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Home & garden.

19 November 2021

Best vented tumble dryers and buying advice

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.
MS
Matt Stevens
Cleaning lint filter   used 373920

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:

See all our vented tumble dryer reviews to see which do the best job of getting your clothes dry.

Best vented tumble dryers

See our top picks of vented tumble dryers below. All prices, scores and star ratings correct as of November 2021.

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?.

  • 58%
    £229.00

    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.

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  • 56%
    £190.00

    This vented dryer is good at getting your clothes dry, but it falls down in several other areas, including how noisy its programs are and how much it costs to run. Make sure to avoid it if you're trying to reduce your monthly energy bills.

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  • 53%
    £315.99

    It's not a hi-tech dryer, but that doesn't matter because it dries quickly and effectively and it's easy to use. It is a bit noisy, though.

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How much do vented tumble dryers cost?

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. 

Tumble dryer type and price

Based on all models we have reviews for as of January 2020.

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 tumble dryers or compare our full list of tumble dryer reviews for excellent vented dryers from just £160. You can use our running costs tool to work out how much a particular brand of tumble dryer will cost to run over its lifetime.

What is a vented tumble dryer?

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).

Tumble dryer vent kit and how to install

Tumble dryer vent kit

 

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.

Who makes integrated vented tumble dryers?

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.

Who makes black or silver vented tumble dryers?

Vented tumble dryer

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.

Condenser or vented tumble dryer? What's the difference?

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.