Mumsnet Logo
My feed

Mumsnet is supported by readers. All our writers obsessively research every product we recommend. When you buy through a link on our site we might earn commission but this never influences our product choices.

Best tumble dryers: heat pump and condenser dryers for every budget

Energy costs may have risen exponentially this winter, but tumble dryers remain the most efficient ways to dry clothes indoors. Here's our guide to choosing the best tumble dryer for your household while keeping costs down. 

By Lucy Cotterill | Last updated May 16, 2023

Three white tumble driers on a blue zig zag background

Between the temperamental British weather and the limited floor space of any home, drying a week’s worth of clothing for the average family can be challenging. That’s why picking the best tumble dryer to optimise your laundry routine is essential - many Mumsnet users even called it “life-changing”. Much like buying the best washing machine or the best dehumidifier, purchasing a tumble dryer is about helping you work smarter, not harder. Come rain or shine, not only will it dry your clothes faster than a conventional airer or heated clothes airer, it'll produce fewer creases and reduce the amount of time you need to spend ironing. Perfect for cutting down your to-do list. 

So, how do you choose the best tumble dryer from the overwhelming number of available options? While washer-dryers can be a good option if you’re short on space, they don’t tend to be as efficient as a stand-alone dryer, and the original-style vented dryers can be difficult to install and require access to the outside. So we’ve focused on the newer style condenser and heat pump models. There are subtle differences between them, but they can have a massive impact on your laundry routine. A condenser tumble dryer can be installed anywhere in your home, but it isn’t as energy efficient and needs emptying regularly. On the other hand, a heat pump tumble dryer is the cheapest to run, but it takes a little longer to dry clothes.

To help you find the best tumble dryer for you, your family, and your budget, we've spent hours consulting our vast network of Mumsnet users (that's 10 million parents), researching expert recommendations, product accolades and consumer reviews. We've made every effort to keep this guide up-to-date, cost-effective and honest, reflecting current availability and new releases.  

Here are the best tumble dryers in the UK in 2023.

1. Best overall tumble dryer: Bosch Series 6 WQG24509GB 9kg Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

A picture of the Bosch Series 6 WQG24509GB.

RRP: £769 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Type: Heat pump |  Capacity: 9kg | Size: H84.2 x W59.8 x D64.8cm | Rated efficiency: A++ | Noise level: 64dB | Programmes: 14 | Warranty: 2 years

What we like

  • Energy efficient, cheap to run 
  • Family-sized, large-capacity drum 
  • Plug in and go, easy to use  
  • Excellent practical features 

What we don't like

  • Previous customers did not rate the iron-dry setting

What Mumsnet users say

“We have a Bosch nine-kilogram heat pump tumble dryer, and it’s been very reliable, although it takes longer to dry. We have had it two years now, and it’s had heavy use as a family of six with no problems.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user LegoBloodyHurts)

“We have a Series 6 Bosch one, and it’s fantastic, much quicker than our old one.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnetter Okbutnotgreat)

Our verdict

The Bosch Series 6 WQG245509GB beat its competition to our coveted best tumble dryer top spot, not only because Mumsnetters highly recommend it but because it is a fantastic all-rounder for families. Available at an affordable price point, with a large capacity drum and a range of practical features. It is an energy-efficient heat pump tumble dryer that’ll stop you from worrying about whether it's stopped raining long enough to find your clothes pegs and hang your laundry on your rotary washing line

The ideal size for a family of four, the Bosch Serie 6, unlike a condenser tumble dryer, can run at much lower temperatures and uses Self-cleaning technology, making it cheap to run, kinder to clothes and a top performer. With the latest built-in sensors and an easy-to-use digital display, you’ll find that Bosch has created a family functional tumble dryer that optimises every cycle and offers 14 different drying programmes. Okay, so it isn’t as fancy or quiet as other models on this list, and there is no smart connectivity or fancy settings. Still, for most of us just looking for a no-fuss, no-frills dryer that’ll whip through our laundry loads effectively and efficiently, you can’t go wrong with the Bosch Serie 6.

2. Best budget tumble dryer: Hoover H-DRY 300 HLEC 8TG Condenser Tumble Dryer

A picture of the Hoover H-Dry 300 HLEC8TG.

