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Washer Dryers buying guide

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Washer-Dryers Guide - An Introduction

A Washer dryer frees you from depending on the whims of weather to dry your freshly washed laundry. The latest appliances to wash and dry your laundry loads are both washers and dryers in one machine, saving time, space and money.

The ease these handy Washer dryer double appliances offer is a great relief for today’s busy life styles. Anyone who has experienced last minute requests for clothes which have to be ready to wear the next day will appreciate the ability to be able to turn loads out, ready to wear, in only a few hours.

The advantages of an Integrated washer dryer are not just the speed they offer, but also the amount of room they take up. Their space saving two-for-one facility is so valuable for today’s kitchens and smaller living spaces. Using a Washer dryer machine eliminates the need for two appliances, freeing up room in small kitchens and flats.

Technology has made it easier to install these new Compact washer dryers because they don’t even need an outside vent, or pipe to remove the moisture created by the drying laundry. Instead, the condenser drying system turns the steam into water which collects in a tray.

The new breed of Integrated washer dryer also saves money by allowing you to buy just one machine that does it all, instead of two separate appliances. We will look at the most popular models, review our top picks, offer some tips for buyers and explain all the features and terms used for Washer dryers in our Jargon Buster section to help you make the best, informed choice.

Tips to consider before buying Washer-Dryers

  • Even the smallest flats can accommodate the smallest models, like the Mini washer dryer.
  • Features such as automatic temperature and water level features mean you never have to worry about washing loads on unsuitable cycles, a great help for busy people.
  • Larger Washer and dryer drums offer quicker drying times.
  • Ensure you have all the necessary connections at the location you wish to install your Washer and dryer. These include a 13 amp fused plug, any plumbing connections and an appliance hose adapter, if needed.
  • Check which models need both hot and cold water connections, before buying.
  • Measure the available space to determine if any model will fit.
  • Washer dryers which feature doors that open fully, or flat against the machine’s front, are easier to load and work with in smaller spaces.
  • All Washer and dryers are measured for capacity in terms of drum size and the weight of washing it can take, in kilograms
  • An average Washer dryer washes 5 to 8kg in one load.
  • One kg of washing equals five adult T-shirts or a king size bed sheet.
  • Spin speeds give an indication of how fast your Washer dryer will wash and dry loads. Models vary between 1200-1600rpm.
  • Programs to reduce the amount of ironing needed, with names like,”Anti-Crease Program” or “Reduced Ironing Setting,” will offer another time saving option to busy people.
  • An Aluminium washer dryer offers the toughest drum type for families with heavy usage.
  • To maximize the use of a smaller washer dryer, such as the Mini washer dryer, always wash similar weight items together, and try to avoid mixing loads, for example, putting heavy towels in with light cotton pillowcases.
  • For families with allergy sufferers, a Washer and dryer with an extra rinse feature offers a way to remove more detergent residue.
  • To keep in with new green guidelines, and save money on getting rid of an old machine, contact local authorities to see if they know any places to recycle old washer and dryer. (Some recycling centers will pick them up from your house.)

Types of Washer Dryers

Apart from the choice of freestanding or integrated models, there are a huge range of features available on new Washer dryers which older machines did not offer. Many are energy and money saving features such as a timer to permit the use of off-peak, cheaper electricity rates especially useful if you usually wash overnight.

Integrated models are fitted into your existing kitchen décor, often hidden behind a door of the same material as your cupboards. Freestanding models are set on the floor and are significantly quieter when properly balanced (borrow a carpenter’s spirit level, to check this). Colours of Combination washer dryers are becoming less limited, as with all major appliances, but the most popular choices are still, white, silver and black, as in the black and a cream suits country style kitchens and those with a softer look very well.

Drum sizes are the factor to check if you are looking for the largest possible capacity. Typical Washer dryers for large families are rated 8kg a load and up. A faster spin cycle will save time and money, since they use less power, so look for the 1600rpm models. Quieter models have a decibel rating expressed in (dB).Look for a figure less than 55dB.

Models that use “fuzzy logic” to decide how your load should be washed can save on energy and the disaster of ruining items by using unsuitable cycles, handy if you are prone to a life of throwing a load in, on the run

Pre-wash and soak cycles are a must for families with work and sports clothes which need frequent and thorough cleaning, while extra rinse programs help those challenged with conditions such as asthma and allergies.

