Tumble dryers buying guide

Struggling to work out the difference between which tumble dryer to buy? Our tumble dryer buying guide will help you understand the key technologies and identify which dryer is right for you.

When it comes to which tumble dryer is best, our guide explains the importance of sensor drying and the number of temperatures. Energy efficiency is also highlighted as we show the difference between energy ratings.

Click below to understand the key technologies and take a look at our tumble dryers.

A clothing washing label

Vented Vs Condenser

Vented tumble dryers work by venting warm, damp air through a hose and out of an open window or through an external wall. These dryers use less energy than condenser models and are generally cheaper.

If buying a vented dryer, you will have to position it by a window, door or external wall to get rid of the damp air. You can either have an external vent fitted in the wall or hang the hose out of the window.

Condenser tumble dryers don’t require a hose so you get the freedom of installing them wherever you want, provided the room is well-ventilated.

Condenser dryers work by removing moist air from the drum and cooling it inside the machine. The water is then collected in a container, which you need to remove and empty regularly.


Drying capacity can be measured in the same way as wash capacity with every kilogram being equal to roughly one outfit.

The bigger the capacity the more drying you can do, cutting down on electricity costs whilst benefiting the environment. Ranging from a small 6 kg to a big 9 kg, we have a tumble dryer to suit every size household.

Energy rating

Cut costs and help the environment with an energy efficient tumble dryer. All our tumble dryers vary in energy rating and are dependent on their electricity consumption and water usage.

Machines that use heat pump technology are extra energy efficient, conserving the heat of the air inside the drum and using it to dry the clothes. This heat pump works on all of the programmes and reduces the energy used without compromising on the length of the drying time. It's a good choice if you want an electric dryer that's as energy efficient as possible.

For information on tumble dryer energy efficiency levels, view the technical specifications of each tumble dryer and look for the annual consumption, helping you compare how efficient they are.

Sensor drying

If you are looking to cut down costs and save pennies with your tumble dryer then sensor drying is fundamental. Sensor drying works by detecting when your clothes are dry and stopping the cycle.

Sensor drying works by detecting when your clothes are dry and stopping the cycle. This helps to save you money on energy bills as the dryer doesn’t continue running once the clothes are dry.

Some tumble dryers even let you decide the required level of dryness, meaning you can let them dry naturally with a tiny bit of moisture remaining, make them ready to wear in an instant, or extract the main water and let them finish off on the washing line.

Number of temperatures

It is important to have different temperature settings on your tumble dryer for your different garments so they can dry at the right temperature without affecting the material. Generally tumble dryers with two temperature settings will give you one setting for cotton and one for synthetics.

Tumble dryers with more settings will allow you to dry further types of garments such as delicates or wool. Keep your clothes in pristine condition with optimised tumble dryer temperature settings, benefiting your laundry.

Other programmes to look for...

Gentle wash

  • Useful for lingerie or silk garments.
  • Keeps garments in same condition.
  • More efficient for keeping clothes clean.
  • Drums designed for most effective wash of delicates.
  • Different brands have different drum designs.

Quiet performing

  • Delivering quiet performance to minimise disturbance.
  • Ideal for open plan living, lessening noise.
  • Look for whisper-quiet motors or anti-vibration design.
  • Machines under 50dB run at approximately the same level of noise as a fridge.

Intelligent systems

  • Adjusts water to exactly the amount needed for the load.
  • Some machines automatically dose detergent for you.
  • Can save you money on your utility bills.
  • Optimises cycle by balancing detergent to water consumption.

Sensor drying

  • Detects when clothes are dry and stops the cycle.
  • Some tumble dryers have a ready to wear option.
  • Turns machine off when done, saving you money.

Steam programming

  • Allow you to quickly refresh your wash
  • Ideal for removing allergens
  • Reduces creasing
  • Removes odours
  • Some steam programmes can cater for dry clean only garments

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