Dehumidifier vs Tumble Dryer: Which is Best for Your Home?

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Dehumidifier vs Tumble Dryer: Which is Best for Your Home?

Tired of battling through the never-ending laundry pile, especially during winter? Do you want to save more than £150 a year on energy? We've got the solution for you! Discover how a dehumidifier can effectively dry your clothes, prevent mould and damp problems caused by excess moisture, and save you money on your household bills.

Discover the truth about drying clothes with a dehumidifier. Find out if it's a smarter and more cost-effective option than a tumble dryer. Get all the answers you need, so you can make the best decision for your needs.

How do they both work?

Both dehumidifiers and tumble dryers work by removing moisture from clothes, but in different ways. A tumble dryer uses hot air to evaporate the water from the clothes, then vents the humid air outside through a hose or vent. On the other hand, a dehumidifier uses a fan to circulate air over coils that collect moisture, which is then drained into a collection tank or expelled through a drain hose.

Can you use a dehumidifier as a clothes dryer?

an image of a dehumidifier unit

Absolutely! Many dehumidifiers come with a special 'laundry mode' designed specifically for drying clothes. This mode increases the fan speed to circulate air more rapidly, expelling moisture at a faster rate. Some models also have a built-in heater to further aid in drying clothes. However, even if your dehumidifier doesn't have this feature, it can still effectively dry clothes, especially if placed in a small room or near a sunny window.

Shop Dehumidifiers with a Laundry Mode

What about the cost difference?

an image of a person who's using a calculator to calculate the cost

Here's the part everyone wants to know!

With money tighter than ever, we all want to save as much as possible. So let’s find out what the cost difference is? how much does a tumble dryer cost to run? and is a dehumidifier cheaper?

While tumble dryers can be a convenient and quick way to dry clothes, they also come with a hefty price tag. Not only do you have to purchase the machine itself, but you also need to factor in the cost of electricity. On the other hand, dehumidifiers are a much more cost-effective option, with some models costing only a fraction of the price of a tumble dryer. Plus, as mentioned earlier, they consume less electricity, making them an even more budget-friendly choice for drying clothes.

Let’s take an average load of washing for a family which is around 8kg in wet washed clothes. It would take a typical tumble dryer machine 1 hour and 2.4Kw to dry the load versus a dehumidifier's 6 hours and 0.155Kw per hour.

The amount of energy it takes to dry 8kg of washing:

Tumble Dryer = 2.4Kwh

Dehumidifier = 0.93 Kwh (6 hours x 0.155Kw)

A tumble dryer takes 1 hour to dry a typical 8kg load, costing 69p.

A dehumidifier takes 6 hours to dry a typical 8kg load, but only costing 27p.

These prices are calculated based on electricity costing 29p per Kw (based on the standard variable tariff as of January 2024).

So, a tumble dryer is 258% more expensive to dry the same amount of washing than a dehumidifier! That's a significant difference, and it can truly have a substantial impact on your wallet in the long run.

If you did laundry every day, that’s a possible saving of £12 a month, or more than £150 a year!

If you're looking to cut down on your energy bills, investing in a dehumidifier can be a smart move. In addition to reducing the moisture levels in your home and creating a more comfortable environment, a dehumidifier is also significantly cheaper to run than a tumble dryer. While a tumble dryer requires a considerable amount of electricity to operate, a dehumidifier uses only a fraction of the power. By opting for a dehumidifier instead of a tumble dryer, you can save money on your electricity bill and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.

Pros and Cons



  • Low energy usage
  • Cheap to run
  • Portable
  • Often includes a HEPA filter for added air purification
  • Quieter than a tumble dryer
  • Most units tend to be compact in size


  • Longer dry time
  • Clothes need to be on an airer or hung up to dry effectively
  • Doesn't soften clothes like a tumble dryer

Tumble Dryer


  • Great for drying heavy wet items i.e. jeans/ towels
  • Clothes aren't out on display
  • Quick drying time


  • Expensive to run
  • High energy usage
  • Initial cost can be high
  • Not portable and only has one use
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Some models need to be vented

Drying clothes is no easy task, especially in bad weather conditions. However, with the help of either a dehumidifier or tumble dryer, it can make the job less daunting. Dehumidifiers are a great option for those looking to save money on their electricity bill and have a versatile machine that can be used for multiple purposes. Tumble dryers, while convenient, can be expensive to run and have limited use. Whichever option you choose, make sure to consider the pros and cons carefully to find the best solution for your needs.