Best Matching Compact Washers and Dryers

Small, expensive—and your only option if you're in a pinch for space

A compact washer and dryer in a laundry/mud room.
Photo: Kenmore

When you’re tight on space and need to squeeze a washer and dryer into a narrow closet or under a kitchen countertop, you'll need compact machines. There aren't a ton of choices—and they aren't cheap—but they all come in a standard width of 24 inches.

In Consumer Reports' ratings, you'll find more than a dozen pairs of compact washers and dryers. They all go through the same rigorous testing as the full-sized laundry machines in our ratings, though our testers use smaller loads. That includes 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.

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Our tests find that performance varies widely among compact washers and dryers, and all of the 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 width is 24 inches standard, height and depth vary. You can find all the specifications in our ratings of compact washers and compact dryers

Performance is a critical part of the Overall Score for both washers and dryers, but we also factor in predicted reliability and owner satisfaction from our member survey to give you a better sense of what it's like to actually own these machines. Our exclusive survey leverages data on 71,038 washers and 57,103 dryers purchased from 2008 to 2018 that are not covered by a service contract.

Miele stands out as one of the most reliable brands of compact washers, and the most reliable brand of compact dryers in our survey. The brand also earns top marks for owner satisfaction for both their washers and dryers. At the other end of the spectrum is Asko, GE, and Whirlpool compact washers—all of which earn unfavorable ratings for predicted reliability, and CR cannot recommend them at this time. 

We also test and rate compact laundry sets from Bosch, Electrolux, Fisher & Paykel, Kenmore, LG, and Samsung. 

CR members with digital access can read on for ratings and reviews of washer-dryer sets with impressive or even Excellent combined Overall Scores. The pairs are broken into two groups—compact washers with vented electric dryers and compact washers with ventless electric dryers. 

Laundry Sets With Vented Electric Dryers

The washers in these pairs all deliver top-notch water and energy efficiency. Wash times are based on the normal cycle (or its equivalent) and the most aggressive setting. The dryers require a standard 4-inch duct. Prices are for the pair.

Samsung compact washer and dryer set.
Photo: Samsung
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