What Is a Smart Washer and Smart Dryer?

There's no reason to loathe laundry day with smart technology

A smart washer or dryer is a laundry appliance that connects to the internet or a smart home network. These machines add features that are not possible with unconnected appliances.

Smart washers and dryers are different from merely digital appliances. They can send notifications to your phone when a cycle finishes, download new wash and dry cycles, diagnose problems, and adjust settings with the control of a smartphone or voice command.

Mother and daughter using smart washing machine
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What Can a Smart Washing Machine Do?

What We Like
  • Remotely start, stop, or monitor cleaning cycles from your phone.

  • Receive notifications when cycles are finished.

  • Integrate with a smart home network.

What We Don't Like
  • May require frequent updates.

  • Vulnerable to vulnerabilities in network security.

A smart washing machine gives you more control over your laundry than a standard washing machine while offering a few convenient extra features. Here are some of the benefits of a smart washing machine:

  • Remotely start, stop, or monitor wash cycles from a mobile device, or schedule cycles for a time that works better.
  • Control machine settings via mobile device and receive notifications when cycles finish.
  • Use voice commands to control operation with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
  • Use built-in diagnostic sensors to alert you when a repair is needed or when it’s time for regular maintenance, such as a self-cleaning cycle.
  • Opt to receive notifications when detergent levels get low, with the option of using an Amazon Dash Button to automatically order more detergent.
  • Search for and download new wash cycles for specific types of fabrics or loads.
  • Integrate with an existing smart home system. When synced with a connected smart home, many models can monitor local energy consumption and automatically run cycles during off-peak hours to save money.

As with all smart appliances, features vary depending on brand and model. This overview covers the general capabilities of most smart washers.

What Can a Smart Dryer Do?

What We Like
  • Remotely start, stop, or monitor drying cycles with your phone.

  • Monitor energy use to work during off-peak hours.

What We Don't Like
  • May require frequent updates.

  • Vulnerable to vulnerabilities in network security.

A smart dryer partners with a smart washer to make cleaning laundry quicker and easier. Here are some of the benefits of a connected dryer:

  • Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to start, stop, and extend cycles remotely with your phone or mobile device.
  • Receive notifications when a cycle finishes or remotely check on its status.
  • Download new dryer cycles for special fabrics and types of loads.
  • Use voice commands to control operation through virtual assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • Integrate with an existing smart home system. When synced with a smart home network, smart dryers can monitor local energy use to run during off-peak hours for additional savings on utility bills.

As with smart washers, features vary by brand and model.

All-in-One Smart Washer and Dryer

A few manufacturers have combined washers and dryers into a single machine that both washes and dries clothes. An all-in-one laundry unit may be ideal for smaller homes and apartments where space is limited, however, they are quite expensive. Currently, the few all-in-one washer-dryers that are available cost about the same as buying two separate units.

Common Concerns About Smart Washers and Dryers

Whether or not you should get a smart appliance is largely a matter of personal preference. Here are some common concerns people have about smart washers and dryers:

  • Price: Perhaps surprisingly, the cost of a smart washer or dryer depends on the brand and model. Individual washing machines typically range from $800 to $2,000. This price range is similar to the average cost of traditional front-loading washers. Price can vary a bit more on dryers, depending on whether you need a gas or electric connection. While you can often find simple washers and dryers for a bargain, many people prefer front-loading or feature-rich appliances.
  • Repairs: Most repairs of smart appliances are not significantly more expensive than traditional units. The extra sensors found in smart appliances sometimes add to repair expenses. However, the self-diagnostic features found in most smart appliances can give you a heads-up when a part is wearing out, giving you a chance to repair it before it breaks — likely saving you money as well.