Spending money on a washing machine feels very grown up. I lived in a rented flat for a long time and things like washing machines were always left to the landlord or letting agency. This is only the second time I’ll ever have bought a washing machine and the first time round I’d just bought a house and had no money left after all the moving-in costs and legal fees so I went for the most basic model on the market.
I’m fully aware that having a baby in the house will mean a dramatic increase in laundry as there are bibs, dirty clothes and baby bedding, not to mention adult clothes that have baby sick on them. Currently we don’t have anywhere to dry wet laundry as there’s no airing cupboard in our flat, and an increase in laundry will mean extra difficulty in finding somewhere to dry it all, and it’s for this reason I desperately want a dryer as well as a washer. If we put both in our kitchen then we won’t have room for a dishwasher, but I’ve heard that as a washing machine does a completely different job from a tumble dryer, they’re designed differently and an integrated machine wouldn’t be as good as two separate machines. It’s confused me a bit so I’ve made a list about the pros and cons of buying two appliances vs buying one.
Combined Washer Dryer Research
- It’s cheaper than buying two different products
- It takes up half the space
- Tumble dryers rely on air getting to the clothes so you can’t fill them up. Often you need to take half of the washed load out and then tumble dry half, then the other half. Plus you can’t wash and dry at the same time so having a combination machine is a lot more time consuming.
- It may not be as energy efficient as two separate machines when you think of wash time plus two separate dries.
- Dryers in combined machines often take longer to dry than a separate tumble dryer.
- It’s more likely that a washer dryer will break down more often than two seaparate machines.
- Drying speed. The average speed is 30mins for 1 kilo of washing
- Drum size. This can vary from 4kg to a massive 16kg although the average is 7kg. Apparently 7kg is perfectly fine for the needs of a family. 1kg is the equivalent of 4 shirts.
- Which? best buys include the AEG L75480WD (large 8kg drum that handles 6kg of washing plus its energy efficient so won’t drive up fuel bills), John Lewis JLWD1612 (Great value for money, sensors detect when clothes are dry so you don’t have to guess times, iron-dry mode), Zanussi ZWD71663W (nice wide door opening, fast washing speed so clothes get sparkling clean, good value for money)
Separate Washer and Dryer Research
- You can tumble dry and wash two loads at the same time
- Each appliance is specialist in the task it is meant to do
- A separate dryer will be quicker and more energy efficient
- It takes up more space
- It’s more expensive than buying a combined machine
- Size of washing machine drum – you don’t want to overstuff it so look for min of 7kg
- Washing machine spin speed. Don’t settle for less than 1400rpm if you can afford it, although 1600 rpm is better. However, a 1200rpm model can be under £200.
- Washing machine extra functions – can you set the time of the wash / does it have a sports clothes mode? Does it have a child lock?
- Tumble dryers automatic sensors stop clothes when dry so you don’t waste energy. Large drum sizes are better.
- Which? Best Buys include Hotpoint FETV60C tumble dryer, Samsung WW90J6410CW, Zanussi ZWF91283W
On reflection, I’m going to go for a washer dryer. Space is important to me right now. If I had a bigger house or utility room I’d buy two products as I believe they’re more efficient and save time, but if I can get one machine I can get a dishwasher.
Stay tuned for my dishwasher blog post. I have a feeling I’m going to need to do a lot of research for that too.
Do you have any tips for household appliances – dishwashers or washer / dryers? Please comment below or Tweet @babyvipsblog and I’ll share all the useful advice so we can all buy the best for our families.