A stacking kit might be the glass slipper your laundry room has been looking for. Stacking your clothes dryer on top of your washing machine is a great way to maximise floor space, and can potentially solve the shortcomings of a washer-dryer (especially when it comes to capacity). But what exactly is a stacking kit and can it be used on all machines?
What is a stacking kit?
A stacking kit is an accessory used to safely stack a clothes dryer on top of a washing machine (or vice versa, in some cases). It’s placed between the two machines, with each kit capable of carrying a limited amount of weight as well as different model sizes.
Many stacking kits also come with a drawer or pull (or push) mechanism to open the shelf, giving you a convenient spot to place your clothes or detergent. This can also help make doing the laundry a little easier since you don’t need to constantly reach up or bend down to load and unload items.
How do you stack a washer and dryer?
Stacking kits come with different pieces and usually require some assembly. You can find kits with screws already installed, helping make the setup process easier. Each kit is installed differently, so make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. But here is a general guide on how to stack a washer and dryer:
Generally, you will need to assemble the stacking kit by fastening screws onto the washing machine. Once this is done, you can lift the clothes dryer on top to stack it on the washing machine. The dryer is usually placed above the washer because it’s likely to weigh less.
Do you need a stacking kit to stack a washer and dryer?
As a matter of safety, you should always use a stacking kit to stack your washer and dryer together because vibrations during the laundry cycles could cause the top appliance to fall off if not properly secured.
If you want to stack models from different brands or plan to add a vented dryer (not a condenser dryer), you can alternatively opt for a washer/dryer rubber mat or instead mount the clothes dryer to the wall (if mountable). However, using a stacking kit or wall-mountable dryer is advised. Also, keep in mind that some manufacturers may void your warranty if your machine gets damaged as a result of your failure to follow safety instructions, such as not using a stacking kit when required.
Can any washer and dryer be stacked?
No – you can only stack front load washing machines and dryers, not top loaders (for obvious reasons). You will also need to check whether a particular model is stackable and compatible with the other laundry unit. Not all front load washers and dryers can be stacked. Fortunately, manufacturers will state whether a machine is stackable and often suggest a suitable partner model as part of the product description.
Are stacking kits universal?
Technically speaking, stacking kits aren’t universal because one kit cannot be compatible with every single washer and dryer out there. Different stacking kits are designed to cater to specific machine types and sizes. So, a kit made to fit a particular set of vented dryers won’t necessarily be compatible with condenser dryers – even if they’re the same size.
But there are many washers and dryers in the market that share similar dimensions, typically those measuring 60cm wide and 60cm deep. In these cases, brands like Unilux offer ‘universal’ stacking kits that can be used on a variety of models from Miele, Whirlpool, Haier, LG, Samsung, Smeg, Euromaid, Fisher & Paykel, Simpson, Westinghouse, and Electrolux. The main requirement is that the units match the dimensions. This can be useful where you have a washer and dryer from different brands – as long as both models have the exact same width and depth – or where the front load washing machine (bottom unit) has larger dimensions than the clothes dryer (top unit). However, stacking kits cannot be used on all types of machines and you will need to double check the kit is suitable for your type of dryer and washer.
Should you use a stacking kit?
A stacking kit is definitely worth using if you’re planning to stack your washer and dryer, or looking for a way to use both appliances in a small space like your laundry. Taking safety aside, here are several advantages and disadvantages of stacking your laundry appliances with a stacking kit.
|Pros of stacking kits||Cons of stacking kits|
|Help maximise amount of floor space||Can be more expensive compared to stacking mats|
|Some kits come with slide-out shelves, pedestals and other features for added convenience||Dryer can be too high to reach for some people|
|Can be more efficient because front loaders use less energy and water than top loaders||Can make it more difficult to repair the machine|
|Can load more items compared to washer-dryer combos||Some kits are easy to install, while others require more assembly|
General guide only
Types of stacking kits
There are a few types of stacking kits you can buy. These can either be ‘universal’ or brand-specific. Here are just a few options from several popular manufacturers of laundry appliances.
Fisher & Paykel stacking kits
In addition to standard stacking kits, Fisher & Paykel offers products like the Stacking Kit With Tray which includes a slide-out tray to give you more bench space when needed. This particular kit can be used to place a heat pump or condenser dryer on top of a front loader.
Some Fisher & Paykel stacking kits available include:
- Fisher & Paykel Stacking Kit (790691): $100.05 RRP*
- Fisher & Paykel Stacking Kit (428069): $164 RRP*
- Fisher & Paykel Stacking Kit with Tray (428159): $183.21 RRP*
Miele stacking kits
Miele has a mix of stacking kits based on model series, machine types, and designs (i.e. washers with fascia incline), plus kit features like push/pull function or self-closing drawers. If you’re unsure whether your Miele machine is compatible, the brand’s website lets you search a model number to check if a particular kit is suitable.
Some Miele stacking kits available include:
- Miele Washer-Dryer Stacking Kit (WTV 412): $99 RRP*
- Miele Washer-Dryer Stacking Kit (WTV 501): $99 RRP*
- Miele Washer-Dryer Stacking Kit (WTV 512): $229 RRP*
Bosch stacking kits
Most Bosch stacking kits require both machines to have the same width and depth. There are a couple of all-rounder options alternatively available, including the Stacking Kit For Washing Machines & Tumble Dryers (00244024), which is suitable for 60cm wide appliances.
Some stacking kits available from Bosch include:
- Bosch Stacking Kit For Washing Machines & Tumble Dryers (00244024): $36.42 RRP*
- Bosch Stacking Kit Without Drawer (00576101): $105.88 RRP*
- Bosch Stacking Kit With Pull-Out Shelf Accessory (O0244044): $166.21 RRP*
Beko stacking kits
If you have a Beko appliance, you can expect to see the same budget-friendly prices with its laundry accessories. The manufacturer sells a couple of stacking kits with a push-to-open shelf and universal stacking kits for Beko condenser, heat pump and vented dryers.
Some stacking kits suitable for Beko washers and dryers include:
- Beko 60cm Stacking Kit With Shelf (SWKS60): price not advertised
- Beko 54cm Stacking Kit With Shelf (SWKS54): price not advertised
- Beko Universal Stacking Kit For Beko Condenser & Heat Pump Dryers (2986960100): price not advertised
Electrolux stacking kits
Electrolux offers a couple of pedestals to help raise your washer or dryer to a more comfortable height, making it easier to load and unload laundry. Its pedestals also come with a storage compartment.
Some Electrolux products available include:
- Electrolux Laundry Stacking Kit (STA9GW): $159 RRP*
- Electrolux 60cm Laundry Pedestal (PDST60): $298 RRP*
- Electrolux Laundry Pedestal With Drawer (PDST61): $339 RRP*
*Prices are taken from respective retailers and Appliances Online, correct as of March 2022.
Photo credit: Serghei Starus/Shutterstock.com.
Original Author: Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito