The Best Budget Tumble Dryers Under £500

Our picks of the best budget tumble dryers to save you time and money.

Tumble dryer

by Ellen Kinsey |
Updated on

Washing lines and drying racks can air clothes effectively, however, the best method you can employ for the winter months is the tumble dryer. While this may be good for the summer months, drying clothes in the winter is a different story. When it is too cold and damp to dry clothes outside or inside, a tumble dryer comes to the rescue - and we have handpicked the best budget tumble dryers under £500 for your home.

Having a trusty tumble dryer is a luxury that will save you time and valuable living space - plus, it will dry laundry quicker and have fewer creases. This means less time ironing for future you. Though they can be pretty expensive, they're an excellent investment, especially for larger households with never-ending piles of laundry coming out of the washing machine.

Best Budget Tumble Dryers Under £500 At A Glance:

Editor's choice: Hotpoint H3 D81WB UK 8KG Freestanding Condenser Dryer - View offer on Currys
Best tumble dryer under £250: Beko DTGV7000W 7KG Vented Tumble Dryer - View offer on Currys
Best compact tumble dryer under £500: Russell Hobbs RH3VTD800B Black 2.5KG Compact Mini Vented Tumble Dryer - View offer on Amazon UK
Best easy-to-use tumble dryer under £500: Hisense DCGE801 60cm Freestanding 8KG Front Load Condenser Tumble Dryer - View offer on Amazon UK

Even though tumble dryers are the most expensive home appliance to run, 4p per cycle or £40.24 per year according to appliance breakdown provider Domestic & General, tumble dryers aren’t as expensive as they used to be, thanks to new and improved innovative technology and the introduction of energy ratings and smart meters to help monitor your usage. So with energy prices skyrocketing, an energy-saving tumble dryer can be a step in the right direction and save you some money in the long run.

There is a lot to consider when buying a tumble dryer; whether you’re a first-time buyer or are looking to upgrade to an older model, our guide has everything you need to know about tumble dryers and has chosen appliances to suit every kitchen size for under £500. From freestanding tumble dryers to integrated models, we've got it all. So with that in mind, let's take a look at the best tumble dryers under £500 on the market in the UK that will be suitable for your household so you can have fresh crease-free laundry in a matter of hours.

Best Budget Tumble Dryers Under £500

Editor's choice

If you are looking for a high-performance tumble dryer for under £300, the Hotpoint H3 D81WB is an excellent choice. Considering its low price tag, it does come with some outstanding programmes and features such as easy iron, delicate and sports cycle, a handy temperature boost with a hygiene option to remove 99.9 per cent bacteria and a 20-minute, quick cycle if you are in a rush. This dryer is ideal for families with small children or allergy sufferers and is excellent value for money.

Customer review: "I chose this tumble dryer because it comes from a well-known manufacturer and is mid-range priced. It has all the features that I need, including different temperature settings. I am very happy with this purchase."


  • Affordable
  • Efficient


  • Basic appearance
  • Loud

Best tumble dryer under £250

This 7kg vented tumble dryer is excellent for small to medium households and is a fantastic affordable option for those looking for something long-lasting and straightforward. It uses sensor programmes to automatically detect the moisture level in your clothes and stop the cycle when the right dryness level has been reached.

Designed to be space-saving, this impressive appliance has 15 programmes, a handy LED dryness indicator light, and a child safety feature that is always convenient. One thing to keep in mind is that you will need an outlet through to an outside wall to vent outdoors. For under £200, this tumble dryer from Beko is great value.

Customer review: "Our new Beko tumble dryer is fabulous, the best ever. We were so pleased with the new machine that we bought a condenser style of the same machine for our son and partner. They, too, are pleased with it."


  • Good range of drying programmes
  • Compact size


  • Vented operation needs water output

Best compact tumble dryer under £500

Tumble dryers often come in a universal size to fit nicely into standard kitchen designs and are usually around 60cm wide, but this Russell Hobbs machine offers a more compact version - ideal for small homes and student accommodation.

Although it is small, it is a powerful piece of kit and will fit effortlessly almost anywhere, even on worktops. It is a vented dryer extracting the hot, moist air from the inside and directing it out of the dryer through a vent hose to the outside of your home. Even though it is vented, it is still rated a C for energy efficiency; just be careful not to overfill it, as it only has a capacity of 2.5kg.

Customer review: "Very good little tumble dryer, much bigger drum than I was expecting. Very quiet when it's running, very easy to use (just don't overload it) Comes with a vent hose that you can put out a window or door (whichever is convenient for you), dries clothes very well."


  • Compact
  • Quiet
  • Three heat settings


  • You will need to be able to run the vent hose to the outside of your home, which requires extra work (you can put it out of the window)

Best tumble dryer under £500 for smart homes

hoover-tumble-dryerJohn Lewis
Price: £299 (was £319)

This Hoover model has so much to offer at an affordable price, pricing in at just under £300. The condenser Hoover H-DRY has 15 different drying options, including wool-friendly drying and rapid dry cycles to help you if you are pressed for time.

It also has clever Sensor Drying, which automatically checks the moisture in your clothes and adjusts the spin time accordingly. The model also has a digital display and also features WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity to control your device from your smartphone.

Customer review: "I like that it adapts the drying time if needed. It's easy to use and really quiet. We particularly like the phone app - where you see when a load has finished on your phone."


