The 10 Best Washer & Dryer Sets of 2023

We love the GE GFW850SSNWW and GFD85ESSNWW

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LG Front Load Washer

The Spruce / Deanna McCormack

A quality washer and dryer set will help you streamline your laundry routine and save you money. On top of being efficient and economical, this set will align with your household's needs, whether it be cycling through multiple loads per day or per week. "Consumers should think about their key laundry problems and needs and may consider machines with specific cycles that can meet [these needs]," says Jennifer Ahoni, P&G Fabric Care Principal Scientist and Laundry Expert. "For example, if a consumer wears a lot of athletic wear, they may be interested in a machine with cycles specifically designed for washing athletic garments."

Keeping Ahoni's guidance in mind, we researched and tested dozens of sets, evaluating them on tub capacity, efficiency, value, and features. 

Here are the best washer and dryer sets to make your next laundry day easier.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall, Front-Loading

GE GFW850SSNWW 5.0 cu. ft. Smart Front Load Steam Washer & GFD85ESSNWW 7.8 cu. ft. Dryer

GE® 7.8 cu. ft. Capacity Smart Front Load Electric Dryer with Steam and Sanitize Cycle


What We Like
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and linking technology

  • Venting system to eliminate odors

  • Dynamic balancing technology

  • PowerSteam system helps release stains 

What We Don't Like
  • No way to empty detergent from automatic dispenser

  • Expensive

A reliable front-loading washer and dryer set should offer numerous washing and drying cycles to handle all of your laundry needs, and it should have a large enough capacity to hold your bulkiest items and heaviest loads. Energy efficiency is also a must for keeping monthly household bills low, and smart capabilities which allow you to monitor the appliances remotely are a convenient bonus. The GE GFW850SSNWW washer and its matching electric dryer (the GE GFD85ESSNWW) are our overall top choice because they check all those boxes and more, making them a great option for practically any household. 

This washer is also a workhorse when it comes to properly cleaning your laundry, thanks to its above-average 5-cubic-foot stainless steel drum and 12 wash cycle options, including steaming and sanitizing. GE also included its patented dynamic balancing technology, which senses and rebalances uneven loads during the spin cycle to provide a quiet wash. We’re especially fond of this washer’s antimicrobial interior and venting system, which help to eliminate mold growth and unwanted odors that are common to front-load washers. This technology pulls out leftover moisture to keep your laundry fresh and the machine running at its full potential.

The washer also has an automatic detergent dispenser, which can hold up to 50 ounces, enough for 32 loads of laundry. Keep in mind that the detergent cannot be emptied from the dispenser once loaded, one potential (but fairly minor) drawback of the washer. "Bulk detergent dispensers use a pumping system designed to deliver the right amount of detergent to the wash load," says Gary Childers, P&G fabric care scientist and appliance expert. This feature may not be best if you’re hoping to try a new detergent before committing to the entire bottle. "Consumers who purchase these machines should perform regular maintenance of the bulk storage tank as directed by the washing machine manufacturer, as well as perform a cleaning if switching detergents or softeners," notes Childers.

We’d be remiss not to mention this washer’s drying counterpart, which has PowerSteam technology to refresh small loads and de-wrinkle larger loads. This dryer also has misting technology to prevent static cling during dry cycles. Built-in Wi-Fi on both machines allows you to remotely monitor your loads and receive real-time notifications. Both the washer and dryer retail for around $1,000, so they are a more expensive duo, but we think the thoughtful features, coupled with their sleek yet spacious design, make them worth the price tag.

Price at time of publish: $1,249 for washer, $1,249 for dryer

Washer Mechanism: Not applicable | Washer Capacity: 5.0 cubic feet | Washer Cycles: 12 | Dryer Fuel: Electric | Dryer Capacity: 7.8 cubic feet | Dryer Cycles: 12

Best Overall, Top-Loading

Samsung WA55A7300AE 5.5 cu. ft. Extra-Large Capacity Smart Top Load Washer with Super Speed Wash & DVE55A7300E 7.4 cu. ft. Steam Cycle Electric Dryer

Samsung WA55A7300AE 5.5 cu. ft. Extra-Large Capacity Smart Top Load Washer with Super Speed Wash & DVE55A7300E 7.4 cu. ft. Steam Cycle Electric Dryer


What We Like
  • Built-in faucet to pre-treat stains

  • Compatible with voice-controlled home devices

  • Auto-fill and sensor dry

  • Extra-large capacity washer 

What We Don't Like
  • Slanted top on both machines

  • No steam function on washer

For a high-performing, top-loading washer and dryer set, check out this smart technology-equipped pair from Samsung—the Samsung WA55A7300AE washer and the Samsung DVE55A7300E dryer. These machines can be paired to a variety of smart home devices (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and SmartThings App) for voice control capabilities and remote monitoring.

