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Can heat-pump tumble dryers save you money?

Five latest models reviewed and rated by Which?

Heat-pump Tumble dryer being loaded

Heat-pump tumble dryers typically take longer to dry a load

We’ve just reviewed the latest energy-saving, heat-pump tumble dryers, including two that cost little more than a standard condenser or vented dryer. 

The Beko DHR73431W (£369) and the Hotpoint Hotpoint TDHP871RP (£330) both dry using still innovative heat-pump technology and manage to do this without breaking the bank with their retail prices. But are they any good at drying clothes quickly and accurately? Or do cheap prices for heat-pump tumble dryers just lead to iffy drying results?

By pumping heat back through the drum, heat-pump tumble dryers can slash your energy bills by more than half. But if they cost a fortune to buy, it could take a very long time to start to feel the effects of lower energy bills.

Find out how we rate these tumble dryers with other models in our tumble dryers reviews.

Five things you need to know about heat-pump tumble dryers

1. How heat-pump dryers work

These tumblers dry clothes by re-using some of the heat leaving the machine’s drum. This is used to continue to dry the clothes and massively reduces the energy needed to dry the load.

2. Heat-pump dryers will save you energy

Energy savings are dramatic when you dry with a heat-pump dryer. Savings of more than half the energy used by a standard vented or condenser dryer are not uncommon. This adds up to around £35 per year.

3. But drying can take longer than with a vented or condenser

But with energy and running-costs savings comes a pay off, heat-pump tumble dryers more often than not take longer to dry clothes. It’s not unusual to see a heat-pump dryer take an extra 10 minutes per kg of clothes in comparison with a vented or condenser dryer – that’s more than an hour per load for a 7kg capacity dryer. But the best heat-pump dryers can be much quicker.

4. Prices of heat-pump dryers are falling

While many heat-pump dryers are still eye-wateringly expensive – prices of £700 or more are not unusual – you can find good machines at reasonable prices. And we’ve just tested two heat-pump dryers for under £400.

5. They’re not all great, so buy the right one

Just because they’re packing energy-saving tech doesn’t mean all heat-pump tumble dryers do a great job of drying clothes. Compare our tumble dryers Best Buys to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Heat pump tumble dryers on test

The full list of tumble dryers we’ve just tested, with links to each review, is listed below.

Beko DHR73431W – £369
Hotpoint TDHP871RP – £330
John Lewis JLTDH21 – £404
Whirlpool HSCX 10431 – £650
Whirlpool HSCX 90430 – £550

Along with the five new heat-pump tumble dryers above, we’ve also just tested and reviewed the Bosch WTN85200GB condenser dryer. 

Bosch WTN85200GB – £480

Prices correct as of 2 December 2016.

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