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Five things you need to know before you buy a smart tumble dryer

Find out what you'll get for your money if you go smart

Five things you need to know before you buy a smart tumble dryer

Should you buy a smart tumble dryer? What are the benefits of accessing your tumble dryer from your phone, or are these machines just a gimmick? And will a smart dryer deliver on its most important job of getting your clothes dry?

We’ve crunched the numbers from our expert tests to answer these questions and bring you five things you should know if you’re thinking of buying a smart tumble dryer.

See our tumble dryer reviews.

1) What smart tumble dryers do

When a product is called ‘smart’, it usually means that it can be controlled or monitored in some way using your smartphone.

You’ll need to download an app to take advantage of a product’s smart functions. Manufacturers each have their own and each one has a variety of features depending on the product.

In the case of smart tumble dryers, you’ll likely be able to choose programs, keep tabs on running times, and monitor energy usage.

Which? will begin testing the privacy and security of smart apps for tumble dryers, washing machines and washer-dryers in 2020.

Compare our reviews of smart tumble dryers to see which machines impressed in our expert tests.

2) Whether they’re useful

Running your dryer from your sofa is certainly a novelty, but given that you have to get up to load it anyway you might as well just press the start button while you’re there.

Keeping track of how long your dryer has left to run or how much energy it’s using is pretty useful though, especially if you’re a busy person and like keeping track of your bills.

Smart washing machines are much more customisable, as many of them let you download additional cycles, and some even create a tailored cycle for you based on your washing habits.

3) Keep safety in mind

Tumble dryers get hot so our advice is never to run them when you’re not at home – something to bear in mind if you’re buying a smart tumble dryer you can turn on remotely.

See the best tumble dryers we’ve tested.

4) How much smart tumble dryers cost

Would you be willing to pay more for a smart tumble dryer? Check out the graph below to see how the prices compare.

A smart tumble dryer costs around £130 more on average based on those models we’ve tested.

If you’d rather go for a cheap tumble dryer than a smart one, check out our handy guide on the top five cheap tumble dryers.

Running costs are an important factor for any tumble dryer owner, as they have a reputation for impacting your bills quite heavily.

We found that among the models we’ve tested, smart dryers will cost you around £65 a year to run, which is slightly more than non-smart dryers, which cost roughly £61.89 a year*.

The cheapest dryer to run that we’ve tested isn’t smart, and runs at £26 a year.

Take a look at our top five energy efficient dryers to see which are the best at keeping bills low.

5) How they do in Which? tests

As well as testing all the tumblers we review for how well they dry clothes, we also score each one for ease of use, how much condensation it creates and how noisy it is.

Comparing the overall Which? scores of smart dryers to non-smart dryers makes for interesting reading.

Our joint two top-scoring tumble dryers of all time are a smart and non-smart machine, both with an impressive 79%.

Our lowest-scoring machine that’s still on sale is a smart dryer, with a measly score of 39%.

If you’re looking for your next tumble dryer, we’d recommend it’s smart to look at how well it does everything else before checking whether it connects to your phone.

Check out our tumble dryer buying guide if you’d like more help picking out your next machine.

*Results based from 155 tumble dryer reviews tested as of November 2019.
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