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Tumble Drying vs. Air Drying: Which is Better for Bedding?

Doing laundry isn't always exciting, but it's something we all have to do. One common question people have is whether it's better to use a dryer or hang their bedding to dry. This isn't just about drying methods; it's about what matters to us, like saving time, taking care of our fabrics, and being kind to the environment.

Join us as we explore the pros and cons of tumble drying and air drying, so you can choose the best option for your bedding. Whether you love the warmth of a dryer or the freshness of outdoor drying, we'll help you make the right decision.

What is tumble drying?

Tumble drying is the process of using a machine with a heated drum to dry clothes and bedding. As the drum rotates, hot air circulates inside, evaporating moisture from the fabric. This method is faster than air drying and leaves items warm and soft.

Benefits of tumble drying your bedding

Tumble drying your bedding offers several advantages that make it a popular choice for many households. From efficiency to convenience, let's explore why tumble drying might be the right option for you.


Tumble drying is known for its efficiency in quickly drying bedding, making it a convenient choice for those with busy schedules or limited time. Unlike air drying, which relies on natural conditions, tumble drying uses controlled heat and airflow to evaporate moisture from the fabric rapidly. This means you can have your bedding ready to use in a fraction of the time it would take to air dry, allowing you to stay on top of your laundry without sacrificing precious minutes from your day.


One of the key benefits of tumble drying bedding is the softness it imparts to the fabric. The heat and tumbling action of the dryer help to fluff up the fibres, leaving your bedding feeling luxuriously soft to the touch. This is especially noticeable with items like sheets and blankets, where the warmth of the dryer can create a cosy, inviting texture that enhances

your comfort when you climb into bed at night. So, if you crave that extra touch of plushness in your bedding, tumble drying is the way to go.


Tumble drying offers unmatched convenience for busy households. With modern dryers equipped with various settings, it's easy to customise the drying process based on fabric type and desired level of dryness.

Unlike air drying, which requires outdoor space or a drying rack and is dependent on weather conditions, tumble drying can be done indoors at any time, regardless of the weather. This means you can have freshly dried bedding on demand, without having to wait for the sun to shine or worry about items getting damp if it starts to rain.

Plus, with the option of setting a timer or using delay start functions on some dryers, you can have your bedding ready precisely when you need it, fitting seamlessly into your daily routine.

Reduced wrinkles

Tumble drying can also help minimise wrinkles in your bedding, saving you time and effort on ironing. By using a gentle cycle and removing items promptly once they're dry, you can prevent fabrics from creasing excessively during the drying process.

The tumbling action of the dryer helps to loosen any wrinkles that may have formed during washing, leaving your bedding looking smooth and neatly pressed. This is particularly beneficial for items like sheets and pillowcases, where wrinkles can detract from the overall appearance of your bed.

What is air drying?

Air drying is a simple and traditional method of drying clothes and bedding by allowing them to naturally dry in the open air. Instead of using a machine, items are hung or spread out in a well-ventilated area, such as a clothesline or drying rack, where they are exposed to ambient air and breeze.

The moisture in the fabric evaporates gradually over time, aided by airflow, sunlight, or room temperature. This method requires no electricity and is gentle on fabrics, making it a preferred choice for delicate items or those seeking an eco-friendly drying option.

Benefits of air drying

Air drying offers a range of advantages that make it an appealing option for those looking to save energy, preserve fabric quality, and enjoy a natural scent in their bedding. From eco-friendliness to gentleness on delicate fabrics, let's explore why air drying might be the perfect choice for you.

Energy efficiency

Air drying is exceptionally energy-efficient as it requires no electricity to operate, unlike tumble drying machines. By harnessing natural air and sunlight, you can effectively dry your bedding without relying on power-hungry appliances. This not only reduces your carbon footprint but also saves on utility costs, making air drying a wallet-friendly and environmentally conscious choice.

Plus, by reducing your dependence on electricity, you're contributing to a more sustainable future for our planet.


Air drying is renowned for its gentle treatment of fabrics, making it an ideal choice for delicate bedding materials. Unlike the heat and agitation of tumble dryers, air drying allows your bedding to dry naturally, without subjecting it to harsh conditions. This gentle process helps to preserve the quality, texture, and lifespan of your bedding, ensuring that it remains soft, smooth, and comfortable for years to come.

Whether you have silk sheets, wool blankets, or delicate lace trim, air drying provides a gentle touch that keeps your bedding looking and feeling its best.

Scent preservation

Air drying offers the added benefit of preserving the natural scent of your bedding. When dried outdoors, bedding absorbs the fresh aroma of the surrounding environment, whether it's the crisp scent of a sunny day or the clean fragrance of a gentle breeze. This natural scent adds a touch of freshness to your bedding, creating a more inviting and pleasant sleeping environment.

Additionally, air-dried bedding often retains less residual odours from detergents or fabric softeners, allowing you to enjoy the pure, clean scent of freshly laundered linens.

Reduced shrinkage

Air drying can help prevent shrinkage in your bedding, particularly for fabrics that are prone to shrinking when exposed to high heat. By avoiding the intense heat of a dryer, you minimise the risk of fabrics contracting and losing their original size and shape. This is especially beneficial for items like cotton or wool bedding, where even slight shrinkage can affect the fit and comfort.

By allowing your bedding to dry naturally at room temperature, you ensure that it maintains its dimensions and remains true to size wash after wash

Should you tumble dry or air dry?

The decision between tumble drying and air drying bedding ultimately depends on your priorities and circumstances.

If you value efficiency, convenience, and softness, tumble drying may be the preferred option. It's faster, more convenient for those with busy schedules, and can leave your bedding feeling luxuriously soft.

On the other hand, if you prioritise energy efficiency, gentleness on fabrics, scent preservation, and reduced shrinkage, air drying could be the way to go. It's environmentally friendly, gentle on delicate fabrics, enhances the natural scent of your bedding, and helps prevent shrinkage.

Consider factors such as fabric type, weather conditions, and personal preferences when making your decision. And remember, you don't have to choose just one method. A combination approach, such as air drying followed by a brief tumble in the dryer, can offer the best of both worlds.

Ultimately, the choice between tumble drying and air drying comes down to what matters most to you and what works best for your lifestyle and bedding needs.

Briscoes has a huge range of bedding for everyone 

In the tumble drying versus air drying debate, there's no universal answer. Both methods have their perks, so it boils down to what matters most to you. Whether you prioritise speed and softness or eco-friendliness and fabric care, the choice is yours.

Discover quality bedding that suits your style at Briscoes. From silky sheets to snug comforters, we have everything you need for a dreamy bedroom. Explore our range today and upgrade your sleep experience.


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