Best heated airers and dryers

01 February 2021

heated clothes airer

Is the great British weather hampering your attempts to get endless cycles of washing dry? A heated clothes airer could be just what you’re looking for.

Let's face it, drying washing is hard, especially in winter. Tumble driers are pricey to run, environmentally-friendly and can take up a lot of space in the kitchen.

Then there are clothes airers – or clothes horses or maidens depending on where you’re from – that can take an age to get clothes dry and sometimes leave clothes smelling musty. Not every house has radiators and, even if you do, you don’t necessarily want to hang wet washing on them.

Heated airers and dryers can be a great way to dry washing quickly. Heated airers have bars that heat up (and you can maximise the effect of some by using a cover), while heated dryers have fans that blow hot air inside a covered stand, which looks like a small wardrobe.

While not as cheap as a non-electric airer, they can cost as little as 3p an hour to run (see our buyer’s guide below) and rapidly speed up drying time.

Here are the best heated clothes airers and dryers as recommended by families.

1. Best overall heated clothes airer: Dry:Soon Drying Pod

“I've had mine for a few years now. I use it with the cover, which makes a big difference as the clothes dry quicker. You can set timers etc. It's a real game-changer and I definitely recommend it.”

1. Best overall heated clothes airer: Dry:Soon Drying Pod

The Dry:Soon Drying Pod has been described by parents on Mumsnet as a game-changer. It stands at 146cm high, with a diameter of 62cm, and has a fan that circulates hot air through your clothes.

You simply hang your wet clothes on the rails, pull the cover on and it will quickly dry up to 12 items. There’s also an optional timer, which can be set for up to three hours.

You do need to buy the hangers separately or use ones you’ve already got, and the airer is slightly more expensive than a heated airer without a fan (costing around 15p an hour), but that’s still much cheaper than a tumble dryer. It also has the added benefit of reducing creases and ironing time.

What we like

  • The fan dramatically speeds up drying time
  • It’s hardwearing and compact

What we don’t like

  • Hangers aren’t included

Price: £62.79

Buy now from Amazon

2. Best budget heated clothes airer: Easy Home Heated Clothes Airer

“I have the Aldi one. It dries everything so much quicker if you chuck a sheet over it.”

2. Best budget heated clothes airer: Easy Home Heated Clothes Airer

Aldi’s Easy Home Heated Clothes Airer is one of the cheapest on the market but still comes highly recommended. It’s one of the cheapest to run too at around 3p an hour.

It has 20 bars that heat up, so you might have to move your washing around to ensure the whole item is dry. But it’s particularly good for towels and small items like vest tops and babygros.

Mumsnet users recommend putting a sheet over it to mimic the effects of pricier models with covers, which will keep heat in and speed up drying time. It also folds down for easy storage.

What we like

  • Budget-friendly
  • Folds down compactly

What we don’t like

  • Aluminium is lightweight but can bend with heavy items like jeans

Price: £28.99

Buy now from Aldi

3. Best heated clothes airer for families: Concise Home Two Hosts Hotel Electric Clothes Dryer

“I got the Concise Home Dryer a couple of years ago and it's still going strong! It’s about the size of a nursery wardrobe and fits loads in. Great and very cheap to run.”

3. Best heated clothes airer for families: Concise Home Two Hosts Hotel Electric Clothes Dryer

The Concise Home Dryer is like a small wardrobe with not one but two fans to blast hot air at your laundry.

This large model stands at an impressive 170cm tall and 120cm wide so it has capacity for 30kg of washing – enough even on bed linen changing day (but smaller models are available).

The cover is included – it’s essential – and maximises the drier’s efficiency. It will also automatically shut down if the temperature gets hotter than 85 degrees celsius.

It’s more expensive than some to run, at around 15p an hour, but will get all items, even sheets and jeans, cupboard-dry in no time.

