The best washer dryer you can get is ideal if you don’t have the time or space or inclination to hang clothes up or room for separate washing and drying machines in your home.
Fitting one of the best washer dryers means you can literally halve the room that would be taken up by having both one of the best tumble dryers and best washing machines in your utility room or kitchen. For those who are fabric-rich but space-poor, they're among the greatest inventions ever, in fact.
Here, we've whittled down the market and picked a tranche of great washer dryers you should definitely consider, all of which offer innovative cleaning technology and a big, hot, rotating drum.
What is the best washer dryer 2021?
So what's the best washer dryer? For our money, the top washer dryer choice is the Bosch WDU28560GB closely followed by the AEG 7000 Series L7WEE965R. Similarly, the spiffing John Lewis & Partners JLWD1614 model is fab bit of kit that’s hugely popular with UK users.
For larger families who can’t afford to spend more than £500, there's the Beko Ultrafast WDEX854044Q0G, which sports a large 8kg wash/5kg dry capacity. But if you simply must have the best and money is no object then the extraordinarily pricey but undeniably splendid Miele WTF121WPM is the way to go.
The best washer dryers to buy today
If you regularly have piles of washing to get through then the generous 10kg capacity of the Bosch WDU28560GB makes it a great place to start. This is a washer dryer with a premium price tag, but you do get a lot for your money. Along with the capacious drum capacity, the Bosch offers up a mean drying experience, being able to handle 6kg of laundry.
Before you get to that point though, there are lots of highlights on the washing front. The Bosch WDU28560GB comes packed with great features and excels at removing ingrained dirt from both cotton and synthetics. It’s actually got no less than 22 different pre-set washing and drying programs, which is very impressive.
We’re keen on the delicate and hand wash cycles, but there’s a super handy quick wash option, too. Another area where this machine impresses is when it’s spinning your laundry; it does a grand job right up to its maximum of 1,400rpm.
Other highlights? Well, the child lock is a boon if you’ve got a family and your white goods tend to attract unwanted interest from the little ones. The display panel is informative and nicely laid out too. That said, if you’re digging deep into the feature set then consulting the manual is advised. That child lock also stops the kids messing with your settings while the machine is doing its thing, by the way.
The Bosch WDU28560GB comes with a high-ish price tag but it pretty much ticks all the boxes. Recommended.
For larger families with space restraints, this elegant looking Germanic machine will wash and dry up to 6kg of laundry in one go or 9kg worth if only using the wash sequence.
From a tech point of view, it’s very well endowed indeed. For instance, ProSense technology automatically weighs the amount of laundry in the drum and adjusts the cycle time accordingly for both washing and drying (it even tells you how much detergent to use) while DualSense customises drum motion and internal temperature to ensure both delicates and non-delicates can be washed and dried at the same time.
The AEG 7000 Series comes with the usual gamut of programs – cotton, synthetic, delicates, easy iron – plus an excellent wool wash cycle that performs a gentle cool-down process at the end of the sequence, ensuring that your favourite Brunello Cucinelli cashmere sweater doesn’t shrink to the size of your daughter’s teddy bear. The NonStop 60-minute wash and dry program is another major plus and just the ticket for the busy bod in a rush. And if you just want to freshen up a shirt before heading out, simply select the steam programme.
This machine has a higher-than-average 1,600rpm spin speed that ensures laundry is just the right side of damp for the tumble sequence. It’s also freakishly quiet throughout the entire process, spin included.
The previous model of this – artfully named JLWD1614 – was excellent, and garnered a Which? Best Buy, but this revision really classes up the appearance
This mid-priced John Lewis & Partners model has a raft of positive reviews from its owners, who tell us that it cleans and dries well for its price. Word on the vine is that it’s manufactured by AEG and they don’t come much more reputable than that.
The A-rated JL comes equipped with a solid 8kg drum for washing and 4kg for drying – more than enough capacity for a couple with a trio of grubby sprogs in tow – and 17 different wash and dry programmes, including woollens, cold wash, a quick 20-minute wash, a steam cycle for mixed wools/synthetics and a faster-than-normal 1,600rpm spin speed.
This budget-priced freestanding washer dryer has a large 8kg drum and will wash and dry five kilos of laundry in about three hours or one kilo in 60 minutes – not too shabby. The Beko Ultrafast WDEX854044Q0G comes with all the prerequisite wash and dry programs (15 in all), including cottons, anti-allergy, synthetics, down wear, woollens and hand wash. Its maximum 1,400rpm spin speed is perfectly ample for wringing moisture out of most clothing though you may need to run another spin cycle if loaded with heavier fabrics – this is pretty much the norm with some models.
Just because this machine’s at the cheaper end doesn’t mean it skimps on features. Its control panel looks smart and is easy to negotiate though some users have reported that the touch-operated option screen feels a bit flimsy and doesn’t always respond to finger taps. On the plus side, the machine comes with a quiet brushless inverter motor for extra durability and lower energy bills, plus a bank of sensors for measuring load weight and moisture levels.
If budget is of prime concern, then consider giving this popular Turkish model some of your attention. Available in white and graphite.
The John Lewis JLWD1615 is a beefier incarnation of its popular earlier model, the JLWD1614 reviewed above. Improvements and modifications are easy to spot, as the machine boasts a sizeable 10kg wash and 6kg drying capacities thanks to its cavernous drum, plus there’s a chunky 1,600rpm spin speed. Adding to the appeal is its inverter motor, which delivers smooth and silent (well, quiet anyway) operation.
The freestanding washer and condenser drying combination therefore has solid foundations for getting your clothes clean, and dry. On top of that there are 15 different programmes to choose from. These, if you have a diverse clothes collection, are nicely spread across the cleaning spectrum, with the Delicates and Wool options proving ideal for our less robust jumpers and suchlike.
