Top 10 Best Washers And Dryers Reviewed In 2017
People don’t typically dream of buying a washer and dryer. After all, how many of us actually like doing laundry? The clothes pile up, they get washed, folded, put away, and before you know it, you’re doing it all again. What’s the fun in that? A good washer and dryer can take some of the dreariness out of the whole process, though.
Like buying any big-ticket item, it can be a daunting experience. These appliances can easily run over a thousand bucks new. Then the endless questions: Should you get a stacked set, top load or front load, and do you really need to start using HE detergent? This guide will take you through the questions you should ask, the difference in features, warranties, installation, and pitfalls to avoid.
№1 – LG WM3997HWA Ventless 4.3 Cu. Ft. Capacity Steam Washer/Dryer
Anti-Vibration System, NeveRust Stainless Steel Drum, Allergiene Cycle in White.
All-in-one combo is the previous name of this LG’s model of front load washer. It features a great combination of versatility and efficiency plus a space-saving solution. This product will offer you a 27-inch wide washer and dryer combination that doesn’t compromise on capacity with an ultra 4.3 cubic foot tub. It’s very effective to correct balance anti-vibration system substantially minimize noise tub movements along with the turbo wash technology that lets you save 20 minutes on larger loads. You will love the internal heating element with NSF-certified sanitary cycle benefits of this front load washer. These amazing features made it almost the top rank in this review.
№2 – Electrolux Laundry Bundle | Electrolux EIFLS60LT Washer
This front load washer features a 4.3 cubic feet steam and 8.0 cubic feet electric dryer with 15 inches drawer pedestals. It fastest washes time 15 minutes and fastest dryer time is 14 minutes only. This is a fantastic product for it gently tumbles clothes with exceptional temperature control helping the fabric of your clothes become protected. Plus it is eco-friendly and energy-efficient that would surely benefit you. It will make your work lesser for it holds a large capacity of laundry and can do many things that other front load washer products won’t.
№3 – Samsung- High-Efficiency Front-Loading Laundry Featuring
Samsung’s model of front load washer features a 4.2 cubic feet capacity or equivalent to 2.8 baskets, so you’ll surely save up to 3 hours on laundry per week. It’s pretty different from other front load washers for it releases steam to form the bottom of the wash tub and saturate every item in the load thus leading to a deeper clean with no need for pre-treatment of clothes. This product is powered by Samsung’s VRT technology that reduces noise at an incredibly low level plus the innovative tub design balances heavy load with ease.
№4 – Whirlpool WFW87HEDW Duet
Whirlpool’s version of front load washer features an adaptive wash technology that senses the needs of each load. It gives 10 wash cycles, seven options, and four temperature buttons. The total capacity of this product is 4.3 cubic feet and 1400 RPM. It has a cancel button to let you cancel any jobs.
№5 – Kenmore Elite, 41073
Kenmore’s front load washer is accessible on its smart motion technology and direct drive motor that blends up to six different wash motions that provide a customized care for each type of fabric making the clothes get totally clean. The size of this washer is 5.2 cubic feet and has 14 separate wash cycles with a steam cycle built right into the washer thus eliminating 99.9% of bacteria. Also, it features an automatic smart motion tumble that prevents mildew and odors from gaining a foothold keeping your clothes looking, feeling and smelling at their best.
№6 – LG GAS DRYER PAIR SPECIAL-Mega Capacity High Efficiency
Another very popular model for your house is the LG Gas Dryer Pair Spacial. This full size washer dryer is the second choice of our test, It has 8.0 cubic feet of capacity. This washer and dryer is capable of handing a kind sized comforter on its own, with no problem. This product gotten very high positive reviews from previous users, and is obtainable at a affordable price.
These entire positive factors make it stand out from the rest of the crowd and push it toward the second of our list. LG Gas Dryer Pair Spacial will make a great addition to your home and can hold up a large household with everyday large laundry loads.
The LG Gas Dryer Pair Spacial is a space saving unit and gives you all the benefits of both appliances. It accommodates apartments quite nicely and can tuck into small spaces with ease. This unit has several features with a few being 180 degree door opening, up to 1200 rpm of variable spin speed and interactive LCD.
Clothes feel scalding hot coming straight from a finished cycle, so if you let them cool off, they will be dried. It also depends on how big your load is too. The plug is a little odd. It might be a little hard to find places that the plug will fit into, but that can be fixed with minor expense. Overall, great performing machine, space saver and affordable.
