond that. The more choices you have, the more useful your carpet dryer is.

Ease of use

If you’re planning to use more than one carpet dryer at the same time, look for a model with a built-in outlet on each unit. That way, you can plug them into each other, like multiple sets of Christmas lights. This makes placing them exactly where you need a lot easier since you won’t be dependent on outlet location.

Noise is a major consideration. If you’re buying in-store, see if there are any floor models you can turn on and off. If you’re buying online, see if there are any videos from previous buyers in the customer reviews. Some carpet dryers can be very loud, which might wear on your nerves if you have to share the space for hours at a time.

Ease of storage

If you’re buying more than one carpet dryer, consider a model that’s stackable when storing. Carpet dryers take up a good amount of space and some are awkwardly shaped. You might be able to find room for one unit in a garage or storage shed, but three units that don’t stack could require some major rearranging.

Also look at how much each unit weighs and what the handle is like. Most carpet dryers weigh 8-12 pounds. If the handle is poorly designed, it’ll be annoying at best and a future back problem at worst if you’re using it often.

How much you can expect to spend on a carpet dryer

Small home carpet dryers with basic features can be found for $50-$75. Midrange carpet dryers with more options and higher CFMs range from $100 to $250. High-end commercial models with all the bells and whistles typically run $250-$400.

Carpet dryer FAQ

When should you replace your carpet outright?

A. If your carpet falls victim to a sewage leak or becomes saturated with some other type of contaminated water, replace it. If water of any kind has been allowed to soak your carpet for days on end, perhaps while you were on vacation, it’s best to toss it. The number one telltale sign is a mildew smell. If your carpet smells, a dryer isn’t going to save it.

How long does carpet take to dry?

A. It depends on how it got wet and how big your room is. If you just cleaned your carpet, it should dry in a few hours. For flooding, pipe leaks and other severe events, it may take two or three days. If your carpet is still wet after three days and there hasn’t been any new water damage, you should call a professional.

What’s the best carpet dryer to buy?

Top carpet dryer

Stanley Air Blower

Stanley Air Blower

What you need to know: This is a compact dryer with impressive power.

What you’ll love:It has a built-in outlet, blower head pivots and three speed settings.

What you should consider: Some users report that the blowing power weakens over time and extended use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Wayfair

Top carpet dryer for the money

Lasko High Velocity X-Blower Fan

Lasko High Velocity X-Blower Fan

What you need to know: A versatile dryer from a trusted name, it sells at the right price.

What you’ll love: It features two USB charging ports, a built-in outlet and a circuit breaker with a reset button. It is easy to transport.

What you should consider: It is very loud.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Dri-Eaz Dri-Pod Pro

Dri-Eaz Dri-Pod Pro

What you need to know: This small dryer is perfect for spills and other modest jobs.

What you’ll love: It is compact enough to fit in spaces other dryers can’t, such as closets or under sinks. It blows air in all directions for faster drying.

What you should consider: It is noisy despite its size and not ideal for large spaces.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Frank Paiva writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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