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Space is a precious thing to have, and these all-in-one washer dryers know it. While they're not nearly as reliable or powerful as two standalone models, they do condense your chores and take up a smaller footprint in your home. This makes them a good solution for an apartment or condo, where room to do laundry is limited and there's only a tenant or two. However, if you opt for this type of setup, know you're making compromises.
Combination units do it all, from soaking your dirty clothes in soap to tumbling them dry. The result is a machine with a significantly smaller drum for less washer capacity, longer cycle times, and the tendency to break down or even become discontinued. You can likely find one with helpful features including a steam function, which tackles stains and wrinkles that have set into the fabrics of your clothes. Most picks also have plenty of cycle selections for when you're washing your workout leggings, grass-covered shirts, or bedding, too.
They're far from efficient, though, and you can't always rely on a combo unit to dry your garments. (Most, if not all, are electricity-powered, and gas is much better, says Richard Epstein, The Spruce's Home Improvement Review Board member.) You may need to hang up items, even after they've been tumbling in the drum for hours, or run a touch-up cycle or two. On the flip side, if you don't have access to laundry machines, or have limited space to do laundry in your home, an all-in-one washer dryer can be a saving grace.
Here are the all-in-one machines to consider if you'd like to go this route.
Best Overall: GE GFQ14ESSNWW 2.4 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Ventless Electric All-in-One Washer Dryer Combo
Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 2.4 cubic feet | Vent Type: Ventless | Wash Cycles: 14 | Drum Material: Stainless steel | Smart Capabilities: No | Energy Star Certified: Yes
Compatible with detergent packs
Requires a 120V outlet
Need to load the machine thoughtfully
Spin cycle can be loud
The GE GFQ14ESSNWW is your best bet when it comes to an all-in-one washer dryer. This machine saves space, while also treating you to bells and whistles. It has a standard-sized drum at 2.4 cubic feet (suitable for one or two people to complete their weekly laundry) and a ventless design that makes it a very flexible option. You can easily install it in an RV, tiny apartment, or small laundry room without having to make massive or expensive adjustments, and plug it into a 120V outlet.
On top of a flexible design, this GE combination unit also uses less energy than comparable units you can purchase. The energy guide notes that it uses about 108 kWh of electricity per year, which adds up to $12 per year on your bills when it's used with a natural gas water heater. Since it's a high-efficiency model, it'll also use less water with each cycle. In total, there are 14 cycles for you to choose from, including sanitize and tub clean. There's also a rinse and spin setting and a steam function, in addition to a dispenser that's compatible with detergent packs.
Downsides to this model include long cycle times—which is standard for an all-in-one appliance—and the fact that you need to load the drum thoughtfully so items are treated right. Plan to wash items that need more time together, like jeans or towels. Smaller loads will likely come out completely dry, but you can run a timed dry cycle if your clothes need additional drying time.
Best Overall, Runner-Up: LG Electronics WM3488HW 2.3 cu. ft. Compact All-in-One Washer and Dryer Combo
Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 2.3 cubic feet | Vent Type: Ventless | Wash Cycles: 14 | Drum Material: Stainless steel | Smart Capabilities: No | Energy Star Certified: No
Shorter cycle times
Has a CEE Tier I rating
Pump can break over time
Dryer heat is very high
Has an odd smell at first
Performance isn't many all-in-one washer dryers' strong suit. However, the LG WM3488HW is pretty good at getting your clothes clean and dry. You can make use of 14 unique wash cycles, including prewash and hand-wash. Plus, there's a FreshCare setting that will tumble your clean clothes until you're ready to take them out of the drum. The tub itself is 2.3 cubic feet large, and while this isn't necessarily worth bragging about, it's enough space to tackle items large and small if you portion your loads correctly.
Notably, this combo unit only requires a 120V outlet and has a ventless dryer that requires zero external ductwork. You can also enjoy a powerful spin cycle, a delay start function, and the unit's CEE Tier I rating, which means it operates in an energy- and water-efficient manner. Cycles are relatively speedy, as well—a rare find when it comes to all-in-one picks—but, there is no steam function. Ultimately, if you pick up this machine, you'll be raving about the convenience of not having to switch your clothes from the washer to the dryer.
Of course, there are some quirks that may warrant a negative review on your end. For example, the pump is known to break after many uses. The dryer can also create a rubber smell that sticks to your items. You'll want to use fabric softener and wash items you don't really care about at first until the smell wears off. In addition, you'll want to let your clothes sit after a cycle is completed. The heat is very high, so metal pieces like zippers can be too hot to touch right out of the dryer.
