The best heated clothes airers to save money and energy when drying laundry this winter

The best heated clothes airers are a space-saving alternative to tumble dryers or clothes lines for drying laundry, from as little as £40

best heated clothes airers 2023
Lakeland, Black + Decker and Minky were our top heated clothes airers
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Finding the best heated clothes airer may not sound like the most exciting of pursuits. But as a means of drying your clothes in winter, these gadgets are hard to beat. Not only is a heated airer far kinder to your treasured garments than tumble drying (it adds years to the lifespan of your clothes), it’s also better for the environment. It eliminates that damp washing smell and is a good way of minimising crinkles, so you might not need to invest in an iron or a steamer. Most heated airers also fold up compactly for storage.

But it’s the savings most of us are interested in. Since the price of energy soared we’re all on the lookout for money-saving devices like air fryers, electric blankets and electric heaters – and a heated clothes airer is usually cheaper to run than a tumble dryer: around 10p per hour, as opposed to around £2 per load in a dryer based on current electricity prices. 

But which is the best? I’ve tried them all and my full reviews are below, followed by answers to frequently asked questions. If you’re pressed for time, here’s a look at my top five:

The best heated clothes airers for 2023, at a glance

How long does it take clothes to dry with a heated clothes airer?

It takes about four or five hours for cotton and linen and over ten hours for jumpers and thick materials. You should always squeeze as much moisture as possible out of  your clothes before putting them on a heated airer. Covers - sometimes sold separately - help to speed the drying process.

Another option for speeding the clothes-drying process is to run a portable dehumidfier in the same room. Dehumidifiers can shorten drying time by 25 percent, while also reducing damp and mould in the home. 

How I tested the best clothes airers

Trying and testing clothes airers during a chilly winter

I tried a variety of heated airers including pods, heated airers with wings and tiered heated airers. I tested each airer on a variety of clothes from lighter shirts and dresses to heavier jumpers and jeans, as well as large items like duvet covers. I took into account how long each load took to dry, how long the device took to warm up, how much it cost to run, how much it held, any extra features like timer settings and how much space it took up, both while open and while packed away for storage.

High demand

Heated clothes airers are proving exceptionally popular this year, given the high energy prices. My top-rated airers may temporarily sell out. These are currently the best places to look for alternatives:

Best heated clothes airers


1. Dry:Soon Deluxe 3-Tier heated airer and cover

Currently £224.98, Lakeland

(Sold without cover on Amazon for £159.99)

Best heated clothes airer overall, 9/10

We like: the addition of a ventilated cover speeds up the drying process

We don’t like: it’s large when deployed

Lakeland: big enough for holidays
  • Estimated 10p per hour of use
  • Holds 15kg of wet washing on 21m of drying space
  • Three year guarantee

This is the ultimate heated airer for a large family or someone with a sizeable wardrobe. It holds up to 15kg of wet washing on 21m of drying space and dries the fastest of all those I’ve tested, thanks to a clever heat-retaining cover which can be bought separately or as a bundle with the dryer for a £15 saving.

Running at 300w, it costs 15p an hour to use at current prices. It’s tall enough for hanging long items like trousers and towels, and the adaptable rungs mean you can lay up to six jumpers flat for speedy drying. My colleague Debora Robertson swears by it as the best way of drying bras and Sally Hughes of laundry experts Kair recommends it to make delicates last longer.

I found the Dry:Soon took around four to five hours to dry lighter materials; and closer to 10-12 for heavier jumpers and the like. In the world of heated clothes airers, that’s really pretty good – the cover certainly does its job. 

I also appreciated the overall design. Yes, I know we’re talking about a clothes rack here – but the Dry:Soon felt like it had been well thought through. It’s pretty light (7.7kg) and the carry handle is helpful if you need to move the unit into another room. And, despite being fairly large once deployed, it folds flat and compact, down to 8cm deep, so it’s a neat thing to store.

If this one is still too big for the space you have (when fully open, it measures 70x74x132.5cm), Lakeland also have a mini version. The Dry:Soon Mini standard 3-tier heater measures 60x63x113.5cm fully open, and has 13m drying space, running at 198w (Currently £129.99, Lakeland).

Personally, I favour the larger version – if you’re using it anyway, you might as well dry two loads at once and then put it away until next time. Both come with Lakeland’s standard three-year guarantee.

