Washing machine/tumble drier

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
I am thinking of buying combined washing machine/tumble drier to save space and wonder if anyone has suggestions to make from experience.
We have two washer dryers, one upstairs for my son, one downstairs in my granny annexe ensuite, and a tumble dryer, all large capacity.

My AEG washer dryer is great for doing small amounts regularly, just for me. However, if you are doing lots of sheets I would recommend using a tumble dryer instead.

My old dryer died recently, and I bought a new all singing and dancing "green" A+ Hotpoint condensing dryer. It lives in the conservatory outside my bedroom door. It's great for doing the cotton polo shirts I wear most days, it dries quickly at low heat because it has special paddles inside, not a smooth drum BUT it doesn't do big sheets well, it has a tendency to screw them round and round!

So first, think carefully about how you like to wash. Small loads regularly, washer dryer is fine. If you like to have a "wash day" with consecutive washes, get a tumble dryer instead.
Violet, I have a family member who does holiday lets, and she has always resisted combined washer-driers as the drier bit is so 'poor' in comparison with a dedicated drier. But space is not such a an issue for her.

For independent driers, by the way, she also says that it's far better to get a 'vented' drier, rather than one that ends up with a compartment full of water to empty (is that the condensing type?). The latter are just not as efficient at all compared with the venting ones, though of course not everyone can fit a venting one.

If space is tight, could two machines be stacked one on top of the other maybe???

Another really really important factor with driers, is the settings! She bought a condenser (which is why she now recommends against them - ie, hadn't realised how poor they are in comparison with vented ones!), and the wretched thing has NO ability for you to set the time - it has only 'preprogrammed' settings, so you have to opt for stupid things like 'ironing-dry' and 'cupboard-dry' etc, and it takes HOURS (and I mean HOURS!) of electricity.

You can't say 'dry for 20 minutes and then stop' to it, you can't interrupt a cycle, it just goes on and on and on sucking electricity.

So, do be careful. (Personally, as you can possibly tell, I hate the damn things - I hate ALL machiens that will not let ME control them!)(I loathe machines that 'know best'!!!!!)

Driers seem to me to be one of THE most electricity greedy things invented.

(The proper way to dry clothes is outside in the summer, and on radiators in the winter! Simples.) (I know, I know, not everyone has an outdoors, or radiators - and some folk have too much washing to do that anyway, sigh)
I'm not sure about washers driers these days as things have improved. I have an indesit tumble drier with 11 settings, and am really happy with it. Nothing takes very long to dry and to be honest it doesn't seem to be using up lots of electricity. In fact my electric usage has gone down! My friend has a hotpoint drier, uses it lots as she does her brothers laundry, and her electric bill has gone down too. You can get stacking kits, to have the drier on top of the washer to save room. Possibly need the same make of machines. My sister has an electric airer, which she really values. However, she and her husband don't mind the towels being harder. I like mine soft and fluffy lol. So as far as washer/ drier, I think BBs guide is useful. Personally I feel two separate machines will serve you best.
Make a list of all the features you absolutely must have, and the ones you absolutely loathe, and then just trawl through the features. Trouble is, in the end, as with all machines, it's not until you start using them that you decide whether you like them or not, and discover their 'true identity' (and irritating habits!)

Don't just go by 'stars' on reviews, as different people like different things, and one machine's 'bonus' might be someone else's 'drives me bonkers' . (I mean, some people might actually LIKE machines they can't control!)

The energy ratings are useful, but, again, maybe tied into things like 'doesn't use much electricity but takes four hours to dry'....

PS Good point about the fluffy towels though!
Not to go off Violets thread, but a tip for people who like fluffy towels but peg out in good weather. I put mine in the drier for a couple of minutes, then peg out. They are steaming and giving me a facial lol but it works. The towel are soft. Doesn't seem to work as well if I try to soften them when dry?
My washer/dryer is John Lewis' own brand- had it 3 years now and no faults that I remember although the one small gripe I have is draining the filter as it is so low down, you need a really shallow tray like a baking tray and a steady hand to lift and throw down the sink. A pair of ancient nut crackers also essential to unscrew the filter cap but once you have found a suitable implement it is fine .Never had any problems with it besides self inflicted ones clogging the filter . Five year guarentee and JL did the fitting and removal. Would highly recommend as gets nearly daily use. Also has a large capacity drum useful for caring needs/and/or pet bedding.
Pet66 wrote:Not to go off Violets thread, but a tip for people who like fluffy towels but peg out in good weather. I put mine in the drier for a couple of minutes, then peg out. They are steaming and giving me a facial lol but it works. The towel are soft. Doesn't seem to work as well if I try to soften them when dry?
white vinegar instead of fabric conditioner in the rinse cycle - works wonders even on old towels (although they may need more than one treatment to bring them back to fluffy) :) :)
So many replies, so much useful information - I really appreciate your help. I'll take a wee bit of time to think about it but I believe that a good option for me would be to stack as vented drier above washing machine would be right height for window opening.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share information and experience.