Clothes Dryers Review & Ratings

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Canstar Blue reviews and rates clothes dryers from Simpson, Bosch, Fisher & Paykel, Electrolux and LG, based on factors including drying time, reliability, quietness, warranty and value for money.

* 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 March 2017, published in April 2017.

See our Ratings Methodology.

2017 award for clothes dryers

Most Satisfied Customers | Simpson

In Canstar Blue’s 2017 review of clothes dryers, Simpson has been rated highest, scoring five stars from customers in the important areas of drying time, reliability and overall customer satisfaction. Simpson also rated four stars on quietness, design, warranty and value for money.

Simpson springs to life as clothes dryer competition heats up

Many Australians are lucky in that drying clothes during the summer months is quite literally a breeze. However, it’s not so easy for others, and when winter arrives, we’re all left wondering what to do with those wet socks and undies. Sure, if you leave them outside for long enough, they’ll dry eventually. But what if time is of the essence? You may need to buy a clothes dryer!

A clothes dryer (or tumble dryer if you prefer) can be the unsung hero of your laundry room. It will be there for you throughout the year, but especially during the colder months when school uniforms and work shirts need drying, pronto! You might think that all clothes dryers are more or less the same, but our customer ratings suggest otherwise. They should all get the basic job done perfectly fine (i.e. they’ll dry your clothes), but the manner, and time, in which they do so can vary significantly.

So, where can you find the best clothes dryers in Australia? To offer some guidance, Canstar Blue produces an annual review of clothes dryer brands, asking consumers across our great brown land what they think of the dryer they own and operate. Our customer ratings are based on the responses of those who have purchased a new dryer in the last three years, giving you an idea of what to expect should you choose one of the reviewed brands.

This year, Simpson has been rated highest, achieving five-star reviews in the important areas of reliability and drying time, as well as for overall customer satisfaction. Simpson replaces Fisher & Paykel at the top of the standings after the New Zealand brand rated four stars for overall satisfaction, along with Bosch. It was three stars overall for Electrolux and LG.

Other notable results were:

  • Five stars for Fisher & Paykel on reliability, design, quietness and value for money
  • Five stars for Bosch on quietness and warranty
  • Five stars for Electrolux on warranty

It’s worth pointing out that Simpson is an Australian brand owned by Swedish appliance manufacturer Electrolux. Simpson clothes dryers and washing machines are typically some of the cheapest available, while Electrolux laundry appliances tend to command a higher price tag owing to their advanced technologies and features. However, it seems that when it comes to clothes dryers, Aussies are satisfied that Simpson ticks all the boxes. We’ll get an overview of the products and prices on offer from each brand in this review shortly. But first, what should you think about when buying a new clothes dryer?

 

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Picking a new clothes dryer

There are a number of factors to consider when buying a new clothes dryer, including:

  • Dryer type
  • Capacity
  • Features
  • Upfront cost
  • Energy efficiency

Let’s get some details about each factor to help you pick the best clothes dryer for your needs.

Types of clothes dryers

You might think that all clothes dryers are basically the same (they certainly do the same job), but there are some subtle and not so subtle differences that impact their price, performance and energy efficiency. There are three main types of electric clothes dryers:

  • Vented dryers: The most ‘traditional’ type of dryer, vented clothes dryers release the moist air used to heat the clothes through a hose to the outside. As a result, they do not offer the same positional flexibility as other types of dryers because they need to be close to a door or window to vent the air properly. Vented clothes dryers are usually the cheapest to buy upfront.
  • Condenser dryers: The difference between vented dryers and condenser dryers is that, rather than venting moist air, condenser dryers trap the moisture in a drawer which must be manually emptied on a regular basis. As the air does not need to be vented outside, condenser dryers have much more positional flexibility. However, as they tend to create and emit of a lot of heat and moisture while in operation, they should only be used in rooms with good ventilation.
  • Heat pump dryers: These dryers are almost always the most expensive to buy, but can result in good long-term energy savings. Rather than venting moist air or trapping it in a drawer, heat pump condenser dryers recycle the warm air produced by the drying cycle and use it to dry out the clothes. They do not produce as much heat as other types of dryers, meaning maximum positional flexibility. Heat pump dryers are also much more energy efficient.

On the subject of energy efficiency, gas powered clothes dryers can also bring long-term energy savings, as gas is typically less expensive than electricity. However, gas powered dryers can be very expensive to buy upfront. You’ll have to determine whether the energy savings justify the purchase price or not.

The other type of clothes dryer to consider is a washer dryer combo. Bringing the convenience of one appliance for both washing and drying, washer dryers are a good solution for apartment living, but can be expensive to buy upfront. Modern washer dryers should also be fairly energy efficient, but again you’ll have to do your maths.

Clothes dryer capacity

Capacity is an important factor to consider – not just because of the inconvenience of having to use your dryer multiple times if it isn’t big enough to dry all your clothes at once, but also due to the impact on your energy bills of having to do so! There is also a potential safety issue at hand here, because regularly overloading your dryer will force its motor to work extra hard, which could lead to overheating.

