The Hidden Downsides To Stackable Washer And Dryers

If your home's laundry room features limited floor space, you've probably considered purchasing a stackable washer and dryer. Stackable washers and dryers are attractive options for many homeowners primarily due to their space-saving designs, and they're usually more energy efficient than comparably priced top-load units. However, if you're considering investing in a stackable washer and dryer, it's important to educate yourself on their drawbacks since they're not a perfect choice for all homeowners.

While a new stackable washer and dryer probably isn't the most expensive upgrade you can make for your laundry room, per Fixr, it might seem underwhelming in load capacity and features compared to similarly priced side-by-side washers and dryers on the market. Additionally, stackable units are not always a convenient choice for short people and can be incredibly hard to deal with for those who are injured or have a disability. Considering that it won't be convenient for all homeowners to physically lift their dryer on top of their washer, you can see why many people choose to opt for a side-by-side washer and dryer.

Worth the price?

While stackable washers and dryers are priced reasonably similarly to side-by-side alternatives, they might not offer you the best bang for your buck. According to HomeServe, stackable washers and dryers provide fewer features than side-by-side units. While a basic washer and dryer functionally will suit some homeowners just fine, those who have gotten used to advanced washing cycles and steam washing will likely feel underwhelmed by the basic features of compact, stackable units. Considering that there are many top-load washers on the market that are comparatively feature-rich to similarly priced stackable units, some homeowners are likely to conclude that losing out on these features is not worth saving a little space.

Other essential factors to consider about stackable washers and dryers are their average load times and capacities. According to Consumer Reports, these washers and dryers tend to take longer to finish their cycles than full-sized, top-loading alternatives. Additionally, they will usually sport a fraction of the load capacity of larger units. This means that some items you are used to washing at home, such as a large comforter, may have to be taken to the laundromat since they may overwhelm your new stackable washer and dryer. So, while stackable washers and dryers may seem like a budget-friendly deal at face value, you will have to live with quite a few trade-offs if you go the two-in-one route.

Safety and usability

Naturally, a vertically-situated laundry nook will not be a convenient setup for all homeowners. According to SFGate, stackable washers and dryers may be tricky to use without a stool for homeowners who are shorter than average and can produce even more problematic barriers for those who are disabled or injured. Since life throws a lot of curveballs and we cannot determine our future health, opting for convenient side-by-side front-loading laundry units instead of a stackable washer and dryer can be a wise investment.

If you're shopping for a stackable washer and dryer, you'll also have to find a way to lift the dryer to the top of the washing machine. This is far from an easy job and is definitely not something most homeowners should undertake alone, per How To Fix It. While you can hire professionals to stack your washer and dryer for you, this may come as an unforeseen expense that raises the total cost of your investment. Speaking of unexpected expenses, you'll also want to invest in a stacking kit. A quality stacking kit is absolutely crucial for keeping your stacked washer and dryer stable when both machines are in use. Intense vibrations are known to throw stackable units off-kilter, and a falling dryer can not only cause a ton of costly damage but be a serious risk for permanent injury.