Laundry is a chore most of us have adapted to over the years, but keeping up with laundry can be challenging as one ages. The bending over can become more burdensome on senior joints, and it can be difficult to remember what machine is on what cycle.
To make things as easy as possible, opt for a senior-friendly washer and dryer with clear controls, simple (but useful) programming, and a well-thought-out location that won’t inconvenience an older individual.
In this guide, we’ll detail some of the best washer and dryers for elderly seniors while also discussing the most important washer/dryer features for seniors. We’ll cover smart laundry room designs for older users too!
Best Washers and Dryers for Seniors
1. Giantex Full-Automatic Portable Washing Machine
This Giantex washing machine may be small, but it packs a big punch! This compact washer has ten programs and eight water level selections, with functions and operation including water level, spin level, program options, delay option, time set, and child lock.
All programming options are clearly displayed on the top panel for you to see, along with a bright LED display (although it is worth noting that the buttons are touch-based, which may be challenging for some seniors).
The washing machine is compact and lightweight, so it shouldn’t be too challenging to move it to the laundry room. It also works great for RV travel!
This senior-friendly washing machine also features a honeycomb-shaped inner tub that can load 9.92lbs of laundry at one time!
The machine’s transparent lid allows you to see and monitor the water and washing situation inside the machine. In addition, the Giantex also includes an automatic imbalance adjustment which automatically adjusts an unbalanced load if the vibration is beyond a certain allowable level.
- Dimensions: 19″ x 19″ x 33.5″
- Controls: Electronic touch controls with LED display
- Capacity: 9.92 lbs
- Small, ultra portable washer
- Works great in small spaces or RVs
- Small capcity compared to other options
- Simple functionality, not many advanced features
2. GE Laundry Center 3.8 cu. ft. Washer and 5.9 cu. ft. Dryer
GE Washer & Dryer
GE’s White Laundry Center combines a washer and dryer into a compact package to take up minimal space. This all-in-one design will help seniors save time on laundry chores, while providing the wash quality seniors need to feel confident and clean.
With 11 different cycles for various fabrics and soils, you can find the right setting for easily cleaning all your laundry loads, from towels to delicates. The washer even auto-senses the laundry load and adjusts water levels accordingly, ensuring you won’t waste water.
Despite several cycle options, both the washer and dryer aim to be simple to operate, with simplified cycle selections and easy-to-turn manual knobs that don’t require fiddling with a touch screen.
The machines also use cycle status lights to indicate what stage a load is in the cleaning process, which can be handy for those who prefer visual indicators over auditory ones.
For seniors who are noise sensitive, GE’s “Quiet Package” options help to reduce noise output by lowering the decibels during cycle operation as well as reducing vibrations with padded motor mounts.
To top it all off, this unit is even wifi compatible, allowing you to monitor the machine’s cycle status on your mobile phone, with a ConnectPlus accessory sold separately.
This washer and dryer combo also includes a limited one-year appliance warranty to offer additional peace-of-mind protection for your washer and dryer investment.
- Dimensions: 31″ (depth) x 26.75″ (width) x 76″ (height)
- Controls: Rotary knobs
- Capacity: 3.8 cu. ft. washer and 5.9 cu. ft dryer
- A washer and dryer in one machine
- Can save space compared to seperate units
- Offers a “quiet package” option
- Wi-Fi compatibile with a ConnectPlus accessory
- Some may find the 3.8 cubic feet capacity too small
- Top-loading washer may require too much bending for some seniors
- Dryer may be too raised for shorter seniors
3. LG 4.5 cu. ft. Ultra Large Capacity Front Load Washing Machine with Coldwash Technology
LG Ultra Large Capacity Front-Loading Washer
This large-capacity LG washer offers a variety of features and benefits that make it a solid pick for seniors. With “6motion technology”, the washer uses up to six different wash motions for smart cleaning capabilities that save time and energy without compromising on cleaning performance.
