No matter if you live alone or have a large family, laundry always seems to pile up. There’s no escaping it or the need for a fully functioning washer and dryer to keep your household running smoothly.
But if your washer and dryer have seen better days, you’re planning to move, or you’ve just purchased a new home, you may need to go shopping for appliances. With so many options to choose from, you might even feel overwhelmed by the finishes, features, and eco-friendly attributes.
Luckily, you can narrow down your options by focusing on models that meet several key criteria, like size, capacity, and price. We’ve created this comprehensive guide to help you choose the best washer and dryer for your space while ensuring that you get the advanced features and stunning finishes you want for your home.
Ready to say goodbye to your musty old washing machine and worn-out dryer? Then you’re in the right place. Read on for all you need to know about choosing a new washing machine and dryer for your home or apartment.
Types of Washers and Dryers
Depending on your home’s size, laundry needs, and budget, you can choose from a variety of makes and models. However, before you begin looking for inspiration online, take a moment to consider your space.
What type of washing machine and dryer duo would work best for you? Will you place them in a laundry room, or does your home or apartment have a laundry closet? What kind of clothing, bedding, and linens will need to be washed? You can also choose between gas and electric dryers, depending on your home’s energy source.
While picking out the perfect finishes and most advanced features sounds much more exciting, determining the answers to these questions will help speed up your search in the long run. Luckily, you can find a functional and appealing washing machine and dryer to suit virtually every space.
Stackable Washers and Dryers
If you live in an apartment or an older home without a designated laundry room, then a full-size washer and dryer may not work for your space. That said, compact appliances or stackable washers and dryers—a.k.a. laundry centers—work well in narrow laundry closets.
You can buy a connected unit or purchase a stacking kit separately to safely place your dryer on top of your washing machine for a space-saving, vertical laundry area. While the dryer’s height may create a challenge for some, you’ll enjoy the capacity of a standard unit without sacrificing floor space.
Traditional washer and dryer models stand side by side, with the washing machine usually on the left and the dryer on the right. These standard-sized appliances offer plenty of capacity for large amounts of laundry, bulky linens, loads of towels, and even comforters, which can prove to be quite a challenge for compact or stackable units.
Top-Loaders vs. Front-Loaders
The great top-loader versus front-loader debate has divided homeowners for decades. Each style has its benefits and typically shares the same features, cleaning power, and finishes. Your choice depends solely on your preferences and whether you intend to stack your washer and dryer.
- Typically less costly
- Traditional design
- Greatest capacity
- No need to bend, squat, or kneel
- Typically more energy efficient
- Uses less water
- May provide additional storage space if placed on a pedestal
- Capable of washing large loads
- Some models are stackable
Washer and Dryer Capacity
Depending on the size of your family and the amount of laundry you wash each week, you can choose between larger and smaller models. Small washer and dryer units can have a capacity as low as one cubic foot, while bigger units can hold between 4.5 and 6 cubic feet of laundry or more than 20 pounds of clothing or linens.
How to Measure for Your Washer and Dryer
Measuring your new washer and dryer requires a bit of time and detail. You’ll need to take four different measurements, including:
1. The depth of your space
You’ll need to add at least 6 inches of space to the units’ depth to account for water hookups, drainage pipes, and vents.
2. The width of your space
Add one inch or more to your units’ total width to allow air to circulate behind and beside the machines, and to reduce noise.
3. The height of your laundry room or closet
Typically, you can expect a top-loading unit to need about 20 inches of clearance above the washer or dryer, while pedestals can add anywhere from 7 to 16 inches to your machines’ height. Make sure that you include cabinets, shelves, or clothing racks that will hang above your washer and dryer in your measurements as well.
4. The space in front of your new units
Lastly, consider the space in front of your washer and dryer. You’ll need between three and four feet to load and unload your units comfortably.
The Most Popular Features to Look For
At their most basic, a washer and dryer will get your clothes clean and dry. Many come with digital displays as well, especially as technology continues to develop. However, you can also look for more advanced features, like specialty wash cycles or high-efficiency water level options.
Washing Machine Features
Most washing machines have basic wash cycles such as delicate, heavy-duty, and normal. However, more advanced units offer a range of cycles, including quick wash, handwash, bedding, bulky items, sports laundry, and more. The different settings adjust the temperature and spin or agitation speeds for different fabrics, load sizes, and extra-soiled clothing.
Automatic Temperature Settings
Like basic wash cycles, you can expect a cold, hot, and warm temperature setting on almost every washing machine. However, advanced washing machine features include automatic temperature control, or ATC, that checks the water coming from your home’s water main and adjusts as needed.
High-Efficiency Water Levels
While the average washer will have a few different options for water level, a high-efficiency washing machine will determine how much water to use based on the weight of clothing in the tub and the type of washing cycle you choose.
High-Efficiency Heat Pumps
New, advanced dryers feature high-efficiency heat pumps that create, enhance, and recycle heat to reduce energy usage while saving you more money. Though these pumps are relatively new to the market, some states have begun offering rebates to homeowners who purchase them as an incentive to reduce energy usage.
If you’ve ever listened to the sound of shoes tumbling around in a dryer, you’ll appreciate a dryer rack. These racks can either rest in the dryer’s drum or attach to the door, providing a safe way to dry shoes or delicates without damaging your items.
Moisture-sensing technology allows your dryer to detect when your clothes are dry, at which point the moisture sensors will automatically stop the dryer, preventing unnecessary energy waste and damage to already-dry clothing.
Out With the Old: Eco-Friendly Appliance Removal and Recycling from Nixxit
Whether you’ve already purchased a new washer or dryer or have recently begun the search, you’ll have to remove your old washing machine and dryer eventually. Save yourself the time, money, and hassle of moving your old units out on your own by choosing affordable, eco-friendly appliance removal and recycling from Nixxit!
We make appliance disposal and recycling easy. As a local, woman-owned and -operated business—and one of the only Certified California Green Business appliance removal services—we’re proud to serve Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and the entire San Francisco Bay Area.
If you need to remove your old appliances, give us a call or book an online pickup today! You can count on expert service and fast, environmentally responsible appliance removal from our team of specialists.