Whether you’re looking for convenience or downsizing the laundry to one machine, here are the best washer dryer combos to consider and advice on what to look for.
While they might not be as prolific at shops as single washing or drying machines, washing and dryer combos remain a populated segment and for good reason: they are very convenient for those that want a machine that can both wash and dry without lifting a finger.
Here you’ll find options including those with large capacities for a family and that can be operated with a wifi app. If you’re not sure where to start, the jargon-free guide is an invaluable primer.
How to buy the best washer-dryer combo
When should I consider a washer-dryer?
Most people opt for a washer-dryer because they simply don’t have enough space for two separate 60cm appliances side by side.
In some cases, you may be able to stack a standalone tumble dryer above a washing machine – but you’ll need a strong, rigid shelving system. You certainly shouldn’t put a dryer directly on top of a washing machine, for (hopefully) obvious safety reasons.
Energy ratings explained
A machine that’s cheaper to run could save you money in the long run, even if it’s more expensive to buy.
All of the machines reviewed below enjoy an energy rating above 3.5-stars, most are 4 or 4.5-stars – it’s the cheaper units that tend to be less efficient.
Are washer dryers as efficient as a separate washing machine and dryer?
Not always. The big issue is drum capacity: typically, a washer dryer will have a lower capacity for drying than for washing. For example, a machine may have a washing capacity of 9kg, but a drying capacity of only 6kg. This means that you can’t wash and dry a full 9kg of laundry in one go. You’ll have to divide it into two smaller loads – or wash it all, then hang some of the clothes to dry elsewhere while the rest goes through the drying process.
Clearly, choosing a higher-capacity machine makes life easier. And this doesn’t impact the dimensions of the machine, since they’re all a standard 60cm wide. However, a larger-capacity machine will normally be more expensive to buy and run.
Remember that a washer dryer is a more complicated bit of machinery than a dedicated washer or dryer – and, if it does break down, both washing and drying will be out of the question until you get it fixed.
What special features should I look for?
Generally speaking, the more you spend, the more reliable the appliance. However, more expensive models also offer better features, such as specific wash and dry cycles for woollens and delicates.
Another benefit is greater washing and drying capacities. If you’re a family of four living with limited means of drying clothes outdoors, a high-capacity model will be a godsend. Even if you do have outdoor space, remember that outdoor drying is anything but practical during winter months in many locations – while hanging a load of damp clothing in the bathroom will take ages to dry, and lead to condensation on the walls and windows.
All of the washer dryers in this roundup use condensing for the drying process. This means that moisture from the clothes is collected into a removable tank that must be regularly emptied by hand – usually after every drying cycle.
Is the drying sequence as efficient as a standalone clothes dryer?
The short answer is no. Generally, the dryer component in a washer-dryer combo can only dry around half the capacity of the washer, so it’s important to note that it could take longer than you think to dry your clothes, while also using much more energy than a standalone dryer.
Some dryers can use more water in the drying cycle than they do for washing – up to 58 litres for some machines – because the dryer’s condenser mechanism uses water from the tap for cooling. So, be sure to do your research and look into the machine’s specifications if you’re worried about time and energy consumption.
Are there any top tips for installing a washer-dryer?
Make sure the machine is installed perfectly level (every machine has easily adjustable individual rubber feet) on a firm, well-supported surface, or it will rattle about in use – especially when fully loaded. The vibrations caused by poor installation and levelling can be damaging in the long term, not only to the machine but to your walls and flooring.
The best washer dryer combos to buy
AEG 10kg/6kg: Best high-end washer dryer for large families
Price: $2999 | Buy now from Harvey Norman
This handsome Woolmark Blue-rated washer dryer from AEG has garnered a swathe of extremely positive user reviews.
So, what’s so special about it? For starters, it’s got a bank of sensors that weigh the contents of the large drum (10kg wash; 6kg dry) before adjusting water and energy use accordingly. Then there’s a feature called OKOMix that thoroughly mixes the detergent and softeners with water prior to the solution entering the drum. Apparently, this ensures that your clothes receive “an unprecedented clean and the most even dry”. DualSense technology, meanwhile, adjusts both the temperature and the motion of the drum during the drying sequence, ensuring that even mixed fabrics are washed and dried evenly.
This machine also sports a steam-infused easy iron cycle for reduced ironing and a cooling-down phase during the washing cycle so that your delicates don’t shrink. And, if you select the OKOPower NonStop programme, it will wash and dry a 5kg load in about four hours. The L8WEC166R also uses far less water than the majority of other washer dryers so, given time, it should save a substantial amount of money on water bills.
Granted, the woollens programme takes a long time to complete and the touch control pad can be a bit temperamental. But on the whole, users rate it highly for its elegant looks, ease of use, ultra-fast 1600rpm spin speed and for its top-level performance and overall quietness – and who are we to disagree?