№7 – Maytag MHWC7500YW 2 Cu. Ft. White Stackable Front Load Washer
You might memorize fondly the old Maytag repairman advertisement. That surely was a winning ad campaign, so our researcher was glad to notice the Maytag model make an appearance on our best stackable washer dryer list.
From the widespread study we’ve done into buyer feedback, it seems like the trustworthiness that has come to be close to the Maytag brand is suitable, as we’ve seen almost no complaints of any type of mechanical and electrical issue.
The large capacity of Maytag MHWC7500YW makes this choice a good one for a mid sized family with regular large loads. Maytag MHWC7500YW is solely a electric dryer, it can be powered via 120V or 240V, which is supportive for house without the 220V outlets.
№8 – GE GUD27ESSJWW 27″ Unitized Spacemaker Washer and Electric Dryer
Another popular model in our list from GE, and it’s deserved to be there. GE GUD27ESSJWW is comparatively newcomer to the consumer appliance space hasn’t shattered any time putting out quality products and rival well against the big standards of other brands like LG or Maytag. The GE GUD27ESSJWW model is a bit different than other model in the market.
It has a 4.5 cubic foot washer capacity combined with 7.4 cubic foot dryer is still superior than most of our final list.
With near sound reviews from buyers, the only reason these models aren’t top on the list is that they have a similar series that out pegs them on some features and functions. That being said, the price is very affordable, so check out both model before determined on which to go for.
№9 – EdgeStar 2.0 Cu. Ft. All-in-One Ventless Washer and Dryer Combo
A prime candidate for the title of the heavy duty washer and dryer Combo is the EdgeStar 2.0 Cu. Ft. All-in-One . The specificities of this electronic machine can make the simple washing action just a push and play sequence thus creating the proper context for other activities.
It occupy a small space you have the liberty of placing the product anywhere you desire. Having electronic controls with 3 water levels and 3 wash cycles more than enough for any type of cloths the EdgeStar version is a smart investment to any family.
Many people that have already purchased this washing machine had experience a subtle sequence of actions while cleaning their home thanks to the advanced wash cycles. The connectivity of the Washer and Dryer is relatively simple having also included in the package the fill and drain hoses and more importantly the sink adapter.
№10 – LG PAIR SPECIAL-Mega Capacity High Efficiency Top Load Laundry System with GAS Dryer
After comprehending the best washer and dryer review you will see the important role that the LG WT1701CV_DLGY1702V is on the market today. More and more people are using this version from LG to clean their cloths without spending too much time near the machine. With an advanced 4 wash cycle, 4 water level options and 6 programs this LG WT1701CV_DLGY1702V offers you the possibility to clean your laundry without effort.
One specific trait of this unit is the silence mode which limits the sound emitted during the actual wash or any other implemented programs. Thanks to the electronic LED display control panel you will be able to control better the programs and the overall washing coordination process.
Selecting from one of the six cycle programs (standard, heavy, gentle, quick wash or spin) will make it easy for you to adapt the immediate needs concerning the cloths you want to clean. Furthermore having incorporated the shut-off feature you will be notified when the programs are over enabling you to calmly gather the cloths and put them out to dry.
Choosing the right type of dryer
There are several factors to take into consideration while shopping for a new dryer. How much do you want to pay up front? How much do you want to pay the power company each month? How much space do you have available? How important is the dryer’s appearance to you? What sort of features do you want your dryer to have?
This guide will cover all of these angles, but first, you need to determine which type of dryer is best for your home. Fortunately, there are only two options, and in many cases, the decision will be a fairly easy one.
Should you get an electric or gas model?
With the exception of your refrigerator, the odds are good that nothing in your home will use more energy than your dryer, and this is true for both electric and gas models. However, there are differences between the way each type of dryer uses energy that can have a big impact on the true cost of owning and operating one over the other. Understanding these differences is the key to making an informed decision.
Electric vs. gas dryers
All dryers use electricity to spin the central chamber, or drum, and keep your clothing in motion throughout the cycle. Electric dryers also use electricity to power the heater and fan that continually blows hot air through the machine. Gas dryers power these components using natural gas or propane. They tend to cost a little more up front (typically about $100 more than comparable electric dryers), but since they warm up faster, they also tend to cost a little less to operate. Of course, this depends on the energy rates in your area, as well as the time of year, so be sure and do a little research before you commit one way or the other.
