This compact little white dryer looks like a standard machine that's just been squashed down. A plain, white enamel finish coats both the exterior, and the front has an opaque round door that's also proportionally smaller compared to a full-sized dryer.

Front Image

Cycles are selected using a plain knob; it looks like there's a spot for glowing indicator light, but it doesn't actually turn on. That dark spot just helps remind the user where it's pointing. Drying status is monitored using a series of indicator lights that notify you as to how damp your clothes are, but there's no timer to let you know how much time is left in the cycle.

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The inside of this unassuming little machine is actually coated with stainless steel, a high-end touch that will keep the drum from rusting or discoloring after prolonged use. The little paddles, however, are made of white plastic, so you may want to keep an eye on how well they hold up.

Interior Photo

The interior of the CDWT980VSS.

This lint trap is one of the more unusual ones we've come across. Instead of a single screen that will catch lint, this one has two that close to form a small compartment. It's easy to access and shouldn't prove any difficulty to clean, with one caveat: the small portion that makes up the hinge also collects lint, and this tiny bit of screen may be a bit of a pain to get to for any consumer with large fingers.

Lint Trap Photo

You'll notice the small outlet found on the side of this machine located near the back. That's the outlet for the matching compact washer, which will have to either stack with this appliance or will have to be placed immediately next on that side.

Sides Photo

Olympus SZ-31MR iHS side views

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Even though the is a compact dryer, we still used full standardized loads of about eight pounds for Normal, Delicate, and Bulky tests—Quick Dry tests require a four pound load. Despite taking on proportionally larger amounts of clothes compared to a full-sized model, this little machine managed to get perfect results on the Normal setting. Delicate and Bulky tests also managed to deliver very respectable percentages of moisture removal. Our Quick Dry test, however, exposed this machine's weakness: it definitely needs time to heat up. On another high note, drying times were never noticeably longer than average.

While an hour and a half for a Normal cycle is a bit on the long side, it's by no means unacceptable or unheard of. Perfect drying at just 128 degrees Fahrenheit, however, is something less frequently seen. Nonetheless, that's what the managed to produce. Apartment dwellers who need a compact machine won't have to worry about getting standard loads dry with this product.

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The Delicates setting was perhaps the most surprising. It took about an hour and a half—standard even for full-sized machines—and had a peak temperature of just 94 degrees. The fact that our materials were only 84 percent dry may mean that 94 degrees is a bit too cool to produce perfect results, but consumers won't have to worry one bit about over drying sensitive fabrics. It's also worth noting that 84 percent is a better result than what we've seen on some full sized models, though it's far from the best out there. The fact that it reached that point in no more time than on a larger dryer and at such cool temperatures is what we found impressive.

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With temperatures reaching 133 degrees and our test comforter getting 72 percent dry, this little proves that it can hold its own against even larger dryers. Like the Delicate test results, it's still not perfect, but it's comparable to common results produced by an average mid-range product.

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A 30 minute Timed Dry was the closest we could come to a Quick Dry setting. It peaked at just 83 degrees, which seems to mean the requires more time than just 30 minutes to reach an adequate heat level in order to dry small loads that are still too large for the Mini cycle. Removing just 53 percent of moisture from our test fabrics, this was the worst test result we got for this particular model.

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Despite being a compact dryer, this machine boasts a full set of available cycles. It covers most of the basics, with Cottons and Permanent Press options coming with different selectable dryness levels. A Delicates setting is also found here, though bulky or heavy duty options are noticeably absent; Cottons Extra Dry is the closest cycle option available that could be considered comparable. Four other specialized options are provided, in addition to a Refresh setting that doesn't use any heat, and Timed Programs available for 15, 30, or 75 minutes.

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Meet the testers

Matthew Zahnzinger

Matthew Zahnzinger

Logistics Manager & Staff Writer

@ReviewedHome

Matthew is a native of Brockton, MA and a graduate of Northeastern, where he earned a degree in English and Theatre. He has also studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and spends most of his free time pursuing a performance career in the greater Boston area.

See all of Matthew Zahnzinger's reviews

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We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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