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best clothes dryers

The Best Clothes Dryers in 2021

Author: Joanna Davis

Home & Kitchen Expert

Models from AEG and Beko regularly perform well in tumble dryer tests. Interestingly, the results of the external testers do not always match the picture of the customer reviews on Amazon. We explain why this is the case. 

Panda PAN865W 2.6 cu.ft Compact Laundry Dryer

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Frequently Asked Questions: Clothes Dryers

What is a clothes dryer?

Laundry dryers dry our laundry and clothes. Those who do not want to dry their damp, freshly washed laundry on the balcony, terrace or in the bathroom, rely on mechanical drying with an appropriate household appliance … and this is where the clothes dryer comes into play.

It is a household appliance designed to make our work easier. It is used to dry freshly washed, still damp textiles under the supply of heated air in a particularly short time.

As a rule, they have a similar format to fully automatic washing machines and are now part of almost every household.

How does a clothes dryer work?

How exactly a dryer works and dries the laundry always depends on the type of dryer. We will also discuss this in more detail below. But the principle behind all types of drying is similar; which is why we will briefly discuss the physical properties of the dryer and drying.

In order to be able to dry freshly washed, damp textiles and laundry, the first thing to do is to draw the wetness and water out of the laundry items. To achieve this, the laundry is spun … quickly and effectively in the drum. Depending on the size of the drum, the number of revolutions and the amount of water to be reduced, the drum of a dryer manages to pull between 30 and 50% of the water out of the damp textiles.

Even with the best technology, it is impossible to get more water out of the clothes, because water binds to the capillaries of the fabric fibers, and to do this, drying must be done by other means.

The next step is to pull the remaining water out of the clothing by evaporation. This is the energy-intensive process of the dryer, and this is where the various drying methods come in. But what does such an evaporation process consume?

If 1 kilo of laundry is dried at an average initial temperature of 25°C, 0.73 kWh is consumed. If there is still a residual moisture of over 60% in the laundry, the consumption amounts to about 0.5 kWh. However, if heat is recovered through condensed water, as is the case with heat pump dryers, half of the energy applied can be saved.

Six kilos is the average load volume of a clothes dryer. To dry this amount, about 3 kWh is needed. If the dryer is powered by electricity, then at an electricity energy price of US$0.24 per kWh, the total consumption is US$0.72. If the energy is obtained from gas, the total consumption is only US$0.21 ; since the gas price is US$0.07 per kWh.

Advantages of Clothes Dryers

Clothes dryers are always used when washed and still damp clothes need to be made wardrobe dry again. The alternative of letting the laundry dry in the air is done by a tumble dryer. That brings so some advantages with itself. Which they are, they learn here.

Laundry dryers save an incredible amount of time. Because men and women no longer have to spend hours hanging up wet laundry and taking off dry laundry. A handle in the laundry drum of the washing machine. Everything quickly reloaded. Select the program and you’re ready to dry.

In addition, such a drying cycle takes just up to four hours. Laundry on the line can take several days until it is really dry. This saves time … twice over. The dryer also helps when it comes to quickly having the right ‘part’ ready for the evening. Because man and woman simply no longer have to wait for the fickle weather to perform its services and air-dry the washed textiles.

In addition, the clothes dryer is an extremely slim device that does not take up much space … and with the appropriate device it will find its safe place even on the washing machine. Even compared to a clothes rack, the space saved is enormous. Especially if you may wash and dry laundry for a household of 4 people.

You’d need a whole soccer field of clothes racks and really hot days to get all the laundry dry.Clothes dryers are energy efficient. That’s what modern technology does … and that’s why they’ve become a popular and sought-after household appliance.

Nowadays, in almost every second household you can find a clothes dryer that regularly dries laundry … and at really low prices. Because one kWh of electricity costs only US$0.24. A kWh of gas even only US$0.07.

Many dryers are also equipped with an extra function that ensures that the textiles are dried without creasing. This not only saves time when hanging up the laundry, but also later when ironing. Simply great, such a helpful device for the household.

