What Is a Washer Dryer Combo?
The top performers in our review are the LG WM3997HWA, the Gold Award winner; the LG WM3477HW, the Silver Award winner; and the Ariston ARWDF129, the Bronze Award winner. Here’s more on choosing a washer dryer combo to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 machines.
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 compact unit. Most machines are no bigger than 24 to 27 inches in width and 33 to 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. To learn more about these machines and their function, check out our articles on washer dryer combos.
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 of 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 clothes 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. We rewarded those combination washer dryers that are Energy Star certified, meaning they are 20 percent more efficient than the minimum required federal standard.
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 multitude of settings that are careful with delicate fabrics, 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 favored 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 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 and 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, 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 or not 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 tag. All 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 and Recommendations
Three washer dryer combos – the LG WM3997HWA, the LG WM3477HW and the Ariston ARWDF129 – 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.
The LG WM3477HW had all the great features of the larger model but with a smaller size and fewer cycles. The Ariston is one of the most functional units, though it lacks a few convenient features, such as preprogrammed settings and sanitization.
Whether you need a washer dryer combo for your own apartment, a cabin in the woods or to make a unit more appealing to renters, the convenience of these appliances is worth the cost. They are portable, compact and convenient. At the very least, with one of these machines, you never have to remember to move your clothes from the washer to the dryer.