RRP: £269 | Buy now from

Key specs

Type: Condenser |  Capacity: 8kg | Size: H85 x W60 x D60cm | Rated efficiency: B | Noise level: 69dB | Programmes: 14 | Warranty: 1 year

What we like

  • Very budget-friendly
  • Smart connected with excellent features
  • Easy to use, intuitive display 

What we don't like

  • Awkward location for water container, which can be tricky to empty

What Mumsnet users say

“We've had a Hoover condenser dryer for about four years now and never had an issue with it at all. Dries clothes/bedding etc. nicely. Doesn't take too long for a cycle.” (Vetted by Mumsnet user stormelf)

Our verdict

The cost of living crisis and skyrocketing energy bills have us all tightening our belts, which is why we’re recommending Hoover H-Dry 300 HLEC 8TG as our best budget tumble dryer. Perfect for those who can’t afford a premium price point, its affordability and great value features are ideal for medium-sized families of four with overflowing laundry baskets.

For piles of wet washing, the Hoover H-Dry has an eight-kilogram drum, 14 drying options that include a wool cycle to protect your favourite blanket hoodies in winter and the choice of sensor-adjusted or timed drying cycles depending on your preference. Its display is intuitive and easy to use, too, with the ability to connect to your phone for convenient notifications and brand-new downloadable programmes. So, no annoying end-of-wash jingles here, but as a condenser tumble dryer, you must remember to empty the water tank every couple of cycles, which previous customers report can be a pain with this model.

3. Best energy-efficient tumble dryer: LG Eco Hybrid FDV909S Tumble Dryer

LG Eco Hybrid Tumble Dryer

RRP: £1,149 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Type: Heat pump |  Capacity: 9kg | Size: H85 x W60 x D68cm | Rated efficiency: A+++ | Noise level: 62dB | Programmes: 14 | Warranty: 1 year 

What we like

  • Award-winning product 
  • Highly energy efficient, low cost to run 
  • Convenient smart features 
  • Large drum and easy-to-use display 

What we don't like

  • It is expensive
  • It is a heat pump tumble dryer, so it takes longer to fully dry clothes than a condenser

What Mumsnet users say

“I recently bought an LG heat pump dryer, and I swear it’s been life-changing with two kids. It dries everything really well and hardly costs on the smart meter. I would recommend it, for sure.” (Recommended brand and tumble dryer type by Mumsnet user WhatAWasteOfOranges)

Our verdict

We can’t deny that the LG FDV909S is a pricey purchase. However, there is no doubt that this is the best energy-efficient tumble dryer, with an A+++ rating that promises significant savings from lowered running costs, potentially saving you £6,788 compared with the least efficient model on the market - ultimately proving that despite LG’s sleek and elegant design, it doesn’t prioritise style over substance. 

Perfect for medium-sized households of up to five people, experts and comparison websites agree that it is worth the investment, having earned itself the Which? Best Buy Tumble Dryer in February 2022 and a Quiet Mark certification. We also know that the eco-friendly amongst us will love that it is a certified TUV Green product that uses an R290 refrigerant, making it kinder to clothes, your purse and the planet. As if that isn’t enough, the LG’s spacious nine-kilogram drum is gentle on fabrics with no risk of stretching or shrinkage and guarantees consistent drying results (no more damp patches!). It even has a wool drying basket that’ll take extra care with your favourite winter woollies! Controllable via your smartphone, the LG uses heat pump technology, so it does take longer to dry clothes but don’t let that put you off this high-performance tumble dryer that’ll level up your laundry routine in no time.

4. Best mid-budget tumble dryer: Beko B5T4824RW Tumble Dryer

A picture of the Beko B5T4824RW tumble dryer.

RRP: £699 | Buy now from

Key specs

Type: Heat pump |  Capacity: 8kg | Size: H84.6 x W59.8 x D60.5cm | Rated efficiency: A+++ | Noise level: 63dB | Programmes: 15 | Warranty: 1 year 

What we like

  • Affordably priced, with great features 
  • Very energy efficient, cheaper to run 
  • Quick drying, easy to use 

What we don't like

  • Tricky to reverse the door; instructions aren't clear on how to do this.

