5 Best Eco-Friendly Dryer Sheets for Naturally Soft Laundry

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James Miller
James is an environmentalist, sustainability expert and senior editor at TheRoundup, specializing in testing non-toxic, organic and eco-friendly products. James, his wife and two daughters believe in chemical-free and zero-waste living. They aim to leave the planet in a better state than we found it, for future generations to enjoy.
James Miller
Updated: May 12, 2024

Do you use dryer sheets to keep your clothes soft and smelling sweet? Did you know that traditional dryer sheets contain harmful chemicals and create tons of solid waste?

By switching to eco-friendly dryer sheets, you can get rid of toxic chemicals in your laundry room. They're also biodegradable, so they don't pollute the environment.

I've spent the last 6 months testing the best natural laundry products. I wanted to find sustainable dryer sheets that are safe, effective, and affordable.

There are some great options available. But prepare for a surprise. One of my favorite options is not even a dryer sheet at all...

The 5 Sustainable Dryer Sheets That Came Out Top In Our Tests

Quick Picks

Materials: 97% Naturally-Derived Ingredients
Price per Sheet: 15¢
Eco-Credentials: Cruelty-Free, Plant-Based Ingredients, Recyclable Packaging
Shipping: Free Over $45

Why It's My #1 Pick: These Grab Green dryer sheets are my #1 pick because they outperformed all other brands for softness and fragrance.

Many brands I tested offer just one scent. But Grab Green offers a choice of four. All of which are perfect for my sensitive nose.

Personal Experience: I'm not too fond of laundry products with overpowering scents. That is why I was so pleased with the results when testing these non-toxic dryer sheets from Grab Green.

I tested the Birch Branch option, and the scent level was perfect. The patchouli and vetiver essential oils left my clothes smelling fresh. I loved how the subtle scent lingered in my wardrobe and laundry room for days.

The sheets also effectively combated static and softened fabrics in every load.

Drying clothes with Grab Green feels like a small yet significant step towards a healthier planet. Not to mention nicer-smelling socks!

About the Brand: Patricia Spencer and Michael Edell created Grab Green because they were frustrated by the harsh chemicals in traditional cleaning products. That's why their brand uses sustainably sourced plant and mineral-based ingredients instead.

Pros & Cons

Outperforms most conventional brands
No animal testing
Transparent ingredient listing
Free from common allergens (ideal for sensitive skin)
Made in the USA
Fragrance might not be strong enough for those who like bold smells

Verified Customer Reviews

  • Love
    These smell so good and leave my clothes smelling wonderful and soft.

    Donna P

  • 5 Stars
    Makes our clothes smell great.


  • Great Smell!
    Love the scent and love that they are nontoxic and have no harmful effects on clothes.

    Ann J

Materials: 97% Naturally-Derived Ingredients
Price per Sheet: 15¢
Eco-Credentials: Compostable, Plant-Based Ingredients, Non-toxic, Recyclable Packaging
Shipping: Free Over $45

Why It's Recommended for Babies and Toddlers: Grab Green also gets the nod in the dryer sheets for babies category. These sheets are everything I love about the adult dryer sheets recommended above, but with a lovely calming scent.

The scent was the most child-friendly of all the brands I tested.

Personal Experience: Our three-year-old Nephew Alfie has been staying with us recently. I dried a selection of blankets in different dryer sheets aimed at children to test on him.

The chamomile scent of these sheets was his favorite. He said that they helped him "go nap nap fast."

I totally agree with him. The calming chamomile fragrance is gentle yet noticeable, providing a soothing aroma.

I was also impressed by the compostable design of these dryer sheets during testing. This feature aligns with our family's commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.

Top Tip - These compostable dryer sheets are not just for babies and toddlers. They also performed very well when tested on adult sleepwear.

They left my favorite bamboo pajamas feeling soft with a lovely, relaxing smell that helped me drift off to sleep.

Pros & Cons

Outperforms most conventional brands
No animal testing
Transparent ingredient listing
Ideal for babies and toddlers
Made in the USA
Available in only one fragrance (but it's a very good one!)
Materials: Rayon Sheets (Plant-Based)
Price per Sheet: 9¢
Eco-Credentials: Compostable, Biodegradable, Not Bioaccumulative, Non-Toxic
Shipping: Free Over $45

Why It's My Recommended Fragrance-Free Option: During testing, the Public Goods Fabric Softener Sheets matched the fragrance-free option from Grab Green in every category.

However, this is a slightly more budget-friendly option. Therefore, it gets the nod over Grab Green in this category.

Personal Experience: I loved testing Public Goods Fabric Softener Sheets. The absence of any fragrance was a relief, as I have sensitive skin that can react poorly to some strong chemical smells.

These sheets made every load of laundry feel incredibly soft and static-free. This includes mixed fabrics. Their effectiveness, even without harsh chemicals, stood out during testing.

I also loved that I could toss these sheets onto the compost heap after use.

About the Brand: Public Goods create simple, high-quality essentials for daily use.

The brand focuses on sustainability. They use 100% recycled plastic bottles and tree-free paper. They also source organic ingredients.

