10 best tumble dryers to buy in 2021

12 March 2021

tumble dryers

With the great British weather, sometimes the only way to dry clothes - even in summer - is with a tumble dryer. Here's our pick of the best.

If you have the space, tumble dryers are ‘life-changing’ according to Mumsnet users and allow you the chance to get on top of your laundry.

Vented tumble dryers need access to the outside world while condensers collect the water in a special tray, so you can put them pretty much anywhere. But how do you know which one is best for you?

Here are the best tumble dryers to buy right now as recommended by parents.

1. Best overall tumble dryer: Bosch Series 6 8kg Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

“We have a Bosch Heat Pump Dryer and I like it. I use it for pretty much every load of washing (approximately five to six per week) and my energy bill only went up by about £8 to £10 a month.”

1. Best overall tumble dryer: Bosch Series 6 8kg Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

Bosch is a firm Mumsnet favourite when it comes to tumble dryers. Because it has a heat pump, this dryer has all the advantages of a condenser – you can plug it in anywhere – but it’s more energy-efficient.

In fact, it has a very impressive A+++ energy rating, a large 8kg capacity, which equates to around 40 adult T-shirts, and a two-year warranty. There are several programmes to choose from including sports, extra dry and wool, so your clothes will be perfectly dry every time.

Users say the timer isn’t always accurate when you first put it on. That’s because the smart sensor works out when the load is actually dry and adjusts accordingly to save you money and to stop your clothes from shrinking.

Key specs

  • Type: Heat pump
  • Capacity: 8kg
  • Delay timer: Yes
  • Energy efficiency: A+++

2. Best budget tumble dryer: Indesit Vented Tumble Dryer

“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."

2. Best budget tumble dryer: Indesit Vented Tumble Dryer

At under £200, this 7kg capacity vented tumble dryer is one of the best value machines out there, especially as it comes from a manufacturer that Mumsnetters love.

Despite its low price tag, it features timed drying, a refresh cycle and a reverse action drum, as well as different programmes. It has an easy to use control knob (no smart tech here) and can be trusted to deliver on time, every time.

The energy rating is a respectable B and the noise level is 69db – the equivalent to normal conversation.

Key specs

  • Type: Vented
  • Capacity: 7kg
  • Delay timer: Yes
  • Energy efficiency: B

3. Best value tumble dryer: Hoover Vented Tumble Dryer

“I have a vented Hoover tumble dryer. No problems at all with it. It has never left clothes wet or damp”.

3. Best value tumble dryer: Hoover Vented Tumble Dryer

Hoover’s Vented Tumble Dryer is a bestseller on Amazon for a reason. It’s affordable and does the job.

It has a hefty 10-year warranty on parts (register within 28 days) and there’s a highly efficient reverse action to stop your washing from getting tangled. It’s quiet at just 67dB and will dry 8kg at a time.

It doesn’t have as many programmes as some – just four. But it does have the all-important delay start – up to nine hours – so you can dry when it’s convenient or cheaper.

Key specs

  • Type: Vented
  • Capacity: 8kg
  • Delay timer: Yes
  • Energy efficiency: C

4. Best heat pump tumble dryer: John Lewis & Partners Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

“I have no complaints about our John Lewis dryer. Bit pricier than other condensers because it's A-rated, but that makes it very cheap to run. I haven't noticed any big impact on our electricity bill.”

“John Lewis own brand: fast, big and has various settings from crispy dry to damp. With sensors. Been going strong for years.”

4. Best heat pump tumble dryer: John Lewis & Partners Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

Mumsnetters tend to say John Lewis & Partners' own-brand tumble dryers are both 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 has 12 programmes, which is more than some of the flashier affairs on this list, including a separate wool programme, a 6kg synthetics programme and a mixed XL setting that means you'll no longer need to separate different fabric types, making doing laundry even easier.

Key specs

  • Type: Heat pump
  • Capacity: 8kg
  • Delay timer: Yes
  • Energy efficiency: A++

5. Best high-end tumble dryer: Miele Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

“Buy a Miele tumble dryer… and a Miele washing machine, hoover, dishwasher and fridge.”