We tested an earlier model of this washer through its paces in a home setting, and we were impressed with its cleaning ability. We especially appreciated the deep fill option and the built-in faucet for hand-washing delicate items or pre-treating stains. The new Samsung WA55A7300AE offers both features while boasting a larger capacity. This model's deep drum has 5.5 cubic feet of space, making it one of the largest top-load washers on the market. It also uses an impeller plate rather than a center agitator, so you can pile in the bulky items freely.

This washer’s sidekick, the Samsung DVE55A7300E dryer, offers sensor-drying technology, which optimizes the temperature and time of each drying cycle to protect your clothes from heat damage, while also being energy efficient. The Steam Sanitize+ cycle removes 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria, eliminates over 95 percent of pollen, and kills 100 percent of dust mites, according to the brand, which earned it high marks in our real-world testing. This steam feature also tackles wrinkles, odor, and static. Unlike some models, this dryer is available in versions for either electric or gas hookups (but the gas dryer will cost about $100 more).

We wish that the washing machine also included a steam function to refresh small loads, but we don’t consider that a deal-breaker, considering all the other features it offers. Both machines have slanted tops, too, which prevent you from placing detergent jugs or baskets on top. While this design is not a major flaw, it’s something to be aware of if your laundry zone is a busy storage hub.

Price at time of publish: $1,199 for washer, $1,199 for electric dryer

Washer Mechanism: Impeller | Washer Capacity: 5.5 cubic feet | Washer Cycles: 12 | Dryer Fuel: Gas or electric | Dryer Capacity: 7.4 cubic feet | Dryer Cycles: 12

Best Budget

Insignia NS-TWM35W1 3.7 cu. ft. High Efficiency 12-Cycle Top-Loading Washer & NS-TDRE67W1 6.7 cu. ft. 12-Cycle Electric Dryer

Insignia NS-TWM35W1 3.7 cu. ft. High Efficiency 12-Cycle Top-Loading Washer & NS-TDRE67W1 6.7 cu. ft. 12-Cycle Electric Dryer


What We Like
  • Wrinkle care mode on dryer

  • Moisture sensor and auto-fill modes 

  • Separate dispensers for bleach, detergent, and softener

What We Don't Like
  • Small capacities

  • Four-way venting not offered on dryer 

Save big with this budget washer and dryer set from Insignia. While they don’t offer any innovative features or high capacities, these machines are excellent for washing and drying in a small household. The Insignia NS-TWM35W1 washer has a 3.7-cubic-foot capacity in the stainless steel drum, which will prevent snags and won’t wear down over time. While it doesn’t offer advanced cycles such as a steam wash or hand wash, this washer’s 12 cycles do include an activewear setting and a quick wash for small loads. Separate dispensers for all of your washing needs—detergent, bleach, and softener—ensure that each agent is released at the right time during a cycle. This washer also includes lid lock technology to prevent curious children from opening the machine mid-cycle.

This washer’s matching dryer (the Insignia NS-TDRE67W1) offers 6.7 cubic feet of space and a wrinkle care mode for delicates. A filter indicator reminds you of when the dryer’s filter should be cleaned. The machine also operates at less than 69 decibels, making it about as loud as a normal conversation’s volume. This dryer does not have four-way venting, which limits its placement possibilities; however, we don’t consider that a deal-breaker since the door is reversible to accommodate different room layouts. Despite smaller capacities, this washer and dryer are a great choice for anyone who just wants basic functions paired with reliable cleaning—all at a very reasonable price.

Price at time of publish: $450 for washer, $450 for dryer

Washer Mechanism: Agitator | Washer Capacity: 3.7 cubic feet | Washer Cycles: 12 | Dryer Fuel: Electric | Dryer Capacity: 6.7 cubic feet | Dryer Cycles: 12

Best Laundry Center

LG WKEX200HWA WashTower Laundry Center

LG WKEX200HWA WashTower Laundry Center


What We Like
  • Accessible control panel

  • Impressive capacity for a laundry center

  • Doesn't vibrate a lot

What We Don't Like
  • Wi-Fi set-up can be challenging

  • Dryer lacks an "air only" setting

Popular in apartments and condos, a laundry center is a vertically stacked washer and dryer that functions as a single unit. Unlike stackable washer dryer sets, where the washer and dryer are two separate appliances and can also be positioned side-by-side, a laundry center is a single appliance. 

