Buying a new washing machine and/or dryer for your family is a big purchase and one you shouldn’t take lightly. After all, you’re going to rely on these appliances for years to come. If you’re in the market for a washer, dryer or both, take a look at some of the best of the best, no matter which features matter most to you.
Types of Washing Machines and Dryers
Before heading out on your new washer and dryer-buying excursion, it’s good to have an idea of what kind of washer and dryer you’d like.
There are several washing machine types to choose from:
- Front Load Washers
- Top Load Washers
- Compact Washers
Front loading washers are often preferred by those who want a fast, energy-efficient, quality washer. However, front load washers are also often more expensive than their top load washing machine counterparts.
Top loading washers are on the more budget-friendly side, but they’re more apt to break and aren’t nearly as energy-efficient, which could cost you more money in the long run. Top load washers come both with and without agitators (agitators are the cylindrical posts that stick up in the middle of a top load washer, designed to basically beat any dirt or stains off your clothes).
You can find the key differences between these washing machines in our comparison article, here.
Compact washers and dryers are just that — designed to be as small as possible and ideal for those who live in studio apartments or other small spaces. You can even find compact washers and dryers that are a two-in-one appliance, doing both your washing and drying with one machine.
Beyond these two-in-one washers and dryers, there are several other types of dryers to choose from, including:
- Vented Dryers
- Condensing Dryers
- Heat Pump Dryers
Vented dryers work by heating air and then blowing it onto your tumbling laundry; the damp air is then removed from the dryer via a duct running to the outside of your home.
A condensing dryer passes warm air through your clothes, removes the moisture and stores or drains the resulting water and then releases the heat into the house.
Heat pump dryers heat air and blow it through your clothes in a cycle, draining off the water and cooling the air that’s removed from the dryer between each cycle.
In general, vented dryers are your most budget-friendly and common option.
Things to Look at When Purchasing a Washing Machine
Before purchasing the first washing machine that catches your eye, you want to consider what features a washing machine offers and how they could benefit your family.
Is a certain washing machine large enough to handle all of your clothing? Or will you need to run multiple loads for your large capacity items (wasting not only time, but also energy and water)?
Speaking of energy and water, how important is energy efficiency to you when purchasing a washing machine? Some options are far more efficient than others.
Do you have a lot of soiled clothing that needs a little extra attention? You’ll want a washing machine with a large amount of cleaning power.
Do you want smart features? New washing machines now often offer an array of fancy functions, including delayed starts, steaming capabilities, chatting with Alexa and more.
Additionally, cost is a huge factor to consider. Some washing machines with the above features might be simply out of your price range.
Before you head to the store, think about how important these washing machine features are to your family:
- Ease of Use
- Size (Both Inside and Out)
- Cleaning Power
- Wash Cycles
- Noise Level
- Smart Features
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Dryer
When purchasing a dryer, you’ll want to consider several similar factors.
What size dryer do you need? Will any size work, or do you need something that can handle a good amount of wet clothes, towels or bed sheets at once?
Do you want an eco-friendly dryer that will use as little energy as possible? Some dryers have auto-stop features that sense when your clothes are dry, and then automatically end the cycle, saving both energy and money.
Speaking of money, what’s your budget for a dryer look like?
Do you need a compact dryer, or do you have enough space for the biggest model at the store? Do you need a stackable or wall mountable dryer? Do you need an electric dryer or a gas dryer?
Before shopping, consider the following features your family might need in a dryer:
- Size (Both Inside and Out)
- Noise Level
- Smart Features
Best Washer/Dryer Option for Speed: LG Electronics High Efficiency Ultra Large Smart Front Load Washer ENERGY STAR & Ultra Large Smart Stackable Front Load Dryer
The best washer and dryer option for those looking for the speediest wash and dry possible? This LG Electronics washer-dryer duo. The high-efficiency, ultra-large, smart, front load washer comes with the TurboWash360 feature, which means you can clean huge loads of items in fewer than 30 minutes.
The washer is smart home enabled and outfitted with WiFi, so you can operate and troubleshoot the appliance remotely using an app on your smartphone.
