Sure, you could go to the laundromat every weekend to wash your clothes. But buying a good washer and dryer is a way better investment in the long run. It's also much easier on your back.
Even if your home or apartment is already equipped with a washer and dryer, it might be worth considering an upgrade, especially because many new models come with energy-saving features that are good for the environment and your power bill. There are also various features to consider now, such as whether you want big drum size (helpful if you have a large family, or want to be able to wash blankets and loads of towels) or if you want to be able to control the device from your phone. Also, make sure your machine comes with a gentle and cold cycle (for your nicer items) and a quick cycle, for when you only want to wash one or two items.
Before you make your selection for what is going to work for you and your family, here are a few factors to keep in mind, courtesy of Jon Gibbons, a UK-based cleaning expert and consultant for Smart Vacuums.
• Make sure your new appliances are the right size for the space you have at home. (Speaking of which, where will you be doing laundry in your home? You'll need a water source for the washing machine, and most dryers need a spot to vent.)
• Check that it has all the different wash programs and spin types you want.
• Ensure your washer and dryer both have a good RPM (Revolutions Per Minute), of around 1000 or higher. (The higher the RPM, the faster it will be for the dryer to get your clothes dry.)
• Check out the noise levels so you know if you will be comfortable when the appliances are running.
• Check how much water the washing machines uses and how eco-friendly it is.
Should You Buy a Washer-Dryer Combo or Separate Appliances?
Washers and dryers are typically sold separately, but if you’re short on space, there are models available that both wash and dry in one unit.
“There are pros and cons to buying a separate washer and dryer compared to one unit that does both and it all depends on your space, budget and how many loads you do per week. When you have a smaller space available, a unit that both washes and dries will cut the amount of space you need for a washer and dryer in half,” says Bailey Carson, Head of Cleaning at Handy, the New-York based online marketplace for home services. “It’s also best for someone that does around one or two loads of laundry a week. While there are benefits, a combo unit can be more expensive than buying two separate units so you’ll want to take that into consideration. Having two separate units does require more space but it allows you to finish doing your laundry quicker since you can run both machines at once.”
One more piece of advice, courtesy of Handy's Carson: "Lint that’s sitting in your dryer can clog it and also push air back into it, leaving your clothes hot and damp. This would then require you to run your dryer two or three times in order to fully dry your clothes," she says.
"Before you run the dryer, check the lint trap and remove any lint build up with your hand or a dry cloth," Carson says. "You can also rinse the filter after wiping it clean under room temperature water. Make sure to let it dry before putting it back. By simply cleaning the lint trap each time, you’ll have dry clothes after one cycle, which will help you save on energy costs."
We love to ask experts for recommendations about the best products to buy, especially when it comes to big-ticket items like beds, home appliances, and treadmills. (Side note: In addition to the models featured below, many homeowners are big fans of the Speed Queen brand of washing machine, which is known for simple, straightforward, and incredibly reliable appliances.) It's smart to look for sales around major holidays and promotional periods, like July 4th, Labor Day, and Black Friday.
With all of this in mind, here are suggestions from cleaning and household experts about the best washers and dryers for your money.
Best Smart Washing Machine: Updated September 2020
LG Front-Loading Smart Wi-Fi Washer with TurboWash and Steam: $1,618 at Home Depot (list price $1,799)
The more kids you have, the less time you have. So if you find you’re constantly having to wash clothes for your brood, then you’ll need something that can take care of a lot of clothes quickly. Luckily, Nicholas Holmes, the Singapore-based founder of ProductReviewer.com.au, has a suggestion.
"If you have a big family, this washing machine is best for you," says Holmes of the Front-Loading Smart Wi-Fi Washer with TurboWash and Steam by LG. "Its TurboWash technology gives the big load the same great wash that it gives to the small quantity and washes the whole load in 30 minutes. It can bear up to 8 pounds weight, and the users can wash all their clothes in one turn, thus saving a lot of time for the day.
"Its 6Motion technology uses six different washing directions that provide the smart washing experience," he adds. "In all directions, the clothes move gently, and even the hard stains go away with such quick washing. Its Allergiene technology uses the power of steam to kill dust mites and removes pet danders up to 95%. It’s a smart laundry machine that notifies you on your smartphone when it is done. It works best with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa that makes it easy to operate with simple voice commands."
Best Washer and Dryer Sets: Labor Day Sales
LG WM3700HWA White 4.5 cu.ft. Smart wi-fi Enabled Front Load Washer: $648 at Home Depot (list price $999)
LG DLE3500W 7.4 Cu. Ft. White Electric Dryer: $628 at Home Depot (list price $899)
It's a common occurrence in the modern world. You're trucking along for years, perfectly content with your household staple. But then it's time to get a new electric toothbrush, oven, TV or, in this case, washer and dryer, and you discover that things have gotten way fancier and more smartphone-y than you perhaps realized. This isn't a bad thing, but it can be startling to realize that, sure, you can use your phone to do your laundry.
Gladys Connelly is a Hastings, Florida-based housekeeping technical writer at thehousewire.com. "With my years of experience, I can say that washers and dryers play one of the most important roles in tidying up the entire house," she says. "But finding the best ones without taking up too much on the budget might be a little tough." That's why she recommends the pairing of LG WM3700HWA "as your washer," and the LG DLE3500W "for your dryer."
"LG WM3700HWA provides the most water and energy-efficient way of washing your clothes. Also, what I love the most about this product is how I can do my laundry with simple voice commands, since it utilizes AI technology and works well with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa," she says. "Using its LG SmartThinQ app, I can also control the machine using my smartphone."
The LG dryer Connelly recommends "also has the same AI technology feature with the washer that can be manipulated using their app. Additionally, it has an option where it allows you to keep your clothes wrinkle-free. This is very convenient especially for those people like me who always forget to remove clothes from the dryer afterward."
Best Washer and Dryer Sets: More Options
Miele WWH860WCS W1 Washer ($1,999) and Miele TWi180WP Dryer With Steam ($1,899)
Maryana Grinshpun is an architectural designer in New York City and the owner of Mammoth Projects, which works with residential and commercial clients on projects at varying scales. Even if you don't live in New York, you might have a relatively small living area, and perhaps you have concluded that you don't have enough space for a washer and a dryer. But Grinshpun says that compact options are available.
"In NYC, most units require stacking models, and ventilation isn't always an option," Grinshpun says. "For higher-end projects, we prefer Miele. These models are compact, reliable, and beautiful."
Bosch 300 Series Washer: $1,099 at Home Depot and Bosch 300 Series Electric Dryer: $1,099
If you have a small place and you like the idea of the Miele but not the price tag, then Grinshpun says "for a slightly less expensive option, we refer clients to Bosch. Again, we've found these to be reliable and attractive."
Best Washer and Dryer Combos
Splendide WD2100XC White Vented Combo Washer/Dryer: $1,319.32 at Amazon
If you've got a big, active family, then Gibbons recommends the Splendide WD2100XC, which can hold a lot of clothes while getting the grass stains out.
"This washer-dryer has a fantastic RPM of 1200 for speedy cycles and clothes that feel drier after being washed. It has a great capacity of 15 pounds, which means you have more than enough space to wash clothes for the whole family," Gibbons says. "It comes with a great selection of programs for you to use, including a sport one for kids who like to rough it up in the dirt. The water level is also adjusted automatically, saving you money on bills and making it an eco-friendly choice."
The Splendide was primarily designed for use in RVs and other mobile homes. It does an exceptional job in these settings, but the beauty of this model lies within its versatility, Gibbons says. As a vented machine, it is not difficult to hook it up in your home and have it running there,” he says. “In fact, it is entirely possible to move it between each location — a washer/dryer that you can take with you when you are off on long road trips, as well as one that you can use in your home the rest of the year. It was designed for small spaces, and that includes the home as well as your RV, all without impacting its ability to wash and dry clothes."
LG WM3997HWA Ventless 4.3 Cu. Ft. Capacity Steam Washer/Dryer: $1,695 at Amazon (unavailable)
The LG WM3997HWA Ventless has enough options that whether you want a gentle clean or a machine to really get in there, you should be able to find what you are looking for, according to Gibbons.
"From a top brand, this washer/dryer is packed with fantastic features like anti-vibration tech, TurboWash, and a Cold Wash that really reaches into fabrics and cleans them just as well as a warmer cycle," Gibbons says. "There are 14 wash cycles in total as well as 4 dry cycles and 5 different temperatures to choose from, meaning that there is something for every occasion. It’s got a massive capacity for big loads, and the 1200RPM makes laundry a breeze."
Best Portable Washing Machine
Portable Washing Machine TG23: $199.95 at Amazon
If price and space are an issue, then Holmes recommends the ThinkGizmos Twin Tub Washer Machine with Wash and Spin Cycle Compartments. It's compact and portable, and you can put it anywhere, as long as it has access to water. You can even bring it on a camping trip.
"The build is strong and durable, so it provides value for money. It does not need extra space because of compactness, and consumers only need to set it up near the access to water and draining area. Users can set the washing and spin timer according to their needs, i.e., up to 15 minutes and 5 minutes, respectively," he says. "There are two modes - soft or normal; you can choose the one according to clothes fabric and cleaning requirements. Moreover, it comes with a 'free' Lint Filter that collects debris from the water in the washing tub."