This washer boasts a 4.5 cu.ft. capacity that also offers ColdWash technology, which uses cold water and enhanced washing motions to clean clothes gently yet effectively, all while saving money on energy bills by using only cold water.
Not only that, this washer is also a front-loader and auto-senses the laundry load, adjusting the water levels to cut down even further on bills. It’s stackable too!
- Dimensions: 30.25″ (depth) x 27″ (width) x 39″ (height)
- Controls: Knob, buttons, and touch options
- Capacity: 4.5 cu. ft
- Quiet operation
- Stainless-steel tub
- Energy Star rated
- None we can think of
4. LG 7.4 cu. ft. Smart Electric Dryer with Sensor Dry
LG Dryer With Sensor Dry
The LG 7.4 cu. ft. Smart White Electric Vented Dryer with Sensor Dry is a powerful, efficient dryer that makes laundry easier to manage for seniors who live alone or have limited mobility–the dryer’s sensor automatically adjusts drying time for loads of all sizes to save energy and has an ultra-large capacity so seniors can do more laundry in one load .
In addition, this dryer also comes with a FlowSense Duct Clogging Indicator which alerts you when your ducts need cleaning, reducing lint buildup inside and improving performance for greater efficiency and lower utility bills.
This dryer offers extra capacity without taking up space, with its 30″ depth that allows it to fit easily even in smaller spaces and compact laundry closets.
The dryer’s advanced aluminized alloy coating on the stainless-steel drum makes it durable and attractive, helping this dryer last for years of use. Plus, the motor is designed for silent operation, so seniors won’t be disrupted by running it during a nap session or during a favorite afternoon TV show (the device even has pleasant end-of-cycle chimes to indicate when the clothes are dry).
If an issue ever arises, the SmartDiagnosis feature allows for easy diagnosing over the phone or via the smartphone app.
For seniors who like to iron their clothes, this dryer even has a EasyIron option, which lightly wets the clothes to make ironing easier right out of the dryer.
- Dimensions: 30″ (depth) x 27″ (width) x 38.6″ (height)
- Controls: Knob, buttons, and touch options
- Capacity: 7.4 cu. ft.
- Energy Star rated
- Easy Dial-A-Cycle controls and ultra-readable LED display screen
- May be larger than necessary for single seniors with minimal laundry
5. Whirlpool 4.5 cu. ft. High Efficiency Front Load Washing Machine with Steam
Whirlpool High Efficiency Front-Load Washing Machine with Steam
The Whirlpool 4.5 cu.ft. high-efficiency white front load washing machine is the perfect combination of design and efficiency for your senior’s laundry needs!
The spacious capacity fits large loads and bulky items, while still using less water/energy than a traditional top-load washer to save on utility bills.
Fans of this washer especially love the Load & Go Dispenser – just add a bottle of detergent and the machine will dispense detergent as needed. You only need one refill for every 20 wash cycles, eliminating one more hassle from the laundry process!
The machine’s intuitive controls allow seniors to choose simple pre-set cycle options. Or, alternatively, a caregiver can set up customized cycle combinations choosing from up to 35 different cycles depending on fabric type.
This Whirpool washer also comes with a handy presoak option as well as an intelligent cold wash option and a self-cleaning function, all while utilizing this machine’s stainless steel basket.
This machine has a 33″ installation depth and also has the ability to be raised up for easier loading and unloading with add-on laundry pedestals that are sold separately.
- Dimensions: 31.5″ (depth) x 27″ (width) x 38.6″ (height)
- Controls: Touch screen
- Capacity: 4.5 cu. ft.
- Nifty extra features like the Load & Go Dispenser which adds detergent as needed
- Energy Star rated
- Some features may be unnecessary for seniors
6. 7.4 cu. ft. Electric Dryer with Intuitive Touch Controls
Whirlpool Electric Dryer with Touch Controls
This Whirpool dryer boasts a 7.4 cu. ft. size, allowing it to handle every-day clothing as well as bulkier items like bedding. This dryer is an intelligent machine, with the ability to track and sense moisture levels and temperatures during the drying process, adjusting drying times as needed and preventing over-drying.
