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Between working all day, maintaining relationships and trying to keep some semblance of an exercise regimen – just quietly, my gym membership is feeling severely neglected – the idea of finding the time to hang laundry out before heading to the office is more than a lot of us can manage. And if you have kids? Forget it.
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If, like the rest of us here at Best Of, you’d like to get back some time from your list of weekly chores, you’re going to love our guide to the best clothes dryer for every type of household. From the easiest on your budget to the model worth its premium price tag; to the most energy efficient and compact models – you’ll find all the information to help you make the best decision.
BEST OVERALL CLOTHES DRYER
Bosch Heat Pump Dryer, The Good Guys, $1,695
Energy rating: ★★★★★★★★
Earning itself a 4.5-star customer rating from just shy of 100 reviews on The Good Guys, this clothes dryer from German brand, Bosch, is our pick for best overall clothes dryer. With a 9kg capacity and still, 8-star energy rating, it is one of the most energy efficient models we’ve encountered at its price point.
It has 13 programs so you can get the right setting for everything from cottons, wools, mixed loads and delicates and there is even an hygiene and allergy function for more allergen-sensitive household members. Time your dryer to begin as you head out in the morning, thanks to a time delay start function.
Reviewers love everything from how quiet the machine is to how easy it is to use. One five-star review said: “Guilt free drying with its 8-star rating and clothes come out perfectly. I wish I purchased this years ago”.
BEST AFFORDABLE CLOTHES DRYER
Fisher & Paykel Sensor Dryer, The Good Guys, $749
Energy rating: ★★
There are cheaper models on the market than this one but its important to compare load size and lower energy star ratings.
This one from Fisher & Paykel, with capacity to dry 7kg of laundry at a time – enough for your average household size – is an excellent option for those looking for an efficient model on a budget.
This vented dryer is expertly designed with auto-sensing, measuring moisture levels so as to not under or overdry your washing. With six fabric care cycles – air dry, delicate, everyday, freshen, heavy and time duty – this dryer is more than capable of handling anything the average household will throw at it. Choose between five dryness settings, and don’t worry about your more delicate items being tossed around inside the drum; this one comes with a removable drying rack that you can sit your washing on to dry it flat.
Sitting on a 4.5 star rating with close to 150 reviews on The Good Guys, one user commented, “My wife and I are very happy with this dryer, it works well as advertised. The extra cost to have a Sensor Dryer is worth it as it is quicker and uses less power and clothes come out dry”.
BEST PREMIUM CLOTHES DRYER
LG Heat Pump Dryer with Inverter Control, The Good Guys, $1,899
Energy rating: ★★★★★★★★★
Despite a generously-sized load capacity and smart capabilities, this premium heat pump dryer from LG has an impressive 9-star energy rating, making it our choice for best premium clothes dryer.
Its inverter compressor comes with a 10 year warranty and the machine’s eco hybrid technology gives users the option of conserving energy or reducing time when drying. Other features to love are its sensor technology to adjust time and temperature to prevent overdrying, an auto cleaning function to maintain overall performance and an accompanying phone app that lets users to track energy consumption and even diagnose and troubleshoot problems remotely.
Unsurprisingly, 100 per cent of reviewers on The Good Guys website recommended this one. It currently sits on a five-star customer rating.
BEST COMPACT CLOTHES DRYER
Solt Vented Dryer, The Good Guys, $295
Energy rating: ★★
If you’ve got only one or two people in a household, this compact vented dryer from Australian company, Solt, is a popular and affordable option. Sitting on a 4.5 star customer rating with more than 270 reviews, one user said, “Fits perfectly with its compact design but also very powerful and easy to use”.
With a two-star energy rating, running costs are higher – as is generally the case with vented dryers – but there are still three programs to choose from (heat dry, air dry and cool down), so you can minimise running time and energy expenditure where possible. This model comes with a two year warranty – all in all, a solid option at its given price point.
BEST CLOTHES DRYER FOR BIG FAMILIES
Asko Heat Pump Logic Dryer, Bing Lee, $2,699
Energy rating: ★★★★★★★★★
With its remarkable drum size, versatile six programs and impressive energy star rating, this Scandinavian designed clothes dryer from Asko is just the thing for big families.
Its “SoftDrum” solution promises consistent air flow around the load and a “butterfly” drying system that gently pushes clothes around in a figure eight to spread garments out.
The sensory and time controlled drying ensures your dryer knows exactly what your particular load needs in order to dry, even if you’re not sure which function to use.
At its price point, it is a considerable upfront investment – but there’s no doubt, considering the many loads a large family requires a week, this model is an investment that will pay itself off in running costs.
MOST QUIET CLOTHES DRYER
Electrolux Heat Pump Dryer, The Good Guys, $1,1197
Energy rating: ★★★★★★★
“Very quiet, release excess water for energy efficiency”, is one of the five-star reviews that have been given to this heat pump dryer from Electrolux. Designed with advanced inverter technology to avoid noise intrusion, this dryer has other remarkable features to recommend it, including Electrolux’s Delicate Care technology, which will dry each garment at the temperature that suits it best.
