Finding a washer-dryer that suits you can be hard; the dual functionality can sometimes result in a compromise when it comes to performance.

That said, a good washer-dryer has a wide range of benefits; they save space, so your kitchen isn’t cluttered with ugly appliances, a single unit is a lot more economical than two separate units, one machine breaks down less often than two, and the same machine will do all the work in one go.

Mielew3240 by Sanekmoskow via Wikimedia Commons

Mielew3240 by Sanekmoskow via Wikimedia Commons

However, if you have the space and the capital, it may be advisable to go for a separate washer and dryer as functionality and energy efficiency will be greatly improved. A Miele washing machine is a functional and reliable alternative, although they also do some of the best washer-dryers on the market. Co-operative Electrical have put together a list of things to consider.

What to look for:

Footprint. If space is at a premium in your kitchen, you can get slimline models that are a great space-saving option. Make sure you measure up before you buy.

Integration. Like many kitchen appliances, washer-dryers come in integrated models too, so for a sleek, seamless transition between appliances, it may be worth the extra cost.

Capacity. Washer-dryer capacities vary between about 5kg and 11kg, and the dryable load is usually a kilo or two less than the washable capacity. As a guide, 1kg equates to about five shirts, so go for a size that will suit your household.

Spin speed. Measured in rotations per minute, spin speed determines the centrifugal force created in the drum during the spin cycle. The faster the spin, the more water will be expelled and the less time clothes will need to dry.

Water usage. Some washer dryers use an alarming amount of water – far more than two separate appliances. So, if you are on a water meter, make sure to check the water usage.

Programmes. A variety of wash cycles will improve versatility. Half-load options are useful for those smaller, mid-week washes. Eco cycles are great for the environmentally conscious, and quick wash functions are good for those on the go. Some washer-dryers include a useful sensor which will automatically stop the machine when your clothes are dry.

Candy is a good manufacturer at the lower end of the price range. The Candy GOW475 is an example of an excellent value washer-dryer with all the functionality of a higher-range model, including a comprehensive selection of programmes, a 1400rpm spin speed and a high wash performance rating.

Hotpoint do some fantastic mid-range washer-dryers, including the WDL5290P, which sports moisture sensors and an A for its energy efficiency rating.

At the top end of the market is the Miele WT2789i WPM. This sleek, integrated washer-dryer has an impressive 1600rpm spin speed, an almost unheard of A+ efficiency rating, and both warm and cool air drying functions.

So now you’re fully equipped to start hunting for the perfect washer-dryer for you. Good luck and happy hunting!

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