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7 April 2021

Top five energy efficient tumble dryers for 2021

Tumble dryers all dry clothes with heat and gentle tumbling. But Which? Energy Saver tumble dryers dry clothes while also keeping energy costs low.
Woman putting top into tumble dryer
Matt Stevens

A cheap tumble dryer may look like a bargain - but with annual running costs varying from as little as £25 to more than £121 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.

Energy Saver logo for Best Buys

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 and from there, click on the Energy Saver tick box.

Top energy-efficient tumble dryers

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. 

All recommendations, scores and prices correct as of April 2021.

Worst energy efficient tumble dryers

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.

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.

Tips to get more from your tumble dryer

Choose a more efficient tumble dryer

Doing so is a sure way to keep your bills down.Fill your tumble dryerMake sure you fill your tumble dryer to its maximum capacity every time you use it.

Clean the lint filter

Do this every time you use the machine. A blocked filter prevents the hot air from circulating freely, meaning clothes take longer to dry. On some models you'll need to clean the second filter. This is essential on some heat-pump models.

Clean the heat exchange

Get more from your condenser dryer by cleaning the heat exchange. The manufacturer will advise on how often this needs to be done.

Fasten the stoppers of your duvet covers

This will stop smaller items of laundry getting trapped inside and remaining wet.

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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