The best tumble dryer 2020

Picking on of the best tumble dryers means you can free your home from dripping clothes, condensation and overloaded radiators in 2020

best tumble dryer next to a washing machine in a laundry room

Hoping to find the best tumble dryer so that 2020 can be damp-free with not a clothes airer in sight? Not owning one of these large appliances can be hard, especially if you have limited space to hang clothes and bedsheets to dry, or your turnover of washing needs to be fast. Not to worry: this handy guide to the best tumble dryers shows five of the best models to buy for 2020.

Once you've browsed our pick of the best tumble dryers, see our advice on how to buy the best tumble dryer at the bottom of the page, or jump right there for more specific buying advice. We've covered everything, from energy efficiency and ensuring you choose a tumble dryer with the right load size to the difference between condensing and venting options. 

Finally, if you are kitting out a new home or upgrading your laundry, you might want to see our best washing machines, too.

What is the best tumble dryer?

When it comes to the best tumble dryer, our top recommendation comes in the form of the Bosch WTW87560GB Heat Pump Condenser Tumble Dryer, which offers everything you could need in a tumble dryer for a very affordable price.

A handy heat pump means this model is far more economical than many of its competitors, as proven by its A++ energy rating. On top of this, it's self-cleaning and has a large load capacity, which is perfect for larger households.

Not sure whether you're looking for a stand alone tumble dryer, or an all-in-one washer dryer? A standalone tumble dryer is always best if you have the space as they tend to have a larger capacity for drying (and tend to do it faster and more efficiently). However, a combi or washer-dryer is definitely better than no dryer at all and is the only choice if you don't have room for both. Browse the following guides before making a final decision:

These are the rest of our top picks, below. Keep scrolling for the full reviews.

  • Best heat pump tumble dryer: Bosch WTW87560GB Heat Pump Condenser Tumble Dryer
  • Best smart tumble dryer: Samsung DV90M8204AW
  • Best condenser tumble dryer: Miele TDA 140C 7kg Load Condenser Dryer
  • Best small tumble dryer: Hotpoint Aquarius TVFS73BGP Vented Tumble Dryer
  • Best value tumble dryer for busy homes: Zanussi ZDC8203W Condenser Tumble Dryer

The best tumble dryers you can buy right now

Best heat pump tumble dryer: Bosch WTW87560GB Heat Pump Condenser Tumble Dryer

1. Bosch WTW87560GB Heat Pump Condenser Tumble Dryer

Best heat pump tumble dryer: get the best of both worlds with this heat pump condenser model

Best for: Large volume
Dimensions: H84.2 x W59.7 x D67cm
Energy rating: A++
Load capacity: 9kg
Reasons to buy
+ Large load capacity + Self-cleaning condenser system 
Reasons to avoid
- Instruction manual reportedly not the best 

If you’re undecided as to which type of dryer is right for you, this Bosch WTW87560GB heat pump condenser tumble dryer looks to be an ideal middle ground, so long as there’s room in the budget. 

Heat pump and condenser
Its heat pump makes it far more economical than a conventional condenser dryer, as attested to by its A++ energy rating, but it may also be economical in terms of saving you time, as its condenser system is self-cleaning, automatically rinsing away fluff for a very clean and efficient machine. 

Great for a big household
But it really earns our top spot with its large load capacity, up to 9kg, a great insurance policy for particularly heavy laundry days or bigger households. 

Value for money
In our opinion, this is the very best tumble dryer you can buy. The price tag may be a little higher, but as this model has heat pump and condensing functionality it is a good longterm investment as it can be placed anywhere. So no need to worry if you move to a home where it won't have access to an external wall to be vented.

Best smart tumble dryer: Samsung DV90M8204AW

2. Samsung DV90M8204AW

Best smart tumble dryer: a smarty-pants offering from Samsung that works even when you’re not there

Best for: Smart homes
Dimensions: (H)85.0 x (W)59.5 x (D)58.0
Energy rating: A+++
Load capacity: 9kg
Reasons to buy
+ Control washes through the app + Incredibly efficient 
Reasons to avoid
- Most expensive on our list 

This machine will save you both time and energy which is why we rate the Samsung DV90M8204AW tumble dryer. You certainly get your money's worth if you live in a household that does a lot of washing.

With an impressive A+++ energy rating, and heat pump technology to constantly recycle air inside the drum, this Samsung model is the most efficient tumble dryer on our list. However this tech comes at a cost. If you can afford the initial outlay though, it’ll save you lots of pennies and energy in the long run, thanks to that clever wasteless system. 

Smart capabilities
Perhaps its biggest value, and the one that sets it apart from our Bosch pick, lies in its talents as a 'smart' appliance. Using the Samsung Smart Washer app from an Android or Apple device, you can choose the drying programme and check on your wash’s progress even if you’re not home. Sound good? Check out our guide to smart washing machines too.

Best condenser tumble dryer: Miele TDA 140C 7kg Load Condenser Dryer

3. Miele TDA 140C 7kg Load Condenser Dryer

Best condenser tumble dryer: quick-drying and sweet-smelling

Best for: Condenser type
Dimensions: H85, W59.5, D58cm
Energy rating: B
Load capacity: 7kg
Reasons to buy
+ Protective honeycomb drum design + FragranceDos for amazing smelling laundry 
Reasons to avoid
- Can’t see through door 

At first glance, some may not be a fan of the vaguely old fashioned design with its opaque door that means you can’t keep an eye on your load as it dries, but this Miele TDA 140C dryer proves it’s what’s on the inside that counts. 

