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Working out how to dry endless loads of wet laundry when there are too few days of the year when it can be hung outside can be as exasperating as discovering a pair of colour-run tights in with your whites.
A drying rack or clothes horse can take so long to dry clothes that they’re left smelling musty, while a tumble dryer can be expensive to run, environmentally-unfriendly and is likely to leave your garments creased. Radiators can do the job, but not everyone wants to use them – or even has them.
Enter the heated clothes airer. It dries your garments quickly, is kind to your clothes and will reduce your ironing pile. Heated airers are economical to run, too - around a third the cost of a tumble drier. And they’ll take the chill off the room they’re positioned in, which is good news for your heating bill.
You do need to know how to use a heated clothes airer well to get the most out of it. Tips like using a cover or a sheet over it to speed up drying times, and loading it up efficiently will help. And there are unexpected benefits too (such as toasty socks straight off the airer in the mornings!)
We’ve rounded up 11 of the best heated airers with the help of countless consumer reviews and recommendations from real families and unbiased Mumsnetters, who’ve tried and tested all shapes, sizes and brands of heated clothes airer in their own homes.
In-depth research for our selection took into account each product’s durability, design, capacity, value, footprint, ease of use and other pertinent factors, such as how quickly it’ll dry your washing, how easily it stores, and any additional features.
So whether you need a clean baby sleepsuit pronto, some fresh bed sheets tout de suite or your child’s PE kit ready in time for tomorrow morning’s school run, one of these handy helpers will have freshly-washed laundry moisture-free in next to no time.
How we chose our recommendations
To ensure we are only recommending the best of the best, we always do our research thoroughly and make sure every product comes carefully assessed, vetted and with honest recommendations.
Recommendations from real parents
The most useful reviews always come from mums and dads who have been there and bought the products. Before recommending any new products, we always ask our trusted Mumsnet users, of which there are more than 7 million each month. We don’t believe in recommending products off the back of press releases; we think trusted reviews from real people are worth so much more.
We always ensure our information represents the latest recommendations from experts so you can rely on it, and we research each product thoroughly to ensure it follows the latest expert advice and stands up to scrutiny. Here, we consulted information from the Energy Saving Trust on buying energy efficient products, as well as tips on getting laundry done more easily from helpwiththewashing.co.uk.
We also scour the internet outside of Mumsnet, checking out real reviews from parents who have bought the products themselves, and given both positive and negative feedback to ensure every product we recommend comes with a clutch of good reviews.
Celebrated best products
Finally, we checked to see which heated laundry airers had won industry awards and accolades or received recognition from trusted sources and fed this into our analysis too.
Here are the best heated clothes airers for 2022.
What is the best heated airer for clothes?
- Best overall heated clothes airer: Dry:Soon 3-Tier Heated Airer and Cover
- Best budget heated clothes airer: Highland Electric Heated Clothes Airer
- Best heated clothes airer for large households: Concise Home Electric Clothes Dryer
- Best heated clothes airer for quick drying: Dry:Soon Drying Pod
- Best cheap-to-run heated clothes airer: Dunelm 3-Tier Heated Airer
1. Best overall heated clothes airer: Dry:Soon 3-Tier Heated Airer and Cover
Price: £180 | Buy now from Amazon
“I have one of these – they are the bomb! Put the stuff on before bed, put the cover on and it’s dry by morning, and everywhere feels warm and smells of lovely, clean washing.” Recommended by Mumsnet user lockedownloretta.
Although the priciest of our picks, we simply can’t ignore the many rave reviews among Mumsnetters of Dry:Soon’s superb 3-Tier Heated Airer. Plus, it can be bought without the cover to bring the price tag down. The washable poly-cotton cover is highly recommended by Mumsnet users though as it speeds up the drying process by trapping heat and also doubles as a handy storage bag.
Costing just 6p an hour to run, the Dry:Soon is a much cheaper option than using a tumble dryer – especially with rising energy prices.
This large airer provides ample drying space for damp washing – 21 metres to be exact – so it’s perfect for bigger households. Opening the shelves on one side only also makes it suitable for smaller spaces or when you have fewer items to dry.
