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Find Laundry Appliances That Work for You

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers

The laundry room is one of those places that you want to be as convenient as possible, so you can carry out your chores quickly and painlessly. As far as household appliances go, the washer and dryer have remained fairly unglamorous as fixtures in the kitchen took the spotlight and developed with the latest technology, but now it’s time to upgrade how you see laundry, too! With a host of features and options that offer everything you need and plenty that you want, today’s laundry sets are definitely a major step away from the past.

If you’re ready to make a laundry room update, here is what you need to know about selecting the right appliances. Think about how much you need to wash, the space you have, and even your lifestyle, and you can find a perfect solution in a market that has never been so diverse.

Whirlpool Smart Cabrio Top Load Washer with Laundry App

The 5.3 cu. ft. Smart Cabrio® Top Load Washer with Laundry App from Whirlpool® will change what you know about washing clothes. With specialty and customized cycles that you can control through your smartphone, you can time the laundry around your life and not the other way around.

The Basic Types of Washers

Even with all the newfangled technology out there, the fundamentals of washers remain the same. A few key configurations each come with benefits and drawbacks depending on your situation, so it’s important to look for something you can actually use before thinking about the extras. Keep your spatial and physical limitations in mind as you decide which type of washer to shop for.

Top Load

  • The traditional residential washer with an uncomplicated control panel
  • Easy to load and unload without too much bending
  • Shorter wash cycles and less vibration and noise
  • May not clean as well as other models and can’t fit very large items like comforters

High-Efficiency Top Load

  • Same basic shape as a regular top load washer, but without the agitator so it can accommodate larger loads
  • Uses less water with improved cleaning performance, but has a longer cycle
  • Affordability depends heavily on how many extras the machine has

Front Load

  • Has a large capacity and the most advanced technology and special features
  • Great cleaning performance and efficiency while using the least water, resulting in a longer cycle
  • In tight rooms or closets, can be stacked with the dryer on top to save space
  • Typically the most expensive configuration, will vibrate the most during the spin cycle as it extracts more water, and can be difficult for some people to use as it requires bending

Combination Washer/Dryer

  • Features a top load washer and a dryer in a single unit that can fit almost anywhere
  • A great choice for people who have difficulty bending over
  • Usually doesn’t have special features, but is perfectly sufficient for most users

If you really just want a simple appliance that can do the job, a top load or combination washer/dryer is your best bet. On the other hand, if you’re excited to see just how far laundry technology has come, check out some high-efficiency top load and front load washers. Many offer a huge list of specific wash cycles that will cater to all of your clothes, and some can even be controlled through an app so you can time the laundry around other parts of your life. Imagine—you could fill the washer in the morning and then tell it to run a cycle as you’re leaving work, so it’s ready to go into the dryer when you get home and you don’t have to stay up late to fold!

Maytag Large Capacity Dryer with Sanitize Cycle and Power System

This gas-heated Large Capacity Dryer with Sanitize Cycle and PowerDry System from Maytag® is designed to handle large loads and fights wrinkles with its Refresh cycle.

Selecting the Right Dryer

Washers give you configuration options, but all dryers are front-loading so clothes can tumble dry as the drum rotates. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have their own options! Dryers can be fairly simple or fully connected to your smart devices—what makes them different is what makes them hot and how they cool off, but they all tend to perform similarly.


  • The most common type, must be plugged into a 240V outlet
  • A heating element warms air as it is pulled into the drum
  • The humid, heated air is pumped outside through an exhaust duct


  • Also common, requires a 120V outlet and a gas hookup
  • Electrical signals cue a burner to produce a flame to warm the air
  • More expensive to buy than electric, but less expensive overall considering the cost of gas is less than the cost of electricity
  • The humid, heated air is pumped outside through an exhaust duct


  • A special type of electric dryer that loops the air current to eliminate the need for an exhaust duct
  • Hot, humid air is run through a condenser to remove moisture—which can run down a drain or collect in a tray that must be emptied—before returning to the drum, or a heat pump recirculates hot air as it pulls moisture from the drum
  • More efficient than vented dryers
  • Perfect for small spaces and homes/apartments that can’t accommodate an exhaust duct
  • Gentler on clothes because they don’t get as hot, but take longer to dry as a result
  • Have been the go-to option in Europe for many years

If you’re building your own home and have an idea which kind of dryer you would like, be sure to bring it up with your builder so you can be set up for it. Existing houses don’t really give you an option without a renovation.

Whirlpool Laundry Pedestal

The Duet® HybridCare™ dryer flaunts an efficient ventless design. Here, the washer and dryer are paired with the 15.5” Laundry Pedestal with Chrome Handle and Storage Drawer to make cleaning clothes easier on your back and to give you a place to keep all your supplies out of sight.

Make Your Own Arrangements

The laundry room is made to be useful, so do whatever you can to optimize its functionality for you. For example, you can raise your washer and dryer to increase ease of use with laundry pedestals. These are a very simple, low-tech solution, but they can make a world of difference in how it feels to do the laundry. And they can even provide storage space for detergent and whatever else you use, so comfort comes with convenience, too.

Don’t stop once you’ve figured out your appliances! Is your laundry room big enough to provide a place to iron, fold, and hang? Explore your other options to create a complete laundry room that helps you get stuff done. Perhaps a reach-in closet system along a wall will make organization second nature. Maybe placing a folding counter over a front loading washer and dryer will give the space the crisp, clean look that you want. Make your laundry room work for you and it’ll repay you with the clean clothes and linens you want at a fraction of the effort it used to take!