Best Stackable Washers and Dryers

Stackable washers and dryers are versatile; they can be stacked vertically or used side by side, unlike machines that can’t be stacked. Some sets can fit into small spaces without sacrificing capacity, but if your space is very small, you may want to consider a stackable compact pair. Here are some more things to think about before you invest in a stackable washer-dryer pair:

Measure your space. Determine whether stacked machines will fit through your doorways and in your laundry space, and whether electrical outlets, hot and cold water hookups, drainpipes, and vents are accessible. If you choose a gas dryer, you’ll need a gas line nearby as well, and that hookup may require a plumber.

Get ready for alterations. If stacking, your dryer ductwork might need lengthening or adjusting so that air flows freely through the vent to the outside. As with any dryer, don’t use foil accordion-style ducts. Some dryers may need access to a water line for steam features, so figure that out well ahead of time, too. You might need to reconfigure a reversible dryer door so that both washer and dryer open in the same direction after stacking. This requires flipping the hinges to the opposite side.

Self-installation can get complicated. Installing a stackable washer and dryer can be tricky. You’ll need the right hardware and install the set correctly to prevent safety or performance issues down the line. Plus, you’ll need a helper to lift and stabilize a heavy dryer on top of the washer.

“The machines vibrate and move a bit during operation, so it is important that the proper hardware is used to lock them together,” says Rich Handel, CR’s laundry expert. “If they aren’t compatible and able to lock together with the stacking kit from the manufacturer, the dryer could come loose and topple down, causing damage or injury.”

You may need a pro. If the installation requires plumbing, electrical, or gas work, you’ll need a professional, which could cost over $500.

“Consult a plumber to handle the gas line setup, especially if you’re switching from a side-by-side to a stacked setup,” Handel says. “If you already have a stacked setup, an installer may be sufficient.”

Your retailer may offer installation, but read the fine print. Special promotions may not apply to stackable machines, or they may require you to buy the stackable washer, dryer, and stacking kit together. (Buying just one stackable appliance may not qualify.) Factor delivery, installation, and stacking kit costs into your overall purchase.