Marilyn AirDryer August 2012
Is the Marilyn better than a tumble dryer?
The Marilyn AirDryer is an electrical appliance that sits under your clothes horse. It is designed to dry laundry using six fans which circulate air to the clothes hanging above. Its maker claims it will save you up to 90% on electricity bills when compared to using a tumble dryer – but does it work? One of our researchers took it home to find out.
Drying washing around the house isn’t always an easy task. Not only can space for drying be a problem, but waiting for your favourite clothes to dry can be real drag. I was keen to try out the Marilyn AirDryer at home, as the manufacturer promises it can dry all your laundry in as little as eight hours, and for less than five Euro cents (4p). But impressed as I was by the concept, after a few uses I wasn’t exactly blown away.
The Marilyn isn’t cheap at €120 (£94.31), though in comparison to a tumble dryer the running costs are small – typically tumble dryers cost around 58p to 64p per use. You can buy it from the website Airdryersystem.com and it will also be available from QVC and other UK retailers from September 2012.
Using the Marilyn AirDryer
There’s nothing complex about the set up, you simply position it where you want it, plug it in and place your clothes horse on top.
When on, the Marilyn AirDryer produces a low whirring noise similar to the sound of a cooker hood extractor fan. You can hear it from other rooms but it’s not a big distraction. You wouldn’t have to raise your voice over it to be heard.
You can use the Marilyn AirDryer in any room in the house and it’s not too heavy to manoeuvre around or to take upstairs, though I felt that it could have benefited from a longer flex for the plug (it’s only 150cm long). Finding somewhere to store it proved tricky due to its bulky shape - it’s rigid and it doesn’t fold down.
Does the Marilyn AirDryer work?
The air produced by the Marilyn was cool, and didn’t damage the washing in any way or produce any condensation. But after eight hours I was disappointed to find that thicker materials and items near the top of the airer were still damp - only clothes close to the fans had dried. It hadn’t lived up to my expectations and ended up taking around 10 hours to dry everything. I also couldn’t help but feel that lighter items would have dried quickly enough without the dryer.
Overall, this is a straightforward product to use. It boasts low energy consumption and low running costs, using only 25 watts of power and saving 90% energy when compared to a tumble dryer. But I found it only saved me a few hours of drying time.
When we spoke to the manufacturer, it said that the longer drying time we experienced was due to air humidity in the UK. It said that drying times will be quicker in winter when you have your central heating turned on and added that to get the best results from the AirDryer you should place heavier items over the central part of the Marilyn unit (with lighter garment on the outer rungs) and open a door to the room to allow ventilation.
Which? first look verdict
You can buy a tumble dryer for around £145 which would dry your laundry in less than two hours. Alternatively allowing clothes dry on an airer is free and energy efficient. If a couple of hours won’t make much difference to you, I’d suggest saving your money and leaving garments to dry unaided. And if time is of the essence then a tumble dryer is your best bet.
Pros: Shaves some time off normal drying time, costs very little to run, quiet
Cons: Fairly difficult to store, doesn’t dry all of your laundry evenly - thicker materials especially and items at the top of the airer take longer than eight hours to dry.