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This buying guide is designed to help you over any hurdles you may come across in the buying process and eliminate any confusion. Reading the full buying guide tells you everything you could possibly want to know about tumble dryers.

Tumble Dryer Buying Guide

A tumble dryer is an exceptionally convenient appliance and with a choice of vented, condenser or spin dryers available there is something to suit every home. Tumble dryers eliminate the need for drying your clothes on the washing line or around the house on radiators. You don’t need to wait for the good weather – simply pop your laundry into your tumble dryer and let it care for your clothing.

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There are 3 types of tumble dryer to choose from; condenser, vented and spin dryers. Which one you choose will depend upon the space available in your kitchen and also where the tumble dryer will be placed.

  • Condenser - fits anywhere in your kitchen where you have a space and a power supply. The steam is collected in a container inside the appliance and then condensed into water vapour which can be easily removed and emptied when you choose or when full.
  • Vented - these models needs to be positioned near a window or venting hose to allow the steam to leave the room.
  • Spin dryer - uses a centrifugal force (pushing the clothes to the outside of the drum) to remove any water.
 

Generally the capacity sizes are the same for vented and condenser models and spin dryers usually have a smaller capacity.

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  • The amount of laundry that you can do in one load depends on the drum size of your tumble dryer, the larger the drum size the more laundry the dryer will be able to handle effectively.
  • Drum size is measured by the weight it can handle, for example a 5kg drum can handle 5kg of drying which is the equivalent of drying 6 large towels or 25 t-shirts.
  • It can work out cheaper, in terms of how much power is used, to do a few large laundry loads rather than lots of small ones. Always remember to check your clothing’s wash instructions.
Capacity Equivalent to: Or:
3kg 15 t-shirts 4 pairs of jeans
4kg 20 t-shirts 5 days of school trousers, shirts and underwear
5kg 25 t-shirts 6 large towels
6kg 30 t-shirts 8 pairs of jeans
7kg 35 t-shirts Three bathrobes and two large towels.
8kg 40 t-shirts Duvet cover, sheets and pillow cases for a king sized and three single beds
9kg 45 t-shirts 12 pairs of jeans
10kg 50 t-shirts 13 large towels
 
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All tumble dryers are now rated by the EU to let people know how much energy is needed to run them. The energy ratings go from ‘A’ to ‘G’ with ‘A’ being the most efficient. A tumble dryer with a high energy rating will save you electricity and money on your energy bills. The majority of tumble dryers are B and C rated, although if you are willing to invest more in your appliance then models are available with ‘A’ energy ratings.

A good way to work out just how much buying an energy saving tumble dryer will save you is to calculate how much it costs to run over a year. To help you we have calculated how much it costs to run your tumble dryer depending on how energy efficient it is, please take a look at the useful table for more information.

Condenser Dryer Cost Per Year (£)
Washload size (used 4 times per week)
  3.4kg 6kg 7kg 8kg 9kg
A Rated 33 58 67 77 87
B Rated 38 67 78 90 101
C Rated 43 77 89 102 115
D Rated 49 86 100 115 129

Assumes 140 drying cycles per year. Actual running costs will vary depending on how often the appliance is used. Assumes electricity tariff of 12.50p/kWh.
Thanks to the Energy Saving Trust for providing the energy information.

Vented Dryer
Washload size (used 4 times per week)
  3.4kg 6kg 7kg 8kg 9kg
A Rated 30 54 62 71 80
B Rated 35 62 72 83 93
C Rated 40 70 82 94 106
D Rated 45 79 92 105 118

Assumes 140 drying cycles per year. Actual running costs will vary depending on how often the appliance is used. Assumes electricity tariff of 12.50p/kWh.
Thanks to the Energy Saving Trust for providing the energy information.

 
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Our unrivalled selection of tumble dryers provide a number of useful drying solutions for every situation and care for fabrics of every kind, for example:

  • Iron dry - this drying setting leaves a level of moisture within the clothes, helping to make the ironing easier, which is particularly useful for garments such as shirts.
  • Hanger dry - this medium drying level is ideal for garments which don’t need to be ironed and can simply be placed on a hanger to finish drying.
  • Cupboard dry - the drying programme will end when the sensors detect little moisture inside the drum, meaning the garments are almost completely dry and ready to put away - ideal for storing warm towels straight from the dryer.
  • Ready to wear/extra dry - the highest drying level, this option leaves clothes fully dry and ready to wear immediately.
  • Automatic anti–crease cycle - the drum works to carefully divide and smooth out your clothes, preventing creases, which helps reduce the need for ironing.
  • Gentle/delicate dry - designed for delicate items such as underwear and nightwear; this allows drying to be performed at a lower temperature to prevent damage.

You should always check your clothes care labels before washing and drying.

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Tumble dryers can help you save time when doing the ironing by leaving clothes less creased. The following programmes and options are something to look out for if you want to save time when doing the laundry.

  • Reverse tumble and easy iron functions - helps prevent your laundry from creasing, by stopping garments from tangling and loosening the clothing as it dries, saving you time when ironing.
  • Sensor drying - sensor controlled dryers monitor the moisture and temperature levels inside the drum and detect when the load is dry. This is not only convenient but it ensures maximum energy efficiency.
  • Time delay function - allows you to pre-set a drying cycle to start later and set an end of cycle alarm, to alert you when your cycle has finished. Perfect if you want to set the dryer to start when you’re out of the house.
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