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10 best washer-dryer machines that will make doing your laundry easier

Pete Wise
·10 min read
We recommend taking a machine’s drying capacity as your main guide on a washer-dryer’s suitability for your household (iStock/The Independent)
We recommend taking a machine’s drying capacity as your main guide on a washer-dryer’s suitability for your household (iStock/The Independent)

A washer-dryer is the most efficient solution for fully laundering clothes, bedding and bath linen at home. Whether freestanding or integrated into your kitchen units, these appliances are uniquely capable of washing and drying in a single cycle – or performing either function on its own.

Ordinary washing machines often have the capability to dry clothes partially, using a spin-dry mode. However, this functionality is not intended to fully dry clothes; rather, it ensures laundry isn’t sopping wet when it reaches the clothes horse or washing line.

Washer-dryers go further, by heating the air in the machine to remove moisture. This tends to dry clothes almost as effectively as pegging them out on the line on a sunny day.

Perhaps the most important specification of a washer-dryer to check is the capacity, which will be split down into two different figures: the washing capacity, which is usually in the range of 5-12kg, and the drying capacity, which will be lower, probably between 4-8kg.

Washer-dryers can usually wash more clothing in one go than they can dry. This is because drying cycles require more space in the drum to ensure clothing is properly dried and largely free of creasing, but with washing cycles, the drum can be about three quarters full without any adverse effects on performance.

We recommend taking a machine’s drying capacity as your main guide on a washer-dryer’s suitability for your household, as this will determine how much laundry you can load in at one time. 1kg is about the weight of five T-shirts, so on that basis, a machine with 4kg drying capacity could dry about 20 T-shirts at once.

Meanwhile, a machine with 8kg drying capacity could dry about 35. Think carefully about how much laundry your household goes through, before selecting a washer-dryer.

Another key consideration when buying a washer-dryer is its impact on the environment. Every washer dryer sold in the UK comes with an energy rating from A-C. This indicates how much energy the machine consumes, relative to the amount of work it does.

The theory goes that the better the energy rating, the lower your energy bills and carbon footprint will be. Some washer-dryers have eco-friendly, economising features such as weight sensors and low energy cycles, which ensure the machine only uses as much energy as is needed to clean each particular load.

Washer-dryers are available as either freestanding or integrated appliances. Since each buyer will be looking for one or the other, the reviews here are divided into those categories.

Before we start, we’d like to give a top tip on how to keep your washer-dryer clean. After each cycle, gently pull back the seal at the bottom of the entrance to the drum and use a piece of kitchen roll to mop up any water you find there. This will help prevent dirt from accumulating in the seal.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Freestanding washer-dryer machines

Samsung ecobubble WD90J6A10AX: £699.99, Currys

Capacity: 9kg (wash); 6kg (dry)
Spin speed: 1400rpm​
Energy rating: A

This innovative machine uses “ecobubble”, a built-in mechanism that mixes air, water and detergent into your laundry before the wash cycle itself begins. This seems to have approximately the same effect as manually soaking clothes with detergent before loading them into a traditional washer: it enables them to be cleaned on a relatively low temperature setting, which could be a godsend for users who need to wash delicate fabrics, while also benefiting their energy bill and the environment.

Looking beyond its bells and whistles, this is a smart-looking, user-friendly appliance that has few weaknesses beyond its hefty price tag. One potential downside is the maximum spin speed of 1400rpm, which may fall just shy for some users who routinely launder resilient fabrics.

Buy now

AEG L7WEE965R 9kg washer dryer: £747, Appliances Direct

Capacity: 9kg (wash); 6kg (dry)
Spin speed: 1600rpm​
Energy rating: A

If you’re feeling concerned that you may not be able to master using a new washer-dryer, this could be a reassuringly safe choice. This appliance goes out of its way to ensure the user gets the desired results, with the capability to adapt its temperature according to the types of fabric loaded into the drum. It also has an overload alarm, which triggers whenever the machine’s weight sensor notices you’ve tried to cram in too much laundry. We were especially impressed with this washer-dryer’s built in steaming function, which helps remove the creases from laundry before you load it out.

Buy now

Bosch WDU28560GB serie 6, 10kg washer dryer: £847, John Lewis & Partners

Capacity: 10kg (wash); 6kg (dry)
Spin speed: 1400rpm​
Energy rating: A

This excellent option from the Bosch serie 6 line does the basics brilliantly. Its washing and drying performance is very good, and the appliance operates fairly quietly by washer-dryer standards. A standout feature is the machine’s sensor-drying, which helps prevent clothes being dried to excess.

While this machine may seem like a relatively high-capacity option, given its 10kg washing capacity, we would urge buyers who need to wash and dry large loads to pay attention to the drying capacity, too. 6kg will be perfectly sufficient for many households, but it’s no greater than the drying capacity of the Samsung ecobubble WD90J6A10AX or the AEG L7WEE965R.

Buy now

Beko WDB7426R1B 1200 spin washer dryer: £399.99, Appliances Direct

Capacity: 7kg (wash); 4kg (dry)
Spin speed: 1200rpm​
Energy rating: B

Coming in at a penny under £400, the Beko WDB7426R1B costs about as much as a high-quality washing machine. Considering the fact this appliance also incorporates condenser drying, with five settings and a sensor to prevent over drying, that’s tremendous value for money.