Electric dryers require a dedicated 240-volt circuit, which almost every laundry room will have. Gas dryers, on the other hand, require a separate gas hookup, and laundry rooms are a little less likely to have one of these. If yours doesn’t and you decide to buy a gas dryer, you’ll need to factor in the cost of having a gas line professionally installed. Be aware that this can cost upward of several hundred dollars — in many cases, this can outweigh the long-term energy bill savings, or at least render them negligible. And even if you already have a gas line ready to go, you still might be wise to have your new gas dryer installed by a trusted professional. The consequences of a faulty installation can include fire, carbon-monoxide poisoning or even an explosion.
The bottom line
If you’re looking for an affordable dryer that you can simply plug into an existing laundry room in your house or rental, then an electric dryer is probably what you want. Even if you have a gas line already set up, you may still want to consider an electric dryer if you think there’s a chance you might be moving in the next couple of years.
However, if you’re comfortable in your home and you have a gas line ready to go (or can afford to install one), then go for the gas dryer. You’ll enjoy the slightly faster cycles, and the chances are good that you’ll save at least a little bit of money over the long haul.
Design: It’s in the Way That You Use It
The type of washer and dryer you get will depend largely on where it’s going to go in your home. For example, laundry might be allocated to a narrow closet in your home, making your only option a stackable. These units tend to be smaller, meaning you still might need to visit the Laundromat to wash big comforters. Dryers are available as gas or electric, so which you purchase will be a result of what your house supports.
For those who have a basement setup or dedicated laundry room where there’s room to place them side-by-side, you’ll need to decide on the size and if you prefer a top-load or front-load washer. These machines tend to be larger, and are up to 5.1 cubic feet (an can handle 20 pounds of laundry in a single load). A compact machine is up to 3.0 cubic feet (about 12 pounds of laundry in one load). They can take larger amounts, including big comforters. Essentially, do you want to open a door on top of the machine or in front, respectively? There are pros and cons to each: Top-loaders are less expensive, but front-loaders are more efficient, are gentler, and have been found to clean better.
The washing bins on top-loaders are so deep that it may be hard for shorter people to reach the bottom to retrieve clothes. When perusing them in the store, open the top and see if you can touch the bottom. If you have to lean in too much and you find yourself on your tippy toes, a top-loader probably isn’t for you. Do you really want to stand on your toes to do laundry for the next 10 years?
Many top-load models today have foregone the inner agitator (the big spinning rod inside the machine) for a hollow bin. Some even have a stainless steel tub. The benefit of these is that they can handle higher spin speeds. Ultimately, this means it will take less time for your clothes to dry.
Front-loading machines tend to be more expensive and have a ton of features, even on the most basic models. Many of the new washers have sensors in them that you’ll want to be sure to wipe dry once in a while to keep them in good working order. Some models could potentially attract mold. This is an easy fix: either occasionally wipe the front area where water can accumulate or leave the door open. (Yes, the light may stay on for a minute or two if the door is left open, but it shuts off.)
The other issue to consider is bending down to open the doors. Of course, the manufacturers took this into consideration and offer pedestals the washer and dryer can be placed upon, making them taller and much easier to use. They typically have drawers underneath for storing detergent and fabric softener. Unfortunately, these are not included in the price and generally cost around $250 each. That’s another $500 to add to the expense of the machine. Occasionally, some deals offer a discount on the pedestals when buying the washer and dryer, but don’t count on it.
Another thing to consider when buying a washer and dryer, whether stackable or front-loading, is the doors. Typically, the dryer door can be switched to open in a different direction. However, almost all washer doors will open left to right. Currently, only Electrolux machines can also change the direction in which the washer door opens. In newer construction homes, this wouldn’t even be an issue, because of the way the washer and dryer hook-ups are installed. Older homes may have the hook-ups reversed; in which case you would want to be able to change the door on the washer so you can easily transfer clothes between the two machines.
Washer and dryers are big appliances. You might be wondering if you’ll be able to get them into your home easily. Manufacturers get this, and for that reason, most are about 27 inches wide. Doorways and hallways in most homes can handle items that can fit through a space 30 to 31 inches wide. Regardless of the type of machines you end up purchasing, be sure to account for an extra six inches behind the washer and dryer for the hook-ups. This will help you decide how well the units will fit in their allotted space.
Features, Features, and More Features
You can still get washer and dryers that have only a few wash and dry cycles. Getting one of these options will definitely keep the price down. Many of the newer models, especially front loaders, come with so many options you’ll need to spend some time with the manual to learn about them all. Sales people will talk you through the highlights, but to know what all of those buttons and settings accomplish will take some time.
