Tumble dryers buying guide

The good old-fashioned washing line is such a useful piece of equipment, unless, of course it's pouring with rain outside. Fortunately, there's no need to constantly rely on the weather because tumble dryers are a fast & easy way to dry clothes without having to hang them out for hours on end.

How tumble drying works

Tumble dryers have large drums so there's plenty of space for hot air to circulate through the damp clothes evenly and help prevent creasing.

Types of tumble dryer

There are two types of tumble-dryers to choose from: vented or condenser dryers.

  • Vented: the advantage of a vented dryer is that the hot and damp air from your laundry is removed through a flexible hose that takes it outside. It can be permanently vented through an outside wall using a vented kit, which is usually included, or through a flexible venting hose that can be temporarily hung out of a window when the dryer is in use.
  • Condenser: condenser tumble dryers need no venting because the steam created in the drying process is condensed into water which is collected in a tank. A light indicates when the tank is full and needs emptying. The main advantage of owning a condenser dryer is that you're able to conveniently place it almost anywhere, as no external venting is needed, giving you maximum flexibility.

Tumble dryer programmes

  • Heat: the more expensive the machine, the more programmes it's likely to have. All will have at least two heat settings for cottons or synthetics and some may have an extra programme for delicates.
  • Sensors/timers: some have heat sensors so they can detect when the load is dry. A handy feature if your dryer's in the garage or separate from the house. Others may have timers, which also provide the added convenience of choosing when and how long your dryer's running.
  • Automatic drying: like washing machines and dishwashers, some top of the range dryers have built in intelligence known as 'fuzzy logic' that can automatically determine the most efficient drying programme for the load using sensors and technology.
  • Reverse tumble: most machines will have a reverse tumble feature that rotates the drum both ways with a regular break to allow the clothes to separate. This way they dry more quickly and evenly.
  • Crease reduction: tumble drying is great for reducing creasing. Once a load's dry and is waiting to be emptied, some machines will continue to intermittently rotate to limit creasing.

Energy efficiency

Tumble dryers are rated on a scale of A++ to G according to their energy efficiency. A++ appliances are most efficient and therefore cheaper to run; while G rated appliances are least efficient. The best machines achieve a first class 'A' rating for actual drying performance, in addition to an 'A' energy rating for the least amount of electricity consumed; which is also better for the environment.

Energy consumption

All tumble dryers are tested for energy. The level of energy consumption will however vary depending on how the appliance is used and were it is located.

Typical annual consumption

This is an estimation of the amount of water and energy consumption over the course of a year based on an average four person household which normally uses a dryer.

Take Home Today

If you need your new tumble dryer quicker than our standard delivery times, look out for selected items with the “Take Home Today logo”. These items are available in selected stores for same day collection. Simply contact the store to check that the item is in-stock and then collect.

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