The matching dryer comes in both gas and electric variants and comes with the TurboSteam feature, refreshing clothes in as few as 10 minutes. The dryer is outfitted with Sensor Dry, which means the dryer measures the moisture levels of your items and then adjusts the drying time accordingly. The dryer is also smart home and WiFi-enabled, so you can run and troubleshoot the appliance from your smartphone.
You can buy both the washer and the dryer combo from Home Depot for just under $1,800.
Best Washer/Dryer Option for Large Loads: Samsung Front Load Washer with SuperSpeed & Samsung Gas Dryer with Steam Sanitize+
This Front Load Washer with SuperSpeed option from Samsung boasts that it’s the largest capacity washer on the market. Just how large is it? Well, it can wash four baskets of laundry in a single load, allowing you to do triple the amount of laundry in a third of the time — saving time, electricity, water and money.
Other features include PowerFoam, to clean bulky items. The washer additionally comes with a self-cleaning mode and smart home functionality.
A matching 7.5 cubic foot dryer from Samsung offers sensor technologies to end a cycle when your clothes are dry, as well as a sanitizing setting. The dryer also works with an app.
Prices vary according to the finish you choose and whether or not you bundle the two appliances together. If you are looking for a large capacity option, this is the combo for you.
Best Washer/Dryer Option for Budget-Friendliness: Maytag Top Load Washing Machine with Deep Fill Option & Maytag Electric Vented Dryer with Wrinkle Control
If it’s budget-friendliness you’re after, you can get a good value out of this matching washer and dryer set from Maytag. Both are around the $500 mark from Home Depot. While this option isn’t as eco-friendly or reliable as some of the other options on this list, it will cost you the least amount of money upfront.
The Maytag washer does feature an agitator and is a top loader, so it’s going to be a little more difficult on your clothes, but if you’re not washing anything particularly, overly delicate, you may not notice. The dryer doesn’t come with any fancy features, but it does have a moisture sensor, so it’ll stop running once your clothes are dry, saving you a bit of cash on your electric bill.
Both are on the smaller size and aren’t as aesthetically appealing as some of the stainless steel or vibrantly colored options on the market, but they’ll get the job done for an agreeable price.
Best Washer/Dryer Option for Compactness: Bosch High-Efficiency Front Load Compact Washer, ENERGY STAR & Bosch Electric Condensation Compact Dryer, ENERGY STAR
Don’t sacrifice quality just because you need a small washer and dryer option. Some compact washers and dryers just don’t live up to your expectations, but that’s not the case with this set from Bosch. The washer and dryer both come with an array of features, without taking up too much space.
Both the washer and the dryer are only 23 inches wide each, making them a good fit for small laundry rooms, bathrooms or even a closet. While they can’t fit a ton of laundry, if you’re a couple or family of three, you shouldn’t have any problem using them. The set is also stackable, saving you even more room.
The Bosch washer and dryer are energy efficient and offer specialty cycles for various types of clothing, including denim and wool. The dryer plugs directly into the washer, rather than the wall, an appealing feature for some shoppers, and since it’s a condensing dryer, you won’t need to run a vent from the dryer to one of the exterior walls of your home. Make the most out of your small laundry room with this washer and dryer combo.
Best Washer/Dryer Option for Reliability: Bosch 800 Series Front Load Washer & Bosch 800 Series Compact Ventless Electric Dryer
Bosch also delivers when it comes to the best washers and dryers for reliability. If you don’t need quite the compactness of the 500 series of Bosch washers and dryers mentioned above, you can upgrade to the 800 series.
Still on the small side, the washer and dryer are stackable, but the washer can fit up to 18 towels or more than 17.5 pounds of fabric. With a fast wash time, this machine will wash clothes in as little as 15 minutes. A sanitizing setting kills bacteria with extra-hot water. The washer is also on the quiet side.
The dyer is much the same and both are made from heavy-duty materials that stand up to years of usage. Reviewers that have bought this washer-dryer set as long as five years ago or more still rave about its functions.
