Buying Guides

Buying a tumble dryer

If you're thinking "What type of tumble dryer do I need?" please read on.

We offer both heat pump and condenser tumble dryers.
Here's how to choose:

Heat Pump Dryers

If you…

• Are looking to use less energy and save on bills

• Wish to dry your laundry quicker and more efficiently

Then consider a heat pump condenser dryer. They use up to 50% less energy than a regular condenser dryer, saving you as much as £200 a year on bills. Heat pump technology works by recirculating hot, humid air in the dryer through a heat pump for re-use. Water is either pumped out via the plumbing or collected in a removable container to be emptied.

Heta pump dryers

Condenser Dryers

If you…

  • Prefer the freedom of being hose-free 
  • Can install your tumble dryer in a well-ventilated room

Then consider a condenser dryer. They separate water from the moist air into a container which you empty after drying. An option with heat pump technology can also help save energy.


Washer Dryers

If you…

  • Have limited space
  • Don’t do enough laundry to warrant a full-sized dryer or have a small household
  • Can’t fit a permanent vent into an outside wall

Then consider a washer dryer. They have a wet condenser system that uses cold water for the drying process. Although a washer dryer may add to your water and energy consumption, they come equipped with timers or sensors. Some brands also feature a heat pump, which recycles heat in the drum.

An example of a vented  tumble dryer


We even have a few options for built-in dryers. Explore Washer Dryers to see what is available.

Tumble dryer features

Features of full-sized tumble dryers:

Drum Capacity

  • Full-sized tumble dryers usually dry a similar load to their corresponding washing machines
  • Dryers have larger drums than washers – the larger the drum, the better the efficiency of hot air flow through the machine, and the faster the drying time
  • Allowing fabrics to have plenty of room to tumble also means less creasing
  • The best quality machines have long-lasting stainless steel drums, and provide a smooth finish so fabrics don't catch
  • When loading, a kilo is equal to about an outfit (such as a pair of trousers, top, underwear and socks)

Crease Care Feature

If you can't empty the machine straight away, the crease care feature will continue to give fabrics an intermittent tumble at the end of the cycle, so they don't crease in the drum

Cool air setting

Perfect for airing fabrics that have been stored away for some time

Sensor drying

An energy saving feature that detects the moisture in the items and finishes the cycle as soon as the clothes are dry, whatever cycle you have put them on

Quiet mark

Quiet Mark technically assesses and certifies to highlight products with the quietest solutions to unwanted noise

Time delay

Allowing you to program the cycle to start in a set number of hours, when best suits you

Smart tech

This feature automatically adjusts the heat and duration to prevent overheating, so that your delicate fabrics do not shrink or get damaged

Energy efficiency

Running costs will depend on how long the machine is drying for and how hard it has to work. Dryers cost more to run than washing machines, but if you want to save energy invest in an A-rated heat pump condenser model or one with sensor drying to help you use less energy. Read ‘Looking after your tumble dryer’ below for more energy saving tips.

You might also want to check out our YourEko tool. Designed to help you make informed decisions, it highlights the life-time running costs of your machine.

Final cool tumble

The heating element is turned off during the last few minutes of the cycle and fabrics can tumble in cooling air back to ambient room temperature

Reverse tumble

The drum rotates both ways, pausing inbetween, keeping laundry separated to dry quicker and more evenly


When ordering, check the tumble dryer dimensions to be sure that you have both sufficient access to enable us to deliver the machine to the space where it’s being installed, and that it will fit that space.

If you’re short of floor space you may be able to stack your tumble dryer on top of your washing machine.

Looking after your tumble dryer


  • Clean out your tumble dryer filter regularly to ensure best drying performance. The filter, which collects stray fibres, is often on the inside of the door
  • Check wash care labels for the relevant symbol, many fabrics will withstand tumble drying
  • Dry similar fabrics together
  • Spin dry your wash load at the highest spin possible before loading the dryer so that your clothes aren't too wet
  • Use a time delay on your machine so you can use it overnight on a cheaper electricity tariff


  • Install a dryer with a heat pump feature in a garage or outbuilding, as it needs to operate within a minimum ambient temperature range
  • Overload the machine

Top brands

The names you trust to dry your clothes efficiently and effectively


Our rewards credit card gives you 1.25% back in points towards vouchers when you shop with us.



Our rewards credit card gives you 1.25% back in points towards vouchers when you shop with us.

John Lewis plc, 171 Victoria Street SW1E 5NN acts as a credit broker. Credit provided under exclusive arrangements with the lender John Lewis Financial Services Limited