This dryer is ENERGY STAR certified, helping save money on your utility bills. Let this smart dryer guide you to the right cycle combinations, or customize up to 36 pre-set cycles of your own based on fabric type.
One feature that makes this dryer especially unique is the sanitize cycle, which eliminates 99.9% of common household bacteria. Another unique product-specific feature is the machine’s added efficiency through EcoBoost options, which save energy by using less heat and an extended cycle time.
This dryer also has the ability to be raised up through the purchase of add-on pedestals.
- Dimensions: 31″ (depth) x 27″ (width) x 38.75″ (height)
- Controls: Touch screen
- Capacity: 7.4 cu. ft.
- Includes sanitize cycle
- Option to add pedestals
- Energy Star rated
- Touch screen may be challenging for seniors who are more familiar with rotary dials
7. Haier 4.3 cu. ft. Smart Stackable Electric Dryer
Haier Smart Stackable Dryer
The Haier 4.3 cubic foot Smart Stackable Dryer is a compact, Energy Star-rated dryer that offers large capacity while still taking up little space in a senior’s laundry room.
The comprehensive features of this uber-advanced dryer allows it to perform hundreds of function combinations effectively and efficiently.
The dryer is loaded up with tech, including the LCD touchscreen and built-in Wi-Fi that allows you to control the laundry process from anywhere (which can be especially beneficial for caregivers who want to keep an eye on things or even control the drying cycle themselves). The machine’s reversible door allows it to be installed wherever fits in best for your home.
The 4.3 cubic feet of space produces enough room to comfortably handle plenty of clothes at once. Its compact 24-inch width ensures ample installation flexibility and optimal counter
Besides features like drying clothes longer without heat or altering how they are tumbled, this dryer also offers the added bonus of anti-bacterial sanitizing and interior LED lights to find those missing socks.
- Dimensions: 25.5″ (depth) x 23.4″ (width) x 33.25″ (height)
- Controls: Touch screen
- Capacity: 4.3 cu. ft.
- Sanitizing option
- Interior drum lights
- Wi-Fi enabled for virtual caregiver control
- All controls are done via the LCD touchscreen, which some seniors might struggle with
8. Hotpoint 3.8 cu. ft. Top Load Washing Machine
Hotpoint Top-Loading Washing Machine
The Hotpoint 3.8-cubic feet Top Load Washing Machine is a budget pick that won’t break the bank while offering many solid features for seniors.
When it comes to laundry, the most important thing is that clothes come out clean, but there are other considerations as well: ease of accessing and using a new appliance, using less water and power to wash your clothes, etc.
This washer offers 10 washing cycles for various fabrics as well as deep rinse cycle which means no residue from detergent or fabric softener will be left on the clothing. It allows you to choose you load size for your desired water level, and offers intuitive rotary knob-style controls with cycle status lights so you can easily see what cycle the machine is in.
It also has an auto-balance system to prevent banging or shifting due to heavy loads.
- Dimensions: 27″ (depth) x 27″ (width) x 44″ (height)
- Controls: Rotary dial knob
- Capacity: 3.8 cu. ft.
- Great budget pick that doesn’t cost a ton
- Easy-to-use rotary knob
- Not as many advanced cycle options
- Top-loading machine may be harder on seniors who can’t bend over
- Smaller capacity than other washers
9. Hotpoint 6.2 cu. ft. Electric Dryer
Hotpoint Electric Dryer
The Hotpoint 6.2 cu. ft. 240-Volt White Electric Vented Dryer with up to 120 ft. venting capability is perfect for any senior who needs a way to complete their laundry easily and with less stress or anxiety!
Its aluminized alloy drum ensures your energy efficiency while it preventing corrosion. With 3-heat selections including a delicate cycle and a wrinkle-free option, deciding which temperature is best suited for your fabrics becomes easier and takes the mystery out of drying laundry.