Best Washer/Dryer Option for Luxury: GE Front Load Washing Machine with OdorBlock UltraFresh Vent System with Sanitize and Allergen & GE Gas Vented Dryer with Steam and Sanitize Cycle, ENERGY STAR
But what if you want the crème de la crème of laundry appliances and you don’t mind paying for it? Then check out this set from GE, which comes in at $2,000 for the washer-dryer pair.
The unique and luxurious features the duo offers seem endless.
The washer boasts an UltraFresh Vent System with OdorBlock, which keeps your washer smelling fresh between washes, no need for cleaning and no worries about mold or mildew build-up.
Don’t want to switch your load of clothes from the washer to the dryer? No problem. The washer is capable of drying a small load of laundry all on its own (so long as that load is under two pounds of fabric).
The dryer is on the larger size, so don’t worry about drying your comforters or other bulky items. You’ll be able to do it with ease with this high-efficiency washer and dryer combo.
The GE set comes with the latest and greatest tech features, too, and one of the best is the Washer Link technology, which allows the washer to share setting information with the dryer, for the best outcome for your laundry.
Best Washer/Dryer Option for Energy Efficiency: Electrolux Front Load Washer with SmartBoost Technology Steam ENERGY STAR & Electrolux Dryer with Steam, Predictive Dry and Instant Refresh
Enjoy both luxury and energy efficiency with this washer-dryer set from Electrolux. The set boasts an Energy Star rating of “Most Efficient” and yet it doesn’t sacrifice quality. Expect modern features and a superior clean. Meanwhile, you can expect to only spend $6-$12 per year on electricity when you have these two appliances in your laundry room.
Stand-out features include a 15-minute fast wash cycle, a laundry detergent pod dispenser and a SmartBoost stain-fighting cycle. The dryer comes with predictive dry functionality and a steam setting and comes in both an electric and a gas variant.
Just keep in mind — for the set, you’ll be spending a pretty penny in order to use less water and save the planet: $2,440 for the set from Home Depot.
Best Washer/Dryer Option for Stacking: Whirlpool Electric Stacked Laundry Center
Lastly, if you’re looking for a totally compact, budget-friendly, already stacked washer and dryer set, go with this option from Whirlpool. With one, $1,260 purchase, you have both your washer and dryer all in one stackable unit. It’s a great option for even the tiniest of laundry closets.
Features include enough space in both for more than one basket of laundry (despite the unit’s tiny footprint), stain-fighting power and an auto-dry sensor.
Ready to Buy Your Next Washer and Dryer Set?
If you’re ready to buy your next washing machine and dryer combo and you know the functions and features that are most important to you, your next big appliance purchase is just as easy as shopping through the options above. You’ll be on your way to a more energy-efficient, fast, powerful and luxurious laundry day before you know it.
You might also be interested in: Front Load vs Top Load Washing: The Complete Guide
The Best Washer and Dryers For Families:
Best Washer/Dryer Option for Speed:
- LG Electronics High Efficiency Ultra Large Smart Front Load Washer ENERGY STAR
- LG Electronics Ultra Large Smart Stackable Front Load Dryer
Best Washer/Dryer Option for Large Loads:
Best Washer/Dryer Option for Budget-Friendliness:
- Maytag Top Load Washing Machine with Deep Fill Option
- Maytag Electric Vented Dryer with Wrinkle Control
Best Washer/Dryer Option for Compactness:
- Bosch High-Efficiency Front Load Compact Washer, ENERGY STAR
- Bosch Electric Condensation Compact Dryer, ENERGY STAR
Best Washer/Dryer Option for Reliability:
Best Washer/Dryer Option for Luxury:
- GE Front Load Washing Machine with OdorBlock UltraFresh Vent System with Sanitize and Allergen
- GE Gas Vented Dryer with Steam and Sanitize Cycle, ENERGY STAR
Best Washer/Dryer Option for Energy Efficiency:
- Electrolux Front Load Washer with SmartBoost Technology Steam ENERGY STAR
- Electrolux Dryer with Steam, Predictive Dry and Instant Refresh
Best Washer/Dryer Option for Stacking: