Finding soft yarn you can put in the dryer is the holy grail if you knit or crochet.
There’s plenty of machine washable wool & yarns, but surprisingly few yarn labels have the dryer symbol. And when they do, they’re often a disappointment – they feel wrong or look cheap.
Whether you’re knitting for babies or crocheting a care blanket, you need soft easy care yarn you can bung in the washing machine and dryer time after time without any fuss. So it’s frustrating that this is so hard to find.
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My Top 3 Yarns that can go in the Dryer
After much research, I finally found a few gems. So here are my top 3 machine washable and dryable yarns for knitting and crochet.
- I have personally used all these yarns for projects, and machine washed and dried them.
- They are all 100% synthetic yarns, so ideal for knitting or crocheting for cancer patients or donating to charity where wool allergies are a concern.
- You would never guess these yarns are acrylic. I usually knit and crochet with soft natural fibers (like merino wool, alpaca or silk) so I have a high bar when it comes to acrylic yarns.
Rico Baby Classic DK
Rico Design Baby Classic DK is my fave easy care yarn. It looks & feels just like smooth merino wool and you would never know it’s acrylic.
Made of 50% acrylic & 50% polyamide, you can machine wash and dry it and it comes out the same size and super soft.
It comes in around 40 shades & I’d call it a sport to light dk weight. It’s ideal for all knitting and crochet projects – not just for babies.
I crocheted a large afghan (64 x 42 inches approx) with Rico Baby Classic DK and was delighted with the end result. I crocheted this blanket for an older relative who finds it lovely & cosy.
Even better, this big blanket only takes 30 mins to dry on low heat and looks perfect.
Straight after drying there was a bit of static on folding the blanket. But I don’t think static is an issue in everyday use.
One thing I noticed is that different shades of Rico Baby Classic DK can feel different to work with. I crocheted a 3 color blanket, using 16 balls from multiple batches & stores. Each of the 3 shades felt quite different to work with.
The sea green shade (54 ice green) was the perfect consistency – soft & a joy to crochet with. I’ve a couple of other ball shades in stash (25 turquoise and 55 atlantic blue) which have a similar feel, so my hunch is that most solid shades have this ideal balance.
The beige marl shade (63 ecru melange) felt slightly less soft to handle. I crocheted every 3rd row with it, but the blanket feels super soft overall, and the beige rows do not feel any different in the finished piece. I’ve a ball of shade 66 silver melange which also seems not quite as soft as the solids, so this may only affect the marled mix shades.
At the other extreme, the cream (color 2) was actually too soft. It tangled a lot in the ball & took ages to sort out. I ended up winding new balls into cakes with my winder to minimise this, which I usually never do.
All my yarn balls were high quality throughout though & there was only 3 knots across 16 balls too.
Overall I’m very impressed with this yarn. I would recommend it for knitting or crocheting anything that needs to be very soft but also stand up to frequent machine washing and drying.
Rico Baby Classic DK looks & feels like soft merino but is easy care – what’s not to love? It’s ideal for knitting or crocheting clothes, accessories and blankets for babies, children and all the family.
Rico Design yarns are widely available in the UK & Europe. In the US, LoveCrafts stock the brand & several European Etsy sellers ship Rico yarn to the US (although not this particular type as of January 2023).
Sirdar No 1 DK
Sirdar No 1 DK feels super soft and like a luxurious yarn. It’s 50% acrylic and 50% nylon but it feels like bamboo or even silk.
You would never think it’s acrylic and it doesn’t feel at all woolly either. So it’s a great option if you hate the feel of hairy fibers and prefer silky smooth knitting and crochet.
The one downside, is that it can be a bit splitty, which affects crochet more than knitting. This is common for cotton and bamboo yarns, where the individual strands making up the yarn come apart easily.
But it’s still nice to crochet with. I made a large blanket with the chunky version of this a few years ago & loved the smooth silky feel of working with it. Sirdar No 1 Chunky is now discontinued sadly, but you can still get your hands on some balls at Amazon as of January 2023.
Sirdar No 1 DK has lovely drape & the end result is so soft and smooth. There’s a subtle sheen to it which gives it a premium look.
You can machine wash & dry Sirdar No 1 yarn. It behaves like a stretchy cotton and feels heavier than wool when wet, so it takes a bit longer to dry on low heat.
I knit this turban hat with it in shade 205 Spearmint, which is a sophisticated duck egg color. It weighs 70g but feels ultra soft to wear.
I wouldn’t use it for a heavy sweater for an adult where structure is important, because it behaves like a stretchy bamboo cotton mix. So it could hang heavy in places or be floppy depending on the garment design & go out of shape.
But Sirdar No 1 DK is a great yarn choice for knitting or crocheting baby & children’s clothes, baby blankets or hats and scarves for adults.
It’s super soft and smooth next to the skin, with no woolly feeling at all. Plus you can just bung it in the washing machine and dryer – easy wear and easy care.
Sirdar No 1 DK comes in larger 100g balls of 230m / 251 yards. I got mine from Amazon UK direct, where each ball is hygienically packed separately in plastic.
Sirdar Snuggly DK & Sirdar Snuggly Crofter DK
Sirdar Snuggly is a tried and true baby yarn & it’s on several recommended yarn lists for making chemo hats or blankets for cancer patients too.
I can see why: Sirdar Snuggly DK is nice & soft and wool free so it won’t irritate sensitive skin. It’s 45% acrylic and 55% nylon, so it’s hard wearing too.
I’ve knit several hats with it & they’re easy to machine wash & dry. The hats do stretch a bit with wear (my own hats knit with wool do this too), but they come out of the dryer back to their original size.
Note: Sirdar now do a whole range of yarns under the Snuggly brand. I’ve only personally tested Sirdar Snuggly DK and the multicolored fair isle effect Sirdar Snuggly Crofter DK for softness and machine washing and drying so far.
I found that Snuggly Crofter DK yarn is finer than the standard Snuggly DK, even though they are the exact same according to the ball band.
Sirdar Snuggly Crofter DK is definitely more 4 ply than DK. It feels like a light baby yarn. There were even differences between shades. The beige Hazel colorway was particularly fine, whereas the purple Keltie balls were slightly thicker.
That said, I did get DK gauge when knitting hats on the recommended 4mm needles. It’s just my Snuggly Crofter DK hats are light hats with a less dense feel. This can be a good thing. They make lovely soft sleeping caps for chemo patients that don’t get too warm.
The hat I knit with Sirdar Snuggly DK solids (Cherry Pie) on 4mm needles feels more substantial, but I would still call it a light DK or sport weight.
I’ve used several balls in various shades & found hardly any imperfections or knots throughout.
Overall Sirdar Snuggly DK (and Crofter DK) is a nice soft yarn that’s a great practical choice for knitting and crocheting baby clothes and blankets, lighter kid’s clothes and accessories for all the family.
I’d recommend Snuggly DK for DK weight knitting and crochet patterns if you want a lightweight feel. It’s also suitable for sport weight projects, or even perhaps 4 ply/fingering in the case of Snuggly Crofter DK.
These are the best yarns I know of that you can machine wash and tumble dry. You get the look & feel of premium yarn with easy care convenience – the holy grail! I hope this guide helps you find the perfect yarn for your next knitting or crochet project.