It may be lightweight to the point of feeling almost flimsy, but this heated clothes airer is far sturdier than it lets on. When you’re finished laundry for the week, it folds down to just 8cm wide so can easily be hidden away.
- Easy to set up and store
- May be bigger than expected
- Size: Not specified
- Capacity: 15kg
2. Best budget heated clothes airer: Highlands Electric Heated Clothes Airer
Price: £50 | Buy now from Amazon
“I use my heated airer pretty much daily in the winter. I do have an old tumble drier, but only use is once every couple of months, and only when we need something drying very quickly (usually if we were going out spontaneously and something wasn't quite dry, so that doesn't happen anymore!)” Tried and tested by FurryTurnipHead.
If you’re looking to invest in a heated airer in order to save on the cost of tumble drying, this model from Highlands is one of the most economical we have seen, costing less than 4p an hour to run (though how long that will remain the case with rising fuel prices remains to be seen). Either way, it’s definitely one of the cheapest on the market.
There are 18 bars of drying space, giving you not loads of room, but definitely enough to do a load and a bit more or to space things out and get them dry overnight.
Once it’s built (it does require assembly) it’s very easy to take up and down and stores away neatly when not in use. Like the Minky model above, it takes up a bit more room than models with a small footprint because of the ‘wings’ but this does give you space for longer items of laundry to hang freely.
Some reviews suggest that heavier and bigger items take a fair while to dry on this model, so that’s something to be aware of. Towels and sheets will always be quicker tumbled or hung out on the line, but if you want to dry them regularly on an airer you might be better of with the Lakeland model that was our best buy overall, which allows you to drape a sheet or duvet cover over the top of the drying racks, trapping the warm air inside to dry everything else quicker, too.
- Very economical to run
- Stores away neatly
- Is quite wide when open
- Capacity not as large as some
- Size: L146 x W55 x H74 cm open
- Capacity: 15kg
3. Best heated clothes airer for large households: Concise Home Electric Clothes Dryer
Price: £90 | Buy now from Amazon
“If it's too cold for the airer I have a Concise Home Electric Clothes Dryer. Better than a tumble as it can also do knitwear without it shrinking.” (Rated by Mumsnet user Notallowedtobesick)
Endless cycles of washing go with the territory when you’re a parent, so Concise Home’s Electric Clothes Dryer is a great choice for families as it can accommodate twice as much as most of its counterparts. While it’s great to be able to really blitz the laundry pile all in one go, be aware that this model is something of a monster, so do be aware that you’ll need plenty of space to put it up and it’s not exactly unobtrusive on the eye.
Like a small wardrobe on wheels and with two fans to blast warm air at your laundry, it has a three-hour timer and offers peace of mind by automatically shutting off if it gets too hot. Its instructions are unclear and its cover lacks quality, yet the latter maximises the dryer’s efficiency and even sheets and jeans will be cupboard-dry in no time.
Costing between 10p and 15p per hour to run, it’s more expensive to use than some heated airers, but it’s far cheaper than using the tumble dryer - and quieter too.
- Large capacity
- Ideal for bed linen and large towels
- Fans are quite noisy
- Pole ends are sharp when assembling
- Size: 170 x 48 x 120cm
- Capacity: 30kg
4. Best heated clothes airer for quick drying: Dry:Soon Drying Pod
Price: £80 | Buy now from Amazon
“Love my Pod! Everything dries nicely on hangers. I would not be without it!” Rated by Mumsnet user Nohomemadecandles.
Capable of drying lightweight fabrics in under an hour and even thicker items – such as jumpers and denim – in just a couple of hours, Dry:Soon’s speedy Drying Pod is ideal for when you want your washing wardrobe-ready in a hurry.
This popular retro-style appliance can hold up to a dozen items at a time, which are dried via a fan that blows hot air up into your clothes, drying them gently but quickly. Obviously the pod would hold 12 t-shirts or tops but you can also hang items like trousers over the bottom rungs of your hangers or even peg smalls to them.
While the pod itself is reasonably priced, it costs more to run than many of its competitors at 15p an hour.That said, it’s quiet for a fan-powered model and has a timer and auto-shut-off function, plus its cable is a decent length.