It does everything most small-to-medium households could need. The 4kg dry capacity is at the smaller end of the scale but will suffice to wash and dry the equivalent of about 20 T-shirts in one go. And while the spin speed of 1200rpm is lower than some of the other machines we’ve tested, it does a perfectly good job of drying.

Buy now

Whirlpool FWDD1071681W freestanding washer dryer: £570.97, Appliances Direct

Capacity: 10kg (wash); 7kg (dry)
Spin speed: 1600rpm​
Energy rating: A

Got lots to wash and dry? If so, this machine could be the best washer-dryer for the job. With capability to dry up to 7kg of laundry at once, this is the most capacious of all the freestanding washer-dryers we’ve tested. It’s powerful, too, with a maximum spin speed of 1600rpm.

Some users will be put off by this machine’s noise levels, which can reach 83dB during spin cycles and 53dB during washing. However, if your household is busy anyway and you just want to get lots of laundry washed in bulk, you could scarcely do better than using this machine on a 90-minute wash and dry setting.

Buy now

Integreated washer-dryers

Zanussi Z716WT83BI integrated washer dryer: £629, Currys

Capacity: 7kg (wash); 4kg (dry)
Spin speed: 1600rpm​
Energy rating: A

Washer-dryers are all well and good, but the chances are, you won’t want yours to be too much of a notable presence in your home. Of all the washer-dryers we’ve tested, this one is the perhaps the most subtle addition to the household. Not only does it integrate neatly into your kitchen cabinets; it’s also relatively quiet, with a spinning noise level of 70dB. This machine falls a few smart features short of being one of the very best (for example, there’s no sensor-assisted drying), but it is nonetheless a very good option for smaller households where maintaining a calm environment is a priority.

Buy now

Candy CBWD 8514DC integrated 8kg washer dryer: £369, ao.com

Capacity: 8kg (wash); 5kg (dry)
Spin speed: 1400rpm​
Energy rating: A

This washer-dryer has impressive specifications, considering its reasonable price. The wash capacity is 8kg, while the dry capacity is 5kg, which should prove sufficient for all, but the largest and most laundry-intensive, households. The spin speed of 1400rpm is on a par with some far more expensive appliances, such as the Samsung ecobubble WD90J6A10AX. While the CBWD 8514DC lacks some of the finesse of other washer-dryers, especially in terms of aesthetics, it does have some tricks up its sleeve to help users get good results, including an “intelligent KG” mode, which weighs the laundry during the first minute of washing, and adjusts the machine’s settings accordingly.

Buy now

Neff V6540X1GB integrated washer dryer: £1,049.99, Currys

Capacity: 7kg (wash); 4kg (dry)
Spin speed: 1400rpm​
Energy rating: B

How would you feel about making a considerable investment? Costing more than £1,000, this one is certainly that, but we expect many users will find it to be worth the outlay in the long run. This great looking washer-dryer is quiet, user-friendly, and most importantly, highly effective at washing and drying. A key factor is the V6540X1GB’s “aqua stop” tech, which ensures only as much water as is needed gets added to the load. This seems to produce especially well dried results – and it does so while using less energy and water than it might otherwise. If you’re willing to spend a lot of money on a great washer-dryer, this model should certainly be on your shortlist.

Buy now

SMEG WDI147D-1 integrated washer dryer: £649.99, Currys

Capacity: 7kg (wash); 4kg (dry)
Spin speed: 1400rpm​
Energy rating: A

SMEG may well be best known for its beautiful fridge freezers, but this brand’s washer-dryers are certainly worth a look too. Take the integrated SMEG WDI147D-1, for example. This machine doesn’t have the sort of high tech features we’ve seen from the likes of Samsung and Neff, but in place of those it has an especially simple, user-friendly design and control interface, which make the machine a pleasure to use. If you’re looking for a washer-dryer that won’t bamboozle you with advanced settings and jargonistic instructions, this would be a great choice. As we’ve come to expect of SMEG appliances, this appliance is a great performer, with excellent washing/drying capabilities and outstanding energy efficiency.

Buy now

Hoover HBWD 8514D-80 washer dryer: £439, ao.com

Capacity: 8kg (wash); 5kg (dry)
Spin speed: 1400rpm​
Energy rating: A

This ticks all the boxes for users seeking an effective, middle of the road washer-dryer that performs well against the measures that count. It has a decent drying capacity of up to 5kg; it is energy-efficient, with an A grade energy rating; and it washes, spins and dries as well. What’s more, the HBWD 8514D-80 has intelligent sensor technology, which weighs your washing at the start of the cycle and adjusts its settings to suit. This machine doesn’t quite match the likes of the Samsung ecobubble WD90J6A10AX in terms of innovation, or the Zanussi Z716WT83BI in terms of elegance – but it’s certainly a great all-rounder.

Buy now

The verdict: Washer-dryers

With a winning combination of beautiful looks, excellent performance and eco-friendly innovation, the Samsung ecobubble WD90J6A10AX is our IndyBest buy. Shoppers seeking an excellent integrated model should check out the Zanussi Z716WT83BI or Neff V6540X1GB instead.

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