John Lewis JLWD1615: should you buy this classy washer dryer?

The John Lewis JLWD1615 is a large capacity machine with flexible programmes and quiet operation

T3 Verdict

The John Lewis JLWD1615 both washes and dries efficiently – which is what you want from a washer dryer, let's face it. On top of that it offers a good selection of programmes, including very useful steam and one-hour wash and dry setting. Its users rate it 4 stars overall, and JL&P punters are a picky bunch…

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Large washing capacity

  • +

    Good drying capacity

  • +

    Fast spin speed

  • +

    Keeps the noise down

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No hand wash cycle

  • -

    Drum not illuminated

The John Lewis & Partners JLWD1615 washer dryer ups the ante on both washing and drying capacity compared to the old JLWD1614, and is one of the best washer dryers you can buy. We've compared it to other washer dryers on the market and perused user reviews and have concluded it's well worth looking into.

The JLWD1615 is a typical JL&P appliance in that there is nothing very showy about it, but it is widely loved due to its reliability and performance. If you’re buying a washer dryer it’s likely you don’t have the space for two separate appliances in your kitchen or utility room, but with a machine like this, you don't need to compromise on features and performance when it's pulling double duty.

With a 10kg washing capacity and 6kg drying capacity plus a 1,600rpm spin speed the machine has the credentials to prove a great pick for a family or sporty household. But does it deliver in everyday use, and offer the programmes you need? It seems so, according to its many happy users. 

John Lewis JLWD1615 washer dryer

(Image credit: John Lewis)

John Lewis & Partners JLWD1615: key spec

  • Dimensions: H85 x W60 x D60cm
  • Energy rating: A
  • Drum capacity: 10kg (washing); 6kg (drying)
  • Maximum spin speed: 1,600rpm

John Lewis JLWD1615 washer dryer

(Image credit: John Lewis)

John Lewis JLWD1615: features

The good part about owning a washer dryer is, of course, the fact that although you may only have space for one appliance in your home, you can still dry your clothes as well as wash them. The downside? You can’t dry as much as you can possibly wash in one go. 

With the John Lewis JLWD1615 washer dryer you can wash up to 10kg. Thats's a generous amount, making it a great machine for families or if you create a lot of washing because you’re sporty, love DIY, gardening, or simply get mucky a lot (we’re not judging). As for drying, the maximum capacity is 6kg. 

To be clear, a 6kg drying capacity isn’t to be sniffed at. It’s still about 30 T-shirts worth. But, if you’ve put up to 50 T-shirts (as that’s the currency we’re using) in the wash because the 10kg washing capacity machine can cope, you won’t be drying them all straightaway and they’ll need to go on the line, on an airer, or hang about for a second drying cycle.

Bear in mind, though, that there are plenty of freestanding dryers that have less capacity than this washer dryer offers, so you could end up with the same situation even if you did have separate appliances. But it pays to know that you won’t be going straight from dirty to clean and dry with the biggest size washing pile possible.

When it comes to washing programmes, there are 15 of them, including the expected cottons and synthetics. You will be able to put your delicates on the special cycle that’s gentler on them. But disappointingly for those who hate hand washing, the machine won’t help out where machine washing is forbidden by a clothes label, although it can look after machine-washable woollens if that’s any comfort. Meanwhile, you can also make up for any glitches in your laundry system with a quick cycle. It’s also possible to shorten cycles if you’re up against it time-wise. 

The machine also has top-end washing machine extras like a steam refresh for smartening up an item you need to wear, a 1,600rpm spin speed to get the water out effectively at the end of a cycle, and automatic load adjustment that weighs the wash and adjusts programme times accordingly to save water and energy. 

The dryer is a condenser type, which leaves you with more choice as to where the machine is installed. On the negative side it doesn’t sense how wet your clothes are, so you won’t save energy on this count.

It’s hard to miss a washer dryer due to its proportions so appearance does count, and this is sleek and modern in style. Although white is the only colour available, it stands out from the herd with a dark display and door. The LCD panel is easy to use, too, so it won’t leave you puzzling about which button to press nor which programme to turn the dial to. 

The noise of a washer and dryer can also make a significant impact, particularly in an open-plan layout or the small home that might have prompted you to buy the single appliance rather than two individual machines. The JLWD1615 has a rating of 51dB when it washes, 77dB when it spins, and 60dB when it’s drying, so we’re talking conversational level noise for washing and drying, and up to loud radio for spinning. 

John Lewis JLWD1615 washer dryer

(Image credit: John Lewis)

John Lewis JLWD1615: performance

What about the opinions of the JLWD1615‘s users as they’ve put the machine to the tests of real-life washing and drying in their homes? Overall, it’s a pretty convincing 4.4 out of five stars from its purchasers.

The washer dryer is praised by many for its quiet operation and they like its looks as well. They’re also pleased by the drum capacity, and the large door which makes it easy to load and empty. There are plenty of plaudits for both washing and drying performance and the range of washing programmes on offer, including the machine’s 1kg wash and dry cycle.

The bugbears for some buyers include the length of the cycles although the ability to change the time taken was appreciated and the fact that this makes the machine more efficient was noted. The lack of a light in the drum is also noted. 

We know from experience that John Lewis generally offers excellent after-care, but one reviewer has complained that he had to find an Electrolux engineer to carry out a repair under warranty. John Lewis & Partners has not replied to this review.

• Read all the John Lewis & Partners JLWD1615 reviews here

John Lewis & Partners JLWD1615: verdict

Washer dryer prices start at the under £500 level but they can get extremely pricey at the top end. The John Lewis & Partners JLWD1615 fits into the 'upper mid-range' of the market but with its 10kg/6kg capacity it beats or equals competitor machines with larger price tags, making it a great value choice. Of course, it’s only true value if the machine delivers results its buyers applaud, and they do, making this a machine we can highly recommend.

High points include the capacity, the range of cycles available, and the flexibility to reduce the programme timings. Quiet operation is a boon whether you’ve got the telly on, the kids playing, or you’re WFH, and the JLWD1615 washer dryer evidently doesn’t disappoint here, which is a big plus in our book. 

• Buy direct from John Lewis & Partners