While laundry centers are usually quite basic in form and function, LG’s WKEX200HWA WashTower is a game-changer and a head-turner. This sleek-looking tower features a front-loading washer and dryer, a departure from the familiar top-loading washer usually seen in laundry centers. Load capacity is improved, too. The washer features 4.5 cubic feet of drum space, which is on par with many stand-alone washing machines. The dryer keeps up with 7.4 cubic feet of room. In both appliances, you’ll have plenty of cycles and options to choose from, but you can also let AI fabric sensors do the work for you. This technology automatically detects the texture and load size to select the right cycle. 

One of the more innovative design features of the LG WashTower is the central control panel. While some laundry centers or stackable washer and dryer sets have hard-to-reach controls for the dryer, LG put the panel for both the washer and dryer in the center of the tower, about the height of your average countertop, so options are easy to see, and controls are simple to use. 

Price at time of publish: $2,499

Washer Mechanism: Not applicable | Washer Capacity: 4.5 cubic feet | Washer Cycles: 10 | Dryer Fuel: Gas or electric | Dryer Capacity: 7.4 cubic feet | Dryer Cycles: 9

Best High-Efficiency

LG Electronics WM4200HWA 27 in. 5.0 cu. ft. White Ultra Large Capacity Front Load Washing Machine & DLEX4200W 7.4 cu. ft. Ultra Large Capacity Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Front Load Electric Dryer

LG Electronics WM4200HWA 27 in. 5.0 cu. ft. White Ultra Large Capacity Front Load Washing Machine & DLEX4200W 7.4 cu. ft. Ultra Large Capacity Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Front Load Electric Dryer


What We Like
  • Washer can sync with dryer for load selection

  • Allergiene Cycle

  • Automatically tumbles clothes left in the drum

  • Closet-depth design

What We Don't Like
  • Washer door isn't reversible

  • Display screens difficult to read in certain lighting

While high-efficiency sets certainly have their drawbacks, such as having longer cycle times and needing specialty detergent, this washer and dryer set from LG puts the laundry control completely in your hands, whether you’re standing in front of the washer or leaving the office. "[High-efficiency machines] use up to 80 percent less water than traditional, top-loading washers, deliver 65 percent energy savings, and also can wash more laundry in one go than traditional machines," says Ahoni. "Not only that, but they are much larger than traditional, top-loading washing machines and can accommodate much larger loads."

Like our best overall pick from GE, this LG washing machine has an impressive 5-cubic-foot capacity that’s big enough to fit a king-sized comforter. Built-in sensors allow the machine to select the correct temperature and wash motion based on fabric texture and load size. We tested an older model of this washing machine in a real-life home setting and found it to be a total game-changer. We think the Allergiene Cycle and Speed Wash setting are fantastic additions to any household's laundry routine, and we appreciated how quiet the motor is. All of these features are packed into the LG WMA4200HWA, along with an even higher capacity.

Both the washer and the LG DLEX4200W dryer have FreshCare settings that periodically tumble clothes up to three hours after a load is completed. You can also pair these machines with each other for optimized drying cycles that match your clothes’ wash cycle. Remote monitoring through the LG ThinQ app allows you to keep up with your wash and dry cycles while also providing proactive alerts about the machines and their needs. In addition to being Energy Star certified as a set, the washer is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, because it can reduce up to 95 percent of allergens in household fabrics. 

Our only concern with this set is that the door is not reversible on the washing machine, which slightly limits arrangement options in a compact laundry room. The display screens are also difficult to read in certain lighting, but that is a minor flaw in an otherwise great high-efficiency set.

Price at time of publish: $1,349 for washer, $1,349 for dryer

Washer Mechanism: Not applicable | Washer Capacity: 5.0 cubic feet | Washer Cycles: 14 | Dryer Fuel: Electric | Dryer Capacity: 7.4 cubic feet | Dryer Cycles: 14

Best High-Capacity

LG SIGNATURE WM9500HKA Mega Capacity Front Load Washer & DLEX9500K Mega Capacity Electric Dryer


Courtesy of Best Buy

What We Like
  • Extra-wide door opening

  • On-door control panel 

  • Steam cycle for non-washable clothes

  • Anti-vibration system 

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Wider than other sets

If your household completes baskets on baskets of laundry each week, then it's worth splurging on a washer-dryer set that can help you tackle more at once. This LG SIGNATURE set will be the best fit for you, as the washer has 5.8 cubic feet of interior space, and the dryer has a whopping 9.0 cubic feet of interior space—both well above the average. While the two machines are wider than other options and could be a bit difficult to maneuver through your doorways, depending on your laundry room's design specifications, they're also intuitive. Smart features allow you to control them with voice commands, download new cycles to try, and check in on your load with the SmartThinQ app.

