Do you need a new washer and dryer? At first look, it may seem like there are endless options, or at least more than the last time you shopped. While you’ll want to keep things like color options and ratings and reviews in mind to determine the best washer option, quickly narrow down your search by running through these ten considerations.
1. THE MOST CONVENIENT CONFIGURATION
The first step to finding the perfect pair is to pick which washer and dryer configuration works best for your space. Feel free to mix and match washer and dryer models if you can’t find a pre-packaged pair you like.
Side-by-side with pedestals
Laundry pedestals provide extra storage if your space could use more. They’re almost always added to front load machines to help raise the appliances and make loading and unloading easier. If you’re thinking about adding a pedestal to your dryer, it’s important to consider where the exhaust vent is located in your space so that the venting can be connected properly. Due to the added height, pedestals are not always compatible with every space, especially in small areas like closets.
A stacked washer and dryer is great for smaller spaces and can only be achieved with front loading machines. Some brands offer stacked combos that can’t be separated called laundry centers or laundry towers.
When space is at a premium, especially in apartments or condos, an all-in-one washer and dryer is a convenient option. These machines save room and energy by washing and drying clothes in one unit.
Explore our washer and dryer sets to best maximize the power of both appliances and find the best fit for your home.
2. FRONT LOAD VS. TOP LOAD
Front load machines load from the front and have controls in the front. These washers clean clothes by tumbling them, which means they generally use less water and provide gentle cleaning. Front load washers also tend to extract water better and generally take a little longer than top load washers.
Top load machines load from the top with controls in the back. These washers use an agitator or impeller to wash clothes and often have an option that lets you fill the wash basket with deeper water levels.
3. THE RIGHT SIZE INSIDE & OUT
Measure your space to filter your options by the right width and height. Common widths are 24" for a small space model and 27–30" for a standard machine. For top load washers, be sure to account for the height when the lid is open, especially under cabinetry, so you’ll have room to open the lid easily. Make sure to get it right with Maytag brand’s step-by-step measuring instructions.
Also consider the size of your laundry loads and how much washer and dryer capacity you may need. Is your current capacity working for you? Washer capacities range from 2.0 cu. ft. for smaller loads and 6.0 cu. ft. for extra large loads. You should pair large capacity dryers with large capacity washers, making sure that the dryer cubic footage is about 1-½ times larger than the washer capacity.
4. AGITATORS VS. IMPELLERS IN TOP LOAD WASHERS
An agitator is a finned central post that twists back and forth to clean clothes, rubbing against them to loosen soils. Despite what you may have heard, advances in agitator technology ensure they’re not hard on clothes.
An impeller is a low-profile disc that spins, rubbing clothes against each other to clean them. Impeller washers generally use less water and have more capacity.
5. ELECTRIC VS. GAS DRYERS
Most spaces are set up for electric dryers. Check for a four-pronged, 240-volt electrical outlet. Electric dryers usually cost less than gas and don’t require a dedicated gas line, but will dry a little slower.
6. VENTED VS. VENTLESS DRYERS
Vented dryers are what you see most often. They use a vent to expel hot air after it’s been circulated through clothes, then replace it with new air. They are generally less expensive than ventless, must be installed close enough to an exterior wall to vent outside and are typically less energy efficient.
Ventless dryers can be installed anywhere, making them a good option for unconventional laundry rooms. They recycle air inside the drum rather than venting it out, using either a condenser or a heat pump. Ventless dryers generally use less energy but are more costly due to added complexity.
7. WATER USAGE
Washers labeled “High Efficiency” (HE) use less water than older non-HE models and are quickly becoming the standard. HE washers save 6,000 gallons of water per year for an average family, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. HE washers are also often ENERGY STAR® certified, which means they use less energy and cost less to operate than standard washers. They’re available as top load agitator, top load impeller and front load models. Some washer models include features like a Deep Fill option, which allows you to control water levels and add more water when you want it.
Learn more about high efficiency washers.
8. WASHER FEATURES
Consider what you like and don’t like about your current washer to figure out which features you might use in a new machine. Some newer features to consider are dispensers that hold large amounts of detergent and fabric softener that dispense for you or water faucets that are built right into the washer. If you tend to forget to transfer laundry to the dryer, some models will have an option that keeps tumbling your clothes until you can unload, helping prevent odor and rewashing, such as the Fresh Hold® option by Maytag.
Learn more about washer settings and cycles.
9. DRYER FEATURES
Most dryer feature upgrades tackle problems like wrinkles and over and underdrying. Dryers with sensor technology stop cycles once clothes have reached the safest dry for fabrics. Wrinkle control options will tumble clothes after the cycle ends to keep wrinkles at bay, and some have steam for even more effective de-wrinkling. Take a look at your washer settings and features and see if you can find a matching dryer with consistent settings, which makes using both machines easier.
Learn more about steam dryers.
10. SMART TECHNOLOGY
Most brands offer some kind of smart-enabled washer and dryer technology that alerts you when loads are done and even lets you start a cycle from your phone. With Maytag, you can manage laundry from anywhere1 with these optional features and more:
- Remote start allows you to start and stop laundry on your time with a mobile app.
- Schedule wash cycle lets you tell the washer when you want your clothes to be ready for the dryer, so it starts and ends the cycle on your schedule.
- Cycle notifications provide real-time alerts when your laundry cycle is complete.
- Favorites allow you to save your preferred cycles for easy access via the Maytag™ app.
Learn more about Maytag® Smart Capable Laundry.
When looking for a new washer and dryer, you may also want to consider what kind of warranties are offered. Manufacturer’s warranties cover select parts of the appliances for a specific amount of time. All Maytag® appliances feature a 10-year limited parts warranty to help keep your washer and dryer running smoothly for years to come. View our dryer buying guide to learn more about what to consider when buying a dryer.
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