Quick drying
Reviewers loved how quickly it dried loads with which previous dryers had struggled. We particularly like the sound of the honeycomb drum, which is designed to form a film of air around the fabric to protect and extend the life of your clothes.

Scent boost
By far the most glamorous feature is FragranceDos, whereby you can add one of Miele’s five specially formulated scents to the load for great-smelling laundry.

Simple but effective
Users found it simple to operate despite ample settings to meet most drying needs, helping to make it our top pick of the best tumble dryers if you're after a condenser.

Best small tumble dryer: Hotpoint Aquarius TVFS73BGP Vented Tumble Dryer

4. Hotpoint Aquarius TVFS73BGP Vented Tumble Dryer

Best small tumble dryer: a smaller vented model that goes big on function

Best for: Vented type
Dimensions: H85 x W59.5 x D55 cm
Energy rating: B
Load capacity: 7kg
Reasons to buy
+ Excellent value + Quiet to run 
Reasons to avoid
- Requires an air vent 

If your household is small and your dryer use not too frequent, the Hotpoint Aquarius TVFS73BGP is the best tumble dryer for you. 

Big impact on small loads
As a vented model, it’s not as efficient as a heat pump or even a condenser tumble dryer, but if you tend to dry smaller loads, or only dry less high-maintenance items like bedding or towels, it shouldn’t make too much of a dent.

Some reviewers found the pre-programmed modes took a little getting used to, but you can set your own temperatures for a custom wash. Overall though, they found it simple to use and, crucially, very quiet. 

Value for small homes
Its high praise and small price make it our best pick for first-time buyers, or anyone who’d like a great value dryer for occasional use. 

Shop the full range of tumble dryers available from Argos

Best value tumble dryer for busy homes: Zanussi ZDC8203W Condenser Tumble Dryer

5. Zanussi ZDC8203W Condenser Tumble Dryer

Best value tumble dryer for busy homes: a family-friendly condenser with room for large loads

Best for: Value
Dimensions: H85 X W60 X D60cm
Energy rating: B
Load capacity: 8kg
Reasons to buy
+ Generous capacity + Easy to use and clean 
Reasons to avoid
- Some found the range of options too much 

Combining a reasonable price with a decent energy rating and a decidedly above-decent load capacity, this Zanussi ZDC8203W model is our best tumble dryer for value. 

Running costs
At a slightly higher price point than the Hotpoint Aquarius, it may not be the natural first choice if it’s your first time buying white goods and you have a rigid budget, but as a condenser model, it will end up saving more money in the long run.

Great for busy homes
This machine is more suitable for bigger households thanks to its ability to dry up to 8kg of laundry in one go. 

And, as its reviewers commented positively on the ease of use and cleaning, as well as its extra dry mode to eliminate guesswork, it seems it might save busy families those extra few minutes, too. 

Browse more tumble dryers available from Appliances Direct

How to buy the best tumble dryer

Before you buy, you’ll need to know a little of the lingo, and that includes what type of tumble dryer you should buy for your particular needs.

Energy efficiency
It used to be that tumble dryers were hugely frowned upon for being outrageous energy guzzlers but things have improved greatly and the latest designs are energy efficient and super effective. 

Vented vs condensing
First, there are vented dryers, which take damp air from the drum and pump it out of the machine, and can either attach to a wall vent or be used in a room with the window open. These are usually on the cheaper end of the scale. Then, there are condenser tumble dryers, which remove the water vapour from the drum and deposit it as liquid into a separate tank, meaning they can be installed anywhere, but will usually cost more in the first instance. 

Finally, there are heat pump dryers, which recycle and reuse the warm air to dry clothes, and while they’ll cost more again to buy, they can cut down immensely on running costs. Vented models are pretty outdated now, so most dryers on the market are condensers, with a drawer that collects the water and simply needs to be emptied when it’s full. This is great, as it means you can site the dryer anywhere there’s a plug, without having to hang a ducting hose out the window.

For lower energy consumption, a condenser with heat pump technology passes hot, humid air through a heat pump and re-uses it, resulting in 50 per cent less energy use. 

Check out the capacity and make sure it has at least the same kg drum as your washing machine. The larger the drum, the better the air flow and the faster the drying time. There’s less creasing, too. 

Additional features
It’s worth paying more for added benefits such as sensor drying, which reduces the need for ironing, crease care, cool air settings and final cool tumble. Reverse tumble is a handy feature too which separates clothes better and speeds up the drying process.

Energy efficiency contributes greatly to running costs (as does the time the machine is left running and how full you've loaded it). Since tumble dryers cost more to run than washing machines, it makes sense to invest in an A-rated one: heat pump condenser models or ones with sensor drying (see below) being the most energy efficient).

Heat pump technology, available in condensing tumble dryers and some washer dryers, helps contribute to an A energy rating; the hot air produced in the drying process is reused, making the it much more efficient.

Measure up the space you’ve allocated for the new machine and check dimensions of the product you’re interested in carefully. A few mm can make all the difference.

Do you want a washer-dryer instead?
Washer-dryers do not mean a compromise on the washing or drying function, but handily create a means to fit the functionality of both into a small home. This might sound very appealing if you have no outdoor space, but no room for a tumble dryer and a washing machine. Starting prices used to be higher than for a standard washing machine or tumble dryer, but that is shifting – plus when you only have to buy one machine it works out much cheaper overall. See the best washer-dryers.

Looking for more advice on washing and laundry?