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21 December 2020

Which tumble dryer brand to buy in 2021

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.
Matt Stevens

Electrical failures are the number one fault found in tumble dryers. Drying sensors failing to detect the right levels of humidity in the drum and faulty drums make up the rest of the top three most common tumble dryer problems, according to our survey of 3,887 UK tumble dryer owners.

Knowing which tumble dryer brands develop the most faults and how quickly they develop them is critical when you’re in the market for a new machine. To help with this, every year we ask thousands of Which? members to tell us how happy they are with the brands of appliance they own and to share the problems they’ve experienced with them.

Our annual customer experience survey is unique and reveals the faults that are reported for each brand of appliance, the frequency of the faults, their severity and how soon after buying they became a problem.

We’ve got data on the biggest tumble dryer brands, including AEG, Beko, Bosch, Indesit, Hotpoint, Hoover, John Lewis, Samsung, Siemens and Zanussi.

Tumble dryer brands rated

The table below shows this year’s survey results. 

Brands are ranked by their customer score, which relates to whether owners would recommend them and how satisfied they are with them. 

We also show a loyalty score for each brand, which reveals the percentage of owners who stayed loyal to the brand when they needed to buy another dryer. 

And we'll also give you key insights into the projected lifetimes of the dryer brands

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

Brand Customer satisfaction score Customer loyalty score Average test score % fault-free after five years % replaced after ten years Estimated average lifespan
Member content
90% 70% 72% 96% 46% 24 years
Member content
83% 62% 70% 93% 67% 23 years
Member content
80% 33% 76% 95% 68% 19 years
Member content
80% 18% 67% 93% 61% 22 years
Member content
79% 42% 66% 93% 89% 18 years
Member content
78% n/a 71% 95% n/a n/a
Member content
77% 39% 55% 96% 60% 22 years
Member content
76% 17% 69% 92% n/a n/a
Member content
75% n/a 68% 86% n/a n/a
Member content
73% 21% 64% 93% 62% 23 years
Member content
67% 18% 62% 90% 70% 17 years
Member content
67% 9% 57% 85% 56% 19 years
Member content
61% 35% 60% 90% 72% 20 years
Member content
60% 14% n/a 96% 73% 21 years
  • Table notes: The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a survey of 3,887 Which? members who own tumble dryers and the survey was conducted in September 2020. Where n/a is reported there is not enough data. Table last updated 8 December 2020.
  • Customer satisfaction score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend.
  • Customer loyalty score is based on whether members stuck with the same brand when purchasing their current tumble dryer.
  • Average test score is based on results of models tested under the latest test programme and available to buy as of December 2020.
  • Percentage fault-free after five years, percentage replaced after ten years and estimated average lifespan is based on Which? members who told us how long they kept their previous appliance before they replaced it due to a fault.

Best vs worst tumble dryer brands

As the chart below reveals, there big difference between the best and worst tumble dryer brands in terms of their customer score, average test scores and how many are replaced after 10 years. 

How long will my tumble dryer last?

The average tumble dryer will last around 20 years. This is based on the experiences of Which? members who told us how long they kept their previous appliance before they replaced it due to a fault. There’s a noticeable difference between how long the best and the worst brands last. 

Which? members can log-in 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.

Verdict: tumble dryer brands in-depth

We've pulled together our survey data, customer insight and lab test scores to give you an in-depth look at each brand. Read on for our verdict on whether it's a brand worth buying.

Which? members can log in to view our unique lab test scores and customer satisfaction survey results. If you're not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access to the following tumble dryer brand verdicts:

  • AEG tumble dryers verdict
  • Beko tumble dryers verdict
  • Blomberg tumble dryers verdict
  • Bosch tumble dryers verdict
  • Hotpoint tumble dryers verdict
  • Indesit tumble dryers verdict
  • John Lewis tumble dryers verdict
  • Miele tumble dryers verdict
  • Samsung tumble dryers verdict
  • Siemens tumble dryer verdict
  • Zanussi tumble dryers verdict

The three most common tumble dryer faults

Getting into good tumble drying habits will give you a good chance of avoiding some of the most common tumble dryer faults. 

Playing your part in keeping your dryer fit and healthy could also aid in more effectively drying your clothes. Load the drum with the correct weight of clothes, regularly wipe the insides to keep it clean, and separate your laundry by fabric type so that you're not drying quick to dry gym kit with heavy cotton towel.

1. Electrical failure (14%)

The most common tumble dryer fault reported to us in our survey was electrical failure. This can be when the motherboard fries and the machine dies or when for another electrical reason, the machine stops working. For most of us, fixing this will be a job for an engineer. But before making the call, unplug the dryer and check the plug socket with another product. By doing this, you can rule out the problem being with the socket rather than the dryer.

2. Drying sensor problems, clothes not being dried properly (12%)

Humidity sensors inside the drum end programs when they detect that the clothes are dry. But with clothes made of different fabrics and weights drying at different speeds, a mixed load of cottons and synthetics can fool the machine into thinking that everything is dry. 

You can help your dryer to dry more accurately by trying to separating fabric types and by not over-filling it. Splitting cottons from synthetics will give your the most effective results. But in most homes on a busy washday this might not be realistic. So, to help your dryer out, try drying big and heavy items separately, such as towels and blankets. That way, the smaller and lighter items are given a better chance of drying properly.

Also, wipe down the insides of the drum monthly to keep the sensors clean.

3. Drum problems (11%)

More than one in 10 of faults experienced by dryer owners who took part in our survey told us that they'd had a problem with the drum on their tumble dryer. 

One way that we can help to avoid drum problems is to never overfill the machine. By making sure that there's plenty of room inside for the clothes to tumble as they dry, we're helping to protect the drum while also giving our clothes the best chance of drying.

How we calculate the best and worst tumble dryer brands

Every year, we gather a wealth of information about Britain's favourite tumble dryer brands, through our independent testing and a survey of Which? members about the products they own. 

We crunch the numbers from our tumble dryer tests, where we test all the major tumble dryers launched each year, to see how each brand fares on average. 

We also ask members to tell us how likely they would be to recommend a brand, based on the products they own. And we ask them to tell us about the faults that their products have faced, the severity of them and when they happened. We also ask about when they replaced their previous appliances. From these insights, we produce the customer scores for each brand and their estimated lifetimes.

Our survey, combined with our testing data, mean we can give unique insight into which tumble dryer brands are a good bet for your home.

Head to our tumble dryer reviews

Know which tumble dryer brand you want? Use the links to go straight to our reviews and find your ideal model: 

View all Tumble dryers