Difference Between Condenser and Tumble Dryers
By Marc Gordon - January 21, 2022

If you ever had to buy a dryer, you must have come across two different (yet very similar) appliances: condenser dryers and tumble dryers. Most stores seem to sell both options, and their prices aren’t that different – so which one is better? What is the main difference between them?

Table Summary

Condenser DryerTumble Dryer
Doesn’t require an external ventRemoves moisture through an external vent
Less energy efficientMore energy efficient
A general view of a utility room within a home

Getty Images / Moment / John Keeble


Condenser dryers can be placed anywhere. They don’t require an external vent, making them a lot more convenient than tumble dryers. To remove moisture from clothes, condenser dryers move the hot air into a condensing chamber where it is condensed into water, then collected and stored in a container. This makes this model a little more high-maintenance than its alternative since it requires you to manually empty the water container every time you run the machine. However, they use a lot more energy than tumble dryers.

Vented tumble dryers remove moisture from your clothes through an external vent. This means they need to be placed near an external wall or window in order to allow the water to escape. However, since they don’t convert the moisture, they use a lot less energy than condenser dryers and don’t require you to manually empty the water container.

Condenser VS Tumble Dryer

While tumble dryers are cheaper and use less energy than condenser dryers, they need to be placed near an external wall or window. On the other hand, condenser dryers can be placed anywhere and only require you to empty their water container after every use. At the end of the day, the main difference between these two appliances is a matter of convenience: if you have room for a tumble dryer near a window, this is the cheapest option. If you need a dryer, but don’t have a window in your laundry room, you will need a condenser dryer.