This washer-dryer buying guide has been put together by mychoice to help you get the right appliance for your household. Washer dryers provide a practical space-saving solution if you don't have room for both a washing machine and tumble dryer. They are also useful for small households where the amount of laundry done does not allow for a full-sized drying machine. Washer dryers have all the usual functions of a washing machine, but they are more limited in their tumble drying function because of the size of the drum, which will restrict you to drying only half a wash load at a time. As you read the guide, look through our washer dryer collection. Our buying guide is here to help you find out which options are right for your needs.
You can either read the full guide or click on the links below, which will take you to the answers to some of the most common questions about washer-dryers.
What Size Does My Washer Dryer Need To Be To fit Into My Kitchen/Utility Room?
Everyone has their own needs and preferences when it comes to space. Some people prefer their machine out in the open so they can easily get it, which is very useful if they are doing lots of washing, while other people have specifically designed kitchens and want a specific size of machine to fit a specific space.
**The first decision you have to make is, where in your kitchen you want your washer dryer to go and what size it needs to be in order to fit. Do you need your machine out in the open, or do you want your machine to be slotted into your kitchen units.
Freestanding Washer Dryers are good if you want your machine to be seen and they’re fairly easy to fit in as they just slot into a specific gap in your kitchen. Most Freestanding models are front loaders for ease of use.
Built In/ Integrated Washer Dryers are designed not to be seen. They have a flat front and space to attach door hinges so they can be completely hidden behind a door. An integrated machine is a front loader covered by a door panel that matches the rest of your kitchen units. When closed, the machine will be completely hidden.
A semi-integrated machine is a front loader covered mostly by a door panel that matches the rest of your kitchen units. When closed, the machine will be completely hidden except the controls.
When fitting your new appliance please remember it must be fitted in reach of a water supply in order to be connected. If you would like mychoice to connect your appliance, please check our connection services for that particular model.
The normal width of a Washer Dryer is 50- 60cm, with the vast majority being 60cm. Height can range between 80-90cm with depth ranging between 50- 60cm. It is obviously vital that you check that the model you are buying has the correct dimensions for the space you have.
What Amount Of Washing Do I Do Each Week?
One of the main factors that will influence your purchase will be the amount of washing you do and choosing the best model to support your specific needs. The total amount of laundry a washing machine can take is dictated by the size of the drum. The larger the drum size, the more washing can be done in a standard cycle. It can work out cheaper on electricity and water, to do larger washes. The main advantage of small wash loads, is that the wash cycle is a lot quicker and it is more suitable for some delicate clothes or fabrics. How much laundry you can do in one load depends on the drum size of your washer dryer, the larger the drum size the more laundry the machine will be able to handle effectively. Drum size is measured by the weight it can handle, for example a 5kg drum can handle 5kg of washing. With washer dryers the total load capacity for washing and drying is different; they can be used in three ways, washing only, drying only and washing and drying as a whole cycle without a break in-between. You can find the drum size of a model on its specifications
**If you don’t plan on washing much laundry each week, you don’t really need a very large drum size. A machine with a drum size of around 5-6kg will probably be enough for the needs of 2 people living together.
**For most households a machine with a drum capacity of 7kg - 8kg will be plenty. It will probably have enough space to handle large wash loads but may also include programmes more tailored to smaller wash loads. These machines are more than adequate for families or houses of up to 5 people.
**If you have a very large family and need to do lots of washing all at once, the best and most sensible choice, would be a model with a larger sized drum. You can get models with a drum size of up to 9-10kg which would allow you to do a very large wash load at any one time. Washer Dryers which have larger drum sizes often have special programmes designed to allow you to wash big, bulky items such as duvets and bed linen. These programmes use more water, more rinses and give a long spin cycle which is better suited to washing bulky loads more efficiently as these require more water to soak the load, and more spinning to help dry the load.
How Do I know If My Washer Dryer Will get My Clothes Clean?
So you can see which the best models are at a glance most white goods sold across Europe now have an EU Energy label. This includes a rating of how energy efficient a machine is and also gives a rating to the washing and the drying performance, these are scored from A-G with A being the best. To find a high performance rated washer dryer look for one with an overall A rating.
Most Washer Dryers today have adjustable settings or features to allow you to get the best results. Almost all models include programmes or settings that tailor the machine to specific fabrics or types of washing – these take the guesswork out of doing your laundry and let you ultimately achieve the best results.
Washer Dryers also come equipped with specific wash programmes and functions: (please note you should always check your clothes care labels before washing and drying).