What Mumsnet users say

"Yep, love mine. It gets everything dry and has sensors to detect moisture, so it will stop if the clothes are dry before the programme's scheduled finish time. I have the BEKO - Pro RapiDry B5T4823RW eight-kilogram Heat Pump Tumble Dryer" (Tried and trusted by Mumsnet user whoruntheworldgirls)

"I have a Beko one, and it’s great. Cheap to run and never takes as long as the programme says it will. I put it in overnight, but in a pinch, it will easily dry a small load in an hour or so." (Brand recommended by peachgreen

Our verdict

Whether your dryer recently gave up the ghost or you’ve finally got the space to install one, you can’t go wrong with this heat pump tumble dryer that comes highly recommended by Mumsnetters. Beko is a brand known for manufacturing high-quality electrical goods that are durable, reasonably priced and offer great value for money, and their B5T4824RW tumble dryer is no exception. 

This machine is super energy efficient, effective and convenient, and built to withstand the weekly laundry loads of a family of four. Rated A+++, it can dry one full load in an hour using its RapiDry setting and has a short but sweet Freshen Up programme that’ll give your winter clothes that lovely, warm feeling before you step outside. It’ll even save you from having to break out your steam iron, too, with an anti-crease function that rotates the drum for up two hours after a cycle has finished helping prevent wrinkles. Generally easy to use, the only fiddly feature is the reversible door, which some previous customers have had difficulty with because of the poor instructions. Aside from that, we can’t fault the B5T4824RW tumble dryer from Beko, earning our award for the best mid-budget tumble dryer.

5. Best tumble dryer for ease of use: Haier HD90-A636 Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

Haier HD90-A636 9KG Freestanding Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

RRP: £579| Buy now from Currys

Key specs

Type: Heat pump |  Capacity: 8kg | Size: H84.5 x W59.5 x D65cm | Rated efficiency: A++ | Noise level: 67dB | Programmes: 16 | Warranty: 2 year 

What we love

  • Very energy efficient and affordably priced 
  • Easy to use with convenient features 
  • Stylish and robust design 

What to know

  • It has the loudest cycles on this list at 67dB

What Mumsnet users say

"My previous one was rubbish. New one is a Haier and is a much better drier." (Brand tried and trusted by Mumsnet user Beamur)

Our verdict

Nowadays, there is a tendency for companies to confuse value for money with overstuffing complex features and creating confusing digital displays, but not Haier. Their HD90-A636 tumble dryer balances form and function with its classy, sleek design, easy-to-set programmes, readable dials and LED screen. The affordable price point and excellent efficiency rating are just the icing on the cake!  

With the ability to blend seamlessly into any modern kitchen, its large door and spacious nine-kilogram drum capacity make loading and unloading a doddle, especially if located side by side with your integrated washing machine. There are 16 different programmes to choose from, including ones for bedding, towels and baby clothes, as well as a quick refresh cycle which uses steam to freshen up an outfit that may have been hung on your radiator or been forgotten on a bedroom floor. There is also a delayed start function that allows you to set the machine to run at a time that suits your family’s busy schedule. However, by far our favourite feature is its removable rack that can be placed inside the machine, handy for drying school shoes that have been used to jump in muddy puddles.

6. Best tumble dryer for smart connectivity: Samsung Series 9 DV90T8240SH/S1 Tumble Dryer

A picture of the Samsung Series 9 Optimal Dry DV90T824OSH/S1 tumble dryer.

RRP: £869 | Buy now from

Key specs

Type: Heat pump |  Capacity: 9kg | Size: H85 x W60 x D65cm | Rated efficiency: A+++ | Noise level: 62dB | Programmes: 18 | Warranty: 5 year 

What we love

  • Feature-rich and Wi-Fi connected 
  • Highly energy efficient 
  • Quiet, quick and simple to set up 
  • An excellent range of settings and programmes 

What to know

  • It is expensive

What Mumsnet users say

“My new Samsung heat pump dryer has been life-changing. Get it. I can’t recommend it enough.” (Loved by Mumsnet user NatriumChloride)

“We have the Samsung heat pump dryer, and I absolutely love it. Shove everything in; it senses when everything is a certain percentage dry (you choose) on a mixed load, so I don’t even separate towels.” (Highly rated by Mumsnetter FTEngineerM)

Our verdict

Whether you are ultra-busy, tech-savvy or want to control your tumble dryer from the comfort of your sofa, the Wi-Fi-connected, sleek and sophisticated Samsung Series 9 DV90T840SH is for you. Highly rated by Mumsnetters, previous customers, and product comparison sites, it has been designed to streamline your laundry routine around your family’s schedule, putting the power to control each drying cycle in the palm of your hand. 

