Drying your clothes outdoors all year round is near impossible. You can never rely on the weather, as one minute it can be sunny with no clouds in the sky and the next there is a torrential downpour.
Indoor clothes dryers are therefore a very handy item to have in your home. But drying times can be extreme, which is where a heated electric option could come into play. Using this extra heat, drying times could be halved, which helps you out timewise and also leaves less time for the room to start smelling damp.
They are much more eco-friendly and cost-effective to run than tumble dryers, which are notorious for adding extra on to your energy bills. And, they can be folded away after use so take up much less space, too. If you do want to look at all your options, we have reviewed the best tumble dryers for the year as well. But if your mind is set on a heated indoor clothes airer, take a look at our top picks and buying guide to find the best for your needs.
The Best Heated Clothes Airer – Our Top Picks
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Best Heated Electric Clothes Dryers
Lakeland Dry:Soon 3 Tier Heated Indoor Airer
Lakeland is one of the biggest names when it comes to home products, and this is a perfect flexible clothes dryer which can be adapted to suit your home layout.
It can easily hold up to 15kg of washing, so a little bit more than your washing machine load probably, but can also be used folded down if you are using it in a smaller space or just drying delicate clothing that you don’t want to hang outside or pop in the tumble dryer.
When you are done with it, you can fold it to just 8cm thick and store behind a door or in a cupboard. It gives you 21m of drying space when it is all folded out, so there won’t be any risk of your clothes being too close to one another to dry sufficiently.
If you’re worried about a heated clothes dryer sapping your energy and increasing your bills, you’ll be pleased to learn that this model only costs around 6p per hour to run. As seeing it could have your clothes dry not long after this, it is a brilliantly cheap product to have on the go.
It may be one of the more expensive on the list, but the low running costs and the fact it is by far the sturdiest we tested should mean the money is worth it in just a few years. Lakeland also says you can return it to them within three years if it breaks or doesn’t meet your needs, which is worth the extra cash alone.
There are loads of accessories you can buy as extra too, such as the airer cover which can speed up drying times, or the mesh shelf which allows you to lay smaller items flat.
- Weight: 5.5kg
- Cord Length: 1.35m
- Drying Space Capacity: 21m
- Drying Weight Capacity: 15kg
- Thermostatically-controlled bars don’t overheat
- Very cost-effective to run
- Folds down small for storage
- Many come with the cover - this one doesn’t
Versatile, convenient and will barely dent your bills despite doing a massive household task - Lakeland is the most popular brand for clothes dryers for a reason
BLACK+DECKER BXAR0007GB 3-Tier Heated Clothes Airer
A name perhaps more known for their outdoor gardening tools, but who are really very good when it comes to this kind of thing too.
Up to 15kg of washing can be dried on 21m of drying space, spread over three tiers, which should allow your clothing to dry in a matter of hours. It is cost-effective to run when compared to a tumble drier, and a lot better than outside drying if A) the weather is awful (again) or B) you suffer from allergies which means hanging clothes outside is not a great idea.
It arrives on your doorstep assembled, so all you need to do is fold it out and plug it in. You could even have a wash ready for when it is delivered, so you can start to reap the benefits immediately.
A handy on-off switch with an illuminated panel means you don’t have to unplug it when you’re done. If you have a wash ready to go on after this one has dried, just turn it off at the button until you are ready. Bars heat up almost immediately, so you don’t have to wait around for hours to get it up to top level.
Weight-wise, it is a little heavier than some of the others on the market. But just like the other top picks, it only costs around 6p to run per hour. There is no cover supplied, but appropriate ones will be available – just make sure you measure up first.
- Weight: 8.02kg
- Cord Length: 1.6m
- Drying Space Capacity: 21m
- Drying Weight Capacity: 15kg
- Generous cord length
- Quick heat up times
- Very sturdy build
- On the slightly heavier side
A very stable unit with quick heat-up and drying times, and is flexible enough to be used just how you need to
Pifco P38003 Fast Drying Portable Heated Clothes Dryer
Should you really need to take up as little space as possible, then this portable option from Pifco is a real gem. The slim body takes up minimal room, and it can all be folded down when done.
It is similar in design to a small rotary dryer, and you simply pop the clothes on a hanger before spacing them out around the item. There is a cover supplied, which will keep all of the heat contained and allow it to spread around the entire area. It has some handy vents in the top to let out some of the excess moisture, and still keep a dry environment to reduce the likelihood of mould.
A timer can be set, ranging from 30 minutes to 180 minutes, so you are always in control. If you just want to leave it on until the job is done you can, too, and the quiet motor won’t disturb you. The wide base and rubber feet will also keep it sturdy, so you don’t have to worry about it tipping over if left unattended.
It doesn’t hold as much as the traditionally designed models do, because of the rotary shape and need to keep everything well-spaced, but should still cope with the larger and more difficult items from your washing machine.
Because it is only comprised of a few parts, building it up and taking it down is very easy and quick. And as items hang from the device, the likelihood of creases is reduced. The outer cover is quite thick and bulky though, so folding this down to save space is a bit more of a challenge.
