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Top five energy efficient tumble dryers for 2020

By Tom Morgan

Tumble dryers all dry clothes with heat and gentle tumbling. But Which? Energy Saver tumble dryers dry clothes while also keeping energy costs low.

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In this article:

A cheap tumble dryer may look like a bargain - but with annual running costs varying from as little as £23 to more than £140 a year, that 'great deal' could turn into an energy bill nightmare. Avoid a dryer that bumps up your bills by seeing our table of Best Buy energy-saving tumble dryers.

Which? tests dozens of tumble dryers every year, assessing each model on criteria including how quickly it dries your clothes and how easy it is to use. Each model gets a rating for overall energy efficiency, and we also estimate the annual running costs to calculate how much it will add to your energy bills each year - vital information that you won’t find in the shops.

Only the tumble dryers that dry items evenly and quickly become Which? Best Buys - you can find out which these are by checking out our best tumble dryer reviews page.

Top energy-efficient tumble dryers 

We award our Energy Saver logo (below) to Best Buy tumble dryers that receive a five star rating for energy efficiency in our expert tests. See which tested models meet our high standards by clicking through to our tumble dryer reviews. From there, click on the Energy Saver tick box.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

Most energy-efficient tumble dryers

76%
£999.00
Reviewed

As well as being a high-scoring Best Buy, this tumble dryer is one of most energy efficient we've tested. It's kind to your clothes, leaving items perfectly dry across the load, and it's among the best we've seen for preventing condensation.

76%
£1,019.00
Reviewed

We couldn't find anything to complain about this fantastic heat pump tumble dryer. It's easy to use, will give you well-dried clothes, and has very low energy use. It also has speedy running times, which is rare for dryers of this type.

74%
£1,399.00
Reviewed

It may be at the top of the price scale, but this Best Buy dryer has got it all. It has a large capacity for drying large laundry loads, it's great at drying and very energy-efficient, and it can also be controlled using your smartphone.

73%
£849.00
Reviewed

This Best Buy is a jaw-droppingly efficient heat pump dryer that dries clothes well and has a superb condenser. It's quite noisy, but don't let that put you off. It has some of the lowest energy costs we've ever recorded in our tumble dryer tests.

72%
£494.99
Reviewed

You usually have to shell out up to £1,000 for an A+++ rated tumble dryer, but this model offers low ongoing running costs without the extortionate upfront price. It's also great at drying, easy to use and doesn't leave your clothes too creased.

And here are three tumble dryers to avoid 

Without reading our expert reviews, you run the risk of buying a tumble dryer that's let down by a poor energy efficiency rating. Buying a Which? Don't Buy could see you spending more on your annual energy bills than you'd like. Below, we've rounded up some Don't Buy condenser tumble dryers to steer clear of.

Worst tumble dryers for energy efficiency

66%
£229.00
Reviewed

You might be tempted to buy this Best Buy tumble dryer, but if ongoing energy costs are your main concern then you should steer well clear. Its large 10kg drum can fit a lot of clothes inside, but it will cost you over four times more to run than other dryers we've tested.

48%
£229.99
Reviewed

You'll get nicely dried clothes and quick programs with this condenser tumble dryer, but that's not a good enough reason to buy it. Its condenser is next to useless, so you could end up with condensation and damp in your home, plus it's really expensive to run.

46%
£299.00
Reviewed

Decent drying isn't enough to redeem this incredibly noisy and expensive-to-run machine. It has a large capacity and won't crease your clothes too badly, but there's no escaping it's huge running costs of over £120 per year.

Heat pump vs gas tumble dryers: what's the difference? 

Tumble dryers are given EU energy labels - these range from A+++ for the most energy efficient, to G for the least. The average rating, C-class, may sound fine - but an A-rated dryer would cost you roughly half as much to run. Some tumble dryers have special features to help you save energy. Look out for sensor drying; models with this feature automatically detect how wet your laundry is and stop when it’s dry.

Heat pump tumble dryers

Condenser tumble dryers with heat pump technology can lead to big savings on your energy bills. They are currently the most expensive tumble dryer type to buy, with the average price at £647, but tumble dryers with heat pumps can cost less than half to run than other types.

Check out our heat pump tumble dryers guide to see which Energy Saver heat pump dryers are the best.

Gas tumble dryers

Gas is a cheaper fuel than electricity, making gas-powered tumble dryers a good energy-saving alternative to most electric tumble dryers, particularly when they're vented. However, gas dryers are expensive to buy and need to be installed by qualified Gas Safe engineers, which can also be costly. Gas dryers also need to be placed somewhere near a vent or a window, so the hose can vent humid air outside.

Find out more about gas tumble dryers by reading our gas tumble dryers guide.

Getting more from your tumble dryer: top tips 

For more tips and advice on keeping your tumble dryer in top working condition, read our guide on tumble dryer tips and maintenance.

How much do tumble dryers cost to run? 

Go to the tech specs tab on our tumble dryer reviews to see how much each machine costs to run per year. Our energy calculations are based on each tumble dryer being used three times a week to wash a 70% full load of cottons.

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