- Set your budget. Washing machines sold by major retailers ranged in price from $330 to $1,600 in May, 2010, while you could spend $300 to $1,700 on a dryer. The list of brands and models you consider can be cut considerably by determining up front what you want to spend.
- Measure your laundry space. This can help you decide whether you need a stackable washer and dryer or designs that meet height, width and/or depth restrictions.
- Determine the features and other criteria that are important to you. Some brands offer steam technology, unusual color choices, LED controls and/or vibration and noise reduction. Finishes used for drums and interiors also vary among brands, and power sources can include gas and electric.
- Investigate brand reliability and ratings. The J.D. Power website offers free ratings for overall satisfaction, performance and other washer/dryer criteria, while you must subscribe to the Consumer Reports website to view its reliability data and ratings. Customer reviews found on retailers' websites can also provide helpful insights.
- Look for special offers. Sizeable rebates may be available when you purchase a specific brand, making them more affordable than a competitor's models.
- Visit the government's Energy Star website to see how washers and dryers compare in energy efficiency.