The washer is a high-efficiency machine that will thoughtfully use your water and energy with each and every cycle. This is particularly ideal for someone who is constantly running their laundry machines. You can make use of 14 different cycle options, as well as LG's SideKick pedestal washer (sold separately) if you want more capacity and washing power. The anti-vibration system ensures that the washer also won’t disturb nap time during the spin cycle. 

The dryer features an additional 14 cycle options and has a motor that is backed by a 10-year warranty. If you’re looking to truly optimize your clothing’s lifespan, a special steam cycle also allows you to gently refresh clothes that are marked as non-washable. Paired with extra-wide door openings and sleek on-door control panels, there’s not much missing from this washer and dryer duo. All in all, this set is reliable and powerful. Just select your desired setting on the touch control pad—whether it be allergen, ReduceStatic, or something else—and let this set do the rest.

Price at time of publish: $1,999 for washer, $1,999 for dryer

Washer Mechanism: Not applicable | Washer Capacity: 5.8 cubic feet | Washer Cycles: 14 | Dryer Fuel: Gas or electric | Dryer Capacity: 9.0 cubic feet | Dryer Cycles: 14

Best Smart

Whirlpool WTW8127LW 5.2-5.3 cu. ft. Smart Top Load Washer with 2-in-1 Removable Agitator & WED8127LW 7.4 cu. ft. Smart Electric Dryer with Steam and Advanced Moisture Sensing

Whirlpool WTW8127LW 5.2-5.3 cu. ft. Smart Top Load Washer with 2-in-1 Removable Agitator & WED8127LW 7.4 cu. ft. Smart Electric Dryer with Steam and Advanced Moisture Sensing

Appliances Connection

What We Like
  • Built-in, dual-temperature faucet

  • Delay start feature

  • Drum dryer rack provided for shoes or pillows 

  • Can program up to 36 customized wash cycles 

What We Don't Like
  • Limited retailer availability

  • Dryer does not have "check lint" light

If you’re looking for a washer and dryer duo that is truly smart—aside from its smart technology features—this Whirlpool pair is for you. It’s hard to know where to begin with the number of features loaded into these machines, but let’s start with the 2-in-1 agitator feature on the washer. Hoping to wash a bulky king-size comforter? Simply pop out the agitator (the central pole) in this washing machine's drum for more room and fewer washing woes. A built-in faucet with hot and cold water settings is also included so you can pre-treat stains or rinse out delicates. The included brush is an added bonus for those super stubborn stains. When you’re ready to load your clothes, but want to wait to wash them until a certain time, simply schedule your wash cycle on the Whirlpool app. You can also customize up to 36 different wash cycles, so you’ll truly have your routine down to the garment. 

The matching dryer is packed with just as many features, like a drying rack (shipped after product registration) that can be placed in the drum to dry pillows and shoes without tumbling. Advanced moisture sensors allow the dryer to track moisture and temperature for optimized dry times, too, and a steam cycle releases wrinkles without the need for rewashing. While this dryer has many features, it does not include a “check lint screen" light or a self-cleaning lint trap, which would be convenient for any household tackling multiple loads in one day. 

This duo arguably includes as many smart features as possible, even features that aren’t technologically smart. However, what we love the most is that these smart features are actually practical and useful. Just keep in mind that it can be hard to find this set in stores and online.

Price at time of publish: $1,299 for washer, $1,299 for dryer

Washer Mechanism: Impeller or optional agitator | Washer Capacity: 5.2 cubic feet (with agitator) or 5.3 cubic feet (with impeller) | Washer Cycles: 11 | Dryer Fuel: Electric | Dryer Capacity: 7.4 cubic feet | Dryer Cycles: 6

Best Stackable

Maytag MHW5630HW Front Load Washing Machine & MED5630HW Electric Vented Dryer

Maytag MHW5630HW Front Load Washing Machine & MED5630HW Electric Vented Dryer


What We Like
  • Wrinkle cycle runs up to 150 minutes after end of dry cycle

  • Extra-power button boosts stain fighting

  • 10-year warranty on both machines

  • AFFRESH cycle to clean basket

What We Don't Like
  • Stacking kit sold separately

  • Wash cycles can be long

A space-saving washer and dryer configuration can be a major win for apartment dwellers and small-space laundry rooms. This stackable duo from Maytag not only will save you space but will also cut down on your time spent doing laundry. The Maytag MHW5630 washer has a 4.5-cubic-foot capacity, which is plenty of room to handle large and small loads alike. Although the capacities on these machines will save you from having to complete several loads of laundry, keep in mind that some wash cycles may take longer. Both machines also feature an extra-power button, which boosts stain-fighting capabilities in a wash cycle and extends dry time and tumbling. 

