The best tumble dryers 2019 - as chosen by Mumsnetters
Scour our Talk threads on tumble dryers and you'll find the full gamut of reviews and experiences. From Mumsnetters dreamily eulogising machines that have reliably dried their clothes for more than a decade to others who are furious at having shelled out for something that conked out six months down the line. It's a fraught topic, which is why you need to read this guide to choosing the best tumble dryer for you.
Things to consider before buying a tumble dryer
Where will you put it?
You could put it in the kitchen, a cupboard, in the garage or anywhere else that makes sense in your home, but this is the first thing you need to decide before you start looking at machines. If you've got a particualr spot in mind, this might influence your choice of machine:
- Freestanding machine – gives you the option to move it from one location to another
- Integrated – installed within a kitchen unit and can be more expensive
- Semi-integrated – also installed within the unit but the dryer drum is hidden behind a door, while the control panel at the top is on display and easily accessible
- Small tumble dryer – a good option if you're short of space, as they tend to weigh 3-4kg, with dimension h67 x w50 x d47cm, and can sit on a worktop
What's your type?
There are several types of tumble dryer and Mumsnetters have contrasting views on which is best. But here's a brief rundown of some of the main options:
- Vented tumble dryer – the cheaper, and traditional, type, they pump out the hot and damp air from the drum through a hose. The machine can be permanently vented through an outside wall using a venting kit, which should come with it, or you could hang a hose out of the window when in use, although that's not ideal in winter
- Condenser tumble dryer – works by turning the steam into water which collects in a removable container. Most condenser dryers have an indicator light to let you know when the container needs emptying. With no need for hoses, you can put them anywhere you like
- Heat pump tumble dryer – Often expensive to buy but cheaper to run than regular electric dryers. The dryers reheat the air that's sucked out of the laundry then cool it so it condenses back into water. Engineering, eh?
We've all heard the horror stories about tumble dryers tripling electricity bills (as well as shrinking clothes). Sensors are manufacturers attempt at solving this problem and making their machines more efficient. They monitor the load and stop the dryer when the laundry is dry – at least that's the idea. Tumble dryers with senors are often more expensive, but they're designed to save on running costs in the long run and start to pay for themselves.
If you have small children you'll want to put child locks on your tumble dryer to stop your little ones from fiddling. They are considered a fire risk, due to their high wattage, so don't leave them running unattended (when you go out or overnight).
Bosch Series 4 WTN85200GB condenser tumble dryer, £429
Mumsnetters speak highly of Bosch tumble dryers and one of the great things about them is their self-cleaning condenser which uses condensation to clean itself while in use. This one has 7kg capacity and easy-to-use LED display controls that include start delay and remaining time. It has AutoDry that should guarantee you don't get shrinkage and a unique drum structure that will protect your delicates while still delivering fast drying without creases. The 'drainset' system automatically drains condensation water so you won't need to empty it manually.
Energy efficiency: B
“I have the super big Bosch one and I love it! It has a sensor so almost never takes the full drying time (eg for a full load of cotton to “cupboard dry” it says will take 1:58 but it almost never takes that long).”
“I have a Bosch condenser and I love, love, love it. It's been used frequently – at least daily – for two years and so far no probs.”
“I have a Bosch condenser, on occasions it has been on all day. It has the sensor dry so it stops when the clothes are dry rather than boiling everything to a crisp.”Buy it now from AO.com
Related: Make doing laundry that bit easier with this list of Mumsnetter-approved washing machines.
AEG T6DBG822N 6000 series ProSense condenser tumble dryer, £479
At 8kg capacity, and with 10 programmes, this condenser tumble dryer suits medium-sized families (Mumsnetters also recommend AEG vented models too, see below). The sensor should give you excellent results and let you control how long you dry for and at what temperature. It has a reverse tumble action which loosens the clothes, preventing tangling and creasing, as well as child safety features. Noise level is 65 decibels which is about average (the quietest start at around 40db and the really rumbly ones go above 80).
“We've had an AEG vented sensor one for nearly 10 years and it's brilliant. It's got lots of different settings, and you can override the sensor for stuff that's nearly dry (eg washing that hasn't quite dried on the line). Nothing shrinks so long as you use the right settings.”
“Ours is an AEG and its sensor settings work really well. The only time they don't is if something is only slightly damp when it goes in, eg stuff you've taken off the line when it starts raining after it was nearly dry, but it has 20 and 40 min settings which deal with those perfectly.”
“I've got an AEG condenser, its brilliant.”Buy it now from Amazon
John Lewis & Partners JLTDH23 heat pump tumble dryer, £549
“Never had a problem” is what Mumsnetters tend to say about John Lewis own brand tumble dryers. Well, there's nothing wrong with that. Reliable and economical (they tend to have A ratings for efficiency), this one comes with a three year guarantee which you probably won't need but is still nice to have. It boasts 12 programmes, which is more than some of the flashier affairs here, including an separate wool program, a 6kg synthetics program and a mixed XL setting that means you'll no longer need to separate different fabric types.
Type: heat pump
Energy efficiency: A++
“I have no complaints about our John Lewis condenser dryer. Bit pricier than other condensers because it is A rated which makes it very cheap to run – I haven't noticed any big impact on our electricity bill.”
“John Lewis own brand, only about £200. Fast, big, various settings from crispy dry to damp. With sensors. Been going strong for years.”
“I’ve had my John Lewis tumble dryer for about five years now and never had a problem. It's a condenser drier and adjusts length of time required as it dries.”Buy it now
White Knight C44A7W vented tumble dryer, £179
It's far cheaper than anything else on this list, it's easy to use and, if you're looking for a no-fuss tumble dryer, then this is perhaps the way to go. The vast majority of comments from Mumsnetters about White Knight machines were positive and they were praised for their reliability and simplicity. We've chosen a vented model with a built in flexible hose, although WK make condensers too. It has a final cool down tumble, a reversible door, fluff filter and safety lock. Noise level is 62db, so fairly quiet.
Energy efficiency: C
“White knight is perfect for my needs – cheap and only has a couple of buttons, so what's not to like?”
“I have a White Night tumble dryer that just has a high/low switch and a timer dial. I would recommend it, as I've had it nine years and use it a lot.”
“Our old vented White Knight was better than our new Miele condenser. I wish we’d stuck with the White Knight.”Buy it now from Amazon
Miele TCJ680WP Tumble Dryer, from £729
Now for probably the most expensive tumble dryers out there and the ones Mumsnetters say you really should buy if you've got the money. We've chosen to discuss one of the most expensive but there are Miele tumble dryers for almost half the price of this one. It has heat-pump technology, offering the same convenience as a condenser but using up to 50% less electricity, meaning it saves you money and helps the environment. The heat pump system also means less moisture so you can install it anywhere. It promises the perfect dry and has been tested for the equivalent of 20 years' use (five dries a week).
“Go for a Miele, we have a condensing Miele which is now 10-years-old and as good as the day we brought it!”
“Buy a Miele tumble dryer and a Miele washing machine, hoover, dishwasher and fridge.”
“Miele is the one to get if your budget allows.”Buy it now
Related: Fancy whipping up barista-style coffees at home? See which brands came out on top in our round-up of the best coffee machines.
Beko DRVS62 Tumble Dryer, £210.97
Here's another vented tumble dryer from the cheaper end of the market, about which Mumsnetters have positive things to say. This 7kg machine allows you to keep track of the cycle with an LED progress indicator. It can also prevent the over-drying of your clothes, thanks to sensor programmes that stop when the optimal dryness level is achieved, and it has an automatic cool down phase, which blows cool air into the drum just before the cycle ends. The automatic anti-creasing fuction means you needn't worry about it your clothes festering the machine if you can't unload straight away.
Type: freestanding vented
Energy efficiency: C
“We got a cheap Beko because it was the only size that would fit in the cupboard with a maximum depth of 54cm. We've had it two years and never had a problem. It is 7KG and vented. It does have a sensor, but you can bypass that by just selecting 40 minutes, 1 hour, etc. I found a couple of the programmes left the clothes just a bit damp for me so I chuck everything on the Extra Dry programme now which delivers warm dry clothes every time. A full load of bedding probably takes about an hour. We bought it thinking that it might not be up to much, but it’s been very good.”
“I'm happy with a Beko DRVS62 – one of the cheapest vented ones. It has sensor and timer, is quiet, and I have no issues with it.”
“I've just bought a condenser – a Beko – and I have no complaints with it at all. I simply plugged it in and it was good to go.”Buy it now from Very
Samsung DV80M50133X condenser tumble dryer, £599
Woah, check out this stylish Samsung tumble dryer in graphite which comes in black and gets top marks for efficiency. But is it all surface and no substance? Not at all. It has heat pump, 14 drying programmes and 8kg capacity. It recycles hot air to dry your clothes effectively and conserve energy.The smart technology uses moisture and temperature sensors to adjust the drying time and protect loads. Two alarms remind you when the Filter and Heat Exchanger need cleaning (which is not often).
Type: heat pump
Energy efficiency: A++
“I bought a Samsung in 2001 and it lasted until 2014. I want another Samsung and will definitely get another when I move.”
“Bought a top of the range Samsung and love it – it sings me a song when the washing is dine. And it cleans at least as well as the Miele.”Buy it now from Amazon
Zanussi ZDP7208PZ condenser tumble dryer, £329
Another reasonably-priced tumble dryer that Mumsnetters find covers their family's needs. There's plenty pleasing here, including 7kg capacity, timed drying options and a reversible door which allows four different handle positions. The humidity sensor stops the dryer damaging your fabrics. It doesn't guarantee your clothes will come out crease-free but it does feature an easy iron programme which reduces wrinkles and creases and should make ironing a doddle (or, if you're in a hurry/can't bothered, makes creases more likely to drop out of your clothes if you just throw them on).
Energy efficiency: B
“I tried a Zanussi were staying this summer it was really fab and, when the clothes came out, they really were ready to wear.”
“I have the 7kg tumble dryer from Zanussi and it's six-years-old and never had a single problem with it.”
“Zanussi is my favourite every time. If you’re considering getting one then go for it, I'm sure you will be pleased.”Buy it now from Amazon
Indesit IDV75 Vented Tumble Dryer, £179 (was £320.99)
With more than a third off its original price, this 7kg capacity vented tumble dryer must be one of the best value machines out there – especially as it comes from a manufacturer that Mumsnetters enthuse about. It features timed drying, refresh cycle and reverse action drum, as well as different programmes. It has easy to use knob control (no need for smart tech here) and can be trusted to deliver on time, every time. Energy rating is a respectable B and noise level is 69db.
Energy efficiency: B
“We just bought an Indesit. I specifically looked for one that didn't have a sensor as all the bad reviews for sensor ones were due to the sensor not working, or the sensor parts breaking down. I’m very pleased with the Indesit and everything is getting dry."
“I got a basic vented Indesit for about £150 three years ago. I use it all the time and have had no issues.”Buy it now from John Lewis
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