Whirlpool Cabrio WED8800YW Review
A high-end dryer with a high price, a lot of features, and substandard drying.
Let's be clear up front: the Whirlpool Cabrio WED8800YW is a very expensive dryer. But for an MSRP of $1199, this appliance gives you expansive preset cycle options, steam cycles for those with access to a water hose, and capacity that runs on the larger end of today's spectrum.
That high price tag also comes with inaccurate estimated times, sporadic drying quality, and an exterior that's very vulnerable to scratching and smudging. Compared to appliances that don't cost much, offer few features, and look cheap, this Whirlpool Cabrio seems very high-end, but in reality, the expected outcome—timely work and dry laundry—isn't at all guaranteed. If you can find it on sale—which we did, for almost as low as $835—it may make this heavily equipped dryer a better bargain.
Design & Usability
The Cabrio has some surprising design downers
The Whirlpool Cabrio WED8800YW is a white, non-stackable dryer. It's pretty sizable, with a large interior storage capacity, but that same spacious interior is made with a white enamel that may flake and rust over time; shoddy and disappointing for such an expensive model. The door has a black front that scratches very easily, and a steel handle that collects smudge marks. It can also be a pain to shut, requiring a bit of a slam now and again.
In happier news, the Whirlpool Cabrio has a wide range of drying options and the controls are easy to read and adjust. Cycles are selected using a central knob while the rest of the options are changed using a series of clearly labeled buttons that bubble outward, giving the controls a nice uniform appearance. When extra options are in effect, they're lit from behind with a small green light.
Performance & Features
Deceptive estimated times and piles and piles of extras
The Whirlpool Cabrio WED8800YW offers a plethora of preset cycles and extra options that are designed to safely handle all sorts of laundry. In addition to manually timed cycles and two steam cycles, this machine offers ten presets which cover everything from the basics to the more specialized, like Towels, Sanitize, and even Active Wear. Any consumer with a wide variety of drying needs should be satisfied with this machine's offerings.
The cycle length and temperature can be adjusted, but only for Quick and Timed Dry. Automatic, or preset, cycles can't have temperature or duration altered, but there is a button to change the dryness level. Additionally, if you have a laundry room with an extra faucet, the Whirlpool Cabrio provides pipes and nozzles for its water hookup port, which enables use of the steam cycles. There is also a Static Reduce option, an EcoBoost feature, a Damp Dry Signal (for clothes you wish to finish by line-drying), and a Wrinkle Shield.
During performance testing, clothes always took longer to dry than what the control panel indicated, and if a cycle did end on time, its contents were still very damp. A poorly calibrated moisture sensor meant some cycles ran three times longer than the machine originally indicated, over-drying clothes instead.
Do great extras outweigh semi-dry laundry?
The Whirlpool Cabrio WED8800YW may have a high-end price tag, but it lacks the performance to back it up. It certainly has its strong points—more preset drying cycles than you can shake a sock at, a sturdy exterior, and lots of extra features that are easy to use—but when you get right down to it, it doesn't do as well as other models with respect to getting clothes dry.
What good is displaying an estimated duration if the machine tends to take up to three times as longer? What good are all the preset cycles and steam features if your clothes are still damp when the dryer stops? With a door that's easily scratched and a stainless handle that's easily smudged, how long can you really maintain that attractive finish? This dryer isn't the worst on the market today by a long shot, but for such a high price tag, consumers can certainly do much better. If you can find it on sale, it may be a better buy; we were able to find prices as low as about $830.
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