5 On Your Side

Compact washer, dryer models offer convenience in small spaces

Posted December 29, 2016

If you're tight on space for a washer and dryer, there might be a solution: a compact model.

Having your own washer and dryer is more convenient than using the local laundromat.

“It’s a huge time saver," said Jordan Hook, who rents his home. "I can do it at my own convenience versus having to work around the time and hours of the laundromat.”

When space is a challenge, like in a small apartment, compact washers and dryers can answer the call.

Consumer Reports just tested about a dozen compact, stackable models that are about 24 inches wide and 34 inches high.

Consumer Reports ran cleaning and efficiency tests and measured noise and vibration. Vibration proved to be an issue for many of the compacts even when stacked.

The dryers can be bought both with and without vents. The two options provide versatility for renters.

"Ventless dryers condense the moisture out of the humid exhaust air instead of venting it outside," said Consumer Reports' Emilio Gonzalez. "This comes in handy if you live in an apartment or condo where you may not have access to an outside wall.”

After all the tests, Consumer Reports rated this Bosch 800 Series washer (model #WAT28402UC) and dryer (model #WTG86402UC) set a very good choice.

Unfortunately, the price tags don't come with a compact size: The Bosch pair runs $2,700 but does offer some flexibility with a ventless dryer.

If you have access to a vent, though, Consumer Reports recommends a Samsung compact set for about $2,100.

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