Toddler playing with tumble dryer and clothes

How to find the perfect tumble dryer for your clothes

Published 20th December 2022
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If you’ve got to dry washed clothes quickly, nothing beats a tumble dryer. They’re the fastest way of drying clothes at speed, particularly when it’s too cold and wet outside for you to use a washing line. If you want to buy a new tumble dryer but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place!

In this buyer’s guide, we’ll help you understand the different types of tumble dryers available right now. We'll look at each type in detail, including the features and benefits that each one offers. We will also provide tips on how to choose the best tumble dryer for your home and your budget. So, let’s get started!

Types of tumble dryers

There are several types of tumble dryers available on the market today, each offering unique benefits and drawbacks, mostly based on how they get rid of the moisture from your wet clothes.

Vented tumble dryers

Vented tumble dryers are among the most common and popular types of tumble dryers. They pump the moisture out of a hose, which has to lead outside or be connected to an external wall vent.

The advantage of vented tumble dryers is that they are relatively inexpensive. But you need to deal with the inconvenience of the hose. If you want the hose fitted to your walls it needs to be installed by a professional. They tend to be less energy efficient than other types as well.

Condenser tumble dryers

Condenser tumble dryers draw the moisture from your clothes and store it in a removable tank. They're perfect if you can't fit a hose, but you must remember to empty the tank after every cycle or the dryer won't work properly.

Heat pump tumble dryers

Heat pump tumble dryers are a type of condenser dryer, so they store trapped moisture in a tank. What sets them apart is the heat pump feature, which re-uses the hot air it generates during the drying cycle.

That makes heat pump dryers really energy efficient, helping you save money on your electricity bills and shrinking your carbon footprint. They are more expensive up front though, so you have to use them a lot to see the savings. 

Buying a heat pump tumble dryer isn't the only way to save power in a drying cycle. Read our blog on 5 ways to make your tumble dryer more efficient to learn how!

Steam tumble dryers

Steam tumble dryers have a special steam cycle setting, which bathes your clothes in hot steam as they dry. This setting helps to reduce wrinkles and creases as well as remove odours from your clothes. Steam tumble dryers usually have a condenser instead of a vent, and you'll pay more for the feature.

Tumble dryer sizes

You'll also need to choose how big your tumble dryer's drum is. This figure is measured in kilograms, and is based on the maximum weight in clothes the dryer can safely dry. So a 7kg tumble dryer can dry 7 kilograms of clothes at once - trying to fit any more can damage your dryer over time. Any dryer with a drum rated 9kg or above is considered a commercial tumble dryer.

Our drum size recommendations are:

  • 5-6kg tumble dryers: People living alone and couples
  • 7-9kg tumble dryers: Small families and house shares
  • 10kg+ tumble dryers: Large families and businesses
  • Tumble dryer brands

    Lots of companies make tumble dryers, so you have a great selection to choose from. Most brands make quality vented and condenser dryers, but their individual models can offer different features. Here are some of the most popular tumble dryer brands:

    How to choose a tumble dryer

    Here are a few more tips on how to find your perfect dryer:

    Deciding what your budget is early will help narrow down your choices and make sure you get the most bang for your buck.

    You also need to consider the amount of space available in your home for a tumble dryer. If you want an integrated tumble dryer that's tucked behind a cupboard door or underneath a counter, that will need to be smaller than a freestanding tumble dryer. You should figure out where the vent hose will go if you buy a vented tumble dryer, too.

    Lastly, you need to decide which type of tumble dryer is best suited to your needs. For example, if energy efficiency is important, then a heat pump or condenser model may be the way to go. If you want the speediest dryer possible, then a vented model may be the right choice for you.

    We hope this buyer’s guide can help you make an informed decision when purchasing one for your home.

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