Few things are more annoying than having to spend an afternoon at the laundromat doing your wash for the week. But not everyone has space to accommodate a washer and dryer. Thankfully, washer and dryer combos allow you to make quick work of your laundry from the comfort of 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.
At a Glance
- Best washer dryer combo: LG WM3997HWA
- Best smart washer dryer combo: Whirlpool WFC8090GX
- Best large-capacity washer dryer combo: Kenmore Elite 41002
- Best compact washer and dryer combo: Deco DC 4400
- Best cheap washer dryer combo: Magic Chef MCSCWD27W5
Why we picked the LG WM3997HWA:
At 4.3 cubic feet, the LG combo washer/dryer can clean a larger load of laundry than many other all-in-one machines (it can handle about the same size load as a standard front-load washer). With TurboWash technology and 14 wash programs, including programs for hand-wash and wool items, as well as steam cycles to remove household allergens, the LG WM3997HWA doesn’t skimp on washer features. It even has a delay wash feature, so you can set the washer to start up to 19 hours later.
It includes five drying cycles in the electric ventless dryer: More dry, normal dry, damp dry, low temp dry, and time dry. SenseClean and SenseDry optimize efficiency and cleaning and drying performance by automatically adjusting the water levels, wash times, and drying times for your load.
Need to toss a few extra shirts in the wash? If you need more space for your laundry, this LG machine is Sidekick compatible.
Why we picked the Whirlpool WFC8090GX:
Although this washer dryer combo is a small-capacity machine at only 24 cubic inches, it can wash and dry a six to eight-pound load of laundry in less than four hours. Plus, with the LOAD and GO dispenser, you only have to put in detergent and fabric softener every 20 loads or so, and the machine dispenses the detergent automatically.
With up to 22 customizable wash settings, you can get just the right type of wash for you clothes. There’s also a sanitize cycle that increases the water temperature and kills 99.9 percent of common household bacteria. Do you leave your clothes in the machine for a few days after washing and drying? No problem. This machine has a wrinkle shield option that keeps clothes tumbling every 12 hours after the cycle ends or until you open the machine’s door.
If you connect the machine to Wi-Fi, you can use the Whirlpool app to start, pause, or check the progress of your laundry.
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 eight 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.
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 dB.
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 you can make it portable. It feels like the only things this machine can’t do are fold your clothes and put them away for you.
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?
- What’s the difference between a washer dryer combo and a laundry center?
- How does a washer dryer combo work?
- Does a washer dryer combo really work?
- Is a washer dryer combo only for a small apartment or RV?
- Should I buy a washer dryer combo or separate machines?
- Is a washer dryer combo energy efficient?
- What kind of detergent do I use in a washer dryer combo machine?
- How large are washer dryer combo machines?
- Can I clean a full load of laundry in a washer dryer combo machine?
- How long does a washer dryer combo take to clean clothes?
- Does a washer dryer combo dry clothes completely?
- Can I use dryer sheets in a washer dryer combo machine?
- What else should I consider before buying 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 the clothes in the machine dirty, they come out clean and dry without the need for you to transfer the clothes from the washer to the dryer.
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, like an all-in-one combo 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 with a laundry center.
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, then after the machine washes the clothes and they cool down, the air inside the chamber is heated and as the drum spins, this 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 causes 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.
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 like a separate washer and dryer because it’s not a separate washer and dryer. It’s 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.
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).
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).
Typically, you should use high-efficiency (HE) detergent.
Washer dryer combos are smaller than separate machines. Their capacities are often around two to three cubic feet. You can, however, find a larger capacity machine (for instance, theis 4.5 cubic feet), but you typically won’t find the mega capacities that you can find with standalone washers and dryers.
Yes and no. You won’t be able to clean a large load of laundry in a compact machine (say, one 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.
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 minutes 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).
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.
We do not suggest using dryer sheets in your combo washer dryer machine.
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 you 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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