  • Multiple programmes
  • Easy to use
  • Some reviewers mentioned it was costing them less on their electric


  • Some reviewers found that some of the programmes were hard to understand what they were for

Best easy-to-use tumble dryer under £500

Hisense 3 Series WFQA8014EVJM 8kg Washing Machine
Price: £349 (was £379)

The Hisense 3 Series WFQA8014EVJM 8kg Washing Machine is stripped back for those who want an easy-to-use appliance. It offers you a simple dial and a digital screen, which helps for easy operation. This doesn't mean that it isn't impressive, though, as it still offers you 16 programmes, a new 180-degree door that makes it easier to load and unload and the option to delay starting your programme.

Customer review: "Easy to use and super quiet. Perfect for open plan living."


  • 180-degree door
  • 15 different programmes
  • Collects water at the top of the machine with easy access


  • The condenser drawer is smaller than other models

Best energy-saving tumble dryer

Although this tumble dryer from Haier is just over £500, it is a real winner all around. It contains an impressive 16 drying programmes, exceptional A++ energy efficiency rating and good drying performance all in one appliance. The dryer is protected against mould and bacteria, so your laundry always stays hygienic for your household, and an innovative function from Haier allows you to programme your dryer to start a cycle at a time that suits you so you can plan your day accordingly.

Customer review: "Dries clothes well and even gets all the cat hair out of my winter knitwear/cat duvet. It comes with a handy cage for drying trainers, which stops them from bouncing around in the drum. It emits less heat than my previous condenser dryer, which is handy in a top-floor flat. Overall a good dryer for the money and very happy with the purchase."


  • Contemporary design
  • 14 programmes
  • A++ energy rating


  • Loud

OUR VERDICT: What is the best budget tumble dryer under £500?

Our top pick for the best tumble dryer is the Hotpoint H3 D81WB UK. It has a good mix of features that make it an excellent all-rounder: a good energy efficiency rating, 15 programmes, and a decent 8kg capacity making it a sufficient choice for a medium-sized household.

If your budget is a little flexible, we recommend the HAIER HD90-A2979 9KG. It is our overall top pick due to its incredibly efficient heat pump system, range of drying options and excellent energy ratings. It's a fantastic investment that will last for years and look incredibly sleek in your kitchen or utility room.

woman uses dryer to dry laundry


What Are The Different Sizes Of Tumble Dryers?

Realistically, you should consider buying a tumble dryer with the same capacity as your washing machine. The capacity refers to the dry weight of clothes you can fit inside the drum. Tumble dryers range in drum size from 4kg to 9kg. A good way to look at it is that 4-6kg is a good option for a household of two, 7kg suits small homes or families of three, 8kg is ideal for households of four, and 9-10kg is convenient for large households.

The models on this list have between 7-9kg drums. Here is what the capacities look like in your dryer:

7kg: 35 T-shirts or one double duvet**
8kg:** 40 T-shirts or one queen duvet**
10kg:** 50 T-shirts or one winter king duvet

What Is The Difference Between A Heat Pump, Vented And Condenser Tumble Dryer?

There are three types of tumble dryers – vented, condenser, and heat pump. Vented machines tend to use more energy, although newer models include drying sensors that make them more efficient. The real battle is between a heat pump and condenser tumble dryers, as there's a debate about whether one is better for energy ratings.

A heat pump-powered dryer is common in the latest high-tech models. Heat pumps use hot air to extract water that then evaporates in a tank. As they are the most energy-efficient, they tend to be the most expensive tumble dryers. Also, heat pump dryers tend to leave laundry less creased than condenser and vented dryers.

If you are looking for a dryer on a budget, then a vented tumble dryer would be a good choice for you. These need a hose or vent to expel the warm air and must be installed by an external wall or window.

Lastly, condenser tumble dryers work by condensing the warm air from wet clothes into water, accumulating in a removable reservoir and telling you when the tank is full, so there's no need to worry about any flooding.

How much does it cost to use your tumble dryer?

As of October 1, 2022, the average price per kWh of electricity will be 34p - estimated as the average unit price for dual fuel customers who pay by direct debit. The average tumble dryer uses roughly 4.5 kWh per cycle. This means that the average use per cycle of a tumble dryer will cost you between one to two pounds. It also depends on what type of tumble dryer you have, with a heat pump tumble dryer working out as less cost per cycle.

Energy performance certificate

How to keep costs down when using your tumble dryer

Choose an energy-efficient model. Most tumble dryers are around B-C class efficiency rating and should be one of the first things you look for when buying a tumble dryer. How do energy labels work? The energy rating scale changed in 2020, and appliances are now likely rated B or C. A++ is now classified as D or E, and A+ will find themselves F or G rated. This varies from product to product, along with product type and brand (who have yet to switch to the new scale). If you find yourselves confused, here is an easy guide to Energy Rating Labels to help you.

Look out for tumble dryers with an energy rating of C or above, these will be some of the most energy-efficient models, and while they may cost more to purchase to begin with, they can definitely save you money in the long term.

Be careful not to underload your dryer. Yes, really, it's more efficient to wait until you have a full maximum load to dry, as each cycle will use the same amount of energy. Try not to exceed the maximum load, though.

Clean the filters regularly. Most machines will tell you when to do this.

Wash your clothes on a high spin, as the wetter the laundry is when you put it in the tumble dryer, the longer it takes to dry clothes.

Ellen Kinsey was a Senior Health & Wellness Product Writer for A Modern Kitchen, specialising in sustainable living and healthy cooking. She lives and breathes all things food, travel and wellness.

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