The capacity of clothes dryers is measured in weight, with most models providing a capacity of between 5 and 9 kilograms. You’re unlikely to know how much your wet clothes weigh, so what capacity will you need? As a general guide:

  • Less than 5kg = 1 or 2 people
  • 5kg to 7kg = 3 or 4 people
  • More than 7kg = more than 4 people

It’s probably wise to err on the side of bigger if you’re not sure what capacity you will need. It’s going to be cheaper to run a large dryer once than a smaller dryer twice! But be sure to keep in mind the allocated space in your laundry room.

Features

Clothes dryers are arguably the most basic of household appliances – you turn them on and they heat your clothes until they’re dry! But you may be surprised to learn that modern dryers can come with some handy features that make this already simple process just a little bit easier. They include:

  • Moisture sensors: It’s not always easy to predict how long your clothes will need to dry, so you could easily set your dryer to an hour, for example, and forget all about it. But what if your clothes dry sooner? Keeping your dryer running with already warm clothes is no good for anyone, including your power bill. Fortunately moisture sensors can detect when the work is done and bring the dryer to an early finish.
  • Various program settings: It’s a clothes dryer’s job to dry your clothes, but there is more than one way to do it. Like how washing machines and dishwashers have different program settings based on how hard or fast you want them to work, the same is true for some clothes dryers. They include settings for certain types of clothing such as wools and cottons, as well as ‘super quick’ cycles if you’re in a hurry, and anti-crease programs if you don’t fancy doing the ironing. Most dryers will also allow for delayed starts which can be handy if you have a flexible pricing energy tariff.

Be aware that the more flashy features you want, the more you’ll end up paying, which brings us on nicely to our next point.

Upfront costs

As one of the most basic appliances in your home, clothes dryers can be incredibly cheap. A look at Appliances Online shows that several vented dryers are available for under $400, with a couple even costing less than $300. Brands like Euromaid, Haier and Midea tend to be the most basic and cheapest of the bunch. At the other end of the spectrum, heat pump dryers can cost as much as $3,000, with the majority priced around the $1,500 mark. If it’s a top of the line dryer you want, brands like Smeg, Asko and V-Zug are worth a look.

Energy efficiency

Keep in mind that the biggest difference between cheap and expensive clothes dryers is often their energy efficiency. If a dryer costs less to run in energy bills, it will likely command a higher purchase price. Vented clothes dryers are notoriously inefficient, with the majority having energy ratings of just 2 stars or less. Heat pump dryers, on the other hand, can be extremely efficient, with many boasting energy ratings of 5, 6 or even 7 stars. Ultimately it’s a trade-off between upfront and ongoing costs. If you’re likely to use your clothes dryer a lot, it may be worth investing in a relatively efficient model.

 

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Clothes dryer brands

There are more than 20 different brands of clothes dryers available in Australia, but our ratings feature arguably the most prominent. So let’s get an overview of what each brand has to offer.

Simpson clothes dryers

One of the cheapest brands around when it comes to clothes dryers – but deemed good value for money – Simpson has a concise range of vented clothes dryers based on size capacity. The Simpson Ezi Loader series has vented dryers with a 4kg, 5kg or 6kg capacity, which naturally has an impact on prices. These prices can vary between retailers, but going by Appliances Online, we see that the 4kg model can he had for under $370, while the 5kg model costs around $480, and the 6kg model is the priciest at about $580. The video below is a review of the 4kg dryer.

Bosch clothes dryers

Bosch has a wide range of vented, condenser and heat pump clothes dryers, but they generally command premium prices. Even Bosch’s vented dryers can cost upwards of $700, while its high end heat pump dryers come with price tags of more than $1,600. However, for these prices you should get quality, with large capacities and good energy efficiency the order of the day. In our ratings, Bosch was praised for quietness and warranty, with five stars on both counts, as well as four stars on value for money, so your clothes should be in safe hands.

Fisher & Paykel clothes dryers

A previous winner of our clothes dryer ratings, Fisher & Paykel has one of the largest ranges of vented, condenser and heat pump dryers in Australia. You’ll find dryer capacities of between 4kg and 8kg, with prices to suit most budgets. You can pick up a Fisher & Paykel vented clothes dryer for under $350, while its top of the line heat pump dryer – with a 6 star energy efficiency rating – can be had for less than $1,500. No wonder then that Fisher & Paykel was the only brand to earn five stars on value for money, while joining Simpson on top marks for reliability. It was also the only brand to rate five stars on design.

Electrolux clothes dryers

The parent company of Simpson, Electrolux has a much broader range of dryers, but still keeps prices low for its modest vented models. These can be had for as little as $500, but Electrolux is also a big player when it comes to heat pump dryers, with large 8kg capacity models bringing 6 stars for energy efficiency. These dryers will cost you close to $2,000. Electrolux rated three stars overall this year, but did achieve four-star reviews on reliability, design and quietness, with five stars for warranty.

LG clothes dryers

Like Bosch, LG can be described as a premium brand when it comes to clothes dryers, with all of its models costing in excess of $1,000. However, LG doesn’t mess around with vented or small dryers, with all of its models boasting a capacity of at least 8kg, whether you’re looking for a condenser or heat pump dryer. Its top of the range 9kg heat pump dryer is also one of the only appliances in Australia to have an energy efficiency rating of 7 stars, available for under $2,000. Despite this, LG rated just three stars overall in this year’s review, with four stars on reliability and quietness.

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Frequently asked questions

Canstar Blue commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey 3,000 Australian adults 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 new clothes dryer in the last 3 years – in this case, 466 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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