We can't always rely on the weather in the UK, so a small tumble dryer makes an excellent "Plan B".
Vented tumble dryers are cheap and can do a good job, but you need to place them near a door, window, or have vent put in the wall for the tube.
If you don't have the space, there are a lot of small condenser dryers on the UK market. With these appliances, you don't need an external vent fitted, or need to hang anything out of the window.
On this page, we'll look at five of the best models for 2018.
The Best Small Condenser Dryers
Last update on 2018-08-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Before we give you details of the top five, lets have a look at what a condenser tumble dryer is, and why it should be your choice.
What is a Condenser Tumble Dryer?
The beauty of a condenser tumble dryer is that it does not need the external venting, so there is no need to find a place where that cumbersome hose can go outside.
This means you can put it in bedrooms or even the living room, but you do need to make sure it is in a well-ventilated room, as there will be excess heat from the machine.
The trick is that the dryer condenses the warm, damp air by certain means – it’s a similar process to that used in a dehumidifier into water, which is then collected in a reservoir or tray.
The tray does need to be emptied quite regularly, yet the benefit of being able to put the machine where you want is very welcome.
Condenser dryers may be more expensive than their vented cousins in some cases. However, only the best priced dryers have made our list.
Features You Need To Consider
We would include size of the machine in this section, but as all of those listed are standard for under the counter use, here’s what you need to think about!
Capacity – the more people in your household, the bigger dryer you will need. There’s a choice of 7 kg and 8 kg models on our list, so choose accordingly to fit your washing machine.
Functions – you need to make sure your chosen machine has all the features and functions that you need and will use, so have a look in depth at the manufacturer specifications for anti-crease features, available programmes and more.
Energy Efficiency – these machines are rated either B or C; the former is better, so for more efficient running choose the best one you can afford.
Noise Level – note that the dB scale is not linear; in other words, 75 dB is a lot louder than, say, 68 dB! None of these are silent machines, but some are quieter than others.
Size - It's likely your after a condenser tumble dryer that can fit into a small space.
These appliances tend to be a but narrower than washing machines, the same depth and just a little bit taller.
To give you some idea, the smallest on our list is sized 54cm wide by 60cm deep by 85cm tall.
Small Condenser Tumble Dryer Reviews
Using the above features as a reference point, here are our reviews of the best small tumble dryers of 2018.
The Hotpoint brand comes with a guarantee of quality and reliability, and their kitchen appliances are in millions of our homes in the UK.
The FETC70CP is small, compact and designed to sit under any counter.
For reference, the dimensions are 59.5 cm wide x 61 cm deep x 85 cm tall.
As it's also just under three feet tall, this allows you to stack it if you wanted to.
With a capacity of 7 kg, it can handle the average washing load for a small family.
An interesting feature this particular model has is "Anti-Tangle Technology", which allows your clothes to come out individually, and not in one big heap!
In terms of energy-efficiency, this appliance is rated at "C", which is in keeping with the average for these machines.
It's great that Hotpoint have installed a warning light to let you know when to empty the water, and also the lint filter. This is really important, as too much lint can cause a fire hazard.
On the noise scale, it puts out 72 db, which is about the sound of a vacuum cleaner. It's not the quietest, but again well within the average for these appliances.
For further peace of mind, the Hotpoint FETC0CP comes with a 12-month parts and labour guarantee. As a bonus, they also offer free replacement parts for the first 10 years!
Beko is an award-winning brand, and their appliances are finding their way into more UK homes.
The DC7112DW is a small condenser dryer in size (54 cm x 60 cm x 85 cm), but it's 7kg capacity makes it suitable for a small family.
For us, two things really sell this model.
The first is that it's Energy-Efficiency is rated "B", which is higher than the "C" that many tumble dryers are awarded.
The second is that everything about this machine is easy to use. The controls are intuitive (though a lack of a countdown timer has been lamented) and users report both the water and lint filters are easy to clean and change.
Performance wise, you can expect the Beko DC7112DW to dry synthetic clothes in around 60 minutes. Cottons and jeans will take a bit longer, and you're best of leaving those for 135 minutes.
