What Washing Machine and Dryer Size Is Right for Your Family?

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hhgregg’s Guide to Standard Washer and Dryer Dimensions & Capacities

If you’re in the market for a new washer and dryer, you’ve likely been thinking about the different sizes available. With so many options, how do you know the washer and dryer capacity you need to keep your family’s laundry clean? In this guide, hhgregg helps explain the different washing machine and dryer sizes and dimensions.

Measure your space before choosing your washer and dryer size

Space is a key factor in determining which washer and dryer you purchase. It doesn’t matter how big or small your family is – your washer and dryer must fit into your laundry room (or whatever space you’ve set aside). So before you even start to browse, you’ll need to measure the area. Keep in mind that you’ll need a buffer around both the washer and dryer. A few tips:

  • Leave at least 1 inch on the sides of the appliances to let air circulate, and 4 inches behind the units for proper venting.
  • Don’t forget about height clearance, too. A top-load washer needs about 20 inches of clearance. If you’re purchasing a front-load washer, it’s a good idea to leave a little top clearance, around 1 inch, in case you have to move it.
  • Make sure to have a minimum of 2 feet of space in front of a front-loading unit so you have room to open the door.

Use the standard washer and dryer dimensions as a guide

Now that you have a good grasp on how much space is available, you’ll want to know the average washer and dryer dimensions of the different models on the market. Dimensions will vary by brand and model, but here’s an idea of the typical size:

  • Side-by-side top-load washers and standard front-load dryers: 27 inches wide, 27 to 28 inches deep and 34 to 43 inches high (per appliance)
  • Stacked: 27 inches wide, 30 to 32 inches deep and 75 inches tall (for the entire unit)
  • Compact: 24 inches wide, 22 to 24 inches deep and 33 to 34 inches tall (per appliance)
  • High-capacity front-loading washers and dryers: 27 inches wide, 32 to 34 inches deep and 35 to 42 inches tall (per appliance)

Family size can guide your purchase

If you have enough space to choose any washer and dryer size, you’ll likely focus on capacity instead. Some of today’s front-load, extra-large capacity washers can handle up to 15 pairs of jeans! Check out our breakdown below of the typical washer capacities; for reference, 4 cubic feet can hold around 12 to 16 pounds of laundry.

  • Compact: 1.7 to 2.3 cubic feet
  • Medium: 2.1 to 2.5 cubic feet
  • Extra-large: 3.1 or more cubic feet

While the washer capacity breakdown is helpful, what does that mean? If you have a medium to large family, you’ll want to get a large to extra-large capacity unit, especially if you have small children. If you live alone, a compact unit may be enough, but you won’t be able to fit as much into one load. For a small family, you’ll want at least a medium capacity washer, but a large or even extra-large model would give you flexibility to fit more laundry into one load.

Once you choose your desired washer capacity, you can determine the right dryer capacity – keeping in mind that your dryer should be nearly twice as big (in cubic feet) as your washer. This will ensure there is plenty of room for wet clothing to dry quickly and efficiently.

Additional washer and dryer considerations

We’ve reviewed the different types of washers and dryers available – and looked at the capacity for each. If you still aren’t sure about which washer and dryer is right for your family, read our washing machine buying guide, or stop into your local hhgregg store where our experts can help you choose the best option.


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