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The best washer dryer combo machines for 2020

Few things are more annoying than having to spend an afternoon at the laundromat doing your laundry for the week. Not everyone has enough space to accommodate both a washer and a dryer, though. Thankfully, washer and dryer combos allow you to make quick work of your laundry from the comfort of your home, without taking up the space required by separate units.

Our smart home team has tested appliances from more than 50 different brands to deliver everything you need to know to select the best washer and dryer combo machine in 2020.

At a glance

Best washer dryer combo: LG WM3488HW

Why we picked the LG WM3488HW:

LG’s compact combo washer and dryer is a perfect fit for an apartment or small home. The 2.3-cubic-foot model has an array of LG technology to improve both washing and drying cycles. That includes ventless drying, so you don’t need to worry about where to position the model, and a clean cycle that you can use after several loads to sterilize the inside of the washer drum (something that’s especially useful for these combo units).

LG also includes six different washing motions to make sure even larger loads are thoroughly cleaned. The model doesn’t skimp on treatment options, either, with dispensers for pre-wash liquids, bleach, and fabric softener. It’s also designed for quiet operation and automatic cycle optimization based on the load. Washing programs include the traditional options, plus choices like baby wear, sportswear, speed wash, and several other options.

Best smart washer dryer combo: Blomberg WMD24400W

Why we picked the Blomberg WMD24400W:

Washers can come with a lot of great smart features these days, and combo models are no exception. We particularly like the many options of this Blomberg model, which allow you to customize your washing and drying cycle exactly how you need to — a useful option for starting your laundry in the morning and coming back after work just in time to have your clothes ready to hang and fold.

The 1.95-cubic-foot combo includes 16 different wash programs, including hand-wash, baby clothes wash, jogging wear wash, a wash and wear setting for easy results, and much more. There’s also an intelligent temperature control to make sure the temperature is always where it needs to be for a specific load of laundry. The delay start option will let you choose exactly when the cycles begin, so you can get the timing just right with a little experience. All of this is controlled with a basic dial and useful digital display.

Best large-capacity washer dryer combo: Kenmore Elite 41002

Why we picked the Kenmore Elite 41002:

For a washer dryer combo machine, the Kenmore Elite 41002 has a huge capacity at 4.5 cubic feet. It can wash and dry an 8-pound load in around three hours. Accela Wash can clean a full-size load in 29 minutes, while express wash cleans smaller loads in 24 minutes.

Features like Cold Clean provide energy savings, while Steam Treat and Smart Motion help eliminate stains and get a better clean for your clothes. If you forgot to add something to your load after the cycle has already started, no problem. The Add Garment option lets you add clothing during a laundry cycle without any issue. If you leave your clothes in the machine after they finish washing and drying, the Stay Fresh option helps to prevent wrinkles.

Best compact washer and dryer combo: Deco DC 4400

Why we picked the Deco DC 4400:

This energy-efficient machine may be small, but don’t let its size fool you. It’s loaded with cool tech and smart engineering. This unit has one-button convertible venting/condensing options, meaning you can easily convert the dryer from vented to ventless. There’s a winterize option for RV users, while dual fans make the machine dry faster, and a quiet mode makes the dryer operate at less than 60 decibels.

In addition to its intelligent engineering, the Deco DC 4400 also thrives at cleaning and drying clothes with features like an automatic water level sensor, delay start time, a sensor dry feature, automatic heat and dry levels, a 12-minute hot-dry refresh cycle, and a wrinkle guard feature.

When you go to unload the machine, the 180-degree door swing and angled door handle reduce back strain. The machine is also easy to install, has built-in diagnostics, and can be portable. It feels like the only things this machine can’t do are fold your clothes and put them away for you.

Best cheap washer dryer combo: Magic Chef MCSCWD27W5

Why we picked the Magic Chef MCSCWD27W5:

Although this Magic Chef all-in-one machine has a smaller capacity (2.7 cubic feet), it can handle an exceptionally large amount of laundry. The washer’s maximum capacity is 26.4 pounds, and the dryer’s max capacity is 17.6 pounds.

This affordable washer dryer combo boasts a lot of features, too. It has a delay start time feature (up to 24 hours), de-wrinkle options, and an LED display. With 16 total wash cycles, you can properly care for virtually all of your clothing, from your delicate items to jeans to dress shirts. There’s even a tub clean cycle to keep the machine clean and mildew-free.

What is a washer dryer combo?

A washer dryer combo is a single unit that both washes and dries clothes in the same machine. An all-in-one washer dryer combo looks a lot like a standard washing machine, except when you place dirty clothes in the machine, they come out clean and dry without the need for you to transfer the clothes from the washer to the dryer.

Which washer dryer combo is the best?

Major appliance brands have some excellent combo models, including LG (which made it to the top of our list) and Kenmore.

