How to Choose the Best Washer and Dryer
New washers and dryers can do almost anything except fold and put away your clothes for you. With a number of different styles and a laundry list of available features, some models may be a better fit than others for your needs. Here is a list of things to consider to help you pick the best washer and dryer for your household.
Washers and dryers can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Simpler models will be more affordable, but high-end models can have extra features and benefits that make them worth the price. High-efficiency models and front-loading washers won't consume as many resources, but they might require reaching a little deeper into your wallet at first. If you use your washer and dryer more often than average, more expensive models will be worth the investment.
The more efficient your washer and dryer are, the more money and resources you'll save. High-efficiency and front-loading washing machines cut operating costs by using less water, detergent, and energy than top-loading machines with an agitator. These models clean more effectively and gently, which means your clothing won't wear out as quickly. Additionally, the high-speed spin cycles remove more water from your laundry to help cut down on drying time. Most standard dryers are going to consume comparable amounts of energy, but gas dryers and models with moisture sensors will help cut down on electricity use.
The amount of laundry a washer and dryer can handle in one load can vary widely. If you produce mountains of dirty clothes or if you're tired of making trips to the laundromat to wash bulky items like comforters, a large capacity washer and dryer set will fit right into your lifestyle. If you usually wash small loads and don't plan on cleaning 20 bath towels at once, compact models will easily meet your needs. The capacity of the washer and dryer affects their cost and energy use, so picking the right size ensures you only pay for what you use.
Size and Placement
Before purchasing a new washer and dryer, make sure you have the room to accommodate them. Stackable washer and dryer sets save space in apartments or condos while large capacity appliances are bigger than average and require more room. Ask yourself if your large appliances will be able to fit through doorways and down stairs into a basement laundry room. Also, make sure your laundry area will fit your new washer and dryer with the recommended space between and behind the appliances.
Be Cautious When Cleaning
New washers and dryers can include a number of desirable features that add convenience and efficiency. The more features there are, the higher the price will be, so avoiding models with features you don't need will keep the cost down. Here are some of the popular features people look for.
- Extra Rinses: An extra rinse cycle provides added protection against lingering detergent or messes.
- Extended Spin Cycle: A longer spin cycle gives large and absorbent items extra time to lose excess water.
- Load Sensing: Instead of choosing a load setting manually, your washer can determine the perfect amount of water to use based on the load size.
- Automated Detergent Dispensers: The automatic dispenser can be filled with enough detergent for several loads and will measure and dispense the proper amount during each washing.
- Smart Appliances: These washers and dryers often include a digital screen and the ability to remotely control and monitor loads of laundry from your smart phone.
- Extended Tumble: If you know you won't get to your dryer right after a load is done, you can set your dryer to run extra tumbling cycles to prevent your clothes from getting wrinkled.
- Moisture Sensor: Your dryer senses how much time a load needs to dry so you don't over-dry clothes or waste energy.
For a more comprehensive look at washers and dryers, take a look at our complete Washer and Dryer Buying Guide.