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Best tumble dryers: trusted dryers for every budget

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

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Apr 17, 2024

Best tumble dryers

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. Much like buying the best washing machine or the best dehumidifier, purchasing a tumble dryer is about helping you work smarter, not harder in your home. 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. There are three types of tumble dryer: heat pump, condenser and vented. While they all have their pros and cons, choosing the right model for your family 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 as a heat pump 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. Vented tumble dryers are cheap to buy, but need installing so the steam can be released out of your home.

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 8 million unique users each month), 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.

If you want to dive a bit deeper into the different types of tumble dryer, be sure to consult our guides to the best heat pump tumble dryers, best vented tumble dryers and best condenser tumble dryers before you buy.

Here are the best tumble dryers for 2024.

1
Best budget tumble dryer
What we like
  • Affordable

  • Great at drying clothes quickly

  • Easy to use

  • Water tank is easy to empty

What we don't like
  • Some may prefer a see-through door

  • Cleaning the filter is fiddly

  • Not the most energy-efficient model

Key specs

RRP: £270 | Type: Condenser | Capacity: 7kg | Size: H84.6 x W59.7 x D56.8 | Rated efficiency: B, but on the old scale | Noise level: 65dB | Programmes: 15 | Warranty: 1 year

What Mumsnet users say
Dollywilde · Recommended
I love it!! Reviews said it was a good option on a budget and I’m inclined to agree.
See Post
Our verdict

Tested by MNHQ: Read our full Beko DTLCE70051W 7kg Condenser Tumble Dryer review

The cost of living crisis has most of us tightening our belts, and not everyone can afford to splash out up to a grand on a new dryer. At just £270, the Beko DTLCE70051W was a clear winner for our best budget tumble dryer. Granted, it's not the most efficient model out there, but our tester Leanne, a mum of four, was impressed with its drying capabilities and found it was a hardworking model that helped her tackle her children's laundry baskets.

For piles of wet washing, this Beko has a seven-kilogram drum, 15 drying options that include a GentleCare cycle to protect your favourite blanket hoodies, and an anti-crease function to cut down on ironing time. We loved the intuitive and easy-to-use display too. Our biggest gripe was that the filter was quite fiddly to clean, but on the flip side, the water tank was very simple to empty. All in all, we think it's a decent buy for families on a budget.

Read next: Best budget washing machines as recommended by families

2
Best heat pump tumble dryer

Hoover H Dry 500 10KG Heat Pump A++ Freestanding Tumble Dryer

What we like
  • A++ energy rating

  • 10kg drum size

  • Four drying levels

  • Clever app decodes fabric care labels

What we don't like
  • Some reviewers say the door is fiddly to close

Key specs

Price on writing: £469 | Energy rating: A++ | Programmes: 14 | Dimensions: H:85cm x W:59cm x D:58cm | Capacity: 10kg

What Mumsnet users say
PurpleNebula84 · Tried & Tested
I love it! The only downside is that if it stops and you don't turn it off/open the door, it'll spin the load round for a couple of spins to stop creasing - which is a pain in the ass if you've headed up to bed (talking 9pm ish not over night) and just as you're ready to snooze hear it kick in - but otherwise FABULOUS! Dries things very quickly and I saw almost immediate decrease in energy consumption.
See Post
OnTheRoll · Recommended
Together with the washing machine on Eco cycle + full drier cycle it costs less than £1. So very cheap to run.
See Post
MalbecandToast · Tried & Tested
I love mine, so much cheaper to run than my condenser was!
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Our verdict

Heat pump tumble dryers are the most energy-efficient, but they can be pricey. We've chosen the Hoover H Dry 500 for its combination of great energy-saving credentials, high performance and an affordable price of under £500.

Mumsnetters like its range of drying programmes as well as the dryer's minimal effect on their energy bills. While the door can be fiddly, the H Dry 500 boasts a number of premium features, including Aquavision, which lets you see water levels at all stages of the drying process; plus, it's compatible with the hOn app, which decodes the confusing symbols on clothing care labels. With four levels of dryness to choose from - ready to iron, dry hanger, dry wardrobe and extra dry - you'll have complete control over your laundry routine.

3
Best condenser tumble dryer

Bosch WPG23108GB Series 6 Condenser Tumble Dryer

What we like
  • Wide range of programmes including cycles for down and sportswear

  • Anti-vibration side walls for quiet operating volumes 

  • Curved drum panels prevent creases during drying

  • Quick 40-minute cycle for smaller loads

  • Auto dry sensors detect when the preferred drying level is reached

  • Good energy rating

What we don't like
  • More costly than some condenser models

Key specs

Price on writing: £599 | Energy rating: B | Programmes: 15 | Dimensions: 61.3 x 59.8 x 84.2 cm | Capacity: 8kg

What Mumsnet users say
RampantIvy · Tried & Tested
My Bosch condenser tumble dryer is excellent.
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TammyJones · Recommended
Love our Bosch condenser.
See Post
Our verdict

It may not be the cheapest condenser tumble dryer you can buy, but the Bosch Series 6 WPG23108GB takes our top spot for the best condenser tumble dryer thanks to its wide range of programmes, excellent performance and impressive B energy rating.

