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Which tumble dryer brand to buy in 2019

By Joel Bates

Exclusive Which? reliability and customer satisfaction data can help you choose a tumble dryer brand that lasts. We survey owners of tumble dryers from the likes of Beko, Bosch, Miele, John Lewis and Samsung to find out which develop the least faults over time, and which brands customers are happiest with and would recommend.

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In this article:

Problems with the sensor are the main reliability issue for tumble dryers, accounting for 17% of all faults. This means clothes can come out still wet, or they’re stiff and over-dried.

Door faults are also common: 10% of reported issues concern broken door locks, hinges, handle or seal – all of which could render your tumble dryer unusable until it's fixed.

Knowing which brands develop the most faults and how quickly is vital when buying a new tumble dryer. That’s why each year we ask more than 2,000 Which? members to tell us whether they're happy, or have experienced problems, with their tumble dryers in our unique reliability and customer satisfaction survey.

Our survey data takes into account the reported fault rates, severity of these faults and the speed with which they occurred. In our latest analysis, we've looked at the performance of the biggest manufacturers – including Beko, Bosch, Miele, John Lewis and Samsung – and have calculated a reliability rating and customer score for each so you know which brands to choose and which to avoid.

Best vs worst tumble dryer brands compared 

We’ve found huge differences between how much owners are satisfied with their tumble dryer.

The most reliable tumble dryer brands 

The table below summarises our latest reliability results. Brands are ranked by their customer score, which relates to whether their customers would recommend that brand. 

The higher the percentage score for reliability, the fewer the problems reported.

In the table below, only logged-in members can view which brands are the most and least reliable, and which ones members are most satisfied with. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

Brand Reliability score Customer satisfaction score
91% 88%
88% 83%
87% 82%
91% 81%
92% 80%
85% 80%
91% 78%
91% 78%
91% 77%
87% 65%
86% 65%
88% 64%
Table notes
The above data is based on a survey conducted on 2,178 Which? members in September 2019.

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Member Content

Common tumble dryer problems 

Most tumble dryers on the market now have a sensor inside the drum, designed to measure the humidity and stop the machine automatically when the clothes are dry. 

However, a faulty sensor is the most common reason for a tumble dryer not working as it should. 

Wiping the sensor bars (found either in the drum or next to the lint filter) clean regularly can help keep them working well, although if they break down irreparably they will need to be replaced.

You might expect cheaper tumble dryer brands to fall down on reliability, but our survey shows this isn’t always the case. 

Three brands with tumble dryers that cost on average (of those we've tested at the time of writing) £300 or less have an astounding reliability score of 91% - just shy of the highest score of 92%. This proves you don’t always need to shell out for a reliable tumble dryer.

Which tumble dryer brand stays fault-free for longest? 

The graph above shows how the brand that stays fault-free for the longest compares with the worst brand and the overall average. Which? members can see how brands compare for faults over an eight-year period in the table below.

If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access. 

Brand name % fault-free after eight years
91%
90%
88%
88%
87%
87%
87%
86%
85%
85%
84%
83%
Table notes
Results based on feedback from 2,178 tumble dryer owners, surveyed in September 2019.

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How long will my tumble dryer last? 

On average a tumble dryer will last just under 11-and-a-half years. That's according to the experience of Which? members who told us how long they kept their previous appliance from a brand, before they replaced it, either due to a fault, or because it wasn’t working as well as when they first bought it. 

As you can see from the graph below there’s a big difference between how long the best and the worst tumble dryer brands last.

Which? members can login to view which tumble dryer brands last the longest before they need to be replaced. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

How we measure faults and reliability in tumble dryers

Our data takes into account minor, major and catastrophic faults:

  • Minor faults do not affect the product's performance significantly, or only occur occasionally with minimal impact. This issue may be irritating or annoying, but isn't frequently problematic and you can easily work around it. For example, a blocked filter that you can easily clean yourself.
  • Major faults have a noticeable effect on the product’s performance. They affect how you use the product and can be problematic. For example, the sensor not working properly, affecting the quality of drying.
  • Catastrophic faults will render the product unusable, with the fault needing to be repaired or parts replaced before it can be used again. For example, the heater breaking, meaning that the machine can no longer get your clothes dry.

Tumble dryer brands rated 

Choose a brand from the list below to find out more about how good it is, including the number of Best Buys it’s received and the average score of its tumble dryers in our reviews.

Only logged in members can view the hidden results in the tables below. If you’re not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access.

AEG tumble dryers overview table
Number tested 6
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 12 November 2019). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in September 2019 of 89 AEG tumble dryer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated November 2019.