Types of Clothes Dryers

Oh yes! Actually, it’s nice to dry your laundry in the fresh air, isn’t it? So natural, green and environmentally friendly? Unfortunately, we do not always have the opportunity to take advantage of weather … and also the annoying hanging up and hanging out the laundry is not everyone’s thing.

After all, it is also a lot of time that is lost in the process … and when it gets cold and damp outside, the drying process in the air also takes its time and can even take several days … and where should the laundry hang all the time, please? After all, not everyone can enjoy the benefits of a laundry room.

Then we are happy to have a clothes dryer that dries the laundry for us quickly and efficiently. But not all clothes dryers are the same. There are differences. but what are they different and which type of dryer should you get? We took a closer look and compiled the most important drying types of laundry dryers.

The advantages and disadvantages of each type of drying are also presented. They provide a basis for the tumble dryer comparison test, because after all, we want to know what it means when a condenser dryer or heat pump dryer winks at us among the top 10 and appeals to us.

Condenser dryer

Condenser dryers are very versatile drying devices that can be placed almost anywhere and find their place. Because, unlike the exhaust air dryer, the condenser dryer does not require an exhaust hose. Here, the warm air is not led outside, but is cooled down in the dryer itself. This takes place inside the dryer.

The water condenses in the process and is collected in a separate collection container, which must be emptied at times. Condensation dryers thus form a self-sufficient and closed circuit. This makes them suitable for a wide range of applications.

With this type of drying, the air in the room is slightly heated. This is particularly advantageous in winter. Because if a condensation dryer is located in the bathroom and is used regularly, this room does not have to be additionally heated. You save real, expensive energy … and that quite incidentally. 

However, this saving is immediately cancelled out. Why? Condensation dryers consume slightly more energy than other drying methods. This is because cooling the heated air also requires energy.

By the way, the warm air is discharged through the lint filter. In this way, the heat pump is not damaged. However, it is important that the lint filter is cleaned regularly, because this is the only way to ensure proper operation of the condenser dryer.

By the way, after (almost) every drying cycle, the condensation water in the collection container must also be emptied. After all, if it is full, the tumble dryer will no longer dry. Some models also offer the option to connect the dryer directly to the sewage pipe. Then you save the annoying emptying.


  • finds a place in all places
  • no exhaust hose is needed


  • slightly increased energy consumption, due to the cooling of the air
  • constant cleaning of the lint filter and emptying of the collection container

Dryer with Exhaust Vent

The exhaust dryer is probably the classic among the laundry dryers. It is also the oldest and probably simplest way to dry your laundry by machine. Warm air is introduced into the laundry drum via a hose. During the drying process, this air draws the moisture and wetness out of the garments to be dried.

The liquid extracted from the clothes is drained off via another hose. Thus, no moisture damage can occur in the laundry drum and the laundry is always nice and soft, dry and fragrant.

Since the exhaust dryer draws air and discharges water through a hose, its connection is possible only in those rooms that provide a wall passage for the hoses. Thus, the laundry kitchen becomes the most popular location for exhaust air dryers. To avoid the formation of condensation in the hose, it is recommended to install the outlet and hose as low as possible.


  • very cheap to buy
  • low energy consumption (especially in comparison with a condensation dryer)


  • limited in its installation locations, as a wall diffuser is required
  • generates negative pressure when operated

What to watch out for when buying a clothes dryer?

Now we know the most diverse types of dryers, of which the heat pump dryer, the condenser dryer and the exhaust air dryer are probably the most common. But the type of laundry drying is not enough to make us choose the right drying appliance; even if it narrows down the choice to the appropriate models.

So what else is there to look out for when buying a tumble dryer? We took a closer look and worked out the most important criteria, which are also taken into account in the comparison test, and present them below.

The energy consumption and the energy label

Tumble dryers cost in two ways. On the one hand, you have to dig into your pocket for their purchase and on the other hand for their consumption … and this is always reflected, in whatever form, in the electricity bill.

