Since the invention of washers, it’s safe to say that life has become so much easier. The same goes for dryers; it used to take days for clothes to dry completely before this time-saving technology was invented! Yet, figuring out how much space to allocate for these is often quite tricky. To use the available space well, it’s essential to consider standard washer and dryer dimensions, as well as space requirements, when installing new appliances.
For more clothes to fit (and for you to also save up on electricity bills), washers and dryers need to big. Of course, you can find units specially made for smaller homes. However, there are still some standard dimensions that manufacturers mostly stick to.
Making the most of your home and space is essential; a well-organized home does make life so much easier and less stressful. So, today, I’ll guide you through these standard dimensions. On top of that, you’ll also find out how to correctly measure the necessary space for these units and how to organize your laundry room so that it works to your advantage.
Standard Washer and Dryer Dimensions in the US
Although they are standard, washer and dryer dimensions still vary a bit. Nothing is set in stone when it comes to the designs, and that’s fairly obvious from the discrepancies in sizes:
- The standard width of a dryer or washer is 27 inches
- The depth of a washer varies between 25 and 28 inches
- Dryers can be up to 32 inches deep
- Top-loaders have an average height of 36 inches
- Front-loading machines vary in height between 34 and 39 inches
- The average dimensions of a single washer-dryer combo unit are 27 x 38 x 29 inches.
The most popular manufacturers in the US opt for the following standard dimensions (width x height x depth):
- Whirlpool: 27 x 38 x 32 inches
- LG: 27 x 38 x 30 inches
- Maytag: 27 x 39 x 32 inches
- Fisher & Paykel: 27 x 38 x 32 inches
- GE: 29 x 39 x 34 inches
As you can see, these dimensions are quite similar, but not exactly the same. By American standards, washer and dryer dimensions do vary a bit between manufacturers. However, if you’re buying appliances in Europe or a European brand in the US, you’ve got another thing coming.
Standard Washer and Dryer Dimensions in Europe
Europeans prefer the metric system, so you need to look at the labels carefully in order not to confuse centimeters with inches. These are the dimensions the most popular European manufacturers go for:
- Bosch: 59 x 85 x 60 cm
- Indesit: 59 x 85 x 60 cm
- Zanussi: 60 x 85 x 50 cm
- Hotpoint: 59 x 85 x 60 cm
- AEG: 60 x 85 x 60 cm
It’s easy to spot that European dimensions are more consistent than the US ones. They average at roughly 23 x 33 x 23 inches. In addition, European washers and dryers are a bit smaller than those made by US brands.
That’s because, in European households, washers and dryers are most often found in bathrooms. Big laundromats or apartment building laundry rooms aren’t that common in Europe since Europeans tend to wash their clothes mostly at home.
The moral of the story? If you live in the US and wish to have a home washer and dryer, you should consider getting them from a European manufacturer. However, don’t forget to switch to the metric system when shopping!
How to Allocate Enough Space
Before you swipe that credit card and enjoy your new washer and dryer, you have to allocate enough space for the appliances. Use the standard dimensions to measure the space where you want to place your washer and dryer units.
There are several ways you can arrange the appliances:
- Solo appliances
- Side-by-side pairs
- Stacked pairs
- Small space pairs
Solo appliances won’t help you save space since you’re supposed to keep them separate for safety reasons. The other three types of washer-dryer combos will use the available space in a more optimal way.
If the room has enough width but not enough height, then side-by-side pairs are the best solution. On average, this type of arrangement takes up 57 inches in width. Even though that means side-by-side units are wider than two solo units combined, they are a much safer solution.
Still, for those of you who have some space up to the ceiling to spare, stacked pairs are a better option. They rise to an average height of 75 inches but take up no more than 28 inches in width.
Finally, consider small space pairs if you’re short on both width and height. You can easily stack these or keep them side by side. The standard dimensions of these pairs are a couple of inches smaller than those of the regular pairs.
Don’t Forget to Measure the Hallways!
Another thing to consider is the width and height of your hallways and every doorway, from your entry door to wherever you want to put the appliances. You wouldn’t want to buy a new dryer only to figure out that it can’t get past the entry door!
How Much Space Do You Really Need for a Washer and Dryer?
If you think that the dimensions I’ve talked about equal to the amount of space you’ll need to allocate for your new washer and dryer — you’re in for a surprise. These appliances require more space to be properly installed, so you need to plan everything accordingly.
An additional inch or two around the units is necessary for the air to circulate properly. Clearance space enables the appliances to breathe. I’d advise you to leave this extra space to avoid overheating and ensure better functioning, as well as a longer lifespan.
If you place the appliances closely together and push them against the wall, the chances are that the racket will be unbearable. The extra inch of space between the wall and the appliance acts as a noise buffer. It won’t completely neutralize the noise, but it will certainly reduce it.
