Washer dryer combos: Our buying guide

Why should you have two appliances taking up space in your laundry when you can buy one that does it all? That’s the logic behind washer-dryer combos, which supposedly offer the practicality of a washing machine and the convenience of a clothes dryer. We did some digging to see if they’re really worth your money, and what you should be looking for if you decide to buy one.

How large are washer-dryer machines?

Washer-dryer combos are roughly the same size as your typical washing machine, which means you’ll have extra space where your dryer once stood. That said, the capacity of these appliances is usually less than that of conventional washing machines or clothes dryers.

Here’s a rough guide to washer-dryer capacity requirements:

Washer dryer capacity Suitable for
6-7.5kg 2-4 people
7.5kg or larger 4 or more people

Are washer-dryers as effective?

The simple answer is probably no more so, and no less so. Washer-dryer combos can carry out the same tasks with the same effectiveness as their standalone counterparts. They predominantly take longer to dry clothes, due to the fact that the machine has to dry out the excess water in the tumbler before being able to operate effectively. In fact, we’ve been told it would be quicker to launder clothes in standalone machines than it would be in a combo machine.

It has also been stated that these machines generally have a drying load capacity that is roughly half the washing load capacity. Therefore, you’ll need to dry clothes in batches or hang half up on a clothes line. That’s a major disadvantage.

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Who are washer-dryers suited for?

Because of their lesser capacity, washer-dryer combos are ideally suited to apartment living where space is a hot commodity. That’s why you often see them in hotels! As for larger homes, you could always do more regular washes with less laundry, but you should consider the energy costs involved before purchasing, along with the increased amount of water you’ll be using.

How much power do washer-dryers use?

Certainly, washer-dryer combo machines aren’t inefficient. They use similar machinery as washers and dryers, and so it more becomes a question of whether or not you can find a model with a decent energy rating. This isn’t an impossible task, as many of them have at least three stars and the best of them have around four stars, which definitely isn’t bad! However, the longer drying times will probably mean they’ll end up using more electricity in the long run, which is definitely something to be mindful of.

How much do washer-dryers cost?

On average, washer-dryer combos cost more than either washing machines or clothes dryers. The cheapest model we could find was just shy of $1,000 and the priciest unit clocked in at nearly $5,300. To compare, you can generally pick up a standalone washer or dryer for less than $500. But that’s kind of the point isn’t it – you are buying one appliance to do two jobs. The question is: Are they worth it?

What are the pros and cons of washer-dryers?

Pros Cons
Cost roughly the same as buying a washing machine and clothes dryer separately. Has reduced drying capacity, meaning multiple cycles may be needed.
Convenient for people living in small homes or apartments. Can take longer to dry clothes because tumbler needs to dry out first.
Convenience of drying your clothes in the same machine as you washed them. Longer drying times likely to result in more energy use and greater ongoing expense.

Hopefully we’ve helped you learn more about washer dryer combos, and made it easier for you to make a decision if you ever go shopping for one.

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