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Stackable vs Side-by-Side Washer and Dryer: Which is Better?

Stackable vs Side-by-Side Washer and Dryer: Which is Better?

When investing in a new washer and dryer, there are two basic configurations to choose between: stackable or side by side.

The choice between purchasing a stackable vs a side-by-side washer and dryer depends greatly on your individual situation. Each laundry pair has its own benefits that appeal to different people with different needs. So, which laundry set configuration is right for you? The experts at Appliances Connection have done their due diligence with both styles of washer/dryer pairs, taking a look at some of the pertinent facts as well as putting forth some examples of both types of setup.

Read on to learn just what the differences you can expect to find between stackable and side-by-side washers and dryers...

AVAILABLE SPACE

If you don’t have a lot of usable floor space, then stackable units are definitely for you. They have a footprint half that of the side-by-side sets, allowing you to place them in a variety of locations. Compact, ventless stackable models can often be set up in a closet or other out-of-the-way nook, since they don’t need outside air expulsion, but you will want to be sure that there is enough vertical space so that the top-mounted dryer doesn’t touch the ceiling, which could result in surface damage.

CONFIGURATION

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The most obvious difference between stackable and side-by-side laundry sets is that with a stackable pair such as Whirlpool’s 27” Stacking Kit Laundry Pair, both washer and dryer must be front-loading—unless you want to power-lift a dryer every time you need access to the washer drum.

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Meanwhile, with a side-by-side setup like the Top Load 26" Washer with Front Load 27" Gas Dryer Commercial Laundry Pair from Speed Queen the dryer (as always) is front-loading, while the washer has the option of being either front-loading or top-loading. This single aspect accounts for most differences between the two configurations.

ERGONOMICS

Here’s where the practical, hands-on aspect of doing laundry comes into play with both washers and dryers.

With a stackable pair, there’s no avoiding the fact that you’ll have to lean down with bended knee and back to load and unload clothing from the washer tub. And though this may not seem like an important factor at first, doing it repeatedly may become a bit wearing—especially if you already have leg, knee, or back issues.

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But the stackable dryer—as seen in the Electrolux Front Load Steam 27" Washer with 27" Electric Dryer and Stacking Kit Laundry Pair—makes up for that physical stress by typically being around eye-level in height, allowing effortless access without any strain. All you do is reach straight ahead to load and unload the dryer drum.

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With the side-by-side washer/dryer, it’s the opposite way around. If you get a top-loading washer as is included in the Top Load Smart 27" Washer with 27" Electric Dryer Laundry Pair from LG, you simply drop a load of clothing into the drum, and it’s little to no effort to lean over and remove items out at the end of a cycle. There’s no bending over or crouching to worry about. But you will still have to get down to load and unload the front-loading dryer.

One more notable difference: think back on how many times you’ve started a wash cycle, only to then remember that you need to add a particular item to the load. With the top-loader, this is as simple as lifting the lid and dropping the clothing in. With the front-loading stackable washer, this isn’t possible unless the unit has a pause function.

PERFORMANCE

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With such a wide variety of brands offering both stackable and side-by-side washer and dryer sets, the differences in manufacturing quality and features are far too wide to list. However, it must be noted that the front-loading washers that are mandatory with stackable units—as found in the Front Load Smart 28" Washer with 28" Electric Dryer set from GEtypically outperform side-by-side top-loading units in some notable aspects.

First, they are gentler on clothing, relying on the natural movement of the tumbled clothing to remove soil rather than the rougher treatment of an agitator found in most top-loading washers. Second, front-loading washers use far less water since top-loaders need to fill the wash tub to immerse all the clothing. In the long term, this leads to some considerable savings on your water bill.

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Then again, no one says you have to get a top-loading washer in your side-by-side laundry pair. You can get the same results with a side-by-side set with a front-loading washer, such as Miele’s Front Load Smart 24" Washer with 24" Electric Dryer Laundry Pair.

CONCLUSION

When it comes down to it, both stackable and side-by-side washers and dryers have their advantages. Most people still appreciate the traditional side-by-side configuration because it’s the most common. But if you have a shortage of floorspace, there’s no reason you can’t still get a quality clean with a stackable laundry set. All that matters is that you find a washer and dryer that fit your needs, your home, and your budget. And if you’re not sure which laundry pair is best for you, feel free to ask the experts at Appliances Connection. We’d be happy to help you find the washer and dryer you’ve always wanted.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

RELATED QUESTIONS

Are stackable washers and dryers good?

Stackable washer and dryers are a good option for those looking to minimize the appliance’s footprint. And there is no significant difference in the level of performance when compared to side-by-side washer/dryer sets.

Are stackable washer and dryers full-size?

There are many different brands and models of full-size stackable washers and dryers that are 27” wide and up. You can find our full line of these appliances here.

How long do stackable washers and dryers last?

There is little difference between how long stackable washer and dryers last compared to side-by-side pairs—which is usually around 10 to 15 years. Of course, this depends on the manufacturer, material quality, and proper upkeep.