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2. Lakeland Dry:Soon Drying Pod

£99.99, Lakeland

Best value heated clothes airer, 9/10

We like: massively reduces ironing time on shirts and blouses

We don’t like: it costs more per hour to run than most heated airers

Lakeland: half-way between a tumble dryer and an airer
  • Estimated 34p per hour of use
  • Holds 10kg of washing on 12 hangers
  • Three year guarantee
  • Reduces ironing time

Rather than heated rungs, this variation on the heated airer features a 70C fan. It circulates hot air around your clothes, which are encased in a tent-like, ventilated outer cover. This means it dries clothes faster than other airers.

It’s effectively a fan on detachable tripod feet with a pole, at the top of which there are six spokes designed to hold up to 12 hangers of spin-dried or well-wrung damp clothing (up to 10kg). It’s particularly useful for shirts and blouses, since being able to hang T-shirts in this way means they dry straight with minimal creases, meaning less ironing. But it’s less useful for drying, say, towels. 

I found it easy enough to slot the contraption together the first time I took it out of the surprisingly small box it arrived in, with no tools required. It packs right down back into it, which is handy for those short of utility space. When in use, it’s a compact means to dry almost two weeks’ worth of shirts (measuring 62cm x 146cm). It’s lighter than many other airers, too, weighing just 3.54kg.

I was concerned the fan would be noisy, but unlike a tumble dryer, it’s very quiet at less than 52dB. It states that it takes around one to three hours to dry your laundry. Delicates were perfectly dry after even less, but shirts took around an hour and denim a little longer. A timer can be set to either a minimum of 30 minutes or a maximum of 180 minutes. 

As with all heated airers, it consumes less energy than a conventional tumble dryer. Of course, it still uses more electricity than hanging shirts to dry naturally. Running at 1,000 Watts, it also uses more energy than some other airers featured here, but it makes up for it in efficiency (and it’s very useful in the event that you’ve run out of emergency shirts).

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3. John Lewis 3-Tier Heated Indoor Clothes Airer

£100, John Lewis (this is currently out of stock due to high demand, you can buy a similar one from Dunelm, untested by us)

Best heated clothes airer for drying shoes

We like: the shoe racks at the bottom

We don’t like: it’s wider than it looks

John Lewis: with shoe holders at the bottom
  • Estimated 10p per hour in use
  • Holds 15kg washing
  • Two year warranty

Heated airers can look pretty same-y but this John Lewis option stands out from the crowd thanks to one small thing: shoe dryers. If you’ve been caught out in a storm and had to stuff your shoes full of old newspapers of kitchen towels to dry them, only to find them still slightly soggy the next day, this is for you.

Plus, the dryer can hold 15kg of washing with 5kg recommended for each layer. The bars heat up to a temperature on the cusp of being too hot to touch, add a cover (you’ll have to buy one separately) and they are. I’ve found the trick with drying delicates is lying them across the bars rather than hanging them over and risking stretching. Using hangers through the middle of the bars is also highly effective for drying shirts and stops the usual criticism that heated airers only dry the bit touching the bars.

The dryer does stand quite wide when set up, at 66cm, which is a little wide for my small apartment although it folds completely flat which is handy for storage. I don’t actually mind that it takes up so much room, because I find it even heats the surrounding air, doubling as a low power radiator.

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John Lewis

4. Black and Decker 3-tier heated airer

£159.99, Robert Dyas

Best heated clothes airer for easy storage, 8/10

We like: that it folds flat and has a small footprint

We don’t like: it doesn’t come with a cover

Black and Decker: can be customised for drying larger items
  • Estimated 10p per hour in use
  • Holds 15kg of washing on 21m of drying space
  • Two year warranty

Black & Decker are renowned for making power tools, and structurally, I rather like this tower-shaped airer. It boasts three tiers on which to either drape clothes flat to dry, or on which to hang them. The tiers can be rearranged (by unfolding one half of the rung down), making way to dry longer items such as trousers, dresses, towels or bedding. 

Because it’s vertical, I think it’s an efficient shape in terms of how much space it takes up (handy if you only have a small space) and more pleasing to the eye than more horizontal designs. It also folds flat, for nifty storage. In lightweight aluminium, it’s light (5.5kg, to be precise) and easy to lug about.

It holds a decent weight of clothes and feels incredibly sturdy. As with all of these airers, it arrives assembled - so all you need to do is simply fold it out, plug it in and switch it on. Ta da!

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5. Dunelm Heated Ladder Airer

£40, Dunelm

Best heated ladder

We like: the low energy consumption

We don’t like: heat output isn’t that high

Dunelm: perfect for a small bathroom
  • Estimated 3p per hour in use
  • Holds 5kg of towels or washing

If you don’t require the manpower of the bigger heated airers on this list, perhaps if you’re washing for one or just looking for something for the bathroom, this Dunelm heated ladder is an excellent value choice. It costs just 3p per hour to run with an initial investment of £40.

I’ve set this up in my bathroom and use it for towels and to dry any excess laundry which can’t fit on my main dryer - usually underwear. It doesn’t get as warm as options higher up but it’s great for drying damp towels in spring and autumn when it’s not cold enough to turn on the radiator.

It’s a useful size and portable enough to move from room to room. I’ve also found it helps keep mould at bay. All in all a well-priced, versatile dryer emitting gentle heat.

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6. Aerative Heated Clothes Airer Hanger

£75, Amazon 

Best portable heated clothes airer, 8/10

We like: a quick one-garment dryer for use in hotels

We don’t like: it only dries one item of clothing at a time

Aerative: perfect for travel or keeping in a desk drawer
  • Plugs into the mains
  • Dries clothes or shoes very quickly
  • Timer setting

Completely different from all the others, this is no good at all for domestic laundry drying but we can’t resist a quirky gadget. If you prefer to do a quick garment wash in a hotel sink rather than send it down for cleaning, the hot air vents in this chunky clothes hanger’s extendable arms will quick-dry shirts, socks or undies in the time it takes to drink a minibar beer.

The drawbacks are that it uses a 230V British plug and would be much less effective on a 110V American power supply, and it is a little noisy (think hair dryer on low setting). The advantages are that, since it doesn’t use a lithium battery, you can pack it in your carry-on luggage. 

The killer app is that the arms can be rotated around to fit inside shoes as well as clothes. This makes the Aerative a super-fast fix if you get caught in a downpour and need to be bone dry in time for an appointment. For that reason, we’ll be keeping one in the desk at Telegraph towers.

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7. Minky winged 12m heated clothes airer with cover

£60, Argos

Best celebrity endorsed clothes airer, 7/10

We like: it comes with a cover to speed airing

We don’t like: it takes up a lot of space when folded out

Minky: surprisingly strong
  • Estimated 10p per hour in use
  • Holds 10kg of washing on 12m of drying space
  • One-year guarantee
  • Comes with cover

Famously, Instagram cleaning influencer Mrs Hinch (as anyone who identifies as a “Hincher” will know) is a proponent of the M Cloth Anti-Bacterial Cleaning Pad (£2.00, Asda). But did you know that Sophie Hinch’s favourite washcloth brand also does a heated clothes airer? 

The Minky Wing offers 12m of drying space and holds up to 10kg of laundry (one generous wash load, pretty much). It has a one year-guarantee. 

Credit: Minky

If you live in a small flat, you may find it far less practical than the Lakeland or Black + Decker dryers, since it’s wide and low and takes up an unnecessary amount of space when folded out. But it’s good if you’re drying wool jumpers flat and then dangling socks and shorts from the “wings”, and it does come with a cover to speed drying, which not all airers do.

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Heated clothes airer FAQ


What are heated airers used for?

Heated airers speed up the drying process and provide a gentler method for drying delicates. Instead of wrapping delicates in towels and balancing them precariously on the bathroom radiator, or hanging dresses up in the shower to drip-dry, an electric airer means you can just wring them out gently and lay them flat to dry.

How hot do heated clothes dryers get?

Around 60C. A cover (supplied with some) helps to keep the temperature constant. Clothes on uncovered rack dryers should be moved around, since the areas in contact with the heated rails will dry faster.

Can you leave heated clothes airers on overnight?

Manufacturers don’t recommend leaving any electric heated products unattended but in practice, this is how most people use them. Most come with timers and thermostats to choose lower temperatures for longer drying periods. 

How much do heated air dryers cost to run?

6p per hour for 200W dryers and 9p per hour for 300W dryers, approximately. This is based on the energy price cap of 30p per kW/h since July 1 2023, although prices will vary according to your tariff.

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