Electrolux made a real revolution in cleaning performance with its EFLS617SIW washing machine. The paired dryer, the Electrolux EFME617SIW, doesn’t offer some brand new technology for getting your clothes dry in no time flat, but what it does, it does very, very well.
Touch that dial
Like its paired washer, the EFLS617SIW, this Electrolux dryer took a page from the Nest design handbook – a handsome, illuminated dial is a key part of the appliance’s interface. The dial smartly illuminates with the estimated time remaining in the cycle. On the display, you’ll also get messages, like a reminder to clean the lint trap. The power button is to the left of the dial, and a number of controls are to the right. These let you customize your cycle a little further, but to keep your delicates intact, the machine prevents you from selecting certain features based on the cycle.
As you press the temperature (sanitize, high, normal, low, and air dry), dryness level (max, high, normal, less, and damp), time (30 to 75 minutes, in 15-minute increments), and option buttons, they cycle through the lists, with a white light appearing next to the selection. There are also start/pause and cancel buttons at the end of the panel. The buttons are super sensitive, and while you can’t change the settings and options mid-cycle, it’s fairly easy to knock into the start button and pause the machine.
Adding steam lets you get rid of wrinkles and static.
If you look at the list of our favorite dryers, 10 cycles seems to be the minimum number of settings. But this Electrolux dryer has only nine: time dry, allergen (which gets it extra hot to kill dust mites), heavy duty (jeans, basically), towels (beach, hand, bath), normal (everyday items), 15-minute fast dry (for a very small load), casual (blends, items that you don’t iron), delicates (items you put in that special drawer), and instant refresh (airs out clothes that are clean but smelly).
The options let you add steam to help get rid of wrinkles and static, add time but save energy in eco mode, tumble the load every so often if you can’t empty the dryer right away, delay the cycle’s start up to 12 hours, and lock the controls between cycles. The idea, though, is that the auto-selected option is usually the correct one; if you always use “air dry” with the timed dry cycle, however, the dryer will remember that and cue it up.
The stainless steel drum has 8 cubic feet of capacity. A bright white light inside it stays on for about three minutes, which should be enough time for you to find stray garments.
Lots of dryers come with moisture sensors these days. They’re meant to save your clothes from over- or under-drying. The EFME617SIW’s manual warns you that the time that shows up on the dial is basically lying to you: “Actual drying time may be longer or shorter than displayed.” When we plopped in wet clothes that made up a smaller load than our average, the dryer sped through the cycle. The lengthy towel cycle (it takes 91 minutes) gets bumped up to 116 minutes when you turn the heat up to the sanitize setting. However, with a load of sheets and a couple towels inside, the dryer turned off after an hour and a half; the clothes were fully dry. This wasn’t true with the 15-minute cycle; we overloaded it with 11 shirts, a hoodie, and some underwear, and they came out damp. Considering it’s meant for very, very small loads, it still managed to do a good job with a big pile of laundry.
Moisture sensors make the dryer times more unpredictable, but they won’t leave you with a drum full of damp or overheated clothes. It also means the machine isn’t unnecessarily wasting energy. The sensors are part of the reason this dryer is Energy Star certified.
Electrolux offers three years of coverage on parts and one year on labor with the EFME617SIW. You can contact the company Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET at (877) 435-3287.
The DT Accessory Pack
Because we loved the EFLS617SIW so much, it’s nice that its paired dryer, the EFME617SIW, is also a champ. It has lots of useful options, like the sanitize setting and allergen cycle. The moisture sensors work very well, so our clothes always came out dry. We were never quite sure when they’d be done, but options like delay start and wrinkle release exist to make sure you can be there when the drum stops spinning.
There’s a lot to like about this $1,099 dryer (on sale at Sears for $900). Our biggest complaint is that it might be hard to fold laundry on top of the dryer without accidentally knocking into the control panel and pausing the cycle — and that’s about all we have to complain about. This one clearly earns our Editors’ Choice.