Best Budget: LG Electronics WM3499HVA 2.3 cu. ft. Smart Compact All-In-One Washer and Dryer
Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 2.3 cubic feet | Vent Type: Ventless | Wash Cycles: 14 | Drum Material: Stainless steel | Smart Capabilities: Yes | Energy Star Certified: No
Good at tackling allergens
Has a variety of wash cycles
Can get cycle alerts to your phone
Can vibrate and shake a lot
Can be very noisy at times
The LG WM3499HVA isn't the cheapest all-in-one washer dryer you can buy, but it has the most value when compared to other wallet-friendly picks. You can load your clothes into the 2.3-cubic-foot drum, and choose from one of 14 wash cycles including pre-wash, specialty, and tub clean. Most notably, you can also use this machine's cycles to help you eliminate allergens and odors in your garments. Not only does it have a steam function, but it also has an allergen setting that aims to reduce allergens in your clothes, according to the manufacturer. The steam function also provides an effective and gentle way to remove any stains from your clothes.
On top of allergen-fighting technology, this washer-dryer combo has smart features to make your laundry routine feel more streamlined. You can connect the appliance to an app on your phone, and it will allow you to get notifications when a cycle is done, control the machine remotely, and give it commands via a Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa device. It also has a CEE Tier I rating, meaning it's efficient with every load when it comes to resources—but, not necessarily time.
You'll just want to be careful about where you install this appliance. During the spin cycle, it can vibrate or shake a lot, which isn't convenient if you or another member of your household is trying to sleep, enjoy a show, or entertain. It can also be quite loud. To potentially avoid issues, make sure to install the machine correctly, and load it per the owner manual's instructions. Also, make sure the machine is placed on a firm, flat surface and is balanced before every load.
Best High-End: LG Electronics WM3998HBA Ultra Large Capacity Electric All-in-One Washer Dryer Combo
Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 4.5 cubic feet | Vent Type: Ventless | Wash Cycles: 14 | Drum Material: Stainless steel | Smart Capabilities: Yes | Energy Star Certified: No
Cold water setting
Requires a 120V outlet
Lint and debris can collect on gasket
No instructions for the dryer portion
Not compatible with detergent packs
If the small drum size of an all-in-one washer dryer is your major concern, then you may want to splurge on the LG WM3998HBA. Compared to other models on the market, this appliance has a roomy interior at 4.5 cubic feet. This is the average size of a front load washing machine's drum, however, you will need to take the drying capacity into account. You won't be able to toss in as many garments as you would if you had a standalone machine, as it won't be able to tumble your clothes dry. That being said, the capacity is still larger than other all-in-one picks, making it worth the extra pennies.
Plus, there is a total of 14 wash cycles, including ones for bedding, activewear, and allergens. A tub clean cycle will rid your unit of odors and bacteria without you having to put in any work. When it comes to delivery and installation, this combo unit can also be plugged into a 120V outlet, making it a good option if you're shopping for space in a small apartment or RV. Other perks include a cold water option, which is ideal if you are washing colored clothing or looking to save energy, and a steam function. This combo is also a smart model and can be controlled remotely using an app on your phone.
Now, for the downsides: More than other units, you need to be persistent about cleaning this machine. All the lint and debris from your clothes can easily get stuck on the gasket and seals. Your items can also be quite damp after tumbling for hours. This is partly due to the fact that the manual doesn't have any clear instructions on how to use the dryer portion of the unit, which is a major oversight by the brand. And, the dispenser doesn't allow for the use of detergent pods.
Best for RVs: Equator Advanced Appliances EZ 4400 N 1.57 cu. ft. White Ventless All-in-One Washer Dryer
Fuel Type: Electric | Capacity: 1.6 cubic feet | Vent Type: Convertible | Wash Cycles: 8 | Drum Material: Stainless steel | Smart Capabilities: No | Energy Star Certified: No
Convertible vent system
Advanced wrinkle care
Very small drum
No smart features
Whether you live in an RV full-time or only while on vacation, it can be helpful to have a reliable washer-dryer on board. However, you have to pick wisely, as an RV can have more limitations than an apartment, condo, or larger home. The Equator Advanced Appliances EZ 4400 N will be the pick for you, since it has lots of RV-friendly features that you can't necessarily find in other units on the market. For example, the combo unit has a winterize mode, so it won't be affected by the elements. The two-minute cycle uses anti-freeze to protect your appliance and keeps your laundry routine efficient and streamlined.
In addition, the Equator Advanced Appliances' model has a convertible vent system. By pressing a button, you can switch the model from a vented dryer to a ventless one, depending on what your setup is. This is a great feature for anyone who thinks they may install the all-in-one machine in a more permanent place in the future. Now, the drum is only 1.6 cubic feet large, which is quite tiny in comparison to other all-in-one models. However, this is also a great choice for RVs, because the compact nature of the unit means it can slip under a counter or into a tight corner. Once you set it up, you can pick from seven wash cycles, as well as a quiet mode which ensures the model runs at 60 dBa or lower.
When a cycle is done, the machine will keep clothes tumbling until you're ready to grab them. This is a big perk if you're out adventuring, or simply feeling lazy. Just remember: the capacity of this unit is definitely its greatest drawback. It also doesn't have smart technology or a CEE rating, so it might add to your bills over time.