What we like

  • Large enough to dry bed linen and large towels
  • Dries items quickly and efficiently

What we don’t like

  • The fans do make a sound so best if your house isn’t open plan

4. Best covered heated clothes airer: Dry:Soon 3-Tier Heated Airer

“I have the three-tier one from Lakeland. I've had it for at least five years and it's still going strong. We use it with a Dry:Soon cover and can have a load dry in a day, maybe sooner if you move the bottom-tier stuff up to the top once the top stuff is dry. We don't have room for a tumble drier either and it would take days for one load to dry in our house without it.”

4. Best covered heated clothes airer:  Dry:Soon 3-Tier Heated Airer

If you’re looking for a heated airer without a fan, then Mumsnet users rave about the Dry:Soon 3-Tier Heated Airer – but only if you use the cover.

Unfortunately, the cover is not included, so costs an extra £42.99, but Mumsnetters say it’s worth every penny as it keeps the heat in to speed up drying time and the mesh sides allow the air to be vented. It also doubles as a handy storage bag for the airer itself.

The Dry:Soon 3-Tier Heated Airer is one of the cheapest models to run at 6p an hour and it will hold 15kg of washing in 21 metres of drying space.

One big advantage is that this folds down to just 8cm deep, if you ever actually manage to get to the bottom of your laundry pile, giving you more room to play with once it’s stored away.

What we like

  • Large size
  • Cheap to run

What we don’t like

  • Expensive
  • Cover is not included

5. Best portable heated clothes airer: Easylife Lifestyle Solutions Heated Clothes Horse With Wheels

5. Best portable heated clothes airer: Easylife Lifestyle Solutions Heated Clothes Horse With Wheels

This heated airer from Easylife Lifestyle Solutions is on wheels so, once you’ve unplugged it, you can move it around your house easily.

It’s cheap to run at just 6p an hour and will cope with 15kg of washing as it has a whopping 21 metres of hanging space. It stands at 147.5 cm high and folds to just 8cm deep.

Made from aluminium, it’s pleasingly lightweight, but be careful when putting heavy items like wet jeans on it.

This model is an upgrade on previous designs and has a timer that will automatically turn it off after two or four hours, saving you money on running costs.

What we like

  • Has wheels so you can move it around your home
  • Folds down

What we don’t like

  • No cover so it isn’t as efficient as some

6. Best heated clothes airer for awkward items: Dunelm 3-Tier Heated Airer

“I got the Dunelm one a couple of weeks ago and I'm really happy with it. Dries stuff overnight and I pull a duvet cover over in, in lieu of an actual dryer cover. It’s great for shoes. I like how it adds a little more heat to the room it's in too.”

6. Best heated clothes airer for awkward items: Dunelm 3-Tier Heated Airer

Dunelm’s 3-Tier Heated Airer doesn’t just have racks for hangers – it also has places to put awkward items like shoes, slippers and cushions.

Sadly, it doesn’t have a fan so will take longer to try your clothes but, like Aldi’s model, Mumsnet users recommend putting a sheet over the airer to act as a cover to speed up drying time.

It’s one of the cheaper models to run, at 4p an hour, and stands at 73cm x 66cm x 135cm, folding away if you need it to as well.

Suitable for up to 15kg of washing, it even comes with an additional storage rack, which most families will appreciate.

What we like

  • Slots to dry shoes

What we don’t like

  • Can take 24 hours to dry a full load

7. Best heated dryer for open-plan homes: JML DriBUDDi Clothes Dryer

“I have a DriBuddi too. It's very good.”

7. Best heated dryer for open-plan homes: JML DriBUDDi Clothes Dryer

JML’s DriBuddi has a fan to blast hot air into the covered frame, drying clothes efficiently and quickly. It will hold up to 10kg, which is around 18 items of clothing.

It costs around 15p an hour to run, but JML claims it uses up to 25% less energy than other dryers.

Mumsnet users say it dries a full load within three hours and, unlike some models, is very quiet to run so is ideal if your flat or house is open plan.

