Best Matching Compact Washers and Dryers

Small and expensive—and your only option when space is limited

An LG washer and dryer pair shown small with a ruler running alongside them. Photo Illustration: Lacey Browne/Consumer Reports, LG

If you were to believe TV commercials, laundry rooms are bright, open, and large enough to sing and dance in. But what if you live in an apartment with nothing more than a laundry closet, or a house where your laundry tasks are confined to a tiny nook? What kind of washer and dryer will suit your needs?

A compact washer and dryer should squeeze in just fine. There aren’t a ton of choices—and they aren’t cheap—but they’re all stackable and a standard 24 inches wide. Compact washers in CR’s ratings range from $800 to $2,000, and many earn our Green Choice designation, meaning they’re reliable, gentle on clothes, and energy- and water-efficient. Compact dryers in CR ratings are electric and range from $800 to $1,900.

More on Laundry Appliances

You’ll find a handful of compact washers and their matching dryers in CR’s washing machine ratings. The sets are from Bosch, Electrolux, Fisher & Paykel, GE, Haier, LG, Miele, and Samsung.

These appliances go through the same rigorous testing as the full-sized laundry machines in our ratings, though our testers use smaller loads. Tests include using an imaging machine called a spectrocolorimeter to analyze precise differences in fabric swatches stained with red wine, cocoa, and carbon before and after washing.

Our tests find that performance varies widely among compact washers and dryers, and all the smaller washers vibrate more than most full-sized machines. Most compact washers sold are front-loaders.

As for dryers, most require 240 volts, which may be an upgrade in some households (there are no gas versions). If your home has the ductwork, you’ll want to choose a vented dryer. That’s because ventless models, also called condenser dryers, take longer to dry a load—up to 2 1⁄2 hours, according to our tests.

And though standard width is 24 inches, height and depth vary. You can find all the specifications in our ratings of compact washers and compact dryers.

Think a compact washer and dryer might be right for you? CR members can read on for detailed reviews of four impressive sets from our tests. The pairs are broken into two groups—compact washers with vented electric dryers and compact washers with ventless electric dryers. And you’ll see all of the compact sets in our washing machine ratings, and our dryer ratings, too.

Become a member to read the full article and get access to digital ratings.

We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.