What’s the difference between a washer dryer combo and a laundry center?

Laundry centers are sometimes considered a type of combo machine — they look a lot like stackable units, but they’re connected as one unit with a washer on the bottom and a dryer on top. Although a laundry center performs both functions in one machine, they’re different from all-in-one combo machines because you still have to transfer the clothes from the washer portion of the machine to the dryer portion.

How does a washer dryer combo work?

An all-in-one combo washer dryer combines a front-load washer with a dryer that’s often (but not always) ventless, meaning the dryer doesn’t require an exhaust system to the outside of your home.

If the washer dryer combo uses a condensing ventless dryer, once the machine washes the clothes and they cool down, the air inside the chamber is heated, and the spinning drum produces condensation. This condensation is drained out of the unit through a drainage tube. Then, the process happens again, and more hot air and tumbling cause more condensation until the clothes dry. To learn more about how ventless dryers work, check out our guide on how different types of dryers work.

You can also typically make an all-in-one unit perform only one task (wash only or dry only) if you’re washing clothing that can’t be dried or if you’re fluffing wrinkled clothes, for instance.

Does a washer dryer combo really work?

Yes. If you purchase a reliable machine, your washer dryer combo unit will wash and dry your clothes, but you should not expect it to perform exactly like a separate washer and dryer. This is an entirely different way of doing laundry, and an all-in-one combo machine is typically not going to do your laundry as fast as a separate washer and dryer.

Is a washer dryer combo only for a small apartment or RV?

Oftentimes, washer dryer combos are ideal for people with limited space or for those who want to avoid the laundromat. If you have a large laundry room in your home, you’d likely opt for a separate washer and dryer over a combo all-in-one washer dryer.

Should I buy a washer dryer combo or separate machines?

It depends. If you have limited space, these machines can be huge space savers. An all-in-one combo machine also makes it so you can set it and forget it. Because the machine both washes and dries in one fell swoop, you won’t have a moldy load of laundry waiting for you if you leave the laundry sitting in the machine (like you would if you left a load of laundry sitting in the washer too long).

Is a washer dryer combo energy-efficient?

Washer dryer combos are generally energy-efficient. The front-load washer uses little water, while condenser dryers are also considered energy-efficient (although drying typically does take longer in a combo machine).

What kind of detergent do I use in a washer dryer combo machine?

Typically, you should use high-efficiency (HE) detergent.

How large are washer dryer combo machines?

Washer dryer combos are smaller than separate machines. Their capacities are often around 2 to 3 cubic feet. You can, however, find a larger capacity machine (for instance, the Kenmore Elite 41002 is 4.5 cubic feet), but you typically won’t find the mega capacities that you can find with standalone washers and dryers.

Can I clean a full load of laundry in a washer dryer combo machine?

Yes and no. You won’t be able to clean a large load of laundry in a compact machine that’s 2.3 cubic feet or less. You can fit a small basket of laundry in a compact machine (probably about two or three days of clothing), but you won’t be able to fit a large comforter or a large, full load of laundry.

If you have a larger capacity combo machine (for instance, 4.3 cubic feet), you can probably fit about the same amount of laundry as you could with a standard capacity washing machine.

How long does a washer dryer combo take to clean clothes?

It depends on the specific unit and the amount of clothes you’re cleaning. However, generally speaking, the wash cycle can take anywhere from 25 to 90 minutes. The drying times take longer (typically anywhere from 60 minutes to as long as 4 hours). Washer dryer combo machines typically take longer to dry your clothing than standalone ventless dryers (probably around double the time).

Does a washer dryer combo dry clothes completely?

Overall, yes. However, it can take an extremely long time to get a load of clothes completely dry. Also, the clothes may not have that warm feeling they’d have if they just came out of a standalone vented dryer.

Can I use dryer sheets in a washer dryer combo machine?

We do not suggest using dryer sheets in your combo washer dryer machine.

What else should I consider before buying a washer dryer combo?

Aside from your budget, another important consideration when purchasing a combo washer dryer is your laundry habits. Do you usually do all of your laundry in one day? Maybe you wait to do laundry until your hamper is overflowing? If you do a lot of laundry in the same day, it might be tough for you to get all of your laundry done with a washer dryer combo. It might be better for you to consider a laundry center to fit in your space. However, if you’re the type who puts clothes in the washer, forgets about them for a few days, and then you have to re-wash them to get rid of the spongy smell, a washer dryer combo might be a great fit for you.

The combo machine’s load capacity is also extremely important. It can be extremely frustrating to have a machine that doesn’t fit your clothing items, blankets, and curtains. Additionally, it’s a good idea to pre-plan where you want to place the machine and make sure it’ll fit in terms of size, design, and compatibility with your home’s electric.

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