Therefore, with the turn to sustainability, the manufacturers of tumble dryers and household appliances have set themselves the task of producing and developing household appliances that are characterized by low energy consumption.

At the same time, a regulation was passed at the political level requiring manufacturers of tumble dryers to label their tumble dryers and other household appliances with an energy label that provides information about how much electricity the appliance consumes. At first, it was just the label itself, but now another regulation has been in effect for several years:

only appliances with an energy rating of A and higher may be sold in stores. Accordingly, only appliances with A, A+, A++ and A+++, as well as the new designation for even cheaper tumble dryersA*, A** and A*** are now on sale.

Thus, the energy label is a reliable guarantor when man and woman want to find out about the power consumption of any clothes dryer model. But how is the energy consumption determined? It is dried at 1000 revolutions, a certain number of drying cycles. The moisture content is also set at 60%. This is to be reduced to a whole 0 5. The type of laundry is also determined.

As a rule, it is always cotton. Half of the runs are tested fully loaded. The other half of the drying runs with half full load. Finally, the energy consumption is added. This is measured and expressed in kWh … and when the clothes dryer is in use as well as when the clothes dryer is on standby.

If tumble dryers are awarded an energy label, this is done in a special laboratory. However, this also includes the fact that in reality and in everyday use can result in slight fluctuations to the stated consumption. In particular, the respective individual behavior of the user is decisive for the actual energy consumption of a tumble dryer.

Nevertheless, it is always closer to choose a dryer that consumes little energy … even if the purchase price may be higher. But here it is necessary to weigh … and how and after what, you will learn further down in the text. It should also be noted that energy costs are currently rising rather than falling … this is also a reason to focus on the lowest possible energy consumption in the dryer.

Condenser dryers and their energy consumption

Condensation dryers are divided into condensation efficiency classes. But there is a special feature here. Technically, it is simply not possible to collect all the condensation water and recycle it. This is because a little of the moisture to be extracted from the laundry is always released into the room air.

This simply cannot be avoided. However, the extent to which this loss occurs varies from model to model … and also determines what energy efficiency class, or condensation efficiency class, a condenser dryer is classified in. The calculation is based on a condensation efficiency index.

Here, the amount of water collected is related to the amount of water previously contained in the laundry. In this way, one knows how much water goes into the self-sufficient energy conversion and how much energy is lost. Here, too, of course, standard quantities are defined and a certain number of drying cycles, full and half-loaded, are carried out.

Available space

The room and the spatial conditions decide a lot about which clothes dryer is right for you. If you have a laundry room, you usually like to choose an exhaust air dryer. If, on the other hand, you have to place your dryer in the bathroom, you will more often opt for a condensing or heat pump dryer.

So it depends on the space they have chosen for their tumble dryer, which model is particularly attractive to them.

Then, as with the washing machine, there are differences in loading. There are front loaders and top loaders. Top loaders are loaded through the top of the dryer, while a front loader has the opening on the side.

Both variants offer their advantages and disadvantages. Basically, though, top loaders are usually available in larger fill volumes than front loaders. These usually stop at a fill volume of 9 kg, while the top loader can still be loaded with another 3 to 6 kilos. The front loader must also have enough space to open the door.

If this bumps against tiles or furniture and can not be opened properly, a top loader may be the better choice. Also, there are front loaders, but not top loaders in the mini version of 2 kg capacity. Such cute dryers are designed for camping trips and camper travelers.

In the technology used top-loaders and front-loaders, as a rule, do not differ. In their dimensions, sizes and filling volumes, however, they do.

By the way, if you have the opportunity, you should also buy the dryer in the same size as the washing machine. Here, the size refers to the capacity. After all, what’s the point if the washing machine holds 9 kg, but the dryer only 4 or 5 kg?