"Keeping clutter at bay is key when decorating a comfortable and functional small space, and I find the best way to do that is to make sure everything has a home." — Dayna Isom Johnson, Trend Expert at Etsy
If you’re looking for an all-in-one washer dryer, know this type of machine is most suitable for smaller households and isn't as reliable or efficient as standalone models. The best option on the market is the GE GFQ14ESSNWW (view at Home Depot) because it's compatible with detergent packs, ventless, and has a steam function. Another good option is the LG WM3488HW (view at Lowes) which has pretty quick cycle times in comparison to other combo models and a CEE rating—which means it's energy-efficient.
What to Look for in an All-in-One Washer Dryer
The capacity of an all-in-one washer dryer is much smaller than a separate washer or dryer model. All-in-one washer dryers typically have between 2.3 to 4.5 cubic feet of interior space. In comparison, a full-size washer has an average of 5.0 cubic feet, and a dryer has an average of 7.4 cubic feet. This range is fine if you're living in a smaller household where an all-in-one model is most suitable. With 2.3 cubic feet of drum space, you can expect to wash two to three outfits at a time. A larger, 4.5-cubic-foot drum can tackle up to five outfits, or even a load of towels.
Smart features in all-in-one washer dryers include the ability to control and manage your model via an app on your phone, and load-sensing dispensers. The app uses your home's WiFi to connect to your all-in-one model. Once connected, you're able to receive cycle alerts and select settings from a remote location. The load-sensing dispenser reads the amount of soil within your load and uses that reading to add just the right amount of detergent. Although combo units with smart features can be more expensive, they are typically a bit more efficient and streamlined.
A steam function can be helpful if your household commonly deals with stains, gentle fabrics, or wrinkly clothes. Although it can leave your clothes feeling a bit moist at times, it can effectively remove dirt and bacteria by loosening them and pulling them out of your clothes' fabric during a cycle. This feature is quite common in all-in-one models but not every model will have it. When shopping, look for a steam function if you have allergies, children, or outdoorsy family members, or want an affordable "extra" perk that's easy to use.
From leggings to wicking shirts, activewear is often built much differently than the average t-shirt. These items typically require hand-washing, cold water, and gentle agitation. A new activewear cycle in washers is specially designed to meet these needs, and slowly and thoughtfully removes sweat from clothing items that may contain spandex or other synthetic materials.
An allergen cycle specifically targets triggers like dust, pollen, and dander in clothes. It uses steam to gently treat all fabric types, and release the harmful particles before washing them away. Unlike your typical wash cycle, which inactivates pollen with water, the allergen cycle is more thorough. It's very useful if you live in an area with a high pollen count, or have someone in your household who suffers from asthma but does typically come at a higher price point.
What is an all-in-one washer dryer?
An all-in-one washer dryer, otherwise known as a washer dryer combo, is two laundry machines built into one. It has the door design of a front-loading machine, and technology for spinning, soaking, and drying your clothes. It's a suitable option for small households who want to install their appliances in a closet or tiny laundry room, since it takes up less space. All-in-one units typically have the dispensers, settings, and smart features you'd find in a washer and dryer set, too.
How do all-in-one washer dryers work?
All-in-one washer dryers care for your laundry by putting them through the wash cycle of your choice, and then the dry cycle of your choice. As usual, you'll add your dirty clothes to the drum, making sure they have a similar fabric type and are evenly distributed. Then, you'll put detergent into a dispenser—in addition to fabric softener, if your load calls for it. You'll select a wash cycle like normal, delicates, or speed wash, as well as a drying one.
Some models give you the option to set a dryer cycle after a wash one is completed, and will alert you when it's time to make this switch. This is so you can remove some of the clothes from your load, and prepare the drum for drying. The drying capacity of an all-in-one model is half of its washing capacity, since the clothes expand. If you want your machine to automatically start a drying cycle, then be sure to only add half of your typical load to the washer for effective cleaning and drying.
How well do all-in-one washer dryers work?
While all-in-one washer dryers have many of the same settings and technology as their counterparts, they can be less effective, less efficient, and more time-consuming. You may find that your clothes are a bit damp at the end of a cycle, and many machines can take anywhere from three to six hours to complete a load. On a positive note, combo units allow you to drop in your clothes and not worry about switching them. Plus, you can do smaller loads to help the unit wash and dry your clothes more effectively.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Having tested and researched dozens of laundry machines, we looked at functionality, value, and practicality when recommending the best all-in-one washer dryers on the market. We considered each washer's capacity, cycle options, and smart features, in addition to their efficiency and what issues would impact a consumer in a negative way. For extra insight, we spoke with Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy trend expert.
Marisa Casciano is the large appliance expert for The Spruce, and has researched the ins and outs of air purifiers, dishwashers, and more in the home space. She's lived in multiple apartments and greatly understands the need to save space, but also to have a reliable machine at your disposal. For this piece, she read through dozens of user manuals, verified customer reviews, and third-party pieces. She also vetted the specifications for usefulness and watched informational videos to understand further how an all-in-one washer dryer works.