These are the features you’ll mostly likely find on the newer washer and dryers. As you read them, write down the ones that are most important to you. Trust us, this will make the shopping process infinitely easier.
Digital Display: Higher end models tend to feature digital displays and a load of settings. No need to get overwhelmed; it limits the amount of functionality based on the initial wash or dry setting you select. For example, if you pick delicates, you won’t be able to choose the highest heat setting when you dry it.
Energy Star models: The days of getting a tax credit for purchasing one of these are gone. However, many still have manufacturer rebates that are worth looking into during the purchase process. The good thing about these models is that they actually are much more energy efficient. In the long run, it could save on water, electric, and gas bills if you do a lot of laundry. The first Energy Star dryers were introduced in 2015, and many have moisture sensors that help prevent “over drying.” Basically, they are supposed to shut off the dryer when your clothes are dry, not when the timer runs out. Note: Efficiency washing machines do require the HE detergent, which is more expensive. You do end up using less of it since the detergent is such a high concentration, though.
Steam: This feature steams your clothes, which can help with stain removal and creases. Don’t get too excited; it doesn’t replace dry cleaning. Depending on the implementation, you will either need to have an additional hook-up behind the dryer or add water manually through a dispenser on the machine. It’s also found on some new washers.
Wi-Fi-enabled: With this feature, you can use other IoT products (such as Nest) to control the washer and dryer. This might let you run the machine when energy prices are lower, for example.
Washing Machine Features
Hand wash: Simulating hand washing, this is an excellent option for delicate fabrics, bathing suits, and undergarments. You’ll still want to hang dry what you wash.
Extended spin: More than just an extra spin cycle, it’s great for items like towels and comforters. It gets out extra water, making bulky items easier to dry.
Extra Rinse cycle: An extra rinse will help remove excess detergent from the laundered items.
Temperature settings: This can adjust the hot and cold water as it enters the machine.
Stain Removal: Think of this as a pre-soak or pre-wash cycle. You’ll still want to use a stain remover, but this will improve the chances of removing the stain completely.
Favorite or Custom settings: If you don’t want to deal with the menu each time you put in a load, you can simply set one or more favorite options.
Automatic water levels: A great feature to help save on the water bills. Some models include sensors that can tell how full the machine is and adjusts the water accordingly. If you get one of these models, it’s a good idea to periodically wipe off the sensors with a towel to keep them in good working order.
Sanitation cycle: Ideal for people with allergies, this setting removes allergens and bacteria during a deep clean cycle.
Moisture Sensor: Like the sensors in washing machines that help tell how much water to use to fill the tank, these sensors can tell how damp the clothes are and adjust the drying time. For example, if you have a 30-minute drying cycle, but the sensors “sense” that the clothes are dry at 20 minutes, it will stop the cycle then.
Wrinkle Release or Refresh: We’ve all seen the commercial where someone is late to a night out, pops a wrinkled dress in the dryer, and sets the Wrinkle Release setting. Voila, five minutes later wrinkles are gone. That’s this cycle; however, it doesn’t actually replace the need for an iron.
Extended Tumble: While the Refresh cycle is great, what if you could reduce a number of wrinkles your clothes got in the first place? This cycle will run a few more tumble cycles to help release wrinkles from clothing.
NSF Certified: This label ensures about 99 percent of bacteria is killed during the cycle.
Stainless Steel Drum: Why should washing machines have all the fun? Dryers also hopped on the stainless steel bandwagon. The material doesn’t easily absorb odors or get discolored. Another plus, it reduces the static cling in clothes.
Drying Rack: Detachable racks that can be used inside the dryer, so you can dry delicate items without having to tumble them.
When and Where to Buy
Decided on a model that you want? Great! Now you just have to figure out when and where to buy it. Typically, September or October are good times to get a deal on a new washer and dryer, since that’s when the new models are arriving at stores. Also, many retailers will start their “Black Friday” specials earlier (end of October and November), so you don’t have to “wait” for better deals on the biggest shopping day of the year.
Occasionally, you might be able to save money by purchasing a “set” from the same manufacturer. Do your research and you might find that if you bought them separately, it might end up being the same price as the “combo deal.” No law says you need a washer and dryer from the same manufacturer. Mixing them up is fine. Just be sure that whoever services your appliances can handle both brands. If you don’t get them at the same place, you’ll need to schedule various installation appointments, which can take more time.
