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How Heat Pump Dryers Rethink Laundry | [Reviews + Buying Guide]

by Albert Lee Appliance

Before you think you’re all out of dryer options for your unique living situation, take a moment to consider heat pump dryers. Unlike traditional dryers, which require venting (and the space for it), ventless dryers need no ducting, providing a huge value for buyers who live in apartments or condos.

But these space-saving appliances aren’t just for buyers who are shy on square footage. To learn all the benefits of heat pump dryers, follow along as we provide the details, plus a look at the best heat pump dryer models from seven different categories.

TL;DR: A Condensed Guide to Heat Pump Dryers

At a Glance:

The Benefits of a Heat Pump Dryer

How do Heat Pump Dryers Work?

Our Best Heat Pump Dryer Picks

Our Selection Process

Why Trust Us?

Benefits of a Heat Pump Dryer

You may be skeptical about ventless dryers, but the benefits speak for themselves:

Unmatched energy savings

Flexible installation

Gentler fabric care 

Most can be used with standard 220-volt outlets, while some models use a 110-volt outlet (which can be plugged in just about anywhere)

How? First, a recirculating drying process (details below) is responsible for saving up to 50 percent in energy usage, making heat pump dryers the most energy-efficient dryer models available on the market. Second of all, without the need for a dryer hose, heat pump condenser dryers are fit to install virtually anywhere, especially since no moisture or heat is exhausted to create a muggy room.

Surprisingly, the heating method used on these dryers is also lower in temperature than those used on conventional vented dryers. As a result, a heat pump clothes dryer can help protect your wardrobe from heat overexposure, which can help keep your favorite garments wearable for longer.  

How Heat Pump Dryers Work

The magic behind a heat pump dryer’s efficiency is its innovative heating process. Rather than expelling hot air out of the appliance, ventless dryers recycle hot air in a few simple steps:

  1. Moist air passes into a compartment of coils beneath the drum.
  2. The hot air comes into contact with cold coils, turning moisture in the air into condensation.
  3. The condensation percolates below while the cold coils expand due to the exchange of heat, pushing the warm refrigerant in the coils into a pressurized compressor where it is heated even more. 
  4. The hot refrigerant is fed into a second set of coils, where the conditioned air passes through, reheats, and enters the drum to repeat the drying cycle.

It’s important to note a ventless heat pump dryer will come with either a water reservoir that needs to be emptied manually or a self-draining water tube, which we recommend for a user experience with less maintenance.

What You Should Know About Heat Pump Dryers

No-vent dryers are a great solution for small spaces, but unfortunately, they’re not a fit for every household. Keep these considerations in mind while you shop:

Smaller capacities: Ventless dryers are designed for lighter laundering demands.  

Longer drying times: Since they use lower temperatures, heat pump dryers take longer to dry.

More maintenance: No ductwork means users need to regularly check both lint traps (that’s right—there are two lint filters).

Related: The Best Dryers for Small Spaces

Our Best Heat Pump Dryer Picks

Best Overall: Beko 24" White Front Load Heat Pump Dryer (HPD24412W)

Front view of Beko HPD24412W heated pump dryer

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It makes sense our top heat pump dryer pick would come from Beko, one of Europe’s leading appliance names. The brand specializes in compact luxury appliances, and this 4.1-cubic-foot heat pump dryer is a prime example. On top of being recognized as an Energy Star Most Efficient award winner, this high-efficiency dryer comes loaded with a variety of dryer cycles for all your fabric needs, designed with specialized baffles for no-tangle drying. And with a reinforced inverter motor, this dryer delivers quiet operation, making it ideal for second-story apartments or installed virtually anywhere there is space.

Features:

  • 16 dryer cycles
  • 4.1 cubic-foot capacity 
  • Bi-directional tumbling
  • ProSmart Inverter Motor
  • Stack kit included
  • Energy Star Most Efficient dryer

Best Value: Samsung 4.0 Cu Ft. White Electric Dryer (DV22N6800HW)

Front view of Samsung DV22N6800HW heated pump dryer

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Saving is a cinch with this Samsung heat pump dryer, featuring the innovation of Sensor Drying that automatically adjusts drying times, along with heat pump technology for clothes that finish perfectly dry without heat damage. Enjoy the benefit of Samsung tech with Wi-Fi connectivity, just one more way this dryer with an Energy Star Most Efficient rating adds convenience to your everyday routine.

Features:

  • 12 dryer cycles
  • 4.0 cubic-foot capacity  
  • Sensor Dry technology
  • Smart Care with Wi-Fi compatibility
  • Energy Star Most Efficient dryer

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Best Luxury: Miele T1 4.0 Cu. Ft. White Edition Lotus White Heat-Pump Tumble Dryer (TXR 860WP)

Front view of Miele TXR 860WP heated pump dryer

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Take care of your clothes using Miele’s T1 heat pump technology on this high-end heat pump dryer. Inside, 4.0 cubic-feet of drum space provides ample room to wash large loads with the convenience of Miele@home wireless management and a no-cleaning filtration that keeps maintenance to a minimum. The performance of Energy Star qualified drying is matched by powerful features, including steam and calcium sensor technology for complete clothes care from start to finish. 