The machine’s lint filter is right in front of the drum area, not requiring you to bend over backward or hike yourself up high on the machine to clean out the lint trap. The machine also has a reverse door option to fit with the interior of the home and can run for up to 80 minutes of dry time.
- Dimensions: 26.25″ (depth) x 27″ (width) x 44″ (height)
- Controls: Rotary dial knob
- Capacity: 6.2 cu. ft.
- Simple rotary dial-style controls
- Less advanced features than other dryers
General Washer & Dryer Selection Tips for Seniors
When it comes to a senior’s laundry needs, you’ll want to invest in a quality washer and dryer with features that benefit seniors and make laundry easier to manage.
The first thing you’ll want to do is ensure your washer and dryer pair can handle the size of the senior’s clothes. A good washer and dryer will also feature easy buttons that are clear and simple to use, even for those who might struggle with vision impairment.
We’ll detail some of the key considerations and features to keep in mind when shopping for a senior-friendly washer and dryer below!
Front-Loading vs Top-Loading Washer
Many seniors have difficulty bending over to use a top-loading washer or dryer. Luckily, front-loading washing machines have increasingly been growing in popularity.
Front-loading washers are easier to load and unload, and they aren’t as rough on a person’s back as a top-loading machine is. Front-loaders also require less movement to load and unload, making them much easier for those in wheelchairs.
Front-loading washing machines also use less energy than top-loading machines, sometimes using as much as 25% less water. This isn’t just better for the environment – it can also mean savings on water bills!
However, it’s worth noting that some front-loading washing units can be bulkier than top-loaders, so they may not be a good fit in older homes with tight spaces.
To make things even easier, look for pedestal washers and dryers or stackable units with a low height.
What size loads will you be washing? If a senior lives alone, it may not make sense to buy a 12-pound capacity washer.
Most seniors don’t need a super high-capacity machine, but if they’ll be cleaning a lot of cushions and comforters, a larger-capacity option might be best. Also, keep in mind that larger units can be more expensive to maintain and run.
Many older seniors worry about wasting energy and spending more on their utility bills, so it’s important to choose a washer and dryer that offers superior efficiency and cost-saving features.
Many newer washing machines offer great cold wash cycles that can get clothes clean while using less energy. If efficiency is important to a senior, consider opting for machines that can auto-sense laundry loads and choose the perfectly appropriate amount of water.
And, naturally, you’ll want to choose Energy Star-rated machines.
Another important feature to consider is a washer and dryer’s controls and programming. Generally, the less complicated the unit is, the easier it will be for those with physical limitations.
Look for a washer and dryer that provide all the most important must-have features. But, avoid going too overboard. Most elderly seniors will only feel comfortable using the machine programs and settings they are already familiar with.
It doesn’t always make sense to get the latest and greatest washer and dryer with the hottest tech if the senior is unfamiliar with the more advanced features and won’t be likely to use them.
That being said, it’s many of the newer more advanced washers and dryers that offer greatly improved efficiency and even come with features that might benefit caregivers, such as built-in Wi-Fi controls.
In the end, you’ll want to balance functionality with practicality when selecting a washer or dryer for a senior. If you end up with a more advanced machine, don’t be afraid to use tape or hand-made labels to help a senior only access the buttons and controls that make sense for their needs.
Clear, Large Controls
You’ll want to seek out a washer and dryer with large, clear controls that are easy to manage even for those hand dexterity challenges.
We suggest opting for button-based control panels, rather than turn knobs.
Many older people have physical limitations like arthritis or other health conditions that make it difficult to manipulate smaller controls. The grip and motion for turning a machine’s knob can also be challenging, making buttons an easier choice.
Ideally, look for buttons with are raised, tactile, and have some feedback (aka, will press down or physically respond somehow to being pressed). Touch-screens can be tricky for some seniors, and it can be difficult to know if you’re touching the screen with the right pressure.
Unfortunately, touch screens and knob-based machines tend to be more common than raised, tactile buttons. Consider what type of controls are most intuitive for the senior and select based on their comfort level. Some may prefer a touch screen, while others will opt for knobs.