Key specs – Style: Freestanding; Capacity: 10kg (wash), 6kg (dry); Dryer type: Condenser; Max spin speed: 1600rpm; Energy rating: 5-star
Kogan 10kg/6kg: Best value for large families
Price: $899.99| Buy now from Kogan
The Kogan 10kg combo comes highly regarded by Kogan website users who rate its generous 10kg wet load capacity, 15 different wash programs, and extra-large drum portal.
It also touts 4-star energy and water ratings, 20-95-degree Celcius wash temps, automatic balancing system and door lock function.
If you’re in the market for a well-rated, mid-priced washer dryer that comes with a two-year guarantee, make this attractive looking energy-efficient model one of your first ports of call.
Key specs – Style: Freestanding; Capacity: 8kg (wash), 4kg (dry); Dryer type: Condenser; Max spin speed: TBA; Energy rating: 4-star
Miele 7kg/4kg: Best durability
Price: $3799 | Buy now from The Good Guys
Miele has a cracking reputation – the price of its products is more than outweighed by the quality of the German manufacturer’s components and manufacturing.
For instance, while most washer dryer manufacturers incorporate a degradable concrete counter-weight to prevent unwanted movement during the spin cycle, Miele’s models use durable cast iron. Miele’s drum bearings are also much larger and more easily serviceable.
Design flourishes are everywhere, from the QuickPower programme that washes and dries up to 4kg of laundry in less than three hours to the pre-dry Thermo Spin mode that tumbles your clothing in a plume of hot air. Meanwhile, the SteamCare option promises to reduce ironing by up to 50%. You can also add Miele’s patented honeycomb drum for gentler cycles that remove fluff automatically.
The Miele standard warranty covers the first two years, but anecdotally it’s common for the company’s appliances to run trouble-free for a decade or more. And if something does go wrong, you’ll won’t wait long for Miele’s engineer to show up and fix the problem.
If quality is your key concern and you’re happy to pay for it, this washer dryer is a top buy.
Key specs – Style: Freestanding; Capacity: 7kg (wash), 4kg (dry); Dryer type: Condenser; Max spin speed: 1600rpm; Energy rating: 4-star
Bosch 8kg/4.5kg: Quiet washer dryer
Price: $1399 | Buy now from The Good Guys
This mid-priced washer dryer has received high praise by users who rate its easy-to-use interface, wealth of wash and dry programmes and top performance at both washing and drying. This model also features a spin speed of 1400rpm and an 4.5-star WELS water efficiency rating.
The WVG28420AU is equipped with an 8kg drum, though this capacity is reduced to 4.5kgs for the drying sequence – the norm for most washer dryers. Yes, you could ignore the manufacturer’s advice and attempt to dry all seven kilos at once but chances are the drum will be so cramped that the clothes will dry very unevenly and come out with more creases than a corrugated roof.
You get 16 wash and dry programmes with this machine – from cottons and synthetics to woollens and delicates – plus a Super 15 short wash for those in a rush. The interface is extremely intuitive; indeed, it’s one of the easiest we’ve ever come across. Simply turn the dial to your preferred cycle and, if required, adjust its temperature and spin speed using the touch control panel to its right. The machine will trundle through the washing process before automatically engaging the drying sequence, and best of all its quiet.
Key specs – Style: Freestanding; Capacity: 8kg (wash), 4.5kg (dry); Dryer type: Condenser; Max spin speed: 1400rpm; Energy rating: 4-star
LG 9kg/5kg: Tech-savvy washer dryer
Price: $1189 | Buy now from The Good Guys
This smart washer-dryer from LG has received high praise by users who rate its easy-to-use interface, capacity, mix of programmes and top performance at both washing and drying. It also has a wifi app so you can turn it on from bed.
The WVC5-1409W is equipped with a 9kg drum, though this capacity is reduced to 5kgs for the drying sequence, but those figures are on the larger side for a washer-dryer combo.
You get 14 wash and dry programmes with this machine – from cottons and synthetics to woollens and delicates –and LG says it uses AI (artificial intelligence) to help ensure care when washing clothes. The six motion wash technology is another unique feature to the LG.
This is certainly a tech-loaded option with large capacity at a competitive price point.
Key specs – Style: Freestanding; Capacity: 9kg (wash), 5kg (dry) Dryer type: Condenser; Max spin speed: 1400rpm; Energy rating: 4.5-star
Seiki 7kg/3.5kg: Cheap washer-dryer combo
Price: $745 | Buy now from Appliances Online
With a 7kg maximum washing capacity and 3.5kg maximum drying capacity, this is a smaller-size washer-dryer combo. But it is one of the most affordable options and we’d consider the Kogan 9kg model on the list too.
The spin speed at 1400rpm is good, though users have said that the manual is poorly written and the controls can be fiddly to use, with a longer wash and dry cycle than more expensive units. But if you’ve got patience, this is a solid budget buy – bearing in mind the 3.5-star efficiency is the lowest of this lot of options.
Key specs – Style: Freestanding; Capacity: 7kg (wash), 6kg (dry); Dryer type: Condenser; Max spin speed: 1400rpm; Energy rating: 3.5-star