Types of Washer Dryer
There are a few types of washer dryer available – from integrated and freestanding models to different colours and styles. If you’re not quite sure which sort to go for, this section of our buyers guide is for you.
How Do They Work?
Washer dryers generally work like a condenser tumble dryer rather than a vented version.
This means that instead of venting moist air produced during the drying process through a pipe, the machine condenses it back into water.
In a standard freestanding condenser tumble dryer you’d have to manually empty this water, but in a washer dryer it’s automatically drained away.
As there’s no hose like there is with a vented tumble dryer, you don’t necessarily need to put your washer dryer next to an external wall.
Freestanding washer dryers are a very popular option as they can be slotted into a suitable space in your kitchen or utility room.
They are designed to be seen and come with a wide variety of drum sizes. There are also some colour options available – see below.
Freestanding models are also easy to take with you if you move and easier to install.
Freestanding models are easy to take with you if you move and easier to install.
Built-in or integrated models are great if you have a fitted kitchen and don’t want to ruin its streamlined look.
They have a flat front which is designed so a kitchen cupboard door can attach to it, blending in with your other units. If you’ve previously had an integrated model it’s best to replace it with another integrated appliance.
Because they are snugly secured into the kitchen units and have a door to muffle noises, built-in models tend to be quieter than freestanding ones. However, they can be tricky to install, so you’ll probably want to have someone do it for you. This generally means you’ll need to pay a small installation fee.
Cold Fill Only
As with washing machines, the vast majority of washer dryers are cold fill only these days.
That means they take in cold water and heat it themselves, rather than taking in hot water from your boiler.
These machines are cheaper to manufacturer and tend to be more efficient than hot fill models.
White goods nowadays don’t have to be white, although it’s still the most popular colour for a washer dryer.
Although they’re hard to come by, it’s also possible to find silver, grey and black models, and even more unusual colours like red, blue, turquoise and pink.
Combination Washer Dryer vs Stacked Separates
Washer dryers are a great option if you’re low on floor space – after all, you’ll only have one appliance to find room for.
They can cost a lot less than buying two separate appliances too.
However, another option is to buy a separate washing machine and tumble dryer, plus a stacking kit. This means they can be placed on top of one another. If you have the height available, you’re not actually taking up any more floor space than a washer dryer would need.
Buying two separate appliances also means you’re likely to have a higher drying capacity, although you won’t be able to set a load to wash and dry in one go – you’ll need to transfer the wash between the two machines.