The location of the washer and dryer is important to consider as well. Keep in mind how easy it will be for an older person to get laundry in and out of the laundry area. When possible, try to place the washer and dryer on the main floor of the house so that the senior won’t have to navigate stairs while carrying laundry.
If you won’t be placing the washer and dryer in a separate laundry room, think about which areas it would be easy for an older person to get to—maybe a ground-floor bathroom or kitchen side-pantry area with cabinets directly above?
If there are stairs or a slope between the senior and the laundry machines, think about what you can do to make the setup safer. Consider adding grab bars or brightly colored tape to make any slope or steps noticeable.
Built-In WiFi Connect
Modern washers and dryers offer built-in WiFi connectivity. This enables the machine to send phone push notifications or alert a caregiver if there’s an issue like a mechanical error, or even just to notify the user when a load of laundry is done.
Most seniors probably won’t be interested in the hassle of having a washing machine that can text them updates, but it can be useful, especially in multi-generational households or where a caregiver wants to keep tabs on a senior’s laundry use.
When choosing a washer and dryer, consider the space you have available for installation. You’ll want a machine that fits a senior’s space, so measure carefully. If the laundry area is a bit tricky and tight, you may want to consider choosing a machine that allows the door to be opened on either side.
Also consider if a senior would do better with stackable or non-stacked units. Stacked units can save space, but it might make some of the machines more difficult to access depending on the user’s height and mobility.
When choosing a machine location, keep in mind the following:
- There should be 1-3″ of width on both of the sides of the machines and between the appliances for adequate air circulation.
- Vents and cords need 5-6″ inches of space behind the machines.
- Ensure there is 21-25″ of space in front of the machines to allow space for the door to swing open.
If your washer and dryer feature a computer or LCD screen display, choose units with displays that are large and backlit for easier nighttime use. Ensure that the numbers and letters on the screens are large, bold, and clear for the senior to see.
Also make sure you’re choosing a washer and dryer unit that has easy-to-read controls located on the front of the machine. Controls that sit further at the back rear of the machine can be hard to reach if a wheelchair is required.
Machine Alerts & Maintenance
Many tech-heavy washers and dryers have some nifty features such as extra alerts that will tell you when a duct needs cleaning or to empty the lint tray, resulting in better performance and efficiency.
However, if the extra alerts will be too overwhelming for a senior, and if there is no periodic caregiver who may notice these machine-provided indicators, it may not be a worthwhile feature to seek out.
Seniors who are hard of hearing will want to ensure that the machines come with appropriate alert sounds that indicate when a load of laundry is complete.
Most washers and dryers will alert you when a cycle is complete with some kind of sound, with newer models opting for a pleasant chime song.
While this isn’t entirely novel, it’s nice to find that there are many alternatives to the loud buzzers of past machines. Some washers and dryers will also blink or use visual indicators to also help notify users that the cycle is over.
Lint Filter Location
Some newer dryers have the lint filter located in easier access locations, such as at the front of the dryer door. Many older people find it difficult to bend over at certain angles, so you’ll want to factor in where the trap is located and ensure a senior can easily access it.
A lint filter located in the dryer door can make it easier for seniors to access the lint filter, but an unusual location may also mean that a senior could forget about the lint filter entirely, especially if they are forgetful.
Consider if a senior will be more or less likely to maintain a lint filter depending on the filter’s location on the device.
Before choosing a washer and dryer set, try to determine the noise level the units make. Newer models often have quiet-cycle features that allow the machines to operate quietly without as much noise, which can be beneficial for seniors who have roommates or are noise-sensitive.
There can be a lot of variation in noise levels among various washer and dryer models. Front-loading machines are generally quieter than top loaders, putting another point in the top loaders’ favor. Most seniors will prefer the quieter machines, but if the washer and dryer are in a separate laundry room away from the bedroom, a senior may not particularly care about the noise level.
If noise is an especially large concern, look for units with auto-balancing abilities that can ensure the load is evenly distributed, preventing banging and clanging that occurs when one side of the washer or dryer has more clothing and friction than the other sides.
