Best heated airers to dry clothes when skies are grey
Electric clothes airers are cheaper than a tumble dryer, can be set up anywhere with a plug socket and are more energy-efficient than you might think
We all know washing needs to be done even on the chilly, wet days of winter - if you don't have a tumble dryer, that can mean spending months with your radiators, dining room chairs and every other available space draped with wet laundry.
Not only is wet washing a depressing sight if you like to keep your home neat and tidy, drying indoors takes much longer without the wind and sunshine you get on the line, meaning when clothes eventually dry they can end up smelling damp and musty.
Plus, drying wet clothes in your house, especially on radiators, releases moisture into the room and puts you at risk of developing damp in your walls - a major and expensive issue to rectify.
For many homes, the answer is a tumble dryer. However, not only are good quality dryers expensive, their space and ventilation requirements means they can only be installed in a limited number of places in your home, and many of us simply don't have the room. This is where the heated clothes airer can be a lifesaver!
Most are simple to assemble and can easily be set up in any spare corner within reach of a plug socket, then quickly dismantled and stowed away when not in use. Larger models can hold a full family wash, but you'll also find compact versions that are perfect for a small load.
Because they're powered by electricity, you might worry that a heated airer will drive up your energy bills. However, modern electric airers are more energy-efficient than you might think - using as little as a few pence per hour.
Whether you're in a rented property or student halls, or just working with limited space or budget, a heated clothes airer could be the answer to your winter washing woes. Read on to find out which model is best for your needs:
Best heated clothes airers in the UK
Dry:Soon 3-Tier Heated Indoor Airer
Best for: large loads on a budget
If you've got an active household that generates plenty of washing, the Dry:Soon three-tier airer could be for you! Unfolding to 143cm tall and 79.5cm wide, it offers a massive 21 metres of potential drying room - enough to dry a full load from most washing machines.
However, when dismantled, it folds down to 8cm wide, meaning you can easily stow it away in a narrow space such as under a bed. We also love that you can unfold one side on its own to accommodate smaller loads, taking up half as much space. With a low wattage of 300w and an estimated running cost of as little as 6p per hour, we reckon this is a fab option for busy households on a budget!
JML DriBUDDI Indoor Airer
Best for: everyday laundry
This pod-look heated airer from JML is great for medium laundry loads, with a drying capacity of 10kg, approximately 18 items. Simply hang your washing inside (plastic hangers are recommended), zip up the cover and use the dial on the front to set a timer, safe in the knowledge that the heating motor will automatically switch off after the set time.
Using 1200w per hour, this isn't the most energy-efficient option, but you might well decide a few extra pence per hour is worthwhile for a dry load of washing in roughly two hours.
AMOS™ Eezy-Dry Electric Clothes Dryer
Best for: quick drying large loads
With a capacity of 15kg (roughly 25 items), the AMOS Eezy-Dry should be able to handle even larger loads. We love that it comes with a cover, which helps keep the warm air in and speeds up drying time - users report dry times of as little as two hours for a full load. To minimise moisture in the surrounding areas, set it up next to a slightly open window, or use a dehumidifier if you have one.
The model we've included comes with two six-peg airers, which are so useful for hanging up smaller items like socks, underwear and baby clothes. Plus, simply lift up the middle tier to fold it up to stand just 15cm wide when not in use - you don't even have to remove the cover!
Status 220W Portable Heated Clothes Airer with Wings
Best for: small spaces
If you're living in a small flat or a room in a shared house, the last thing you want is the constant damp smell of wet clothes hanging up around you all winter. A compact heated airer like the Status 220W Heated Clothes Airer will drastically cut down your drying time, without taking up too much room. We love that it comes with wings, to add that extra bit of capacity.
This simple model folds out in seconds, and can be quickly folded away when not in use just as quickly. Plus, it has one of the best estimated running costs on the market, at just under 4p per hour.
Dunelm heated airer
Best for: small loads at a small cost
If you regularly do small washes, this Dunelm heated airer could be the right solution for you. It's slim and compact, and can be moved or folded away in seconds. Particularly useful for smaller items like underwear and socks, for larger items you'll need to drape over the railings for maximum exposure to the heated rails.
Not only is it extremely cheap - £29.99 at the time of writing - its running cost is one of the lowest out there, as it uses just 100w per hour.
For more laundry solutions, check out our pick of the best tumble dryers on the market.