Hello amyr, and thank you for your question.
Selecting the right product for your needs can indeed be a daunting
task, given all of the options, configurations, functions (and any
other -tions you can think of) out there.
However, because our rules prohibit us from recommending any one
product or service, any answer can't just be "get the HotFlash 5000,
it's great!" What I can provide are ways to find reliable consumer
ratings and opinions in the categories you mention (drying time,
For unbiased ratings and excellent advice regarding dryer reliability
and performance you should consider subscribing to Consumer Reports
Online (http://www.consumerreports.org/). Consumer Guide
(http://www.consumerguide.com/) and the Good Housekeeping Institute
(http://makeashorterlink.com/?Z1E925811) provide ratings and reviews
which are easy to digest. Epinions (http://www.epinions.com/) is
another way to guage customer satisfaction with a particular product,
though it is harder to get a big-picture view since ratings are more
Though you didn't specify your hookup type, it's not a major issue as
gas counterparts to electric models perform similarly, for about $50
more for the product plus extra installation charges.
Your budget for a new dryer is an important consideration, but most
brands offer less expensive models from which you can expect
comparable performance. What you'll pay for a new dryer can range from
$250-$1000, depending on extra features. Be wary of space shuttle-like
controls on your dryer, however. ConsumerSearch rightly reminds us
that "electronic controls can be more repair-prone."
Most of the best-rated (and moderately priced) dryers have
moisture-sensors (humidistats) which will shut off the dryer
automatically when the clothes are dry. These sensors, instead of
thermostats, can more accurately determine drying time and keep you
from encountering a dryer full of almost-dry, or worse, scorched
With a family of five, you'll need every bit of the 7 cu. ft. (or
more) drum which is found in most super or oversized capacity dryers.
If decreasing your time in the laundry room is not reason enough to go
for the super capacity model, ConsumerSearch recommends them because
"larger dryers with extra tumbling room and airflow produce fewer
wrinkles and faster drying times."
A review of the information in the pages linked below has led this
researcher to believe that the GE Profile, Kenmore Elite and Whirlpool
models are among the top rated selections for your needs. They
consistently get good ratings or are recommended by reviewers, and
their manufacturers have good repair track records.
Dryer buying guides:
Dryers (reviews) Buying Guides and Recommendations (Consumer Guide)
Clothes dryers: Buying advice (Consumer Reports; free content)
Appliances: Clothes dryers (Good Housekeeping Saavy Customer)
Clothes dryers product reviews (ConsumerSearch)
I sincerely hope this helps to make your decision a less