Many homes just don’t have the room to fit separate machines for washing and drying. If this situation sounds familiar, then you might already have a washing machine, which is great for getting your clothes clean, but you have to hang the laundry to dry. This can be a real inconvenience, and when the weather is bad, it can make the situation even more difficult.
For these buyers, a good option can be to go with a machine that washes and dries all in one unit. It might not be quite as effective as having the separate machines, but it is going to perform the functions that you need in an appliance that can fit in the space that you have.
With this article, we are going to go over a few of the points that can make washer dryer units a good buy, the points to consider when shopping for one and then we are going to provide some recommendations for the best built in washer dryers that are currently available. For a more in-depth look at the pros and cons of washer dryers you can check out our washer dryer buying guide here.
The Pros and Cons of a Washer Dryer
You’ll find that most experts will recommend getting separate machines for the two different jobs. The dedicated units for washing and drying will perform better in a number of ways, so if you have the space (and the money), it is probably better to go this route. However, if you don’t have the space to accommodate two units (as many of us don’t), then your only choice is to go with one of the combo units, or to do without a dryer.
This is the key advantage to combo machines. Being that they can do both jobs in one unit, it saves on space and still provides the buyer with an option that allows for washing and drying. Some people might be ok with washing their laundry in a machine and then hanging it to dry, but if you want to save the time and effort, then a washer dryer is the perfect solution.
If you are looking for an additional benefit, buying a washer dryer will usually also cost you less than getting the two machines. You do have to consider the fact that a washing machine is going to do a little better at washing and a dryer is going to provide better results for drying, but the savings on the price is a positive.
As a final point, you do have to think about efficiency. For the most part, dedicated machines will use less electricity and water than the washer dryer combination machines. Some of the more expensive models have improved significantly in this regard, but this is still a negative point for most of these units.
With all of this being true, the combo machines still offer a good solution for homes that don’t have room for separate appliances. When you think about the amount of time it takes laundry to hang dry, the effort that goes into hanging the laundry and issues that can arise from the weather, most people will accept some of the shortcomings to get the convenience of the washer dryer.
Integrated vs Freestanding
If you are considering a washer dryer, there are some factors that you are going to want to think about before you buy. There is more to it than just finding a machine that does both jobs. You have numerous machines to choose from from a variety of respected manufacturers, and there are plenty of features and options that can make a difference.
One of the key decisions you’ll need to make whether to opt for an integrated or a freestanding model. In the case of integrated machines (also known as built-in), the big advantage that they have over freestanding models is that they can be fitted into to the kitchen with a matching fascia panel leading to a more blended appearance, and many buyers find this to be preferable. The downside of opting for an integrated model is that you’ll find you generally have less choice of models available and you’ll pay a bit more.
For this article, we have decided to focus on integrated machines. If you’re looking to buy a freestanding model instead you can see our recommendations here.
Other Things to Consider
Once you know that an integrated washer dryer is the right choice for your home, you will want to consider the capacity of the machine. This is important because it will determine the amount of laundry that you can wash and dry in one load. Obviously, you do not want to go too small because then you will have to run a lot of cycles to get all of your laundry done. You also want to avoid going too large, because this could increase the energy and water consumption beyond what is necessary.
With the combination washer dryer machines, the capacity is a point of particular importance in another way. With these units, the wash capacity is always going to be higher than the drying capacity. Usually, you can dry a little more than half of what you can wash. When you are comparing machines, you might want to keep this in mind and note the differences between the washing and drying capacities of different units.
You will also want to compare the features and options that come with the different washer dryer machines. Typically, you can find programs and features for washing that are comparable to many of the regular washing machines, but the features and options for the drying side will be limited in comparison with a machine that only does drying.
1. Bosch Serie 6 WKD28541GB
With the Bosch Serie 6 WKD28541GB, you have a very capable washer dryer combo. This model has a 7kg washing capacity and a 4kg drying capacity, and it provides great results for both jobs. Further, Bosch has equipped this machine with a nice selection of features that help to make this one of the better combos that you will find.
As a washer, this machine leaves very little room for improvement. You get 12 wash programs, including special cycles for allergy, sportswear and delicates, and it allows the user a good level of control over the cycle with buttons for adjusting things like spin speed and temperature.
The WKD28541GB also works well as a dryer. The user has the choice of intensive dry, gentle and fluff dry, plus you can also make adjustments to the drying time from the control panel. The drum is also reverse action, so it protects your clothes against creasing when it is running. When the machine finishes the wash cycle, it can automatically move to drying, but there is a pause button if you need to remove clothes.