Other Features to Consider in a Senior-Friendly Washer and Dryer
Choosing a washer and dryer for seniors can be an overwhelming process, so it’s important to take into consideration features that are specifically beneficial to older adults when picking out a new appliance.
- Sanitizing Cycle. If your senior loved one suffers from incontinence, look for a machine with an extra-hot sanitizing cycle. This type of program will ensure that clothes are washer extra clean and free of germs.
- Wi-Fi Enabled. Some washers and dryers come with Wi-Fi capability that allows users to control the appliances remotely through a computer or smartphone. This is an excellent option for seniors who have a caregiver that wants to manage laundry from anywhere in the house.
- Automatic Imbalance Adjustment. Sometimes, if a washer is running a load of large, bulky items, the load can become unbalanced, which might cause the washer to shake and thump. Depending on how bad the imbalance is, the unit may stop operating on its own. To mitigate this risk, choose a machine that has an automatic imbalance adjustment feature, which senses when the load is off balance and adjusts the spin speed to ensure the machine continues to run smoothly.
- Drum Material. If you’re looking for a sturdy machine that will last years, opt for one that has a stainless-steel drum. The drum of the washer or dryer is an important part of machine’s performance because it can impact how well and how evenly a load is washed and dried. Metal drums tend to last longer and are more durable overall. Plus, since stainless steel tubs are less likely to get nicks and chips, they won’t be as likely to snag fabric, keeping your clothing in better condition for longer.
- Sensor Drying. Also known as moisture sensors and automatic dryness settings, this option will stop the cycle once it senses the clothes are dry. This feature is helpful for seniors who may forget to check on the dry status of their items. It’s also a great feature for items like towels that take a long time to get dry.
- Reversible Door. Reversible doors allow the washer or dryer units to be opened from either the left or the right side. This can make it easier for seniors who have a hard time with mobility, or for machine placement that can make it challenging to open the door from just one angle.
- Built-In Storage. Washer and dryers with built-in storage help keep laundry organized. If a senior is short on space, units with built-in drawers can be a handy bonus.
- Pedestal Compatible. A pedestal is a separate base that serves as an extension to the unit, raising it up high enough so that users can reach and access items inside the drum without having to bend over or strain. This can be very beneficial for seniors who have trouble bending and reaching.
- Warranty. Most manufacturers offer a 1-3 year warranty on their washers and dryers, but there are some companies that offer longer warranties – some even as long as 10 years. It is important to look at the percentage of coverage and length of time the warranty covers.
- Interior Drum Light. Seniors with poor eyesight may benefit from a dryer that lights up the interior of the drum when the dryer door is opened.
Other Senior Laundry Tips
- Have a machine that’s a bit too complicated? Try utilizing colored stickers or other markings over the washer and dryer settings to help seniors with reduced eyesight or memory problems choose the appropriate cycle.
- Consider using detergent containers or dispensers that are clearly labeled, and easy to hold, and simple to use.
- Install an ironing board that folds down from the wall and can be adjusted to the proper height. Traditional ironing boards are hard to setup and take down and are heavy. If a senior likes to iron, make sure they are set up to iron in a safe, accessible way.
- Consider using a rolling hamper. Rolling hampers will make it easier for elderly seniors to get clothes to the laundry room (pro tip: you can use a personal folding shopping cart as a rolling hamper in a pinch!)
- Look for built-in hanging racks. Users who need to hang-dry clothing should consider finding a wheeled laundry cart with a built-in hanging rack, or a stand-alone drying rack.
- Does the senior need a laundry pedestal? Laundry pedestals can raise the machines 12″ to 15″ above-floor to reduce back strain.
- Does the senior need a laundry chute? If the home is two story, consider installing a laundry chute from the second floor to avoid requiring the senior to carry baskets of clothes down steps.
Have you worked hard to make a senior-friendly laundry room area? Any additional tips and tricks to share? Let us know in the comments!
Last update on 2022-01-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API