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Best heated clothes airer 2024: Dryers to dry your laundry quickly and cheaply

A pair of clothes airers

Is your tumble dryer costing you a fortune? Heated clothes airers can dry your washing efficiently without sky rocketing your energy bills

When winter comes around and hanging your clothes outside to dry is no longer an option, the best heated clothes airers can be a laundry lifesaver. Taking a simple concept that’s been around for centuries and adding a mains-powered heating element is a simple solution to an evergreen problem, and it can potentially save you money on your energy bills to boot.

Tumble dryers might be the fastest way of drying your clothes, but not all garments can withstand that level of heat without shrinkage or damage – and other items can lose years of their life. Instead, heated airers offer a solution that is kinder to both your clothes and the environment. They provide room for airflow like regular clothes airers or clothes horses except with a bit of extra heat to speed the process up. Where a tumble dryer consumes around 4.5kWh per cycle, heated clothes airers often use less than 0.3kWh and rarely higher than 1.2kWh, so even though they’re slower than a tumble dryer, they will cost you less in the long run.

Here we will recommend a range of heated clothes airers to suit any home. While compact heated airers will work best in smaller houses and flats, those catering for large families can maximise their drying volume with a massive airer. Read on and our buying guide will explain all the key information and features you need to know about before buying.

Best heated clothes airers: At a glance

Best compact heated clothes airerHomefront drying rack (~£50)Check price at Amazon
Best value heated clothes airerStatus Heated Clothes Airer with Wings (~£55)Check price at Robert Dyas
Best heated pop-up clothes wardrobeDry:Soon Heated Cabinet (~£130)Check price at Lakeland

How to choose the best heated clothes airer for you

What is a heated clothes airer?

Take a standard clothes airer or clothes horse, add a mains-powered heating element to the design, and you have a heated clothes airer. Other heated airers are more akin to a portable wardrobe – with this type, you simply hang your clothes inside, seal the unit shut and a fan or heating element accelerates the drying process.

Why not just use a radiator?

Even if you do just happen to have your heating on, directly hanging towels or wet clothes on a radiator is a very inefficient way to dry your washing. Your radiator won’t be able to work efficiently to heat your home, either.

Positioning a standard clothes airer a couple of feet from a radiator is a slightly better idea as items will dry more quickly, and your radiator will still heat the room efficiently, but you will still probably end up having to turn it around several times to get everything dried evenly – especially if it’s heavily laden with washing.

Heated clothes airers use very little electricity – roughly 0.2-0.3kWh of energy compared to around 4.5kWh per cycle for a tumble dryer – so they’re a cheaper option than turning your heating on to do the same job.

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The best heated clothes airers to buy in 2024

1. Homefront Heated Drying Rack: Best compact heated clothes airer

Price when reviewed: £50 | Check price at Amazonbest heated clothes airer - homefront heated drying rackMost heated airers sprawl across a room with their numerous rack appendages, and while that is beneficial for drying more clothing at once, it’s not ideal for smaller spaces. A sleek, slimline solution is Homefront’s bathroom-radiator-style rack.

The sturdy, aluminium frame provides six rungs to hang washing on, and the design can handle heavy items without buckling. Despite that, it’s lightweight enough to be moved easily and, since it’s so thin, you can store it away under a bed or in a cupboard once you’ve finished using it.

To get the drying started, simply flick the power switch – there are no timer or automatic shut-off features. You won’t get through a 10kg wash all at once, but this Frontline airer still does a grand job of drying smaller loads.

Key specs – Open dimensions: 90.5 x 53.5 x 36cm (HWD); Closed dimensions: 90.5 x 53.5 x 36cm (HWD); Drying space: 2 metres; Weight: 2.4kg; Guarantee: 1 year; Wattage: 90W

2. Black + Decker 3 Tier Heated Airer: Best heated clothes airer for large families

Price when reviewed: £110 | Check price at Amazon best heated clothes airer - black + decker 3-tier airerHolding up to 15kg of washing, this heated airer by Black + Decker is ideal for anyone who needs to dry lots of washing at once. Families in particular will enjoy the ample space on this three-tiered airer.

It comes fully assembled and ready to use: simply lock the tiers in place, plug in and switch it on via the illuminated panel. And despite its large capacity, the whole thing folds flat for storage purposes.

You will find alternative three-tier options, such as the Dry:Soon Deluxe 3-tier Heated Airer, but given this Black + Decker model is nearly identical and substantially cheaper, we reckon it’s a better buy.