The AFFRESH cycle on the washing machine also allows you to quickly and efficiently clean the wash basket every 30 cycles with an AFFRESH cleanser tablet or liquid chlorine bleach. Both machines have 10-year warranties associated with specific parts. If you forget a load of dry clothes, the Wrinkle Prevent cycle will automatically continue to tumble for up to 150 minutes. Keep in mind that you do have to purchase the stacking kit separately, which is one of the only downsides we found with this set.

Price at time of publish: $999 for washer, $999 for dryer

Washer Mechanism: Not applicable | Washer Capacity: 4.5 cubic feet | Washer Cycles: 10 | Dryer Fuel: Electric | Dryer Capacity: 7.3 cubic feet | Dryer Cycles: 10

Best Compact

Whirlpool WTW200HW 1.5 cu. ft. Portable Impeller Top-Load Washer & LDR3822PQ 3.4 cu. ft. Stackable Portable Electric Dryer

Whirlpool WTW200HW 1.5 cu. ft. Portable Impeller Top-Load Washer & LDR3822PQ 3.4 cu. ft. Stackable Portable Electric Dryer


What We Like
  • Easy to move around

  • Automatic temperature control

  • Stainless steel wash basket 

  • Sensor drying

What We Don't Like
  • Small capacities

  • Stacking kit sold separately 

Finding a compact washer and dryer set that’s also reliable can be challenging, but this set from Whirlpool is sure to impress you with its cleaning capabilities. Although it’s certainly not winning any awards for forward-thinking technology or innovation, it offers major efficiency and space-saving abilities. This washer and dryer set is stackable, but the stacking kit is sold separately. Both units are also easy to move around because they’re on caster wheels. Although the capacity is nothing to brag about on either machine, we appreciate the automatic temperature control on the washing machine, which optimizes wash cycles, and the sensor drying in the dryer, which prevents over-drying. 

This washer’s stainless steel wash basket means that it will last for many years without wearing down or snagging your clothes. An end-of-cycle signal on the dryer also allows you to know exactly when your laundry is done. Although there may be some trade-offs with this duo, you can’t knock this choice for the compact size and adjustability for small spaces.

Price at time of publish: $999 for washer, $799 for dryer

Washer Mechanism: Impeller | Washer Capacity: 1.5 cubic feet | Washer Cycles: 6 | Dryer Fuel: Electric | Dryer Capacity: 3.4 cubic feet | Dryer Cycles: 3

Best for Energy Savings

Electrolux EFLS627UTT 4.4 cu. ft. Stackable Front Load Washer with Steam & EFMG627UTT 8.0 cu. ft. Stackable Front Load Gas Dryer with Steam

Electrolux EFLS627UTT 4.4 cu. ft. Stackable Front Load Washer with Steam & EFMG627UTT 8.0 cu. ft. Stackable Front Load Gas Dryer with Steam


What We Like
  • Washing machine is loaded with stain-fighting features 

  • LuxCare Dry and Predictive Dry systems 

  • Dispenser accepts HE pods, powder, and liquid detergent

  • NSF certified to remove allergens 

What We Don't Like
  • No smart features 

  • No self-cleaning lint filter

Maximize energy efficiency without sacrificing cleaning power with this washer and dryer duo from Electrolux. This powerful yet energy-efficient washer and dryer set will maximize your water savings while minimizing energy usage. The Electrolux ELFW7537AW front-loading washer has earned one of Energy Star’s "Most Efficient" ratings, and it also carries a CEE Tier II rating. Pair it with the Electrolux ELFG7537AW gas dryer for maximum energy efficiency. 

This highly-rated Electrolux washing machine and dryer duo is also ideal for households that deal with a lot of laundry stains. The high-end washing machine offers a number of stain-fighting features, such as a Perfect Steam setting and a StainTreat II option, which optimize all of the settings on the washer, based on the stain selected. Although it doesn’t have the largest capacity, compared to other washers, this machine boasts a 4.5-cubic-foot drum, which is plenty of room for the average laundry load. It’s also compatible with all forms of HE detergent, including, liquid, powder, and pods. 

Possibly our favorite feature of this duo is the certification from the National Science Foundation that certifies that it removes 95 percent of allergens in your laundry. The dryer also offers LuxCare Dry and Predictive Dry settings, which optimize drying temperatures based on moisture sensors, which prevent over- and under-drying as well as energy waste. Despite its high-efficiency design, this dryer does not have a self-cleaning lint filter. There are also no smart features on either unit, but we don’t consider these minor details total deal-breakers for such highly rated performance.