- Dries items quickly
- Reasonably priced
- More costly to run than some alternatives
- Limited capacity
- No hangers included
- Size: 146 x 62 x 62cm
- Capacity: 10kg/12 items on hangers
5. Best cheap-to-run heated clothes airer: Dunelm 3-Tier Heated Airer
Price: £95 | Buy now from Dunelm
“I got the Dunelm one a couple of weeks ago and I’m really happy with it. It dries stuff overnight. I like how it adds a little more heat to the room it’s in too.” Rated by Mumsnet user Balaur.
With utility prices going through the roof, any appliance that uses little energy is a welcome addition – particularly for eco-conscious parents.
One of the cheapest-to-run models on the market, Dunelm’s 3-Tier Heated Airer will help to keep electricity bills low, costing from just 3p an hour.
Bulkier than some of its rivals, it folds up to save space in between uses and is made from sturdy aluminium.
While no cover is provided, buyers suggest using a duvet cover or bed sheet as an effective substitute.
- Low running costs
- Illuminated on/off switch
- No cover included
- Lead is quite short
- Size: 135 x 66cm x 73cm
- Capacity: 15kg
6. Best lightweight heated clothes airer: Status Heated Clothes Airer
Price: £60| Buy now from Currys
Light, collapsible and very easy to manoeuvre, the Status airer from Currys is a great choice if you know you’ll be putting an airer up and down frequently.
If your home is small or you just don’t have a spare room to hide an airer away in, you’ll want one that is quick and easy to put away, and we think this one does the job admirably.
It holds 15kg of laundry across 18 heated bars and the airer takes no time at all to heat up, so your washing can be drying as soon as it hits the rails.
- Heats up quickly
- Great price
- Quite wide in use
- Size: 97 x 142 x 52 cm
- Capacity: 15kg
7. Best robust heated clothes airer: John Lewis & Partners 3-Tier Heated Indoor Clothes Airer
Price: £100 | Buy now from John Lewis & Partners
“I bought the John Lewis one late last year and it's been great. Bit on the spendy side (think it was around £100) but everything got dry quickly - we live in Wales so lots of opportunity for things to get dirty/need washing and drying in a hurry.” Tried and tested by HappyEverlftar.
Many Mumsnetters have rapidly warmed to this quick-heating clothes airer from John Lewis & Partners that makes drying a doddle when the washing line is out of action.
Sturdy and solidly built of robust aluminium alloy, each of its three shelves can hold 5kg of damp clothes, plus there are four heated loops at the base for wet trainers, socks and wellies, or which can be used to make slippers toasty-warm in cold weather.
We like that the top tier only can be opened to hang sheets and towels without them touching the floor, but aren’t so keen on the short power cord.
- Heats up quickly
- Two-year guarantee
- No timer
- May be tricky to collapse
- Size: 135 x 66 x 73cm
- Capacity: 15kg
8. Best heated clothes airer for line-dried results: JML DriBUDDi Indoor Electric Clothes Dryer
Price: £80 | Buy now from Amazon
“It’s honestly brilliant! You sometimes need to move stuff around to get it completely dry, but overall it does a great job and nothing needs ironing.” Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Tigger03.
Cropping up on the Mumsnet forums time and time again, JML’s DriBUDDi leaves clothing with a fresh-air-dried feel without you having to wait for the weather to behave. Its powerful 1200-watt motor uses little energy and dries garments quickly while helping creases and wrinkles to disappear, meaning that ironing time is reduced too.
Able to hold a standard wash load of up to 18 garments, its covered frame acts as a drying cocoon that also protects contents from hair, dust and dirt.
The DriBUDDI is a very similar model to the Lakeland Dry Soon, and we couldn’t find much between them at all but the DriBuddi is very quiet in use so you might want to plump for that one if noise levels are an issue for you.
The tripod-design DriBUDDi could be simpler to assemble and dismantle though, which isn’t ideal if you’re planning to take it down in between uses. Regardless, this is an effective clothes dryer that offers indoor convenience with the benefits of an outdoor clothesline.
- Saves ironing time
- Choice of blue or white cover
- Quieter than some models
- Could be easier to assemble and disassemble
- Difficult to keep items separated
- Unsuitable for large items like bed sheets
- Size: 160 x 70 x 70cm
- Capacity: 10kg/18 items
9. Best user-friendly heated clothes airer: AMOS Eezy-Dry Pro Electric Clothes Dryer
Price: £98 | Buy now from Amazon
“I've got the AMOS Eezy Dry pro which is like a Dri Buddy but a better shape, as the Dri Buddy kept falling over. It's brilliant, it dries a machine load in less than 2 hours and really cuts down on ironing time”. Recommended by Gemma2019.
Non-practical folk will appreciate this clothes dryer that’s Eezy by name and easy by nature. Simple to assemble in just 10 minutes – despite sketchy instructions and with no tools required – just place clothes on hangers inside, zip up the cover, choose a drying time and let it get to work.
While this extra-tall appliance can house up to 15kg of washing (around 25 garments or up to 50 small items), the manufacturer suggests that its optimum capacity is just 8kg. But it does come with a pair of useful six-peg airers, which are ideal for baby sleepsuits, socks and vests, for example.
Some reviews say that it can cause the room it’s in to fog up a bit. To be honest, lots of heated airers will do this, but perhaps you notice it more with the covered airers because the humidity escapes in large quantities when you open the cover. Either way, it’s worth cracking a window open when you’re drying clothes.
This user-friendly dryer has castors for easy manoeuvrability and can be set to come on for up to four hours using buttons on either the motor unit or the included remote control. A shorter model is also available.
- Quick, easy assembly
- Simple to operate
- Ideal for longer items
- Poles bend fairly easily
- May be slower to dry than expected
- Size: 186 x 48 x 70cm
- Capacity: 15kg
10. Best heated airer with cover: Minky Wing Heated Airer with Cover
Price: £55 | Buy now from Argos
“I use an oblong one with "wings" iyswim. It fits our room better and the wings heat up.” Tried and tested by Davros.
You need a bit of room for this heated airer from popular cleaning brand, Minky, but if you have the space, it’s super easy to load up and unload and there’s lots of rail room to space out your clothing nicely.
It takes one wash, with 12 metres of drying space and has a cover which speeds up the drying process. It’s particularly good for long things like trousers and towels, which can hang on the ‘wings’ without knocking into anything below.
The airer is much more lightweight than some, such as the Dunelm one, above, as it’s made from lightweight aluminium, but also it doesn’t have as much drying room as many of the best models, so it is lighter and easier to manoeuvre when folded.
We’d like this to take just a few more clothes, but if you’d rather have the height to allow jeans, towels etc to dry and don’t need to be able to hang out more than one load at once, this is a good buy and definitely one of the best ‘wings’ models we saw.
- Comes with a cover
- Good price
- Takes up a more space than an upright version when open
- Only takes one wash
- Size: H114, W55, D6cm
- Capacity: 10kg
11. Best foldable heated clothes airer: Black and Decker 3-tiered heated clothes airer
Price: 110 | Buy now from Amazon
“I like that it folds away and can be hidden away too.” Loved by BonfireHeart.
This collapsible heated airer impressed many who’d bought this model from Black and Decker, proving this company is good for much more than just power tools, and it’s as sturdy as you would expect from B&D.
The airer comes fully assembled so all you have to do is unbox it and switch it on and the bars heat up in less than five minutes so a hefty load of washing can be gently drying in moments.
The bars offer a generous 21 metres of drying space, and you can choose to fold up the bottom two bars on one side if you want to dry long items such as towels. If you’ve done a small load, you can also only unfold one side of the bars to reduce the footprint and stand the drier nearly in a corner or against a wall. It also has a 1.6 metre cord, which gives you more options about where to locate it.
It folds completely flat and would easily stand in a large cupboard or slide between a wardrobe and the wall to hide it away, so it’s a good option if you want to line-dry in summer and mostly use a heated airer in the winter months.
This is one of the more expensive models on the market. Whether it’s worth its price tag might depend on how much you want the ease of folding and robustness of this particular model, but if it’s within your budget, it’s a great buy.
