With so many new tumble dryers on the market, picking the right one can be a daunting prospect. Our guide answers the key questions you need to ask when deciding which dryer to buy.
Tumble dryers used to be energy guzzlers, but the latest designs have new features that make them far more efficient. Sensor drying, for example, prevents the machine from over-drying clothes, which wastes energy and money.
Features to look out for
- Energy rating - dryers are rated from A to G, with A being the most efficient
- Reverse drying action - untangles clothes and reduces creases by spinning the drum in both directions
- Cupboard dry - a programme that dries clothes so they are extra dry for immediate wear
- Fluff filter indicator - alerts you when it's time to empty the fluff filter, to keep the dryer working well
- Delayed start option - lets you set it to start when you like, to make use of cheaper electricity at night
- Iron dry - a programme that leaves clothes slightly damp for easy ironing
- Sensor drying - the cycle automatically stops when your clothes are dry
- Cool tumble - a cooler setting for delicate clothing and fabrics
Condenser or vented models?
At the lower end of the price scale, vented dryers work by expelling damp air through a flexible hose that runs from the back of the machine through a window or vent. This works well if you plan to place your dryer next to an outside wall. If not, you can spend a bit more on a condenser dryer that collects water in a drawer for you to empty. This allows you to place the appliance anywhere near an electric socket.
Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB), but manufacturers are not obliged to display this information (as they are with extractors, for example). The average is around 70dB, which is fine if the dryer is going to be in a utility room or garage, but for a kitchen installation, look for lower noise levels such as 68dB. Ask your supplier if you're not sure.
Where to buy
Search for tumble dryers at www.foundem.co.uk - you can search by manufacturer, load capacity, finish and features. If you want to compare the prices of different models, log on to price-comparison websites such as www.kelkoo.co.uk or www.pricerunner.co.uk - they have a list of the latest deals as well as user reviews. Before you go shopping for any appliance, make sure you've measured the space it has to fit into and ensure that the dimensions of your chosen model are right for your space to avoid expensive mistakes.
Find your local suppliers at the Housetohome Directory.