With an 8kg drum capacity, it makes a popular choice for medium households, with a unique curved drum that prevents creases during drying and reduces the amount of ironing required. With 15 different programmes to choose from, you can easily tailor the cycle (and temperatures) to your contents, including cooler options for down fabrics and hotter more hygienic options for sportswear. 

We love the 40-minute quick dry cycle for smaller quantities but for larger loads, the intelligent auto sensors will stop the cycle automatically when the desired drying levels are reached. Overall, the Bosch is simple and stress-free to use, with the generated water quick and easy to empty from the tank when required.

Read next: The best steam generator irons for effortless ironing

4
Best vented tumble dryer
What we like
  • Simple turn-and-go dial for ease of use 

  • Spacious 8kg drum capacity

  • Refresh cycle to freshen up clothes 

  • Easy clean purse filter 

  • Timed drying programmes

What we don't like
  • No auto-drying sensors or specialist programmes

  • Metal hose is best suited to wall venting than placing through windows

Key specs

Price on writing: £279 | Energy rating: C | Programmes: 3 | Dimensions: H85 x W59.5 x D61cm

What Mumsnet users say
redgoesfaster · Tried & Tested
Very simple, just select high or low temperature and turn dial for drying time. Only used for sheets and towels but it's great.
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Our verdict

The intuitive ‘turn and go’ feature on this Indesit vented tumble dryer couldn’t be easier to use - simply add the contents to the spacious 8kg drum and turn the dial to the desired duration, using the recommended timescales on the appliance as a guide. 

There are no auto sensors on this tumble dryer, so while you do need to check your washing manually, drying speeds are relatively quick and efficient - especially when compared to cooler eco heat pump cycles. 

We love the Refresh cycle - ideal for freshening up PE kit before Monday morning. Thanks to the handy purse filter that catches fluff and lint during the cycle, it's also relatively simple to maintain. It is worth noting however that the venting hose is made from metal, so perhaps best suited to wall venting than draping through your window.

Related: The best washing machines for families

5
Best integrated tumble dryer

Candy BCTD H7A1TEB-80 Integrated Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

What we like
  • WiFi enabled

  • Doesn't shrink clothes

  • Sensor drying

  • App will help you pick a cycle based on fabric type

  • Delay start timer

What we don't like
  • Only 7kg

  • Pricey

Key specs

Price on writing: £470 | Energy rating: A+ | Programmes: 16 | Dimensions: ‎65.4 x 60 x 82 cm

What Mumsnet users say
Howtochoose · Tried & Tested
We have a Candy heat pump dryer. Not as slow as I expected, no condensation etc and v energy efficient. Highly recommend!
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Frosty1000 · Recommended
We have a Candy heat pump - bought it as it was economical to run and kinder to clothes. No shrinkage etc. Happy with it.
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Our verdict

For a seamless kitchen, this integrated tumble dryer from Candy will blend right in. It's a heat pump model, so comes with an A+ energy rating and the efficient, water recycling functions you'd expect. With a respectable 16 programmes and an app that'll help you choose the perfect one, Mumsnetters are impressed with its efficiency and how well it cares for their clothing.

The Candy BCTD H7A1TEB-80 comes with sensor dry technology, which monitors how wet your clothes are and stops the cycle once they reach the perfect dryness. There's an ergonomically designed water reservoir in the door, making it easy to empty and replace as needed.

6
Best energy-efficient tumble dryer
What we like
  • Feature-rich and Wi-Fi connected

  • Highly energy efficient

  • Quiet, quick and simple to set up

  • An excellent range of settings and programmes

What we don't like
  • It is expensive

Key specs

RRP: £929 | Type: Heat pump |  Capacity: 9kg | Size: H85 x W60 x D65cm | Rated efficiency: A+++ | Noise level: 62dB | Programmes: 18 | Warranty: 5 year

What Mumsnet users say
FTEngineerM · Recommended
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.
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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!

Want the benefits of a Samsung but without the higher price tag? A suitable alternative worth considering is the Samsung Series 5 DV80TA020AE heat pump tumble dryer.

Read next: The best retractable washing lines to buy

7
Best premium tumble dryer

Miele TEF765WP Heat Pump Tumble Dryer

What we like
  • Very energy efficient, meaning it costs less per cycle

  • Built-to-last, stylish design

  • Excellent range of smart features, programmes and settings

What we don't like
  • Buzzer that plays at the end of a cycle can't be turned off permanently

  • Some feel that the programmes are too complicated

Key specs

RRP: £1,249 | Type: Heat pump |  Capacity: 8kg | Size: H85 x W59.6 x D60cm | Rated efficiency: A+++ | Noise level: 66dB | Programmes: 12 | Warranty: 2 years

What Mumsnet users say
7Worfs · Tried & Tested
I’ve got Miele TEF765WP, and I am very happy with it. Use it for one load a day.
See Post
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 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.

Read next: Best tumble dryer balls for fast and efficient clothes drying

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 Hoover H Dry 500 10KG Heat Pump A++ Freestanding Tumble Dryer 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 BEKO DTLCE80041W Condenser 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 Samsung Series 9 DV90t840SH 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, AO.com 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.