Best Small Tumble Dryers – Compact Solutions for Efficient Drying

Mini appliances that are a perfect fit for any lifestyle.

best small tumble dryers

by Natalie Knowles |
Updated on

Save a trip to the laundrette with the best small tumble dryers. A compact drying machine is a brilliant investment, whether you're a student, living in a rented flat, or looking for a way to dry clothes in a small space. The best tumble dryers don't necessarily have to be full-size and freestanding appliances. With a 2.5kg compact tumble dryer there is scope to wall-mount it, stack it on top of a washing machine, or position it on a counter-top.

No more sticking your socks on the radiator. Mini tumble dryers are designed to dry your clothes thoroughly. Who remembers top-loading spin dryers? They still exist and are a good option for portable drying on a camping trip. Spin dryers use centrifugal force to wring excess water from laundry. Yet – for not much more money – a compact tumble dryer uses heat to dry clothes thoroughly. It can be integrated into your kitchen, utility room or mobile home. It's vented, so you don't have the faff of dealing with wastewater and a sudden peak in humidity levels. A vented tumble dryer uses heat to turn water into a vapour removed through a pipe.

Best Small Tumble Dryers At A Glance

Best overall small tumble dryer: Montpellier MTDAD3P Freestanding 3kg Compact White Tumble Dryer – View on Amazon UK
Best small tumble dryer for features: FOHERE 4KG Vented Tumble Dryer with Sensor Dry – View on Amazon UK
Best small tumble dryer under £200: Cookology 2.5kg Mini Tumble Dryer – View on Cookology

The only bother you'll have is your pets sitting on the warm, fresh laundry, achievable in under an hour with a small tumble dryer. Suppose you don't have a garage or a utility room to accommodate a full-size tumble dryer or a washer-dryer. In that case, you may have ruled out these convenient appliances altogether. But far from making do with heated airer and a dehumidifier, consider a mini tumble dryer an essential purchase.

It's a nightmare trying to get washing dry in the damper months of the year. Especially if you can't hang your washing outside. Compact tumble dryers are available in various capacities, typically between 2.5kg and 4kg. They're not like the spin dryers of yore. Who remembers shaking cylindrical dryers that would demand your full attention as they noisily belched water down the sink? Happily, contemporary drying machines are quiet and energy efficient and can even be integrated tumble dryers for a seamless kitchen aesthetic. For a spin through the key features of small tumble dryers, scroll to the FAQ section below.

Best Small Tumble Dryers

Best overall small tumble dryer

Montpellier MTDAD3P Freestanding 3kg Compact White Tumble DryerAmazon/Montpellier

Designed to save space without compromising on style, this Montpellier MTDAD3P Freestanding 3kg Compact White Tumble Dryer is ideal for smaller homes. Despite its smaller size, the 3kg capacity dryer is surprisingly spacious. The appliance has a good variety of temperature settings and programmes, along with safety features like a child safety door lock. Its convenient design allows for placement on a worktop, in a cupboard, or even wall mounting.

Customer review: "Love the compact size and very impressed with it’s performance. It’s quiet and the digital display makes it very easy to use. Highly recommended."


  • Amazon's Choice
  • Sensor dry
  • Wall mountable


  • No reverse tumble feature

Best small tumble dryer for features

FOHERE 4KG Vented Tumble Dryer with Sensor DryAmazon/Fohere

Tailor your drying experience with the FOHERE 4KG Vented Tumble Dryer with Sensor Dry. This appliance has a more sophisticated range of drying options, including full heat and half heat modes. In addition, choose from hot, warm and cool settings and set the drying time (up to 200 minutes on the dial-operated timer). Boasting 1200W power and a 4kg capacity, it delivers rapid drying on rainy days and ensures wrinkle-free clothes every time. Compact and portable at 20kg, it's perfect for small spaces, such as student halls, rented accommodations, mobile homes, caravans, or holiday lets.

Customer review: "It has eradicated the need for ironing most of the washing. I always dry blouses etc. on a hanger but anything else does well just fold and hang back up. Towels are so soft much better than line drying. I am so pleased I splashed out on this dryer."


  • Double filtration system
  • Good range of programmes
  • Flexibility when installing


  • Lint filter is fiddly to remove and replace

Best small tumble dryer under £200

Cookology 2.5kg Mini Tumble DryerCookology

This Cookology 2.5kg Mini Tumble Dryer offers versatility and convenience for any home. Whether placed on your countertop or mounted on the wall, it fits seamlessly into your space. With five drying programmes and two heat settings, including Cool, Anti-Wrinkle, Warm, Hot, and Air Dry, the appliance caters to various fabric types. It's perfect for compact kitchens, rentals, student housing, mobile homes, boats, caravans, and camper vans. This vented dryer includes wall brackets and a ducting pipe for easy installation. Additionally, it's packed with features like a lint filter and air intake filter, ensuring efficient operation.

Customer review: "Very quiet and small . Easy to fit on table top Uses very little money, had it on for two hours and only cost less than 50p – amazing."


