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Which? tests latest cheap, compact and energy-saving tumble dryers

Cheapest Best Buy dryer uncovered by our tests

Cheapest Best Buy tumble dryer

A new vented tumble dryer has become the cheapest Best Buy available – but which is it?

Our latest tumble dryer group test includes the cheapest Best Buy tumber dryer yet and two affordable and energy-efficient heat pump dryers.

These models joined six other tumble dryers from big brands including Bosch, Indesit and Samsung in our tough Which? test to uncover the best and worst tumble dryers.

You can read our full verdict on each of the latest models in our tumble dryer reviews section. 

New cheapest Best Buy dryer

Good news for those shopping for a new tumble dryer at the moment: we have a new cheapest Best Buy available.

Priced less than £200, this latest Best Buy bargain is a vented tumble dryer. Vented dryers are the type that take warm air from the drum and pump it outside through a hose that will need to be attached to a vent in the wall or left dangling out of a window when drying.

You’ll have to set the drying time yourself, as it’s not an automatic model that uses a sensor inside the drum to determine when clothes are dry for you. This may not sound as convenient, but it does mean the control panel is not festooned with lots of bespoke drying programs to choose from – and it helps keep the shop price low.

In our review we say: ‘It’s extremely quick at drying clothes. A big load of cotton clothes will be left completely dry in less than 70 minutes, which is really handy if you want dry clothes in a hurry.’

We can’t tell you here which model it is here, but if you like the sound of this dryer, you can find out which it is by heading to our Best Buy tumble dryer reviews.

Whirlpool and John Lewis heat pump dryers

On average, you’ll pay more than £700 for an energy-efficient heat pump tumble dryer. However, two of the latest heat pumps we’ve tested are both less than £500 – the John Lewis JLTDH18 tumble dryer costs £449 and the Whirlpool AZA 9791 is £419 (if bought online).

Spending more than £400 on a tumble dryer is still an awful lot – but you may end up paying less in the long run when you factor in the annual running costs. On average, non-heat pump dryers add around £70 to your electricity bills every year. But heat pump models cost less than half that amount – the newly tested model from John Lewis adds only £33 to your annual bills.

Tumble dryer running costs

£33The amount the John Lewis JLTDH18 will add to your annual electricity bills

Which? tumble dryer expert Adrian Porter says: ‘If you add up the initial purchase price plus the ongoing annual electricity bills, it is possible that heat pump dryers will be the cheaper option over time compared to a much cheaper, but less energy-efficient model.

‘But because heat pump dryers usually cost so much, our research shows you’ll normally wait at least seven years for a heat pump dryer that costs around £500 in the shops to become the more economical option in the long run, compared to a regular £250 dryer that costs around £70 a year to run.

‘Taking the John Lewis dryer as an example, due to its £449 cost and £33 a year running costs, it could become the cheaper option in five and a half years. That’s based on using the dryer three times a week, every week.’

But just being cheap-to-run does not make a tumble dryer a Best Buy. Click on the links below to find out how these models have scored in our tests.

Vented tumble dryers on test

Hotpoint FETV60CP – £159
Hotpoint V4D01P – £170 (compact dryer)
White Knight 43AW – £193 (integrated dryer)
Indesit IDVL75BR – £199
Baumatic BTD1 – £249 (integrated dryer)

Condenser tumble dryers on test

White Knight 77AW – £184
Hotpoint FETC70CP – £199
Indesit IDCL85BH – £250
Hotpoint TCFS83BGP – £270

Heat pump tumble dryers on test

Whirlpool AZA 9791 – £419
John Lewis JLTDH18 – £449
Bosch WTW86562GB – £719
Samsung DV80H8100HW – £800

Prices correct as of 1 December 2014 and subject to change.

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