Nappies, toilet training and bathing

Babies will need nappies until some time into their second or third year.
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  • Updated:2 Sep 2009


If you’re planning to use and home-launder cloth nappies, there can be rainy times when you despair of ever getting them dry. At these times, a clothes dryer may seem more important than the most expensive stroller or highchair.

What to buy

In February 2009 CHOICE tested 17 dryers and recommended the following ones:

Less than 5kg

Simpson 39P400M

Simpson 39P400MPrice: $389

Good points

  • Excellent for ease of use.
  • Can be wall-mounted or stacked.
  • Cheapest model to buy.

Bad points

  • None to mention.

5 to 7kg

Simpson 39S600M

Simpson 39S600MPrice: $569

Good points

  • Excellent for ease of use.
  • Can be wall-mounted or stacked.
  • Equal best overall performer in any size range.

Bad points

  • None to mention.

Simpson 39S500M

Simpson 39S500MPrice: $499

Good points

  • Excellent for ease of use.
  • Can be wall-mounted or stacked.

Bad points

  • None to mention.
  • Discontinued, but may still be available in some shops.

Rinnai Dry-Soft 6

Rinnai Dry-Soft 6Price: $1799

Good points

  • Low CO² contribution.
  • Sensor and timer drying.
  • Fast drying.
  • Can be wall mounted or stacked.

Bad points

  • The controls and filter are badly positioned if the dryer is floor-mounted.
  • Needs a gas outlet in your laundry.
  • No reverse tumble.

What to look for

  • Filter position: Some dryers have their filter on the inside or the outside of the door, others inside at the back of the dryer. While a filter at the back may be only mildly inconvenient if your dryer is on the floor, if you install it over your washing machine the filter could become too hard to reach—and not cleaning the filter regularly could be a fire risk.
  • Limited space? Look for one that can be turned upside-down (for access to the controls) and wall-mounted (check whether the kit is supplied or if it needs to be purchased separately). All the wall-mountable dryers we tested can be inverted, so the controls are easier to access. Some dryers can also be stacked on a front-loading washing machine with a stacking kit.
  • Selectable temperature settings: Allow you to choose hot, warm or ‘no heat’ when drying your clothes. Dryers can have all three settings, or only one or two. Some auto-sensing dryers don’t have manual temperature selection.
  • Timer settings: These let you set the length of time you want the dryer to run.
  • Automatic dryness sensor: On auto-sensing dryers, the dryer is automatically switched off when a sensor detects the load has reached a preset dryness level.
  • Reverse tumbling: The drum reverses the direction of rotation at regular intervals to minimise tangling while evenly drying your clothes.
  • Crease protection: Lets you choose a special ‘no heat’ cycle at the end of drying that reduces wrinkling in your clothes.
  • Ducting: An exhaust pipe can be connected to the dryer to direct heated air outside, reducing condensation in the room. Most dryers that vent air through their door can’t be ducted.
  • Key lock: Prevents the dryer from being accidentally switched off, or the selections being altered while the dryer is running.
  • Overheat protection: Switches off the dryer when it overheats. A dryer can overheat if it’s been running for too long without a cooling cycle, or the filter is clogged.
  • Drying rack: An external rack in front of the dryer lets you dry extra items using the warm exhaust air (this isn’t possible with ducted models or those with their air exhaust at the back). An internal rack can be mounted inside some models and is useful for items that are best dried without tumbling (such as shoes and hats).

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