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Stacked Vs Washer Dryer Combo: What Are the Differences?

Written by Philip Lopez / Fact checked by Paul Lemaire

stacked vs washer dryer combo

When you have no designated laundry room, you can choose between a stacked washer and dryer unit or a washer dryer combo. Both of these units seem to function rather similarly, so what’s the difference between the stacked vs washer dryer combo?

A stacked washer and dryer has a slightly larger capacity than a washer dryer combo. It’s more water-efficient and easier on delicate fabrics, but it’s more difficult to install and use.

Let’s explore more of their differences below.

Table of Contents

About Stacked Washers And Dryers


Stackable washers and dryers have a dryer on top and a washer right below. This is positioned this way because the washer may carry more weight as it draws water for every wash cycle.

  • Has a large capacity to handle large loads of dirty clothes
  • Both the washer and dryer units can be used simultaneously
  • Dries clothes quickly
  • One unit can be replaced if necessary
  • Takes more vertical space as two units are stacked together
  • The dryer needs a vent to work safely and properly
  • Wet clothes need to be transferred to the dryer after the wash cycle ends

About Washer Dryer Combos

The combo unit comes in a single machine that works both as a washer and dryer. Besides saving floor space, this unit also saves vertical space. Recent technologies have made these appliances easy to use and more efficient.

  • Easy to use as you don’t need to transfer wet clothes from the washer into the dryer
  • An all-in-one unit saves space for tight places.
  • Built with a ventless drying system, hence easy to install anywhere
  • Washes or dries clothes separately
  • Has a small capacity, especially the dryer element, which only takes half the capacity of the washer
  • Only offers an electric option
  • Takes longer to dry a full load, about 90 minutes or even more

A Comparison Of Stacked Vs. Washer Dryer Combo


After knowing the pros and cons of each laundry unit, let’s compare them to find out which is a better model.

1. Size And Capacity

The stacked washer and dryer unit are larger than the washer dryer combo. The average size of a stackable unit is about 27 inches wide, 80 inches high, and 34 inches deep. Meanwhile, a washer dryer combo can be as high as 39 inches, as wide as 27 inches, and as deep as 30 inches.

As for the capacity, the stackable unit lets you load more laundry than the washer and dryer combo unit. Also, you can add bulky items onto a front-loading washer, which seems impossible for a top-loading washer dryer combo.

2. Installation

Stacking washer dryer units can‘t be done for all laundry machines. The two units should be compatible for stacking, preferably from the same brand. Also, stacking can only be possible for front-load laundry machines.

Once you’re sure that the laundry appliances are compatible with stacking, you’ll need to get a stacking kit. The kit includes metal brackets to attach your appliances together securely. It’s sold separately and available online or at any appliance store.

Also, you need to vent the dryer outside in a stackable unit. Doing otherwise will cause a fire or safety hazard. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to vent the dryer properly.

Fortunately, there’s no installation needed for a washer dryer combo. Also, it works with a ventless drying system, so ventilation isn’t necessary.

3. Performance

Though both of these units do the same things- wash and dry- the stacked models perform slightly better than the combo units. Many of these combo units take a longer time to dry, especially the 110-volt models. They take around 90 minutes to dry a full load.

A stackable unit uses a front-loading washing machine, making it more water-efficient. A top-loading washer for a combo unit may clean faster, but it consumes more detergent and water. The stainless steel agitator can also be noisy and too harsh for your delicate fabrics.

4. Ease Of Use

In the washer dryer combo vs stackable units battle, the former slightly gains the upper hand. The control panels are typically placed at just the right height, making the washer dryer combo sets more accessible and convenient to use. Also, you don’t need to move the clothes after each wash cycle as it dries clothes in the same unit.

When you forget to load your favorite shirt, you can add it mid-cycle on a top-load washer and dryer combo. Loading and unloading laundry is easy since you don’t need to hunch, bench, or tiptoe.

Unitized Washer And Dryer Vs Stackable Units

A unitized washer and dryer almost looks like a stackable unit, with the dryer up top and the washer below. So, what sets them apart? Here are a few differences below.

  • Capacity: A compact stackable washer dryer is considerably bigger than the united unit. This means you can wash more clothes with the compact unit.
  • Energy Efficiency: Compact models tend to be more energy-efficient, providing more savings on water and electricity.
  • Price: You might need to pay more for a compact stacked unit than a unitized model.
  • Power: Unitized models can run either with gas or electricity, while all compact dryers need electricity to work.

See how a unitized washer and dryer differs from a stackable unit here.


So, in the comparison of stacked vs washer dryer combo, it all boils down to preferences and needs. Stacked units seem to be the better option if you often wash clothes in large loads. A washer dryer combo might be a great fit for a more limited space.

Share with us your thoughts about these laundry units. Kindly share this article with your friends if you like it.

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