Pros & Cons of washer dryer v separate

Pros & Cons 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

1: 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)

2: The dryer section is likely to be more energy efficient and cost less in electricity to run. It is likely to be also more sophisticated, as well as quicker

3: You can tumble dry a washed load whilst washing a second separate load at the same time

4: 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

1: 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?)

2: 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

3: The dryer inside a washer dryer is not as energy efficient as a separate dryer (especially a heat pump fryer) and can cost more than twice as much to dry laundry

4: The dryer is unlikely to be as sophisticated as a dedicated dryer

5: 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

6: Many washer dryers seem to suffer from faults caused by a build up 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

1: Costs more to buy two appliances

2: 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?

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6 thoughts on “Pros & Cons of washer dryer v separate”

  1. I love my washer-dryer. I can put in a half-load, set it to wash then dry, come home and get the clothes out of the machine and put them straight in the cupboard. If I have two separate appliances only the wash will be done on my return. I’m buying a new house with room for two appliances. Should I buy separate machines?

  2. Hello Sam. I would say 2 separate machines win on all points apart from price and space. My other article covers why in more depth here Washer-dryer or separate washing machine and dryer which is the best?

    There is an “advantage” that you describe of being able to wash and dry a half a load whilst out, but in all honesty I would never do that. It’s just not worth the risk. I’ve seen too many house fires caused by unattended washing machines, dryers and dishwashers – Fire risks in appliances – how dangerous are they?

  3. Dear White Goods Help

    I am so pleased I have read your website! My husband is building a single storey extension to my kitchen, utility room and dining area, so I shall have a lot of extra room for washing and drying machines. Coincidentally my 20 year old washing machine finally broke down last week and is being replaced this week with another one by the same manufacturer. I did not even think to get a combined washer dryer, although my sister did query why this is. She has a lot of space in her utility room, and has a washer dryer. Conversely, she has always used a gas hob whereas I have always used electricity. I must say I did reconsider my decision about single washing machines, but your thinking is the same as mine inasmuch as the machines carry out two entirely different functions and no doubt work better at their own job. I have carried out extensive research on dryers, not least because I have never owned one (the same goes for a dishwasher, but that is another story!). I shall probably get a medium dryer (8kg) which, at 66cm deep, will need a deeper worktop. My research shows that sensors in dryers appear to be a problem, and the choice of vented, condenser or pump is mind boggling. The dryer will be bought when the extension is finished, and I look forward to testing it out! All the best.

  4. What brands have trouble with build-up in the heating element of a combined machine? Do some brands not have that issue?

    1. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

      Hi. I’ve seen it in various brands. It’s possible some are better or worse than others. They all work the same way though, blowing a circulating air over heating element and into a condensing chamber at the back.

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