Pros & Cons

Gentle scent
Suitable for allergies or sensitive skin
Supports environmental and social initiatives
The most expensive option on the list
Materials: Organic and Natural Plant Extracts
Price per Sheet: 30¢
Eco-Credentials: Non-Toxic, Vegan, Carbon Neutral, FSC Certified, 1% for the Planet
Shipping: Free Over $75

Why It's My Recommended Reusable Option: DedCool Dryer Sheets are hardwearing and stood up to multiple uses during testing.

I especially liked that I could spritz the sheet with my DedCool Milk non-toxic fragrance to boost the natural scent of each drying cycle.

Personal Experience: I loved the idea of a non-toxic fragrance brand using its scent expertise to make dryer sheets. And my test results for this product proved that it's not just a gimmick.

The Milk scent is delightfully subtle. In multiple tests, it added freshness to my clothes without the artificial, overpowering smells.

I also loved knowing that these sheets are biodegradable and created by a brand prioritizing carbon neutrality.

About the Brand: Founded by Carina Chaz, DedCool is rooted in innovation and a dislike of the fragrance world's outdated practices.

The brand's operations are carbon neutral. It also has a firm commitment to using vegan, cruelty-free, and biodegradable ingredients.

Pros & Cons

Free from irritating chemicals
Fully compostable
Sustainably made
Supports American Jobs
You need a membership to shop at Public Goods
Materials: Compostable paper
Price per Sheet: 7¢
Eco-Credentials: Compostable, Cruelty-Free, Recyclable Packaging, Plant-Based
Shipping: Free via Amazon Prime

Why It's My Recommended Budget Option: These sheets stood out during testing because they were the most affordable. They had the lowest price per sheet of all the compostable options.

Personal Experience: Method's Paper Dryer Sheets passed every test I threw at them and are the cheapest option in this article. Win-Win!

The Beach Sage scent left my clothes smelling fresh and clean. I was also very impressed with the test results regarding static control.

About the Brand: Method operates under SC Johnson. It focuses on using recycled plastics and supporting a circular economy.

The brand also runs a LEED-Platinum certified factory and uses renewable energy sources.

Pros & Cons

Naturally manages static cling in fabrics
Can be composted
Safe for sensitive skin
Cruelty-free and responsibly made in the US
100% recycled packaging
Only compostable in communities with municipal composting facilities

How I Tested the Best Eco Laundry Sheets

Testing dryer sheets isn't just about throwing them in with wet clothes and hoping for the best.

I examined everything from material and sustainability to performance and value.

Material and Sustainability

  • What the Dryer Sheet Is Made From: I first checked the materials used. The choice of materials affects the product's effectiveness and environmental impact.
  • Certifications: I searched for environmental certifications. These confirm that products meet strict standards for health, environment, and society.
  • Biodegradability: Dryer sheets should be biodegradable if possible. This means that after their lifecycle, they can break down and not clutter our planet.
  • Where It Was Made: The production location also matters. Products made domestically tend to have a lower carbon footprint due to shorter transportation routes.


  • Durability and Lifespan: I tested how many times I could reuse the dryer sheets before they stopped working effectively.
  • Hypoallergenic Properties: Many people, including myself, are sensitive to harsh chemicals and fragrances. Therefore, I specifically looked to test hypoallergenic dryer sheets. This means they should be free from common allergens and gentle on the skin.
  • Effectiveness Across Fabrics: Different fabrics respond differently to dryer sheets. From sturdy cotton and linens to delicates and wools, I tested how well each dryer sheet option worked with various fabric types.
  • Other Special Features: I also tested any other unique features the sheets might have. Such as anti-static properties, fabric softening, and whether they can help clothes dry quicker. I tested each feature for effectiveness to see if it delivered.

Performance and Value

  • Price: Cost is always a key factor. I assessed whether the sheets I tested offered good value for the price.
  • Reviews: I didn't just rely on my tests to produce my list of recommendations. I also looked at what other users were saying. Customer reviews can provide insights into long-term real-world use.
  • Shipping: I considered the cost and environmental impact during each test.

Why Choose Eco-Friendly Dryer Sheets?

Environmental Benefits

Using eco-friendly dryer sheets significantly cuts down on chemical runoff and microplastic pollution.

Traditional dryer sheets contain phosphates and other chemicals used to keep clothes soft. If they enter our waterways, they can harm aquatic life.

Eco-friendly dryer sheets are often biodegradable and compostable. This means they break down naturally without leaving any nasty residues behind.

Health Benefits

The typical sheets you find at the store are usually made from polyester and coated with a chemical to soften clothes.

These softeners often contain questionable substances like benzyl acetate (linked to respiratory issues) or chloroform (a neurotoxin). Not exactly what you want tumbling with your towels, right?

Sustainable dryer sheets are free from synthetic fragrances and harsh chemicals. This is fantastic news if you suffer from sensitive skin or allergies.

What Are the Best Non-Toxic Dryer Sheet Alternatives?

Wool Dryer Balls

These are a fantastic reusable alternative.

Toss a few in the dryer, and they'll help separate your clothes, allowing hot air to circulate better and reduce drying time.

