Are Stackable Washers And Dryers Reliable?

Stackable washers and dryers offer a very tempting value proposition. They allow you to set up your laundry appliances by taking up a lot less floor space in your home or apartment. But are these stackable appliances as reliable as their standalone, side-by-side counterparts?

Yes, stackable washers and dryers are reliable, as long as you’re purchasing them from reputable brands that build high-quality appliances. You can expect these machines to stay reliable for an average of 13-15 years or much longer with proper usage and maintenance. To maximize the reliability of a stackable washer and dryer, always ensure they’re perfectly level and make use of a stacking kit as well.

In the following sections, we’ll explore how stackable washers and dryers measure in comparison to standalone models. Then, we’ll look at how to maximize their lifespans and whether or not you can run both machines simultaneously.

Are Stackable Washers And Dryers As Good As Side-by-Side?

No, stackable washers and dryers are not as good as standalone or side-by-side models. Now, let’s be clear about one thing: stackable washers and dryers from reputable brands are still high-quality and reliable appliances. However, they have several drawbacks when compared to conventional models.

Here are four disadvantages that set stackable washers and dryers back from standard models:

Fewer Features:

Firstly, stackable washers and dryers are designed to be more straightforward than standalone models. These appliances will still have all the essential features that you’d expect from any washer and dryer.

However, they will lack some advanced features like the more complex washing and drying cycles. Stackable machines might also lack other premium features that you’ll find on standalone models.

If you wanted to, you could still find stackable washers and dryers that have those premium features. However, you can expect to pay a higher price for them.

Smaller Capacity:

Stackable washers and dryers are also designed to be space-saving. After all, that’s the main benefit offered by these types of appliances. But, unfortunately, being space-saving also means having smaller capacities when compared to standalone models.

Suppose you continually have lots of laundry to do. If that’s the case, then you’ll have to spread out your laundry into smaller, more frequent loads.

Hard-to-Reach Dryer:

With stackable washers and dryers, the dryer typically occupies the top spot. That can make it harder to reach for some users, especially if they’re not tall enough. In addition, loading and unloading can be pretty challenging to do, as is reaching the control panel to input your settings and starting the drying cycle. 

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Front-Loading Only:

Seeing as how these appliances are stacked on top of one another, you’re also limited to only front-loading models without the option of using top-loading washers and dryers instead.

How Long Does A Stackable Washer And Dryer Last?

Stackable washers and dryers have the same lifespan as standalone models. So, you can expect them to stay reliable for an average of 13-15 years.

Of course, that average lifespan is only an indicator of how long the appliances might last. Some people run into trouble with their washer and dryer much earlier, while others continue using the same ones for two or more decades, even.

The lifespan of your stackable washer and dryer will depend on two factors.

  • Firstly, it depends on how well the manufacturer has designed and built those appliances.
  • Secondly, the lifespan and reliability of those appliances also depend on how you use and maintain the washer and dryer.

Here are some ways to maximize the lifespan of a stackable washer and dryer and keep them reliable for much longer.

How To Maximize The Lifespan Of A Stackable Washer

  • Keep Level: The most important thing to do when installing your stackable washer is to ensure that it is perfectly level. Firstly, that will optimize the performance of the washer itself. 

But remember: the dryer will stack on top of the washer, so the washer must be perfectly level, or else it will affect the dryer that’s stacked on top of it.

  • Use A Stacking Kit: Using a stacking kit is also helpful to ensure that both appliances last as long as possible. 

A stacking kit plays three crucial roles. Firstly, it allows you to fasten the two appliances together so that they stay perfectly still. Second, the stacking kit helps to distribute the dryer’s weight evenly so that it doesn’t crush any particular side of the washer beneath it.

Lastly, a stacking kit absorbs vibrations whenever both machines are running. That prevents either appliance from transferring vibrations over to the other and speeding up its wear and tear.

  • Regular Washer Maintenance Tasks: Just like standalone washers, regular washer maintenance tasks will also help to maximize the machine’s lifespan. That includes tasks like running the drum cleaning cycle once in a while and cleaning the filters regularly.

How To Maximize The Lifespan Of A Stackable Dryer

To keep your stackable dryer reliable for as long as possible, you must also keep the appliance perfectly level and use a stacking kit between the washer and the dryer for the reasons mentioned above.

However, here are two dryer-specific ways that you can maximize the appliance’s lifespan:

  • Maximize Airflow: Dryers require smooth airflow to function correctly. If you’re using a stackable washer and dryer to save space, you’re likely putting it in a confined space where airflow is limited.
Don’t Do This

Wherever you choose to place the stackable washer and dryer, ensure that there are at least a few inches of space all around the appliances. That space will go a long way towards ensuring that the dryer has all the airflow that it needs to function optimally. 

With smooth airflow, you will reduce the likelihood of the dryer overheating and minimize its wear and tear.

  • Clean Filters and Vents: Like standalone dryers, you must also clean the lint filter before and after each drying cycle. Once or twice a year, you should also clean the dryer vents and ensure that the vent cover is in good working order.

These cleaning tasks are also done to maximize airflow and minimize wear and tear, thereby helping your dryer last as long as possible.

Replace a Kinked/Crushed Vent Line

Can You Run A Stackable Washer And Dryer At The Same Time?

Yes, you can run a stackable washer and dryer at the same time. However, there are a couple of crucial things to keep in mind:

  • Use A Stacking Kit: Washers and dryers naturally produce vibrations when they’re being used. That’s especially true if you have two appliances stacked on top of one another running simultaneously. So, while it is alright to run a stackable washer and dryer simultaneously, it would be best to use a stacking kit while doing so. 

A stacking kit keeps both appliances safely attached to each other, essentially combining them into one unit. That has several benefits, such as preventing the dryer from vibrating out of place. But, more importantly, the stacking kit also absorbs the excess vibrations generated by both machines running at the same time.

  • Always Use Balanced Loads: It’s always a good idea to use balanced loads in washers and dryers, whether they’re standalone models or stackable ones. However, this is especially crucial if you’re running a stackable washer and dryer simultaneously. 

Unbalanced loads will cause the drum inside to spin unevenly and hit the side of the washer or dryer. As you might imagine, this could cause the stackable dryer in particular to swing a little, which could be potentially dangerous. Protection Status