The capacity of the equipment describes how many kilograms of laundry can be loaded. In the case of the washing machine, how much dry laundry can be loaded. In the dryer, how much wet laundry can be loaded. Because after washing, the clothes are usually heavier.

Therefore, occasionally it is also a good idea to buy a dryer with a larger capacity than the washing machine can handle. Because so is given with a load of washed laundry also equal to a load of dry laundry. Dryer for a normal 3 to 4 person household should have a good capacity of 9kg.

For single households, a capacity of 3 to 5kg is sufficient. A household with 2 people should be able to get by with 5kg.


In a nutshell, today’s clothes dryers are acceptably quiet and can even run during the night without men and women having to worry about annoying their neighbors with such loud noise. Nevertheless, it is always important to take a look at the noise emission when buying a new dryer. 

The volume is also specified by the manufacturers and always in decibels.

If you want to run your dryer at night, you should make sure that the decibel level is as low as possible. Ideally, this should be between 60 and 65 decibels. However, if the device is louder than 70 decibels, you should think about not running the dryer at night or, if possible, place it in the laundry room.


How the laundry is washed also affects the drying result of the dryer. No. Not exactly that, because the clothes will dry in any case. But it does influence how long the drying cycle takes in each case, and thus how much energy has to be expended to adequately dry the laundry.

How ‘dry’ the laundry is washed is crucial … and this in turn depends on the number of revolutions the washing machine can achieve. How much does yours do? 1200, 1400 or 1600? The faster and with more revolutions the laundry is spun the more water is already extracted from it and the faster and more energy-saving the dryer works.

On the other hand, of course, the revolutions of the washing machine are also energy-draining. So it is always necessary to weigh.

It is also important to find the right balance between energy consumption and gentle laundry processing. If the machine spins delicate textiles too hard, they may be damaged.

This can be remedied by only spinning at the highest speed when you know that the clothes are to go into the dryer. In most cases, these are not delicate textiles, because they may only be dried in the tumble dryer in very special drying programs … still. Technologies have not changed this.


Any modern dryer is usually simple and easy to use. Especially if they can be controlled via app and smartphone. Then you simply know your way around and intuitively navigate through the menu and program selection. However, it is also important to know which program and drying cycles are best for drying the respective laundry and textiles.

But proper care is also part of the handling … and that starts with cleaning the lint filter. It is an essential part of every tumble dryer. Its purpose is to filter the lint from the laundry and textiles during each drying cycle. This is to prevent clogging of the machine. These screens must be cleaned at regular intervals, preferably directly after or before each drying cycle. Some manufacturers have automated the cleaning of the lint filter.

Here, condensation water is used to clean and rinse the filter and the sieve. This also saves on cleaning. Whether this cleaning function is integrated can be found in the product description of the respective device.

Some tumble dryer manufacturers have unfortunately not given much thought to the handling of the cleaning of the lint filter … and their lint filters are very cumbersome to clean. This is where consumer opinions and customer reviews come in handy.

By the way, these were also taken into account as an evaluation criterion in the comparison test; so that you are informed in advance of any difficulty the dryer has in handling. Such things are of course not mentioned by the manufacturers in their product descriptions.

Most devices simply inform us when the lint filter needs to be cleaned. This is the simplest option, which also costs the least. By the way, it is also worthwhile for other costs to clean the fluff filter steadily and constantly. After all, if you have a permeable and clean fluff filter, it cleans not only better, but also more energy efficient. They reduce the running time and reduce energy consumption.

As a rule, clothes dryers are even easier to use than washing machines. Simply select the relevant program and you’re ready to dry. By the way, the standard programs are iron-dry and cupboard-dry.

Many tumble dryers also work with sensors that constantly measure and check the moisture of the laundry. They continuously adjust the drying time and heat automatically to the particular laundry needs. In the past, it was often necessary to set the drying time manually. This is no longer necessary with the devices of newer technologies.

