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Make choosing a new tumble dryer a whole lot easier with our buyers guide

Tumble dryer BG

Tumble dryer buyers guide

Tumble dryers in the UK have become a standard fixture due to the changing weather throughout the year. In the summer a washing line is fantastic, however, during the colder months, it is difficult to dry clothes within the house and doing so can cause musty smells and damp. It’s especially important for larger families to be able to dry clothes as quickly as possible. This is where a tumble dryer comes in. Plus, some tumble dryers do not need to be in a specific location due to ventilation outlets; some can be placed anywhere such as utility rooms, conservatories or spare rooms. They just need an electrical outlet.

Choose your type

There are three main types of tumble dryers; vented, condenser, and heat pump.

Vented tumble dryer

Vented tumble dryers are the most affordable on the market to buy, however, the water that is removed from your clothes during the drying process needs somewhere to go. A hose is connected from the tumble dryer to either an open window or to a hole in the wall. The hot air vented from the dryer containing moisture is then vented outside.

Condenser tumble dryer

A condenser dryer has no need for a hose and so you can choose where you place the appliance. During the drying process, moisture is removed from your clothes and collected into a container inside the machine, in some cases the machines can be connected so that the water generated in the process is simply drained away like a washing machine. Condenser dryers are slightly more expensive to buy, and do tend to use slightly more energy but have the bonus of being able to be sited almost anywhere.

Some models have sensor drying which measures the humidity in the drum with a sensor and when that humidity is low and the clothes dry switches the machine off. This is very energy efficient and can reduce your costs and the impact on the environment, however, sensor dryers work best in household temperatures as using these machines in places where the external temperature of the room is low can confuse the humidity sensor. If you are unsure please check the product you are buying.

Heat pump condenser dryer

Alternatively, heat pump condenser dryers are an option to consider. These machines recycle the heat inside the machine to enable drying. They can be up to 40% more efficient than a conventional condenser dryer saving energy and ongoing costs. These dryers tend to be more expensive to buy but with the lower power consumption, over the lifetime of the appliance, in most cases, you will save at least the difference in the purchase price and in lots of cases far more than that.  The moisture is still collected in a reservoir within the machine but on some models can be drained away as in a standard condenser dryer.  For a great example of this dryer follow this link, as recommended by our buying team.

Look out for these features

Iron dry
Use this setting if you like to iron your clothes straight from the dryer as it leaves your clothes with a higher moisture content, making them easier to iron.
Cupboard dry
This setting means you can put your clothes away straight away after the cycle has finished.
Extra dry
This setting is ideal for larger items such as duvets or pillows as it dries everything completely removing the most moisture from the item being dried.
Sensor tumble dryers
These tumble dryers have sensor drying technology, which uses a humidity sensor in the product switching the machine off when the humidity in the drum is low and the clothes are dry. This means that you don’t need to set a timer as the machine will stop when your clothes are dry and you can get on with your day. Please be aware that sensor dryers work best in household temperatures.
Manual or timed tumble dryers

Manual tumble dryers require you to select a drying time for your load. This requires more guesswork when it comes to drying your clothes than a timed tumble dryer. It’s likely that you’ll need to open the appliance door a few times during the cycle, to check the level of dampness and to prevent overdrying. However, these models are more straightforward and can be cheaper than models with more features. 

Choose your size

The next consideration is the size of the drum. As a rough guide, a 7kg drum will be suitable for individuals, a couple, or a small family and up to 10kg is best for larger families.

Freestanding or integrated?

Another factor to consider when choosing your tumble dryer is if you would like a freestanding model or integrated model. A freestanding model can go anywhere you have space depending on vented or condenser whereas an integrated model is designed to fit into a cupboard or under a counter, again please be mindful of needing a vent or using a condenser type machine. Condenser machines may well be the best option for built in as they do not require a vent pipe which may be expensive to have installed.

More info

With any tumble dryer just follow all instructions about not overloading the drum, removing water from the container, only inserting clothes suitable for tumble drying and cleaning the lint filters after each cycle to keep your machine running at peak efficiency.

Installation & delivery of your tumble dryer

Find more information about your installation and delivery here.

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