What’s Bert without Ernie, Lucy without Ethel, peanut butter without jelly? One of two, half of a magic duo. Same thing goes for your washers and dryers. With complementary capacities, compatible technology and cohesive good looks, a matching pair is a dream team that does laundry better together.
If you’re on the hunt for a new laundry pair, purchasing the matching dryer is a no brainer. It’s when you need a stand-alone dryer to complement an existing washer that the details can make your head spin. We’re here to help.
Arm yourself with this guide to inform your shopping search for your washer’s better half.
Tip #1: Style Is Synonymous
First things first. Check your hookups. Dryers come in two types: electric and gas. Both use electricity to power the drum, fan, lights and controls, but they use electricity and gas, respectively, to generate heat. Most laundry rooms come equipped with electric hookups, usually a special three- or four-pronged, 240-volt outlet, but gas dryers require an additional dedicated gas line.
Now, let’s talk looks.
Match Your Top-Load Washer: With its classic trim lines and back control console, this style dryer is made not only to pair with top-load washers but to complement any home’s design aesthetic. It’s available in three door configurations: hamper, side swing and sleek glass, so you can see the tumble in action.
Match Your Front-Load Washer: This contemporary-style dryer was designed to not only echo the big, bold lines of front-load washers, but to fit seamlessly into any modern home. It can be raised on a pedestal for more convenient loading/unloading, which also gives you an extra drawer for storage, or it can be stacked on its matching washer to maximize space in apartments, condos, etc.
Portable Dryers: With their compact size (3.4 cu. ft – 4.4 cu. ft. capacity), easy installation (only a 220-volt power source is necessary) and ventless drying (they don’t require an external wall, so they can be installed on upper floors and in closets), portable dryers are perfect for apartments, condos and townhouses with limited laundry space.
Tip #2: Bigger Is Better (Unless It’s Not)
Dryer capacity is critical. The dryers in the Kenmore® top-load lineup range from 6.5 cu. ft. to 9.2 cu. ft., and the dryers in the front-load lineup range from 7.0 cu. ft. to 9.0 cu. ft. But how do you choose?
Go too small and your dryer won’t be able to keep up with your wash loads or have enough room to comfortably tumble clothes. Go too big for your needs and you’ll burn money and resources.
So, where’s the sweet spot? Your dryer should always be larger than your washer. Start around 1.5 times the cubic feet of your washer, and then factor in the size and frequency of your loads. Do you typically dry big loads and bulkier items, like bedding and comforters? Lastly, consider your next washer, especially if your current one is at least six years old. If you plan to go bigger or smaller for the future washer, adjust this dryer’s capacity accordingly.
There are some other numbers you need to keep in mind. When you measure the dimensions of your space, account for one extra inch between your washer and dryer and on both sides and six extra inches in depth for dryer vents, hookups and door clearance.
Tip #3: Features Mean Fab Performance
With their cutting-edge technology, dryers make laundry exceedingly easy and convenient. (Dare we say fun?) So kick back, let your dryer do the work and get back to being amazing. But first, check out these innovative features:
SmartDry Technology: Monitors moisture levels with sensor strips and regulates heat levels with temperature monitors to end the cycle when clothes are dry, saving your clothes and resources. You can step up from the even drying of SmartDry to the precision drying of SmartDry Plus to the advanced drying of SmartDry Ultra.
Steam Refresh™ Cycle: Refreshes a small load of clothes with the power of steam, reducing wrinkles and minimizing odors.
Sanitize Dry Option: Reaches temperatures high enough to eliminate 99.9% of certain household bacteria. And there’s no need to wait for the washer, because this cycle sanitizes items like bedding and children’s clothing without washing.
Check Vent Sensor: Helps keep the dryer running safely and efficiently by alerting you when it’s not moving enough air from the dryer to the outside.
ENERGY STAR® Certified: Dryers are more efficient than ever. Save money and the planet’s resources by purchasing one of the Kenmore brand’s nine ENERGY STAR certified models!
Check out our washer buying guide to find the Batman to your Robin.
And if you want to assemble the entire superhero squad, see: