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Buying a tumble dryer

Vented, condenser or heat pump? Our guide will help you choose the best dryer for your home.

Shop all tumble dryers at Argos
Buying a tumble dryer.

What type of tumble dryer is best for me?

Vented tumble dryer

With vented models, moisture is pumped out through a hose, which can be placed through an open window or professionally installed through a vent. They're cheaper to buy, but are less energy efficient than other machines.

Why they're great:

  • Most affordable option
  • No water container to empty
  • Can dry clothes quicker than condenser dryers

Condenser tumble dryer

A condenser dryer collects moisture from wet clothes and stores it in a container inside the machine. You can empty the container easily when it's full.

They cost more than a vented dryer, but they can be used anywhere in your home or garage.

Why they're great:

  • Can be installed anywhere
  • More features than a vented dryer
  • No unsightly hoses 

Heat pump tumble dryer

The most eco-friendly option, a heat pump dryer gathers water in a tank like a condenser, but the hot air doesn't escape and is re-used.

They're more expensive to buy, but cost significantly less to run.

Why they're great:

  • Uses far less energy than other tumble dryers
  • No pipes or hoses, can be placed anywhere
  • Lower running costs

What's an integrated tumble dryer?

This type of tumble dryer is designed to be concealed behind a cabinet door, so that it can be easily accessed when needed and hidden away when not.

Shop integrated tumble dryers

Tumble dryer sizes - What capacity do I need?

7kg tumble dryers

Ideal for individuals or couples - these have a drum capacity for around 35 adult t-shirts or a double duvet.

8kg tumble dryers

Ideal for a family of three - these have a drum capacity for around 40 adult t-shirts or a queen size duvet.

9kg tumble dryers

Ideal for a family of four - these have a drum capacity for around 45 adult t-shirts or a light king size duvet.

10kg tumble dryers

Ideal for large families - these have a drum capacity for around 50 adult t-shirts or a heavy king size duvet.

Small tumble dryers for flats

If you live in a flat or smaller home, you may want to opt for a more compact model which offers enough drying space for a single person or couple. These tumble dryers take up a lot less room than full size machines, making them convenient for places with limited space.

Shop small tumble dryers

Features to look for

Dry cycles and features vary from machine to machine, so when choosing a dryer, make sure it includes the features you need before you buy.


If you don't take your clothes out when the cycle finishes, the dryer will spin the drum to stop creases from setting in.

Delay start

You can program your dryer to have your clothes ready at a certain time, such as when you get home from work.

Half load

A half load setting helps save energy and time when you only need to dry a few items of clothing.

Reverse tumble

The drum can rotate both ways during the drying cycle. This helps to prevent tangles and reduce creases.

    Filter full indicator

    Alerts you to when the filter needs changing. Not cleaning the filter is one of the main reasons dryers become damaged.

      Freshen up cycle

      Using cool air, a freshen up cycle helps refresh clothes that have become dusty or have a slight odour.

        Automatic sensor, manual and smart tumble dryers

        Sensor tumble dryers

        These detect when your laundry is dry and stop the dryer. There's no need to set a timer. The dryer doesn't run longer than it needs to and your clothes should be properly dried when you open the dryer.

        Manual tumble dryers

        These use a programmable timer. Any pre-sets are based on an estimate, it may take less or more time to dry your clothes. They are usually less expensive than an automatic sensor dryer.

        Smart tumble dryers

        Smart tumble dryers can be controlled by an app on your phone. You can program the timer to have your clothes ready at a certain time, and get alerts when your fabrics are dry.

        Energy efficient ratings

        Energy ratings for tumble dryers range from A+++ to C. The higher the energy rating, the more electricity you’ll save per cycle and the cheaper your utility bills will be. Most heat-pump tumble dryers are rated A+ to A+++.

        Shop A++ rated tumble dryers

        Cost of running a tumble dryer

        It's hard to estimate the exact cost of running a dryer, as prices and efficiency ratings vary, as do electricity costs. On average, the most energy efficient models will cost around £30 per year, whereas a dryer with an energy rating of ‘C’ could cost close to £100 to run.

        Below is a list of costs based on averages across many models, each with an 8kg drum being used three times a week with a full load.

        • Vented dryer - £77 per year
        • Condenser dryer - £80 per year
        • Heat pump dryer - £30 per year

          Tumble dryer running costs - five things to consider

          1. How many times a week will you use your dryer?
          2. The average dryer will last about 10 years.
          3. A low cost dryer may cost you more in running costs over the long term.
          4. Larger dryers are more efficient than smaller dryers (if you fill them).
          5. A+++ is the highest energy rating for a tumble dryer, with C being the lowest.

          Recycling and installation

          For the safety of our customers and colleagues we have temporarily removed our recycling and installation services.

          For further information please see here.

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