If you like shopping from the comfort of your own home, you’ll be glad to know that you can buy a washer and dryer online. Of course, the big box stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Sears offer in-store pickup options, delivery, and installation. However, installation isn’t available across the board. That’s one of the main differences of buying in-store versus online. The benefit of purchasing from a store is that they will provide installation (often for a small fee $50) and free removal of old appliances. They’ll also know about any additional cords you may need for installation. If you’re not sure what will be required, take a picture of your hookup area and bring it to the store with you.
You can also purchase washers and dryers from Amazon. The thing to be aware of is delivery and installation. Some models are available on Prime, so that’s a quick turnaround time and free shipping. What about installation? Amazon has launched Amazon Home Services, which is a bit like Angie’s List, where you can hire a local handyman or plumber to remove old appliances and install new ones. This is an added cost and isn’t available in all areas. Be sure to check this option out first before clicking the buy button if you don’t have someone who can install it.
Is a Warranty Necessary?
Most appliances come with at least a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. Some warranties will even last up to three years. Stores will offer options to purchase an extended warranty. Don’t feel pressured to buy it that day; there’s usually a 30-day grace period. If you don’t buy it from the store, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Tons of local service providers also sell warranties.
Finally, read the customer reviews. You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn from someone else’s experience, especially if you see a recurring issue. Before getting too overwhelmed, make a list of what you absolutely must have and a budget. You’ll be surprised what you might find. Hey… you may even discover that you like doing laundry.
Should you get the extended warranty?
Extended warranties are a common add-on when you’re purchasing appliances and electronics. But before you go ahead and buy that extended warranty, do these two things:
Look at your model’s record of reliability and buy brands/models that are historically most reliable. That way you’re less likely to need that warranty!
Make your purchase on a credit card that automatically doubles the manufacturers’ own warranty. You’ll give yourself additional piece of mind without having to spend anything extra.
Freestanding or integrated washer-dryer?
You’ll need to decide between a freestanding or integrated washer-dryer.
Also known as built-in washer dryers, integrated models have a large external door that covers the whole front of the machine. Your own door panel is then attached to the front when you install it, to help it blend in seamlessly with your kitchen. Integrated washer-dryers are best if you are looking for a model for a new built-in kitchen, or if you want to replace an existing built-in model.
On the plus side, integrated models tend to be slightly quieter to run than freestanding models. However, the typical installation cost for an integrated model is £80. That’s more than twice as expensive compared with installing freestanding models – and some retailers won’t install them at all.
These have the front of the machine showing, are available in a wide range of drum capacities, and some models come in different colours.
Freestanding washer-dryers have a wider choice of drum sizes, features and colours compared with integrated models but they won’t be hidden away as neatly as integrated models.
You can save $60 annually with an Energy Star-certified machine compared with a machine that meets Department of Energy standards. Machines that carry Energy Star’s “most-efficient” seal can slash your yearly power bills by up to $106.
Want to Color Your World?
Many big-box stores sell both top- and front-loaders in fashion-forward shades. Popular options include chrome, wild cherry red, and onyx. However, colorful machines cost $100 to $200 more than their plain white counterparts.
FYI: The tops of porcelain machines resist scratching better than the tops of painted metal ones.
Tip: You can give your washer or any other large appliance in your home a stainless steel makeover.
Size Does Matter
A clothes washer’s capacity should be in sync with the amount of laundry you need to wash.
Most high efficiency top-loaders and front-loaders can handle 24-pound loads. Large capacity front-loaders can knock out 28-pound loads. Machines like these are ideal for families.
Traditional top-loaders wash 12- to 16-pound loads. Well-suited for a couple or single adult.
FYI: Overloading a washing machine can shorten its lifespan.
Tip: A larger capacity washer can whittle down the number of loads of laundry you do each week.
Pinched for laundry room floor space? You’ll need to keep machine dimensions in mind:
- Average dimensions for a top-loader: width: 27 inches; depth: 25.5 inches; height: up to 42 inches
- Average dimensions for a front-loader: width: 27 inches; depth: 27 inches; height: 36 inches
Tip: Going with a front-loader? Make sure you have enough room for the door to open fully.
Tip: A stackable washer and dryer set is an option if you don’t have a lot of square footage.
Features and Functions You Should Have
An NSF-certified washer: An average washer may clean laundry, but bedding and underwear in particular may not be hygienically clean unless you wash them at between 140 and 150 degrees. A machine certified by the NSF (formerly the National Sanitation Foundation) has a sanitizing wash cycle that reduces 99.9% of microorganisms.