Via the Smart Things app, you can look for recommendations, schedule and track a cycle’s progress whether you’re at soft play, your local Tesco, or a child’s birthday party. Don’t worry if you’re not the most technologically gifted, either. Many previous customers say that it's simple to set up and that the system is very intuitive, so it's easy to use. Available in white and graphite to fit the colour scheme of any modern kitchen, you can finally ditch the plain boring white goods for good (if you can afford the not-so-budget-friendly expense). However, if you have the cash to splash, this energy-efficient model halves your energy bill by using Optimal Dry sensors and heat pump technology to optimise and monitor its usage. Kind to the environment, your clothes and your eardrums, the Samsung Series 9 is our best tumble dryer for smart connectivity and is one to watch for any upcoming deals! 

7. Best value for money tumble dryer: Sharp KD-NHH8S7GW2-EN 9Kg Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

Sharp KD-NHH8S7GW2-EN 8Kg Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

RRP: £439 | Buy now from

Key specs

Type: Heat pump |  Capacity: 9kg | Size: H84.5 x W59.6 x D60.9cm | Rated efficiency: A++ | Noise level: 65dB | Programmes: 15 | Warranty: 2 year 

What we love

  • Reasonably priced 
  • Energy efficient and cheap to run,
  • Reduces time spent ironing
  • Has a good range of programmes and settings that protect clothing 
  • Practical features, like the two-way rotating drum and inner light

What to know 

  • One of the noisier models on this list at 65dB
  • Previous customers found the cycles could be complicated to set at first

What Mumsnet users say

"I ended up buying a Sharp one due to supply issues in lockdown. But I love it once you get used to it. It’s even eco which Is a miracle for a tumble dryer" (Brand recommended by Ladyofthepeonies)

Our verdict

Opinions on Mumsnet forums are divided between those who love ironing and those who hate it. If you are the latter and want to ditch your steam iron or put away your clothes steamer, consider buying the Sharp KD-NHH87GW2 tumble dryer. It’ll level up your laundry routine using its two-way rotating bubble drum and automatic anti-creasing function that stops clothes knotting and smooths out wrinkles. Saving you time and energy better spent relaxing after a full-on day! 

Designed to be fuss-free but gentle on clothing, we know you’ll appreciate its fabric protection features, like its built-in sensors that monitor moisture levels and prevent damage from over-drying. You’ll also love its mixed load programme, which allows you to dry clothes without worrying if you’ve separated them correctly. Whilst we would never recommend running a tumble dryer when you’re not home, you can even set up a 23-hour delayed start, ideal if you want to kick the dryer off automatically whilst you're busy with your family’s morning routine. At nine-kilogram, you get plenty of bang for your buck and can dry family-sized laundry loads fast, all for a very reasonable price.

8. Best tumble dryer for sensor technology: John Lewis JLTDH25 Tumble Dryer

A picture of John Lewis' JLTDH25 Tumble Dryer.

RRP: £749| Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Type: Heat pump |  Capacity: 9kg | Size: H85 x W59.6 x D63.8cm | Rated efficiency: A++ | Noise level: 65dB | Programmes: 12 | Warranty: 3 year 

What we love

  • Highly accurate sensor technology dries clothes completely the first time 
  • Energy efficient and cheap to run 
  • Convenient features and range of settings and settings 
  • Attractive appearance, solid design 

What to know 

  • Some might find the musical alarm that plays when a cycle finishes annoying 

What Mumsnet users say 

"Had it for nearly five years now. It's great - no probs. I do seem to remember being told they were the same as AEG." (Tried and trusted by Mumsnetter DanGleebals)

Our verdict

We’ve awarded John Lewis's own-brand JLTDH25 tumble dryer the best for sensor technology based on its ability to dry laundry loads quickly, efficiently and effectively every single time. Previous customers rate it highly, and reviews speak of a quality machine built to last, proving that you don’t need to spend mega bucks on industry favourites to achieve amazing results. 

Already popular thanks to their extended guarantee options and excellent aftercare, John Lewis’s white goods and appliances are well-regarded. This one comes with a three-year warranty as standard and is often available on a special offer! It boasts a nine-kilogram drum, a choice of 16 programmes and an A++ energy rating that makes it ideal for families of four to five looking to power through their washing pile without spiking their energy bills this winter. Just be aware that if you dislike a musical alarm at the end of a cycle, we’d advise you to skip this option (even though they claim it is subtle). So, for those who aren’t bothered about smart connectivity or fancy add-ons and are just looking for a no-fuss, no-frills, standard, easy-to-use machine, the JLTDH25 tumble dryer is for you.

9. Best tumble dryer for clothes care: Hotpoint H3D81GSUK Tumble Dryer

Hotpoint H3 D81GS UK Freestanding Condenser Dryer

RRP: £365 | Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Type: Condenser |  Capacity: 8kg | Size: H85 x W59.5 x D61cm | Rated efficiency: B | Noise level: 69dB | Programmes: 15 | Warranty: 1 year 

What we love

  • Excellent range of clothes care features and programmes 
  • Easy to use and maintain 
  • Attractive, robust design 

What to know 

  • Less energy efficient than heat pump models, less cheap to run
  • Louder spin cycles than other tumble dryers.

What Mumsnet users say

“Had a Hotpoint condenser dryer for over 15 years, and it was brilliant.” (Brand and type recommended by Mumsnet user Dougieowner)

Our verdict

Tumble-drying lacey delicates, well-loved soft toys, and comfy woollies can be a risky business. One wrong setting can leave you with shrunken jumpers, stretched elastic, and toddler tears, which is why choosing a machine with gentle drying programmes is so important. Enter the Hotpoint H3 D81GS, winning our award for best tumble dryer for clothes care.

Using a combination of its wavy anti-rub drum and sensors, you can trust this tumble dryer to gently dry your laundry without snagging or shrinkage. From baby clothes to bed sheets, choose from one of its 15 programmes that include a hygiene cycle for sensitive skin, a rapid dry cycle for an emergency uniform load on a Sunday night and a pre-iron programme that’ll slash your ironing pile in half. It even takes care of your clothes for up to 10 hours after a cycle has finished by rotating the drum, so you can be confident they will still come out soft, fresh and smelling of your favourite laundry detergent and fabric conditioner even if you’ve put off emptying your tumble dryer till the last minute. Really, the only gripe here is a universal one for all condenser dryers, as they are much less energy efficient (meaning you’ll pay more per cycle). However, if you can afford it, they’re quicker at drying clothes and don’t need to be connected to any plumbing. In the end, it all comes down to your personal preference.

10. Best premium tumble dryer: Miele TEF765WP Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

A picture of the Miele TEF765WP Tumble Dryer.

RRP: £1,249| Buy now from John Lewis

Key specs

Type: Heat pump |  Capacity: 8kg | Size: H85 x W59.6 x D60cm | Rated efficiency: A+++ | Noise level: 66dB | Programmes: 12 | Warranty: 2 years

What we love 

  • Very energy efficient, meaning it costs less per cycle
  • Built-to-last, stylish design 
  • Excellent range of smart features, programmes and settings 

What to know 

  • Buzzer that plays at the end of a cycle can't be turned off permanently
  • Some feel that the programmes are too complicated

What Mumsnet users say

"I’ve got Miele TEF765WP, and I am very happy with it. Use it for one load a day." (Recommended by Mumsnet user 7Worfs )

Our verdict

As we all know, premium products require premium prices, and the Miele TEF765WP tumble dryer costing a heart-stopping £1249 is no exception. Really living up to the phrase, you get what you pay for; if you are one of the lucky few with extra cash to throw around, experts and Mumsnetters agree that a Miele tumble dryer is worth every penny. 

Having earned itself an A+++ rating for energy efficiency, it's estimated to cost just £24.79 a year to run, which might not help in the short term but could make all the difference when saving up for your summer holiday. It also has a range of valuable programmes that we know you'll love, like its EcoSpeed setting for an economical, super-fast dry and its DryCare 40 cycle, which allows you to dry anything that can be washed at 40 degrees. Enjoy connecting to your dryer via its smartphone app, which gives you complete control over your laundry routine no matter where you are, from your sofa to the supermarket. One thing is for sure, Miele products are built to last, and you should get your money's worth, although the two-year warranty still makes for a reassuring safety blanket. So, if you’re tempted by this model, our only recommendation is that if you are not super tech-savvy or bothered by buzzers, the Miele TEF765WP might not be the best tumble dryer for you.

Read next: The best laundry detergent for babies 

Are tumble dryers worth it? 

Well, that entirely depends on your budget, wants, and needs. Weighing up the pros and cons is a good place to start.

Tumble dryers are obviously an investment no matter what you do, with the cheapest models costing around £300 and the best high-spec options costing around £2,000. However, despite the initial outlay, there is no doubt that they can lighten your laundry load significantly and cut your routine in half. 

If you’d like to stop hanging dripping washing on your radiators or pack away your heated clothes airer, you’ll want a tumble dryer. Able to dry much larger loads in as little as an hour, you can stop worrying about extra condensation around your home (check out our guide to the best dehumidifiers and best mould removers if this is a problem) and free up some space.

Although you still need to have somewhere to put your tumble dryer, and considering the current energy crisis, the increased energy usage and running costs are worth bearing in mind. Picking an energy-efficient model like the LG Eco Hybrid FDV909S or those with an A rating is an excellent way to mitigate this. 

You should also consider safety. Tumble dryers can get hot, so if you have small children, you'll want to double-check whether models come with child locks, or you’ll have to purchase some separately. They are considered a fire risk, too, due to their high wattage, so it’s essential that you don’t leave them running overnight or unattended when you go out and that you clean the filter regularly. 

Ultimately, it is entirely down to your personal preference. However, there is no denying that a tumble dryer's drying power and ability to whizz through your family’s laundry pile is an absolute godsend. 

What's the difference between condenser, vented and heat pump tumble dryers? 

There are several types of tumble dryers, and Mumsnet users have contrasting views on which is best, but here's a brief rundown of some of the main options and differences between condenser, vented and heat pump dryers:

  • Vented tumble dryers are traditionally the cheapest and most energy-efficient type of dryer. It works by drying clothes using hot air, which is then vented from the drum via a hose, hence its name. Sounds perfect? The only downside is that you need a suitable location in your home, as the hose needs to be fitted through an external wall using a venting kit. If you want, you can hang the hose out of the window (as some people do); however, this is less than ideal come winter. As a result, vented dryers have been superseded by the condenser and heat pump designs that are easier to install. 
  • Condenser tumble dryers are very quick-drying and can be installed anywhere in your home, from the garage to your kitchen, as long as the room is well-ventilated. It works by drawing in and heating cool air from the room to dry clothes inside the drum. Any steam is then turned into water and collected in a removable tank, and the excess hot air is expelled back out. Consequently, condenser tumble dryers can cause significant condensation, which is a problem if you have damp. You would also need to empty the water tank regularly, so they require more maintenance. 
  • Heat pump tumble dryers are the most expensive type to buy. Still, they balance out their initial outlay by being far more energy efficient and, therefore, much cheaper to run, making them very popular during the current energy crisis. Although a consequence of this is that they take longer to dry laundry loads. Like a condenser dryer, they can be placed anywhere in your home and use hot air passed through the drum to dry clothing. However, unlike a condenser dryer, the hot air is recycled and sent back through the drum multiple times after the water is evaporated and stored in its reservoir. As a result, hot pump tumble dryers use far less electricity, saving money on your bills. 

What size dryer should I get?

Tumble dryers vary considerably in drum capacity from 2.5kg all the way up to 11kg. According to Argos, the drum size can be translated in the following way:

  • 7kg: 35 adult t-shirts or one double duvet
  • 8kg: 40 adult t-shirts or one queen-sized duvet
  • 9kg: 45 adult t-shirts or one light king-sized duvet
  • 10kg: 50 adult t-shirts or one heavy king-sized duvet

A general rule of thumb is that an 8kg drum is suitable for couples or small households, and a 9kg drum is ideal for the average-size family. However, if you generate a LOT of washing, you may want to splash out on a 10kg machine.  

What do energy ratings mean?

Energy ratings in the UK changed in 2021. Formerly an A+++ to G EU energy rating system, the new UK-specific system now rates from A to G (with A being the most efficient), meaning that brands must work harder for their appliances to be considered energy efficient. For example, a tumble dryer rated A+++  before 2021 will now be rated as D

Currently, the products featured in this guide are still using the old grading system using A+++ to G (and many retailers are still showing appliance ratings using the old scale),  but this is likely to change soon. 

