Clothes Dryers Review and Ratings

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Compare some of the best clothes dryer brands with our customer satisfaction ratings.

* Overall satisfaction is an individual rating and not a combined total of all ratings. Brands with equal overall satisfaction ratings are listed in alphabetical order.
^ By clicking on a brand or ‘details’ button, you will leave Canstar Blue and be taken to our referral partner to compare. You agree that Canstar Blue’s terms and conditions apply to this referral. If you click on a brand that our referral partner does not cover, you will be taken to a brand page on Canstar Blue.
Canstar Blue research finalised in May 2016, published in May 2016.

See our Ratings Methodology.

2016 Award for Clothes Dryers

Most Satisfied Customers | Fisher & Paykel

A couple of different names have topped our clothes dryer ratings over the years, but the latest trend is that Fisher & Paykel is the brand to beat, leading the way in 2015 and now in 2016.

Fisher & Paykel leaves the rest in a spin

A clothes dryer is the forgotten hero of most Australian homes. You might overlook it for a few months during spring and summer but by the time April arrives, you’re incredibly pleased to see it again. In fact, your clothes dryer might even come to the rescue in warmer times, especially if your favourite outfit has just been through the wash and you need to leave the house in a hurry – thanks, clothes dryer.

But like all major household appliances, not all clothes dryers (or tumble dryers, as some people call them) are created equal, with prices often reflecting their different features and quality. The simple truth is that some are just better than others at drying your clothes in super-quick time, are generally more reliable, and will be able to do the job properly without registering on the Richter scale. That’s why Canstar Blue produces an annual review of clothes dryer brands, to see which are meeting the expectations of busy Aussie households, without breaking the bank. To do this, we surveyed hundreds of consumers who have purchased a new clothes dryer in the last three years.

A couple of different names have topped our clothes dryer ratings over the years, but now Fisher & Paykel is the brand to beat, rating 5 stars in Overall Customer Satisfaction, receiving the Canstar Blue award for Most Satisfied Customers – Clothes Dryers 2016. It was a close race this time, with all four brands rating well overall, but with five-star reviews for drying time, quietness, design, value for money and warranty, Fisher & Paykel has left the rest in a spin.

The great thing about Fisher & Paykel is its variety, as it sells a good mix of vented, condenser and heat pump clothes dryers at varying price points, to suit a range of budgets. So let’s take a look at the different types of electric clothes dryers available and see which might be best suited to you, before comparing them to gas clothes dryers, which are typically more expensive to buy, but could bring long-term energy savings.

Types of clothes dryers

Before you start comparing clothes dryers, it’s a good idea to first decide which type of model you would like to buy. There are three main types of clothes dryers:

  • Vented dryers: The most basic type, vented clothes dryers are also the most common in Australia – probably because they are generally the cheapest. You’ll know if you have a vented clothes dryer as they deal with moist air in a rather inefficient manner, leading to a hot and humid laundry room. Given their inefficient nature, vented clothes dryers are likely to add more to your power bills over time than other models, potentially negating the upfront savings.
  • Condenser dryers: They may be more expensive to buy than vented dryers, but condenser dryers are likely to save you money in the long-run. They recycle hot air by extracting the water vapour from it and sending it back through the clothes in the dryer, rather than simply expelling the moist air like a vented dryer does.
  • Heat pump dryers: Typically the most energy efficient type of clothes dryers, heat pump dryers are also likely to cost you more upfront than the other two types, owing to their fully integrated drying system which act in a similar way to your air conditioner, only in reverse. Find out more about heat pump dryers and if they are worth the extra money in this report.

It’s also worth mentioning washer-dryer combos, which bring the convenience of washing and drying your clothes all in one place. However, these appliances usually come with a smaller load capacity than most other clothes dryers, meaning they are not as popular as their convenience suggests they probably should be.

Gas powered clothes dryers

Essentially, the only difference between electric and gas clothes dryers is how they are heated, hence the name. A gas clothes dryer uses LPG gas to heat the tumbler and much less electricity to fuel the appliance than standard models. This makes them cheaper to run over time, but you will pay for that advantage at the point of purchase, with gas clothes dryers costing double that of electric models in some cases.

Clothes dryer features

There are a few things to consider when buying a new clothes dryer, because the last thing you’ll want to do is buy one that isn’t quite right for your home, particularly when it comes to size and capacity.

Capacity

The capacity of clothes dryers is measured in weight, and you’ll typically find models with a capacity of between 5 and 8 kilograms, but they can come even bigger! Unless you make a habit of weighing your dirty clothes, that probably doesn’t mean much to you. So as a guide, this is how weight translates into average households:

  • Less than 5kg – 1 to 2 people
  • 5kg to 7kg – 3 to 4 people
  • More than 7kg – 4+ people

Given that most clothes dryers are not very energy efficient, it’s probably best to err on the side of bigger if you’re not sure what capacity you need. Of course, running a tumble dryer once will cost you less than running it twice. There is also the safety aspect to consider, as overloading a clothes dryer is a bad idea.

Features

Clothes dryers are a basic household appliance when you boil it down – you put your clothes inside, turn it on, and your clothes are dried. However, you will still find varying features on different clothes dryers, including:

  • Moisture sensor: Keeping your clothes dryer running when all your clothes are already nice and warm is no good for everyone, including your power bill… and your clothes dryer’s health. That is why many new models come with a moisture sensor which brings your clothes dryer to a halt when it senses its work is done.
  • Program settings: Much like dishwashers and washing machines have various settings based on how hard and fast you want them to clean, clothes dryers also come with different programs to choose from. These usually comprise of ‘quick’ or ‘delicate’ settings depending on how fast you need your favourite outfit.
  • Delayed start: If you pay a different price to use power at different times of the day, then you might benefit from a ‘delayed start’ function that comes with some clothes dryers, as it allows you to set everything up before you head off to work, for example.

How much do clothes dryers cost?

Our 2016 survey of consumers who have recently purchased a new clothes dryer found that the average amount Aussies are spending has increased over the last 12 months. In 2015, we found an average spend of $414, which has increased fairly significantly to $531 in 2016. So how much will you need to pay? As an example, Appliances Online currently stocks Fisher & Paykel vented clothes dryers from $486 up to $799. However, some brands are available for under $300.

How long will your clothes dryer last? We found consumers who recently bought a new model were replacing old ones after an average of 7.4 years – meaning a $531 purchase will cost you $71.70 per year.

Time is of the essence

When all is said and done, and your new clothes dryer is hard at work, delivering your favourite fabrics to order, what do Aussies really want – and expect – from their washing machine’s best mate. We found the drivers of overall customer satisfaction to be as follows:

  • Drying time: 48%
  • Value for money: 19%
  • Quietness while operating: 12%
  • Performance and reliability: 10%
  • Warranty: 7%
  • Design: 4%

So there you have it. The average Aussie wants his/her clothes dried in a hurry, and to feel like the purchase price is delivering good value for money. Now we’ll leave you to decide which clothes dryer is right for you.

Compare Clothes Dryers

Frequently asked questions

Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 3,000 Australian consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a brand new clothes dryer in the last three years – in this case, 415 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.





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