The Best Washer / Dryer Combos Buying Guide of 2015 & 2016

Washer / Dryer Combo Features To Look For


Washer/dryer combos, which are not to be confused with stacked washers and dryers, have one drum. A washer/dryer combo’s drum is where you put in all your dirty clothes. It is also known as the spin basket or tub. The size of the drum, which is usually measured in cubic-feet, determines how much water the washer/dryer can hold, and therefore how many clothes. One cubic foot equals 28 liters of water. A standard washer/dryer combo drum will be around the 2-4 cubic feet range, which is most smaller than a normal washer or dryer that are separate. Pay attention to the actual construction material of the drum, as that plays a big role in how durable the washer/dryer is. In addition stainless steel, construction materials include porcelain and plastic, which are not as reliable and have problems with hot water and speed. Over time, the heat from the combo can literally melt the plastic or porcelain so the drum becomes warped. High speeds add to the breakage, and once the drum is shot, the washer/dryer combo needs to be replaced. Stainless steel is considered the best choice because it is very durable in the face of hot water, and can spin very fast without breaking down.

Load capacity

Washer/dryer combos are known for their compact size, so you have to run much smaller loads than you would with a standard washer and dryer. You should also know that many washer/dryer combos have different wash and dry capacities, since drying usually takes a pretty long time. This means you have to run several small loads in one day, and run ones smaller than the maximum capacity if you want your clothes to get really dry. Most washer/dryer combos can handle a 10-15 lb load.

Spin speed

The speed of a washer/dryer combo determines how long you have to wait for a load of clothes to get clean and/or dry. Combos measure speed in RPMs, which stands for revolutions per minute. This is a handy measurement for washer/dryers, since the clothes literally spin around inside the drum. Faster speeds are also more effective at agitating dirt and other grime from your clothes. Many combos have variable speeds, so you can choose to run a load very quickly if you are in a hurry, or more slowly if you need to get out deep stains. Delicate fabrics should be run on a slower speed or else they get wrinkled or even damaged. For the most affordable combo, a 1200-RPM max is standard, while faster (and more expensive) machines can reach up to 1600 RPMs.

Wash programs

All washer/dryer combos include wash programs for specific fabrics and functions, though they do not have the same number of programs. The price on combos tends to go up with more programs, since the programs provide more versatility. With a lot of programs, you can wash anything from bulky beach towels to delicate silks and nylon. Cycles are always labeled and include names like hand wash, wool, sanitary, speed, and so on, so you do not have to guess what fabrics require what temperature or speed. You can expect between 10-12 wash programs on most washer/dryer combos, and as many as 14 on more advanced models.


One of the main selling points of all-in-one washer/dryer combos is that they take up significantly less space than standard washers and dryers. You are getting one machine instead of two, and washer/dryer combos are almost always smaller than just a single washer or dryer. Combos that have a smaller drum/capacity can take up as little as two-square feet and fit in narrow places like closets. A combo unit also weighs a lot less than even just one standard washer or dryer, so they are easier to transport during a move or around an apartment. Combos can weigh between 150-200 pounds depending on their capacity. Many of them even come with wheels for added convenience, so you do not have to concern yourself with lifting the machine when you are moving it around your place. For elderly people or people with disabilities, this is especially important.

Noise level

Since washer/dryer combos are designed for smaller living spaces like condos and apartments, most brands attempt to make machines that are quieter than the average washer and dryer. This is an important distinction because standard washers and dryers can be very loud, making it impossible to use the machine at night or in the same room as a television or radio. Apartments where you have thinner walls and neighbors also require very quiet washers and dryers, or else you will get complaints. Be on the lookout for tri-phase and direct-drive motors, which tend to operate relatively quietly. Features like a LoDecibel Quiet Operation further muffles the noise, so you can use the machine pretty much any time or day or night, even in an apartment with neighbors, sensitive infants, and/or pets.


There are two ways that a washer/dryer combo can be designed for drying: vented or ventless. Vented was the standard for years, and involves setting up a window kit so the machine can vent its hot air outside. However, many apartment complexes do not even allow vented drying, so ventless drying is becoming a lot more common and popular. Ventless drying uses the hot air instead of releasing it, so it goes back into the drum and is recycled to help evaporate the moisture from the wet clothes. When the drying cycle is complete, the hot air goes into a condensation chamber. Drying clothes in a washer/dryer combo are notoriously tedious, so you should expect your clothes to take 4+ hours to get really dry. Many people speed up the process by drying smaller loads than what the machine can hold.

Best Washer / Dryer Combo Brands


Global company LG Electronics is famous for its radios and TVs, but also makes advanced washer/dryer combos. The company was established in 1958 and gradually expanded its products as the years passed. Its washer/dryer combos are known for their quiet, direct-drive motors and SenseClean, which reduces water waste. The company is also seeking out new technology and innovations to bring the best to its customers.


Ariston is an Italian-based company and has 45 years of experience in creating home appliances. They make very small and energy-efficient washer/dryer combos, many of which are labeled with an Energy Star rating. Designed for the type of small apartment found all over Europe, Ariston washer/dryer combos match the lifestyle of those who want to save on space and save on cost.


Midea has been producing household appliances like fans since 1968, though they did not officially start using the Midea name until 1981. In addition to production, they export products and have several subdivisions like Little Swan. Their products include rice cookers, washing machines, air conditioners, and washer/dryer combos. They now have offices all over South America and southeast Asia, and are especially well-established in China, where nearly everyone has some kind of Midea product in their home.


Produced by Westland Sales, the Splendide brand is known for creating washer/dryer combos for people with RVs and boats. With over 20 years of experience, Splendide’s washer/dryer combos are expertly designed and crafted compact, efficient machines that you can keep at sea or on the road. They offer both ventless and vented drying, as well as stackable and all-in-one combos, some of which are so compact they can fit into a closet. Each model is made with a stainless-steel drum.

Features of Professional & Commercial Washer / Dryer Combos

Wash cycle

In addition to the standard wash cycles (delicates, bulky, etc), many of the more advanced washer/dryer combos include special wash cycles that more thoroughly clean your clothes. The 6Motion Technology feature means that each individual wash cycle uses six motions (instead of just more water) while cleaning your clothes, so each load gets a deep clean without using excess water.


Since washer/dryer combos are still large home appliances, efficiency is a concern. One of the reasons people get washer/dryer combos is because they want to save money, so it is crucial that the machine not waste water or energy. Many washer/dryer combos have an Energy-Star rating, which is a measurement of how efficient a machine is. Many combos are also CARB-compliant, which is required if you want to buy the combo in California. CARB-compliant means the California Air Resources Board has determined that the combo is both energy-efficient and emits less fumes that cause global warming. Another way to tell if a combo is efficient is to look for a horizontal axis wash system. These require less water and energy to operate. SenseClean monitors, which are available on LG models, sense how much water each wash load needs, so the machine only uses the water it requires and no more.


If you want your washer/dryer combo to kill bacteria and allergens, there are models out there that have special wash cycles and features just for this purpose. Look for washers that use water heated to 185-degrees. This is the temperature that kills bacteria. Many combos also include allergen wash cycles that are extra powerful and hot, so dust mites, dander, and other allergy-causing bits are destroyed. Your clothes will be fresh, clean, and thoroughly sanitized.

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