A magnetic dryer vent works the same way as a typical dryer vent. it connects your dryer to the duct in the wall, carrying heated air and lint away from your dryer. Just like a standard vent, it has a transition hose coming from your dryer tailpiece, which connects to the dryer vent coupling.
It’s the transition hose that’s the main problem in a standard vent. Ideally, the hose should be as short as possible to reduce any potential fire hazard. But it also needs some slack so that you can move the dryer out of its spot to clean behind the dryer and clean the transition hose.
Often this leads to the dreaded ‘dryer dragon’ – a twisted-up length of transition hose lying behind your dryer. This is vulnerable to lint buildup and catching fire, and if your hose is damaged, you might also get lint flying out of the hose and getting all over your laundry room.
A magnetic dryer vent solves that problem by connecting the transition hose with magnets. This means you don’t need extra hose length anymore. All you need to do is pull the dryer away to disconnect the transition hose. A shorter hose means there are fewer bends for lint to catch onto and build up, and it also makes it a lot easier to clean. It’s still the same system, but it’s a lot better executed, it’s easier to service, and it’s a lot less hassle.
Top 3 Magnetic Dryer Vents Reviews
Now that you know what a magnetic dryer vent is, let’s see what’s available. So far the only company making them is MagVent, in three different formats.
1# MagVent MV-90 Dryer Vent Coupling
The MV-90 is the recommended coupling if you need a 90-degree turn in your vent path. For example, if the wall vent comes out of a side wall or from a spot on the wall that’s too high for the dryer’s transition hose to reach.
The MV-90 itself is a rigid metal pipe elbow. One end is shaped as a flat magnetic ring. That’s the end that faces your dryer. The other end connects to the dryer duct in your wall. Also in the box is a length of DryerFlex transition hose, the matching hose ring that attaches to the magnetic ring, a hose clamp to secure the transition hose to your dryer, a mounting bracket for the MV-90, and a set of screws and drywall anchors.
You’ll also need to supply an appropriate length of 4-inch rigid metal pipe to connect the MV-90 to the rest of the ducting system. Make a few measurements to check just how much pipe you need.
So, in what situation should you buy the MV-90? For the most part, it’s for when your wall duct doesn’t neatly line up with your dryer’s vent tailpiece. Normally, the transition hose takes care of that, however, since a magnetic dryer vent needs to be aligned with the dryer’s tailpiece to work properly, the MV-90 brings the vent closer to the tailpiece.
The problem here is that, out of the three MagVent products, this one takes up the most space and needs the most materials and work. Granted, that’s not saying much. It’ll take up 4 inches for the pipe itself, plus a bit of extra space in case the duct needs to bend a little more. You’ll also need to supply your own 4-inch rigid metal pipe and any bends, so make sure you’re comfortable with your tin shears.
2# MagVent MV-180 Magnetic Dryer Vent Connector
The ideal situation for a magnetic dryer vent is if your dryer’s tailpiece can connect directly to the ducting in the wall. In such a case, the right magnetic dryer vent for you is the MV-180. It’s much slimmer than the MV-90 because the MV-180 is just a magnetic ring that you screw onto the wall duct. It comes with a length of DryerFlex magnetic dryer vent hose with hose clamp, the hose ring that engages with the magnetic ring, the MV-180 mounting bracket, and the requisite screws and drywall anchors.
The MV-180 is the smallest and least obtrusive of the three MagVent couplings, and it requires the least amount of work. All you need to do is cut away any part of the duct that projects from the wall so that you can mount the MV-180. Once it’s in place and you’ve attached the transition hose, all you need to do is just push your dryer back into place and let the magnets do the work. Simple, clean, and easy.
That’s also its main flaw because everything has to be just right. Your dryer tailpiece has to align with the duct pipe within a few inches. If the two are more than 6 inches out of alignment, then they’re too far for the magnets to work. If you can access the back of your dryer from above, then you can use a length of string or an appropriate tool to nudge the hose ring close enough to the magnet so that it locks on. But if it’s not, then the MV-90 or the MV-Flex may be a better vent coupling for your situation.