“Miele is the one to get if your budget allows.”

5. Best high-end tumble dryer: Miele Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

The Miele Heat Pump Tumble Dryer is definitely on the pricer side, but Mumsnet users rate the brand highly.

This model has a heat pump system, which means you can install it anywhere. It’s been tested for the equivalent of 20 years' use (five dries a week) and a half load will take just 95 minutes to dry.

There are 12 programmes, including one for shirts and outerwear, and the ‘PerfectDry’ technology adjusts the length of the programme to suit each load so there's no wasted energy – cheaper and better for the environment.

As you’d expect for the price, there are some clever extras too – the ‘add load' function means that if you find a stray sock you can chuck it in and the ‘FragranceDos2’ releases pleasant scents into your laundry.

Key specs

  • Type: Heat pump
  • Capacity: 8kg
  • Delay timer: Yes
  • Energy efficiency: A+++

6. Best vented tumble dryer: Beko Freestanding Vented Tumble Dryer

“We got a cheap Beko. We've had it for two years and never had a problem. It is 7kg and vented. 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. It’s been very good.”

“I've just bought a Beko and I have no complaints about it at all. I simply plugged it in and it was good to go.”

6. Best vented tumble dryer: Beko Freestanding Vented Tumble Dryer

Beko’s 7kg machine is a great all-rounder for the price and it 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 delay timer is a great touch, considering it’s one of the cheaper models on the market. You can delay for three, six or nine hours so you can run it when it’s more convenient or when your electricity is cheaper.

The only downside is its C rating so it isn’t as efficient as other dryers.

Key specs

  • Type: Vented
  • Capacity: 7kg
  • Delay timer: Yes
  • Energy efficiency: C

7. Best tumble dryer with sensor: Grundig Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

“I've got a Grundig and it does a great job.”

“My Grundig one is good and has a setting on it that you input the minutes so can dry a load in just over an hour.”

7. Best tumble dryer with sensor: Grundig Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

Grundig isn’t the cheapest on the market, but you do get lots of extra features for your money.

This dryer includes sensor drying programmes to save you time and money by detecting the amount of moisture in the drum. Other programmes include one for wool and a freshen-up option too.

One nifty extra is the automatic anti-crease function. If you can’t unload the machine immediately, it will periodically tumble-dry your laundry for up to two hours after the cycle has finished, helping the creases to drop out.

There’s a very generous five-year manufacturer guarantee (make sure you register online) and the larger door makes it easy to load.

Key specs

  • Type: Heat pump
  • Capacity: 8kg
  • Delay timer: Yes
  • Energy efficiency: A++

8. Best integrated tumble dryer: Candy Integrated 7kg Heat Pump Condenser Tumble Dryer

“I had a Candy for years and loved it.”

8. Best integrated tumble dryer: Candy Integrated 7kg Heat Pump Condenser Tumble Dryer

Candy’s integrated tumble dryer doesn’t have a flush front. There is a notch along the bottom, so the machine can be hidden by a kickboard and cupboard door.

You don’t have to compromise on features. There is a digital countdown indicator, voice assistant and smart cycles so it will turn itself off when your clothes are dry.

Some users say the cycles are on the long side, but the Candy has an excelled A+ energy rating so won’t cost you too much to run.

Key specs

  • Type: Heat pump
  • Capacity: 7kg
  • Delay timer: Yes
  • Energy efficiency: A++

9. Best large load tumble dryer: Samsung CP282 10kg Tumble Dryer

“We’ve got a Samsung one and it’s fantastic. Dries things properly, doesn’t crease clothes, it’s quiet and is cheap as chips to run.”

9. Best large load tumble dryer: Samsung CP282 10kg Tumble Dryer

If you’re looking for a tumble dryer that will hold a large load, then Samsung’s 10kg model is ideal. That’s the equivalent of 50 adult t-shirts or a heavy king-size duvet.

There are five dry level options and eight drying options, including a 30-minute quick-dry programme.

