In the UK, those perfectly warm, lightly breezy days on which to gently air dry your laundry are few and far between. Too often we end up having to dry clothing inside, leaving our homes damp and our clothes smelling musty. These days tumble dryers are smaller, cheaper and more energy efficient than they used to be – some even in the A+++ range. So if you dream of soft, fluffy towels and sheets, perhaps it's time to look into buying one.
In this article we compare vented, condenser and heat pump dryers to bring you the top 10 best machines, with tips on which are best for cold garages and which don't need to be plumbed. We've found plenty of options (including several deals under £300!) from quality brands like Bosch, Samsung and Miele, available to buy from Amazon, John Lewis and Argos all available to be delivered right to your door!
A tumble dryer can sometimes feel like an afterthought when it comes to your laundry routine. However, choosing the right one will save you time, money and prevent accidental damage to your clothes. Remember, the type, capacity and energy efficiency all affect the dryer's suitability and effectiveness, so here's what to look for!
Vented, condenser and heat pump are the three most common types of tumble dryer you will find online. Each uses a different method to dry your clothes, here's what you need to know.
Vented tumble dryers are usually the cheapest on the market. They work by venting away damp air through a long hose. While these can be a great budget-friendly option, remember that you’ll need somewhere for the damp air to vent out of the house.
If your home doesn't already have a tumble dryer vent, you can either place the end of the hose out of a window or have one drilled to allow your dryer to vent outside, which may be troublesome for some homes.
Condenser tumble dryers work by condensing the hot, moist air created through the drying process back into water. This water is then collected and stored in a separate water tank, which will need to be regularly emptied if the model is unplumbed.
Unlike vented dryers, you won’t need to put them near a vent or open window, providing more options for placement around various homes. However, the condensing process requires a significant amount of energy to run which may become expensive over time, or may not appeal to the environmentally conscious.
Heat pump dryers work much in the same way as condenser dryers – a condenser separates and collects water from the damp air inside the drum into a tank, circulating the dried air back over the clothes to help them dry faster. While they are somewhat costlier, the process of recycling of air makes these dryers the most energy efficient (and therefore the most economical overall) of all three types.
Many heat pump tumble dryers require a warmer ambient temperature to work properly, which means that they should not be placed in garages, sheds or particularly cold rooms.
Tumble dryers come in a range of sizes and, depending on the type and capacity, some can be quite large. When comparing dryers online, check the dimensions to ensure it will fit your home. Be aware that the listed dimensions won't usually include buttons, the door, or, for vented dryers, the hose, so make sure to allow adequate space to accommodate these features.
If you plan to put your dryer next to your washing machine, vibrations from the spin cycle may result in damage over time if the two are placed too close together. To avoid this, leave a gap of around 5 - 7 cm between appliances.
You can find out a particular model's capacity simply by checking the drum size, which refers to the amount of laundry that can fit inside the dryer at one time. This can range anywhere from compact 3 kg machines, and all the way up to large 11 kg models.
If you are looking to buy a tumble dryer, it’s likely you already own a washing machine. Make sure whichever one you buy, the drum size is at least the same capacity as your washing machine to ensure adequate space for your laundry. Still unsure? Generally, a 7 or 8 kg dryer will be sufficient for most average sized households.
True to the rumours that circulate, tumble dryers do tend to take a lot more energy to run than most other appliances. That being said, there are more energy efficient models than ever available nowadays, that will save you money whilst cutting down on unnecessary energy consumption.
For example, some dryers use sensors to determine the amount of moisture left on your clothing, in order to automatically adjust the duration of your selected program and run only for the amount of time needed to dry your clothes.
Appliances, including, of course, tumble dryers, are given a letter graded rating, with A+++ being the most efficient and D being the least. Before you buy, make sure to check the rating to find out the energy efficiency of your chosen dryer and weigh it up against the other features that are important to you.
Hopefully we've cleared a few things up and you know what kind of tumble dryer would suit you and your home best. We've put together a list of some of our favourite models available to buy here in the UK, so without further ado, here's our top 10!
|Dimensions||53 x 59.5 x 86.5 cm|
|Dimensions||84.6 x 59.7 x 56.8 cm|
|Dimensions||85 x 60 x 63 cm|
|Dimensions||85.0 x 59.6 x 64.3 cm|
|Dimensions||60 x 59.6 x 85 cm|
|Dimensions||84 x 59.7 x 60 cm|
|Dimensions||84.4 x 60 x 58 cm|
|Dimensions||59.9 x 59.8 x 84.2 cm|
|Dimensions||85 x 58 x 59.5 cm|
|Dimensions||60 x 60 x 85 cm|
John Lewis & Partners
Freestanding Heat Pump Tumble Dryer With Optimal Dry™ and SmartControl+
Freestanding Condenser Tumble Dryer
Series 4 Heat Pump Tumble Dryer
Vented Tumble Dryer
Heat Pump Tumble Dryer
Freestanding Vented Tumble Dryer
Freestanding Heat Pump Tumble Dryer
Heat Pump Tumble Dryer
Condenser Tumble Dryer
Condenser Tumble Dryer
Samsung's Classic Tumble Dryer With an A+++ Energy Rating
A Minimalist Yet Intelligent Condenser Tumble Dryer from Miele
An Ergonomically Designed, Allergen Aware Dryer by Bosch
A Compact Vented Tumble Dryer from AEG
A Self-Cleaning, Energy Efficient Heat Pump Tumble Dryer by Bosch
A Retro-Future Looking Large Capacity Dryer by Candy
An A+++ Heat Pump Tumble Dryer from Miele
A Good All Rounder That's Suitable for Most Homes
Simple and Effective Drying by Beko
A Functional Condenser Tumble Dryer from Montpellier
|Type||Heat pump||Condenser||Heat pump||Vented||Heat pump||Vented||Heat pump||Heat pump||Condenser||Condenser|
|Dimensions||60 x 60 x 85 cm||85 x 58 x 59.5 cm||59.9 x 59.8 x 84.2 cm||84.4 x 60 x 58 cm||84 x 59.7 x 60 cm||60 x 59.6 x 85 cm||85.0 x 59.6 x 64.3 cm||85 x 60 x 63 cm||84.6 x 59.7 x 56.8 cm||53 x 59.5 x 86.5 cm|
|Capacity||9 kg||7 kg||8 kg||7 kg||9 kg||9 kg||8 kg||8 kg||8 kg||7 kg|
While prices may vary depending on location, for a little extra, you'll be able to get your tumble dryer professionally installed. This is especially useful if you opt to purchase a vented machine, or a model which can be plumbed to automatically remove waste water from the condenser.
If you're replacing a tumble dryer that's broken down, some companies will even remove your old machine for recycling at the same time – definitely worth looking into!
Love it or hate it, laundry is something we all have to do, so you may as well get it done with the right equipment, and with the right products for your lifestyle. Have a look at the laundry-related buying guides below – you might even feel inspired to put a wash on!
Tumble dryers are a savvy solution for those living in accommodation without adequate space to hang a washing line, on rainy days, or when you're just in a hurry. Whatever your situation, even if you don't plan to use your dryer on a weekly basis, having one can really come in handy. We hope this article has helped you in making your final decision.
Author: Wren Mann
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