I prefer wool dryer balls over dryer sheets. The ones I use are from Blueland, and they last for hundreds and hundreds of uses.

You can read more about the excellent range of Blueland products in my Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent Brands article.

Testing Blueland dryer balls in my dryer

DIY Vinegar Dryer Sheets

In a spray bottle, mix one part water with one part vinegar and a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

Spritz on a washcloth (or repurpose some squares of old sustainable fabric) and throw it in with your laundry.

The vinegar naturally softens your clothes and eliminates static without chemicals.

Baking Soda

You can eliminate the need for dryer sheets by adding baking soda to the washing cycle.

This is a natural, cheap, and effective way to care for your clothes and the environment.

Aluminum Foil Balls

Crumple a few pieces of aluminum foil into balls and use them as an alternative to dryer sheets.

They help reduce static and can be reused several times. They're also an excellent way to repurpose foil that might otherwise be thrown away.

Dry Your Clothes Outside

Hanging your clothes on a washing line saves energy and extends the life of your fabrics.

If your clothes are a bit stiff after sun-drying, try this: Give them a quick 10-minute tumble in the dryer. Use the lowest heat setting with wool dryer balls or a non-toxic dryer sheet. This should soften them up.

Ice Cubes

Throw a couple of ice cubes into the dryer with your clothes.

As they melt, they create steam, which can help reduce wrinkles.

Soap Nuts

In my Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent Brands article, I discussed the benefits of using soap nuts to clean clothes. You can also use them as a dryer sheet alternative.

Place a handful of soap nuts into a small, breathable fabric bag and pop it into your dryer. The heat helps release the lanolin, which will work its magic and soften your fabrics naturally.

Lavender Dryer Bags

Fill a small organic cotton bag with dried lavender.

The bag can then be tossed into the dryer towards the end of the cycle. This will leave your clothes with a gentle, natural fragrance.

Tips for Sustainable Dryer Sheet Usage

Best Practices

  • Shake It Out: Before throwing your laundry into the dryer, give each item a good shake. This reduces wrinkles and helps clothes dry quicker and more evenly.
  • Layer smartly: Place your dryer sheet at the bottom of the dryer before loading your clothes. This helps distribute the eco-friendly fabric softener more evenly as things heat up.

Care and Maintenance Tips

  • Keep It Clean: To maintain the absorbency of reusable options like wool balls, wash them every few months.
  • Refresh the Scent: If you're using scented options, refresh them by adding a few drops of essential oils every few loads. This helps make your clothes smell fresh without the chemicals.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Overloading the Dryer: Overloading your dryer can undermine the efficiency of your dryer sheets. If you put too many clothes in the dryer, it stops air from moving freely. This can block dryer sheets from working and cause clothes to dry unevenly.
  • Avoid Fabric Softener: If using reusable dryer sheets, skip liquid fabric softener in the wash cycle. It can coat the fibers of your reusable sheets, reducing their effectiveness.
  • Fabric Types Matter: Lightweight synthetics dry faster than heavy cottons. Mixing them can lead to over-dried synthetics or damp cottons. Sort your laundry to match drying times for optimal efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is liquid fabric softener better than dryer sheets?

Scientific American reports that liquid softener is a slightly better option than dryer sheets. However, that's when compared to conventional dryer sheets. All of the recommendations in this article are preferable to a chemical-filled liquid softener.

What dryer sheets are environmentally friendly?

Environmentally-friendly dryer sheets are typically made from natural materials and are free of synthetic fragrances and chemicals. All the brands recommended in this article are environmentally friendly.

What should you use instead of dryer sheets?

Instead of regular dryer sheets, consider using wool dryer balls or DIY dryer sheets. These alternatives reduce waste and chemical exposure.

Do dryer balls have a better environmental impact than dryer sheets?

Yes, dryer balls have a better environmental impact than traditional dryer sheets. Wool dryer balls are reusable for hundreds of loads, reducing waste and the need for synthetic chemicals.

Do dryer balls cause more lint?

No, Dryer balls help reduce lint. The balls help separate your laundry items during the drying cycle. This reduces friction and creates less lint.

What does bioaccumulative mean?

Bioaccumulative substances can build up in living organisms over time. They accumulate faster than they can be removed from the body.

The Final Word

It's clear that non-toxic dryer sheets should become an essential part of your laundry routine. They're a choice for a healthier lifestyle and a cleaner planet.

Grab Green Stoneworks was my #1 dryer sheet pick.

But the Blueland Dryer Ball Starter Set was the best dryer sheet alternative and my personal favorite option.

Both offer the same performance as commercial dryer sheets, without the harmful ingredients.

You could even embrace one of the simple alternatives (such as ice cubes or aluminum foil balls) and save yourself a few bucks.

Or, skip the dryer altogether and air-dry your clothes for free. That's a win for your wallet and a win for the planet.


James Miller
James Miller
James is an environmentalist, sustainability expert and senior editor at TheRoundup, specializing in testing non-toxic, organic and eco-friendly products. James, his wife and two daughters believe in chemical-free and zero-waste living. They aim to leave the planet in a better state than we found it, for future generations to enjoy.

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