All of the programme options can be selected from the top panel and, in fact, the John Lewis JLWD1615 is refreshingly easy to set up and use. You can see what’s going on from the LCD panel too, so in terms of day-to-day usage this one seems very straightforward, just like its predecessor.
We’re also pleased that the JLWD1615 has a delay start option, meaning of course that you can use the machine during off peak energy hours. That’ll shave a little off the operating costs over time.
There’s also a final cool tumble in the drying department so that your clothes are ready for retrieval in a refreshingly decent, low crease condition. This machine comes with an A rating in the energy efficiency ratings, so all in all it represents a top package.
One especially handy function with this machine is that you can stop it during the washing sequence to insert the polka dot thong you suddenly discovered buried at the bottom of the laundry basket.
The iQ500 has a washing capacity of 7kgs and a drying capacity of 4kgs and that’s good for enough for a family of three or four. Also, because it’s equipped with a silent iQdrive brushless motor, it’s as quiet as a church mouse, making it an ideal option for location in a kitchen or other living area.
However, for best results do make sure the machine is installed perfectly level on a hard surface or it’ll just rattle about during the start and end of each spin cycle. This not only makes a racket but it’s not very good for the machine nor, for that matter, the plaster on your walls.
The fairly straightforward dial and touch-control panel provides access to myriads of programs, including mixed fabrics, shirts, wools, delicates and silk, even a textile guard re-proofing programme that carefully treats outdoor gear. The Rapid 15 and Wash&Dry 60 cycles are useful for lightly soiled shirts and underwear.
The iQ500 spins at 1,500rpm – ample for all but the heaviest of fabrics like denim and linen.
Miele’s cut back on washer dryer models which is hardly surprising given that its wealthy clientele base is far more likely to opt for a separate washing machine and dryer combo. But if you live in a swish Canary Wharf pad with not much space to swing a cat then Miele’s still the brand with the most kudos. The German company is renowned for designing and building exceptionally dependable domestic appliances that just keep on running and this excellent but frightfully expensive model is a case in point.
With a combined wash ’n’ dry drum capacity of just 5kg, the Miele WTF121WPM is on the small size for the price, but then you do get a feature-filled package for your hard earned. On the washing side it has Miele’s proprietary honeycomb drum which makes laundry glide over the surface on a thin film of water. When the wash is complete, it enters Thermospin mode where a combination of hot air and gentle tumbling prepares the clothing for the actual drying cycle. It also comes with CapDosing – portioned Miele-branded capsules for fuss-free addition of detergent, fabric softener and other additives.
Regarding wash and dry programs, this model has a veritable shedload of combinations so keep the manual to hand because you’re likely to need it. To make things a little easier, its interface can be programmed to display hints and tips in a number of different languages.
As is the case with so many online retailers during this unusual period, at the time of writing John Lewis & Partners has sold out of this machine but we’re sure that new stock will be back soon.
As all-in-one appliances go, this whisper-quiet machine is highly efficient and comes with all the washing and drying cycles you’re likely to need, including a Super Quick 15-minute wash program – handy for when you’re in a rush to go out and realise your favourite shirt has egg all over it. Of course, you’ll need to add another 20 minutes or so for the drying sequence, but you already knew that.
The Serie 6 also features a HygieneCare programme that apparently molly coddles your favourite laundry items by blowing hot air into the drum before its gentle 30˚C washing cycle. And because it comes with the ECARF Quality Seal of approval, the machine is a suitably good choice for allergy sufferers.
This high-end freestander has garnered a wealth of positive user reviews and we can see why. The first thing that strikes you is the huge deep blue portal that looks more sci-fi than white appliance – if Darth did washing, this is what he’d use.
Another cool facet is the way it washes – proprietary Ecobubble tech uses zillions of tiny air bubbles to saturate the clothing up to 40 times faster than the norm while its diamond pattern drum makes clothing slip around as if on a waterslide. And should you forget to put a sock in it, simply open the little Addwash hatch and pop it in mid wash.
The easy-to-remember WD80N645OOW comes with a raft of programs including Super Eco Wash, Speed Wash+Dry, AirWash, 15-minute QuickWash and Silent Wash. Its 1,400rpm spin cycle, meanwhile, ensures that the drying session shouldn’t consume too much leccy. Like many other Samsung appliances, you can also troubleshoot it using a smartphone.
What to look for in the best washer dryers
All washer dryers list two different capacities, one for the washing sequence and another for the drying cycle. Hence, you can’t just leave a full washing load in the machine and expect it to dry it all successfully at the end of the washing cycle.
If you do wash a full load, you will have to find somewhere to store one half of the damp pile while the other half’s being dried. That’s no big deal in summer when you have the option of having the sun dry some of your washing but it can be an issue in winter. Hence, if you want to enjoy the fully automated process of washing and drying all done in one go, you’ll need to do smaller loads, and stick to the maximum capacity for the drying program.
Washer dryers are inherently expensive to buy and repair so, if space allows, you could feasibly buy a separate washing machine and dryer for about the same price as a single do-it-all unit. This would allow you wash and dry laundry at the same time. Remember, too, that if a fault occurs in a washer dryer, that’s the whole machine out of action until it’s fixed. Even more so than washing machines, it’s a good idea to spend more on a washer dryer, as there's so much to potentially go wrong with them.
One especially handy feature of a washer dryer is that since the waste plumbing is already required for the washing side of things, it means you won’t need to periodically empty any water containers after the drying cycle. Even though most washer dryers have integrated water collection tanks, condensed water from the drying sequence can just as easily be pumped out of the same waste outlet as the dirty washing water.
You may find that increased humidity caused by the washing and drying process leaves you at the risk of damp but fear not; read our guide to the best dehumidifiers for a solution…