Heat Pump Tumble Dryers
By Matt Stevens
Condenser dryers with heat pump technology are becoming more popular and can slash your energy bills. But is a heat pump dryer right for your home?
A heat pump tumble dryer is one of four different types of tumble dryer currently available, the other three being vented, condenser and gas.
What is a heat pump tumble dryer?
Heat pump tumble dryers work by reheating the air that’s circulating within your tumble dryer. By pumping heat back through the drum, heat pump tumble dryers can slash your energy bills by more than half. But they generally cost more to buy than other tumble dryers.
Go to our heat pump tumble dryer reviews.
What's the difference between a condenser and heat pump dryer?
The key difference is how they generate the heat to dry your clothes.
A condenser tumble dryer uses a heater element to generate heat which then dries the clothing.
Heat pump tumble dryers use lower temperatures to dry your washing.
Do heat pump tumble dryers take longer?
Heat pump tumble dryers more often than not do 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.
Does a heat pump tumble dryer need to be plumbed in?
No, because they work by re-circulating the warm air in the dryer rather than letting it escape, heat pump dryers don't need a hose. Those needing a hose are vented tumble dryers which are generally the cheapest type of tumble dryer to buy.
What are the pros and cons of heat pump tumble dryers?
Pros: Energy costs are half or less compared to other electric dryers.
Cons: They can be expensive to buy, though prices are coming down. Heat pump dryers tend to be slower at getting clothes dry compared to non-heat pump dryers.
Best heat pump tumble dryers
If you’re convinced by the benefits of picking a heat pump dryer, then choose from one of the best we’ve tested. See below for five great heat pump dryers, whether you’re looking for a feature-packed machine to make laundry day a breeze or the cheapest on the market, we have the right heat pump dryer for you.
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Best heat pump tumble dryers
If you’re not put off by the high price, this is a great all-round dryer. The drying results are excellent, it’s quiet, and you might even recoup some of your investment with its A+++ energy label, making it one of the most energy efficient you can buy.
And here are three heat pump tumble dryers to avoid
It’s a pretty safe bet that almost every heat pump tumble dryer will be economical to run, but you can’t guarantee how noisy it will be, how easy it is to use, and, crucially, how well it will dry your clothes. These three heat pump dryers failed to impress in our test lab, so make sure you steer well clear.
Worst heat pump tumble dryers
How much do heat pump tumble dryers cost?
Heat pump tumble dryers may be an economical choice in the long run, but their upfront costs are usually much higher than your standard condenser or vented dryer.
Expect to pay at least £350-£450, although prices are coming down and you could pay a little less. The priciest models with extra features and smart capabilities cost upwards from £700, with a few top of the range dryers costing £1000 or even more.
However, over time you may make back your money. The average yearly running cost is around £34 per year, compared to £77 for the average condenser dryer, and the most economical will cost around £25 per year. Provided you own your tumble dryer for long enough, you could see a return on your initial investment.