If you’re looking to buy a tumble dryer but want to keep your electricity bills as low as possible, a heat pump dryer could be a good choice. Heat pump tumble dryers are still relatively new—heat pump technology was first used in Switzerland and Germany around 15 years ago.
Heat pump dryers remove the moisture from clothes by heating the air in the drum, and then the air is passed through an evaporator to remove the moisture. The resulting condensation is stored in a collection tank, and the warm, dry air is then reused to continue drying clothes.
Heat pump tumble dryers are much cheaper to run (around 50% cheaper than vented or condenser dryers) and are better for the environment due to using less energy, but until recently these appliances were expensive to buy.
Manufacturers are now starting to produce cheaper heat pump tumble dryers, but which are the best ones to buy based on both price and drying performance?
Best Heat Pump Tumble Dryers in the UK
1. Miele TWB140 WP 7 kg Heat Pump Tumble Dryer
Load capacity: 7kg
Dimensions: 94 x 66 x 69 cm
Energy rating: A++
This 7 kg heat pump tumble dryer from Miele is designed from the ground up to be cheap to run without compromising on good performance.
The Miele TWB140 heat pump tumble dryer has 12 programs for you to choose from, including dedicated anti-crease and gentle programs.
For those Sunday night school uniform emergencies, you can easily dry a small load of clothing in about an hour and a half.
If you like an extra boost of freshness, the FragranceDos function infuses laundry with a pleasant scent. However, this does require dedicated capsules that are sold separately.
If you find a stray sock, the AddLoad feature lets you pause the cycle part way through.
Whilst this heat pump tumble dryer might not have the most modern, sleek appearance, its 7 kg capacity and great energy rating is still more than enough for most medium sized households. The two-year standard warranty is great for added peace of mind too.
2. Electra THP7112W 7Kg Heat Pump Tumble Dryer
Load capacity: 7 kg
Dimensions: 84.5 x 59.6 x 60.9 cm
Energy rating: A++
Electra’s heat pump tumble dryer offers the combination of a capacity great enough for most households with features that protect your laundry and the added bonus of energy efficiency.
This freestanding heat pump tumble dryer has fifteen distinct drying programs to help you dry just about anything without risking damaging your laundry; even a dedicated synthetics program. If you hate ironing, the anti-crease cycle will be your new best friend.
The cycle lengths might be fairly long, but it will stop early if the sensors detect that the laundry is dry midway through the cycle.
Electra might not be the most well-known brand on this list, but users do find that the performance is great and the efficiency will save money in the long run. The price point is even low compared with many other heat pump tumble dryers.
3. Samsung Series 5+ OptimalDry™ DV80T5220AN Heat Pump Tumble Dryer
Load capacity: 8 kg
Dimensions: 85 x 60 x 65 cm
Energy rating: A+++
Samsung is renowned for packing new, smart features into their household appliances, and their heat pump Series 5+ tumble dryer is no different.
With a smartphone, tablet or smart watch and the Samsung SmartThings app, this tumble dryer can be controlled from just about anywhere.
At 8 kg, the capacity is more than enough for medium-sized households, and the sensors will automatically adjust all of the settings to avoid using unnecessary electricity.
The dryer has a sleek and modern graphite design that we’ve all come to expect from Samsung. At 63 dB, this tumble dryer is pretty quiet too.
However, some people do find that it can be difficult to make the most out of this tumble dryer if you aren’t tech savvy.
4. Bosch Serie 6 WTWH7660GB Wifi Connected 9Kg Heat Pump Tumble Dryer
Load capacity: 9 kg
Dimensions: 84.2 x 59.7 x 65.2 cm
Energy rating: A++
Bosch is a well-known brand that has been trusted by households for years. With a 9 kg capacity, this particular Bosch heat pump dryer is ideal for medium-to-large households with ease, thanks to features such as the Mixed Dry function.
Bosch’s Home Connect app enables you to control the appliance from your phone, making it incredibly easy to manage its progress on the go.
This tumble dryer might take longer to dry your laundry than some other models, however this is a by-product of the dryer’s efficiency.
The modern, sleek appearance of this heat pump tumble dryer will look right at home in your kitchen or laundry room. This dryer might not be one of the cheapest, but the five-year warranty and the Bosch name give peace of mind.
5. Candy Smart CSEH8A2LE 8Kg Heat Pump Tumble Dryer
Load capacity: 8 kg
Dimensions: 85 x 60 x 60 cm
Energy rating: A++
Candy’s heat pump tumble dryer is an affordable alternative to some of the more expensive smart tumble dryers.
Like most modern heat pump tumble dryers, this Candy model uses sensors to determine when the laundry is dry, saving you money on your utility bills.
This heat pump tumble dryer proves to be incredibly easy to use, with both the lint filter and the condenser being easy to empty.