**Mixed load function is a fast cycle that allows an assortment of different fabrics and colours to be safely washed and dried together. It is designed for quick cycles.
**Pre-wash function is for very dirty, hard wearing laundry e.g. cotton or linen, usually at a maximum temperature of 30°C .
**Hand wash/wool wash/delicates option is a soft wash action and special spin phase that ensures all your clothes keep their shape.
**Rinse plus/extra rinse programme is used as a boost option to give your clothes/garments an extra rinse at the end of the wash cycle.
Washer Dryers with a sensor drying function have a range of drying levels tailored to different fabric types:
**Extra/intensive dry - for suitable cotton and linen items you want to put away without ironing (bath towels, etc.)
**Automatic/normal dry – this uses temperature sensors that detect the moisture in your clothes, and modify the drying time according to the machine load and type of laundry.
**Gentle dry option is designed for delicate fabrics, such as synthetics, fabric blends, as well as cotton with a drip dry finish.
How Long will It Take To do my Washing?
The biggest time saving advantage of buying a washer dryer is the ability to wash and dry your laundry when it suits you and in one complete cycle. This is great for people who might not have a clothes line to leave washing to dry naturally.
**The amount of time it takes to finish a complete cycle varies from model to model and these times can vary even more depending on which programme is used.
**Most models feature some sort of quick wash programme, great if you’re in a rush, or have an emergency where clothes need to be ready as soon as possible. Designed to deal with lightly soiled washing in a very short cycle, this programme will wash and dry a small load of laundry in a specific time.
**If you don’t spend all day at home you might want to be able to pre-set your washing machine to begin whilst you are out and be ready for when you get home. All models now offer a delay start/time option, so you can to pre-set your machine to start at a time which suits you. This can be up to 24 hours, so you could even set your washing to run whilst you’re away or out for several hours
**Many models now have either an LCD/LED display or some sort of audible alarm when the washing cycle is finished. This can be really useful as you don’t have to stay in your kitchen waiting for the washing to finish, but when it does finish you can get your clothes out straight away
Spin speeds determine how fast your clothes are spun around in the machine at the end of the washing cycle, the faster your spin speed the more water is extracted from your washing and the shorter the drying cycle needs to be. Most models have variable spin speeds and these can help determine how wet your laundry comes out at the end of the wash cycle
You may think that to get your clothes washed and dried quickly, that you should always choose the highest spin speed? You must take into account that some spin speeds aren’t suitable for certain fabrics. Delicate fabrics, such as wool could be damaged in the highest spin speeds, so always be careful when choosing your spin speed.
How Much Does A Washer Dryer Cost To Run?
Buying a washer dryer can be a big investment, so you don’t want them to cost lots of money to run as well. All models are now rated by the EU to let you know how much energy is needed to run them. The energy ratings go from A to G with A being the best. A Washer Dryer with a high energy rating will save you water and electricity, thus will save money on your energy bills.
For the most energy efficient washer dryers, look out for the Energy Saving Recommended logo. Only washer dryers that comply with the Energy Saving Trust’s most stringent criteria are endorsed.
If you are upgrading your old appliance remember mychoice offer a recycling service, whereby we collect and recycle your old appliance when we deliver your new one. For full details of this service please see our link, Appliance Connection Services.
What Price Do I Need To Pay For My Washer Dryer?
Washer Dryer prices range from £300 to over £1000, so it is Important you pay for a model which suits you exact needs.
**Washer dryers costing between £300 - £400 tend to come in white and with a drum capacity of 5-7kg making them ideal for couples or those who live alone. The majority are B rated and come with moderate spin speeds of 1200-1400 rpm.
**Between £400 - £600 you can buy a very well specified family washer dryer. A few extra colours and finishes are available if you’re looking for something more stylish to fit in with a modern kitchen. The majority of models are still freestanding but the average drum size is around 7/8 or 9kg.Energy rating ranges from C to A with more models available with a higher spin speed.
**£600+ for a top-of-the-range model. These will have a large variety of colours and styles to complement any designer kitchen including LCD screens, stainless steel fascias and fingerprint proof stainless steel finishes. Average drum size and the number of programmes vary to cater for all sizes of household.
**Built-in/Integrated models tend to be slightly more expensive than freestanding, because they have a flat front and allow you to attach a unit door to the front of the machine. This is needed in designer kitchens as it lets you shut away your appliance keeping the room streamlined and sleek.
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