Do Not Buy A Washer Dryer
The best advice when considering buying a washer dryer is not to!
We don't like washer dryers. In fact, we'd strongly advise that you don't buy one.
There's honesty that you don't see every day from a buying guide and probably a strong hint that this guide is far from politically correct but, we say this for good reason as we are engineers and, to be frank, they're pretty much all rubbish however, there are different degrees of rubbish to be had.
The bottom line is that a washer dryer is a huge compromise and one that a lot of people just can't live with as the drying side of itespecially is, well, rubbish really. Then, on top of that, they break more often and can be more expensive to repair, certainly they're not so easy to repair when they break and have a whole load more in them to go wrong, which does, often. So, honestly, the best advice that we can give you is, don't buy one in the first place.
And, it's not just us that will tell you this. Which? also say that these machines are a compromise and will generally offer inferior performance, in fact, from 36 machines they recently tested only three managed to obtain a Best Buy status and funnily enough, we agree with Which? on two out of three.
Now that I've told you not to buy one, if you're still reading this and not gone off to look at the washing machine buying guide, then I have to assume that you really, really need to have a washer dryer and so I feel obliged to offer you what pearls of wisdom that I can about them.
Washer Dryer For Family Use
The first thing to know about washer dryers is that, for families, they are practically useless. You can only ever dry half what you wash, regardless of what the sales blurb may say and to dry anything will normally take about as much time as hanging it up to dry. Count on a pair of jeans taking anything up to two hours, ditto towels and nappies etc. in fact, anything over a summer blouse or shirt pretty much.
The reason for this is very simple, the drum isn't and, due to the way that a washer dryer is constructed, cannot be made large enough to allow the clothes to get air around them enough for the dryer to be efficient. On top of that you have the little problem that you can't blow enough air into the drum to do the job as efficiently as a separate dryer ever will. And, then, you have extra holes in the tub to get the air in there as well as all the extra components to do the job, which break, lots.
For families and especially young families, if there's any way at all that you can avoid buying a washer dryer, avoid it
With all that said and hopefully the warnings taken to heart here's what we would suggest as choices in washer dryers but, unlike the other guides we will start at the top and work down as, frankly, finding a budget washer dryer that we could recommend was a real challenge.
Top End Washer Dryers
Miele, end of story.
Miele make a washer dryer that we can say is good or at least, as good as you will get in the way of a washer dryer. It's not perfect by a long was as you still have all the aforementioned baggage to put up with but , it is certainly much better than most. Which? rated this machine as a Best buy stating that performance was good on both wash and dry as well as having a very clear and easy to use display, we wouldn't argue.
The Miele WT2670WP washer dryer isn't cheap by a long way but it can be had for almost half the price of its big brother. It only has a 5Kg drum capacity but it ticks all the other boxes rather well.
Other than that, in this sector, there is nothing worth mentioning.
Mid-Range Washer Dryers
In the mid-range there is certainly more choice but, reliability drops significantly. It's a compromise, generally speaking the lower the price the worse the performance and reliability gets.
One of the models we'd say was okay is the Bosch Exxcel because it's not a bad performer at all for the money but also comes with a two year warranty. It's not bad, as washer dryers go.
Washer Dryer On A Budget
When you go looking you will see loads of Candy, Hoover, Servis, Indesit and Hotpoint machines floating avoid, our advice on these, avoid them like the plague as they're just trouble in our experience. But really there's not a lot to choose from in the budget area and any washer dryer under £500 is bound to be pretty poor. However here's a few worth having a look at, if you really must...
Zanussi nice little washer dryer from Zanussi without a lot of the bells and whistles of the John Lewis one, but also considerably cheaper.
Some of the Bosch range is a fair machine for the money really considering the general disadvantages of a washer dryer.
If you really, really must go any cheaper than this with a washer dryer then it really has to be a Hoover which is pretty cheap and, although it's a Candy in a dress, it's not the worst.
Avoid anything Indesit, Ariston or Hotpoint. All the same thing, all rubbish. Really, just don't do it.
Washer Dryer Alternatives?
There are alternatives, a compact dryer kept in a cupboard and brought out as you need as, let's face it, most people don't use the dryer that much really or this cracking little condenser dryer from Zanussi which can be wall mounted!
But in the end, with these sorts of alternative that most people can do, why compromise?
Some Washer Dryer Recommendations