Do Washer-Dryer Combos Really Work?

Do combined washer-dryers really work? You bet. Read about how these space- and labor-saving appliances can work wonders to clean clothes.

Washer-Dryer Combos: How Well Do They Work?

You may have already heard about the newest laundry craze since those pods — washer-dryer combination units. Often referred to as washer-dryer combos (and not to be confused with stackable machines) these single unit appliances promise to perform double duty by functioning as both a washer and a dryer.

If you live in a small home or apartment, or your laundry area is just short on space, you may find yourself tempted by these handy, space-saving appliances. After all, who wants to house two bulky machines when you can get away with just one? But, as with any new fad, you’ve got to wonder, if they’re so great, why isn’t everyone using them?

Before you rush right out and purchase a new washer dryer combo because you’re hoping to make room for a cute sorting station like you saw on Pinterest, let’s delve in and explore whether washer dryer combos really work.

Why Combined Washer-Dryers Are So Good

First, the good news — some washer dryer combos, such as those from LG, now perform decently, compared to those of the past. And if you purchase your combo unit from a well-known manufacturer, it’s likely you’ll still be able to purchase parts or request service should your machine go out, later on down the road.

Another plus for washer dryer combos is, not only are they a huge space saver; they’re also convenient because there’s no transferring piles of wet clothing from one machine to the next. You simply load laundry into the unit, and eventually, your clothes come out clean and dry.

Why Combined Washer-Dryers Might Not Be Best For Some

Now for the bad news — washer dryer combos are not all sunshine and soap bubbles. Perhaps their biggest shortcoming, combo units restrict your ability to simultaneously wash and dry two loads of laundry. So that dirty clothes pile will dwindle down a whole lot slower once you can’t wash a new load of laundry till your first load dries.

And speaking of drying time — prepare to wait a looooong time for this to happen. As in, several hours long. The reason for this is, washer-dryer combo units are typically 120 volts, compared to most standalone dryers which are 240 volt, and the higher voltage units release more heat.

Another cause for their slow drying time is that washer dryer combo units are ventless, which are known to dry slower than vented models.

And finally, the drum size of a dryer is meant to be larger than that of a washing machine, because dryers need extra space to tumble clothes about and release moisture. When you fill a washer dryer combo unit, everything may work fine from the washer’s point of view, but the dryer feels overstuffed, and can’t properly perform its job.

If all this hasn’t deterred you from purchasing a washer dryer combo unit, here’s one more fact to consider: combination washer and dryers are, according to appliance repair experts, a machine which needs constant parts and service.

So, to sum it up, you’re purchasing a unit that won’t let you run two loads simultaneously, dries clothes more slowly, and possibly will need lots of TLC. Sometimes you just don’t get what you pay for.

Space Saving Alternatives: When Washer-Dryer Combinations Are Just Right

If you’re truly limited on space, or you live in a boat or RV, a washer dryer combo unit may be your only option. After all, it beats the alternative of using a wash bucket and clothing line or searching for a laundromat in the middle of the desert.

However, if you simply have a small home or wash area, you may want to consider other types of laundry options. For instance, a compact washer and dryer won’t take up much floor space, and, depending on the model, may perform just as well as its full-sized counterparts. You could also consider a stackable washer and dryer if your home isn’t limited by height restrictions.

Overall, whether or not you ultimately take the plunge and purchase a washer dryer combo unit should depend on your family, home setup, and personal preferences. For a one-person household in a tiny apartment, a washer dryer combo unit may be a perfect fit, as their laundry demands are much less than those of a larger family. Consider your needs against the pros and cons listed, and you’ll be able to find your ideal laundry solution.

Resources— WirecutterConsumer Reports