Programs & Features

Ten years ago, it was not possible to dry fine fabrics such as wool or silk in the dryer. The result? Shrunken sweaters. Garments that were too small. The old dryers also struggled with denim. Not anymore. Instead, today there are tumble dryers that can run numerous programs and dry silk, wool, and even jeans with ease.

In the process, the respective textile is treated gently and caringly, and men and women no longer have to worry that their favorite clothes might shrink. The more extensive the textiles to be washed and the more different types of laundry to be washed, the more or less program selection is appropriate.

It is important that the program selection of the selected tumble dryer meets the requirements, wishes and needs of the future buyer.

Then there are also intelligent clothes dryers that use sensors to monitor and check the degree of drying of clothes and textiles. Such tumble dryers also base their performance on the degree of drying required. This is because the sensors check how dry the laundry is and automatically switch off when the desired degree of dryness, which was previously set, has been reached.

Alternatively, timers work, which usually have to be set manually. However, these are clothes dryers for real professionals, because with each load should know how long it has to dry.

Special Features

The greatest additional equipment is probably when there is the dryer with integrated washing machine. Oh yes! There is. So-called clothes dryers … very new … very innovative and increasingly popular. Because they save an incredible amount of space, and they also save the purchase of two separate devices, because they combine both features – washing and drying laundry – in one device.

However, we do not want to talk about such ‘extreme’ additional equipment now. Additional features are those functions that are not absolutely necessary, but are just nice to have. They are usually not needed by all households and are sometimes more of a gimmick than a real support.

Such additional functions include a touchscreen as a control panel or WiFi and the resulting integration of the tumble dryer into the smart home. Then the clothes dryer communicates with us via app and smartphone. It tells us how long a drying cycle will take, when the laundry is finished, or when it is necessary to remove the water tank or clean the lint filter. Clever, that is … and intelligent, as these technological enhancements to laundry dryers and household appliances are generally referred to.

Likewise, the lighting of the interior is such an additional function. It illuminates, the dryer door is opened, via a contact point, the interior bright and clear. Thus man and woman recognize, whether a sock did not hide itself nevertheless somewhere in the drum, immediately much faster. Makes also so what her, if it shines from the laundry dryer and radiates.

The automatic reverse function has also become an additional feature, without which a dryer can hardly do today. It is therefore already included in many models. But not in all of them, which is why it is important to check whether a dryer has an automatic reverse function or not. With this automatic feature, the laundry drum is rotated in both directions, which achieves a particularly gentle and caring drying result.

In addition, such an automatic system ensures that the laundry is dried without creasing. This makes the work even easier. Because the ironing can be saved with some textiles then also. Wonderful!

Price-Performance Ratio

Even though we have already gone into the energy efficiency classes in detail, we still want to deal with the connection between purchase costs and energy consumption in a separate point. This rounds off the picture, illuminating old aspects in a new light.

Because we now also know that condenser dryers are very inexpensive to buy. But they consume more energy. We also know that heat pump dryers are very expensive to buy, but consume less energy. A heat pump dryer costs twice as much to buy as a condensation dryer!

How is one supposed to make an adequate decision, please! A comparison test of the 10 best dryers can certainly help. This comparison here also …

Heat pump dryers, with an energy label of A+ cost in the purchase in about US$600. A condenser dryer of energy class B, comparable in performance, costs US$400 to purchase. For comparison, let’s add a device in energy efficiency class C, with an extensive program selection, which also costs US$400 to purchase.

Then we assume that all three dryers will run through the same number of drying cycles in their 10-year lifetimes … and we also assume that they should all dry the same amount of iron-damp, cabinet-dry and easy-care clothes in alternation. Likewise, each drying cycle runs at 1400 revolutions … what criteria all come together when you want to make an adequate comparison of the energy costs of different models.

Now the energy costs come into play … and these are subject to considerable fluctuations over the years. Sometimes it’s the electricity that’s so cheap. Sometimes it’s gas that comes out on top. We decide on an average energy value of 27 cents per kWh.

With these values, heat pump dryers come to an energy consumption in 10 years of US$312 and thus have a total cost of US$912. The condensation dryer selected in the comparison, on the other hand, consumes a good US$700 of energy over the same period and comes to a total cost of US$1100.

This is slightly more than the heat pump dryer. The old appliance, on the other hand, in energy efficiency class C shoots up quite a bit in electricity and energy consumption. It consumes a full US$1500 in the 10 years of its life, bringing the total cost to 1900.

Now it depends on the frequency with which husband and wife have to use the tumble dryer in their household. For families with several children, where the dryer runs constantly and steadily, the purchase of a heat pump dryer will be profitable. For single and couple households, on the other hand, it is important to calculate carefully whether the higher purchase costs will actually pay for themselves.

Single households are even advised to opt for a condenser dryer or, alternatively, to go for the new washer-dryers now.

Final Result

Even though the heat of the dryer dries our laundry … it also attacks it and is not always gentle to it. Therefore, it is also important to pay attention to how gently the dryer treats the laundry. This is also dependent on the respective drying programs, which are offered by the dryer.

But it also depends on the heat with which a tumble dryer dries the laundry … and here it can be said in advance that heat pump dryers get by with less heat than condenser dryers … and that gently the textiles to be dried.

Other aspects also support the gentle drying. Thus some laundry dryers are equipped with appropriate drums, which deal particularly gently with the textiles. In the manufacturer’s descriptions, you can read something about a ‘gentle drum’. Such a drum has the so-called ‘carriers’ arranged in a way that is particularly gentle on the material.

Also, such drums usually work in both directions of rotation, which also means a gentler and more careful handling of the laundry load. Incidentally, this mechanism is integrated into all newer models, so this purchase criterion is somewhat invalidated. Nevertheless, care should be taken to ensure that the tumble dryer not only dries adequately, but also gently.

Conclusion: Clothes Dryers

Man and woman should not think it, but the newer clothes dryers take longer to dry laundry. Because they dry, due to their innovative new technology, with less heat … and that automatically means longer drying times for a drying cycle. What has been optimized in favor of electricity and energy consumption, comes at the expense of time.

This can easily take up to two hours for a drying cycle. So if you’re pressed for time, you should only half-load your dryer or dry only the items you want to dry. But that is then a disproportionately expensive drying … even at half the load. Because clothes dryers, to run energy efficiently, should always be used under their full load volume.

Here it is easier, more energy efficient and also more optimal, if simply better planned. In addition, laundry dryers now run very quietly, so that they can even be turned on overnight … and if the device is equipped with WiFi and integrated into the smarthome network, the dryer can be activated just before going to bed via the app and by pressing a button … if the laundry is already loaded. The smart devices don’t do that yet.

Condenser dryers dry faster, by the way. Heat dryers are the dryers with leisure … they take their time and need their time. So they require much more patience than other types of drying. But they are also particularly energy-efficient … so you just have to weigh it up.

Can you manage to keep your things in order at all times, or are you one of those forgetful people who sometimes rely on the quick drying of an underutilized machine? You decide. You know yourself and your drying behavior.

Another time aspect relates to the right time to purchase the new clothes dryer. It’s best to buy against the trend and acquire a clothes dryer in the summer. Retailers usually suffer especially at this time due to the vacation lull and weather-related drying by clothesline.

That forces them to super special offers, in order to be able to bring at all their commodity at man and woman. It’s promotions like these that are particularly tempting and promise very good appliances at even better prices. Otherwise, the comparison test always helps, which constantly and constantly searches for the best prices from the World Wide Web … so you always get the best for the cheapest.

The IFA, which takes place every two years, is also a good time to acquire a new tumble dryer … and in two ways. On the one hand, the latest top models are offered at really favorable conditions. On the other hand, retailers are tempting customers with super-cheap offers on the old top models. Who does not strike there, is itself to blame. Bargain time!!! The time factor plays a role on so many levels.

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Last product update on 2022-06-30 | Source: Amazon Affiliate