Make spending time in the laundry as easy as possible by selecting the right laundry appliances to suit you and your lifestyle, through our buying guide and product reviews. These buying guides will give you helpful hints on which laundry solution will best suit your lifestyle, leaving you with more time to spend on more important things in life. When you’re considering updating your laundry, there are a few things you need to think about…
What is your laundry process?
If you’ve got a large family, you may find yourself doing multiple loads of washing per week so having a separate washer and dryer is essential. Perhaps you’ve got a busy household and a washer with different functionalities is what you need.
Function and Capacity
If you feel like you’re always washing for a whole grubby football team, then having a larger capacity washing machine with the right functions to give you whiter whites and brighter colours will make your job far easier. This is equally relevant for dryers with time-saving features such as anti-crease and quick dry. Other things you may want to look out for are delayed timers (useful for taking advantage of off-peak energy use), child locks, quick wash cycles and add an item to the wash doors.
Location and Style
Is your laundry hidden away, or is it out there for all to see? If it’s visible, then consider the look of the appliances and how they are housed. There are various ranges of matching washer dryers on the market, which add another level of style and sophistication to your laundry space.
Layout and Space
Will you be changing the layout of your laundry? You need to think about creating zones to make your space more efficient: a dirty zone, a clean zone and a workspace. When planning your laundry make sure you consider the dimensions of where you can fit your machines, water and electricity connections, as well as noise considerations if it’s in your living space or you have neighbours with adjoining walls.
What size washer or dryer suits your home?
Choose a type of laundry product
Now that you have an idea of how you’d like your laundry to function, it’s time to have a think about what you need from your machines…
• Gentler on clothes
• More energy efficient
• Use less water and require less detergent
• Cost less to run
• More programs and functions
• Higher spin speed to get more water out
• More compact, so ideal for small spaces
• These machines are great for small spaces and fit under a bench and can easily fit a dryer above
• Leave minimum space at the front and side to open the door
• Average normal program time is shorter than front loaders
• Light and easy to move
• Better rinse performance
• Easier to add more clothes once machine is on
• Requires fewer repairs
• Larger capacity
• Easy to load. Just lift the lid and drop or push in the clothes
• If installing a dryer above leave enough space on top to open the lid of the washer
• Most top loaders vary in size so make sure you measure the width of the space you have, to ensure it will fit.
Once you’ve chosen between top and front loaders, you’ll then need to consider the following…
Washing machine capacity is measured in kilograms of washing that can be cleaned per wash. They generally vary between 4.5kg to 10kg. The higher capacity washers suit large and busy families, where the smaller washers will suit a smaller household.
For energy conscious households it is important to review the energy ratings of the machines you are looking at. Not only will an energy efficient machine be better for the environment, but in the long run your wallet also.
Water Usage Rating
Similar to Energy ratings it is important for water conscious households to review the water usage ratings of the machines that you are looking at. Not only will a more water efficient machine be better for the environment but it should save you money as well
The part of the machine the works the hardest is the drum and the material used and the build quality greatly impacts the price. The hardier the material, such as stainless steel, the more durable and longer lasting your machine will be. Less expensive models include plastic or ceramic drums which may be less durable. Additionally, pay attention to the type of drive the machine has (direct or indirect). A machine with a direct drive system has less moving parts will essentially last longer, so you’re getting more value out of your washer.
Front loaders are generally louder than top loaders because they have a faster spin speed. If noise reduction is important for your household, consider installing vibration dampers, which are placed under the machine to stop vibration.
Having a child-lock function may be of use if you have little people to consider, the majority of washers these days have this function. The out-of-balance correction feature in top loaders is fantastic as it automatically detects and redistributes the load that is not in balance.
If you’ve got delicate items, like silk pieces, that need hand washing, you can utilise the gentle or hand washing functionalities on your washer, saving you more time and effort in the laundry.
Any busy household will know there are often last minute items that need to be washed – school uniform for the next day, favourite jeans to wear out – so having a fast wash cycle gives you the added flexibility, plus it’s also an energy efficient way to wash small and or lightly soiled items.
What better way to save time at the ironing board than to simply press a button to ensure your clothes have less wrinkles when they come out. This is great for when you’re in a rush, and pulling out the ironing board just isn’t an option.
This feature automatically senses various aspects of the load, including size, amount of soiling and helps manage how much detergent, washing and spinning is needed. This smart feature is also great for the environment as you use less water and energy for your load.
Whilst the washing machine can’t yet replace the action of putting the washing inside the washer, some higher range models now feature remote access, allowing you to make changes to or to start a cycle away from home.
Being able to adjust the temperature to suit the load you are washing is great for saving energy and also reducing your power bill.
A dryer is an essential part of our laundry set up for your home when the weather, time or just plain space is not on our side.
In Australia and New Zealand, we are lucky enough to often have perfect drying conditions and a Clothesline is a trusty companion. However, sometimes weather, time or just plain space is not on our side and a dryer is an essential part of our laundry set up.
Dryers are categorised across three types:
A vent runs from the dryer to the outside where it dispels the moist hot air. Traditionally, these are the cheapest to purchase but have the highest cost of running. Suitable for areas that can be vented.
This dryer essentially recycles the air by passing the moist, hot air from the clothes through a heat exchange, extracting the water and sending the hot dry air back through the clothes. Suitable for a well-ventilated room to prevent condensation.
Heat pump Condenser
This is a more energy efficient appliance costing on average 63% less than a similar sized vented machine. Suited to apartments as no venting required and no hot air or moisture is created from the machine.
When choosing your machine, you should look at the following...
Like washing machines, dryers use kilograms when to referring to the capacity or the size of the load. It is not necessary to match the capacity to your washing machine if you will be using alternative drying methods as well. It’s important to note that the capacity refers to the weight of dry clothes, not those that are wet from the washer.
There are plenty of features to make your drying easier. Some handy ones to look out for are: anti-crease, auto program, sensor technology to detect when clothes are dry, reverse tumbling to minimise tangling and a drying rack which is good for shoes and delicates.
Make sure you install your dryer as stated in the instructions. This includes adequate ventilation either through ducting, air vents or and exhaust fan. Also, make sure you clean the filter regularly in between loads.
If you plan to mount your dryer on the wall, you need to consider access for both the dryer and your washer. Some manufacturers sell stacking kits, so you can place your dryer directly on top of the washer.