The Miele T1 (TMG440WP) is the company’s cost-no-object for the perfect result tumble dryer and comes to the TrustedReviews test bench bristling with features. The heat pump technology aims to reduce electricity costs by half or even greater and its Eco Feedback feature provides a consumption forecast during the cycle and a full electricity usage summary at the end.
It is a full load and moisture sensing machine with automated drying and offers a number of crease reducing features, such as steam injection and gentle smoothing drum action. The machine accepts Miele’s scented capsules that inject delicate fragrance into the load, leaving your laundry smelling fresh and often floral, even for several weeks in the cupboard. Of course, all this cutting-edge technology and wealth of features doesn’t come cheap, but the quality can’t be argued with either.
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You probably wouldn’t be looking at the T1 if you were after a budget and simple to use tumble dryer, so criticising this machine for its complexity is perhaps misplaced. You will certainly need to study the manual to get started and it would need to be a handy companion during the first few weeks so you can make the most of its features and functions.
Styling is suitably clean and slightly industrial with the main fascia offering a traditional rotary program selector as well as an electronic display that offers a range of information, icons and warnings. Buttons require a solid press and tiled with a positive click and everything from the door opening to the condenser door has a very robust feel. The programme count is kept to a minimum of choices as this machine does a lot of the load sensing and set-up for you. The drum is lit by bright LEDs to ensure leaving a sock in the dryer is a thing of the past.
The Miele’s sensing technology extends beyond most sensor machines and adds a mineral sensor that detects the level of minerals in the water removed from the wash, adjusting the drying time and temperature to suit the material. Drying level is selectable on many of the programmes in one of four levels with Miele’s ‘Perfect Dry’ the default option. This equates to a standard cupboard dry and is sensor-based to ensure the same level of moisture every time.
The pull-out water drawer that collects the condensed moisture from your washing replicates the detergent drawer on a washing machine and requires a firm tug to remove. The water outlet can be plumbed into your waste system, if it is nearby.
If you want to use one of Miele fragrance ‘flacon’ capsules this clips into a port on the front. While each capsule costs around £8, the amount of scent released can be adjusted and Miele reckons most capsules will last about 50 drying cycles. There are apparently three different fragrances available, although we struggled to find a retailer in the UK.
The drum and condenser are maintenance free, leaving you to simply empty the water container and remove the fluff from the main filter between washes. With plumbed in waste, even less. Like all top-spec Miele appliances, the T1 comes with a five-year guarantee.
Given the ultra-quiet nature of the partnering Miele W1 washing machine that we tested last year, we were a little disappointed as the T1 proved a little noisier than ideal. Loaded up, it did not manage to hit the 62dB noise output stated on the EU energy label, coming in at 64dB.
It’s by no means noisy, but that is about average for a premium tumble dryer. Most washing machines will be considerably quieter than this during their wash cycle – although much noisier on spin. The 62-64dB is around the same volume as normal speech, so while the T1 is a long way from being intrusively noisy, we expected a little more peace and quiet for the not inconsiderable asking price.
On the face of it, this Miele doesn’t offer the comprehensive raft of programmes for different materials and levels of dryness of some models. However, thanks to the sensor technology and making the level of dryness selectable, the T1 actually caters for almost any type and size of load you can throw at it.
The main programmes include cottons, minimum iron materials, shirts, denim and delicates. Dig deeper and there are dedicated cycles for handcare woollens, outerware, silks and sportswear, too. A number of sub-programmes and options can then be applied including the Steam smoothing, gentle tumble, anti-crease, auto-load and freshen-up modes.
There is an express function for quickly drying small loads, a cool air mode for extremely delicate items and a ‘basket’ programme that is designed to be used with Miele’s optional in-drum drying basket. This allows you to dry items in cool air or gentle heat without tumbling them.
Many of these programmes offer up to five levels of dryness, too: normal+, normal, slightly dry, hand iron and hand iron+. As there are no hard and fast parameters on what constitutes precisely how much moisture should be left for the likes of ‘slightly dry’, getting to grips with these levels of dryness will be trial and error until you familiarise yourself with the machine.
If confusion reigns, then most programmes allow you to opt for Miele’s perfect dry mode. If consistency is what you are after, this mode left around 1% (of load weight) of moisture in the load – which we would class as perfect cupboard dry – every time, no matter how much we put in or what material the load consisted of.
Extremely well indeed! Irrespective of load, material and programme, the T1 turned in impeccable drying results on every cycle and did so using a (relatively) frugal amount of power. We run three tests on this model including a 1kg (dry) mixed load, typical of a light load users want to dry quickly, and a typical 50% mixed cotton load straight out of the machine.
For the 8kg-capacity Miele, this was 4kg of dry washing which weighed well over 5.5kg wet. The load in both cases comprised mixed cottons and synthetics and we set the machine on the cottons programme with the perfect dry feature engaged. We ran a third test on the Miele’s ‘shirts’ programme with three shirts, replicating that awful moment when the alarm goes off and you realise you haven’t got a clean shirt to wear to work.
In practise this Miele tumble dryer is properly outstanding on all of the programmes we tested. It is very quick, incredibly energy efficient and the results are precisely what you would hope for. The main 4kg load carried a whopping 1.6kg of water trapped in the clothes after a 1,200 spin in our work-horse washing machine. This did not phase the T1 at all and it declared the load perfect dry in under one and three quarter hours… over an hour quicker than the last heat pump tumble dryer we tested.
On weighing the washing it has around 12g of moisture left. This is more than dry enough to be put straight away into a cupboard. We like to see a little moisture left in the load as zero moisture remaining would suggest the machine ran on a little too long as well as ensuring any tumble-dry creasing was properly baked into the fabric. Exactly the same was true of the lighter 1kg load. It was pronounced ‘perfect dry’ in just under an hour with just under 1% moisture remaining.
For our third test we selected Miele shirt programme with steam finish and dropped in three cotton shirts fresh from a quick wash in our washing machine. 32 minutes later the shirts emerged warm, slightly damp (2%) and ready for ironing. The additional moisture ensured creases were very easy to remove and the ironing action dried the remaining moisture. Given many washing machines 20-minute wash cycles, 30 minutes in the dryer and 10 minutes to iron – you could be out of the door in a washed, dried and ironed shirt in under an hour.
We had to run all three tests on the Miele twice because, frankly, we could not believe how efficient its heat pump technology was at first and suspected some measuring errors. That was not the case and the Miele really is staggeringly efficient for a tumble dryer, especially one bristling with features and the ability to 1% moisture dry time and time again.
The 4kg load used just over 1kWh – considerably less than half the energy of traditional tumble dryer and a good deal less than even other heat pump models we have tested. The 1kg load tipped in at a respectable 0.5kWh. In our view, given 150 loads per year, with 25 of those smaller 1kg size, we would estimate the Miele T1 would cost just £22 a years to run.
While the EU energy labelling and EU testing would suggest higher usage and more energy, there is no denying this Miele sets the benchmark for tumble dryer energy efficiency.
You might need to dry your eyes after seeing the Miele’ T1’s asking price, yet it stands out as one of the most energy efficient tumble dryers on the market and delivers remarkably quick and consistent drying. In an ideal world it would be a little quieter too but given the drying performance, efficiency and fabulous range of features, we can only heartily recommend the T1.
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Yet another reminder that Miele rarely disappoints – this is a fantastic machine.