A front-loader pedestal: Although this will increase your out-of-pocket costs, it’ll eliminate some of the crouching and bending needed to load and unload laundry. Need extra laundry room storage? Look for a pedestal with built-in drawers ($150 to $250).
Stainless steel drums: Unlike porcelain or plastic tubs, stainless steel drums can take a beating from metal zippers, buttons, and rivets without getting nicked or scratched.
Time-saving wash: It’s a feature that can trim up to 20 minutes off a normal wash cycle on a high-efficiency machine without skimping on performance.
A brightly lit control panel: This can be a handy feature if your new machine is being placed in a poorly lit basement or corner.
Noise-reducing technologies: Planning on keeping your new machine by a bedroom or a main living area? Look for washers equipped with sensors that reduce machine noise by keeping loads balanced.
Automatic dispenser: This feature eliminates detergent and clothes softener waste by taking the guesswork out of how much each load of laundry needs. Most machines can hold enough detergent and softener for one or two months; others can store up to six months’ worth.
High-efficiency front-load washers
Turning the washtub on its side introduced a major change to washer design, and first enabled a host of new technology and water- and energy-saving advances. Inside, the drum features short paddles or fins perpendicular to the sides, and spins vertically like a dryer. The control panel is positioned on the front for easy access, as is a pull-out drawer containing the dispenser for detergent and other agents.
As the washer begins the cycle, it automatically determines how much water is needed for that load — which can be half that used by a standard top-load washer — and mixes the detergent with water to create a concentrated solution. As the drum begins to spin, the clothes are lifted to the top of the drum by the fins, and then fall back into the water to loosen and drive out soils.
Advantages of a high-efficiency front-load washer:
Greatest potential for utility savings
Less water usage than a standard top-load machine
Faster spin speeds that reduce time and energy spent drying clothes
Greater capacity sizes than a standard top-load machine
Best cleaning capability, including bulky items
Least wear and tear on clothing
Ability to stack the matching dryer on top to save floor space
Higher initial purchase price than a standard top-load washer
HE (high-efficiency) detergent required
Loading and unloading require bending and/or kneeling, or the extra purchase of a pedestal to raise the washer up
Some routine care and cleaning needed, more so than top-load washers
Types of Dryers
Dryers fall into two camps based on how heat is generated — with electricity or by natural gas. (As such, this decision may be made for you, depending on what utility access is currently installed in your laundry area.)
These dryers require a dedicated three- or four-prong, 240-volt outlet. Electric dryers cost less than gas models up front, but they typically cost more to operate (although utility rates vary by region). These models also tend to dry slower than their gas counterparts.
Nearly all electric dryers also require an external vent, but for areas where this isn’t possible, there is an option — ventless condensation dryers. These models still pass heated air through the drum but then direct the moist air through a heat exchanger to cool and condense the water vapor, instead of sending it out through an exhaust vent. Condensation dryers may take longer to dry your clothes and will transfer heat into the surrounding room, but they provide a solution for places where standard vented dryers can’t be used.
Shop electric dryers
These dryers hook up to your natural gas connection for heat, plug into a three-prong, 110-volt electrical outlet for overall operation, and require an external exhaust vent. The purchase cost of a gas dryer will be higher than its electric counterpart — typically by about $50 to $100 — but they usually cost less to operate. This is based in part on average utility rates (although yours may vary), but gas models also heat up faster and dry your clothes faster than electric dryers, adding to their cost-effectiveness.
Some gas dryers can be converted to liquid propane (LP) with the additional purchase of a conversion kit compatible with that model.
Washer and Dryer Capacity
Capacity is an extremely important factor to consider, whether you’re purchasing as a single professional, a young couple or a family of five. And because a washer and dryer are long-term investments, you should think not only about how much laundry you currently do today, but also whether that will change in the future. If you’re constantly doing endless piles of laundry or plan to add to your family in the future, a larger-capacity washer and dryer are a worthwhile investment.
Different brands often use their own “super” and “extra” terms for various capacities, but these aren’t standardized. For a true comparison, look for the numeric cubic feet value, which is based on Department of Energy (DOE) standards.
It’s not easy to picture your laundry in terms of cubic feet, but a common benchmark used is pounds of laundry. Weight is more objective than a number of towels or baskets (thick towels? what size basket?), and you can use your bathroom scale to gauge the weight of an average load in your household.