Another consideration with this model is it has a 2-meter long power cord. This helps if you're placing it in a bedroom or living room.
There is a one-year manufacturers guarantee included, and this can be extended at an additional cost.
This dryer comes from Indesit, one of the most trusted brands for laundry appliances.
It is an 8 kg condenser dryer, so it's perfect if you have a larger washing machine.
The first is that it uses "Sensor Technology" to monitor the moisture and temperature levels inside the machine. So they indicate that your clothes are dry the machine automatically shuts off.
This is a great feature to save energy (and it has been awarded level "B" which is above-average for tumble dryers) but also ensure your clothes are not so bone dry they can stand up on their own!
The dual rotation of the drum prevents your clothes tangling together. It's also quiet at 68 db and actually one of the quietest on our list.
There are 16 different drying features which includes "Cool Tumble", a feature designed to keep your clothes smelling fresh.
As well as an array of features, you can also get this one in black or silver.
The Indesit Sensor is a great little condenser dryer, but it is priced slightly higher than others on our list - all be it with a larger capacity.
You also get a 1-year manufacturers warranty and ten years for parts included in the price.
Another brand with a strong reputation in consumer goods, LG is a name to be reckoned with.
This machine promises excellent performance via a series of clever sensors; these monitor humidity, temperature, water level, steam and overall efficiency, so you get the best drying capability possible.
This model has a 7kg capacity and comes with anti-tangle and anti-crease technology, it has full functions with many settings, has a full timer and is easy to set up and go.
It measures 60 cm x 64 cm x 85 cm, so it's perfect for a small space, or to stack on top of a washing machine.
This model has loads of sensors to detect the temperature and humidity inside the dryer to protect your clothes and to improve drying performance.
These sensors help the LG RC7066A2Z achieve a "B" grade for Energy-Efficiency, and again this is above average for tumble dryers.
One area it really does excel is on the noise front. At just 66 db, it just beats the Indesit dryer to become the quietest on our list.
And lastly, this model has "Smart Diagnostics". This is a smart-phone app which syncs with the dryer to troubleshoot any performance issues. It can also send the data to a qualified engineer to speed up the repair process.
This LG condenser dryer is the most expensive on our list. However, it the quietest, has the most sensors and most importantly of all, is "A" rated for drying performance.
Proving the LG RC7066A2Z fits within your budget, it could be an excellent choice.
Hoover is one of the most well-known UK brands, so it’s only right this 8kg capacity condenser dryer is included in our selection.
The DNCD813B-80 has an 8 KG capacity, so it's larger than a lot of other dryers, but it still only measures 61 cm x 59.5 cm x 85 cm.
This makes it compact enough to go under a counter, or to be stacked on top of your washing machine. It can even be kept in a cupboard as long as you open the door during use.
Features include an indicator light for when the reservoir is full, 18 variable heat settings, so you can make sure your laundry is dried as you wish,
plus a full timer and delay system that allows you to pre-set when you want the cycle to begin.
There's also anti-crease and easy-iron functions, and this Hoover model is energy rated to B overall, which is very good
It's also rated at 69 db, which places it third on our list for quietness. Users report that this is quiet enough, and you can hardly hear it all behind a closed door.
As with a few others on our list, this one comes with 1 years manufacturers warranty and a 10 year guarantee for parts.
If you're after a large capacity yet compact condenser dryer, this Hoover design could be the pick of the bunch.
Which Condenser Dryer Is For You?
In putting together this list, we tried to provide a good selection from the best brands available in the UK. We also tried to choose models that could fit into different types of budgets, too.
In terms of size and capacity, there's not a lot to choose from between all 5.
If money is not a constraint, then the LG RC7066A2Z makes an excellent choice. It's about as energy efficient as these appliances can be, and scores an "A" in drying performance, too.
However, if we're talking the best small condenser dryer for the money, it would have to be the Hotpoint FETC0CP.
- Dimensions: 59.5 centimeter Width x 61 centimeter Depth x 85 centimeter Height
- C energy efficiency
- 72dB Noise Level
Last update on 2018-08-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
It might lose some marks for energy-efficiency and quietness, but you get a lot of features for the price and a 10-year parts warranty, which is outstanding.