Unlike washers, most dryers come in only one basic configuration: front-loading. They have a hinged door on the front panel of the unit that affords access to the dryer drum. Aside from size and capacity (dryers are available in widths ranging from about 20" for a compact model to 32" or more for a full-size), particular features really differentiate each dryer from its competitors.
Choosing your fuel type
There is one big decision you'll have to make when purchasing any dryer: choosing between electric and gas.
An electric dryer requires a 240-volt outlet, while a gas dryer needs a natural-gas hookup. Before you shop for a new dryer, be sure to verify which option your home has (some offer both).
Most dryer models are available in versions that accommodate either fuel type. Gas dryers typically cost about $50 to $100 more than comparable electric models — but they'll likely save you enough in energy costs over the long term to more than cover the difference, so don't discount the gas option if you have a choice.