A regular-capacity washer between 3.1 and 4.0 cubic feet will let you load in 12 to 16 pounds of laundry, while a larger-capacity model between 4.2 and 4.5 cubic feet can hold up to 20 pounds or more. Some washers have extra-large capacities of 5.0 cubic feet and up, making them ideal for big families where laundry seems never-ending.
Then there are bulky items. To properly wash a queen-size comforter, you’ll need a high-efficiency washing machine (no agitator) with 3.5 cubic feet or more, depending on its fluffy factor (it should fit snugly but without cramming). Jumping up to 5.2 cubic feet will let you wash a king-size comforter and the sheet set all in one load.
The capacity of your dryer is determined in relation to the capacity of the washer. The dryer’s drum needs to be large enough to allow a full wash load to tumble freely, with enough space left over for hot air to circulate so your clothes dry in good time.
If you’re buying a matching washer and dryer pair, the appliances will already be balanced to work with each other. However, if you’re buying a replacement dryer only, the easiest rule of thumb is to choose a dryer with twice the capacity of the washer. A ratio of 1:2 is on the safe side, so you may end up with a dryer that’s a bit larger than strictly necessary, but you also won’t end up with a wet comforter that doesn’t fit in or refuses to dry out.
A key factor in your decision will be space, so make sure you know what size machine you have room for. Most are front-loading but if you have limited space, a top-loading machine may be more viable.
Combined washer dryers are useful if you want both but haven’t the space – though Which? has found that these dual functionality machines are the least reliable of all domestic appliances.
Size and speed
The size of the drum typically varies between 5kg and 11kg, with a 7kg normally adequate for most households. Look at your washing pattern: if you like to wash few clothes regularly then a smaller drum may be sufficient. If you own plenty of clothes, then larger washes in bigger drums less frequently may be more efficient.
“Never cram a machine full,” says Clare Allman, of washing liquid maker Ecover. “For the washing process to happen the tumbling action needs to occur with the water and chemicals being able to move freely around the clothes.” Around 80% is about right.
The more revolutions per minute (rpm) the drier the clothes get, saving time and potentially money. However, Allman states, it is not always good to use maximum spin. “Check the recommendation of the clothing manufacturer when washing, she says: “High spin speeds can damage clothing that requires more delicate washing, separating the threads.”
What is a washer dryer combo?
A washer dryer combo is a front load washing machine and a condenser clothes dryer rolled into one. If you live in an apartment, or if you have a small laundry area, a washer dryer combo is a great choice because it will help to save space.
You can use these machines just like you would a normal washing machine. Once the wash cycle has finished, you can then use your combo to get your clothes dry. You also have the option of setting your machine to wash and then dry your clothes all in the one cycle, so you can wake up in the morning to find that your clothes are clean, dry, and ready to be put away.
Washer dryer combos incorporate a condenser dryer – which is different to a vented dryer in that it won’t pump humid air into your laundry space. Instead, condenser dryers work by extracting moisture from your clothes and then draining it away as condensed water. Most washer dryer combos include a drainage hose which will automatically drain this water down the sink. There will also usually be a lint filter which will need to be emptied periodically.
Why buy a washer dryer combo?
A washer dryer combo is a good idea if you need to save space. It will take up a lot less room than a separate washing machine and clothes dryer.
Washer dryer combos also share all the advantages of front load washing machines, in that they’re water and energy efficient, and they deliver excellent wash results. Unlike a top loading washing machine, you could potentially incorporate one of these machines beneath a kitchen bench – which is especially useful if you don’t have a dedicated laundry space.
The dryer function of these machines is good for light loads. Even though the capacity of the drum may be 8kg, in terms of drying capacity it may only be able to accommodate 3kg of wet weight. This means that a washer dryer combo would be ideal for getting your business shirts dry, for instance, but not as good for drying large, heavy loads of towels or linen.
How long will it take to dry a load?
The length of time it takes to dry a load will depend on the weight of the damp clothes. The heavier and wetter the fabric, the longer the drying cycle will take. The size and efficiency of your dryer are two features which will affect cycle times – but generally speaking, the more room inside the drum, the faster your washing will dry.
On average, the average wash and dry cycle will be in the vicinity of 2.5 – 3 hours.
When is a washer dryer combo NOT suitable?
If you have a large family and you tend to use your dryer a lot, a washer dryer combo would not be suitable. Many families like to save time by washing a second load while the first load is in the dryer -something you simply can’t do with a washer dryer combo. Additionally, these machines are not able to handle large drying loads, which is no good if you want to dry large volumes of towels and linen at a time.
