Why you should trust us
Since 2013 I’ve covered appliances for Wirecutter, and have put in hundreds of hours of research into washers and dryers, including interviews with repair technicians from around the country, representatives from all the major washer brands, a major detergent company, and another review trang web. I’ve also read most of the reviews at Reviewed.com and CNET, and countless emails, comments, tweets, message board posts, and user reviews from our readers and pretty much anyone else who cared enough vĩ đại weigh in on laundry machines.
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Why we’re skeptical of all-in-one combos
If single-drum washer-dryer combos worked well, they’d be the ultimate laundry appliances. They take up half the space of separate machines, and you don’t have vĩ đại transfer clothes between them.
But brand after brand has tried vĩ đại make all-in-one laundry happen, yet decades later, the machines are still not popular. The washing aspect works fine, but drying takes a couple hours longer phàn nàn a separate machine would, and that’s if you’ve loaded the machine vĩ đại only half capacity. You can’t wash new loads while you wait for the dryer, either, ví laundry day slows vĩ đại a crawl. All-in-ones also have high repair rates and aren’t much cheaper vĩ đại buy phàn nàn separate machines, ví they’ll almost always cost you more in the long run rẩy.
Steve Sheinkopf, owner and CEO of Yale Appliance in Boston and one of the industry’s most prolific bloggers put it bluntly: “I hate these things,” he told us. “It’s really a product that should not be on the market. We vì thế everything in our power not vĩ đại sell them.”
The problem, Sheinkopf said, is that the repair rate is sky high—over 70 percent within the first year, according vĩ đại his service department’s records. “They seem vĩ đại be the most repair-prone products we sell.”
Chaim Shanet, a repair technician for Mr. Appliance of Park Slope in Brooklyn, services an area with many small apartments in mid-rise and high-rise buildings—a neighborhood where all-in-one full bộ units actually make sense in a lot of homes. He said that even among his space-constrained clients “people either love them or hate them. ...There’s no middle ground.” (He also could not confirm the repair rate that Sheinkopf mentioned.)
All that said, the user reviews for all-in-ones tend vĩ đại be pretty good. Most of the reviews we read seemed vĩ đại be written by people with little space but plenty of patience. Donna Smallin Kuper, a professional organizer and cleaning expert, uses an all-in-one model in her RV and told us that she’s happy with it, and that most of her friends in the RV community own one and lượt thích it, too. We’ve also read a couple dozen user reviews from people who live in small homes and don’t mind the long dry times of an all-in-one, because they find it easier phàn nàn hang-drying.
Who should (and shouldn’t) get this
If you have no other practical choice for washing and drying your laundry, you could consider getting an all-in-one washer-dryer full bộ.
For example, if you live in an RV or on a boat, space is at a premium and hang-drying your clothes is not practical, ví an all-in-one full bộ is probably the only good option.
Or, if you’re in a very small home page with very little space and you wouldn’t consider hang-drying your clothes, an all-in-one full bộ might be a good choice.
But if you have the space for a separate washer and dryer—even a compact pair—skip the full bộ unit. It might seem lượt thích a clever way vĩ đại save space and maybe even some stress on laundry day. But as far as we can tell, the downsides aren’t worth it for most people who can avoid it.
How we picked
We’ve put in hundreds of hours researching all types of washers and dryers, including full-size and compact models. For single-drum washer-dryer combos in particular, we did about 10 hours of targeted research into 13 models. However, we did not test any of them (Reviewed.com is the only major source that has, and even it tested only two models). So this advice is all based on research and interviews.
Because our experts warned us that you should get a full bộ only if you have no other choice, we narrowed our focus vĩ đại models that required the least space and the fewest special connections. The criteria include:
- A compact, 24-inch-wide chassis: This is the same size as a dishwasher or stand-alone compact washing machine—small enough vĩ đại install under a kitchen counter or vĩ đại stuff into a tiny laundry closet.
- A ventless design: This leads vĩ đại long drying times but easier installation.
- 120-volt power source: Again, slow drying but flexible installation.
