7 Best Washer and Dryers for an Apartment in 2023
If you have the option, an apartment washer and dryer is a game changer. No more schlepping and paying for each load at the communal machines!
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Buying an Apartment-Sized Washer and Dryer
Sometimes it’s hard enough to find space in a small apartment for all your clothes, let alone a washer and dryer. Whether you’re a renter, apartment owner or landlord, having a washer and dryer in your unit can save time and expense. Some are small enough to fit in tight quarters.
Here are eight features to look for when shopping for a compact washer or dryer, followed by seven good options to suit different needs.
- Size: There’s no standard definition of “compact.” Here, we’ve restricted our list to models less than 27 inches wide, the standard for full-size machines.
- Capacity: This is how much the machine can hold. You’ll need 4.0 cubic feet or larger to handle a king-size comforter.
- Vented or ventless: This refers to the dryer exhaust. Vented systems force hot, humid air outside. Ventless dryers recirculate air, shunting the collected moisture to a collection tank or a drain line. If you don’t have a dryer vent line and can’t install one, you’ll need a ventless dryer.
- Power source: Most washing machines need a 110-volt outlet. Traditional dryers require a 220-volt outlet, although newer heat-pump models may only need 110 volts.
- Water source: All washers require at least a cold water supply and a drain line. If your apartment lacks dedicated laundry hookups, consider a portable machine that hooks up to the sink faucet and drain.
- Stackable: Can you place or “stack” a dryer on top of a washer, in a unified frame or with an adapter kit? Stacked washer/dryers come as one unit from the manufacturer.
- Side-by-side sets: Matching washers and dryers that fit snugly next to one another.
- Combo units: A single machine that washes and then dries your clothing.
- Smart features: These include remote controls, Wi-Fi capabilities, detergent storage to run multiple loads and more. Landlords should look for remote diagnostics that allow for troubleshooting without making a service call.
- Permission: If you’re a renter, double-check your lease to be sure it’s OK to install a washer/dryer.
Drawbacks for an Apartment-Sized Washer and Dryer
The overwhelming number of reviewer complaints on Amazon and similar sites involve the time it takes compact washers and dryers to finish a load — hours, in some cases — rather than how clean or dry they get your clothes. Keep that in mind before you buy. If you prefer the convenience of a washer and dryer in your apartment and are OK with significantly longer run times, keep reading.
Front-Load Combo Washer and Dryer for an Apartment
The KoolMore Two-In-One is a washer/dryer combo with a particularly tight footprint, 23-1/2-in. wide and 23-1/3-in. deep. Its front-load design offers a 2.7 cubic foot capacity. It runs on a 110V outlet, making it a great choice for apartments without 220V service.
Combo units are amazing space savers, but they can be divisive. This KoolMore model has a review split that’s typical for this type of washer/dryer combo. More than half of the reviewers on Amazon loved it, giving it five stars, while a quarter gave it one star. The major complaint for this model is a typical one for combo units: It takes significant time to wash and dry a load of laundry.
Even users who love this machine take note of the slowness. From a five-star Amazon review: “If you want dry clothes in 35 minutes, this one is not for you. But if you want a good unit for small loads where you put in your load and forget about it, this washes and [drys] just fine: in about 4.5 hours.”
Vented/Ventless Apartment Washer and Dryer
The Equator Version 2 Pro is a combo unit that takes up just 3-1/2-sq.-ft. of floor space, measures 22-in. deep and 23-1/2- wide and runs off a 110-volt outlet. It comes in an array of colors — black, white, silver, pink, merlot and even champagne gold!
But here’s the best feature: It can be installed as a vented or ventless dryer. This makes it a great choice for apartments without a dryer vent. It’s also relatively quiet, with the optional “quiet mode” operating at less than 60 decibels (db). Most washers don’t list their operating volumes, for a good reason — they’re usually louder than this.
This model comes with two caveats. The first is its capacity. At 1.59 cubic feet, it can’t handle as much laundry as other combo washer/dryers. Combined with the longer cycle time for combo units, this can be a problem for many users. The other caveat, found in reviews, is shaky tech support from the manufacturer. If you’re OK with DIY-ing repairs, this might work for you.
Best Stackable Apartment Washer/Dryer
A long-time favorite for tight apartment spaces is a combined single unit, the GE Top Load Washer and Electric Dryer.
At 76-in. tall, 26-3/4-in. wide and 31-in. deep, it’s not the smallest footprint on the list. But it’s great for sliding into a utility closet. It offers a 3.8-cu.-ft. washer capacity.
The dryer is deeper than the washer. And the vent and hookups are on the lower back of the washer, which means you don’t need to plan for extra depth. One 220V outlet supplies all the power required.
Best Side-by-Side Apartment Washer/Dryer
If you want a side-by-side option, Miele makes a great matching washer and dryer. Each are 24-in. wide and front loading, The washer features a 2.26 cubic foot capacity, and the ventless heat pump dryer runs on 110v.
Like many front-loading side by side machines, the Miele units can be purchased with a stacking kit adjustable to different apartment layouts.
Miele is a premium brand that carries a premium price. This washer/dyer pair can set you back about $4,000. But for many consumers, the precision German engineering is worth the extra cost. A leader in customer satisfaction, Reader’s Digest listed Miele as the top high-end washer and dryer brand.
Best Apartment Washer/Dryer for Tiny Spaces
If you need an extremely small footprint, consider this Black+Decker washer and dryer pairing. These micro-sized machines are great choices for those living in the tiniest of apartments.
The top-load washer weighs less than 50 pounds, less than one-third of most of other options on this list. The washer sits on wheels so it’s portable, and even comes with an adapter and drain hose to connect with a kitchen sink — useful if your apartment lacks dedicated washer hookups. But at only 0.9-cu-ft. capacity, laundry day may last all day.
The dryer is a microwave-sized front-loading model that runs on 110V supply.
Best Apartment Washer/Dryer for Small Spaces
If you have a little more space to work with, the top-loading GE Space-Saving Impeller features a 24-in. by 24-1/2-in. footprint and weighs just under 100 pounds. At 2.8-cu.-ft., it offers more than triple the capacity of the Black+Decker washer.
Pair it with the GE Stackable front-load vented dryer, side by side or stacked, and can handle a typical two-person household’s laundry without surrendering too much floor space.
Best Ventless Combo Heat Pump Apartment Washer/Dryer
Here’s one to watch for in the coming months: The GE Profile UltraFast Combo, which GE says will address the run time dilemma.
Most combo washer/dryer units take longer to run a cycle than standalone models because there’s extra moisture to remove during drying. By contrast, the front-loading Profile UltraFast promises to wash and dry its full 4.8 cubic foot load in around two hours.
The Profile UltraFast uses a 110-volt electrical supply and connects to a home’s Wi-Fi to select detergents and even download specialty cycles that can be upgraded over time. It holds up to 32 loads worth of detergent and fabric softener, dispensing the proper amount for the weight of the laundry load.
The GE Profile UltraFast Combo with Ventless Heat Pump Technology will be available in June 2023.