The only issue that some users may have is that with all of the options, it can be a little confusing to use at first. It does have a display and indicators, but it is a bit of a complicated machine. However, once you have a run a few loads through it, you should have it figured out and the results are worth it.
| Versatile machine
Great build quality
1400 rpm at max spin
A little complicated to learn how to use
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2. Smeg WDI147
For washing and drying, the Smeg WDI147 is a machine that does well in both categories. It can handle up to 7kg per load for washing and it has a 4kg drying capacity. The machine is easy to use and it comes with a selection of handy features that make it one of the top performers on the market.
The washing capabilities of this machine are really impressive. To start, you have 12 washing programmes to choose from and the ability to control the water temperature and the spin speed. For special programmes, you have settings for wool, a 15-minute quick wash and a sports wash programme. Additionally, this machine has options like intensive, water plus, prewash, easy iron and a feature that speeds up the cycles.
For drying the laundry, this machine has three settings and it uses timed drying. You can choose intensive, normal or gentle for the drying temperature, then you just set the timer. It might not be sensor drying, but it provides good results and you don’t have to worry about your laundry coming out wet.
| 12 programmes for washing
1400 max spin speed
| Can be noisy on some settings
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3. AEG L61470WDBI
The AEG L61470WDBI integrated washer dryer is machine that comes ready to perform well at both jobs. For washing capacity, you can fit up to 7kg in the drum, and for drying, it can handle a maximum capacity of 4kg. This model from AEG also comes with a nice selection of features and options to make this a versatile machine.
The washing performance on this machine should more than meet the standards of users. It has a total of 12 wash cycles and you can control things like the water temperature and the spin speed. You also have features like a 30-minute quick wash and the ability to set the machine for a delayed start.
As a dryer, this machine offers good performance. It has three dryer settings and the user can set the drying time for the load.
The simplicity of this machine also helps to make it a good buy. You can easily select the cycles from the dial and then you have buttons to set some the options like start time and spin speed. It is an all around good machine and it is well made, so it should serve most homes well.
| Great selection of wash features
Good build quality
1400 maximum spin speed
| Some of the cycles are noisy
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4. Zanussi ZWT71401WA
The Zanussi ZWT71401WA is a washer dryer that should perform well for most homes. It has a long list of programmes for washing laundry and you get some nice extra features like quick wash and easy iron. It’s not the most advanced machine out there, but it is well made and it comes with all of the features and settings that you need.
If you are looking for good washing capabilities, then this machine will more than satisfy. It comes with 19 washing programmes, and you have options like hand wash and jeans. In addition to that, you have options like quick wash for cutting the cycle time, adjustable spin speed and eco for saving electricity. The controls are also simple and straightforward, so it is a very user-friendly appliance.
The drying on this machine is about average. You have two settings for drying and the ability to set a timer for the dryer. Your options for drying are cotton and synthetics, and you have the anti-crease feature to turn on the reverse action drum.
| 19 washing programmes
Reverse action drum
1400 max spin speed
| The dryer takes a long time to finish
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5. Hotpoint Aquarius BHWD149
As an affordable integrated washer dryer, the Hotpoint Aquarius BHWD149 is a good option. This machine can handle 7kg of wash in one load and it can dry up to 5kg. In some ways, it is a little more basic than the other machines on this list, but it does perform well across the board.
The washing capabilities of this machine are good and users should find all of the features that they need. With this machine, you get a total of 10 wash programs, with a few special cycles like wool, baby care and silk. Beyond that, you can also make adjustments to the water temperature and the spin cycle speed.
The dryer also works well and you get three settings for drying. You cans set the machine to dry for cottons, synthetics and wool.
The machine is also very easy to use. The only thing that some users may not like is that there is no display. While you do have indicators that can tell you which features are turned on and the progress of the wash, you do not have a countdown timer.
| Easy to use
1400 rpm maximum spin speed
| No display
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With their space-saving design, washer dryers are great for homes where space is at a premium. You get both laundry functions in one machine, and many of them still come with a great selection of features.
Above, we listed our picks for some of the best integrated washer dryers that are currently available, but there are some other options out there. If you did not find a machine that fits your needs here, you could read some of our washer dryer reviews or take a look at our washer dryer buying guide as well as our integrated appliance buying guide.