Best Dryers in NZ: Full Buying Guide 

Do you have a rattling old dryer in your home begging to be replaced? You’ve come to the right place. Canstar gives you a full breakdown on what to look for in a new dryer.

A clothes dryer is a pretty straightforward proposition for most Kiwis. The wet clothes come out the wash, and tumble about in a dryer til dry. Unlike other white goods, such as refrigerators and washing machines, clothes dryers aren’t afforded a whole lot of consideration in terms of variety or differences between models. 

For most, if a dryer can dry clothes faster than the sun can, then it’s good enough.

But as with any appliance, there’s quite a bit of variety to be found among different clothes dryers. Whether it’s how they dry, how big they are, or how much power they use. 

That’s why we’ve put together this little dryer buying guide. So you can find the best dryers for you and your needs.


Best Dryers in NZ: Full Buying Guide. In this article we cover:


best dryers - woman loading laundry

Dryer capacity

The first thing you’ve got to figure out when it comes to a clothes dryer is how big you need it to be. Are you living by yourself in a little flat, or part of a big family? How much clothing do you and your family wear (and subsequently wash) on a weekly basis? The answers to these questions should give you a reasonably good idea of what size dryer you need. Capacity tends to range from 4-10kg, but if you’ve got no clue about your capacity needs, consider these two tips:

  1. There’s a reasonably useful rule of thumb that states the capacity of your dryer should be double that of your washing machine. While you don’t need to aim for exactly double, Your dryer needs to be quite a bit larger than your washing machine.
  2. When a dryer states its capacity in kg, that refers to the weight of the clothes once dry. Not while they’re sopping wet and straight out of the washing machine.

As a rough guide to dryer sizing, consider the following:

  • 1 to 2 people: <5kg
  • 3 to 4 people: 5-7kg
  • 4-plus people: >7kg

The type of dryer

Once you’ve settled on sizing, you need to consider the type of dryer needed.

Vented dryers

Vented dryers heat up air and pass it into the drum. Once the hot air has become too moist to dry any further, it’s vented out of the drum and outside (via a hose) and replaced with new, dry air. Most vented dryers range from 3kg to 9kg of capacity. Prices start from as little as $500 and max out at around $3600.

Pros:

  • Generally cheaper to buy
  • Drys clothes quickly
  • Can be cheaper to run than a condenser dryer
  • Can be wall mounted

Cons:

  • Because it expels moist air, excess moisture can lead to damp and/or mould on walls and around the dryer
  • Needs to be near a window/external wall for the hose to expel moist air outside
  • Can be expensive to run
  • Requires an open and well-ventilated space, so may not be ideal for apartments etc that have a laundry closet.

Condenser dryers

Condenser clothes dryers recycle hot air by extracting the water vapour from it. The dry air is then sent back through the clothes in the dryer. While this method of dealing with moist air means no humidity in your laundry room, it doesn’t do anything for the heat itself, meaning your laundry will be just as warm as if you were using a vented dryer. Condenser clothes dryers cost from around $650 for a basic machine, up to $4000 for more advanced models.

Pros:

  • As excess moisture is not vented out, condenser dryers can be placed just about anywhere
  • Typically comes with more settings and features than a vented dryer

Cons:

  • Generally more expensive to purchase than a vented dryer
  • Too heavy to be wall-mounted, but can be stacked on a front-loading washing machine
  • Can cost more to run, and dry clothes slower than a vented dryer

Heat pump dryers

A heat pump dryer is a type of condenser dryer, which recycles heat in the process of extracting moisture. This means you get great drying results while consuming up to 50% less electricity than other dryer types. Expect prices from around $950, going all the way up to $5000 or more.

Pros:

  • Extremely energy efficient
  • Doesn’t vent heated air or water vapour, so no heat and no humidity for your laundry room
  • Uses lower temperatures and is gentler on clothes

Cons:

  • The purchase price is higher than vented or condenser dryers
  • Slower to heat clothes than vented or condenser dryers

Washer dryers

You can also get a washer dryer combo that combines a front loader washer and a dryer in one compact machine. The dryer will typically be a condenser/sensor dryer, that can automatically switch off once it senses the clothes are dry. Prices range from around $900 to over $2500.

Pros:

  • Incredibly compact and convenient, ideal for small spaces

Cons:

  • A cycle can take a long time
  • Some washer dryer combos use a lot of water
  • The performance is not always comparable with a separate washer and dryer

Choosing an energy-efficient dryer

Once you’ve picked your size and style, it’s important to consider energy efficiency. Not only as a means to save on your power bill, but to go a little greener too!

