The best freestanding tumble dryers under £400

It’s not always possible to dry clothes outside and if you don’t want your whole house festooned with drying racks, a tumble dryer is the ideal way to get laundry dry, quickly. Appliances expert Hayley Gilbert chooses the best models for under £400

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When you're redesigning a kitchen or utility room, choosing the best kitchen appliances is up there with deciding on the right cabinetry. Use our buyer's guide to get the best freestanding tumble dryer.

Freestanding tumble dryers: features to look out for

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

Vented models are pretty outdated now, so most dryers on the market are condensers, with a drawer that collects the water and simply needs to be emptied when it’s full.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. 

Capacity

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. 

Dimensions

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.

 ZANUSSI ZDC8203W CONDENSER TUMBLE DRYER

(Image: © Zanussi)

1. ZANUSSI ZDC8203W CONDENSER TUMBLE DRYER

Large capacity for bigger loads

Specifications
Capacity: 8kg
Energy rating: B
Finish: White
Dimensions: : H85cm x W60cm x D60cm
Reasons to buy
+Easy iron programme+Large door for easy loading and unloading+Delay start
Reasons to avoid
-Long drying times-Too many choices may put some off-No temperature option on timed programme

A great value model, this dryer is praised by users for its large 8kg drum, which copes easily with bulky items. It also means you can chuck more in, which is ideal for families. Those who loathe ironing will love the Easy Iron programme while a Delay Start option allows you to choose a drying time that’s convenient for you as well as taking advantage of cheaper tariffs. Users found they could cupboard dry bedding in towels in 60 to 90 minutes.

AEG T6DBG721N 6000 SERIES CONDENSER TUMBLE DRYER

(Image: © AEG)

2. AEG T6DBG721N 600 SERIES CONDENSER TUMBLE DRYER

Quiet Mark approved

Specifications
Capacity: 7kg
Energy rating: B
Finish: White
Dimensions: H85cm x W60cm x D60cm
Reasons to buy
+Sensor drying+Good choice of programmes+Anti-crease drum
Reasons to avoid
-Sensitive touch screen-No programme override-Fluff filter clogs up quickly

For those who have their tumble dryer in the kitchen or an open plan kitchen diner, this model is ideal as it’s Quiet Mark certified, which means it’s ultra quiet. Those who’ve bought this appliance also praise its sensor drying, which automatically stops the cycle when clothes are dry which in turn prevents creasing and reduces the need for ironing. Another benefit is the ProTex soft drum that reduces tangling, reduces creasing and dries clothes faster.

CANDY GRAND O’VITA GVSC9DCGB CONDENSER TUMBLE DRYER

(Image: © Candy)

3. CANDY GRAND O’VITA GVSC9DCGB CONDENSER TUMBLE DRYER

Great for gadget lovers

Specifications
Capacity: 9kg
Energy rating: B
Finish: Black
Dimensions: H85cm x W59.5cm x D61cm
Reasons to buy
+Huge capacity+Sensor drying+Smartphone app
Reasons to avoid
-Sensor drying not to everyone’s taste-Glass door can get hot-Awkwardly placed water container

Ideal for families and gadget lovers, this model works with a Smart Touch app, which allows you to monitor the cycle and download new programmes from your smartphone. Its large capacity enables you to dry large loads in one go while the sensor drying detects the amount of moisture in the clothes then adjusts the settings accordingly. Users like the fact it’s quiet, easy to use and has a lower price tag while the smart black finish is a nice change from the usual white models.

HOTPOINT FETC70BP FIRST EDITION CONDENSER TUMBLE DRYER

(Image: © Hotpoint)

4. HOTPOINT FETC70BP FIRST EDITION CONDENSER TUMBLE DRYER

Basic model for bargain price

Specifications
Capacity: 7kg
Energy rating: B
Finish: White
Dimensions: H85cm x W59.5cm x D61cm
Reasons to buy
+Anti-tangling technology+Reverse tumble action+Low temperature for delicates
Reasons to avoid
-Nothing fancy-Simple design-Smaller capacity

A basic design with standard features, this model is good for medium sized households. It comes with anti-tangling technology to keep clothes looking their best for longer as well as reverse tumble action to dry each load more evenly. Lots of users like the fact it only has two drying settings, which keeps it simple to use. Some say it’s a bit noisy though.

BEKO DTGC7000B CONDENSER TUMBLE DRYER

(Image: © Beko)

5. BEKO DTGC7000B CONDENSER TUMBLE DRYER

Sleek black design

Specifications
Capacity: 7kg
Energy rating: B
Finish: Black
Dimensions: H84.6cm x W59.5cm x D54cm
Reasons to buy
+Sensor drying+Prevents creases+Heat pump technology
Reasons to avoid
-Long programmes-Can be noisy-Drum not big enough for large households

Ideal for medium sized households, this heat pump model includes sensor drying, which saves time and energy while making your clothes crease-free. There’s even an anti-crease programme too. A decent sized drum makes this a good option for medium sized households while the heat pump technology makes it even more energy efficient. This may mean your clothes take a bit longer to dry but it will result in lower electricity bills.

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