When Americans hear washer-dryer combo, it might bring to mind what’s known as a unitized or stacked machine; often found in apartments and condos, it often has a top-load washer on the bottom and a front-load dryer on top. But combo units have a single drum that does both the washing and drying. LG and a few other brands make them for the U.S., but they’re not nearly as common as they are in Europe. Whirlpool is hoping to change that with its Smart All-in-One Care Washer and Dryer Combo, which it introduced at CES 2017.
The Wi-Fi-enabled appliance can download new cycles, but you should also be able to schedule it for when electricity costs are lower — like the middle of the night. Because it’s both a washer and dryer, the dry cycle can start up when the washing’s done, so your clothes don’t sit and get moldy until you wake up. It also works with Amazon Dash to automatically reorder detergent when it gets low.
Like many European dryers, it’s ventless, meaning it doesn’t haven’t be ducted to the outside. The 24-inch unit is the size of many compact washers and dryers, so it seems like it’s definitely aimed at apartment and condo dwellers. It has a 2.3-cubic-foot capacity, which is neither the biggest nor smallest we’ve seen for a compact washer.
The machine also does bulk dispensing, meaning you can put in three weeks’ worth of detergent, and the appliance will use the proper amount for each cycle.
While Whirlpool says it’s the first smart combo machine it’s seen, that’s not exactly true. At last year’s CES, a company called Marathon introduced its all-in-one, which actually uses vented drying. Of course, while it projected a delivery date of summer 2016, Marathon hasn’t started shipping its smart washer-dryer yet.
Pricing for the Whirlpool Smart Combo is to be announced.