Which cheap washer and dryer sets are best?
As a homeowner, one of the appliances you never want to break down is your washer or dryer. For new homeowners, this can be an exhilarating purchase until they see the price tag. Buying a quality washer and dryer set without spending a couple of months of mortgage payments on it might seem impossible, but these cheap washer and dryer sets prove you can do it.
Of the economical washer and dryer sets available, the Whirlpool Stacked Washer and Electric Dryer deserve your attention. Just under 28 inches wide, this laundry center can fit most places and includes an electric dryer that shuts off when it senses your clothes are ready, saving energy and money on your electricity bill.
What to know before you buy a cheap washer and dryer set
Buying a washer and dryer set might seem simple enough, but there are a surprising number of options on the market. It all starts with understanding the types of washers and dryers available to you.
Stackable washer and dryer sets have the dryer sitting atop the washer. It reduces the amount of space your laundry machines take but requires a stacking kit. You could skip the kit and go with a laundry center, which looks similar to a stackable set in that you have one machine on top of the other. However, laundry centers are designed to be stacked already rather than being converted like a stackable set. Both of these are great for small spaces.
A portable washer and dryer is always an option and one that renters may want to note. These typically have attachments that are easy and fast to connect and fit most standard faucets. That means you don’t need direct plumbing like you would with a traditional washing machine. These are small and intended to take with you. But that means you can’t do large loads in one go.
Combination and all-in-one units are singular units. In the same footprint as a full-size washer or dryer, an all-in-one unit does both the washing and the drying. This is a reasonable option if you have a family and need a full-size machine but are still short on space. Some even run on standard voltage electricity, so you don’t need gas hookups. They do require more specific maintenance, though.
Finally, most are familiar with your standard or conventional washer and dryer set, which is the traditional two-machine setup. The machines sit side-by-side and are both full size. These require specific hookups. Before you buy any set, you should double-check which hookups are available to you.
The capacity of a washer or dryer refers to the volume of the interior drum where the clothes go. It’s always measured in cubic feet. The average for a standard-size washer or dryer is about 3-4 cubic feet. That equates to about 12-16 pounds of laundry. For larger machines, you might see capacity as high as 5 cubic feet, or the same as about 20 pounds of laundry.
If you have a family, consider how capacity impacts the long-term cost to run your washer or dryer. If it has a larger capacity, you can run fewer loads and spend less to use your machines. However, if you don’t have enough to warrant a large-capacity washer or dryer, you could spend more than you need to per load.
You must know what kind of hookups you have in your home. That will determine the type of machines you can purchase. For example, a conventional electric dryer typically needs about a 240-volt dryer outlet and a vent duct. On the other hand, a gas dryer will need less, about a 120-volt outlet, but it will also need a gas line, along with the vent duct.
Most conventional washers require plumbing specific to a washing machine. Portable washers would be the exception, usually requiring a simple standard faucet. To be safe, make sure you are completely sure of your hookups before you go shopping.
Not only do energy ratings tell you which machine is best for the planet, but they’ll also tell you which machine will be the most expensive to run. Front-load and high-efficiency washers and dryers will save the most energy, meaning they’ll also save you the most money in the long run.
An easy way to understand the energy rating is to look for the Energy Guide figures. These are yellow stickers from the U.S. Department of Energy and should be on every machine. They will give you figures that explain the approximate amount it will cost to run the machine yearly.
What to look for in a quality cheap washer and dryer set
Variable wash settings
The best washers and dryers have at least a few wash settings from which to choose. This will let you customize your wash and dry cycles to what you need, whether you’re trying to save time or money.
Newer machines feature steam functions. This is great for killing more germs on your clothes in the wash, as well as treating stains. In the dryer, it’s a highly efficient way to get rid of wrinkles in your clothes.
Another function of newer machines is Wi-Fi connectivity. This lets you connect your washer or dryer to an app on your phone so that you can monitor and track your laundry remotely. Instead of getting up and walking across the house to check if your shirt is ready for your big date, you can simply check your app.
Think about how often you use your washer and dryer. Chances are it’s at least a couple of times a week. When you multiply that out for an entire year, it’s clear why a long warranty is a highly prized feature. Most machines come with 2 to 5-year warranties. The longer, the better since repairs and replacements are expensive.
Even the machines that are keeping your clothes clean need to be cleaned themselves occasionally. The easiest way to do this is with a self-cleaning cycle. When you’re shopping around, check for the self-cleaning cycle. Without it, you’ll be climbing into your washer or dryer periodically to clean it.
No one wants their washer or dryer to be a distraction. Newer machines are getting even quieter than before. If possible, see how a machine runs before you buy it and measure the decibel output. If not, check with the manufacturer about the average decibels the machine puts out while in use.
How much you can expect to spend on a cheap washer and dryer set
For a full set, expect to pay from $1,000-$1,500. There are some lesser-quality all-in-one machines for under $1000, but you’ll likely have to spend in that range to get something that will last for a few years.
Cheap washer and dryer set FAQ
Is it cheaper to buy a washer and dryer as a set?
A. Generally, yes, it’s cheaper to buy your washer and dryer as a set. Most retailers have some kind of deal for buying a set versus a single machine. If you know where you plan to buy from, check with the retailer about upcoming deals or sales.
What is the best month to buy a washer and dryer?
A. Because most retailers are releasing new models to their sales floor, they will mark down prices on existing models of washers and dryers to make room in September and October. If you can, wait until those months, but do your homework in the weeks before to know when the retailer plans to do the mark-downs.
How long do washers and dryers last?
A. Most quality washers and dryers will last about 10 years. Manufacturers say you can expect at least that if your machines are well-cared for and well-maintained.
What are the best cheap washer and dryer sets to buy?
Top cheap washer and dryer set
Whirlpool Stacked Washer and Electric Dryer
What you need to know: Perfectly designed for tight spaces, this little workhorse is the durable, efficient laundry center that you’re seeking.
What you’ll love: Gone are the days of over-drying your clothes with the auto dry drying sensor.
What you should consider: The washer only has a 3.5 cubic feet drum and cannot handle large loads.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
Top cheap washer and dryer set for the money
What you need to know: Designed specifically for the tightest spaces, you can get the luxury of in-home laundry without losing too much space or money.
What you’ll love: This tiny laundry center includes various wash cycles to offer you customization with each load. Even better, it has an auto-loading sensing feature.
What you should consider: Odd lint catcher placement
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
Worth checking out
LG WM3998HBA Front Load Washer & Dryer Combo
What you need to know: If you’ve considered making the switch to an all-in-one combo machine, this is the affordable way to do it.
What you’ll love: Instead of switching clothes from machine to machine, you can do it all in this all-in-one washer/dryer combo. And there are multiple washing modes like Bright Whites and Towels.
What you should consider: This washer and dryer can’t be vented.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Kasey Van Dyke writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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