What we like

  • Fan for quick drying
  • Quiet to run

What we don’t like

  • Not suitable for large items like bed sheets

8. Best small heated clothes airer: 3-Tier Heated Clothes Airer

8. Best small heated clothes airer: 3-Tier Heated Clothes Airer

This heated airer by Direct2Publik is available at 54% off through Wowcher
and has three tiers giving you 21 metres of drying space.

For an extra £10, you can get a made-to-measure cover to maximise efficiency and speed. Just plug it in (the cable is 1.5 metres long) and you’re ready to go.

Because of the nature of Wowcher, there are only a limited number available so if you want it you need to buy fast.

What we like

  • Holds a lot of washing in a small area
  • Folds down

What we don’t like

  • Limited supply so may sell out

Price: £69

Buy now from Wowcher

9. Best alternative: Electriq 12-Litre Low Energy Dehumidifier

“I use a regular airer with a dehumidifier next to it. The advantage of that is that it removes excess moisture in the air – handy when the temperature drops and you get condensation down the windows – as well as drying the washing.”

9. Best alternative: Electriq 12-Litre Low Energy Dehumidifier

One of the big problems with drying washing indoors, even with a heated airer or drier, is that the water in the clothes has to go somewhere – and that can cause condensation and even damp or mould. The ideal humidity in your house should be between 30% and 60% but the humidity in many houses is much higher. If you have a smart boiler, it should tell you what yours is.

A dehumidifier sucks out the moisture in the air. You’ll need a standard airer like Minky’s 3-Tier Airer, which costs £21.99 for 15 metres of drying space. Then set up Electriq’s 12-Litre Dehumidifier.

This model is ideal as it has a laundry mode, which significantly reduces the drying time of damp laundry indoors. It also benefits your heating bills too because you won't have to keep your heating on for so long.

It stands at 58cm tall and will extract up to 12 litres of moisture from the air every day. You can also use it to keep humidity levels down when cooking or having a long hot bath.

What we like

  • The dehumidifier can also help with damp in other areas of the house

What we don’t like

  • It’s not a purpose-built drier or airer

Are heated airers worth it?

Heated airers and dryers can be worth it particularly given the UK’s weather – even in summer!

If you don’t have room for a tumble dryer or if you worry about the environmental cost, then an alternative is to use an airer without heat or to put your washing on the radiators (if you have them), which could risk damp and condensation.

A heated airer will help dry washing more quickly as the bars heat up. If you use a cover, the effect can be maximised.

The other option is a heated dryer, which has a fan that blows out hot air, although the terms heated airer and dryer are sometimes used interchangeably. These always have a cover to retain the heat and efficiency and, while slightly more expensive to run, these can dry a small load in under two hours.

Are heated clothes airers cheap to run?

Heated clothes airers and dryers are much cheaper to run than tumble dryers, which cost around 36p per hour to run.

Heated airers and dryers are a fraction of the cost and you should expect to pay between 3p and 15p per hour. Of course, this depends on how long you need to keep them on.

Heated dryers may cost more per hour but can dry a load of light washing in under two hours. Airers without a fan will be cheaper, but you may need to keep them on longer to dry a whole load.

Can you leave a heated clothes airer on overnight?

Leaving any electrical item on overnight can be a risk. Many of the heated dryers with fans that are on our best buy list have timers and will go off after around three hours or so, depending on the model.

Many of the heated airers plug into the wall and have the usual safety features you’d expect with any electrical items

What's the best heated clothes airer?

The Dry:Soon Drying Pod is great value and the fan means that clothes dry incredibly quickly. The cover makes it more efficient and it has changed how many Mumsnet users dry their washing.

A heated airer without a fan is a quieter and cheaper option but will take longer to dry your clothes. But if this is your preference then Aldi’s Easy Home Heated Airer, which costs under £30, is a bargain.

How we chose our recommendations

Our recommendations for all of the heated airers and driers came from families themselves. They have been raving about the difference these items make to the drudgery of laundry so we searched the Mumsnet forums for posts about which heated airers and dryers Mumsnetters really love. We also looked at other reviews to see which ones performed well across the board.

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