When you’re in the market to buy a washer-dryer, you want one that won’t let you down, whether you’re washing clothes or drying them. A compromise purchase – which washer-dryers were once labelled as being – just won’t do.
But the good news is that nowadays, you don’t need to compromise on washing or drying when you buy a washer-dryer. So far in 2017 we’ve reviewed washer-dryers that were so impressive at both key jobs in our laundry tests that we didn’t hesitate in awarding them Which? Best Buy status.
But we’ve also tested some machines that were equally terrible at washing and drying.
Find out more about the startling differences between Best Buys and Don’t Buys in our washer-dryer reviews.
Best Buy washer-dryers
The great thing about Best Buy washer-dryers is that when washing, they’re just as good as the best washing machines we’ve seen, with stains being easily removed from cottons and clothes made of manmade fibres, such as sports kit. And they tend to spin excess water away from clothes uniformly brilliantly.
Switch to drying mode, Best Buy washer-dryers typically dry clothes more quickly and have the knack of drying clothes evenly throughout the drum.
Find the right machine for you among our 19 Best Buy washer-dryers.
Don’t Buy washer-dryers
Don’t Buy washer-dryers tend to have price on their side but little else. As washing machines, the letdown 2017 washer-dryers are poor at removing stains from cottons and do a terrible job of rinsing away detergent at the end of the wash.
And as dryers they’re incredibly slow at getting clothes dry, with the worst taking more than 45 minutes per kg to get cottons dry enough to put away.
Learn about the eight Don’t Buy washer-dryers to avoid at all costs.
Are washer-dryers a compromise purchase?
This was often an accusation leveled at washer-dryers in the past – they were seen as the appliance you went only for if you couldn’t squeeze both a washing machine and a tumble dryer into your home.
But the trade-offs you once had to make when buying a washer-dryer – such as hugely reduced drying capacities – are becoming less of an issue.
Larger drums that are widely available now bring with them increased drying capacities, with 6kg not uncommon, and the largest machines we’ve tested well able to cope with 8kg of drying.
How we test washer-dryers
We use strips of cotton and polyester that are coated with tough and dried-on stains, such as oil, blood, ink and grease. We then set them to wash alongside the kind of things you’d find in a typical wash, such as sheets, and we assess how clean each stained strip is at the end.
Our drying tests are made up of trying to get clothes dry enough to put away and also dry enough to iron, so damp to touch. We record how dry each item of clothing is, we work out the difference between the wettest and the driest items and we do all of this by weighing the dried clothes. We also assess how creased the dried clothes are.
New washer-dryer reviews
AEG L76685NWD – £650
Amica AWDJ712L – £400
Beko WDIX8543100 – £450
Belling FWD8614 – £449
LG F1496AD – £406 (pictured, above)
LG FH695BDH2N – £1,029
Miele WTF130WPM – £1,400
Samsung WD80K5410OW – £729
Smeg WDI147 – £659
Zanussi ZWD71463NW – £450
Zanussi ZWD91683NW – £629
Prices correct as of 12 July 2017.