Finding an energy-efficient dryer is simple. Just check the Energy Rating Label (one of those stickers with stars on it). The more stars, the more energy-efficient. It’ll also tell you an estimated kWh usage per year, which if you know how much you’re paying for power, can help you work out the actual dollar cost of using the dryer.

Keep in mind that cheap and basic appliances tend to be less energy-efficient. So to lower your running costs, you’ll likely have to raise your upfront costs. However, as a dryer is one of the costlier appliances to run (possibly even around $1 per load!) it’s one of the best appliances to go green on.

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Some other tips to get your dryer running more efficiently include:

  • Avoid having it on standby, turn it off at the wall
  • Avoid drying loads of laundry that are too small or too large. Too small and it’s wasteful, too large and clothes won’t ventilate and dry efficiently. The warm air needs to move through the clothes
  • Use dryer balls to speed up dry time. Dryer balls absorb moisture while also tumbling through the dryer, separating clothes and improving ventilation through the washing
  • Switch loads while the dryer is still warm
  • Dry heavyweight items separately. The dryer will continue to run until the heaviest items are dry, meaning any small items included will dry longer than necessary
  • Use features, such as a cool-down cycle, which finishes drying with the remaining heated air left in the dryer

Other features to consider

  • Cycles – some dryers come with a couple of cycles, while others have dozens of cycles and settings for any type of load
  • Drum design – certain dryers come with special drums design to be gentler on clothes
  • Sensor – does the dryer run only on a timer, or can it switch itself off once it detects clothes are dry?
  • Smart capabilities – Control your dryer right from your smartphone and access convenient features like auto start and stop, or cycles that you can download to your dryer for difficult clothing items
  • Temperature controls – to give you precise control over how you dry
  • Noise – if your laundry room is down the end of your house, noise probably won’t be a big deal. If your dryer is in the laundry closet of your small apartment, it might be

Best dryers in NZ: dryer options to consider

Below we’ve listed a selected few dryers that we believe are great options. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and you should always do your own research and shop around before settling on a new model.

Budget

best dryers vogue 361173
Vogue 361173

Vogue 361173 (ventilated) ($399*)

Cheap as chips, and relatively energy-efficient for the price tag. It also features a lot of functions for such a basic model.

  • Energy star rating: 2.5
  • Load capacity: 7kg
  • 15 programs
  • Auto moisture sensing
  • Delay start function
  • Internal light, transparent window
  • Child lock
  • Ducting included

Midea MDS70-C05/B08-AU (condenser)  ($649*)

Plenty of cycles to choose from, and convenient features like delay start and anti-crease make for a great budget-friendly dryer. Not the most energy-efficient, but about as energy-efficient as it gets for a condenser dryer in this price range.

  • Energy star rating: 2
  • Load capacity: 7kg
  • 16 programs
  • Anti-crease function
  • Child safety lock
  • Speed dry function
  • Delay start

Mid-range

Electrolux EDC804BEWA ($897.75*)

Still fairly cheap, this dryer offers plenty of great features to make your laundry a breeze. Although it is not a very energy-efficient option.

  • Energy star rating: 2
  • Load capacity: 8kg
  • Large reversible door
  • Soft Touch Drum minimises prolonged contact clothing makes with the drum for a gentler cycle
  • Refresh cycle uses cool and hot air to refresh clothes that may have been in storage
  • Advanced sensor dry
  • Reversing tumble action
  • Special programs for easy iron
  • Easy to install condenser drying system
  • Drain kit included so you don’t need to empty the water tank manually

Haier HDHP80A1 ($1649*)

best dryers Haier HDHP80A1
Haier HDHP80A1

An incredibly energy-efficient option, with an 8-star super efficiency rating. Easy to use electronic touch controls, 16 drying functions, sensor drying and an anti-crease option make for a great appliance.

  • Energy star rating: 8-star super efficiency rating
  • Load capacity: 8kg
  • 16 drying programs
  • Sensor drying
  • Adjustable dryness levels
  • Iron ready option
  • Anti-crease option
  • Electronic touch controls
  • Child lock

High-end

Miele TWF 720 WP ($3199*)

A max 10-star super energy-efficiency rating ensures you’ll get ongoing savings. There’s also a heap of other great features and tech, like the Honeycomb drum for gentle garment care, Perfect Dry for precise drying, FragranceDos² for beautifully fragrant laundry, pre-ironing to minimise ironing need and the convenience of 12 drying programs.

  • Energy star rating: 10-star super efficiency rating
  • Load capacity: 8kg
  • Savings for the life of your tumble dryer – EcoDry technology
  • Quickly switch between 2 favourite fragrances – FragranceDos²
  • Precision drying of all textiles – PerfectDry
  • Perfect room and furniture protection – best condensation effect
  • Easy fingertip operation – DirectSensor

Bosch WTX88M20AU ($2892*)

Another super-efficient dryer, the sensors constantly measure temperature and moisture levels, adjusting itself as appropriate, to avoid overheating your garments.

