Asko or Bosch compact washer-dryer?

ideagirl2February 25, 2011

I just had what for me is a major brainwave: OMG! Instead of having the "laundry room" in a dank and distant corner of the basement, we could have it IN THE KITCHEN! We're redoing the kitchen anyway... So I started looking at compact washer/dryer sets and quickly zeroed in on these two brands. Yes, I know Miele is the best, but I am just not spending that much money.

So. If it's going to be in the kitchen, I'm concerned about noise. The Bosch compact washer says it's 54db. The Asko doesn't say anything about the decibels. Does anyone have either of these? How quiet are they in real life? What are the biggest pros/cons you've noticed? How well do they work, how reliable are they, etc.?

Also, the Askos can take a custom wood panel so that they blend in with the cabinetry. That feature is prominently displayed on their website. Can the Bosches do that?

Thanks much for any advice!

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akrogirl

My old Asko set was super quiet. I seriously considered the new paneled models and only went with Miele because their machine could fit my horses' saddle pads better.

The last time I checked, only the Asko could be truly integrated.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 8:59PM
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fahrenheit_451

I would consider ASKO too given we've had one of their dishwashers, forever.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:17PM
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jseeley

The Bosch Axxis Washer IS quiet. My review for the Axxis Plus washer and vented dryer is at the bottom of this thread:
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/laundry/msg0503302120189.html

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 11:53PM
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ideagirl2

Thanks for all the great info, and the review!

Am I overlooking something, or is it true that neither of these brands offers a top-loading washer? And for that matter, I think neither does the Miele? I'm wondering because another possible configuration of washer/dryer just occurred to me, and for that configuration a top-loading washer would work best.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 11:11AM
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sshrivastava

I don't ever remember seeing a 24" top loader in this country, but who knows? Neither Asko nor Bosch makes one. I can vouch for the quality of Asko. I had one of their washer & dryer sets for seven years before switching to a higher capacity Miele set last year. The Asko has a superior suspension by far, which will minimize noise and vibration. Their top of the line machines have incredible programmability and heat to over 200F. The manuals are very intelligently written, and include details about water hardness, amount of detergent, etc. whereas other manufacturers' manuals (Miele) presume the reader has the IQ of Sarah Palin. Although now that I think about it, even Miele's dumbed-down manual would be too much for her.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 6:18PM
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ideagirl2

Thank you, Sshrivastava. We have an Asko dishwasher, which likewise would be too conceptually advanced for Mrs. Palin, and I'm glad to hear the washing machine has good suspension. That's important since we'll probably be installing this in our kitchen.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 7:44PM
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liriodendron

Don't confuse compact (by current standards, though not in reality) stackable, FL washer dryer pairs, with all-in-one machines.

The all in one machines can be a pain to work with because the same drum that holds water during the wash must also convert itself into a dryer drum with air flow. In my small experience with combo, all-in-one, machines, that is not a happy marriage. Plus you can only be doing one load at a time, instead of drying the first while the second washes.

Also, re ASKO all-in-ones, you want to make sure that they are the same build quality as the high-quality Asko regular machines Sshrivastava and I own. Ours were made in Sweden, but I think Asko owns a plant for the all-in-ones that is elsewhere.

I own both Asko and Miele washers, but mine are older Euro-type machines. The Asko is about 20 years old, the Miele 12. I adore both of them, though for slightly different reasons, FWTW.

But I will caution you, washing machines in kitchens, while very popular in some parts of the world (UK and EU come to mind) it seems a bit unsanitary to me, not to mention locating a lot of hubbub in one place. I grant that the services are there, but would always look for ways to tuck the laundry facilities in an adjacent, but separate, space. I'd fix up the basement, whatever it took, before you'd find my washer in my kitchen. It's just skeeves me out.

L

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 12:09AM
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ideagirl2

Thanks, Liriodendron. I heard bad things yesterday from my dad about the all-in-one machines. I've seen them in action--used to live in Europe--and it just never seemed efficient to me, despite the saved space.

Our laundry is in the basement right now, and I'm just trying to think of a way to have it at least on the ground floor, and possibly (though this is less likely) upstairs, because I just don't want to be going up and down so many stairs with babies/toddlers in tow just to get laundry done. With the way our house is laid out and constructed--it's from the 1930s--there is no space in which a laundry dumbwaiter could be installed. There actually is one built into the house, but it is ridiculous--it's literally about 4"x12", so you have to drop things down one by one and pray they don't get stuck.

Hence my interest in trying to put laundry in the kitchen space. If we did this, we would probably build a wall around it to keep the two different kinds of hubbub separate--the kitchen is big enough to become a tiny laundry room and a medium-sized kitchen. But that's funny that it skeeves you out to have laundry and kitchen in the same place... I've never heard that before! I'll keep that in mind.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 11:03AM
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beaniebakes

I just put down a deposit on the new Asko compact model W6424 which replaces the discontinued W6222. I don't expect to take delivery for at least a month but will write a review in the future. According to the specs on Asko's web site, the dBA level for the wash cycle is 54 and 75 for the spin cycle. The main difference between the 6222 and the new model is that the drop-down door on the washer has been eliminated. But the 6424 has the 24-hour delay start feature which is something I wanted. Incidentally, Asko's web site indicated that the 6222 had this feature, but it's an error that I brought to their attention.