Fast drum movement on the wool cycle ensure wools are kept flat to reduce shrinkage and silks “floats” above the drum’s surface so they maintain their shape. Advanced sensor technology eliminates the risk of overdrying during each one of the dryer’s incredible 13 programs.
So quiet you won’t know it’s operating; a spacious drum design; plenty of programs; and a two year warranty to boot, this is a great clothes dryer for households that don’t want to disturb the neighbours whenever putting a load on.
BEST ENERGY EFFICIENT CLOTHES DRYER
Miele TWJ 660 WP Heat Pump Tumble Dryer, Bing Lee, $3,299
Energy rating: ★★★★★★★★★
There have been many energy efficient clothes dryers on this list, but just beating out the rest for the title is this 9-star rated model from Miele, with a 9kg capacity and 20 programs to choose from.
Like many premium heat pump models, the upfront cost of this machine is comparatively higher, but is designed to save on running costs over its lifespan. “EcoDry” technology promises consistently low energy consumption and drying times; while the Eco feedback function shows estimated energy consumption before the start of a program, adjusting its reading during and after a cycle.
Other features include a honeycomb-designed drum that means items hover higher, longer for more even drying; fragrance dispensers so you can add your favourite scent during drying; and the ability to connect to your dryer via WiFi, making changes to your setting without leaving the couch.
BEST CLOTHES WASHER AND DRYER
LG Combo Washer Dryer, The Good Guys, $1,189
Energy rating: ★★★★ ½ (Wash), ★★★★ (Dry)
Water rating: ★★★★ ½
Proving that washer-dryer combinations needn’t be a drain on electricity, this much-raved about combination machine from LG is a space and energy saver in one. However, that isn’t all to recommend this model to space-conscious households.
LG’s AI Direct Drive technology assesses the weight and quality of fabrics in a load and then selects the optimal wash motions to thoroughly clean and care for your garments. Allergen-sensitive members of the household are taken care of with the allergy care cycle and steam feature, which promises to remove up to 99.9 per cent of allergens. Designed for durability, an inverter direct drive motor with less moving parts than a traditional system almost ensures you’ll never need this machine’s two year warranty.
Reviewers report loving the combination dryer’s immense 14 programs and how surprisingly quiet and efficient it is. One five-star review from The Good Guys remarked, “It’s a beast! Large, quiet combo washer and dryer. Economical. Great buying and space saving”.
IS IT BETTER TO AIR DRY OR USE A CLOTHES DRYER?
The primary arguments for air drying clothes rather than using a dryer have always been it’s more economical, better for the environment and more beneficial for the longevity of clothes. Though perhaps this will always be the case, technology has come far to make up for some of clothes dryers’ shortcomings.
Though certainly more expensive upfront than air drying, energy efficient models – like the Asko Heat Pump Logic Dryer and Miele Heat Pump Tumble Dryer – are employing innovative technology to maintain low energy consumption throughout cycles and assisting users to keep track of their own energy expenditure over time. This is not only more economical for households, but better for the eco-conscious among us.
Those most concerned with the longevity of their garments can now choose from a wide selection of models that have been fitted with garment care features – from Fisher & Paykel Sensor Dryer’s auto-sensing technology that measures moisture levels to avoid overdrying loads; to the Electrolux Heat Pump Dryer’s delicate care technology, which will dry each garment at the temperature that suits it best.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF CLOTHES DRYERS?
There are three types of electric clothes dryers: vented dryers, condenser dryers and heat pump dryers.
The most common type of dryer, the vented dryer, heats and passes air into the drum. Once the hot air becomes too moist to dry, it is expelled from the drum, and replaced with new, dry air. It has a the lowest price point upfront, but due to this largely inefficient use of energy, it has higher running costs.
The condenser clothes dryer, unlike the vented dryer, doesn’t expel moist air – rather, it recycles it by extracting the water vapour and sending the dry air back into the drum. More expensive than a vented dryer, but more efficient, there are models to suit most budgets.
Lastly, heat pump dryers recycle heat in the process of extracting moisture from the drum. It has a considerably higher upfront cost than the other two models, but its ongoing running costs are lower. Due to not expelling water vapour or hot air, it doesn’t require the ventilation that the vented and condenser dryer do.
WHAT IS THE ENERGY STAR RATING SYSTEM?
The energy star rating indicates to consumers how energy efficient a model is, relative to other models of the same size. The more stars a product is awarded out of six, the more efficient is deemed, thereby better for the environment and better for your wallet.
Make sure the rest of your home appliances are suited to your and your household with our guide to fridges that deserve a place in your kitchen and the dishwasher as soft as ‘a quiet library’.
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