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Washer-dryers vs tumble dryers – which are better at drying clothes?

One is five times more likely to score top marks for drying clothes well

We’ve analysed all washer-dryers and condenser tumble dryers we’ve reviewed since October 2018, to discover which is best at drying your laundry quickly and thoroughly.

Tumble dryers dry clothes better

Tumble dryers are around five times more likely to earn a Which? five-star rating for drying clothes well.

Around one fifth of the tumble dryers we’ve tested since October 2018 have scored top marks for drying clothes.

Washer-dryers are less likely to dry well enough to earn the full five stars in our tests, but our tests have revealed plenty that get four stars.

It’s impossible to tell how well a washer-dryer or tumble dryer will dry simply by looking at it in a shop or online

That’s where our reviews come in handy. Our test scores, star ratings and expert reviews remove the uncertainty from big-ticket purchases, so it’s worth taking a look at them before parting with your hard-earned cash.


See our pick of the best:


Tumble dryers dry cottons faster…

In our testing we were hard-pushed to find a washer-dryer that excelled at drying laundry quickly, whereas one in three of the tumble dryers we’ve tested over the past 10 months have earned full marks for how quickly they get cottons dry.

Around four in ten tumble dryers get top scores for drying synthetics, too.

No washer-dryer we’ve tested in that time has achieved the same thing for either test.

So if all you’re looking for is a machine that dries laundry quickly, we reckon a tumble dryer is the best bet.

Which should you buy?

In our tests we found more tumble dryers with top scores for drying well and quickly than washer-dryers.

However, washer-dryers have the obvious added benefit of being able to clean your clothes, too.


Washer-dryers vs washing machines: which are best at cleaning clothes?


If you’re short on space, or you want as few appliances in your home as possible, and you decide to go for a washer-dryer, make sure you choose wisely.

See our round-up of the top washer-dryers for 2019.

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