At a Glance
- What is Compact Laundry?
- Most Reliable Compact Washer Brands
- How We Calculate Compact Washer
- How Does Compact Laundry Compare to
Appliances in General?
- Should You Buy an Extended
Warranty for Your Washer and Dryer?
- What You Should Know Before
Buying Compact Laundry
- How to Buy Compact Laundry
- What Are the Best Compact Laundry
Brands to Consider?
- Key Takeaways
- Frequently Asked Questions
Compact laundry has all the latest Wi-Fi, steam, automatic dispensing, pod dispensing, and an array of cycles.
But how about reliability?
How often do these specialized machines break down, leaving you with stacks of unwashed clothes?
Reliability is a curious buzzword because most companies talking about it have no service department.
However, in this post, you will learn compact washer reliability based on over 2,400 service calls logged by our service department just last year.
Then you will learn the reliability versus full-size washers and appliances in general, including the exact methodology of what is considered reliable.
First, let's define what a compact washer is.
Then we will tell you what brands will break down less because waiting four weeks for a service call is not a great experience.
What is Compact Laundry?
Miele Compact Laundry at Yale Appliance in Framingham
Compact laundry is 34 inches high by 24 inches wide and 24 inches deep. It's designed to be placed in a tighter space, like a closet, either side-by-side or stacked.
It also has the same dimensions as a dishwasher, so you can also place them in your kitchen.
Miele compact laundry set featured in apartment display at Yale Appliance in Framingham
You can also place compact laundry in most closets or upstairs. Most dryers are ventless, so all you need is water and electricity.
Most condos and apartments in Boston have compact laundry.Short on time? Get our free Compact Laundry Buying Guide
Most Reliable Compact Washer Brands for 2021
Last year we logged more than 2,200 calls up from 1,900 service calls just on compact washers.
In the chart below, you will see sales in the right column and service calls on the left for 2020. The percentage is calculated by service calls divided by sales over that period.
Compact Washer Reliability for December 2019 to November 2020
These figures above are based on a minimum of 10 compact washers sold per brand and over 2200 total units.
The average rate for compact washers is 5.3% service within the first year, down from 8% from the year before.
Bosch is the most reliable brand with 2.5%. It's more than three times more reliable than the average appliance service rate.
However, Bosch sells well in the builder channel, which typically requires less service. Asko is another builder favorite.
Builders will pay us to "start-up" or check every appliance before turning them over to owners. This eliminates much of the repair problems.
Samsung and Beko are next at 4.3 and 5.2%.
Miele is 8.6%, down over 2% over last year. That is not surprising.
It has far more technology than the others, including an automatic 30-load dispenser: a caplet dispenser, steam, and Wi-Fi on most models.
It's also 110 volts on the dryer, so it is unique versus 220 for the others.
However, you cannot hook both the washer and dryer to a standard 110 outlet. You would need to either add amperage or use a 220 adapter.
I mention all that because installation is part of Miele's service percentage.
How We Calculate Compact Washer Reliability
Yale Appliance Service Team
While others will talk about reliable brands or lab test them, these numbers are straight from our service calls.
We provide free warranty service in the first year on every brand sold at Yale.
To be exact, we had 37,061 service calls in 2020, up from 35,256 service calls logged in 2019.
We have 30 service techs on 8-10 service calls per day, five days a week, with another ten working on the weekend.
It is the fairest measure of initial quality and reliability between brands. However, we do not distinguish between a major or minor call.
If you need us to send a technician, it counts as a service call.
Customer education phone calls and damage are not applied.
How Does Compact Laundry Compare to Appliances in General?
The average appliance service rate in the first year is about 10%, so compact laundry is better at just over 5%.
Should You Buy an Extended Warranty for Your Washer and Dryer?
You will be asked and sometimes pushed by your appliance store to buy an extended warranty.
First, you should never buy a warranty from a company not offering their service. These outsourced warranties are not designed to fix anything promptly.
If you are buying this for peace of mind, you will precisely get the opposite of the repair or lack thereof.
At 5%, the numbers suggest you don't need an extended warranty.
However, compact laundry is a very different repair. It is not the same as regular laundry and requires a more technically skilled technician.
I would be hesitant unless you are sure the repair company has the experience, including the manufacturers themselves.
For reliability, compact laundry is one of the most reliable appliances you can buy. However, it is expensive to repair.
So, you make the argument either way.
However, finding someone competent to repair should be researched and price, delivery, and installation.
Read More: Are Appliance Extended Warranties Worth It?
What You Should Know Before Buying Compact Laundry
What's the Difference Between Compact and Full-Size Laundry?
Front Load Washers at Yale Appliance in Hanover
Compact laundry is different than regular full-size laundry. The most reliable brands for compact washers are almost opposite from regular top load or front load manufacturers.
The application is also different. Most regular laundry is vented, whereas compact laundry is ventless.
Dimensionally a compact laundry set is 24 inches wide and 24 inches deep versus 27 wide and 30-34.5 deep for the average full-size laundry set.
What's the Reliability Difference Between Compact and Full-Size Laundry?
Compact laundry is generally more reliable. Again, there is more builder volume, and one full-size brand had some issues last year. Still compact is probably 2-3% more reliable than full size laundry.
Front load washer reliability based on a minimum of 300 washers sold from December 2019 to November 2020:
Read More: Most Reliable Front Load Washers
Where is Compact Laundry Produced?
Unlike more conventional washers and dryers, compact laundry originated from Europe because they tend to have smaller living spaces.
Even after their introduction in the U.S. 30 years ago, the most popular products are still manufactured in Europe versus the U.S. or Mexico for regular laundry.
