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, a window, or have a 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 2020.
The Best Small Condenser Dryers
Last update on 2020-10-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
***Read Our Reviews Here***
Before we give you details of our 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 dryer condenses the warm, damp air using a similar process to that used by dehumidifiers, which collect the condensed water 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.
Dryer 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.
If you want a smaller 3KG or 4KG size - check out our page on small tumble dryers.
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 – most of 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 bit 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 2020.
Bosch is a brand you can trust. Unlike many other brands, their tumble dryers have never been recalled in the U.K due to safety risks.
With a capacity of 7 kg, it can handle the average washing load for a small family.
You also get Bosch's "Auto Dry" feature which saves energy and protects your clothes.
Sensors inside the machine monitor the moisture levels in your laundry. They'll work out the perfect drying time and automatically stop the cycle.
This means you won't have to keep checking on it every 10 minutes.
Check out this video for more details:
The only downside to this model is it doesn't have a child lock, or a countdown timer (which I personally value).
However, I do love that it has a "Filter Full" and a "Water Tank Full" indicators. It also have a quick-dry setting for when you need clothes in a hurry, too.
All in all, if this is in your budget the Bosch Serie 4 is a safe, reliable tumble dryer that won't let you down.
Beko is an award-winning brand, and their appliances are finding their way into more UK homes.
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 DC7000W 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.
Russell Hobbs is a U.K manufacturer that's been making kitchen appliances since the 1950's.
You might already have one of their toasters or kettles. But there are loads of reasons to add this 8KG condenser dryer to your list.
Which is great to keep kids prying fingers from getting where they shouldn't be...
There's even an interior light so you can easily find that one sock that always go MIA...
And just the like the Bosch, this one comes with 12 drying programs including a quick-dry, a gentle setting not to blast your clothes like a furnace, and the usual cottons, synthetics and delicates.
On the safety-side, there's also an alert to let you know when the fluff filter is full. Which I think is essential now with any tumble dryer.
Another nice touch is it comes with adjustable feet. So if you're putting it on an uneven floor (like the garage) it's still going to work o.k.
On the downside, at 69db it's reasonable quiet - but not as quiet on others on our list.
But for the price, I'm impressed with all the features you get - plus a 2-year guarantee.
Firstly, this has sensor drying technology. That means it it automatically detects the moisture content and stops spinning.
Also, if you open the door mid-cycle it will automatically stop the drum.
There's also a countdown timer which is incredibly useful - and many models frustratingly don't have.
And most importantly of all it tells you when you the water and lint needs emptying. Again - not every dryer has this...
It also connects to your smartphone so you can set recommended cycles and even get some expert advice.
There are 16 drying programmes, and 4 different drying levels depending on the material.
On the downside, the delay timer only goes up to 9 hours. And at 69 dbs, it's not the quietest on our list.
However, for the price and range of drying options, it's definitely up there with the best condenser dryers of 2020.
Candy GVSC8DG 8KG Condenser Dryer
It shows how cheap tumble dryers are becoming when you can get ones that connect to your smartphone for this price!
The Candy GVSC8DG is 8KG so perfect for a medium-sized family.
Despite its size it still only measures the standard (H)85.0 x (W)59.5 x (D)61.0 cm
This makes it compact enough to go under a counter, but it is a little big to stack on a washing machine (though some people do!) It can be kept in a cupboard as long as you open the door during use.
It's rated "B" for energy (like most condeser dryers) and at 68 dbs it's pretty quiet, too.
What really impresses me about this model is it has features that similar priced dryers don't have.
There is the "Smart Touch" feature which lets you monitor and add programs via your smart-phone.
Candy have also added "Sensor Drying Technology". This will stop your dryer when there's no more moisture - so it saves you energy and your clothes will come out fluffy and dry.
Speaking of fluffy, there's a special drying program for wool and delicates, too. It's also easy to get to and empty the lint tray.
The only downside is their is no warning for when the water reservoir is full. So you need to remember to empty after every cycle.
There's also no child proof lock so this could be a problem if you have a toddler (or two!) running around.
If you're after a large capacity yet compact condenser dryer, this Candy model is great value for money
Which Condenser Dryer is Best for 2020?
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.
However, if I had to choose just one, I would go with the Beko DTGC7000w.
- Energy Efficiency: B
- Dimensions (cm) - H84.6 x W54 x D59.5
Last update on 2020-10-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Well, in addition to doing all the things you'd expect it to do, it also has an alarm to let you know the lint filter is full.
There are many stories of tumble dryers catching fire, so this for me is an ESSENTIAL FEATURE. Why all makes and models don't have it I just don't know!
There's also a child lock (I have kids) - which again some on our list don't have. There's also an alarm to let you know the cycle has finished.
So for me, these three features set the Beko apart and the price is definitely alright.