A Guide to Shopping for Laundry Appliances

24 May 2024

Having a reliable washer and dryer is an essential component of most households. With so many different makes and models available on the market, establishing the right choice for your household needs can feel overwhelming. 

Like many large-scale appliances around the home, a brand-new washer and dryer can quickly become costly purchases. To get the best bang for your buck and stay within a realistic budget, explore major online or in-store sales, like the EOFY sale 2024 or seasonal deals. 

Front-Load vs. Top-Load

The -design of the washer you buy is primarily influenced by four important factors: the size and shape of the area where you want to install your appliances, your preferred way of loading your laundry, your wash action preferences, and where you want the control panel to be located. 

Front-load washing machines load clothes from the front, where the control panel is located. They clean clothes by tumbling them, which generally uses less water and provides a more gentle cleaning process. Front-load washing machines tend to extract water better from clothes but typically take longer to finish a cycle. 

Top-load machines load from above, with the control panel at the back. These washers use an agitator or impeller to wash clothes and typically have better flexibility when choosing water levels and the wash cycle length. 

Size & Capacity

Before considering any washer and dryer, you need to know how much space you have available to fill. Measure the area you plan to install the appliances to instantly narrow down your options to those that fit your measurements. For top-load washers, ensure you account for the vertical height of the open lid. 

Alongside the size of the space in your home, you need to consider how much laundry your household typically accumulates, selecting large-capacity options for bigger families. Many experts recommended pairing large-capacity washers with large-capacity dryers to maximise the benefits of both appliances.

Water Usage

In a world that has become increasingly more environmentally conscious, selecting laundry appliances that incorporate eco-friendly features is vital. Washers labelled ‘high efficiency’ or HE use less water than non-HE models and are quickly becoming household standards. 

Additionally, many HE models are often ENERGY STAR certified, which officially guarantees that they use less energy to operate, lowering your monthly energy bills and reducing your household’s carbon footprint. 

Washer Features

Before purchasing a new washing machine, assess your current option to establish what you like and don’t like about it. This will help you narrow down the most important features you need and things you are willing to bypass to remain within your budget. 

Some of the newest features that may be worth considering include dispensers that can hold a large quantity of detergent and fabric softener that automatically delivers the correct amount per wash cycle and water faucets built into the washer. For larger families, choosing a washer with commercial-grade parts will extend its lifespan and maximise your investment. 

Dryer Features

Many dryers feature updated technology geared to reduce and eliminate issues like wrinkling and over or under-drying clothes during the drying cycle. Many dryers are now fitted with special sensors that will stop the machine once clothes have reached the correct dry level for fabrics. 

Wrinkle control options will softly tumble clothes once the cycle ends to minimise potential wrinkles while the clothes cool. Be sure to properly assess the various features of a dryer before purchasing to guarantee it is equipped with additional settings that will simplify your laundry day and protect the integrity of your clothes. 

Smart Technology

With the rise of smart homes, manufacturers are now incorporating smart technology into their washers and dryers. This cutting-edge technology brings a host of intelligent and user-friendly features, elevating your laundry experience and adding convenience to your life. 

These features include mobile notifications when loads are finished, the ability to start a cycle from your phone remotely, the ability to customise wash cycles based on the number of clothes and soil levels, and the ability to save preferred cycles for easy access in the future. 

Soil Levels & Stains

When you're in the market for a new washing machine, it's important to consider the typical soil level of your laundry. If you have pets or children who often get dirty, you might need a more robust machine to handle tougher stains. 

Some machines are programmed with settings specifically made to target heavy-soiled items with additional sanitising cycles. Additionally, you can select a model that includes a filter designed to remove pet hair and dander from clothes. 

Vent Options

Vented dryers are commonly found in many homes. They operate by using a vent to expel hot air after it has been circulated through clothes, replacing it with new, cooler air. They are generally less expensive than their counterparts but must be installed close to an exterior wall or window to vent outside. 

Alternatively, ventless dryers can be installed anywhere in the home, making them ideal for unconventional laundry rooms or smaller apartments with limited space and placement options. They work by recycling the air inside the drum, using either a condenser or heat pump. While they typically use less electricity than vented dryers, they are more expensive