For example, Bosch and Miele are German. Electrolux and Asko are Swedish but are now produced in Italy and Slovenia, respectively. Blomberg is Turkish (which still could be European depending on what side of Turkey).
LG and Samsung are different, as both are Korean.
How to Buy Compact Laundry
Choosing the best compact laundry set depends on how you are venting your dryer. If you are venting, then Samsung is the most featured, with Blomberg being less expensive.
Ventless laundry is all good. Miele is the most featured, starting at $1,199 each or $2299 for a set. Their latest set with the 110-volt heat pump is the best for value with a super-efficient dryer.
For reliability, Bosch is an excellent consideration.
Remember: Most of these machines are more intricate than regular, full-size laundry. You should inquire about the service before you purchase it. (I know I have said it more than once).
Three Types of Compact Laundry Dryers
Unlike full-size laundry, your compact laundry decision is based on the dryer, not the washer.
The three types of compact laundry dryers are:
- Heat Pump
We cover this extensively in other posts. However, most compact laundry is ventless. Ventless dryers do not require a vent to the outside.
The type dictates where you can place your washer. Ventless can be placed anywhere with power and water, whereas vented would replace a traditional dryer.
Vented Dryers: Vented is like almost every full-size laundry on the market. You vent it outside. Samsung and Beko are the most common.
Most manufacturers like Bosch, Miele, and Electrolux don't qualify because of UL qualifications of containing the fire in the dryer drum for 7 hours.
Ventless Dryers: Ventless or condenser dry drying is the most common type. It doesn't have to be vented to the outside because the steam is condensed into water. You can place ventless anywhere since you do not have to run a vent to the outside. Ventless dryers do emit more heat to your room.
Heat Pump Dryers: A heat pump is a form of ventless drying. It is common in Europe and is by far the most efficient dryer on the market. Instead of elements, it uses a compressor to cool and convert the heated air. Most brands are 220 volts, but Miele has the most innovative using just 110-volt.
To learn more about the benefits of ventless and heat pump dryers, check out our free compact laundry buying guide.
What Are the Best Compact Laundry Brands to Consider?
The best compact laundry brands for 2020 are:
We have arranged this in order of the best features for compact laundry. It's important to recognize added features can affect service.
Again, we cover this in greater detail in other "Best" posts. Here is our Best Compact Laundry article if you'd like to learn more.
1. Miele Compact Laundry
Miele has revolutionized compact laundry. The washer has an automatic dispenser for detergents and pods, steam, two pumps for better distribution of water and detergent, as well as the honeycomb drum designed to wash gentle fabrics.
Miele's heat pump dryer may be better. It's the most efficient 110-volt on the market. You can even
Order different scents for your clothes to be added to the dry cycle.
Miele has the newest technology, so it does have a learning curve for installation.
2. Bosch Compact Laundry
Bosch WAW285H2UC Compact Washer | Bosch WTG865H2UC Condensation Dryer
Their service rate is incredible. Bosch has three sets of laundry. You can wash by stain type as well as the more traditional settings on their best 800 series.
However, their best piece is the less expensive 220-volt heat pump. It's more efficient and less expensive than their 800 series
3. Beko Compact Laundry
They used to be the only vented dryers before Samsung. Now they are the least expensive. However, Beko was one of the most reliable product lines you could buy last year in every category.
Their new heat pump is also less expensive.
4. Samsung Compact Laundry
Samsung WW22K6800AW Compact Washer | Samsung DV22K6800EW Vented Dryer
Samsung doesn't have any reliability issues in the compact laundry, unlike the agitator-free top load washers. Their laundry features steam in a vented set.
Samsung's well as most premium brands, Samsung's issue is the lack of service techs to repair. Their problem may be worse because of their explosive growth in the last few years.
Availability in 2021 will be an ongoing problem for Samsung.
Most Reliable Compact Washers: Key Takeaways
For once, this blog is delivering all good news. Every compact washer on this list is reliable and more reliable than appliances in general.
However, compact washers are more technical with more features, so make sure you know a competent repair agency.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best compact washing machine?
It depends on if you are venting to the outside or not on the dryer. The best ventless machine to consider is from Miele.
Miele's best compact washers have automatic dispensing, steam, a high RPM spin, two pumps for better water distribution and detergent, and a honeycomb drum designed to handle gentle fabrics.
Bosch would be a good reliable alternative. They have three models. For vented Samsung would be better than Blomberg and Asko.
2. Can you run a washer and dryer at the same time?
Yes, you can run your washer and dryer at the same time.
3. Can you stack any front load washer and dryer?
You can stack any Miele on a Miele of the same year. You should not stack another brand on a different brand because they have different kits to keep the dryer in place.
4. What is the best stackable washer and dryer?
The best stackable washer and dryer depends on the price and your venting requirements. Miele is the best with incredible washer features and a revolutionary 110-volt heat pump dryer. Bosch is the most reliable for a far lower price. For vented compact laundry, Samsung is the second most reliable to Bosch, and it has steam.
5. Are ventless dryers better than vented dryers?
They are more convenient because they can be placed anywhere with water and power. They do not dry as fast and emit heat into the room. Heat pumps, a form of the ventless dryer, are more efficient and do not emit heat.
Download the Yale Compact Laundry Buying Guide with specs, features, and buying tips for every major brand. Well over 680,000 people have read a Yale Guide.
Steve is the third-generation CEO of Yale and a lifelong Bostonian. He currently resides in Boston, one mile from where he was born. Despite being one of the worst goalies of all time, he is a huge hockey fan of college hockey and the Boston Bruins. The love of his life is his daughter Sophie.
Steve has also been featured in numerous publications such as the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.
A Note About Pricing