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Published Sep 11, 2023 10:55 AM
In-home laundry can feel like a real luxury, and for people without tons of space, a stackable washer-dryer set can make it a reality. Where once the only stackable washer-dryer set we could conjure was the barebones economy model found tucked away in tight closets within the confines of apartments and condos, many manufacturers have embraced the logic of stacking washers and dryers. The best stackable washer-dryers provide all the creature comforts that come with high-end appliances without eating up precious square feet.
How we chose the best stackable washer-dryer sets
There are washer and dryer pairs, and then there are stackable washer-dryer sets. The distinction is whether or not they handle stacking and if that requires additional hardware. While the selection of advertised stackable washer/dryers has expanded over the years, they are still mostly standalone washers and dryers simply paired together. Choosing the best in any category comes down to visible differences in features, such as capacity, connectivity, and cost.
We looked at all the available features, whether the set is intended for stacking or simply sold as a pair, and overall customer ratings and reviews. In the end, we all have laundry to do, and it’s even better if we can save space when doing it. This list includes both stand-alone models that stack and all-in-one solutions that are easier to install but can be more difficult to maintain or repair if they break.
The best stackable washer-dryer sets: Reviews & Recommendations
Stackable washers and dryers are constructed in a way that doesn’t only match them but enables physical stacking. You can’t just stack any old washer and dryer, as they can weigh hundreds of pounds and aren’t made to support that kind of weight. So, if you have limited space or want to save space, a stackable set is the way to go. These sets exemplify the best features, aesthetics, and pure functionality stackable washer-dryer sets offer, so you can feel confident in your purchase.
Best overall: Maytag Front-Load Washer and Dryer MHW6630HC
Why it made the cut: Maytag is one of the most recognizable and reliable brands on the market today, and this washer/dryer set is no exception.
- Dryer capacity: 7.3 Cu. Ft.
- Washer capacity: 4.8 Cu. Ft.
- Fuel types: Electric, Gas
- Control type: Digital, Knob
- Runs quiet
- Washer keeps clothes fresh
- Multiple temp settings
- Dryer boost button
- Dryer interior susceptible to denting
- High vibration on dryer
The Maytag MAWADREW66303 washer-dryer set contains two 27-inch units packed with handy features. The washer features 13 cycle selections with a Fresh Hold option to prevent clothes left in the washer from getting disgusting. This option is handy if you’ve ever forgotten you were doing laundry, distracted by every other household chore. It keeps clothes fresh with an internal fan and intermittent tumbling for up to 16 hours. Though, if you have neglected the laundry for that long, it may be time for a break. There’s also a Steam for Stains option, which sounds like some obscure charity, but it’s designed to nuke pesky stains with optimal water temperature and a boost of steam (think the steam cleaners that do wonders on carpets and drapes, but far more gentle).
Then, once your clothes make it to the dryer, you’ll be met with an advanced moisture sensor that monitors moisture levels and air temperatures to dry even the bulkiest load of laundry. Yes, that means that heavy quilt intertwined with a bottom sheet will dry. This is a high-capacity dryer, so you don’t have to dry those quilts one at a time. It can handle it. Though, check your pockets and be careful drying your steel toe boots as the interior lining isn’t necessarily fragile, but certainly dent-able. Overall, the Maytag MAWADREW66303 washer-dryer set is one of the most well-reviewed on the market from a brand that has a sterling reputation for customer care and maintenance.
Best budget: GE Electric Stacked Laundry Center
Why it made the cut: Every list requires a dependable, entry-level item, and this workhorse of a combination washer/dryer is it.
- Dryer capacity: 5.9 cu. ft.
- Washer capacity: 3.8 cu. ft.
- Fuel types: Electric
- Control type: Knob
- Usually on sale
- Fits in smaller spaces
- Reliable, physical knobs
- Connected unit complicates repairs
- No gas hookup for dryer
The familiarity of the GE GUD27ESSMWW sits heavy for all former or current apartment dwellers. We’ve used this laundry center before. We’ve dragged our textiles from the moderately sized top-load washer into the front-load dryer stacked above it. We’ve struggled to ensure the dryer exhaust is long enough to reach without interfering with the water hookups. We’ve heard this bad boy of functional laundry rattle and shake with heavy loads but still handle them with industrial-strength washing. Despite its quirks, this is a stackable washer-dryer set that will survive the apocalypse, and that plays a huge part in choosing a budget-friendly appliance.
Part of the reason these things are preferred by corporations running multi-unit buildings is the price; the other is the longevity. This is a laundry center that holds its course and refuses to break down. Sure, a knob might snap off, or you may replace a belt over time, but that’s about it. Plus, they aren’t shabby in the washing and drying department. With 11 wash cycles, auto-load sensing for water levels, and automatic dry control, the GE GUD27ESSMWW stands as one of the classics of washer/dryer sets in strength and functionality.
