How does one do laundry in tiny house?

laundry-basket-webIn my current design, I have planned for an electric combo washer/dryer unit — that way I have the convenience of doing laundry at home (albeit small amounts at a time) instead of having to find a laundromat. There are many factors to this choice, and I now find myself thinking of simpler, more energy and water efficient options.

Some things to consider about having and washer/dryer unit in a tiny house are:

  • Space – unless you use a tiny, portable unit that can be placed in the shower (see below), is it worth using precious floor space for an appliance to be used one a week or every few days at most?
  • Power usage – if you are fully solar powered, this is probably the #1 issue.
  • Water usage – though they are fairly efficient, a standard unit will still use a good bit of water, and result in more graywater exiting your house as well.
  • Additional plumbing required – In trying to keep a tiny house design more affordable and easier to construct, additional plumbing for a washer/dryer may not be worth it.

The question is: How important is it that you can do laundry at home?

So far my answer is: it’s pretty important! The travel time and costs associated with a weekly laundromat visit (not to mention possible inconvenience depending on my final location), don’t seem very attractive to me. I’d rather use that time for other things.


So I’ve been thinking about the following options — from large (and expensive) to small (and cheap):


WM3455HW_vl1LG 2.3 Cu. Ft. Ventless Washer/Dryer

(Get it from Amazon.com)

This unit has best reviews out of all the combo washer/dryer options below, but you certainly do pay for the better brand and reliability. This also has the largest capacity of the bunch. Though almost twice the price of the similar Haier option, I am tempted to go all out and get the better brand with better reviews to avoid possible headaches later with a product that does not perform as well as expected. It seems like a lot to pay when there are many cheaper options, but I consider my time as very valuable, and when I think of spending hours in a laundromat or on the phone with customer service for a cheaper product that failed….well, it makes me think maybe $1,500 isn’t so much after all.

This model (and the other combo units below) are amazing in the that they do it all with few pushes of a button. Granted, the dry cycles tend to be very long (a couple hours), and sometimes some extra shorter dry cycles are needed to get clothes completely dry, but that is an issue will all ventless dryers.


EdgeStar Ventless Washer/Dryer ComboEdgeStar 2.0 Cu. Ft. Ventless Washer Dryer Combo

(~$900 – CompactAppliance.com)

This unit has better reviews than the Haier option below, and is only small step up in price. It’s not quite as large as the LG option, but it’s large enough — and it’s far less expensive. This is a great middle-of-the-road option for a washer/dryer combo that you can set and forget. It’s not quite as highly-rated as the LG, but it’s substantially cheaper, so more likely to fit within budget — possibly the best value for your dollar.

Author’s Note: This is the model we ended up getting. It’s not perfect, but on the whole we are very happy with it!

Read our review of this model

HWD1600BW_vl1Haier 1.8 Cu. Ft. Combo Washer/Dryer

(Get it from Amazon.com)

Though smaller than your average washing machine (1.8 cu. ft.), this unit seems like it will be quite sufficient for a single person or couple living in a tiny house. No product that relies on spinning alone will ever get clothes perfectly dry, but I’m quite sure this one will be better than the two products below. During warmer months, clothes can be dried on a line outside, so this is only really a factor in the winter or in rainy climates. Clearly more expensive than the others below, this option is great for those who are wanting the most convenience and automation at the lowest price for this product type.


1cfHaier Compact Washer and Tumble Dryer Set

(Get it from Amazon.com)

This might be the perfect middle-ground between manual and automatic units. Fairly cheap price, convenient, but for one thing…separate tumber! This means you’d have to stack them or mount them separately, thus maybe not taking up more floor space, but probably more vertical space than a single combo unit. Seems like a pretty nice option however, at a decent size, but much cheaper than a typical home washing machine


41Zn761ky8L._SS400_Panda

(Get it from Amazon.com)

This product is a step up into the electric realm. It’s still quite small and light, so it can be more portable, possible even stored farther out of site when not in use. It has separate washer and dryer spinners, with the drying half only half the capacity of the wash. So you’d have to dry twice for every wash load. Wash loads them selves still need to be kept small, but a bit larger than the Wonderwash. This might be a good option if you want something a bit more automated but still cheaper and simpler than than a normal appliance.


51ESdRj4hTL._SL500_AA300_Wonderwash

(Get it from Amazon.com)

This little guy is the simplest of them all. Many people rate this product very highly. As long as you are OK with a completely manual solution that can only handle very small loads at a time, this might be your best bet. Can’t beat the price!

Of course you’d have to line-dry all your clothes (even in winter) as there is no drying component.

What’s your take on doing laundry in a tiny house? Does the convenience out way the added expense?


Author: Alek Lisefski