Gets laundry completely dry
Cycles take a long time to finish
Temperatures get way too hot
If you do live in a condo, apartment, townhouse, school bus, RV, or otherwise tiny house, chances are you’ve had a hard time finding appliances that can fit within your space constraints. When it comes to drying laundry, if you don’t have enough room for a full-size dryer, you’re only left with a few options—one of which is a compact, ventless dryer.
These models might not seem like a great value since they can cost as much as a mid-range, full-size dryer, while not offering the same fast drying times. Consumers definitely pay a premium for its technology and compact size. As such, if you do have ample space in your home, we’d recommend buying a full-size model, instead.
A perennial problem for compact ventless dryers is getting a normal load of laundry completely dry. This is partially due to smaller capacities—often almost half as big as a full-size model—as well as an inability to just vent humid air outside. Instead, that humidity is recycled through the dryer and purged as condensate through a drainage hose. The result: damp laundry after a single cycle, or significantly longer drying times.
In the GE GFT14ESSMWW’s case, it’s the latter. Laundry comes out 95–100% dry, but it takes 15–30 minutes longer than other ventless models (over twice as long as a full-size unit) to dry the laundry. Also, some reach incredibly hot temperatures while doing so. This, of course, is not ideal, but given the product space, it's not terrible.
Overall, we think the GE GFT14ESSMWW isn’t bad for what it is. It has intuitive controls, a small profile, and gets laundry dry at a relatively consistent rate. You could do worse, but for the money you’re spending you could also do better.
About the GE GFT14ESSMWW ventless condenser dryer
Dimensions: 33.25" x 23.44" x 25.25" (H x W x D)
Capacity: 4.1 cu. ft.
Cycles: Active Wear, Air Fluff, Casuals, Cottons, Delicates, Dewrinkle, Heavy Duty, Mixed Load, Quick Dry, Rack Dry, Sanitize, Towels, Warm Up
- Damp Alert—This option causes the dryer to beep when clothes have dried to a damp level. Remove items that you wish to hang dry.
- eDry—Reduces total energy consumption of specific dryer cycles by adjusting certain heat settings.
- Extended Tumble—Minimizes wrinkles by adding approximately 2 hours of no-heat tumbling after clothes are dry.
- Timed Dry—Select the drying time by rotating the knob to increase or decrease the time in 10-minute increments up to 2 hours and 30 minutes.
- Four temperature settings
- Four dryness levels
Matching washer: GE GFW148SSMWW
User manual: GE GFT14ESSMWW ventless condenser dryer user manual
What we like
Excellent drying performance
One aspect that left us pretty pleased was the GE GFT14ESSMWW’s ability to deliver dry laundry. Compact dryers don’t have a particularly large capacity: This one has a 4.1-cubic-foot drum, where a full-size unit like the GE GFD45ESPMDG offers 7.5 cu. ft. This reduced capacity often means you’ll need to negotiate your load size down a bit, to ensure your laundry has enough room to tumble dry properly. Not having enough room to tumble dry means cycles often end with damp laundry, or take significantly longer to complete.
In this case, fortunately, it’s the latter issue and not the former. While the GE’s cycle lengths are pretty long (we’ll get to that later), its internal humidity sensors are actually pretty good. They wouldn’t let up until the laundry was completely dry. The Mixed Loads and Quick Dry cycles both resulted in completely dry laundry, while the Heavy Duty cycle got to about 95% dry.
If you’ve tried compact or ventless dryers in the past and have been annoyed with cycles resulting in laundry that’s still damp, this GE might be a good pick.
What we don’t like
Cycles take a while to complete—even for a ventless dryer
Dryers really only have a few components to their performance: Get your laundry dry, quickly, without putting too much stress on the fabric's fibers.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the “quick” part, compact dryers are typically at a disadvantage, due to a smaller capacity and because they have to condense and drain the evaporated moisture instead of just venting it outside.
As such, you can’t expect particularly short times from your ventless dryer cycles. Compared to a full-size dryer, ventless models’ cycles typically take about twice as long to complete.
This is exactly what we saw with the GE GFT14ESSMWW, though it was a bit slower even when compared to other ventless models we’ve tested. For example, the LG DLEC888W took about two hours to finish its normal cycle and 1 hour and 15 minutes to finish its bulky cycle. The GE’s normal cycle equivalent, Mixed Loads, took 2 hours and 17 minutes to finish, while its Heavy Duty cycle took an hour and 42 minutes to complete. The cycle times were relatively consistent, at least, typically only varying between 10–15 minutes in length.
Cycles get way too hot
So this is weird. Due to their design, ventless condenser dryers typically don’t run as hot as vented dryers—in our past testing, we found they were 30–50 degrees cooler than the average vented dryer. That isn’t the case here, however.
When it comes to wear and tear on your fabrics from the laundering process, 150°F is the temperature to keep in mind. Anything hotter than that in your dryer will make the fibers in your laundry brittle and prone to breakage.
Every cycle we tested on the GE GFT14ESSMWW went above 150°F. The Mixed Loads cycle reached 167.1°F, while the Quick Dry and Heavy Duty cycles reached the almost impressive temperatures of 172.1°F and 173.9°F respectively, both of which were some of the highest temperatures we’ve seen on a quick or bulky cycle. Even the Delicates cycle reached 162°F—compare this to the average dryer’s delicate cycle temperature, 110.5°F.
We’re not sure how the GE GFT14ESSMWW managed these temperatures with this technology, but we definitely don’t endorse cooking your clothes at such high heat.
The way heat destroys clothes is cumulative: Dryers that peak above 150°F every so often aren’t going to riddle your clothes with holes particularly quickly, but over time it can shave down the life of your garments. At temperatures over 20 degrees above that threshold, the GE GFT14ESSMWW is definitely going to exacerbate wear and tear damage in your clothing—especially given how long some of these cycles last.
What owners are saying
Owners are generally happy with their GE GFT14ESSMWW, awarding it an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars across major retailers. Most users praised the laundry coming out dry every time and the simple control layout. The most common points of complaint were the long cycle times and the condensate sometimes not draining properly, leading to water spills and hot, humid conditions in their home.
To be fair, ventless condenser dryers, in general, will make the area a bit hot and humid. It’s not so much an issue with this particular GE as it is an aspect of ventless condenser dryers in general—so you may also want to invest in a dehumidifier.
The GE GFT14ESSMWW is covered by a limited one-year warranty for parts and labor, which is a basic policy for appliances.
Should you buy the GE GFT14ESSMWW?
Maybe. Compact ventless dryers are a niche product space. Compared to a full-size vented dryer, a smaller, ventless one seems overpriced and underperforming, but you’re paying a premium for its technology and small size. Of course, if you’re in the market for such a dryer, it’s likely because the full-size models simply aren’t an option. So, we really need to grade on a curve here.
Compared to other compact ventless dryers, the GE GFT14ESSMWW is pretty good, but not the best. When it comes to value, we say it comes in a relatively close second to the LG DLEC888W. The LG has the same great drying performance but is a bit quicker, less hot, and has slightly more capacity.
If money is no object, and you’re just looking for the best there is, we recommend checking out the Miele TWI180 WP, which is currently our top-rated ventless dryer. That extra drying efficiency will cost you, as the Miele retails for over twice the price as this GE.
Meet the testers
Mark Brezinski is a senior writer with seven years of experience reviewing consumer tech and home appliances.
Kyle Hamilton is a product tester at Reviewed, specializing in home appliances and technology.
Checking our work.
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.Shoot us an email