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Best Tumble Dryers 2021: 4 of the best you can buy

If you need your clothes ready in a hurry, a tumble dryer is an essential purchase for many households. They’re not built the same, though, which is why we put tumble dryers through our in-depth tests to help you pick the best.

Here, I’ve rounded up the best models based on price, features and performance (how well they dry and how expensive they are to run), so that you can find the best one for you. I’ve only listed models that I have tested, so you can rely on this being the best choice currently available.

Learn more about how we test tumble dryers

We put all of our tumble dryers through the same set of tests, so that we can work out which ones are good and which ones are bad. We use the same set of washing for each machine, weighing it when wet and when dry, to see which dryers do the best job.

We also measure how much energy each dryer uses, so we can tell you which ones are the most efficient. Finally, we work out yearly running costs to help you find the most cost effective dryer for your needs. You can find out more in our dedicated how we test tumble dryer guide.

A very gentle and low-cost smart tumble dryer
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Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • Excellent app
  • Low power usage
  • Clever drying rack

Cons

  • Second filter is fiddly to clean

A lot of tumble dryers can be quite rough on clothes, helping them shed fibres. Not so, the Samsung Series 9 DV90T8240SX, which proved to be exceptionally gentle, removing water but not much else: at the end of a cycle, the filters were quite clean.

This is also a very thoughtfully designed dryer, with a clip-in shelf that lets you dry items that shouldn’t be tumbled in the drum, including shoes and more delicate items.

As one of Samsung’s top-of-the-range machines, this model connects to SmartThings; if you’ve got a compatible washing machine, you can even have the dryer programmed for the right cycle automatically.

Running costs are exceptionally low for a tumble dryer, too. If you want the best and care about having your clothes carefully treated, this is the model for you.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full review: Samsung Series 9 DV90T8240SX review

A well-priced tumble dryer with some great smart features
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Pros

  • Large capacity
  • Excellent drying performance
  • Lots of programmes to choose from

Cons

  • A little slow
  • App only works when the dryer is set to Wi-Fi mode

With its large 10kg drum, the Hoover H-DRY 500 ND H10A2TCBER-80 is a great-value tumble dryer that can take a lot of clothes. It’s even more impressive that it’s a smart tumble dryer, with an app that lets you control it.

The one downside is that you have to put the machine on Wi-Fi mode to use the app, and can’t even send programme information without this. Still, the app is useful, as it gives you extra cleaning modes and a clever tool that lets you scan a care label to help you select the best drying mode.

Using a heat pump, this isn’t the fastest tumble dryer, but it is effective and running costs are very competitive.

If you want a large tumble dryer with lots of features, then this is a great choice.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full review: Hoover H-DRY 500 ND H10A2TCBER-80

A great low-cost tumble dryer
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Pros

  • Simple to use (for the most part)
  • Dries with care
  • Low running costs

Cons

  • Water tank fiddly to empty
  • Extra dry modes not clear

Cheap to buy and comparatively cheap to run, the Hisense DHGA901NL eschews smart features to get the basics right.

There’s a simple control dial to select the types of drying programme, with plenty of options to cover most types of clothes. There’s a bit of confusion around using the extra dry setting, but otherwise this is a simple-to-use machine.

Performance is very good, too. Although not particularly fast, this tumble dryer is cheap to run and it’s quite gently on clothes, too, removing water but not too many fibres.

There are smarter machines with lower running costs, but if you want something basic that doesn’t cost the earth, this is a great choice.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full review: Hisense DHGA901NL

A very clever way to keep your expensive clothes in the best shape
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Pros

  • Cost-effective to run
  • Leaves clothes feeling refreshed
  • Hygienically cleans using steam
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited space inside

Rather than being a tumble dryer, as such, the LG Styler is more a wardrobe for keeping your clothes in the best condition. Inside, there’s room for three hanging items, a shelf for an item and a single trouser press.

Rather than dealing with large amounts of items, then, the Styler is there to care for your more delicate items. Using steam, it can refresh clothes, such as suits and hard-to-clean items, so that you don’t have to take them to the dry cleaners as often.

It’s also an effective tumble dryer, taking care of more delicate items. Plus it has some clever modes, such as one for taking care of raincoats, so you don’t have wet items around.

With its smart Wi-Fi connection, you can download new programmes to the Styler, too.

It’s not for everyone, with its large size and high price, but if you have expensive clothes that you want to keep in the best condition, this is a great addition to any house.

We’ve reviewed

24

Tumble Dryer

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FAQs

What type of tumble dryer is right for you?

Heat pump tumble dryers are more expensive and slightly slower than the competition, but they’re hugely efficient and the cheapest to run. For environmental reasons alone, heat pump is the best way to go. If you’re on a budget, a condenser dryer is a good choice, dumping the used water into a tank that you empty after a cycle.

What size of drum?

The average tumble dryer offers a 6-8kg drum, with some going up to 10kg and tabletop dryers as low as 3kg. A family household will probably want to consider dryers of 8kg and up to be the most efficient.

Bigger machines take less time to dry more clothes, but will use a greater amount of energy in the process. If you’re only ever getting it to half capacity, you’ll be spending more on energy than you have to, so be sure to pick a size that suits.

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