Unless you really love looking at washing appliances, an integrated washing machine and tumble dryer are a match made in heaven – no one will ever know they’re there. The best integrated tumble dryers give little away to freestanding models in terms of performance or features, yet disappear completely behind cabinet doors. Even if you are lucky enough to have a utility or laundry room, there’s no need for it to look like a branch of your local laundrette.
Given the current focus on energy saving and reducing those mounting electricity bills, investing in a tumble dryer can feel somewhat counter intuitive. However, for families with a lot of laundry to get through, drying it on an airer in the spare room just isn’t feasible. So, for those of you that can’t do without a tumble dryer, these are our picks of the best integrated models.
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The best integrated tumble dryers: At a glance
- Best budget integrated tumble dryer: Candy BCTDH7A1TE (~£550) | Buy now
- Best high-end integrated tumble dryer: Caple TDI4001 (~£829) | Buy now
- Best for smart features: Hoover BHTDH7A1TCE (~£579) | Buy now
How to choose the best integrated tumble dryer for you
What type of tumble dryer is the most energy efficient?
Ordinarily, we’d be advising you on the differences between vented, condenser, and heat pump dryers, but most integrated dryers on the market use heat pumps. This is a good thing: heat pump designs are the most energy efficient you can buy, meaning they’re cheaper to run than the alternatives. The disadvantages are that drying cycles can take much longer than vented dryers and they tend to be more expensive.
What capacity do I need?
While freestanding models come in capacities ranging from around 6-10kg, integrated tumble dryers provide less choice – all the models have 7kg capacity. If you want a big capacity dryer for a big household, you’ll need to compromise and buy a freestanding model instead.
Do I need a hole in the wall to vent out the moist air?
If you were buying a freestanding vented dryer, then yes, you would need a hole in the wall so it could pump moist air outside. As virtually all integrated dryers are heat pump models, though, you can leave your wall alone. These models recirculate the warm air around the dryer and collect the moisture in a tank – this needs to be emptied at the end of each drying cycle. It means they’re much easier to install and the dryer doesn’t have to be positioned against an exterior wall.
What are the most useful features and programmes?
- Dryers with sensor technology will switch off when no more moisture is detected in the load. This avoids over-drying your laundry, which is bad for your clothes and wastes energy.
- Wi-Fi connectivity is another feature that’s becoming more common, it can give you access to additional programmes and settings, but it’s by no means essential.
- A delay timer can be useful, as it allows you to load up and programme the dryer to come on later in the day – or, if you’re on an Economy 7 tariff, when electricity is cheaper. Just make sure you don’t leave wet clothes sitting for too long before starting the cycle, or they’ll come out smelling musty.
READ NEXT: Our guide to the best tumble dryers available
The best integrated tumble dryer to buy in 2022
1. Caple TDI4001: The best integrated tumble dryer
Price: £829 | Buy now from NE Appliances
This is the most expensive integrated dryer on this list, but it is also the model that’s most loved by users who feel it’s worth the extra investment. Reviewers happily report that it works better than most other integrated heat pump dryers that they’ve owned.
The 15 drying programmes will cater to all types of laundry. There’s an anti-allergy cycle and one designed to refresh clothes, as well as all the usual cycles like delicates, cottons, synthetics, and sport. The drying cycles are clearly labelled on the dial, too, so you won’t need to reach for the instruction manual to figure it out.
Sensor drying improves efficiency, plus there are four drying levels to choose from. The anti-crease function does its bit to minimise the amount of time you’ll spend at the ironing board, too, which is a definite bonus in our book.
Key specs – Type: Heat pump; Capacity: 7kg; Energy rating: A+; Number of programmes: 15; Sensor drying: Yes; Delay timer: Yes
Buy now from NE Appliances
2. Candy BCTDH7A1TE: The best budget integrated tumble dryer
Price: £550 | Buy now from AO