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Member Content
  • Find out if AEG tumble dryers are more or less reliable than other brands
  • See how AEG owners rate their tumble dryers
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.
Beko tumble dryers overview table
Number tested 17
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 12 November 2019). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in September 2019 of 252 Beko tumble dryer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated November 2019.

Key

Member Content
  • Find out how likely a Beko tumble dryer is to develop a fault
  • See how Beko tumble dryers perform in our tests and how many earn our coveted Best Buy recommendation
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.
Bosch tumble dryers overview table
Number tested 18
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 12 November 2019). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in September 2019 of 639 Bosch tumble dryer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated November 2019.

Key

Member Content
  • Find out how likely a Bosch tumble dryer is to develop a fault
  • See how Bosch tumble dryers perform in our tests and how many earn our coveted Best Buy recommendation
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.
Hoover tumble dryers overview table
Number tested 14
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 12 November 2019). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in September 2019 of 37 Hoover tumble dryer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated November 2019.

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Member Content
  • Find out how likely a Hoover tumble dryer is to develop a fault
  • See how Hoover owners rate their tumble dryers
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.
Hotpoint tumble dryers overview table
Number tested 19
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 12 November 2019). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in September 2019 of 247 Hotpoint tumble dryer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated November 2019.

Key

Member Content
  • See how Hotpoint owners rate their tumble dryers
  • Find our how reliable Hotpoint tumble dryers are compared to other brands
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.
Indesit tumble dryers overview table
Number tested 5
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 12 November 2019). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in September 2019 of 92 Indesit tumble dryer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated November 2019.

Key

Member Content
  • Find out how likely an Indesit tumble dryer is to develop a fault
  • See how satisfied customers are with their Indesit tumble dryers
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.
John Lewis tumble dryers overview table
Number tested 2
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 12 November 2019). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in September 2019 of 59 John Lewis tumble dryer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated November 2019.

Key

Member Content
  • See how John Lewis compares to other brands
  • Find out which faults are most likely to happen in John Lewis tumble dryers
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.
Miele tumble dryers overview table
Number tested 8
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 12 November 2019). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in September 2019 of 212 Miele tumble dryer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated November 2019.

Key

Member Content
  • Find out how likely a Miele tumble dryer is to develop a fault
  • See if Miele tumble dryers justify their high retail prices
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.
Samsung tumble dryers overview table
Number tested 3
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 12 November 2019). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in September 2019 of 46 Samsung tumble dryer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated November 2019.

Key

Member Content
  • Discover how Samsung dryers compare with rival tumble dryers from brands such as Beko, Bosch and Miele
  • Find out if Samsung tumble dryers are worth buying by seeing results from our expert testing
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.
Siemens tumble dryers overview table
Number tested 2
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 12 November 2019). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in September 2019 of 107 Siemens tumble dryer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated November 2019.

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Member Content
  • See our unique data on how reliable Siemens tumble dryers are, and how likely they are to experience a fault
  • Find out how Siemens customers rate their tumble dryers and whether you should buy one
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.
White Knight tumble dryers overview table
Number tested 11
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 12 November 2019). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in September 2019 of 113 White Knight tumble dryer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated November 2019.

Key

Member Content
  • Find out how likely White Knight tumble dryers are to experience a fault
  • See how White Knight owners really feel about their tumble dryers
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.
Zanussi tumble dryers overview table
Number tested in the past three years 5
Number of Best Buys
Average test score
Brand reliability rating
Customer score (%)
Typical spend
Table notes Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 12 November 2019). The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in September 2019 of 157 Zanussi tumble dryer owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated November 2019.

Key

Member Content
  • See how Zanussi tumble dryers perform in our tests and whether owners are happy with their tumble dryer
  • Exclusive reliability data reveals how likely Zanussi tumble dryers are to break down
  • Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings and verdicts. If you're not yet a member, Join Which? to get instant access.

How we calculate the best and worst brands 

Which? has a wealth of information on the UK’s favourite home appliance brands. Every year, we ask Which? members to tell us about the home appliances they own - from how likely they would be to recommend a brand, to how reliable the products are once you get them home. This year, almost 10,000 members told us about more than 34,000 devices. We calculate a brand's reliability and its customer score based on the results of our annual survey.

Our reliability surveys, combined with our extensive lab tests, mean we can recommend the best tumble dryer you should buy.

This data is crucial for our testing, too. If a brand falls far below the category average, we take away the manufacturer’s Best Buy recommendations and won’t recommend any of its products unless a marked improvement in reliability is shown.

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