Tumble dryers are essential in the UK, as our unpredictable weather can make it nigh-on impossible to judge when you can hang clothes outside.
Just like washing machines , they aren't the most exciting purchases but they're worth their weight in gold – and can be quite pricey, too.
Even taking budgetary concerns out of the equation, there's still a wealth of brands to choose from, and features that sound useful but might not ever form part of your drying routine.
On top of that, you could lose half a day looking through Currys , John Lewis or flicking through user reviews on Amazon or AO.com .
We've cut through the noise to round up some of the finest tumble dryers around, including efforts from Zanussi, Hotpoint and more. We've also rounded up some of the best tumble dryers that cost less than £300 – perfect for first-time movers that need something for less.
What are the types of tumble dryer?
There are three types of tumble dryer – condenser, vented, and heat pump. Condenser dryers are more common as they are much easier to install. They heat clothing until the moisture in it evaporates, which is then put in a removable container.
Vented machines are cheaper, and dry clothes in the same way except the moisture is pumped out via a hole in the wall which carries it straight outside. As you can imagine, that means it requires a bit more forward-planning to install.
Heat pump machines are more expensive, but they re-circulate the warm air which saves money and energy.
How efficient are they?
Not long ago, tumble dryers were considered a sizable resource drain, but nowadays they are much more conservative with energy.
This is because the majority of today's models use sensors to measure the decreasing amount of water in the drum and can switch themselves off.
Anything else I should know?
Yes! Tumble dryers are fitted with lint filters, which collect little bits of fabric and the like after a dry cycle. Whatever happens, be sure to clear these out regularly to prevent any heat build-up.
In the past, tumble dryers have had some issues with managing heat – leading to fires in extreme cases. Because of this, it's important to check online in case a product has been recalled – be sure to keep an eye on manufacturer websites for that information.
Best Tumble Dryers for less than £300
White Knight 372 Tumble Dryer
Perfect for the aforementioned first-time movers, this White Knight is a tidy little machine that has wheels – ideal for moving it until you find a home for it!
The 3kg drum isn't the largest, but for the price, it'll dry your clothes with one of two drying programmes.
Price: £149.99, Amazon – Buy here now
Hotpoint TVHM80CP Freestanding Vented Tumble Dryer
Looking for a vented tumble dryer at under £200? This Hotpoint model will do nicely and comes from a very reputable brand.
It has a feature called "Tangle Free" that ensures clothes are separated, and it dries clothes in 120 minutes.
Price: £188.99, John Lewis – Buy here now
Beko DCR93161W Condenser Tumble Dryer
Busy household? This dryer has a hefty 9kg drum, meaning you can stock it up to your heart's content. It's got a handy internal light, anti-crease functionality, and an LCD display.
Our favourite feature is the way it cools laundry before the door opens, so you won't burn your fingertips reaching in to grab your clothes.
Price: £269.00, John Lewis – Buy here now
Best Tumble Dryers for 2020
1) Zanussi ZDC8203WZ Condenser Tumble Dryer
This Zanussi tumble dryer can dry your clothes in just 90 minutes, and with an 8kg drum size, it could be perfect for hectic family life.
Add to that the ability to delay the start of your cycle, and you can set it to go live later in the day – once you've done a last-minute hamper run.
Price: £389.00, John Lewis – Buy here now
2) Samsung DV90M50003X/EU Heat Pump Tumble Dryer
Brands don't get a lot bigger than Samsung, and this unit is smart as they come. You can quickly dry small loads in just 35 minutes, sensors automatically adjust the drying time to prevent damaging clothing, and you can even diagnose issues with a companion app.
Add to that a 9kg drum and a heat pump system as we discussed earlier, and you've got the complete package.
Price: £679.00, Currys – Buy here now
3) Bosch Serie 4 WTA79200GB Vented Tumble Dryer
Another tumble dryer with sensor tech that works out the perfect drying time, and the ability to delay the start of a cycle, this Bosch also has a "Gentle" setting for woollen items.
It has a 7kg drum and easy access via a larger porthole – so you won't be wrestling for your clothes back.
Price: £369.00, AO.com – Buy here now
4) AEG T65170AV Vented Tumble Dryer
AEG's entry on this list has SensiDry technology that pulls moisture out of clothes at half of the temperature of other models to prevent clothing damage and can stop the cycle early if your clothes dry more quickly than anticipated.
Add to that a touch screen and you've got a great device that looks good, too.
Price: £599.00, John Lewis – Buy here now
5) Siemens WT45N201GB Condenser Tumble Dryer
With a child lock, 8kg load size, plenty of settings and "Softdry" technology to ensure all clothing is well-protected mid-cycle, this Siemens model is ideal for family life.
The quick-dry Rapid 40 cycle is icing on the cake – allowing you to sneak in one quick cycle for an item you may have missed
Price: £534.00, John Lewis – Buy here now
Best Tumble Dryers from CES
Just as they've been pushing the envelope with their washing machines and fridge-freezers , LG is bringing their smart-tech to dryers – as shown by their appearance at CES (Consumer Electronics Show).
LG claims the new ThinQ dryer provides the "best wash with the most advanced fabric care", and it does this by detecting the type of fabric you've loaded into it.
The company says this will result in 15% less fabric damage – and the machine will correct itself if you've selected the wrong programme.
- John Lewis
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