This is a summary for my article asking the question – washer-dryer or separate washing machine and dryer – which is the best? The contents of this article were originally squeezed into the side bar of the first one. But here it is in its own space, where it’s more prominent, and easier to read. Ideally you should read the main article first.
Advantages of a combined washer dryer
I can honestly only think of two advantages to buying a washer dryer. Firstly, it is cheaper than buying two separate appliances, and secondly, a combined washer dryer takes up half of the space of a washer dryer and a separate tumble dryer. In a nutshell they are the only reasons these compromise appliances exist.
Advantages of separate washing machine and tumble dryer
- Each appliance is a specialist in the task its required to do. Washing laundry and tumble drying laundry are very different jobs (see previous article for details)
- The dryer section is likely to be more energy efficient and more sophisticated, as well as quicker
- You can tumble dry a washed load whilst washing a second separate load at the same time
- You can tumble dry a full wash load instead of having to take some out before drying
The advantages of a combined washer-dryer are price and space. These may well be critical, and highly important. But the price for these advantages is in loss of efficiency, time, and higher running costs.
Disadvantages of a combined washer dryer
- You have to remove laundry before allowing to tumble dry. Dryers have a bigger drum, so you normally need to remove some laundry to create drying space (see previous article washer-dryer or separate washing machine and dryer – which is the best?)
- They aren’t as efficient at tumble drying than a separate dryer, plus they can’t dry as much on a cycle so drying takes twice as long. This will add a lot of wear and tear to the machine
- The dryer may not be as energy efficient as a separate dryer and cost more to run
- The dryer is unlikely to be as sophisticated as a dedicated dryer
- You have to wait until a load has dried before being able to wash another load. Combine this with extra long wash times on modern washing machines and you could have your washer dryer running for 8 hours washing and drying a full load of sheets or towels
- Many washer dryers seem to suffer from faults caused by a buildup of lime scale, fluff, lint and even jellylike gunge inside the dryer’s heating element and fan chamber. This could be caused by overloading on the drying cycle, or a major design flaw
Disadvantages of separate washing machine and tumble dryers
- Costs more to buy two appliances
- You may not have room for separates
If separates are so much better why bother with a washer-dryer?
If you don't have any room for a separate dryer, then a washer-dryer is far better than nothing at all. Many people are quite happy with their washer dryer. As long as you accept their limitations they are OK, but always buy a separate washing machine and tumble dryer if you can afford to – and you have the space of course.
A more in depth look
To see a more in depth look at this topic including whether a washer dryer is more, or less reliable than separates read my main article here – washer-dryer or separate washing machine and dryer – which is the best?