Key specs – Open dimensions: 140 x 73 x 68cm (HWD); Closed dimensions: 140 x 73 x 10cm (HWD); Drying space: 21 metres; Weight: 4.5kg; Guarantee: 1 year; Wattage: 300W

3. Status Heated Clothes Airer with Wings: Best-value heated clothes airer

Price when reviewed: £55 | Check price at Robert Dyasbest heated clothes airer - status heated clothes airer with wings

Also offering 15kg of clothes drying capacity is this heated airer by Status. The design has a larger footprint than the three-tier Black + Decker model, utilising a winged design to incorporate extra racks, but it will dry your clothes just as well across its 18 bars. And besides, once your clothes are dry, you can fold the whole structure away.

If you can, getting a cover or using an old fitted sheet to go over the top of the airer will make that drying process even faster, as this will hold the heat in and spread it around more evenly. It’s good value given the drying capacity, though.

Key specs – Open dimensions: 97 x 142 x 52cm (HWD); Closed dimensions: 50.8 x 112 x 52cm (HWD); Drying capacity: 15kg; Weight: 2.5kg; Guarantee: 1 year; Wattage: 220W

Check price at Robert Dyas

4. John Lewis 3-Tier Heated Indoor Clothes Airer: Best heated clothes airer for most people

Price when reviewed: £100 | Check price at John Lewis

Offering 5kg of laundry capacity per shelf, this heated clothes airer has ample room for most people’s regular washes and heating capacity that makes light work of them too.

Made from robust aluminium alloy, it’s both sturdy enough for the biggest of loads and lightweight enough to move around your home. Each tier opens independently so you can configure the airer for drying anything from larger bed sheets to rows of socks, t-shirts and trousers. There’s even an integrated heated shoe rack for any wintery walks or rogue puddles that may have moistened your favourite trainers.

Key specs – Open dimensions: H135 x W66 x D72.8 (cm); Closed dimensions: H140 x W66 x D7 (cm); Drying space: 15 metres; Weight: 5.5kg; Guarantee: 2 years; Wattage: 300W

Check price at John Lewis

5. Beldray Electric Heated Clothes Airer: Best compact heated clothes airer with cover

Price when reviewed: £55 | Check price at Amazonbest heated clothes airer Beldray heated airer on a white background

The Beldray Heated Clothes Airer uses a fan heater to warm its compact enclosure and create a microclimate where your clothes can get dry.

Beldray states that you can add 12 hangers worth of clothing to the unit at once. That’s a tad optimistic in reality, since thicker items like jumpers are likely to overlap with others and leave some items with a couple damp spots. To effectively dry each item, I recommend spacing out your laundry as much as possible and limiting laundry to around half the maximum load weight of 10kg.

Still, if there are a few damp areas that need drying, you can always rotate or turn your clothes inside out and set the 1,000W fan on another cycle. You can pick from 30-minute intervals up to 180 minutes via the knob on the base. The overall design is clever too, with six foldable arms, and can be easily disassembled for storage (even if this takes a little longer than a conventional dryer).

Putting your laundry on the airer, since you need clothing hangers, is a little more time-consuming too, but it’s a small price to pay for having dry, crease-free clothes in record time using far less energy than a tumble dryer.

Key specs – Open dimensions: 159 x 60cm (H x diameter); Closed dimensions: 136 x 60cm (H x diameter); Drying capacity: 10kg of clothing; Weight: 3.5kg; Guarantee: 1 year; Wattage: 1,000W

6. Dry:Soon Heated Cabinet: Best heated clothes wardrobe

Price when reviewed: £130 | Check price at LakelandBest heated clothes airer - Dry:Soon heated clothes wardrobe While we all need to dry freshly washed clothes, draping items across open airers, radiators and anywhere they can dangle isn’t the homely aesthetic most of us desire. To avoid showing guests your smalls, Dry:Soon has a solution: the heated drying cabinet.

Instead of your clothing rack being exposed to the world, it sits behind a fabric covering that zips up completely to hide your unmentionables and more – it’s essentially a heated portable wardrobe. A 1,200W fan heater jets warm air (up to 65˚C) into the cabinet, and you can set the timer to run for up to six hours at a time.

Due to the wardrobe-like design, you can hang shirts and uniforms inside on clothes hangers, and this results in far less creasing than standard heated airers and clothes horses. Underneath, there’s a second rail for other items, and this provides enough capacity for around 12 items of clothing.

Key specs – Open dimensions: 152 x 71.5 x 45cm (HWD); Closed dimensions: 152 x 71.5 x 45cm (HWD); Drying capacity: 10kg of clothing; Weight: 4.6kg; Guarantee: 3 years; Wattage: 1,200W

Check price at Lakeland

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