Best luxury: Bespoke Ultra Capacity AI Front Load Washer and Electric Dryer
Why it made the cut: The Samsung BESPOKE line of appliances stands out for its technology, features, and aesthetic.
- Dryer capacity: 7.6 cu. ft.
- Washer capacity: 5.3 cu. ft.
- Fuel types: Electric, gas
- Control type: Touch controls
- WiFi connectivity
- Internal lighting
- AI smart dial
- Doesn’t come in white
The Samsung BESPOKE SAWADRET89003 is part of the Samsung BESPOKE appliance line, which centers around elegant design—and that doesn’t include a typical white finish. Rather, you can choose between green, navy, and silver. From the get, this is a fancy stackable washer-dryer set. It’s packed with features, including AI smart dials that not only make for a compact and succinct control panel but that memorize and learn your favorite cycles, adding some expediency to your laundry efforts. Pair that with the SmartThings App on your phone to start and schedule wash or dry cycles, and this connected machine will help you forget what your laundry room looks like. Well, except when you have to go in there to load the clothes.
And if you’re looking for sensors, the dryer half of this set has you covered. A vent sensor checks the status of the dryer’s air duct, while an interior sensor ensures clothes are dry before pinging your iPhone with a notification. Both units have Super Speed options, and a MultiControl function allows dryer control from your washer, assuming you have the Bespoke Stacking & MultiControl Combo Kit (sold separately). It’s highly suggested you purchase an extended warranty with this set as if something breaks, it will require some high-tech troubleshooting. But if you are looking for luxury without sacrificing pure laundry experience, the Samsung BESPOKE SAWADRET89003 is the stackable washer-dryer set you are looking for.
Best for smart home: GE GEWADREW5503
Why it made the cut: There aren’t as many WiFi-enabled washers and dryers on the market as you’d think, but this set from GE meets both technology and price requirements.
- Dryer capacity: 7.8 cu. ft.
- Washer capacity: 4.8 cu. ft.
- Fuel types: Electric, gas
- Control type: Digital, knob
- 28-inch openings (1-inch higher than standard)
- WiFi connectivity
- Reversible doors
- Requires a stacking kit
- Lint catcher can clog
- Low volume ding
The GE GEWADREW5503 makes for a great addition to all the apps on your phone that control your devices. First, it is generally priced under $2,000. Second, and most importantly, you can control most operations—including starting, stopping, and monitoring your laundry runs—through a companion app. It also provides real-time notifications and updates if you love getting updates about your laundry. Chances are, if you have a WiFi-enabled smart home, your life isn’t complete without a constant dinging from your appliances.
As for features, the dryer has built-in dual thermistor technology. This monitors temperature and moistness, so your textiles come out fresh and dry rather than damp and wrinkled. Both doors are reversible, in case you want to stack these units in a corner, and Dynamic Balancing Technology Quiet Control keeps everything balanced during the wash cycle, so you don’t scare the cats as they tiptoe to the litter box. Both units are controlled with a large selection knob, which makes for quick and less-complicated operation. The only real downsides to the GE GEWADREW5503 set are that it requires a stacking kit (purchased separately) and the pre-set volume is a bit low.
Best small capacity: Whirlpool 1.6 cu.ft Electric Stacked Laundry Center
Why it made the cut: Even stacked, the footprint of this unit is minimal but has just enough features to be worth it.
- Dryer capacity: 3.4 cu. ft.
- Washer capacity: 1.6 cu. ft.
- Fuel types: Electric
- Control type: Knob, buttons
- Perfect for small spaces
- Easy to use
- Can be noisy
- Dryer door can be hard to open
- Limited settings
Similar to the GE GUD27ESSMWW, the Whirlpool WET4024HW is the old-school stacked washer-dryer you know and love. Before manufacturers started stacking full-size washers and dryers, this was a very familiar setup. The difference here is the Whirlpool is mighty small on the inside, so it’s really best for single people living a simple life with very little laundry to do on a daily basis. It’s easy to use, with simple buttons and a dryer knob, so there are not too many features to worry about programming. You wash your stuff in it, that’s about it. Though, it can be a bit noisy without auto-balancing features.
There is a nice glass lid on the washer, a rarity with these types of units. Six wash cycles, fabric softener dispenser, four dryer cycles, and a remaining time display remind you of a simpler day when washers and dryers weren’t as complex. With no touch controls, no WiFi connectivity, and no sensors, it limits the possibly of having to repair those things. Instead, you have a small-capacity washer and dryer that meets your direct laundry needs. Whether those needs are washing three dusty T-Swift concert t-shirts at a time or just your cat sweaters, the Whirlpool WET4024HW keeps your compact life simple, one load at a time.
Best large capacity: LG Single Unit Front Load LG WashTower
Why it made the cut: While many dryers meet large capacity specifications of over 7 cubic feet, this one touches the rare air of a 5 cubic feet of washer capacity.