  • Quiet
  • Available in three different colours
  • Flexible installation
  • Anti-wrinkle function


  • If positioned on the ground or in a low cupboard the controls are difficult to see and adjust

Best small tumble dryer for wall mounting

electriQ 2.5kg & Wall Mountable Vented Tumble Dryer Appliances Direct/electriQ

The compact design of the electriQ 2.5kg & Wall Mountable Vented Tumble Dryer makes it perfect for small kitchens or student accommodation. Plus, it's adaptable for either freestanding or wall-mounted use. With a 2.5kg capacity drum, this dryer can efficiently dry approximately 12 t-shirts – proving its small size is no hindrance to performance. Setting your preferences is simple with a dial control and there are four programmes to choose from. The air-dry setting is great for refreshing clothes. Using a vented system, it efficiently dries laundry and extracts moisture through a rear vent hose, which can be connected to an external vent.

Customer review: "Excellent dryer, perfect to just finish drying clothes on a short cycle after a day on an airer indoors. Have it on a worktop connected to a condenser vent box. Easy to remove the filter for cleaning once you realise you need to turn it anti-clockwise, would help if the manual reflected this."


  • Basic and easy to use
  • Quiet running
  • Freestanding or wall-mounted


  • Customers comment that the filter is tricky to remove

Best basic small tumble dryer

Generic Creda 3KG Load Freestanding Compact Mini Tumble DryerAmazon/Creda

With retro appeal, the Generic Creda 3KG Load Freestanding Compact Mini Tumble Dryer has dial controls and branding you may remember from the 1990s. But that's not to say this 3kg mini tumble dryer is old school in its performance (who remembers the Debonair spin dryer by Creda from the 1990s?). This compact appliance is a doddle to use, has an easy-to-clean filter and reduces the creases in your laundry. It's less than 50cm wide and deep and around 69cm tall so that this mini tumble dryer can be integrated into a cabinet, installed on a shelf or placed on a counter-top.

Customer review: "Lovely little dryer, just right for us. It has handle grips on the sides and is easily moved if you have to put it away in a cupboard etc. I find it very efficient and have hardly had to iron anything since I bought it. A real treat if you have arthritis in your hands. I would highly recommend. Real value for the money."


  • Easy to use
  • Easy clean filter
  • Anti-crease technlology


  • A review comments that the filter is tricky to remove

Best 3kg small tumble dryer

Bush TD3CNBW 3KG Vented Tumble DryerArgos/Bush

This Bush TD3CNBW 3KG Vented Tumble Dryer boasts a 3kg drum capacity suitable for around 15 adult T-shirts. Choose between two heat settings to quickly prepare your clothes for the day, with a High Dry option for bulky items and Low Dry for delicate fabrics like silk and nylon. Select your desired heat setting and set the timer. Notably, it's one of the quietest options available – with the Quiet Mark stamp of approval – especially beneficial for households with young children. Note, that this appliance needs to be positioned on firm, even ground and is unsuitable for worktops. Additionally, it requires an external vent – a vent kit is supplied with the tumble dyer.

Customer review: "Ideal for a couple and if you have limited space for a tumble dryer. It works well and seems to be fairly economical. There are a couple of points to bear in mind. The dryer is supplied with an 80mm diameter exhaust hose so if you are going to connect it to a 100mm hose or outlet, you will need to buy a reducer to achieve a proper connection."


  • Awarded Quiet Mark
  • Two heat settings


  • Filter is difficult to clean and replace

Best small tumble dryer for counter tops

Russell Hobbs RH3VTD800S Silver 2.5kg Compact Mini Vented Tumble DryerAmazon/Russell Hobbs

Ideal for students or people living in studio flats, the Russell Hobbs RH3VTD800S Silver 2.5kg Compact Mini Vented Tumble Dryer is small enough to be portable; albeit, it requires an external vent. This space-saving appliance is 50cm wide, 41.5cm deep and less than 60cm high, making it one of the smallest tumble dryers on the market. This also gives scope for flexible installation, as it can be positioned on a counter-top or wall-mounted. The cool setting prevents creases and revitalises stored clothes, while the warm setting suits small loads, ensuring wrinkle-free results. Use the hot setting for larger loads or bulky items. It's a simple to use, dial-operated appliance.

Customer review: "Bought this when my big dryer broke and was awaiting a repair. We are a busy family and can’t live without a dryer. Despite being a fraction of the size this did an amazing job! And it was a welcome gift to my mum when we were done with it. If you are a small family or maybe even have a pool or hot tub with an endless stream of towels and swimwear. It’s a great addition to any home."


  • Compact
  • Quiet
  • Three heat settings
  • Air dry function reduces creases and refreshes clothes


  • External vent required

Best 4kg small tumble dryer

COSTWAY 4kg Vented Tumble DryerAmazon/Costway

The COSTWAY 4kg Vented Tumble Dryer is adaptable to dry all kinds of fabric types and weights. Choose from high, medium, air dry, and ECO tailored drying. It dries at 65°C to make clothes softer, fluffy and more comfortable. With forward and reverse tumble action, this dryer minimises tangling. Its 4kg capacity can accommodate various items including, T-shirts, towels and bed sheets. Safety features include automatic door stoppage and overheat protection to ensure peace of mind during operation. It's portable and compact, with two side handles for easy lifting. Choose from multiple installation options: freestanding, wall-mounted (accessories included) or stacked with a washing machine.