- Very sturdy
- Folds flat
- Small footprint
- No cover available
- Quite expensive
- Size: 68 x 73 x 144cm
- Capacity: 15kg
Keep reading to discover all you need to know about choosing the best heated airer for your life and your laundry.
Is it worth getting a heated clothes airer?
In a word, yes. The UK’s unpredictable climate can wreak havoc on our laundry plans, which is why many families see the humble heated airer as a household hero that’s well worth splashing out on and which they couldn’t live without – particularly on cold or rainy days.
Priced from as little as £40 and costing mere pennies to run, one of these appliances will soon pay for itself with the money you’re saving by not having to use the tumble dryer or leave the central heating on for longer when damp washing is hung over radiators. It’s also a worthy purchase for its minimal environmental cost.
Which is better – a tumble dryer or heated airer?
While a heated airer cannot compete with a tumble dryer in terms of speed, it’ll nevertheless dry laundry in a matter of hours and uses up to 90% less electricity, depending on appliance models – welcome news when energy bills are soaring.
As well as being more economical, heated clothes airers and dryers can also leave garments crease-free, cutting down ironing time. Unlike their spinning rivals, heated clothes airers also pose little risk of clothes damage or shrinkage, particularly to delicate items like underwear or woollens.
How can I dry my clothes faster indoors?
Drying laundry inside can be difficult, particularly if you’re short on space or have problems with damp.
The first thing is to start with clothes that have as little moisture in them as possible. Give them a spin dry after they are washed, or twist wet clothes in a towel to remove as much additional moisture as you can before hanging them to dry.
Don’t overload your airer (whether it’s heated or not). Clothes with plenty of space around them will dry much quicker.
Make sure clothes are properly stretched out and nice and flat, with sleeves and pockets turned out. If clothes are bunched up they will take longer to dry.
Try to turn clothes now and then if you’re using a heated airer, so that they dry evenly.
You can find more information on getting laundry dry without a tumble drier at Ovo Energy.
Do electric airers use a lot of electricity?
A heated clothes airer or dryer costs between 3p and 15p per hour to run, making it extremely economical when compared to even the most energy-efficient tumble dryer – even if it takes several hours longer than expected to dry your washing. Heated dryers cost more to run than non-fan models, but they also complete the drying process more quickly.
What is the difference between a heated airer and a heated dryer?
Heated airers have bars that heat up and, when used with a cover, the drying effects are maximised. Heated dryers have fans that blow hot air inside a covered stand that looks like a small wardrobe. The latter is generally more expensive to run but can dry a small laundry load in under two hours. The terms heated airer and dryer are often used interchangeably.
Do heated airers cause dampness?
Hanging wet clothes in the home is bound to increase moisture levels, but a heated clothes airer significantly speeds up drying time – particularly when a cover is used, which will stop the spread of dampness and condensation.
A bed sheet or duvet cover can be used in lieu of a designated cover, while a dehumidifier (or open window for ventilation when weather allows) is worth considering too.
Are heated clothes airers safe?
Heated clothes airers are generally safe to use, but always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety advice. Many have timers and are thermostatically controlled to avoid overheating.
While the bars do become warm (the clue’s in the name), they shouldn’t be too hot to touch, which is good news for parents of inquisitive infants and toddlers.
Can you leave a heated clothes airer on overnight?
Leaving any plug-in electrical item on overnight can be a risk, but many heated airers have a timer that will switch the appliance off once the time is up, while others have a thermostat and automatically shut-off beyond a certain temperature. Always check the safety features of your particular model.
What’s the best heated clothes airer?
The best heated clothes airer is Dry:Soon’s lightweight 3-Tier Heated Airer and Cover, which receives more positive mentions among Mumsnetters than any other, with many wishing they’d bought one years ago.
Easy to use, inexpensive to run and quick-drying, this durable appliance can hold up to 15kg of laundry and comes with a three-year guarantee. Its versatility makes it suitable for both large and small households and it folds down to just 8cm wide when (or if) you finally get to the bottom of the laundry pile.
While it’s not exactly cheap, think of all the dosh you’ll save by not having to set your energy-sapping tumble dryer in motion.
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Main image credit: Dunelm