- Dryer capacity: 7.4 cu. ft.
- Washer capacity: 5.0 cu. ft
- Fuel types: Electric, gas
- Control type: Touchpad
- Large capacity washer
- Center control panel
- Very quiet
If not for the near $2,000 sticker price, the LG WKEX300HBA would have easily been the best overall stackable washer/dryer set on this list. From its LoDecibel quiet operation, LG ThinQ WiFi connectivity, NeverRust stainless steel tub, and duct and lint filter indicators, this is a modern washtower that puts most other units to shame. LG never skimps on the feature creep, adding an anti-vibration system, tempered glass doors, automatic detergent dispenser, and a built-in sensor system that ensures every wash and dry is performed to the peak of available specifications. This is a single unit designed machine that washes 0.2 cubic feet more laundry than most units.
That’s one standout feature: the extra space in the washer. The dryer is in line with most stacked dryers, with a bit more than 7 cubic feet of space. Why washer and dryer sets don’t have the same interior space is a mystery, but stuff it in; this thing can handle it. The other awesome feature is the central control panel. Instead of separate controls for the washer and dryer, there is one single LCD panel that keeps itself hidden until you press the power button. So, no more reaching tall to control the dryer. Between the larger capacity, the multitude of features, and the central control panel, the LG WKEX300HBA is a perfect solution to your large-family laundry needs.
When shopping for a stackable washer-dryer set, you’re most likely concerned with saving space. While the stack can reach over 7 feet, the floor space is half of what it would be with two separate units. While that’s the qualification that leads you to stackable units, once you get into that category, you’ll want to start getting a bit more specific. Before purchasing, you’ll consider your budget, whether or not the units require additional hardware for stacking, their overall capacity, and that ever-important warranty.
Since stackable washer/dryer sets are two units instead of one, the price is generally twice that of a single unit. However, there are plenty of deals out there. Something is always on sale, and the discernible differences are usually small enough that you can easily go with the sale item. But do your research and read customer reviews before buying, just in case the one on sale is a lemon. Overall, these units can range from $1,200 to close to $3,000.
Many units require additional hardware, purchased separately, for stacking. These hardware packages help distribute the weight and effectively stabilize the top unit. Unless you want your dryer constantly tipping off the washer onto the floor, you’ll need the appropriate hardware. However, some stacked units have it already built in. For instance, the LG WKEX300HBA is a single unit requiring no additional hardware.
Aside from price, capacity is a needs-meeting specification. You may only need a small-capacity unit if you have a small home with few occupants. You’ll need a high-capacity unit if you have six kids, three cats, a dog, and four chickens. Washers generally hold between three and five cubic feet of laundry, while dryers usually start at seven. While that can be difficult to visualize, it’s the difference between a full laundry hamper and a full laundry basket with all your bed sheets tacked on.
There might be some eye-rolling when talking about a warranty, as every tech item sold online or in-store offers an additional warranty. Most of them aren’t worth the item being purchased, but with a washer and dryer, you are going to need it. Washers and dryers are notoriously difficult to repair, whether it is a belt in the wash drum or the electronics in a control panel. Different manufacturers offer different lengths and service-level warranties, so pay attention during purchase to ensure you get the best long-term service deal possible.
Q: Can’t I just stack any dryer and washer?
Theoretically, sure, but not if you want to use them. Many models of washers and dryers have molded tops or structures that wouldn’t support the weight of a unit on top. When purchasing, you’ll want to ensure that the pair you are buying is absolutely stackable, and that may mean picking up an additional hardware set to enable stacking.
Q: Which one goes on top? The washer or dryer?
Since washers are usually about 100 lbs heavier than dryers and stuffed with wet laundry, they are almost always the bottom unit. The top unit then is the less heavy, full of warm clothes dryer. Additionally, it’s much easier to extend the dryer vent hose than it is to extend the water hookups.
Q: How tall is a stackable washer/dryer set?
Most stackable washers and dryers fall between 74 and 78 inches. That’s a bit over 6 feet tall. This does create more floor space in the laundry room for storage or shelves but does necessitate the use of a stool to control the dryer if you aren’t tall enough (or you make the kids do their own laundry). When purchasing, you’ll want to ensure you not only have the headroom for the stack but room between the stack and the wall for all the hoses and plugs.
Final thoughts on the best stackable washer/dryer sets
The way we do laundry continues to change. We quickly went from side-by-side washers and dryers to stackable washers and dryers with similar functionality, not limited to apartment laundry centers. The next iteration will be combined washers and dryers, which are already hitting the market (though quite expensive). Doing laundry, washing and drying our towels, t-shirts, and pants is a chore. But that doesn’t mean we can’t purchase the technology to lessen the impact of that chore and, in this case, limit the floor space it takes up.
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