Features:

  • 4.0 cubic-foot capacity
  • T1 heat pump technology
  • PerfectDry setting 
  • SteamFinish 
  • No-maintenance filtration
  • Miele@home Wi-Fi compatibility
  • Energy Star qualified
  • 20-year lifespan

Best Washer/Dryer with Heated Pump: Danby® 2.7 Cu. Ft. White All-In-One Ventless Washer Dryer Combo (DWM120WDB-3)

Front view of Danby DWM120WDB washer dryer combo with heated pump

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Short on space? Double up on function with the help of this heat pump washer dryer combo from Danby. With the power to wash using 14 unique cycles and dry all in the same appliance, this affordable heat pump dryer is a major value for living situations tight on space.

Features:

  • 14 wash/2 dry cycles
  • 2.7 cubic-foot capacity
  • Stainless-steel drum 
  • LED display

Best Whirlpool: Whirlpool® 7.4 Cu. Ft. White Front Load Electric Dryer (WHD560CHW)

Front view of Whirlpool WHD560CHW heated pump dryer

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Enjoy the best of both worlds with this Whirlpool heat pump dryer that uses hybrid heat technology. For a boost of power and heat, select the speed cycle and let electricity heat the air. When using the Eco option, refrigerant heats the air, reducing the energy footprint, while simultaneously delivering lower heating to dry clothes more gently. Complete with moisture sensors, wrinkle protection, an Energy Star rated performance, and 7.4 cubic-feet of expansive dyer space, this electric heat pump dryer is a perfect transition from traditional drying into new-age laundry care.

Features:

  • 36 dryer cycles
  • 7.4 cubic-foot capacity
  • Hybrid heat pump technology
  • Advanced moisture sensing
  • Wrinkle Shield option  
  • Eco option
  • Compatible with laundry pedestals
  • Energy Star certified 

Best GE: GE® 4.0 Cu. Ft. White Front Load Electric Dryer (GFT14ESSMWW)

Front view of GE GFT14ESSMWW condenser dryer

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In a closet, master bathroom, or bedroom—wherever you use the ventless design of this condenser dryer from GE, you will enjoy the convenience of 12 dryer cycles and 4.0 cubic-feet of drum space to keep up with heft loads of laundry. Twin thermistors monitor moisture levels throughout every cycle, resulting in loads that are never over-dried and gently cared for.

Features:

  • 12 dryer cycles
  • 4.0 cubic-foot capacity
  • Quick Dry setting
  • Sanitize cycle
  • HE Sensor Dry 
  • Energy Star rated

Our Selection Process

Capacity

While heat pump dryers are adapted for less-than-demanding dryer needs, there are still many models that meet or exceed standard dryer capacities. Many of the models on our list provides at least 4 cubic-feet of drum space in order to maximize input and output (a.k.a., to keep piles of laundry from turning into mountains).

Features

Dryers by nature are pretty simple machines, so features are pretty sparse, even on conventional dryer models. With that said, we found the best ventless dryers were those that performed like their mainstream alternatives. Speed cycles, moisture sensors, and a variety of other cycles help streamline the process and add to the value of the eco efficiency.

Convenience

One of the biggest tradeoffs to heat pump dryers is maintenance. Top-performing ventless dryers reduce manual involvement with thoughtful designs, including overflow protection, built-in drain hoses, and no-fuss filtration, like on our features Miele heat pump dryer. 

Why Trust Us?

It wasn’t easy, but we’re proud to be able to say we’re Washington’s largest independent appliance dealer. The secret to our success? Unlike big-box stores, Albert Lee Appliance counts on something even big money can’t afford: time and experience. While the other guys can count on maybe 60 years in the business, our family-owned company spans over 80 years (and going strong), adding new and valuable insight to our day-to-day operations with each new generation.  

In other words, we don’t just supply home appliances. We deliver, install, and even service what we sell, allowing us to confidently recommend the right products for our buyers’ needs. Our presence in the Puget Sound area since 1939 has also made us neighbors in your communities, meaning we’re committed to providing the best deals around with quality service on a person-to-person level.  

Our product reviews are always conducted with you in mind. So whether you’re shopping on a budget, are seeking the latest in innovation, are all about style, or just want something reliable, we hold true to the qualities our shoppers value in order to recommend top-performing appliances from our catalog.   

Learn More: How to Shop for Laundry Appliances

Shop Heated Pump Dryers at Albert Lee Appliance

Your answer to space-friendly laundry care starts at Albert Lee Appliance. Whether it’s a heat pump dryer or otherwise, we’re stocked full of quality laundry appliances suited for your home’s unique space.

Shop online or by visiting one of our appliance showrooms throughout the Puget Sound, including locations in Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, and Lynnwood.