Washers and dryers that can be stacked are a convenient space saver in the laundry room, but not all washer and dryer sets can be stacked safely. In most instances, the dryer rests on top of the washer in a stacked set. A stackable washer and dryer set will have front-panel controls and must be front-loading machines. An alternative to front-loading stackable machines is a one-piece unit that includes both the washer and the dryer. These appliances are often smaller than standard washers and dryers, but they offer the space-saving stacked design for compact areas.
Top-loading washers cannot be stacked, but many front-loading washing machines can. When the control panel for either the washer or the dryer is located on the top of either machine, the set cannot be stacked. The controls must be located on the front panel so you can access the buttons, dials and switches after stacking. If the set can be stacked, the manufacturer of the set will provide a mounting kit that includes protective pads for the feet of the dryer and instructions for safely stacking the set.
Stacking washers and dryers saves floor space in the laundry area, often leaving room for laundry sorters, drying racks or additional cabinetry. A stacked washer and dryer set is also often more convenient and easier to use because the laundry process is concentrated in a smaller area. The wet clothes have a smaller distance to travel from the washer to the dryer, and the user is not required to bend to retrieve clothing from the dryer.
Stacking a dryer on top of a washer can pose a problem for some individuals. Usually, the control panel for stackable front-loading washers and dryers is located at the top of the front panel on each machine. When the dryer is stacked on the washer, the controls for the dryer may be out of reach or uncomfortable for some users. A few models solve this problem by moving the controls to the bottom of the front panel on the dryer. However, if you purchase a dryer with controls in this area, the dryer must remain stacked to be usable.
Washer and dryer sets that the manufacturer does not specifically designate as stackable are not safe to stack. You must read and follow the manufacturer's recommendations when stacking a set to avoid damaging your washer and dryer. Some washers move too much during spin cycles to safely hold a dryer in place, and some dryers can be too heavy for a washer to hold. Most front-loading washing machines are stackable, but not all.