Price at time of publish: $1,170 for washer, $1,260 for dryer

Washer Mechanism: Not applicable | Washer Capacity: 4.5 cubic feet | Washer Cycles: 10 | Dryer Fuel: Gas | Dryer Capacity: 8 cubic feet | Dryer Cycles: 10

Final Verdict

Front-loading washer and dryer sets are among the most popular on the market, and the GE GFW850SSNWW Washer and GFD85ESSNWW Dryer are a full-featured pair that won't disappoint. Plenty of capacity and GE's innovative features, like dynamic balancing technology, translate to great cleaning quality and user-friendly operation. However, if you're shopping for a top-loading duo, the Samsung WA55A7300AE Washer and DVE55A7300E Dryer are a winning combination. Both machines have extra-large capacities and built-in, stain-fighting features.

Hilary Allison / The Spruce

What to Look for in a Washing Machine


Since over-filling your washer will prevent your clothes from getting as clean as they should, and under-filling it often means a waste of water and energy (unless your washer has load-sensing technology), you’ll want to find a washing machine with a capacity that matches your average load size. Capacity is usually measured in cubic feet, and a standard washing machine typically has a drum with about 4 to 4.5 cubic feet of space. Compact washers will have up to 2.5 cubic feet of space, and super-capacity, front-loading washers—such as the LG SIGNATURE WM9500HKA 5.8 cu. ft. Smart Front Load Washer—offer as much as 6 cubic feet of space.

Since you might not know how many cubic feet of space your average load of laundry takes up, keep in mind that a washer with a capacity of 3 to 4 cubic feet can usually wash up to 12 pounds of laundry. A 4.5-cubic-foot washer can also comfortably hold a king-sized comforter. Adjust these approximations up or down for washers with smaller or larger capacities. (Check out our washing machine load size reference chart for more information on machine capacity and laundry load sizes.)

Agitation Type

Every washing machine relies on some form of agitation to clean clothes and loosen dirt. When you peek inside the washer, you’ll find a variety of types of agitators across front-load and top-load washers, and you'll want to consider the pros and cons of each type. In a front-load washer, you’ll see a big drum with small fins protruding from all sides. These low-profile paddles, combined with the turning of the drum, provide gentle agitation that is better for the longevity of garments. However, this gentler agitation also means longer cycle times to ensure that clothes are clean.

Inside of a top-load washer, the familiar sight of a tall center agitator is being increasingly replaced with an impeller plate on the bottom of the wash tub that performs a similar action while taking up less space. "There are two main types of agitation in top-load washers," says Gary Childers, P&G fabric care scientist and appliance expert. "The first is a traditional agitator that helps move clothes in the bath of water and is typically positioned to help in better cleaning. The other is an impeller designed as a rotating plate with fins/ridges in the bottom of the machine. These machines are typically positioned for fabric care benefits. The impeller system also increases the capacity of the machine, adding greater flexibility to add bulky items like bedding and comforters."

Typical top-loaders with a tall agitator are said to shorten the longevity of garments and can hinder the ability to wash larger, bulkier items like a comforter. Notably, some machines, like the Whirlpool WTW8127LW Top Load Washing Machine that's part of our favorite smart set, have a removable central agitator. That way, you can get the best of both worlds.


While all washing machines have basic cycles to handle everyday laundry needs, some machines go above and beyond with specialized cycles for oversized items like comforters or items labeled for hand-washing. "The number of cycles is not an indication of overall washing power—different cycles just provide options to meet the needs of many different consumers," says Jennifer Ahoni, P&G fabric care principal scientist and laundry expert. "Smart machines have additional sensors to detect the conditions of your load and enhance consumer benefits. When looking at cycles on washers and dryers, consider if there are any specific needs you desire for your laundry, and select a machine that has those available."

Another popular option appearing on many front-loading washers, and some top-loading washers, is a sanitizing cycle that uses high heat to kill up to 99.9 percent of bacteria—perfect for dirty dish rags or pet bedding. Allergen-related cycles are also a hot commodity, especially for allergy sufferers, since they promise to eliminate pollen, dust, dander, and other potential triggers. The Electrolux ELFW7537AW Front Load Washer, which is a part of our top set for energy savings, is certified by the National Science Foundation for removing 95 percent of allergens in your laundry.

Drum Material

Since your clothes are about to get washed and whirled inside of a machine, you want to be sure that nothing will snag the fabric of your favorite blouse. Stainless steel tubs are considered the smoothest and most durable choice for washing machine drums. They’re often included with higher-end washing machines.

Porcelain-enameled steel tubs are also popular and cost less, but over time the porcelain finish can chip or wear away—leaving exposed steel that may rust and stain or snag clothes. Less commonly seen, but sometimes used in low or mid-range machines, are heavy-duty plastic washtubs. While durable enough to last for many years, they may not be well suited for high-speed spin cycles, and they can develop rough spots that might catch clothes over time.