The Candy heat pump dryer is fairly quiet, though some people do find that it can take quite a long time to dry their laundry thoroughly.
Some users do also find that the smart connectivity is limited when compared to alternative appliances.
About Heat Pump Tumble Dryers
What is a heat pump tumble dryer?
A heat pump tumble dryer is a relatively new piece of technology that it is a lot cheaper and more energy efficient to use compared to a standard condenser dryer.
Heat pump dryers reuse the air that’s already circulating in the dryer. The air passes through the drum and evaporates the moisture from your washing making sure it’s thoroughly dry. As this hot air is reused within the machine this means that energy isn’t wasted through the drying process.
What are the advantages of a heat pump tumble dryer?
The first advantage of choosing a heat pump tumble dryer is the energy saved. With a heat pump dryer customers can save at least half of the energy consumed by an electric dryer, which is good for the environment and also keeps your electricity bill down.
Heat pump technology also makes drying your clothes quicker, which is ideal for large households that need to dry a large load quickly. Another added bonus is that heat pump tumble dryers are usually a lot quieter than standard condenser dryers.
Investing in a heat pump tumble dryer is a great choice for your electricity bill, as heat pump technology means that the customer can save about half the energy cost.
This innovative technology is in every way a step in the right direction for tumble dryers as it also benefits the environment as a result of the machines’ system of reusing air to evaporate moisture from the load. However, heat pump tumble dryers are more expensive than other dryers, so there’s a bigger up-front cost.
Is it worth getting a heat pump tumble dryer?
Heat pump tumble dryers are a relatively new appliance. They are similar to a condenser dryer, except the hot air that passes through the condenser box is recycled to help the clothing dry in a more efficient manner.
One of the most notable benefits of running a heat pump tumble dryer is that they cost considerably less to run than some alternatives do. This is because it costs considerably less to heat warm air back up to temperature than it does to heat cold air.
This method of drying is so efficient that some dryer models claim to offer energy savings of as much as 50% when compared to some vented tumble dryers.
It is also worth noting that heat pump tumble dryers operate at a lower temperature than some alternatives. This means that laundry is protected during the drying process, helping your clothes to last longer. However, this can also lead to longer drying times.
However, these benefits do come at an increased upfront cost. There are affordable options available today as the average cost of a heat pump tumble dryer is coming down, but they are still more expensive than many other types of tumble dryer.
What’s the difference between a heat pump dryer and a condenser dryer?
Heat pump tumble dryers and condenser dryers are both popular choices in households where using a hose out of a window or through a vent in the wall isn’t an option. Whilst there are similarities between the two types of tumble dryer, there are differences too.
When it comes to similarities, the crucial one is that both types of tumble dryer use a condenser unit. In a traditional condenser dryer, the damp air is passed through a condenser unit where the water is collected. The hot air is then passed back out of the machine.
In a heat pump tumble dryer, however, the same hot air that passes through the condenser unit is recycled. This air is passed back into the tumble dryer where it helps dry clothing again.
The cost differences between heat pump and condenser tumble dryers affects both the upfront cost and the running cost. In terms of upfront cost, heat pump tumble dryers are typically more expensive.
When it comes to running costs, the energy efficiency means that you can save money on your electricity bill with a heat pump tumble dryer.
Another key difference between the two types of tumble dryer is the drying temperature. Heat pump tumble dryers operate at a lower temperature than condenser dryers do.
This does mean that laundry can dry quicker in a condenser dryer, but it does carry a greater risk of shrinking or damaging your clothing.
A heat pump dryer, on the other hand, runs at a much lower drying temperature. This type of tumble dryer makes use of a heat pump and coolant, which means your laundry does not come into contact with high temperatures. This means there is a lower chance of your clothing getting damaged or shrinking during the average drying cycle.
The difference in technology and operating temperature means that a heat pump tumble dryer does take longer to dry laundry than a condenser dryer does.
On average, a condenser dryer will take just over two hours to dry 8 kg of laundry. A heat pump dryer, on the other hand, will take closer to three hours to dry the same laundry.
Do heat pump tumble dryers need to be plumbed in?
Typically, heat pump tumble dryers do not need plumbing in. Like with a condenser dryer, the water is collected in a tank which can be regularly emptied in a sink. This means that a heat pump tumble dryer can be used almost anywhere in your home.
If, however, you would rather not need to worry about emptying a water tank regularly, it is possible to plumb in a heat pump tumble dryer. This will drain the water away without you needing to worry about it.
If we had to pick one product to recommend, it would be the Miele TWB140 WP heat pump tumble dryer. This tumble dryer offers good energy efficiency along with a variety of cycles that will make drying just about any fabric easier.
With the FragranceDos system, this dryer can make your laundry smell fresher and the AddLoad function saves those odd socks too.
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