Having a washer and dryer in your home makes doing laundry as easy as can be. But if you have a small house or apartment, you might not have much space to devote to laundry appliances. But that doesn’t mean you have to start saving quarters for the laundromat. With a stackable washer and dryer, you can have your own laundry center even in a small space.
If you’re going to invest in a stackable washer and dryer, you want to be sure to choose the right model. Considering the number of options available, shopping can be a challenge.
At BestReviews, we work to make shopping as simple as possible. Our in-depth product research arms you with all the facts you need, so you know exactly what to look for when you start shopping. That means you can find the right products for your home in record time.
While stackable washers and dryers usually don’t have as many settings as standalone appliances, they are easy to operate and offer a more streamlined approach to laundry.
What is a stackable washer and dryer?
Unlike traditional washers and dryers that sit side by side on the floor, a stackable washer and dryer is an all-in-one appliance with a dryer on top of the washing machine. Most models feature a front-loading dryer and a top-loading washer, but some have both a front-loading dryer and front-loading washer.
These stackable washer and dryer sets are also known as laundry centers. You can also find front-loading washers and dryers that you purchase separately and stack on top of one another to maximize the space in your home.
Always measure your space prior to purchasing astackable washer and dryer. Different brands and models can be very different sizes.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert
Among the first things we note when researching the best stackable washers and dryers are their capacity and efficiency rating.
Because we understand that some consumers want a silent laundry room, we look closely at how much noise stackable washers and dryers make during every part of the process.
Not all front load washers and dryers are stackable. When we find a stackable pair, we research their pros and cons for our shortlist.
We appreciate stackable washers and dryers that include auto-drying sensors and a wide range of programs from which to choose.
Because safety is key with any appliance, we make sure our search includes stackable washers and dryers with lid locks. Some of the models we look at have unlocking pause buttons, too.
Long-term consistency and level of maintenance required are two primary things we consider when compiling a list of the best stackable washers and dryers.
We note whether a stackable washer and dryer set requires a 120V or 240V outlet in our research.
We perform in-depth reviews of stackable washers and dryers with both front-loading washers and top-loading washers.
When evaluating the best stackable washers and dryers, we note which ones require the installation of a separate vent.
Our quest for the top stackable washers and dryers includes those with straightforward knobs and some with fancy digital control panels.
Benefits of a stackable washer and dryer
There are several benefits to choosing a stackable washer and dryer over separate appliances, including the following:
The main benefit to buying a stackable washer and dryer is that you’re able to make the most of the limited space in your home to create a laundry area. The washer and dryer set is often compact enough to fit inside a closet or hallway alcove, so you can still do laundry at home even if you don’t have a lot of room.
Because a stackable washer and dryer is an all-in-one appliance, you can save money by purchasing one appliance rather than purchasing a separate washer and dryer.
A stackable washer and dryer have a clean, streamlined look, which can complement a variety of décor styles. These appliances usually have more modern flair than traditional washers and dryers, so you won’t feel self-conscious about having one in your hallway, kitchen, or other visible areas of your home.
Do enough research to determine whether or not a front-load washer is best for you. Those who may have back issues or who areshorter in height may want to go with a front loader. Also, know what kind of power is in your laundry area. Front-loading machines often require a 240V outlet, but most residential outlets are 120V.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert
Stackable washer and dryer features to consider
Size and capacity
The size and capacity of any appliance is always important, but these are features to pay particular attention to with a stackable washer and dryer. The components tend to be slightly smaller than traditional washers and dryers.
For most homeowners, the main selling point of a stackable washer and dryer is that it takes up less space. That’s why it’s important to measure the area in which you plan to put it, so you know exactly how much space you have to work with. In general, a stackable washer and dryer ranges from 74 to 76 inches high, 23 to 28 inches wide, and 27 to 32 inches deep.
Because these appliances have a smaller capacity, you’ll need to do your laundry in smaller loads. However, there is some variety among models in terms of capacity, so if you have a large household, look for a larger model. The washers range from 1.5 cubic feet to 4 cubic feet, while the dryers offer between 3.4 cubic feet and 6 cubic feet.
Most stackable washers and dryers have an electric dryer, but there are some models with a gas dryer. Electric dryers are typically less expensive to buy initially, but the operating costs can be higher.
Gas dryers tend to be more expensive to buy but can save you money in energy costs in the long run. However, you must have a gas connection in your home to install a gas dryer. If you don’t, you’ll need to hire a licensed plumber to add one, and the installation will probably offset any long-term savings in energy costs.
