I tried a heated airer and I will never use my tumble dryer again – here's why

After discovering the benefits of a heated airer, I can't imagine using my tumble dryer again

A white heated airer with clothes hanging from it in a bay window
(Image credit: Alamy)

When I first moved house I was left without a tumble dryer and, struggling to fit all of my clothes on my limited radiators and with the weather not nice enough to hang my laundry outside to dry, my Mom lent me her heated airer. After discovering all of the benefits of a heated airer, I knew I need one in my arsenal.

Despite being skeptical that a heated airer would just increase the chance of mold in my home as I left damp clothes hung out for hours, my Mom's tip to pair this appliance with one of the best dehumidifiers made this drying set up one of the best additions to my laundry room ideas yet. I never did buy a new tumble dryer in the end – I would never go back.

Here, I go through the top four reasons I love my heated airer (now I have had to buy myself one and relinquish my Mother's) and why you need one too.

1. It costs me less than a tumble dryer

A wicker laundry basket filled with clothes and a laundry detergent bottle

(Image credit: Unsplash)

I have discovered that one of the main benefits of a heated airer is, by far, how much money it has saved me in recent months. Everyone I know is currently working out how to cut energy bills and how to save money at home while not giving up the essentials. 

After working out how much it costs to run a heated airer and how much it costs to run a tumble dryer, I found that the heated airer easily came out on top. My heated airer came out as costing just a few cents per hour, as opposed to my old tumble dryer's few dollars an hour. 

Although I have to use my heated airer for longer than a tumble dryer to dry my clothes completely, the price still works out lower overall and there are some great tips to make a heated airer more efficient too!

2. It got my clothes off of my radiators

A man hanging clothes on a white heated airer

(Image credit: Alamy)

I decided to purchase a heated airer that was on the larger side such as this extra large airer available on Amazon which, although costing me quite a bit upfront, was still cheaper than a new top-end dryer. What's more, despite my model's slightly higher wattage than smaller models, it didn't cost me too much more per hour and I could run it for a shorter amount of time.

I knew I would need a larger airer given that I tend to hoard clothes and have a rather large collection. The best thing about the larger model was how easy it was to fit all of my items onto it – even my thicker jumpers. The airer's timer also meant that I could set the drying time to however long I needed, rather than have the heating left on all day.

While I admit that a heated airer can dry things a little unevenly, with smaller items often drying a lot quicker than bulkier sweaters, for example, it was easy enough to pull the dried items off as I walked past and drop them into the laundry basket to give the other things more space to dry. This is a small price to pay for such a good saving, I think. 

The size of the fairer didn't make it too difficult to hide away when I was not using it either. Most airers fold up flat, making it easy to slide beside or into a cabinet in your laundry room storage ideas or kitchen.

3. It helped to protect my clothes 

Neutral colored clothes hanging on a rail

(Image credit: Unsplash)

Using my old tumble dryer was convenient, but I did notice that my clothes didn't look or feel as good after repeatedly being dried by a tumble dryer in comparison to drying on a washing line or my heated airer. 

I didn't ever have to worry that I was going to shrink a new sweater, or just put my laundry to dry before realizing too late that I had put a blouse in there that should have been air dry only. 

My grandmother's five laundry lessons taught me the benefits of air drying clothes a little while ago, and the benefits of heated airer just helped to speed up this process.

4. It helped make my home more environmentally friendly 

A white heated airer with clothes hanging from it in a bay window

(Image credit: Alamy)

I have always got my eye set on eco-home improvements, so it was nice when this smaller and far more affordable eco-friendly addition came along. 

Using a heated airer rather than a tumble dryer is one of the best ways to be sustainable at home by lowering your electrical usage and emissions.

An unexpected benefit of a heated airer was that it forced me to do slightly smaller loads of laundry than I used to. This meant that I wasn't overloading my washing machine to get laundry done faster and made me more mindful about what I wash and how often I wash certain things.

How long does washing take to dry on a heated airer?

The time it takes to completely dry clothes on a heated airer will depend on the size and power of your airer. On average, however, lighter pieces will take four or five hours, with heavier pieces such as jumpers taking up to ten.

You can speed up your heated airer's drying time by using an airer cover which will trap the heat in and speed up the drying process. 

Can you leave heated airers on overnight?

Heated airers are generally safe enough to leave turned on overnight, with many appliances having a built-in timer function and health controls. Because of this, they are better for frying clothes overnight than a tumble dryer. 

Whether you leave your airer on at night will be down to personal preference and the type of airer you own. Consult the user manual for details about overnight use, and perhaps consider only leaving the airer on for a few hours when you go to bed using a timer, rather than leaving it on for a full eight hours unattended to be on the safe side. 

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.