Laundry centers combine a washer and dryer in one stacked unit. Compared with high-end washers and dryers, laundry centers have fewer bells and whistles. Most laundry centers require standard venting and a 240-volt electrical supply, the same as a standard washer and dryer. However, it is also possible to get a laundry center that runs on gas (for the dryer). While gas laundry centers are initially a little more expensive, a gas dryer should save owners money in fuel costs over the long run. However, gas only makes sense if there is already a gas connection in place where you intend to install the unit, otherwise, you'll need to pay a licensed plumber to run a gas line and install a connection; for safety reasons, you should not even consider tackling that job on your own.
If you have the space for a full-sized (27-inch width) laundry center, the GE GUD27ESSJWW (Est. $1,400) is probably your best bet. It has a decent capacity for a small unit, 3.2 cubic feet for the washer and 5.9 cubic feet for the dryer, which most users say is large enough to keep up with the laundry needs for a couple or small family. It also has a decent number of features, 11 wash cycles and six water temperature options for the washer; and four dryer cycles with four heat selections for the dryer. The dry sensor works well, owners say, to dry clothes without over-drying them. Although it's not packed with settings, many note that the unit's simplicity is a selling point, they don't want doing laundry to be too complex.
There are some complaints about this GE laundry center. Some say it takes a long time to go through any of the wash cycles, and quite a few say it's noisy -- although plenty of others say that it's one of the quietest laundry centers they've owned. The area in which the center is installed as well as the flooring type may play a role in how well noise is absorbed. Still, even those who say it's loud agree that it does a great job washing and drying clothes, especially if you're careful not to overload it -- and plenty of reviewers say they finally learned that lesson through trial and error. For the most part, reviewers are pretty thrilled with the GE GUD27ESSJWW, especially those who have recently replaced older laundry centers and say this one is a great improvement. The GE GUD27GSSJWW (Est. $1,500) is the gas version of this unit; both only come in white.
The only other full-sized, 27-inch wide laundry center we saw that got decent reviews is the Whirlpool WET4027EW (Est. $1,300). It's very similar to the GE model, but has a smaller washer capacity at 2.5 cubic feet. It has fewer features overall, too: eight wash cycles, five water temperatures, six drying cycles and three drying temperatures. Still, it costs less than the GE, although maybe not enough less for its smaller capacity.
The dryer on the Whirlpool WET4027EW gets raves, but owners are less pleased with the performance of the washer. They say that it's simply too small, and doesn't use enough water to get clothes clean; however, that is a problem nowadays with all washers -- water saving technology is built-in and many folks are unhappy with it -- but it's more noticeable with a small unit like this. Still, plenty of other owners say the washer is fine for some, especially singles or those whose only other choice is the laundromat or other shared laundry space. They also say it's surprisingly quiet and seems sturdy and well-made. The gas version of this laundry center is the Whirlpool WGT4027EW (Est. $1,400). Both types come only in white.
If a 27-inch wide appliance won't fit, the 24-inch version of the Whirlpool WET4027EW, the Whirlpool WET4024EW (Est. $1,300) is your best bet. The washer has a 1.5 cubic foot capacity, the dryer is 3.4 cubic feet, so it's small, but will fit just about anywhere. The washer features five wash cycles and five wash temperatures, as well as five drying cycles and three drying temperatures.
Owners are largely happy with the Whirlpool WET4024EW, saying that it does a good job and seems sturdy. Most note that you have to be very careful not to overfill it, but it's very popular with those who only have to do laundry for themselves. Like we see with this laundry center's bigger sibling, the dryer gets a lot more love than the washer, but most are very pleased with the whole unit.
Whirlpool also makes a 24-inch laundry center with a gas dryer, the Whirlpool LTG5243DQ (Est. $1,400). It's not just the gas version of the WET4024EW either, but a completely different model with five wash cycles, four water temperatures, 18 dryer cycles and four dryer temperature settings. It has the same capacity as the Whirlpool, though, 1.5 cubic feet for the washer, 3.4 cubic feet for the dryer. It gets good reviews from owners for its good performance in a space-saving design, and is a great choice if you need a laundry center with a gas dryer.
One other laundry center worth considering is the 24-inch GE GUD24ESSJWW (Est. $1,300), the smaller version of our Best Reviewed laundry center. It also gets decent feedback, but not as good as we see with the Whirlpool. It has a 2.0 cubic foot capacity washer and 4.4 cubic foot capacity dryer, with 12 wash cycles, six water temperature options, four dryer cycles and four dry temperature selections.
Overall, owners are happy with the GE GUD24GSSJWW saying it works quite well for such a small unit. Most of the complaints we saw, in fact, are installation or delivery issues. Once it's successfully set up, reviewers say it runs quietly and is easy to use. There is also a gas dryer version of this unit the GE GUD24GSSJWW (Est. $1,400).