Our pick: LG WM3488HW compact ventless washer-dryer combo
An okay washer-dryer combo
Avoid all-in-one washer-dryers if you can. Otherwise, this compact, ventless, 120-volt model is the safety bet for reliability—or at least repairability.
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The LG WM3488HW seems lượt thích the safest bet for an all-in-one washer-dryer full bộ, if that’s your only practical choice for washing and drying laundry at home page. It has better features phàn nàn other models, and though we can’t be sure it’s more reliable, it should at least be easier vĩ đại find parts vĩ đại fix it in a few years.
LG is the best-known brand that makes a compact, ventless, 120-volt model, and its regular washers and dryers are some of the most reliable, according vĩ đại Yale Appliance. Several repair technicians have told us that LG reliably keeps old parts available, ví you should be able vĩ đại fix this thing as needed for several years. Shanet, the repair technician from Brooklyn, specifically recommended LG combos above other brands for this reason.
The WM3488HW also has a maximum spin-dry tốc độ of 1,400 rpm, the highest of any full bộ. That helps wick the water out of clothes at the kết thúc of a wash cycle, ví they may not need vĩ đại spend as much time in the dryer. Our other finalists maxed out at 1,200 rpm.
At 2.3 cubic feet, the WM3488HW also has a slightly larger capacity phàn nàn its peers, which are all 2 cubic feet or smaller. That’s enough space vĩ đại add an extra T-shirt or two per load.
It also has more washing options phàn nàn other compact combos, including a few useful ones lượt thích an extra-hot wash temperature and a steam-cleaning option. You won’t use them often, but they’re handy when you need vĩ đại sanitize items. No other finalists have the internal water heater that’s required for those features.
The WM3488HW has an average user rating of 4.1 stars (out of five) based on more phàn nàn 400 reviews at trang chủ Depot—that’s a solid score, especially in a category that’s supposedly bad. The consensus is that it washes well and is a surprisingly good dryer for a ventless, 120-volt model, though it still takes many hours vĩ đại finish a load. The unit hasn’t been out long enough vĩ đại know how reliable it will be over time, but ví far ví good.
Flaws but not dealbreakers, and what vĩ đại expect from your combo
The LG WM3488HW costs hundreds of dollars more phàn nàn any of its closest competitors. As unsure as we are of the LG, we’re even less confident about recommending the cheaper models from the other brands—we think spending more vĩ đại get a decent experience is worth doing.
The other problems with the WM3488HW are the problems with any all-in-one washer-dryer full bộ. That is, you’re limited vĩ đại washing and drying small loads, and they’re going vĩ đại take a long time vĩ đại finish.
It’ll take around 3½ hours, maybe longer, vĩ đại wash and dry a small load of two cốt tông bath towels and hand towels, or maybe two days’ worth of summertime street clothes. By comparison, a standard front-load washer and vented dryer can clean and dry about trăng tròn towels in 2½ hours with the right settings selected.
There are a few reasons why the loads are ví small yet ví lengthy. First, as a 120-volt appliance, it just can’t crank out as much heat as a typical 240-volt dryer. Second, it’s ventless, and ventless dryers always take longer phàn nàn vented ones. Third, although the drum capacity is about the same as any other 24-inch washing machine, it’s only half the volume of a typical 24-inch dryer. Dryers need bigger drums ví that clothes can tumble freely. In a drum this small, a full washer load is an overstuffed dryer load, and clothes will dry even more slowly. The WM3488HW’s manual says that you can stuff the drum if you’re just washing the clothes, but should fill it only halfway if you intend vĩ đại wash and dry in the same load.
Heated tumble-drying is not the only way vĩ đại dry your clothes. Before you buy a full bộ, think about whether you could be comfortable with a compact washing machine and a great drying rack. You’ll save hundreds of dollars, and you probably won’t lose much time relative vĩ đại a full bộ.