3# MagVent MV-Flex Magnetic Dryer Vent Hose
If you don’t want to use the MV-90 but your wall duct isn’t close enough for the MV-180 to work, then I recommend the MV-Flex. It’s very similar to the MV-180 and has many of the same parts. It’s the same magnetic ring and hose ring combination, a clamp to secure your transition hose to your dryer, the bracket for the magnetic ring, and a set of screws and drywall anchors.
What’s different is that the MV-Flex doesn’t include any transition hose. Instead, you’ll supply your own transition hose to connect your dryer to the MV-Flex magnetic ring. This lets you buy just enough transition hose to best suit your laundry room.
For the full MagVent experience, I recommend getting DryerFlex transition hose as used on the other two models. However, in case you can’t get DryerFlex, any transition hose will do, though I highly recommend against aluminum foil hose. It’s too fragile and too much of a fire hazard.
There are two particular weaknesses here. The MV-Flex is only as good as the transition hose that you select, so you’ll have to deal with all the necessary headaches. Also, no matter what hose you select, you’ll have to manually move the hose to and from the magnetic ring. That’s why I recommend having a stick or tool of some sort to help it along, or you could tie a length of string around the end of the hose to bring it in close enough. Once the hose ring is closed, it’ll automatically snap onto the magnetic ring.
The good news about all three MagVent products is that they come as a complete magnetic dryer vent kit. They require only a minimum of DIY work to install. Absent a truly extraordinary case, the most you’ll need to do is some work with tin shears and a screw gun. Once it’s installed, the whole setup takes care of itself. All you have to do is keep the vent clear of lint, which is a lot easier thanks to the shorter transition hose.
In case you get the MV-Flex and have to buy a transition hose, check if it’s UL2158A Listed and look for the UL logo on the packaging. And make sure it really says ‘UL Listed’ and not anything else. ‘UL approved’ is not a thing. UL2158A specifically covers clothes dryer transition ducts, and you want a product that’s up to code.
FAQ- Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s cover some concerns you might have about magnetic dryer vents.
Is a magnetic dryer vent safe to use?
Yes. Technically, you’re still dealing with the same risks, and you’ll still need to perform regular cleaning on your dryer vent. However, since you’ve got a more durable DryerFlex transition hose and the magnetic dryer vent hook up is made of rigid metal, it’s a lot more capable of withstanding heat. Since the transition hose is so short, there’s less room for anything to get in the way and therefore become a fire hazard. The magnets are powerful enough to ensure a tight seal between the vent port and the transition hose. As long as you keep the duct regularly clean of lint, you’ll have a much lower chance of facing a dryer fire.
Where can I find a magnetic dryer vent?
Not at Lowes or Home Depot, unfortunately. Some brick-and-mortar stores sell magnetic dryer vent couplings, but it’s better to just go to Amazon to buy them, especially if you don’t live anywhere near their authorized vendors. Fortunately, once you’ve got your vent, it’s easy to install.
How do I connect my magnetic dryer vent in a tight space?
A tight space is exactly what a magnetic dryer vent connection is for. All you need is enough space to install the correct coupling. The DryerFlex transition hose compresses quite well compared to more typical foil or semi-rigid hoses, which removes a lot of worries. At most, you’ll need four inches of clearance with the MV-90 to allow for the rigid metal pipe connecting the MV-90 to the rest of the duct. If you’ve got a duct exit that allows for the MV-180, even less space is required.
You might need a bit of string wrapped around the vent end of your transition hose or a similar tool that can bring it up to engage with the magnet end, especially if you chose the MV-Flex, but beyond that, you won’t need to worry about taking up too much space with your magnetic dryer vent.
Dryer fires are a lot less likely and cleanup is a lot easier when you have a magnetic dryer vent installed. Installation is nice and simple, and once everything is in place, it chugs along nice and quietly, needing only that you keep a regular cleaning schedule to ensure no fires occur.
The best coupling for you to pick depends entirely on how your laundry room is set up. In most cases, you’ll need to use the MV-90 to ensure that the dryer tailpiece lines up just right. If it’s already lined up with the duct, then the MV-180 will do. If you prefer to do it yourself, the MV-Flex offers you more options.
With only a little DIY and elbow grease, you can improve your dryer’s performance and safety while making it a lot more convenient to maintain. Which do you think works best for your laundry room?