When space is at a premium, many consumers find themselves searching for an alternative to the typical full-sized washer and dryer. While compact, stackable options are the most popular, manufacturers like LG have created an alternative solution for small apartment dwellers, condo owners, and even RV enthusiasts.
The latest LG model, an all-in-one washer/dryer combo, combines washing and drying into a single unit. Once popularized by Kenmore in the 1960’s, the washer/dryer combo is not new, but LG has updated the concept to provide washing and drying convenience in a single, space-saving appliance that might appeal to space-conscious consumers.
Check out the Lady Kenmore washer/dryer combo from 1969
So how does the LG WM3997HWA stack up? Let’s take a look at the features, pros, and cons of the latest washer/dryer combo from LG.
4.2 cu. ft Ultra Large Capacity
This is the largest capacity of any washer and dryer combo currently on the market.
LG Steam Technology
This impressive feature provides deep cleaning and allergen elimination with the power of steam. Gentle, yet powerful steam penetrates fabrics to remove dirt, odors, wrinkles, and up to 95% of dust mites and pet dander.
Ventless Condensing Drying
You won’t need an external vent to install this dryer. This model uses a unique condensing method to dry clothes, converting hot air into water that drains away moisture.
Big loads experience the same cleaning action in less time. Cut cleaning time by up to 30 minutes with enhanced TurboWash.
Uses 6 separate wash motions for smart cleaning that are gentle on clothes, yet maximize cleaning performance.
Provides periodic washer tub cleaning to maintain freshness. This cycle activates water jets and heating action up to 149 degrees Fahrenheit to safely sterilize the washer tub for best performance.
1 year parts and labor, 10-year motor limited warranty, lifetime warranty on the drum.
Largest Capacity in its Class
At 4.2 cu. ft., this washer/dryer combo provides the largest capacity of any washer/dryer combo unit sold in the United States. That makes it a great choice for families.
Having both a front-loading washer and ventless dryer in one unit means the LG WM3997HWA takes up half the space of separate washer and dryer units. While this unit is taller than other washer/dryer combos, it still fits quite nicely in a closet or small kitchen space.
14 Wash Cycles for Optimal Cleaning
The LG WM3997HWA offers 14 wash cycles to handle clothing at varying soil levels including common options such as normal, delicate, colors, and permanent press. There’s also a normal soil setting that works for most loads to save time.
The steam option boosts stain removal, while removing odors, wrinkles, and many common allergens such as dust mites and pet dander. (For more on the benefits of having a steam setting, check out our Ultimate Washer and Dryer Buying Guide.)
Multiple Dryer Settings
While some washer/dryer combos only offer a single heat setting with a timed dry function, this LG model offers timed dry plus several other drying options that allow you to control temperature and dryness levels. This is especially important for clothing materials that are prone to shrinking.
Very Quiet Operation
The LG WM3997HWA allows you to silence beeps and signals that end each cycle. It also regulates noise and reduces vibration if the load becomes uneven by relaxing the drum to allow the load to even out. The dryer is also extremely quiet—perfect for running dryer cycles overnight, while you sleep.
High Estimated Energy Costs
According to TopTenReviews.com, “Estimated energy costs are almost double what it would cost with some units.”
No Moisture Setting on Dryer
While most dryers provide moisture sensors to determine when clothes are dry, the LG WM3997HWA does not have a moisture sensor, leading to longer drying times.
Poor Dryer Performance Overall
Consumer Reports noted “this ventless dryer takes around 3 hours to thoroughly dry an 8-pound load of cottons. That means washing and drying a load that size takes over 4.5 hours.”
Drying Capacity is Only Half of Washing Capacity
While the LG WM3997HWA sports the largest capacity washer in its class, drying capacity is only half of the washing capacity. That means you either need to do smaller loads or remove half of your load prior to running the drying cycle.
The LG WM3997HWA washer/dryer combo is one of the highest rated models of its kind, rating 4 stars out of 5 across 347 reviews on LG’s website. It’s a great choice for small homes, condos, apartments, RVs, or boats that just don’t have the space for both a washer and dryer.
It can be installed without any venting and only requires a standard 120 volt outlet to run. Large capacity and ample cleaning settings received excellent reviews. This model excels at washing clothes with different soil levels and even sports steam action to eliminate germs and common allergens.
However, review after review noted that patience is a virtue when using this washer/dryer combo. While the large capacity means it can handle a full load, the manual recommends that users run only half a standard load to ensure adequate space for drying. Even with half loads, the average combined washing and drying time comes in between 3.5 to 4.5 hours. That’s a long time to wait, especially when you aren’t able to wash another load until the first finishes drying.
If you have more time than space, this washer/dryer combo can certainly beat visiting the laundromat or hanging clothes manually. However, most users will be happier with a separate washer and dryer, even if they need a compact, stackable version. The added capacity of this model is overshadowed by the additional drying time necessary and the extra energy used.
Ready to Save Up to 70% on Your Next Washer or Dryer?
Whether you’re in the market for a stackable washer/dryer, a washer/dryer combo like the one we’ve reviewed here, or a full-sized washer and dryer, K&A Appliance offers hundreds of top-quality, all-new, scratch and dent washers and dryers from the brands you trust including GE, Haier, Kenmore, Hotpoint, LG, Whirlpool, Samsung, and many more.
Stop by either of our retail store locations in Lancaster and Willow Street, PA to see the latest models and save up to 70% off regular retail prices every day!