A stackable washer and dryer that features front-loading components is usually more energy efficient. If you’re very concerned about the energy costs of the appliance, look for an Energy Star-certified model. These feature washers that use approximately 25% less energy and 40% less water, and the dryers use 20% less energy than standard dryers.
Stackable washers and dryers don’t typically offer as many special settings and cycles as traditional washers and dryers, so it’s important to consider if the features will meet your laundry needs. At the very least, the washer should offer basic cycles, such as normal, delicate, heavy-duty, and permanent press. Some might also have settings for bulky items like bedding and towels. The dryer should have essential settings like low, medium, and high heat, as well as a no-heat option.
Most stackable washers and dryers have dial controls for choosing the settings and cycles. Some higher-end models feature digital and touchpad controls that can be even easier to use.
"While stackable washers and dryers usually don’t last as long as freestanding appliances, you should get at least four to five years of use out of your set without issue."
Stackable washer and dryer prices
Prices of stackable washers and dryers vary based on the size and energy type. In most cases, it’s common to pay between $1,025 and $2,525.
A small electric stackable washer and dryer usually costs between $1,025 and $1,175. A small gas stackable washer and dryer typically costs from $1,098 to $1,259.
A midsize electric stackable washer and dryer usually runs from $1,175 to $1,325. A midsize gas stackable washer and dryer typically costs from $1,259 to $1,500.
A large electric stackable washer and dryer usually costs from $1,325 to $1,525. A large gas stackable washer and dryer typically costs between $1,500 and $2,525.
Washers are easy to clean. Simply run with any washing machine cleaner,such as the one from Affresh, whichhappens to be my favorite.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert
Because of its compact size, a stackable washer and dryer is an ideal option for an apartment. No more lugging your dirty clothes to the laundromat!
Q. Are the cycles of stackable washers and dryers the same length as those of traditional washers and dryers?
A. A stackable washer and dryer usually requires a little more time to wash and dry a load. Some models take longer than others, though, so it’s important to pay attention to operating times. Avoid models that require more than an hour to complete a load or you could wind up spending all day doing your family’s laundry.
Q. Do stackable washers and dryers require venting?
A. Some do require venting just like traditional dryers. If you fail to vent your model, you could wind up with a mold or mildew problem due to the moisture that the appliance gives off. However, some stackable washers and dryers are ventless. This model is the best option if the spot where you want to put the appliance doesn’t lend itself to venting. Keep in mind that ventless models usually take longer to dry laundry.
Q. Should I purchase an extended warranty for a stackable washer and dryer?
A. Like most standalone washers and dryers, a stackable model usually comes with at least a one-year warranty. While it’s usually not recommended to opt for an extended warranty for freestanding washers and dryers, it can often be worth it for a stackable model. That’s because all-in-one or combined appliances are more likely to experience issues, so a three- or four-year extended warranty can help protect your investment. Some users decide to purchase a home warranty that covers most or all of their appliances. We recommend you read up on our research on the best home warrantyprior to any purchase, and also read home warranty reviews as needed as well.
LG dominates the top ratings spots for front-loaders, HE top-loaders, top-load agitators, and dryers based on the performance of its appliances in our lab tests and because of the brand's reliability. (In our member surveys, LG earns excellent ratings for reliability for its front-loaders, HE top-loaders, and dryers.)What are the best washer and dryer sets on the market today? ›
- Best Overall: LG Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Front Load Washer & Dryer at Ajmadison.com. ...
- Best Front-Loading: Electrolux Smartboost Front-Load Washer & Stackable Electric Dryer at Ajmadison.com. ...
- Best Top-Loading: Samsung Smart Top Load Washer & Smart Electric Dryer at Ajmadison.com. ...
- Best Large Capacity:
LG dominates the top ratings spots for front-loaders, HE top-loaders, top-load agitators, and dryers based on the performance of its appliances in our lab tests and because of the brand's reliability. (In our member surveys, LG earns excellent ratings for reliability for its front-loaders, HE top-loaders, and dryers.)What are the negatives of stackable washer-dryer? ›
- Smaller capacity. Naturally, compact machines typically have a smaller capacity than their top-loading counterparts. ...
- Higher price tag. Although a compact front-loading washer is small, it can still set you back quite a bit. ...
- Out of reach. ...
- Fewer bells and whistles. ...
- More maintenance.