Dry, baby, dry

May 27, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Compact size sits on top of the washer; quiet; multiple drying options.

Cons:Outrageous price; lacks no-heat tumble option.

The Bottom Line:

If you need a ventless dryer, this is the one for you.


Given my druthers, I’d always rather hang my laundry out to dry. In normal years (which this isn’t,) I start in mid-April and continue until mid-October, and my dryer sits unused. But our tiny studio condo in downtown Los Angeles doesn’t have a balcony (and does CC&Rs that prohibit drying anything outdoors anyway.)  And, because there are laundry facilities in each unit but no vents, we were limited in our dryer purchase to a ventless appliance.  One of our neighbors in the building works for a vendor of high-end appliances and offered to get our laundry set at a discount, so our choice was easy; we chose the Bosch Axxis WFL2090UC washer and the dryer that fits on top of it, the Bosch WTE86300US.


FEATURES

~ The Bosch WTE86300US dryer weighs 100 lbs. and is specifically designed to sit on top of a Bosch washer.

~ It’s designed for apartments or small spaces.

~ It’s 33-3/16" tall x 23-9/16" wide x 24-5/8" deep.

~ It has a 3.9 cubic feet capacity.

~ The tub is made of stainless steel.

~ Rather than drying in the conventional manner, it dries by condensation, drawing moisture out of the clothes instead of hitting them with hot air.

~ The condensation feature makes it appropriate for use in apartments or spaces where venting is a problem, because it doesn’t require any.

~ You can select from 11 drying programs, including the Gentle Care cycle; the WRINKLEBLOCK® cycle, which tumbles the dry load for up to an hour to prevent wrinkles from setting; the Wool cycle to for very delicate fabrics; the low heat cycle which reduces the heat on a specified program; the Reduced Ironing option which leaves clothes slightly damp for ironing; and the Touch-up cycle, which tumbles lighter loads for a shorter time. It also has a timed dry cycle, and the Permanent Press cycle will keep tumbling the load briefly every few minutes after it’s dry, for wrinkle prevention.

~ It has a delay-start option.

~ It operates with a 240V 4-prong plug.

~ It has an LED display window that counts down the time left before the end of the cycle.

~ The lint basket is located in the front of the door opening; it pulls out and opens flat for cleaning.

~ The interior light makes it easy to find any stray socks.

~ It has earned the Good Housekeeping Seal and has a limited 2-year warranty.

~ It retails for about $1250, depending on where you find it.  We paid less, thanks to our kind neighbor, but the price shown at the bottom of this review is quoted from the Bosch website.


FURTHER INFORMATION

http://www.bosch-home.com/us/products/laundry/dryers/compact/ WTE86300US.html?source=browse

Before you cut and paste, remove the space between "compact/" and the model number.


WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT IT

The main thing, obviously, is that it’s ventless. That fact alone makes it possible for us to have a dryer in our condo, since there is no means of venting a standard dryer. So that, of course, drove our decision to select this one.

It’s quiet. It operates at about 67 dB, about the level of normal conversation. Since our unit is only 450 square feet, it’s nice to be able to run the dryer in the bathroom closet without having to listen to it ten feet away in the living room.

The best thing about the condensation technology, aside from the fact that it allows this unit to be installed in an unvented space, is that it's far easier on your clothes.  Instead of blasting them with hot air, which eventually fades colors and wrecks fibers, condensation draws moisture out of the fabric, with no damage done.  Your clothes will last longer and look better. 

Despite the condensation feature, it dries most loads in about the same time as our full-size standard dryer at home. Very large loads, like bedspreads or towels, take a little longer, but are still well within acceptable limits.

It fits neatly on top of our Bosch washer, with a stacking kit with pull-out laundry-folding tray in between. I can easily reach into the dryer and fold the warm clothes on the tray.


WHAT WE’D CHANGE

The only thing I miss is the timed no-heat tumble option, which I tend to use a lot to refresh items that haven’t been worn in a while.

It also lacks a signal to tell you when the cycle is complete. In our case, that’s not a problem because we can hear when it stops spinning, but in a larger home, you might not know when it stops.

I think $1250 for a small dryer is an outrageous amount to pay.  We bought a full-size one last fall for significantly less than that.  But the Bosch uses an advanced condensation technology that is absolutely required in a situation like ours, so Bosch had us over a barrel.  That's the only reason I would ever consider paying this much for a dryer, unless it comes with someone to sort and fold the laundry and put it away.


SUMMARY AND VERDICT

Price aside, this is a sturdy, well-designed dryer that offers multiple drying options and does a good job. Bosch is a respected name in home appliances, and this dryer and its matching washer are our first purchases of this brand. So far, we’ve been pleased with its features and performance. Four stars, due to the lack of a no-heat tumble option and the  price.


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