Vented tumble dryers
By Matt Stevens
Is a vented dryer right for you? See how much they cost, how they’re installed plus our pick of the best you can buy.
Vented tumble dryers are the cheapest type of tumble dryer, but you should find out if they’re suitable for your home before you rush out to buy one.
We answer everything you need to know about vented tumble dryers, including:
- What is a vented tumble dryer?
- How to install a vented dryer and tumble dryer vent kits
- The best vented tumble dryers
- How much do vented tumble dryers cost?
- Who makes integrated vented tumble dryers?
- Who makes black or silver vented tumble dryers?
- What's the difference between a condenser and vented tumble dryer?
See all our vented tumble dryer reviews to see which do the best job of getting your clothes dry.
You can identify a vented tumble dryer by its hose. It uses this to vent away the damp air created in the drying process.
Vented tumble dryers are usually the cheapest type of dryer you can buy, but they can be inconvenient to install. They need to be either placed by a window (so you can vent the hose through it) or on an exterior wall (so you can drill a hole to vent outside).
If the thought of drilling a hole through the wall fills you with dread, then it’s best to have your vented dryer professionally installed. Check with your retailer to see if they offer the service or call in a handyman.
For those more at home with DIY, it’s possible to install your vented dryer yourself with a tumble dryer vent kit.
- Firstly, choose a good spot for your tumble dryer. If you’re happy to vent out of the window then place it close to one, otherwise you’ll need a spot along an external wall.
- Then you'll need to trace a circle on your wall the same size as the hose.
- Make small holes in this area with a drill and then join them up.
- Mount your vent grille over the holes, screw the plate on the wall and push the vent tube through the hole.
- Connect the end of the hose to your dryer. Make sure that your vent is as short as possible, as any kinks in the hose can stop your dryer from working properly.
Just looking for the best? See our three favourite vented tumble dryers below.
Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by joining Which?.
Best vented dryers
This dryer has been knocking around for a few years now, but we're yet to find another vented dryer that beats it. It dries clothes perfectly and in good time, and it has excellent sensors that will shave off running times by ending programs early when they detect your clothes are ready to be taken out.
This is one of the cheapest dryers you can buy, and with the clothes drying you get from it you can be sure you're getting bang for your buck. It's not particularly efficient when it comes to energy usage, but it gets the job done quickly and to a very high standard.
Vented dryers tend to be the cheapest kind of tumble dryer you can buy. On average, they cost considerably less than condenser tumble dryers or heat pump dryers. You can pick one up from £130, though the average price is around £220.
You can pay more, though - the most expensive vented dryer we've tested costs £630. At this end of the price bracket you can expect humidity sensors that automatically calculate program times, digital displays that count down until your laundry’s ready and a light in the drum to help you unload. However, if you have this money to spend you may prefer a heat pump tumble dryer, as these are much cheaper to run than a typical vented dryer.
Not keen to pay more? See our Best Buy tumble dryers for excellent vented dryers from just £160.
If you don’t have a utility room to hide your appliances away, an integrated tumble dryer that sits behind your kitchen counters could be the answer to a streamlined kitchen.
You might expect to pay more for this aesthetic, but cheaper brands like Hoover, Montpellier, Baumatic and White Knight all have an integrated tumble dryer in their line-up.
The models we've tested start from around £220. Head to our integrated tumble dryers advice guide to see if they're the best option for your home.
Black and silver vented tumble dryers are rare. There's more colour choice if you go for a condenser tumble dryer.
If you can find one, a colourful vented dryer costs less than you might think. We’ve tested models from White Knight for less than £200.
Vented tumble dryers
- Dispose of damp air via a hose that needs to be vented through an open window or hole in an external wall.
- Are trickier to install, especially if you need to drill through a wall.
- Tend to be the cheapest kind of dryer you can buy.
- Have fairly high running costs of around £80 a year on average.
Condenser tumble dryers
- Collect moisture in a tank inside the machine. This needs emptying regularly, or you can plumb your dryer in to avoid this.
- Are easier to install (though you'll need to make sure they're placed somewhere well ventilated with an ambient temperature).
- Tend to be a little pricier than vented tumble dryers.
- Have a variety of running costs machine to machine, costing from £60 to as much as £140 a year. Look for a heat pump dryer if you would prefer to buy a machine that's more economical to run.