Customer review: "Lovely little dryer, dries in no time, very quiet, very impressed at how economical it is. Easy to use, would highly recommend. You do need to buy a pipe separately as it doesn’t come with one."


  • Three-layer filter
  • Three heat settings
  • Sensor dry


  • Need to purchase a venting pipe separately

Best small tumble dryer for energy efficiency

BEKO Pro DTIKP71131W Integrated 7kg Heat Pump Tumble DryerCurrys/Beko
Price: £499 (was £519)

Looking for something slightly larger, yet still limited for space? If you don't have a separate utility room, an integrated tumble dryer is a seamless way to accommodate drying facilities in your kitchen. With a focus on durability and performance, this BEKO Pro DTIKP71131W Integrated 7kg Heat Pump Tumble Dryer employs lower temperatures for gentler drying, protecting your garments while maximising energy efficiency. Its intuitive features, including LED progress indicators, make it easy to operate. Equipped with sensor drying technology, it ends the cycle when clothes reach optimal dryness. Handy features include automatic anti-creasing, reverse action drum, easy access filter for cleaning, and an auto cool phase before unloading.

Customer review: "Dries faster and better than my old vented model. Sensor drying is a real boon."


  • Sensor drying
  • Eco-cycle
  • Larger capacity
  • Integrated


  • Eco-cycles are long

Our Verdict: Best Small Tumble Dryer

The Montpellier MTDAD3P Freestanding 3kg Compact White Tumble Dryer is perfect for single-person households or quick drying needs. With functions like Anti-crease and Refresh, you gain added control over your drying process. Also, it boasts five drying programmes: Extra Dry, Standard, Quick, Timed, and Refresh. The controls are simple and intuitive. Also, the appliance is easy to manoeuvre, facilitated by handles on each side. All-in-all, this compact tumble dryer offers flexibility that's tailored to your laundry needs and ticks all the boxes in terms of functionality.


What are the main features to consider when buying a small tumble dryer?

If you are a small house-hold, a small tumble dryer is convenient and cost effective way of drying laundry. A mini counter-top or wall-mounted appliance will use less energy than even the best full-size budget tumble dryer. Obviously, it always pays to do your homework before making a purchase. With that in mind, here are the key features to consider before buying a compact tumble dryer:

Measure up and note the dimensions of the tumble dryer. It will state in the product description whether the appliance is suitable for wall-mounting or stacking on top of a washing machine. Any tumble dryer that's less than 6kg will have a compact footprint. Additionally, some 7kg tumble dryers are designed to be built-in cabinets as a space-saving feature.

If you are living in a rented flat please bear in mind that a vented tumble dryer needs an external outlet to remove moisture. Check Appliance covers all the reasons why a vented tumble dryer needs an external vent.

If space is at a premium, look for versatile installation options. Small tumble dryers can be freestanding, wall-mounted, positioned on a work surface, or stacked with a washing machine.

Multiple drying programmes offer various settings tailored to different fabrics and loads.

Newer tumble dryers utilise lower temperatures or energy-saving modes for efficient drying.

Mini tumble dryers typically range from 2.5kg to 4kg in capacity, and are suitable for small to medium loads.

Look for user-friendly features such as timer functions, LED indicators and touch screen panels for easy operation.

Gentle drying performance prevents overheating and damage to clothes. Look for sensor drying technology and lower heat settings.

Small tumble dryers can be portable. Some models are lightweight and equipped with handles for easy manoeuvrability. We recommend Cookology table top tumble dryers as some of the most compact and moveable appliances on the market.

Safety features such as automatic door stoppage, overheat protection, and a child lock offer peace of mind.

Look for a stainless steel drum and quality materials for long-lasting performance and durability.

Why is a small tumble dryer more energy efficient?

Due to its reduced size, a small tumble dryer is more energy-efficient; meaning less heat and power are consumed. Additionally, compact dryers often utilise technologies such as heat pump systems or sensor drying. This optimises energy consumption by adjusting drying times and temperatures based on load size and moisture levels.

Should I go for a spin dryer or a small tumble dryer?

Choosing between a spin dryer and a small tumble dryer depends on your your laundry needs, available space, budget, and energy efficiency priorities.

The plus points of a spin dryer is that it's compact and portable, gentle or fabrics (as it doesn't reach high temperatures) and it's quicker than air drying. The drawbacks include limited capacity and limited drying options.

A small tumble dryer has versatile temperature settings and drying programmes, tailored to different fabrics and loads. It has a larger capacity and offers faster and more thorough drying than a spin dryer. The drawback is that a small tumble dryer has a higher upfront cost, has, takes up a larger footprint and has a higher energy consumption.

Natalie Knowles is a Homes & Garden Product Writer for A Modern Kitchen, specialising in kitchen appliances. When she's not testing coffee machines, she flexes her creative flair as an artist.

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