- Weight: 3.09kg
- Drying Space Capacity: 12 Items
- Drying Weight Capacity: 10kg
- Folds down small
- Cover is effective at trapping the perfect amount of heat
- Doesn’t hold a lot
Quick at drying and one of the best for space-saving
JML DriBUDDi Air Portable Electric Clothes Dryer
Another great space-saver, and from a name who is always at the forefront of practical solutions to your home life.
Despite being a rotary electric clothes airer, it can actually hold a surprising amount. Able to dry up to 20 items at once and with an overall weight capacity of 14kg, the aluminium is strong yet lightweight, and there is no risk of rust in the future, no matter how damp the clothes are.
It comes supplied with a cover, and the circulation means quicker drying times and fewer creases. The powerful 900W motor is a lot higher than many others and really makes an impact in super-quick time. You still get that ‘line-dried’ effect though, with fresh results and the perfect drying level (as opposed to being too dry to iron or still too damp to do anything else with).
There are no dedicated hangers for smaller items such as underwear, so if you don’t have any suitable clip hangers for these, you may have to stick to the conventional over-radiator method to dry these. But for standard t-shirts, jeans, jumpers and other general clothing, it is reliable enough.
- Weight: 4.4kg
- Drying Space Capacity: 20 Items
- Drying Weight Capacity: 14kg
- Fairly speedy at drying from completely wet
- Comes with cover
- One of the highest for energy consumption
A little flimsy, but overall great for storing away and getting the job done in a decent time
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Electric Heated Clothes Dryer Buying Guide
A cover isn’t an absolute necessity, as the clothes will still dry using the heat alone. But it will keep the heat more in one place, which could decrease the overall drying time by quite a bit. Drying clothes indoors can also make the environment damp and create mould spores, which a cover could reduce the likelihood of.
Some models will come with a cover, and there are various types out there to buy, which could be suitable if your chosen dryer doesn’t. Otherwise, a bed sheet, a large towel or duvet could do the job too (not quite as well, but still have an impact).
Rather than taking up to two days on an ordinary indoor dryer, a heated clothes airer could have your materials dried within a few hours, or overnight at the most.
The added heat gives the effect of a tumble dryer but without the actual machine. Overall drying time may also depend on the materials, how spaced out the clothes are, and whether the unit is covered.
You can generally get three layout options for your electric heated clothes airer. The first is the traditional indoor dryer shape, with three tiers. It is usually able to fold down and is great for anyone low on space who would rather have more height than width. Clothes can be hung over each individual bar or laid flat to get the maximum amount of dryness to them.
The second is the rotary. You often have to use coat hangers to hang the clothes up, as pegs are unsuitable. They are great if you’re low on space and don’t want width or height, but bear in mind they can be trickier to use as you have to space the clothes out really well for maximum effectiveness. They also usually hold less.
The last is a Y-shape. This is similar to the traditional models, but the space is extended widthways rather than vertically. This can help when it comes to spacing the clothes out over a larger area but can make it hard to cover with a dedicated cover or towel/sheet, and they take up a wider space.
How Do Heated Clothes Dryers Work?
They are designed just like an ordinary indoor dryer/clothes horse, with metal bars or hangers to help airflow and assist clothes drying naturally. However, these bars heat up when the unit is plugged in and turned on thanks to the motor, so the combination of the air and heat speeds up the process – just like what would happen in a tumble dryer.
Why Are Heated Clothes Dryers A Good Idea?
There are many reasons. They are quicker than ordinary air dryers while taking up a lot less space than a tumble dryer, and costing considerably less to run than the latter too.
They can be used all year round, so if you don’t like to hang clothes out in summer because of pollen and insects and need something for quicker drying in winter, they are ideal. It could also save you switching your heating on when the room doesn’t need to be heated, but you have clothes hanging up.
If you currently dot your clothes all around the home to dry (all your smalls across every radiator in your house, jumpers hanging over doors and jeans over the dining chairs), it will keep everything in one place.
Will Drying Indoors Make My Room Damp?
As the water evaporates from the clothing, it will be released into the atmosphere, which could affect the humidity and dampness of the room. However, because there is heat involved as opposed to just air drying, this can reduce the amount of damp in the air slightly because it is being done over a much quicker time scale.
Buying a cover could keep some of the air released at bay, but you may also wish to buy a dehumidifier if it becomes a problem.
Are There Any Downsides To Heated Clothes Dryers?
As mentioned above, the moisture they release into the air may be an issue if you suffer from respiratory issues or your home is generally quite prone to damp.
They take longer to get the job done than a tumble dryer but are a lot quicker than an ordinary non-heated airer for comparison. You do need a plug to power them, so could be restricted in terms of placement. Because of this, they can’t be used in places with water sources, or outdoors, whereas a non-electric option is more flexible.
You could always have one of each to switch between – non-electric models are now more affordable than ever, especially from names such as Addis, Minky and Lakeland.