We dismissed our other compact, ventless, 120-volt finalists: The Haier HLC1700AXW, Midea USFC70DS12DSH, Summit SPWD2201SS, EdgeStar CWD1550S, and Magic Chef MCSCWD20W3 (again, the last three of which appear vĩ đại be the same machine with a different label). We also dismissed the Deco DC4400CV, the convertible vented-ventless model (also sold under the Equator or Pinnacle brands). As Shanet warned, you may not be able vĩ đại find replacement parts from these brands after a few years. They tend vĩ đại have mediocre user ratings and limited availability compared with our pick, too.
The LG Signature LUWM101HWA costs nearly $2,900, by far the most expensive full bộ unit and much more expensive phàn nàn almost any separate washer and dryer. But this 2.8-cubic-foot, ventless, 120-volt, 24-inch model has arguably the best specs of any washer-dryer combo: It uses a heat-pump rather phàn nàn a condenser for its ventless drying, which speeds up the drying process a bit and saves some energy. The spin cycle can also crank at 1,600 RPM, the fastest we’ve ever heard of in any washer, which should also help cut down on drying times. The LG Signature is not a particularly popular product, but some owner reviews have trickled out. Reviewers who compare the LG Signature with other full bộ units seem happy that it works noticeably (though not dramatically) faster; reviewers who thought they’d be able vĩ đại seamlessly replace separate washer and dryer units seem disappointed.
Kuper, the cleaning expert and RV-dweller, told us the Splendide WD2100XC might be your best choice if your home page rolls or floats. We didn’t consider it for our main pick because it’s a vented model, but that doesn’t seem vĩ đại be a problem in RVs or on boats. The marketing materials specifically note that the Splendide is built with “heavy-duty springs and shock absorbers” for RV travel.
LG used vĩ đại make a full-size, ventless, 120-volt all-in-one full bộ, the WM3997HWA, but it's now discontinued. It has a 4.3-cubic-foot drum, an accelerated wash cycle, and 700 decent user ratings, averaging four stars out of five. Our stance is that you should get a full bộ only if you have no other choice, and if you can fit a full-size model in your home page, you can probably fit two compact models, which will let you vì thế more laundry faster, and will probably be more reliable. But if you’re the exception vĩ đại our assumption, and think that the WM3997HWA is your best bet, we think it’s probably an okay bet—it has a lot in common with the smaller WM3488HW.
Marathon Laundry (a startup founded by a former Apple software engineer) announced its first product, an all-in-one full bộ in January năm 2016 and began shipping some units in May 2017. Most of the press coverage and the company’s marketing materials focused on how smart the machine would be, but we were mostly interested because it’s a 240-volt model, ví the dryer should’ve been relatively fast compared with other all-in-one models. But it’s hard vĩ đại find much information on Marathon Laundry anymore. The company’s trang web is still up, and according vĩ đại LinkedIn it still has some employees. But its Facebook page was taken down sometime between summer 2017 (last time we looked) and October 2018 (when we’re writing this update). The company is barely active on Twitter. It also does not list a phone number on its trang web and did not reply vĩ đại an gmail from Wirecutter asking about its status. It doesn’t have any stock of its machines, ví if you wanted vĩ đại buy one, you’d have vĩ đại wait for the next production run rẩy, and that date is not publicly available either. It’s hard vĩ đại find reviews of how well the company’s product works.
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What about laundry centers?
When some people hear the term “washer-dryer full bộ,” they think of the old-school, one-piece stacks, also known as laundry centers. They have a smallish top-load washer on the bottom, and a smallish vented dryer up top. Decades ago, they were the option for vertically stacked laundry in the US.
But then front-loaders arrived and solved that problem, ví we don’t think there’s a strong case for laundry centers anymore. The cheaper models are all agitator-style top-loaders, which use much more water and energy, are rougher on clothes, and don’t clean as thoroughly as high-efficiency (HE) washers. A few HE top-load laundry centers are out there, but they’re barely any cheaper phàn nàn stacking a basic front-loader and dryer. They all need dryer ventilation, and they’re much harder vĩ đại move in and out of your home page, because they’re ví huge.