In addition to stacked laundry centers, there is another class of combined washers and dryers called washer-dryer combos, which wash and dry clothes in the same tub. Users load their dirty laundry, make their selections and then remove the clean, dry items when the drying cycle is done. These washer-dryer combos are compact (usually 24 inches wide), and use a standard 120-volt electrical supply. Gas versions of some models are available. Unlike standard dryers, they do not need to be vented to the outdoors. These features make them attractive to apartment dwellers and others who don't have traditional washer and dryer hookups -- outside dryer vents and a 240-volt outlet. You will need standard washer plumbing hookups, however, including hot and cold water faucets for the water supply and a standpipe, laundry sink, floor drain or some other way to for drain the washer after it's completed its work.
Although washer-dryer combos are an option for those who cannot use standard washers and dryers, there are some significant drawbacks. Their capacity is generally smaller than that of full-size washers, and it also takes much longer to process a load of laundry. The standard drying cycle is one hour, but many owners report that clothes take several hours to dry completely. Many users say they take out some wet laundry and dry their clothes in two batches to speed drying time.
Among washer-dryer combos, we saw the best feedback for the LG WM3455HW (Est. $1,500). It is the top-rated model at WasherDryerComboz.com and makes the top 10 in the category at TopTenReviews.com. It also draws solid user reviews at retailer sites, such as HomeDepot.com. There, based on reviews from both LG's web site and HomeDepot.com's own customers, the combo earns a score of 4.3 stars, with 86 percent saying that they would recommend the unit to a friend. Those less happy complain about washer-dryers that failed prematurely, that take too long to finish their work, or that dry insufficiently.
Unfortunately, while the LG WM3455HW is still available for sale through some sellers, it looks to be on the way out with many other retailers either no longer carrying it or listing it as discontinued. In its place, LG offers the very similar LG WM3477HW (Est. $1,500). Jaroslav Podhradsky at WasherDryerComboz.com notes: "it's practically the same machine with only one exception – the model WM3477HW has one drying cycle less than WM3455HW." We noted a few other minor differences, including a slightly faster maximum spin speed (1,400 rpm versus 1,300 rpm in the WM3455HW). Based on the machines' similarities, and the limited availability of the LG WM3455HW, we are elevating the LG WM3477HW to Best Reviewed status, but either machine will likely deliver nearly identical performance and similar satisfaction.
Whichever model you wind up with, you will be getting a feature-packed laundry appliance with some of today's must-have and nice-to-have features. That includes sanitary cycles, delayed washing, auto adjusting water levels, and a moisture sensor.
The one drawback of the LG combos above is that they have a pretty low capacity, just 2.3 cubic feet. If you need something larger, the LG WM3997HWA (Est. $1,800) is 4.3 cubic feet. It's also as wide as a full size washer at 27 inches. It offers all of the features of the 2.3-cubic-foot LG combos above, plus a few extras, such as a steam function. This is the second-highest rated washer-dryer combo at WasherDryerComboz.com, but fails to get much in the way of feedback elsewhere, including at user review sites. It is the successor model to the LG WM3987HW, which enjoyed a good track record (at least relative to other washer-dryer combos) among users and was a Best Reviewed selection in the last version of this report.
If the idea of spending $1,500 or more for a washer-dryer combo leaves you feeling like you've just been soaked, we saw some very strong reviews for a much less expensive option. The EdgeStar CWD1510W (Est. $1,000) cuts a lot of corners compared to the aforementioned LG machines, but also a bit off of the price tag. It's on the list of the 10 best washer-dryer combos at TopTenReviews.com, and lands in fifth place on the list of models at WasherDryerComboz.com.
User reviews are largely solid, though things get a little confusing at Amazon.com. This combo is also available as the Midea MFL70 D1211S (Est. $850); the only thing that's different is the branding, says WasherDryerComboz.com's Podhradsky. At Amazon.com, the EdgeStar-branded version of the combo gets nearly 20 reviews, and very mixed reactions -- roughly half give it either 4 stars or 5, while the other half awards it 1 star, mostly over customer service/repair issues. Yet the Midea-branded combo is one of the higher-rated ones on the site, earning a 4.3-star score after more than 50 reviews. At LivingDirect.com (and its subsidiary CompactAppliances.com site), the EdgeStar CWD1510W fares well, pulling down a 4 out of 5-star rating after nearly 35 reviews and 85 percent say they would recommend the combo to a friend.
The washer-dryer combo will fit into a 24-inch wide space, but the capacity is small at just 2 cubic feet. It has fewer washing and drying options than the LG machines, and lacks some of their niceties, substituting a polyurethane drum for LG's stainless steel one, for example. The dryer also lacks a moisture sensor. Still, if money is a concern, feedback is certainly strong enough overall to make the EdgeStar CWD1510W (or its Midea MFL70 D1211S clone) worth considering.
Elsewhere in this report
Best Reviewed Washer-Dryer Combos
Two washer-dryer combos and two laundry centers make the cut as based on expert and owner feedback as well as analysis by ConsumerSearch Editors.
Made up of a unitized top-load washer below and a separate dryer above, we look at the available models and name the top performers.
What are the upsides, downsides and other considerations you need to know before buying a laundry center or washer-dryer combo? Our Buying Guide explains the ins and outs, and how to find the best choice to fit your needs and budget.
Here are the reviews our editors used to find the best washer-dryer combos. Each review is rated and ranked according to its helpfulness.