Stackable Washer and Dryer Buyer’s Guide
You may have seen the coin operated washer and dryer at your local Laundromat and have been inspired by the space-saving possibilities of a stackable washer and dryer. You may be itching to ditch your old, clunky washing machine and want to treat yourself to a stackable washer and dryer. You may need that extra space occupied by that second hand washer and dryer you bought for reasons you can no longer remember. Whatever your reason might be, a stackable washer and dryer is a good option that saves on space but does not skimp on capacity. First things first: Consumers tend to confuse the stackable washer and dryer and the laundry center. If you want a separate washer and dryer that you have the option to stack one on top of the other, then you are looking for a stackable washer and dryer. The stacked washer and dryer can be un-stacked; the laundry center cannot. If you want a single appliance that has two separate but connected units, then you are looking for a laundry center. This buyer’s guide refers to the stackable washer and dryer.
Look for the Label, “Stackable”
In theory, you can stack any washer and dryer if both units have similar dimensions. However, not all washers and dryers can be stacked safely. Ensure that the washer and dryer you are purchasing are labeled, “stackable.” The unit that goes below — typically the washer — should have a flat surface and front controls. It goes without saying that the washer and dryer, or at least the unit that goes below, should have a front load design. Though this imposes a limit on your options somewhat, don’t lose heart because front load washers are reputed to be water and energy-efficient.
Ensure that you, or whoever else in your home is going to use the stackable washer and dryer on a regular basis, can comfortably do laundry. You can’t really stack those big, heavy-duty commercial washer and dryer models without using a tall step ladder. The average full-size washer and dryer are 40” in height. Stacked together, your stackable washer and dryer would be 80” tall. This can, of course, be remedied by using a step ladder, but can be tedious if you have lots of laundry to do on a regular basis.
Front load design and front controls aside, pick a stackable washer and dryer that fit your washing needs best. Don’t be dazzled by the many — sometimes too many — high-tech features that new washers and dryers are crammed with these days. Just buy what you need. For instance, are you tired of your old washing machine that can’t seem to get the stains out of that table cloth your mom gave you as a gift? If yes, then you might want to consider a washer that has a steam cycle option which can remove stubborn stains. Evaluate your needs with care.
You’ve found a great stackable washer and dryer. You have the height for doing your weekly laundry without getting a stiff neck. They look so spiffy stacked together that you can’t wait to do your laundry; but if your home electric installation system isn’t compatible with your stackable washer and dryer, then you might have to return them to the store and pay another round of shipping fees. Of course, you won’t have to, and you can just install the appropriate electric system. You can avoid this by checking that the stackable washer and dryer model you have your heart set on is compatible to your existing home electric installations.
Spend time reading independent reviews of laundry appliances to get an idea of which brands and models have a good reputation for performance, reliability, customer satisfaction, and so on. This should give you an indication of which brands and models to go for and which ones to avoid. They sometimes also include the prices of the units they review and the dimensions, which are both good information to have. A stackable washer and dryer is a good choice for those who don’t have the space for two full-sized machines. However, you may have to pay for that space with the ergonomic deficiencies of having a stacked washer and dryer. If you can live with this, then go for a stackable washer and dryer.