If you like your appliances to match and have a healthy budget, Samsung also does a 16kg washing machine in the same range for £1,800.

Key specs

  • Type: Vented
  • Capacity: 10kg
  • Delay timer: Yes
  • Energy efficiency: C

10. Best tabletop tumble dryer: Cookology Mini Tabletop Compact Tumble Dryer

“We have a compact tabletop one. We bought it when we lived in a flat with a small kitchen, but there were lots of cupboards in the hallway so we stored it in there. It’s great when we had to dry baby clothes in the winter. It probably does cost more to run, but it works perfectly well and I don't want to buy a full-size one till this one conks out.”

10. Best tabletop tumble dryer: Cookology Mini Tabletop Compact Tumble Dryer

If you thought you didn't have space for a tumble dryer in your home, then a portable tabletop model could be the answer. Cookology’s 2.5kg drum will only dry around 12 T-shirts so it definitely won’t do a full load at once, but you can always split the load.

Despite its small size, it has a lot of great features including four drying functions, from cool to help prevent recently dried clothes from creasing to hot for drying larger quantities as quickly as possible.

There are wall-mounted brackets too if you need to save worktop space.

Key specs

  • Type: Vented
  • Capacity: 2.5kg
  • Delay timer: No
  • Energy efficiency: C

Are tumble dryers worth it?

Tumble dryers can cost from £150 to over £2,000. They can lighten the load when it comes to laundry so will be worth it for most families.

Instead of having heated clothes airers around your house or dripping washing on the radiators, tumble dryers can dry half a load in an hour and a half or so.

They do take up space and vented tumble dryers will need to be connected to the outside world. They can also add to your electricity bills so look out for tumble dryers with a high energy rating to keep costs down. If you don’t have space, then a heated clothes airer or heated dryer might help instead.

You should also consider safety. Tumble dryers can get hot so if you have small children you'll want to install child locks. They are considered a fire risk, due to their high wattage, so don't leave them running unattended when you go out or overnight.

What is the most efficient type of tumble dryer?

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. Be warned though, they can be more expensive than ordinary condensers, and slower, but use less electricity.

What should I look for when buying a tumble dryer?

As well as considering if you have space for a vented tumble dryer or if you’d prefer a condenser or heat pump (see above), there are other considerations:

  • Drum size – the larger the drum, the more clothes you can dry at once, so the more energy-efficient your dryer will be. A 10kg machine will dry up to 50 adult t-shirts while a 7kg machine will do around 35.
  • Energy efficiency – as well as the above, make sure to check the energy efficiency rating (A+++ marks the most efficient).
  • Delay start – this means you can get your dryer to start at a later time to suit you or when electricity is cheaper.
  • Range of programmes – this will allow you to choose the best settings to keep your clothes in the best possible condition.
  • Where it will fit – freestanding models will give you more options, but if you have a fully fitted kitchen you may want an integrated dryer so you can close the door on it and hide it away.
  • Sensor technology – sensors monitor the load and stop the dryer when the laundry is dry – at least that's the idea. Tumble dryers with sensors are often more expensive, but they're designed to save on running costs in the long run.

How long do tumble dryers last?

Tumble dryers should last between 10 and 15 years depending on how often you use yours. Just because a tumble dryer costs more doesn’t necessarily mean it will last longer.

Most tumble dryers come with a one- or two-year warranty. If your tumble dryer breaks and will cost more than 50% of the purchase price to repair, it may be worth considering getting a new one.

What is the best tumble dryer to buy?

Bosch’s Serie 6 is the best tumble dryer to buy right now. It has an excellent A+++ rating and, because it’s a heat pump tumble dryer, it means you can plug it in anywhere and you’re ready to go.

If you need a large drum size, then Samsung’s CP282 10kg Tumble Dryer is a firm favourite.

How we chose our recommendations

All of our recommendations for tumble dryers came from Mumsnet users themselves. We searched the Mumsnet forums for posts about which vented, condenser and heat pump tumble dryers, that Mumsnetters really loved. We also looked at other reviews to see which tumble dryers performed well across the board.

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