Programs that reverse the drying action result in less creased clothes which need less ironing. A model that can fully complete the cycle from beginning to end, without requiring your presence to switch from washing to drying will save the most time in a day, while smaller drum models such as a Mini washer dryer may need some of the load removed to effectively dry the whole wash.

Brands of Washer Dryers

The household names who have offered quality washers, dryers and Combination washer dryers for decades, and all made Which? magazine’s 5 star consumer satisfaction list include Best buys Section, Miele, Bosch, AEG, Hoover, Hotpoint, Indesit and Zanussi.

A trusted brand name does guarantee some extra peace of mind, since these are very essential appliances for the smooth operation of any home. You can be sure they will honor any guarantees and offer reliable and prompt service, should the need arise.

The brands we have named and chosen to feature are known for quality construction in washers, dryers and combination machines, leaders in the U.K. home appliance market who have developed their technology for combination washer dryers based on previous success over many years with their automatic washing machines.

Whirlpool and their economical range of washer dryers have an excellent reputation with their new U.K. customers, founded on their success in the U.S. market place, where they have long been the standard for other manufacturers to match. Whirlpool offers the largest number of features to choose from on their wide range of models.

In keeping with our policy of finding the best quality appliances at the best price, we have recently added these models from other manufacturers to our recommended list: The Cda washer dryer, the Haier washer dryer and the Creda washer dryer.

Our team tested and reviewed selected models from these manufacturers to come up with a short list of models in each class we can thoroughly recommend on price, reliability and energy efficiency.

Best Buys

Our first review features the AEG L16850, a star among Washer dryers, but don’t just take our word for it. Which? consumer reviews give it a 5 star rating for being the best in its class, too, saying it ,” combines excellent washing results with impressive drying speed.” This freestanding AEG Washer Dryer model offers enough program options to suit all styles. The AEG scores so highly because of its quiet running, speed, big drum size and effective washing and drying cycles. The AEG L16850 is a medium priced model, with enough space to easily handle an average to large sized family’s washing.

The Bosch WVD2452SG is a smaller compact Combination washer dryer with a 5kg capacity for washes and a 2.5kg for drying. It is a very sturdy machine at a good price with features usually only seen on much more expensive models, like the half-load program, wash timer and an anti-crease feature which cuts down ironing time.

Our pick for a large work horse at the best price is the Hotpoint washer dryer, offering a 7kg wash load and drying capacity, one of the largest amounts we have seen, but only on much more expensive models. Features we liked include a “stealth mode” called the, “Super Silent Wash,’ great for late night sessions. The Hotpoint washer dryer also offers a timer which can be set up to a day in advance, for optimal savings on cheaper off-peak electricity prices.

The last model we would like to recommend comes from the Haier company who have been making a niche for themselves in the market by manufacturing economical, energy efficient Washer dryers Taking a 6kg wash load and drying 3kg at a time, it rates an “A” for performance and price, costing well under £400.

Jargon Explained

Quick Wash or Quick CycleA speedy wash for less soiled clothes that take between 25 and 40 minutes to complete.
Standard Wash CycleA general cycle that takes from 1 1/2 to 2 hours to complete.
Safe Woollens ProgramA gentle program that prevents “pilling” or a bobbly texture on wool and wool blend clothes.
Steel Washer DryerSteel washer dryer:This model offers a steel drum for the maximum life expectancy of any kind of washer.
Washer-Dryer Energy Efficiency RatingThese guides show you how much electricity you will use for any Washer dryer. “A” is the highest and “C” is the lowest. A “C” rating may be given to a larger machine which handles huge loads, but in practice, it may be used less often than a smaller one, so these are really only a general guide, not a quality rating.
Top Washer DryerTop washer dryer: Machines which load from the top are useful in areas where doors and other appliances hinder front loaders access.
Front load washer dryerFront load washer dryer: A model for those who need a front loading feature, due to space constraints.
Reduced-Ironing ProgramsThese result in clothes that are less creased by reversing the drying action and spinning out the water at lower speeds.
Portable washer dryerPortable washer dryer: The ultimate convenience for holiday homes and caravans comes in a washer dryer that travels with you on the road.
Hand Wash CycleA new name for the old “delicates” cycle.
Fuzzy LogicSensors asses the correct program for your load.
Washer dryer stackWasher dryer stack: Two machines that fit one on top of the other in order to save floor space. 

Buying Guide to Washer Dryers
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