You've been asking us to test heat pump dryers ever since we changed our test method in 2013, despite them being a very small part of the market. We did, and since then we've started to notice the inevitable trend of downward pricing.
The heat is on
As machines with this type of technology become more popular, other manufacturers get on board and this tends to make them less expensive with the increasing competition.
They're still a tiny part of the market, but the fact that they're common in Europe means it's easier to import an already existing product – which is how front-loading machines became much more popular here (they're now equal with top loader sales).
The drop in cost means the energy savings will pay off earlier, as heat pumps are very energy efficient.
Counting the cost
A heat pump dryer will cost, on average, 63% less to run than a similar-sized vented dryer. It will still take years of running to accrue the cost savings to offset its purchase price – but fewer than it used to.
And heat pump dryers have the added benefit of not venting heated air, so no moisture fogging up your laundry and no hot air. It's win-win – apart from weight, because they are heavy! This means that most can't be wall-mounted, which is worth noting if you're considering one, particularly if you have a smaller laundry.
Surprisingly, heat pump models are also not too bad when it comes to drying times compared to condenser dryers. They're still more expensive compared to an electric vented dryer, but with energy costs always rising, the heat pump model will be an even more viable option over time.
Check out our buying guide for a longer list of pros and cons for heat pump dryer vs condenser dryer.