Samsung 5.4 Cu. Ft. Top Load Washer with Active Water Jet

The Spruce / Katie Begley

What to Look for in a Dryer

Gas or Electric Design

To supply the hot air it will take to dry your clothes thoroughly, you’ll need a dryer with a heater that is fueled by natural gas or powered by electricity. Does your laundry room have a natural gas line that you can connect a dryer to? If not, you’ll need to install one if you want the efficiency of a gas dryer. A gas dryer will cost more initially—especially if you need to pay to have a gas line installed, and there may be additional fees to have a gas dryer hooked up during delivery. Still, this type of dryer is generally capable of drying clothes more quickly, and it may cost less to operate, depending on the cost of utilities in your area.

Electric dryers don’t require a separate gas line—just plug it in, and it's ready to operate. You’ll generally find that electric dryers cost about $100 less than their gas counterparts. However, they typically have longer drying times, which means greater energy usage and increased costs in the long run.


Make sure that you have a dryer suitably sized to handle the capacity of your washing machine. If not, you’ll have a load of soggy clothes ready for drying, and you'll only be able to fit some of them in your dryer. The rule of thumb used to be to find a dryer with twice the cubic capacity of the washing machine, but increased efficiency in dryer performance means that you won’t need to adhere strictly to that formula anymore. Still, if you have a washer with a capacity of 4.5 cubic feet, look for a dryer with at least 7 cubic feet of drying space. That will also provide enough room to dry larger items, like queen- or king-sized comforters. Our top pick for a high-capacity set, the LG SIGNATURE WM9500HKA 5.8 cu. ft. Smart Front Load Washer and DLEX9500K 9 cu. ft. Smart Stackable Electric Dryer, can easily wash and dry an entire king-sized comforter and sheet set in one load.

Samsung 5.4 Cu. Ft. Top Load Washer with Active Water Jet

The Spruce / Katie Begley

Standout Features

Bulk Dispenser

You can typically find a bulk dispenser in a high-capacity washing machine. This feature allows you to fill up a dispenser with your favorite laundry detergent once, and not have to fill it again for up to 40 loads. Any household that runs its machine on a daily basis, maybe because there's a baby or athlete, will find this feature handy. It cuts down the preparation time for each cycle. Load-sensing technology helps your washer dispense the exact right amount of detergent for the size of your load, so you'll potentially waste less.

Built-in Faucet

If you frequently find yourself pre-treating stains in your sink or on the top of your washer, consider a washer with a built-in faucet. Located in the drum of a top-loading washer, the faucet allows you to work at dirt, oil, or wine stains, right over your drum. The process is less messy as a result. If your washer is located in a closet or mudroom, this feature will also be handy, as you don't need to bring your dripping item from one room to another.

Reversible Door

A reversible door is particularly handy if you're installing a washing machine or dryer in a small and limited space. Found on front-loading machines, this type of door can be swung open to the left or the right with proper installation. No matter which way you set it up, the seals will also remain nice and tight. This feature is not exclusive to high-end models, but it isn't guaranteed on all washers and dryers either.

LG Ultra Large Capacity Electric Dryer

The Spruce / Deanna McCormack

  • What are the advantages of buying a washer and dryer together?

    There are several reasons to consider buying a washer and dryer together, including capacity compatibility and savings. When you buy a washer and its matching dryer, the capacity of the two machines will match up. This is important for the efficiency of your laundry routine; if you buy a super-capacity washer, but your dryer offers more limited capacity, you’ll have to run multiple drying cycles to thoroughly dry a load, or be forced to air-dry part of a freshly washed laundry load.

    Efficiency is also a major reason to purchase a washer and dryer together. "Washer and dryer pairs are designed to work together," says Childers. "During the final spin, a washing machine is designed to remove a certain amount of water from the clothes. The dryer is designed to efficiently remove that amount of remaining moisture from its paired washing machine. Some manufacturers design connected machines that transmit data from the washer to the dryer to optimize the laundry process." Our best high-efficiency pick, the LG Electronics WM4200HWA 27 in. 5.0 cu. ft. Front Load Washing Machine, and its matching dryer include smart pairing, which allows the dryer to find the best dry settings for the load of clothes currently in the washer.

    Many retailers offer attractive deals when you purchase a washer and dryer together. By purchasing a set, you can save several hundred dollars on your new appliance purchase. Replacing just one machine can leave you with worry about when the other appliance may require replacement or repair. Take advantage of the opportunity to save, and sync up your washer and dryer set by buying a washer and dryer together and enjoying the peace of mind from having a new laundry duo. 

    Space and aesthetics are two more reasons to buy a washer and dryer at the same time. A matching washer and dryer will generally share the same finish, design features, and depth and height dimensions. These shared attributes will make them a snug pair that will fit in your laundry area without one machine sticking out more than the other or looking out of place.

