Is “Permanent Press” The Hottest Tumble Dryer Setting?

When it comes to tumble dryers, there are a number of settings that can leave you scratching your head. 

But if you’ve ever wondered whether the “Permanent Press” setting is the hottest one, you’re in the right place! The short answer is no, it is not the hottest setting on your tumble dryer, but it certainly has its benefits. 

In this article, we’ll look into the world of tumble dryer settings, explaining what “Permanent Press” does, what the hottest settings are, and which fabrics are best suited for each. So, let’s get started!

What Does The “Permanent Press” Setting On Your Dryer Do?

The “Permanent Press” setting on your tumble dryer is a nice option when it comes to keeping your clothes looking sharp. It’s all about maintaining your fabrics in good shape while removing excess moisture. But how does it do that? 

To put it simply, Permanent Press combines medium heat with a cool-down cycle towards the end of the drying process, preventing your garments from creasing once the cycle is complete.

The result? Fewer wrinkles! This setting significantly reduces the need to steam or iron your clothes. Who wants to spend loads of time on an ironing session, anyway? Not us!

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“Permanent Press” works like a charm for clothes that can handle medium heat and are prone to wrinkling. It’s the go-to option for garments made of synthetic fibres like nylon, polyester, spandex, and rayon.

TIP: If you want to maximise the wrinkle-reducing benefits of “Permanent Press,” remove your clothes promptly after the cycle ends. Leaving them in the dryer can cause them to crease as they get bunched together.

Which Setting Is The Hottest On Your Tumble Dryer?

Now, let’s address the question head-on. While “Permanent Press” does an excellent job at medium heat, it’s not the hottest setting you can use to get the moisture off your garments.

If you’re looking for the hottest settings, keep an eye out for labels like “Regular,” “Cotton,” “Heavy Duty,” or “High Heat.” These options crank up the temperature to ensure a thorough drying cycle. 

While “Permanent Press” offers a balanced approach to drying your clothes without subjecting them to extreme heat, these hotter settings are best for thick or heat-resistant fabrics. They are particularly well-suited for items like jeans, towels, and sheets.

Just remember, some manufacturers may have their own terminology for these settings, so always check your appliance’s user manual for precise details about temperature, agitation, and time.

Here is a simple reference to guide you and help you choose which dryer setting to use: 

SettingHeat LevelWrinkle ReductionFabric CompatibilitySuitable for Everyday Laundry
Permanent PressMediumExcellentA wide range of fabricsYes
RegularHighModerateThick or heavy fabricsYes, but not for delicate items
Automatic or TimedHigh/AdjustableVariableVarious, depends on settingsYes, with proper adjustments
Heavy Duty or SanitiseHighGoodTowels, heavy fabrics, etc.Not ideal for everyday laundry
CottonHighModerate to goodCotton and sturdy fabricsYes, for heavy-duty cotton items

Keep in mind that the suitability of these settings may vary depending on the specific model of your tumble dryer and the care instructions for your garments. It’s essential to read labels and use your best judgement when choosing the appropriate setting for your laundry.

Regular, Automatic, Or Timed

If you’ve got some heavy-duty laundry that needs to be dried at high temperatures, the “Regular,” “Automatic,” or “Timed” settings have your back. These settings use the hottest temperature on your tumble dryer to ensure your thicker fabrics or items that can withstand high heat come out perfectly dry.


For the “Timed Dry” setting, most models allow you to choose the specific drying time in the cycle. On the other hand, the “Regular” and “Automatic” settings rely on the machine’s sensors to determine when your clothes are adequately dry based on moisture levels.

WARNING: Be cautious not to use these high-temperature settings for items with embellishments, as there’s a chance they may melt or get damaged!

Heavy Duty Or Sanitise

The “Heavy Duty” and “Sanitise” settings are your best options for heavy-duty drying tasks. They also make use of the highest temperature and longer cycles to ensure your fabrics are thoroughly dry.

The “Heavy Duty” setting is perfect for large and bulky items, such as comforters, duvets, and robes. These items need more time to dry, and the machine ensures that it uses high heat and agitation to remove all excess moisture from their fibres effectively.

On the other hand, the “Sanitise” setting is all about killing germs and bacteria. Since most bacteria can only be eliminated using extremely hot temperatures, this setting provides that extra heat to protect your household from bacteria, mould, and mildew.


Cotton, being a sturdy fabric, can usually withstand high heat, which is why many cotton cycles use hot temperatures to dry your garments. Cotton clothes are less prone to shrinkage compared to other fabrics, making this setting ideal for them.

TIP: Keep in mind that not all cotton garments are equally sturdy. Always check the care label of your items before tossing them into the dryer to ensure they can handle the heat.

SEE ALSO: Permanent Press Vs Cotton Cycle – What’s The Difference?

Dry Your Clothes Without Worry

So, there you have it – “Permanent Press” isn’t the hottest setting bacteria on your tumble dryer, but it’s your go-to choice for a balance between effectively drying your clothes and keeping them wrinkle-free. 

For heavy-duty, heat-loving garments, explore the “Regular,” “Cotton,” “Heavy Duty,” and “High Heat” settings. With this knowledge, you’ll make the most of your tumble dryer, keeping your clothes in tip-top shape and reducing the hassle of ironing.

Do you have laundry tips to share? Feel free to leave a comment below!

SEE ALSO: How To Stop Clothes Creasing In The Tumble Dryer (best tips)

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the permanent press do?

The “Permanent Press” setting in a dryer combines medium heat with a cool-down cycle to reduce wrinkles in clothes, preventing them from creasing once the cycle is complete.

What is the highest heat setting on a tumble dryer?

The highest heat settings on a tumble dryer are often labelled as “Regular,” “Cotton,” “Heavy Duty,” or “High Heat.” These settings use high temperatures for thorough drying.

What is the heavy duty setting on a dryer for?

The “Heavy Duty” setting on a dryer is designed for large and bulky items, ensuring thorough drying through high heat and agitation. It’s ideal for items like comforters and duvets.

What is the best dryer setting to not damage clothes?

To avoid damaging clothes, it’s best to use lower-heat settings like “Permanent Press” for a wide variety of fabrics. Always check garment care labels for guidance.

Is permanent press hotter than cotton?

No, the “Permanent Press” setting is not hotter than the “Cotton” setting. “Cotton” uses higher heat levels, which is suitable for sturdier cotton fabrics.

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