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Washer Dryer Combo Review
What Is a Washer Dryer Combo?
Washer dryer combos are your best choice if you have limited space or you’re looking to simplify your life. Instead of two large, side-by-side appliances, all-in-one washer dryers combine both functions into a single compact unit. Most machines are no bigger than 27 inches in width and 35 inches in height. This is the perfect size to fit into an empty closet or pantry. Many of the machines are portable or can be plugged directly into a sink, making them great for a household looking to reduce its carbon footprint or keeping in a cabin without traditional hookups.
You should keep in mind that washer dryer combos are much smaller than traditional washers and dryers, which means they have a much lower capacity. Typically, you can expect an average of about 2 cubic feet for the drum, which is a third the size of regular washers. That means more loads. You save space, but, especially for large families, you may not be saving time. If you have the room and need something a bit larger, check out our reviews of top-load washing machines.
Washer Dryer Combos: What We Evaluated, What We Found
The two most important components of the best washer dryer combos are functionality and the variety of washing and drying cycles. That is, how versatile it is at cleaning a diverse range of clothes. Different families have different needs, whether that means washing large, soiled sports uniforms or simply getting wrinkles out of a nice shirt.
Although we looked for compact washer dryer combos, we favored those designed with larger drums. A few extra cubic inches means fewer loads, as well as less electricity and water wasted over time.
We looked for units that can perform a wide variety of operations. Some allow you to control the level of soil or the drying temperature, while others add drying as an afterthought with only one temperature and a manual timer.
Energy savings is very important as well. By nature, these units are not the most energy efficient machines. Some make use of features like the automatic load sense, which conserves water by sensing how much each load needs, to increase its efficiency. We rewarded combination washer dryers that include features that help conserve resources and save you money.
Washing & Drying Cycles
Considering the amount of money the average household spends on clothing, it’s important to make sure those clothes last and are well taken care of. The best washer dryer combos have a variety of settings that handle delicate fabrics with care, fully dry bulky towels and change water temperatures for colors that run.
Beyond different washing and drying cycles, we considered other convenient additions. The top-ranked washer dryer combos can sanitize, meaning they use high water or steam temperatures to kill bacteria and microorganisms. This setting is perfect for children’s blankets and stuffed animals. We also favor those all-in-one washer dryers that allow you to preset a favorite cycle. With numerous settings and temperatures, it saves time to push one button and start washing.
Some washer dryer combos come with a sanitization cycle to clean the machine itself. While this is a great convenience feature, if a washer doesn’t have a cleaning or sanitation function, you should still be able to clean it on your own. Manufacturers often suggest running an empty load with bleach added. If you choose to self-clean, it’s a good idea to run one more load to completely remove the bleach residue before washing your clothes. This is a nice workaround if you can’t afford a higher-quality machine that does this on its own.
What Else Is Important in Selecting a Washer Dryer Combo?
When you’re ready to choose a washer dryer combo, you should consider a few other factors as well. The dimensions of the unit, of course, are important. Some units also offer additional features that set them apart from other all-in-ones.
Specifications & Dimensions: How much space do you have?
The main draw of a washer dryer combo is that it takes up less space in your home than a regular-size washer and dryer. You want to measure out the space you have and choose a washer dryer that fits with extra room for the door to open and close. For example, the LG WM3997HWA is our highest rated all-in-one washer dryer, but it’s also the tallest.
Some washer dryer combos are on wheels, so they can roll out of a storage space when you need them. Another factor to consider is how the machine attaches to a water source. You should consider whether it needs a washer hookup or if the manufacturer provides an attachment for a sink.
Additional Features: Is saving water or reducing noise important to you?
Almost across the board, the washer dryer combos with the most additional features also have higher price tags. Most of the appliances have child locks, automatic dispensers and the ability to delay the start time, but the best washer dryer combos also have automatic load sense and vibration reduction. These features save water and keep the noise the machine makes at a low volume. If you’ve ever had an old washer that didn’t adjust for an uneven load, you understand how loud they can be.
Washer Dryer Combos: Our Verdict & Recommendations
Three washer dryer combos – the LG WM3997HWA, the LG WM3488HS and the Midea US-FC70-DS12DSH – stood out compared to the other combination washer dryers we tested. The LG WM3997HWA has the largest capacity, the greatest number of cycles and the most versatile features. One concern may be its height, as it is 5 inches taller than the second tallest machine. Still, its width and depth are about average. If you have the space for it, the extra capacity and advanced functionality are worth having.
The LG WM3488HS washer dryer combo has much of the functionality of the other LG model but in a smaller package. It may be smaller, but it’s still above average in terms of capacity with 2.3 cubic feet of space. Both LG models have 6Motion technology, which means the drum combines six different motions to get clothes cleaner and provide more stability to the machine itself. The LG models also come with excellent warranties. Parts and labor are the standard one year, but the motor comes with a 10-year warranty and the wash drum has a warranty that is good for the life of the machine.
The Midea US-FC70-DS also comes with an above-average warranty. Along with the standard one-year parts and labor warranty, the motor and wash drum are each covered for five years. The Midea model is one of the more affordable washer dryers in our lineup, and it comes with an impressive feature package that includes automatic load sense, vibration reduction and a self-cleaning cycle.
Washer dryer combos are not nearly as widely used as their side-by-side washer dryer counterparts, at least not in the United States. Many more people know about and use them in Europe and other countries because they are convenient, compact and well-suited for small living spaces like apartments, condos, mobile homes and cabins. The best washer dryer combos have all the functionality you need to efficiently clean clothes without having to leave home to visit a laundromat.
Contributing Writer: Noel Case