I saw the 6424 at a home show recently and talked to the regional distributor. He said that the new model has a slightly larger capacity than the 6222, and then went into a discussion about differences in the advertised capacities and the real capacities. Without mentioning the name of a competitor's compact model (he was talking about the Bosch compact) he said their advertised capacity of 3.4 cubic ft. is misleading and for a true apples-to-apples comparison to check the Energy Star web site. Below is a link; click on "Qualified Clothes Washers" on the right hand side for an excel spreadsheet comparing all current washers.
I hope this is is helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Washer comparisons on Energy Star web site

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 11:47AM
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ideagirl2

Thanks for the link, Beaniebakes. I wonder why Bosch is able to advertise 3.4 for a model that only says 2.16 on the Energy Star site? What's going on??

As for noise, AJ Madison lists the Asko UltraCare Line Series W6884WECO at 45 decibels for the wash cycle. That seems almost impossible! Does anyone know if it's really that quiet? Or is it only that quiet if you install it in a soundproofed closet down the hall? :-)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 6:30PM
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beaniebakes

The W6884ECO has two doors: the regular round door and a second side-hinged door. I'm guessing that this reduces the sound level to 45 dBA. It has a spin cycle up to 1800, with a dBA of 75. Follow the link below for a picture and additional specs.

Here is a link that might be useful: W6884ECO specs

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 10:11AM
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liriodendron

Ideagirl,

Notice that AJ MAdison states the decibel level of the wash cycle. It's not the wash, but the high-speed spin cycle that makes the noise.

Some people have compared the noise of a FL spin to a jet engine, and while the quality of the noise is the same, and the pitch is much lower and decibels are much, much lower, it's still not whisper quiet. Or at least my Asko and Miele machines are not. It's a completely different noise than conventional top loaders make during spin, so it is startling at first. But once you know about it, it's not disturbing. However, I wouldn't want to be in a room doing other things like talking, watching TV, etc. during the spin phase. A 900-1500rpm spin of anything is noisy and there's no getting around it. I appreciate it, though, since I know it's removing water from laundry more efficiently than evaporating it out using the heat in a dryer.

My ASKO washer has two doors, as well. Having them both closed makes no difference in the noise level, at least that I can detect. Side hinging the second (outer) door would solve an attribute I hate about my ASKO: the drop down outer door, which makes it tedious to load/unload clothes. I dislike it enough that I have removed my drop-down outer door, permanently.

L

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 11:46PM
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beaniebakes

liriodendron -- Thanks for clarifying the noise issue. It's good to know you don't like the drop down outer door, since it's not on the unit I'm buying. I almost bought the discontinued model which has this feature, and I'm glad to hear I won't be missing anything!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 9:56AM
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sshrivastava

@ideagirl2... Most manufacturers advertise IEC capacity, which is a higher number than EnergyStar's DOE rating. I believe the DOE number represents the actual tub capacity, while the IEC number means "equivalent to an X cuft machine with an agitator". In other words, the DOE numbers are a true measurement of volume whereas IEC shows you the "equivalent" rating as if the machine were a top-loader with an agitator.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 10:15AM
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akrogirl

"My ASKO washer has two doors, as well. Having them both closed makes no difference in the noise level, at least that I can detect. Side hinging the second (outer) door would solve an attribute I hate about my ASKO: the drop down outer door, which makes it tedious to load/unload clothes. I dislike it enough that I have removed my drop-down outer door, permanently."

Just goes to show we all like different things. The drop down outer door is one thing I really miss on my new Miele, and I did find that it made things quieter on my Asko.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 10:47PM
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lee676

There are a few small top-load washers out there - Haier and Avanti sell 22" top-load washers that use impeller disks (like LG's top-loaders) rather than an agitator post. There's also a really awful Whirlpool 24" top-loader (often rebranded as a Kenmore and others) that does have an agitator. I used to have one. It eats clothes; there just isn't enough room in the tiny tub for clothes to circulate, and the fast-twisting agitator post rips whatever is nearby, unless it's very lightly loaded so there's room for clothes to move. There's no way to safely wash a comforter or large sheets in this thing. There's a version with a dryer attached to the top; the same dryer is available separately. It's not very good either, and requires outdoor venting.

GE sells 110v or 220v 24"w vented dryers with a control panel at the bottom for mounting above a top-load washer; obviously you can't just stack it on top of the washer or you couldn't open the lid.

Much better off with a front-load small washer IMO.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 1:50PM
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rococogurl

I have an Asko pair and a Bosch pair, both 24" front loaders. Guess those qualify as compact. I find the Bosch much quieter. The Askos are older but the spin is noisy enough to hear in the next room.

Both are good. For me, Bosch has a slight edge though it's not as adjustable as the Asko. But it holds a good deal more I find.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 5:56PM
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