How long do tumble dryers last?

Tumble dryers should last between 10 and 15 years, depending on how often you use yours, and 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 is worth considering buying a new one. If you’re likely to put your dryer through significant use, you may consider paying the extra for an extended warranty if offered. 

How to make my tumble dryer last longer 

Our top tips for maintaining your tumble dryer are: 

  • Don’t overload it (no matter how tempting!) 
  • Clean the filter after EVERY use (this reduces the chance of a fire!) 
  • Deep clean the filter, water tank and housing every few months 
  • Make sure it has space to ventilate (prevents damp!) 
  • Ensure your tumble dryer is stable and on a flat surface 

How to choose the best 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 model (see above), there are other considerations to make before purchasing:

  • Drum size: The larger the drum, the more clothes you can dry at once and the less you will have to use it, cutting down costs. A 10kg machine will dry up to 50 adult t-shirts, while a 7kg machine will do around 35.
  • Energy efficiency: Check the energy efficiency rating (A+++ marks the most efficient on the older grading scale – though 'A' is the highest rating on the new scale). This will ensure your tumble dryer is as economical and environmentally friendly as possible, saving you money on your bills. 
  • Delayed start: A delayed start can be a blessing if you’re a family always on the move! You can get your dryer to start later to suit you or when electricity is cheaper at off-peak times. 
  • Range of programmes: Carefully consider your and your family's clothing and the programmes you will need to use the most. For example, if your kids play football or do a lot of swimming, you’ll want dryer settings suitable for sports kits. Most tumble dryers have three drying levels: iron dry, which leaves clothes slightly damp for ironing. Cupboard dry, which leaves clothes dry enough to be put away immediately without needing an iron, and extra dry, best suited to large items like duvets or towels that require additional drying time. Other programmes to look out for include wool, cotton synthetics and shoes.
  • Where it will fit: Freestanding models will give you more options, but if you have a fitted kitchen, you may want an integrated dryer that can be hidden away. You’ll also want to consider whether you have a room suitable for a vented tumble or condenser dryer. 
  • 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 long-term.
  • WiFi-enabled: Whilst by no means essential, some dryers come with a compatible app, allowing you to control the dryer remotely. Whilst this is handy, it's not recommended to use a tumble dryer when you’re not at home, so it is potentially a gimmick that you may not use as much as you think.

What is the best tumble dryer?

Based on our research, the Bosch Series 6 WQG24509GB is the best tumble dryer to buy right now. It has an excellent A++ energy rating, is relatively affordable, family-sized and cheap to run. Just plug it in, and you are ready to go. With tonnes of practical features and programmes, its accurate sensors protect your clothes from over-drying and shrinking.  Its self-cleaning tech function also helps you save time and energy by collecting all the hair and fluff in one easy clean condenser. 

However, if that is a little out of your price range, the Hoover H-Dry 300 HLEC 8TG Condenser tumble dryer is our best budget tumble dryer. 

Which is the most energy-efficient tumble dryer?

The most energy-efficient type is a heat pump dryer, and the most energy-efficient tumble dryer on our list is the LG FDV909S Eco Hybrid with an A+++ rating.

How we chose the best tumble dryers

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users 

To begin our search for the best tumble dryer, we turned to the Mumsnet forums to draw on the wealth of experience from our 10 million Mumsnetters. We know that laundry is a popular topic, so we wanted to know which vented, condenser, and heat pump tumbler dryers parents really loved and were built to last. We also looked for any negative reviews, where Mumsnet users highlighted products that they felt were poor quality, overpriced, and took an eternity to dry or dry unevenly. That way, we could exclude these from our list. 

Expert opinions

Next up, we considered reviews and feedback from trusted industry experts. We always want to be confident that the products we recommend are fit for purpose, so we looked out for award-winning or well-regarded products, including any recommende#d by consumer champions such as Which?.

Verified customer reviews

Finally, we thoroughly investigated genuine customer reviews on retailer sites such as Amazon, and Currys to get a comprehensive picture of consumer experiences regarding the products on our shortlist. 

Celebrated Tumble Dryers

Using our triple-check vetting process has allowed us to guarantee that every tumble dryer on this list has earned its right to be there, creating a guide to the best tumble dryers that is honest, balanced and up-to-date.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.