Tumble dryers: How to buy the best tumble dryer Tumble dryer features and energy
When you're looking for the best tumble dryer, make sure the model you buy has the features you need – whether it's an automatic drying sensor, a delay timer for drying through the night or a digital display showing how much drying time remains.
Once you've worked out the type of tumble dryer that will suit you and your home best, visit our tumble dryer reviews area to find the best model and the best price.
Tumble dryer features to look out for
A delay timer on your tumble dryer will mean that you can set it to dry your clothes at a time convenient to you.
Tumble dryer program buttons
Some tumble dryers allow you to take extra care of delicate fabrics, dry more quickly, delay the start time or have an anti-crease phase at the end.
Sensors in the drum detect how wet the load is and stop the tumbler when it's dry. Wipe the drum every few months or the sensors won't work effectively.
Remaining time display
Some tumble dryers have a display showing when the clothes will be dry, so you can plan to fold or hang them as soon as the load finishes.
Tumble dryer program or timer dial
This lets you choose the drying program on sensor tumble dryers, or the specific drying time for manual machines. You can read the remaining program time from the dial on most timer dryers.
Selecting the buzzer lets you hear when the program is over.
Most tumble dryers have warning indicators that light up to remind you to empty the water container or clean the lint filter.
Tumble dryer program stage indicators
Indicators show whether the tumble dryer is drying, cooling or running an anti-crease program.
Select 'high' for drying cottons and 'low' for heat-sensitive fabrics. Check the icons on your clothes' washing labels to find out which to use.
Cheapest to run tumble dryers
Tumble dryers are rated A to F for energy use, with A being the most energy efficient and cheapest to run.
A-rated heat-pump dryers cost about half as much to run as the more typical B or C-rated tumble dryers. A typical A rated dryer will add around £43 to your annual energy bills, while a B or C rated machine will add just over £100 - a significant difference. To see the cheapest and most expensive-to-run tumble dryers - and find out how much they'll cost you - check out our tumble dryer energy costs calculator.
- Find the best and avoid the worst models using Which? tumble dryer reviews
- Find out how much to spend on a dryer with our tumble dryer FAQs
- Reduce your dryer running costs by following our energy saving tips