Well, there’s no need to worry as we’ve done all of the research for you. We’ve scoured the portfolios of each and every individual manufacturer, number-crunched the various models, read hundreds of user and professional appliance reviews, and watched a plethora of demonstration videos in order to decide on the choices below. With a condenser dryer, the hot moisture vapour within the unit condenses into droplets of water which are then ported to a service manual aeg tumble dryer collection tank that needs to be regularly emptied by hand, usually after every drying cycle.
Vented tumble dryers are cheaper to buy and more practical in the long run since all of that hot, moist air is ported outside through a 4in hole in the wall. This means you won’t have to worry about continually emptying a tank of water into the sink, and your utility room’s walls will remain dryer to the touch. What is a heat pump tumble dryer? If energy efficiency is of prime concern, then consider a heat pump dryer. Heat pump dryers pass the moist air collected during the drying cycle through an evaporator, which removes the moisture before reusing the same hot air for the rest of the drying process. However, it’s not all sweetness and light: you’ll need to weigh up the extra cost of the machine against the electricity savings made. Some experts have calculated that it could take up to 11 years of ownership before a heat pump dryer equals the cost of a cheaper condenser or vented machine.
But perhaps the biggest argument against heat pump dryers is that they operate at lower temperatures and therefore take much longer to dry your clothes. It’s safe to say that almost all but the very cheapest of tumble dryers will have onboard sensors programmed to estimate the amount of moisture left in the clothing. When the sensor detects that the clothes are, say, “cupboard” or “iron” dry, the machine will end its cycle. Sensors can dramatically reduce energy costs in the long term as the dryer switches off when the job is done. What size dryer should I get?
It goes without saying that you should ideally consider a tumble dryer that’s the same capacity as your washing machine. In tumble dryer parlance, the capacity of a dryer refers to the dry weight of clothes you can fit inside the drum. The most common sizes of drums are between 6kg and 10kg but the bigger the better since that extra space provides better hot air circulation and therefore a more efficient drying process. What do the energy ratings mean? To some users, running costs are extremely important: a machine that’s cheaper to run could cost you less in the long term even if it’s more expensive to buy.
D, with the higher grades being the most energy-efficient. The best tumble dryers to buy1. If money’s no object and you’re in the market for a high-end 8kg machine furnished with every conceivable feature, then make this terrific heat pump-equipped Miele your first port of call. Just be prepared to bury your head in the manual, as there’s quite a learning curve involved, especially if you want to take advantage of everything it has to offer.
It then selects the appropriate drying period. According to Miele, this high-tech method ensures that every drying cycle produces perfect results. It never gets clogged with fluff and therefore operates at optimum status for the life of the machine which, given it’s a Miele, is likely to be in excess of ten years. Simply load one of five fragrance capsules into a portal just behind the drum door and your clothes will come out smelling rosy. What’s more, the scent is said to linger for up to four weeks. LED display providing estimated energy consumption for each of its 20 drying programmes. However, given that it’s a heat pump model, bear in mind that drying times will be longer than a normal condensing machine.
Miele provides excellent after-sales service so, should anything go awry, you can be sure an engineer will be round within a day or two. Turkish brand Beko specialises in budget machines that offer excellent value for money. In fact, some Beko appliances come with the sort of features you’d expect to see in machines at twice the price. They may not be well made as Teutonic brands such as Miele, Siemens and Bosch but, in the main, the company’s ever-growing flock of users seem very happy with their purchases. LED light for those who like to be mesmerised by the hypnotic sight of clothes floating around in a vortex. It also offers direct drainage so you can bypass the hassle of having to empty the water-collection tank. Users have noted excellent drying times with this machine and are generally very pleased with their purchase.
It’s easy enough to use and performs very well, although it’s not the most energy-efficient model in this roundup. That said, the machine’s low price easily compensates for the small amount of extra money you’ll pay in running costs. The Zanussi also comes equipped with an extra-large reversible door for easy loading, and an efficient Easy Iron programme that dries to just the right texture for a quick iron. With a rating of just B, it’s not the most energy-efficient model here, but at least you can take advantage of nighttime electricity tariffs by making use of the delay-start timer.
Some users have expressed concern about the build quality, the slightly cluttered digital interface and the poorly written manual, but the vast majority have been thrilled with their buy. Bosch is a solid brand in terms of reliability, competency and energy efficiency. This heat pump condensing model is highly rated by both users and professional reviewers, although some think its interface is a little hard to understand. Others have also noted that it takes quite a long time to complete its drying process, a typical trait of many energy-efficient, heat pump-equipped models. The Bosch comes with the usual gamut of drying programmes, from wool, sportswear and shirts to towels, pillows and mixed loads. German in origin, you can be sure this machine is extremely well built and reliable enough for many years of regular use. This sophisticated entry from the house of Siemens has garnered a Which Best Buy award and a raft of positive user reviews.