It’s important to keep in mind that both the washer and dryer need to open and close. Thus, depending on whether the units are top-loaders or front-loaders, you need to leave enough space to enable easy access.
The recommended amount of space to leave is around 48 inches. If the lids can’t fully open, adjust the position of the units. Rearrange some of the other elements and furniture found in your laundry room. Also, avoid keeping cleaning products and other laundry room essentials on the lids of top-loaders.
Ventilation and Electricity
Your washers and dryers can’t work via Bluetooth (at least not yet), so you need some cable space. Moreover, you need extra space to enable ventilation and some room for the hoses that bring water to the washer. It’s best to leave around six inches behind the washer and dryer units for these connections to function properly.
How to Save Up on Space
There are some ways to save up on space if your bathroom or laundry room is really small. For one, you could install a periscope dryer vent behind the dryer. The vent makes it easier for the air behind the dryer to circulate, so you can push the unit closer to the wall.
Also, look into compact units to get the best size-to-drum capacity ratio. There’s no guarantee that a bigger washing machine will have a bigger drum, so it’s better to get a smaller washer with a larger drum capacity. You can also interpret this ratio as the number of laundry loads the machine can take in a day.
Organizing a Laundry Room for New Appliances
Keep in mind that the washer and dryer dimensions are just one aspect of designing a perfect, functional laundry room. Sometimes, you might need to reorganize the whole room to install new appliances. Depending on the space you have, there are several space-efficient solutions to choose from.
In case you’re looking for some inspiration on home improvement websites, know that there’s a chance they might lead you astray. Although picture-perfect laundry rooms look compact and wonderfully efficient, they’re probably much larger than they seem. A laundry room filled with equipment, baskets, and hampers visually seems a lot smaller than it really is.
Instead, try to find blueprints and actual measurements. Judging by the dimensions, there are different ways to organize a laundry room. For easier size comparison, I will roughly divide the room sizes into small, medium, and large.
Small Laundry Rooms
The dimensions of small laundry rooms don’t go over 6 ft x 7 ft. It’s hard to fit everything you need in such a small room, but there is enough space for the essentials.
If you opt for European appliances, a stacked washer and dryer pair and a sink can be positioned in the same row. However, US units won’t fit in the same row, which is why it would be best to move the sink to a different wall.
There should be enough space in the room for a drying rack, but it should be installed to full height. Aside from that, you’ll also need an ironing board. The leftover space can be used for folding and storing clothes.
Still, ironing in such conditions can be a challenge. Make sure to position the board close to the center of the room when ironing. Also, it would be best if the door could open outwards.
Medium-Sized Laundry Rooms
Medium-sized rooms are big enough to fit a side-by-side washer and dryer combo. The dimensions of medium rooms are roughly 6 ft x 8 ft in Europe or 6 ft x 9 ft in the US. There’s even more space for drying and storage.
In medium-sized rooms, you certainly have enough space for ironing. However, it might not be that easy to iron if the door opens inwards. The ironing board might get in the way.
Spacious Laundry Rooms
Finally, large laundry rooms are estimated at 10 ft x 7 ft, which provides you with enough space for all laundry activities. In such a big room, you can go for solo appliances when it comes to washers and dryers. There might even be room for more than one of these!
The largest laundry rooms are best designed in a U-shape so as to have plenty of space in the center of the room to move around comfortably.
Still, you don’t need such a large laundry room if you don’t have a big family. In my opinion, a couple of adults with two children can manage perfectly fine with a medium-sized laundry room.
Other Tips for Optimizing the Space
Even if you’ve only got enough space for a small laundry room, it doesn’t mean that you’re destined to always feel a bit claustrophobic when ironing. There are some crafty ways to use the laundry room space more efficiently, no matter its size.
For one, you can change the lids and adjust how the doors open on the units. Keep in mind that not all washer and dryer models are convertible, so look for those that are when buying new appliances.
In the case of side-by-side pairs, washer and dryer doors should open differently. For instance, if you position the washer to the left of the dryer, then its door should swing open to the left, while the dryer door should open to the right.
That way, it’s easier to move clothes directly from the washer to the dryer without needing extra space. On the other hand, if you stack your appliances, it’s better to have both doors open in the same direction.
Finally, if the units are positioned next to a wall, the door hinges should face the wall. The door can lean against the wall and use up almost no space at all.
Now that you’ve become familiar with the standard washer and dryer dimensions, nothing can stop you from creating the laundry room of your dreams.
When it comes to measuring space, remember that you should always take extra space into account when planning where to put the units. As for the size of your laundry room, keep in mind that not everyone needs an obscene amount of space.
Smaller families and couples with no kids will be perfectly fine with a medium-sized room, as well as a small one. It’s safe to say that even the smallest of spaces can be used more efficiently if you’re creative enough.
When you’ve allocated enough space, all that’s left to do is to choose the units. There are a lot of models and manufacturers, so picking a washer and dryer combo that fulfills all your needs won’t be too difficult.