  • Energy star rating: 10-star super efficiency rating
  • Load capacity: 8kg
  • 14 programs including AllergyPlus
  • SuperQuick 40 mins and two timed programs
  • 7 drying options including Fine Adjust
best dryers Samsung DV10T9720SV
Samsung DV10T9720SV

Samsung DV10T9720SV ($2699*)

Perfect for large families (or just those with large wardrobes) this dryer features a roomy 10kg capacity. In typical Samsung fashion, it has a sleek touch display, with smart capabilities so you can control it straight from your phone.

  • Energy star rating: 9-star super efficiency rating
  • Load capacity: 10kg
  • AI dry technology
  • Reversible door
  • All in One Control
  • Ultra Large Capacity
  • SmartThings Support

→Related article: Smart Plugs and Powerboards: A Simple Solution to get Connected

*All prices are taken from retailer websites and are correct at the time of writing. They should be used as a guide and not considered an actual quote.


 Finding the best power provider

While energy-efficient appliances are a great way to save you money, you also need to be getting a good deal on your power.

Ultimately, finding affordable power involves shopping around. And the fact that you’re reading this means that you’re already on the right track to finding a great deal on power. But when comparing power companies, it’s important to consider the broader picture – don’t become too focused on finding a deal with a big prompt payment discount or special perk. Be sure to balance all the rates, discounts, fees and contract periods when making a decision, as well as more personal factors, such as customer service and support.

Compare with Canstar Blue

To help you find the best value electricity retailer, Canstar Blue rates NZ power companies for customer satisfaction and value for money, see the table below for some of the results, or you can click on the button below for the full results of our survey.

Canstar Blue’s latest review of NZ power companies compares them on customer satisfaction. The table below is an abridged version of our full results, available here.


See Our Ratings Methodology

Compare electricity providers for free with Canstar Blue!


picture of clothes dryer next to pile of clothes

Which fabrics are safe to put in the dryer?

There are plenty of horror stories when it comes to clothes dryers. Whether shrinking a favourite sweater or completely unravelling it after a loose thread gets caught in the drum.

So to avoid any more spooky stories, read on below to find some of the most common fabrics, and which of them are dryer safe. But remember, this is just a guide. Your best bet is always to read the care label, and abide by what it says. And if the item is particularly precious or expensive, maybe just use a clothes horse!

Acrylic

Usually safe, but should be done on a low heat, as if it’s too high the clothes can permanently wrinkle.

Cotton

100% cotton clothes may shrink if put in the dryer, although most cotton blends should be able to survive the drying cycle shrink-free. Use a low-heat if you do put it in the dryer. It might also pay to check the label to see if it’s been pre-shrunk.

Denim

Denim fabrics can be put into the dryer, but for optimal care, take them out just before the end of the cycle and leave them to air dry, as they’ll keep their shape for longer. Use a low-heat and delicate cycle if using a tumble dryer, as well as low heat if you have crinkles to iron out.

Linen

When it comes to linens such as towels and sheets, most linen options will be dryer safe. Although tumble drying may impact the lifespan of the linen. Use a low temperate, and be mindful that it can be prone to wrinkling.

Linen clothing is a different story, however, with many recommending linen clothing to be professionally dry cleaned or air-dried to avoid shrinkage and creasing.

Microfibre

Microfibre-made clothes and covers should be fine, as long as you set the dryer to a low temperature, as microfibre dries quickly in comparison to other materials. It’s also recommended to dry with other microfibre products to prevent lint from building up.

Nylon

Most nylon clothes should be dryer safe. But, as nylon dries quickly, it’s recommended that nylon is put through a low-temperature cycle. Also grab the clothes out of the machine as soon as possible, as they can be damaged if left in the dryer too long. Nylon also builds up static cling, so be sure to dry with a dryer sheet to avoid getting zapped.

Polyester

Polyester is quick-drying, so you may not even need to use a clothes dryer. But, for peace of mind, you won’t ruin your clothes if you do use a machine. Using a low-temperature cycle will also avoid any possible damage or shrinkage. Again, beware the static!

Spandex

As spandex is often mixed with other fabrics, you’ll have to check clothes tags before you throw them in the dryer, as some spandex clothes may be fine to dry, while others are best hung out to dry. Generally, the more spandex your clothes contain, the more damage can be done.

What fabrics shouldn’t go in the clothes dryer?

  • Cashmere
  • Wool
  • Lace
  • Silk
  • Leather & suede
  • Rayon

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author andrew broadley

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more recently, finance for Canstar.


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