Combos work best with relatively small loads. For best results, you will need to pull about half of the damp washing out of the drum when the wash cycle finishes before starting the drying program (this is because the drying capacity is generally half the wash capacity).
Therefore, washer dryer combos are excellent for small households of around 1-3 people, and for apartment living.
Know before you go
Location, location, location. Carefully consider where you plan to install your laundry center or washer-dryer combo. Measure the space –width, depth and height — carefully. Assess utilities — including water, electricity, gas (if opting for a gas laundry center), and drainage — to make sure they are all appropriate for your new appliance, and address any issues before installation day.
To vent or not to vent? Like standard dryers, the dryers in laundry centers should be vented to the outside to prevent unpleasant side effects, such as the growth of mold and mildew from increased moisture. Washer-dryer combos, on the other hand, are typically ventless, so are the best choice if venting is not possible. Their downside is that clothes don’t typically dry as well — a complaint often voiced in user reviews.
Is a laundry center or washer-dryer combo really the best choice? If you are strapped for space, one or the other very well could be. However, if you are considering a full-sized (27-inch wide) appliance, and you are not constricted in other ways (such as in height), it might pay to consider individual stackable washers and dryers instead. Individual appliances generally perform better, have more features, and enjoy much better reviews than all-in-one units of comparable cost. Surprisingly, they’re also comparably priced — because there isn’t as much selection, washer dryer combos and laundry centers often cost even more than two individual units. Also, if either the washer or dryer turns out to be a lemon, or otherwise ends its useful life prematurely, you can replace it without having to replace the other appliance. We discuss several stackable washers and dryers in our washing machine and clothes dryer reports.
Gas or electric? If you opt for a washer-dryer combo, that choice is likely made for you as all that we surveyed were electric-only models. However, laundry centers that use either fuel source are available. Ongoing gas utility costs are lower than electric costs in most locations, sometimes by a little, more often by a lot. However, gas-fueled appliances are a little more expensive to purchase — a difference that could be more than made up for in fuel savings over the life of your laundry center. From an economic point of view, gas probably doesn’t make sense if your installation location doesn’t already have a gas connection. The cost of having a licensed plumber run a gas line and install a connection can get pretty high, and for safety reasons, this is a job that most homeowners should not attempt.
Should I consider an extended warranty? Like their full-size counterparts, laundry centers and washer-dryer combos usually come with a one-year warranty, though some manufacturers will warrant specific components — typically the motor, tub or control panel — for longer. Some manufacturers offer extended warranties, but experts generally recommend skipping them because they are expensive and there’s no guarantee that the unit will break down while they are in effect. However, some owners recommend making an exception in the case of washer-dryer combos, saying that their machines required multiple repairs in the first five years.
Because washer-dryers are essentially two products in one, a washing machine and a tumble dryer, it means there’s potential more that could go wrong. And our research has found they often do. We’ve reviewed washer-dryers from all the top brands, including Hotpoint, Bosch, Indesit and Samsung. One brand we’ve reviewed developed faults in 16% of its washer-dryers after just one year. But we’ve reviewed another brand where 97% of its machines remain fault free after 12 months.
Buy from one of the most reliable washer-dryer brands for peace of mind. You also want a washer-dryer that both washes and dries well. The problem with many models we review is that they don’t do either job particularly well. We reviewed a number of models that have scored so badly in our tests that we’ve named them Don’t Buys.
If you’ve got a particular washer-dryer brand in mind
So, TOP10 of washers and dryers:
- №1 — LG WM3997HWA Ventless 4.3 Cu. Ft. Capacity Steam Washer/Dryer
- №2 — Electrolux Laundry Bundle | Electrolux EIFLS60LT Washer
- №3 — Samsung- High-Efficiency Front-Loading Laundry Featuring
- №4 — Whirlpool WFW87HEDW Duet
- №5 — Kenmore Elite, 41073
- №6 — LG GAS DRYER PAIR SPECIAL-Mega Capacity High Efficiency
- №7 — Maytag MHWC7500YW 2 Cu. Ft. White Stackable Front Load Washer
- №8 — GE GUD27ESSJWW 27″ Unitized Spacemaker Washer and Electric Dryer
- №9 — EdgeStar 2.0 Cu. Ft. All-in-One Ventless Washer and Dryer Combo
- №10 — LG PAIR SPECIAL-Mega Capacity High Efficiency Top Load Laundry System with GAS Dryer
by Don Oliver | Last Updated November 1, 2017