With the weather quickly becoming more unpleasant and the recent rise in gas and electricity prices, most people have been looking for more efficient ways to dry their clothes.
Tumble dryers have a bad reputation for costing a lot of money to run, but a heat pump-based tumble dryer will have similar running costs to many alternative costs.
Unfortunately, we don’t have space for a tumble drier, and I didn’t fancy spending hundreds on one, either.
The Dry:Soon heater airers have been lauded as the best of the best heated airers on the market. They are so popular Lakeland has sold out, and unscrupulous people appear to be selling them for a profit on eBay. I’d strongly advise not paying above RRP; they are good, but not that good.
Specification / Features
- Dry clothes more quickly in any weather
- Electric clothes airer costs just pennies to run
- Running Cost 10p per hour
- Lightweight aluminium
- Holds 15kg of washing on 21m of drying space
- Folds down to 8cm deep
- Fully open 73 x 75 x 137cm H.
Running Costs – How much electricity does it use vs tumble dryer?
The running costs in the specification are provided by Lakeland and are based on 34p per kw/h, which is an example price based on the October 2022 price cap. Unit rates will vary between companies.
The airer is quoted as using 300W, but when I used it with the TP-Link Kasa KP115 energy monitoring plug, it seemed to draw 340W consistently.
In 4 hours 15 minutes it used 1.48kWh, which works out at 348W per hour, which means the running cost is £0.12 per hour. Or during that 4-hour 15 min period, it used £0.50.
For an efficient heat pump-based tumble dryer, a full load will typically use about 1.85 kWh and cost £0.65. The affordable Logik 8KG LHP8W18 is just £290 and uses 1.88 kWh for a full load or £0.66.
Return on Investment
One thing I would advise potential buyers to consider is when they will see a positive return on investment from using this?
At £150, this is the equivalent of 441kWh of electricity at the current prices.
This will cost more to run than a heat pump tumble dryer, but probably quite a bit cheaper than a condenser dryer which will cost around £1.50 to £2.50 each time you do a full load.
If you already have a smaller flat heater dryer, the only benefit of this is the increased capacity.
This is why I would strongly recommend not overpaying for one of these, I think they are a bit expensive at RRP.
Set Up and Ease of Use
I find that this is easier to get out and set up compared to my older flat, Minky. The fold-away legs of the Minky always seemed to find a way to confuse me. With this, you just fold out the big columns and then fold down each tier.
It is my own fault for not reading the specification properly, but I find it quite disappointing that this £150 heated airer does not have a timer function. You need to fork out £180 for the deluxe model if you want that kind of luxury.
The power lead is quite short. For me, that’s OK as it creates less mess but will no doubt be inconvenient for some.
Getting the cover on proved to be the most difficult part. It is designed to fit the airer, and I found it a bit of a faff to position it correctly.
Due to the fitted nature of the cover, I find that it makes hanging your clothes awkward. It just gets in the way.
This is an excellent heated clothes drier, but I don’t find it the transformative money saving solution that many users and reviewers have implied.
The cover doesn’t seem to trap enough heat to allow the clothes to dry quickly without user intervention. If you have draped things over the heated columns rather than flat across them, then you will end up with a dry spot and damp clothes even after several hours of drying. You, therefore, need to do the process of rotating things around a bit every so often, and because the cover is in the way, this is just annoying.
As I am lazy and forgetful, I inevitably give up on drying large loads and dry a smaller amount of clothes, laying them flat down on the rack.
Again, because I am forgetful, the lack of a timer also means that it is easy to leave this running overnight. At £0.12 per hour, it is not the end of the world, but it can add up. I will likely use a smart plug and timer for better control, but that’s an additional cost for running this.
Depending on how you lay out the clothes and how much you adjust them, drying times can be anything from 4-10 hours.
That all sounds quite negative, but the reality is that there is no significantly better option. We are at that awkward point where I still haven’t switched the heating on yet, but the weather outside is too temperamental to hang clothes out.
The storage capacity of this is significantly better than my old-winged flat Minky. That suffers from all the same problems as this, you either constantly rotate your clothes or dry and very small amount with them lying flat.
Price and Alternative Options In-Stock
With the cost of living crisis and the media fuelling our panic, everyone has been buying heated airers and air fryers, causing widespread stock shortages.
For Dry:Soon, it is only the Dry:Soon Mini 3-Tier Heated Airer that is in stock. This costs £120 by itself, and the cover is £40.
There is also the Dry:Soon Drying Pod for £90 and the Dry:Soon Heated Cabinet for £130. These work differently and have a heater and fan to heat up the cabinet/pod. For the cabinet, the heater is 1200W, so it uses a lot more electricity but dries faster. These will likely cost more to run than a tumble dryer, but they are significantly cheaper upfront, cost a bit kinder on your clothes, and you can store them away.
Alternative 3-Tier Heated Airers
I have struggled to find alternative options that are in stock, but there are a variety of 3-tier airers that you can keep an eye out for:
- Argos Home 3 Tier Heated Airer – £105 – Drying space 21m capacity 15kg
- Dunelm 3-Tier Heated Airer – £100
- Eckman 3-Tier Heated Airer – £130 [In Stock] – Drying space 21m capacity 15kg
- John Lewis 3-Tier Heated Indoor Clothes Airer – £100
The Dry:Soon 3-tier heated airer is definitely the best heated clothes dryer I have used. It is a big upgrade to the flat-winged airer we have used for the past few years, mainly due to the overall capacity it has.
I am not convinced about how much difference the cover makes. Logically it should improve things, but at over £40 I have to question when you would likely see a return on investment from this. A king-sized bed sheet would likely offer similar performance at a lower price.
Based on that, I wish I had bought the larger Dry:Soon Deluxe 3-Tier Heated Airer, which would have cost about the same price but not included the cover.
Lakeland Dry:Soon 3-Tier Heated Airer Review Rating
The Dry:Soon 3-tier heated airer is definitely the best heated clothes dryer I have used. It is easy to set up and has an improved capacity compared to my flat style Minky. However, I find it a bit overpriced to buy, the fitted cover doesn't dramatically improve cooling and running costs are not as cheap as people imply.
Overall - 75%
- Good build quality and is easy to set up
- Much larger capacity than the flat-winged design dryers
- Lower upfront cost, with flexible positions and no installation fee (unlike a heat pump tumble dryer)
- Fitted cover is overpriced for limited drying improvement
- Expensive for what it is
- Not that cheap to run if you load it up at full capacity / takes a long time to dry
I am a UK tech blogger and have been in the industry for over ten years now, running Mighty Gadget and its sister sites and contributing to other sites around the web. I am passionate about all tech, including computers/networking, mobile, wearables, and smart homes. I am also a fitness fanatic, being both a keen runner and cyclist, so I cover as much fitness tech as possible.