Homeowners looking to buy a new washer and dryer set have plenty to consider and maybe wonder whether they have the space for side-by-side washers and electric dryers, or if they should instead choose a more energy efficient, energy star certified, stackable washer and dryer for their laundry centers.
Besides saving space, there are pros and cons to each type of laundry appliance, and it is important to consider these before making the decision about which model to purchase.
Let’s start with the cons of having a stackable washer and dryer combo in the home:
- Stackable washers and dryers may have a smaller load capacity than top-loading machines. A top-load washer will have a drum that measures approximately 3 to 4 cubic feet, while a more compact front-load stackable unit is more likely to only have 2.5 cubic feet of room inside. This is not always true as stackable laundry machines come in various shapes and sizes, but it is something to look for when shopping.
- They may be more expensive than traditional side-by-side models, especially if they are smart appliances with wifi capability and app control washing options and features. This is an investment in your home, as the energy saved over time may save you money, but the initial price may cause a bit of sticker shock.
- If you are a shorter person, they may be too tall when stacked, making it difficult to reach the dryer controls or that last sock in the dryer. This is easily solved with a nearby step stool, but some may find it inconvenient.
- Most side loading or front loading washers will not allow you to open the door once the wash cycle has started, so if you missed a t-shirt, it may have to wait until the next laundry load.
- They may require more maintenance than a traditional top-load washer set would, as there are spots like the rubber door gasket where mold likes to build up if not allowed sufficient drying times.
The Pros of having a Stackable Laundry Appliance Set in the Home over Side-by Side units include:
- Top loading stackable washers are more energy and water efficient, using less water and energy, as they do not fill an entire drum during a wash cycle like their larger, top-loading counterparts. Many are energy-star certified, guaranteeing more efficient washing and quiet operation.
- They are easier on your clothes. Rather than using an agitator to move your clothes around a drum, they use a tumbling motion.
- You can see directly into the dryer as you dry clothes, as it will be at the average person’s head-height.
- Your clothes get exceptionally clean from energy efficient side/front-load washing machines than top load washers, although it may take longer in the machine as it is a gentle wash with more precise soap, fabric softener, and water distribution.
- They are front-load and have been designed to fit into a smaller space when stacked on top of one another, allowing them to be used in apartments and other tighter accommodations. Those who need to reserve room for storage over laundry space can benefit from such a space saving layout.
- The small size and flexible design allow them to be easily moved about the area if you like to rearrange your home, and compact stackable appliances will easily fit into a closet or otherwise be hidden from view. People without a designated laundry room will appreciate the ability to close a closet door and have the frontload washer and dryer easily obscured.
- They require less bending and twisting when moving wet clothes into the dryer, allowing those with mobility difficulties a bit of relief from back pain.
Overall, it is a personal choice whether you would prefer a freestanding washer dryer set, as it is a choice whether you prefer a stacked laundry center with a compact washer and dryer, traditional laundry appliances or smart washers, electric dryers or heat pump dryers, or whether you prefer an ivory or black set in your laundry room.
Always be sure to check the product specs of your laundry appliances before purchasing. Every consumer has unique needs and preferences, and only you will know what type of laundry set up will work best for your clothes-cleaning and stain-removal needs.