The time has come when your faithful washing machine or tumble dryer has given up on you. They are appliances we can’t really do without, especially if you have been so reliant on them and are suddenly left in the lurch. They also save us from trailing to the launderette every week.
Or, maybe you just decided you want a change? You’re remodeling your kitchen and want a more modern style, or need a bigger drum now you’ve added to the family.
Whatever your situation, finding the right washing machine or tumble dryer is tricky. There are so many to choose from, and they all offer various dizzying promises.
Then you see that washer dryers exist, which only adds to the choice selection.
Combined Washer Dryer vs Separate
Is it worth sticking to two separate models, or is one machine that does both jobs the answer to all your prayers? The answer is, both are great for their own different reasons:
Best if: You have a low budget
Washer dryer – A machine which promises to do two things for the price of one is a winner for anybody who wants to keep things affordable.
The cheapest washer dryers are available for around £300, whereas a decent dryer will set you back approximately £200 and the same applies to washing machines. That’s already a £100 saving before you have even got it fitted and working.
Best if: You are usually short on time
Separate – The beauty of having two individual machines is that they can both get to work at the same time. When it comes to the weekend, and you have about five separate loads to get through, one can be drying as another is washing.
Separate machines are usually more efficient than an all-in-one as well, so the tasks could get done quicker. There’s nothing worse than bringing your clothes out of the dryer and realising that they’re barely even dry.
Best if: You are short on space
Washer dryer – One machine obviously takes up less room than two. If you live in a house where there is no room to fit more than one under-counter appliance into the kitchen, a washer dryer could solve that problem.
It is also a great idea if you’ve never had a tumble dryer for this reason. Trying to air dry clothes can be frustrating, especially in winter or when it is raining, but this could make those struggles a distant memory.
Best if: You always have large loads
Separate – Washing and drying clothes requires two different drum sizes. You also can’t dry as much as you can wash at any one time because drying needs more air circulation.
Washer dryers usually have smaller drums, and if you fill up the wash part, you could have to remove some clothes to switch to drying. Suddenly, a combined model isn’t as time-saving.
Best if: You want to make a long-term investment
Separate – They are less likely to break down as they each have fewer components, and have to do less work than an all-in-one. Simply put, individual machines are dedicated to one job, which means fewer risks.
It could be worth investing in two separate machines that will each last 10+ years than an all-in-one which lasts five. Think of the long-term with such essential appliances.
Best if: Tumble drying is just a backup
Washer dryer – Tumble drying is incredibly handy, but sometimes there is nothing better than air drying, even if it means there are indoor airers all over the house. It is also recommended if you suffer from allergies or need to dry delicate clothes.
If you would realistically only use a tumble dryer a few times a month and just want it as a security, then it could be worth just having a washer dryer rather than paying for an entire machine that will rarely be used.
Both options have their pros and cons. Generally, if you’re short on space or have little washing and drying to do, washer dryers are worth the money. But if you have a large family, rely on your dryer performing at its best and see it as an investment rather than a temporary appliance lasting a few years, a separate washing machine and tumble dryer is your best bet.
Whatever you choose, we have reviewed the best washing machines, tumble dryers and combined machines, so you can clearly see what is best for your needs.