  • How much should you expect to pay for a washer and dryer set?

    You can expect to pay between $500 and $2,000 for a washer-dryer set, depending on whether you’re shopping for a front-load, top-load, or stackable set. Top-load washers and their matching dryers have often been the most affordable options. However super-capacity, top-loading washer and dryer sets can quickly climb in price. Front load washer and dryer sets range in price as well, with budget pairs starting under $1,000 and high-capacity laundry pairs costing up to $2,000. 

    Opting for a gas dryer usually means a price increase of about $100 with most retailers. If you don’t already have a natural gas line located at the installation spot for your machine, don’t forget to factor in the cost of installation by a professional.  

  • How do you install a washer and dryer?

    To install a washing machine and dryer, first turn off your water supply and the breakers that supply power to your washer and dryer outlets.

    For the washer, you'll want to connect the corresponding hoses to the hot and cold water supply outlets and the washer. Once those are firmly on, make sure the drain line is in a standpipe or utility tub. Then turn the water supply and breakers back on, plug in your washer, and test for leaks. Once you're sure it's working, place the washer, and level it.

    For the dryer, clean the outside and inside of the vent. Then, connect the metal duct vent or plastic duct hose to the dryer's outlet and the external vent. Next, put it in place, level it, and plug it in.

    These steps assume that you are installing a washer and dryer in a location with a previous laundry setup. For areas that need electrical outlets and water connections, or for installation jobs you're not comfortable tackling on your own, you may need to hire an electrician and plumber to prep the area for the installation of your appliances, and then a professional to actually install them.

    Many major retailers offer installation packages with the purchase of your new appliance, sometimes for free and other times at an additional cost. If you have a retailer install your appliance, they will likely send professionals from their own company or a third-party contractor to your home. You'll want to follow their checklist of pre-installation tasks to make sure installation goes smoothly. This list often includes tasks like making sure there is an easy path to and from the spot where you want your machines installed.

  • How long should a washer and dryer last?

    Generally, a washer and dryer have a lifespan of over ten years. Washing machines on average last up to 11 years, while dryers can last between 13 and 15 years. To maintain the lifespan of your washer and dryer, make sure they are properly set up and leveled, being used correctly (for example, don't go over their recommended capacity), and that you clean them out regularly.

    "The most important thing for consumers is to perform regular maintenance," says Childers. "This includes routine machine cleaning cycles designed to remove washing machine residues, cleaning dispensers, cleaning the dryer lint screen, and having a qualified service technician maintain the ductwork of a vented dryer. Properly maintaining the appliance can have a positive impact on performance."

  • What are the most reliable brands of washer and dryer?

    Larger brands such as GE and Whirlpool are always reliable brands that offer everything from basic washer and dryer sets to ground-breaking smart appliance features. LG Electronics and the LG SIGNATURE sub-line often feature new technology and smart pairing features to optimize your entire smart home performance. For energy savings, check out brands such as Electrolux, which offer sets that use about 85 kWh (kilowatt-hours) per year.

  • Where are the best places to buy a washer and dryer?

    When shopping for a washer and dryer, sometimes it's easier to look at the appliances in a store rather than basing your opinion on their online description. Many retailers, such as Home Depot and Lowe's, offer online and in-store shopping options. There are also retailers that offer a larger online selection than what's limited to their showrooms. Location, installation services, and delivery options are also all factors to consider when choosing a retailer to purchase from.

Samsung 7.4 Electric Dryer with Steam Sanitize+

The Spruce / Katie Begley

Why Trust The Spruce?

Erica Puisis has been covering large appliances for The Spruce since 2017. She's written more than 200 articles and has experience using front-loading, top-loading, and all-in-one machines. For this piece, she relied on her expertise and extensive product research to find the very best machines for your laundry situation.

Marisa Casciano is a senior commerce editor for The Spruce and has researched the ins and outs of air purifiers, dishwashers, vacuums, and more in the home space. To edit and update this piece, she read through dozens of product listings, user manuals, and verified customer reviews. She watched informative videos, checked out the models in person, and did extensive research on the latest and greatest technology.

Emma Phelps is an updates writer for The Spruce. She has previously researched the best places to buy appliances and has written reviews on everything from humidifiers to refrigerators. To update this piece, she researched individual models and sets, and optimized recommendations across our washer and dryer library. She also reached out to two specialists at P&G. Gary Childers, fabric care scientist and appliance expert, and Jennifer Ahoni, fabric care principal scientist and laundry expert, offered essential insights for purchasing washer and dryer sets and caring for them.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Washer and Dryer Certification. National Sanitation Foundation International.

  2. Choosing the Best Washing Machine. Consumer Reports.

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