Dryers without reverse tumbling

A topical question given current weather conditions - Do you have a high energy efficiency heat pump clothes dryer? If so, does it have reverse tumbling, and if not, how does it perform drying large sheets and towels?
We’re seeing an increasing number of dryers coming through our labs which don’t reverse, or which the drum only reverses for 10 to 90 seconds, which can result in laundry wadding up in to a tight ball and not drying properly.
Why do they do this? Because to improve energy efficiency the manufacturers run everything - the compressor, fan, and drum rotation, off the one motor - to reverse the drum means reversing everything else as well, which is not good for the appliance. While chasing lower energy consumption is admirable we’re concerned it’s coming at the expense of functionality and performance. What’s been your experience?


Reversing drums, even in washing machines have the best outcomes. It also seems to avoid getting too many creases if direction is reversed for enough time. I think on some washing machines and dryers it is called “Crease Care” but even without selecting that specialised function, reversing works to ensure better washes and dries of items.


Our high energy efficiency clothes dryer doesn’t have a heat pump. Unfortunately it doesn’t work well in high humidity/precipitation conditions.

We call it a clothes line. :crazy_face: (I thought that with the incessant rain and flooding a little humour was in order.)

OK seriously now, we have an old fashioned dryer which doesn’t work reliably so we only use once or twice a year in desperation. It does reverse tumble. If the heat pump dryers were cheaper we would replace it, BUT only with one that reverse tumbles.

I have used a heat pump dryer that didn’t reverse tumble and the outsides of the bed linen ball were dry, but the larger portion toward the centre of the ball was all damp. Had to unfurl it all and restart the machine. Definitely a pain in the post-area.


We had single direction dryers to 2009, then a reversing condenser model. The regular reversing makes a huge difference in functionality and drying. The non-reversing ones required sheets and other ‘waddable’ items to be removed mid-way and ‘sorted’ at least once. It has been so long I cannot comment on differences in creasing.

I would not buy a non-reversing dryer unless there was no choice.


I think the creases are more apparent as they get twisted in and then set in the fabric with the heat. I think the reversing for decent periods avoids some of the more intense twisting/balling of the fabric so creasing becomes a lot less. Obviously this is just my subjective observation and is not really a researched and validated outcome, but it may have been by others. Hopefully there will always be CHOICE :laughing:

Found reference to reversing reducing creases in a model description:

“1. Indesit IDC8T3B Ecotime
Reverse tumble action for reduced creasing”

From https://inthewash.co.uk/tumble-dryers/how-long-does-a-tumble-dryer-take/

“Many modern tumble dryers have a reverse tumble capability which means your wash load gets tumbled in both directions, allowing clothes to dry quicker and reduce their creasing.”


Mine does reverse tumbling, and I have noticed that creasables are less so since I bought it. The old vented dryer was horrendous. This is the one I bought, and its cheap again… the link is to the dryer page, not the general site.


The issue as first suggested does exist with larger items EG towels.

When working I often dried everyday cloths including permanent press pants and blended fabric sports shirts. It all seemed OK in the old one way spinning drier, although I removed the cloths warm, and folded or hung them on hangers as appropriate. I did not dry sheets, and if towels only a couple at a time.

More than a few towels and they did seem to get tied up and not dry as quickly.

Rule one was never fill the drier much more than 1/4 full damp, regardless. Economy vs dry cloths for the next day.


No we have a brute LG commercial model…old style heating element which fires up the local power station every time it is used (well, almost…we have solar to offset most of its power use).

While we don’t have a heat pump type, our commercial one doesn’t reverse the spin on the drum resulting in large sheets either twisting up or wrapping all the contents of the dryer into a ball/package (the sheet is on the outside and everything else within the sheet forming a clothes ball within the dryer that rolls as the drum spins), so that its contents doesn’t dry.


I have had a Miele reversing condenser dryer for 21 years. In early days I lived in an apartment and was highly dependent on it but I mostly line dry nowadays except during prolonged wet weather like this last week. Sheets dry completely without having to redistribute. I recently stood outside a laundromat and noticed that the large dryers did not reverse tumble.


