Pros and Cons of Washer/Dryer All-In-Ones

Pros and Cons of Washer/Dryer All-In-Ones

An all-in-one washer and dryer washes and dries clothes in the same drum. You simply put your dirty clothes inside, select the wash and dry cycles, and wait. When the machine finishes, your clothes will be clean and dry without you having to transfer them into a separate dryer like you would with a laundry center, which is a washer and dryer connected as a single unit.

Because all-in-one units are more compact than front-load washers, they are a good option for people who live in small apartments or want to do laundry in an RV or on a boat.



+    Compact unit ideal for small spaces such as apartments

+    No need to transfer clothes from washer to dryer

+    Ventless construction makes it easier to install


-     Limited capacity is only suitable for small households

-     Takes much longer to dry clothes

-     Not as reliable as stand-alone washer and dryer units


     A separate washer and dryer may not fit in a small apartment or tiny home. For those situations, an all-in-one washer and dryer could be the solution. This single unit looks like a front-load washer but, in addition to washing your clothes, it dries them in the same stainless steel drum.

     While it sounds ideal, there are trade-offs. Because most all-in-one units have a limited capacity of 2 or 3 cubic feet, this style is only practical for smaller households. Drum size also impacts the drying cycle. Usually, a stand-alone dryer drum is twice the size of the washer drum, allowing clothes to move freely and dry effectively. But, that’s not the case with a washer-dryer combo. Instead, the clothes stay in the same drum, which contributes to the machine’s poor performance as a dryer.

All-in-one washer-dryers also struggle to dry clothes because they’re ventless. Instead of drawing the hot, humid air out of the drum through a hose like with vented dryers, non-vented all-in-one units recirculate the air. This steamy air draws moisture out of the clothes but at a much slower rate than a vented dryer, resulting in dry times of up to six hours.

Professional reviewers agree that you should opt for a separate washer and dryer if you have the space, even though it’ll likely cost you more than an all-in-one unit. Over time, however, using separate units will save you money because they require fewer repairs and require less energy.

Most all-in-one units cost between $1,200 and $2,800, depending on if it offers high-end features like an allergy-friendly wash cycle, a steam function, or built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.

However, stand-alone washers and dryers are typically larger, allowing you to do more laundry at once. Additionally, since stand-alone dryers are vented, they can dry clothes in less than an hour instead of the up to six hours it can take a ventless, all-in-one machine to complete the task. Aside from taking up more time, all-in-one models are typically less reliable and require more repairs.

Is an all-in-one washer and dryer more efficient?

In general, an all-in-one washer and dryer is less efficient than a separate washer and dryer. Most have a very limited capacity that ranges between 1.5 and 3.4 cubic feet, meaning you’ll end up doing more than one load — and using more electricity — to complete the equivalent of a full-size load.

Additionally, since clothes need more space to move during the drying phase, you can only dry about half of the load at a time and, even after removing half of the clothes, it can take up to six hours to dry the rest. This is because most combo units are ventless. All-in-one models dry clothes by circulating hot air throughout the drum to pull moisture from the clothes, a process that is not as efficient as that of a vented dryer. On average, it takes about 45 minutes to dry a full load in a stand-alone dryer.

Is an all-in-one washer and dryer easier to install? 

An all-in-one washer and dryer can be much easier to install than separate washer and dryer units because the all-in-one is just one unit. It’s typically smaller, too, making it easier to maneuver into small spaces. Though, we've found that the all-in-ones are significantly heavier than you'd expect them to be.

Most all-in-one units are ventless and circulate the air within the drum to draw moisture out of the clothes. These units need to be close enough to a sink or drain so that the condensation can drain through a hose. On the other hand, vented dryers push the air outside through a hose that must be attached to the dryer on one end and a wall vent on the other.

Is an all-in-one washer and dryer easier to clean? 

An all-in-one washer and dryer is easier to clean because it uses one drum for both washing and drying. To clean this machine, remove the detergent tray, add a washing machine cleaning tablet or powder, and start the cleaning cycle.

Additionally, most all-in-one washer-dryer units are ventless, meaning you don’t have to detach a vent and clean it. Aside from the machine’s drum, you only need to clean the lint trap (if your model has one). Start by removing the lint screen and clearing debris with your fingers. Then, clean the trap with a brush or vacuum.

Is an all-in-one washer and dryer more reliable? 

Generally, an all-in-one washer and dryer isn’t as reliable as a separate washer and dryer because it does double the work, serving as both a washer and a dryer. That means twice the wear and tear. Also, lint can build up in a short period and clog the drain pump, leading to even longer drying times. (Though you may be able to clean the drain pump on your own.)

Another downside to washer and dryer combos is that there’s a potential for an issue to affect both the washer and dryer cycles. This isn’t the case with separate units. Instead, if the washer breaks, the dryer will still function and vice versa.


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