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Sometimes even the simplest dryers can look good. The Maytag Centennial MEDC215EW (MSRP $599) is the newest budget-friendly entry in the manufacturer’s entry-level Centennial collection. While there aren't any terribly exciting features on this model, at least the control panel looks good.
Unfortunately, overall drying leaves something to be desired. Just like the Whirlpool WED4815EW, this low-cost model offers a simplified experience that really only works with an equally simple wardrobe. High heats, imprecise controls, and few extra features leave only the most basic control in the user's hands.
That said, if you mostly wear work clothes or other sturdy fabrics and only have about $399 to spend, don’t write off this Maytag just yet. Just make sure to check out the similar Whirlpool WED4815EW, which sometimes drops to even less than that on sale.
The Centennial touch
Otherwise indistinguishable from other budget dryers, the MEDC215EW retains the brushed metallic console and retro-orange highlights that keep the Centennial collection distinct.
Take away the unique controls, though, and you’ve got a standard entry-level dryer. A pullout lint trap, manual controls, and white interior drum are all par for the course at this price point. Maytag did include a drum light to help you keep track of errant socks, which is a nice touch.
Compared to the slightly more expensive MEDC415EW, the 215 iteration has an even more streamlined control interface that doesn’t encourage a whole lot of variation. Three temperature settings and no optional features don’t offer much control over individual cycles. Adding to the confusion, the cycle list itself focuses on the level of dryness you’re looking for (More Dry vs. Less Dry) as opposed to designated cycles like Delicates or Bulky.
The Normal cycle was the only one to consistently produce 100% dry garments. Pairing the Energy Preferred cycle setting with Medium heat, all excess moisture was removed after about 1 hour and 9 minutes. Temperatures peaked at 157.9°F, which is a bit high but not unusual.
For our Delicate test, we used Less Dry and Low heat. This was a perfect example of the finicky nature of crank timers—we had to restart this test multiple times, as it would occasionally “finish” after only 20 minutes or so, despite sensor-based cycles.
When we got the cycle to run properly, it had an average length of about 58 minutes and peak temperatures of 150.6°F. That's too hot—especially when compared to dryers that barely get north of 110ºF.
Your expectations should match the price
This Maytag’s overall drying performance is almost indistinguishable from many other new budget models coming out of the Whirlpool brands. Like the WED4915EW: Cycles tend to get pretty hot, which could be rough on gentler fabrics, but should be fine for hardier wardrobes.
Still, if your clothes can take it, the end results aren’t all that bad. Our Normal test was the only one that produced 100% dry clothes, but a half-hour Timed Dry cycle for our Quick test also scored moderately well.
The Bulky test, too, got our typically difficult comforter almost completely dry, but it’s worth mentioning that our settings—More Dry at High heat—created a cycle that ran for almost two hours and peaked at about 176°F. That’s definitely longer and much hotter than an average cycle.
Speaking of high heats, you’ll want to be careful with delicate clothing. Even using the Low heat option, temperatures got pretty warm—150ºF—which may cause clothes to wear out prematurely. By comparison, the best dryers we've tested stay around 110ºF on the Delicates cycle.
Despite the addition of sensor-based cycles, sometimes the Delicates cycle stopped prematurely. If you aren't paying attention, you could end up with a cycle that ends too quickly, leaving you with damp laundry.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
For our Quick Dry test, we used a 30-minute manual Timed Dry cycle paired with High heat. The half hour duration apparently wasn’t enough for the Centennial to heat up, as temperatures peaked at just 146.5°F, lower than a full Normal cycle on Medium. Nevertheless, it removed about 98% of the excess moisture from our test load.
More Dry paired with High heat was almost enough to perfectly dry our bulky comforter—which shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the dryer heated up to a whopping 176.2°F and ran for about 2 hours.
Maytag does things a little differently compared to most manufacturers. Yes, it does offer standard one year coverage on parts and labor if something goes wrong and it's not the customer's fault. However, they also over a limited 10 year warranty on the drive motor and dryer drum. There's a catch, though: The warranty only covers replacement parts. The labor to install them will need to be paid out of pocket.
Kickin’ it old school
The Maytag Centennial MEDC215EW isn’t breaking any new ground, but it does manage to hold its own compared to similarly priced) alternatives. With retailers offering it for a measly $399, this is a dryer that will remove moisture from your clothes—not dollars from your wallet.
Just manage your expectations a bit. If you want nuanced drying, ample features, and a gorgeous exterior, then you’re in the wrong place. If you want dry clothes, you're good.
Meet the tester
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.
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