Two probable reasons, the main one being commercial products have reliability as job 1 and tend to be no frills basic products, the second could be that more money may be spent when the customer has to open, redistribute/un-wad the contents; most would probably run a cycle to the finish, open the door check dryness and if necessary ‘adjust’ the contents, and add coin for another cycle. Sheets could be tinder dry on the outside and damp or wet on the inside of the wad; a reverse tumbler might make it reasonably dry inside and out, hence no need for that additional coinage.


That is right as they often operate multiple times each day…many times that of a domestic machine. I suspect that they are no frills to improve reliability and also so anyone can use them without the need to read a users guude/product manual. They are designed to be easy to operate with preset functionality.

Our LG washer has 4 preset wash settings (Delicates, Cold Wash, Warm Wash and Hot Wash) and Dryer 4 settings as well (no heat, low heat, medium heat and hot). Push the function button and then start. There is no eco mode, water level settings, wool settings, fast washes (as it takes max 38 minutes for each wash function)…the dryer is manual and only time of drying can be setbin 10 minute increments by pushing the start button more than oncel. It does dry 10kg in about 50 minutes on hot.


Yes, another good example is the expensive US Speed Queen products compared to the mass market competition. Speed Queen is designed for commercial use but with domestic models. When the best performers for washing, drying, economy, and so on have been consigned to the tips and have all but rusted into oblivion the Speed Queens will probably still be washing and tumbling away as they will, albeit with a minor repair from time to time.


At our previous residence, we installed a Speed Queen washer and dryer when we moved in in 1996 and we left them there when we moved out in 2014.

The washer had the brake pads replaced a few times but no other repairs.

I completely rebuilt the dryer with parts I bought from a specialist supplier i the US.

Slow machines with high power usage but built like tanks.


I have a Miele heat pump dryer since 2009 which reverse tumbles, dries king size sheets (including linen, bamboo and cotton) and XL bath towels perfectly and costs very little to run. I believe it was one of the first models of heat pump dryers in Australia. I shake and fold sheets and towels before placing in the dryer. They dry evenly, with minimal creasing and don’t tangle. My mother and sister both have even older Miele condenser dryers (without heat pump) - both of which reverse tumble and dry sheets and towels perfectly. They’re quieter than my heat pump model but use more energy.


An article regarding some tips for using clother dryers.

We always use the spin cycle once our front loader finishes the wash cycle so as to remove as much water as possible to reduce dryer time.


I have an esatto ehpd7 It’s a heat pump dryer but doesn’t reverse. I’m happy with it. The sheets and towels tangle but come out dry.


I spent $1800 on my Bosch heat pump unit and it doesn’t reverse tumble dry which means I need to remember to take everything out and air dry to prevent creasing. The sensor dry function does not work if the sheets or towels are in a big ball which is what happens unless you limit yourself to one sheet or towel at a time.

Once again, cheapskate manufacturers charging premium prices while cutting corners.


My AEG heat pump from 9 years ago had reverse tumble. It dried ok most of the time however there wasn’t enough heat I think so sometimes sheets had wet spots. It’s electronics broke down which meant spending $300+ on parts and fitting myself or $700 for the company to do it, for a second time in 2 years.

Bought the Bosch heat pump 2 years ago which doesn’t reverse but I think dries so much better. I have rarely had a tangle and rarely has anything come out with wet spots (maybe once in two years). I think if the machines get “overloaded” you’re more likely to have issues. Using the appropriate settings too rather than just default “cotton” also helps.


We are in the market for a new dryer. Can anyone recommend a dryer that will handle a super king bedspread? Preferably one with a reverse tumble feature.

1 Like

Choice has reviewed dryers in the past:

The review of individual dryers is member paid content.

To dry a super king bedspread, you will need a very large dryer - possibly 10kg capacity or bigger.

Do you really need a dryer this size specifically for a single large item?..

How often do you wash the bedspread? If you wash it infrequently, it may be more cost (and space) effective to either sun dry the bedspread or take it to a laundromat to specifically wash and dry from time to time. Most laundromats have high capacity washing machines and dryers which can do large items. In the long run, you will find you will have considerable savings (as the outlay for a smaller capacity dryer most likely will be cheaper, along with ongoing running costs.