Consumers looking for their mother's (or grandmother's) dryer will find it in the WED4915EW. If you're just searching for the cheapest dryer that still works, however, consider checking out the Hotpoint alternative.
The Whirlpool WED4915EW (MSRP $649) is an inexpensive dryer. Our lab tests show that, unless you’ve got a basic wardrobe that can hold up under high heats, this may not be the best bargain dryer for you.
This Whirlpool's design could have time traveled from the 1960s. We saw only two splashes of color on this big, white box: the gray-tinted control panel and the gold halo around the Whirlpool logo.
We like the hamper-style door, which folds down to open. Users can simply dump wet laundry onto the open door and slide it into the drum. The overall design is similar to the pricier WED5000DW.
The WED4915EW's crank timers mean that manual Timed Dry cycles will usually run a littler longer or shorter than you might anticipate. Plus, without an estimated countdown clock, it's anyone's guess when a sensor-based cycle finishes.
The pullout lint trap is easy to clean, but the action of yanking it out of the top of the dryer often results in loose lint particles floating off into the air.
For all tests, we follow the manufacturer's recommendations as to what cycle and heat setting to choose.
For our Normal test, we used the Energy Preferred setting paired with medium heat. Of our four test cycles, this was the only one to completely dry our test loads. With an average running time of about 58 minutes and temperatures peaking at 156.1°F, this cycle should be ideal for hardy, cotton-based garments that can stand up to some punishment.
The Delicate cycle was set to Low heat for our tests, but that didn’t seem to help matters much. Our sensors recorded peak temperatures of a whopping 152°F, which is only marginally cooler than what we saw on Medium. After about 49 minutes, test loads came out 96% dry. Compare that to our best dryers, which only get to 110ºF, and you'll see why this Whirlpool didn't score well.
High heat left us cold
Like the older WED5000DW, we found this new dryer erred on the hotter side, which is bad for clothes over time. Most cycles we tested peaked above 152°F—even the Delicate cycle set to the Low temperature setting. By comparison, the Delicate cycle on better machines rarely tops 110ºF.
Unfortunately, the added heat did not reduce cycle times, and that extra heat and tumbling could lead to premature clothes wear. What’s more, only the Normal test using the Energy Preferred cycle actually got our clothes 100% dry. That's fine for hardy fabrics, but not for delicates. Unless you dress like Jack Hanna, this dryer may not be for you.
Consumers looking for refined temperature control will not find it on the WED4915EW. Our tests didn’t reveal any substantial difference between high, medium, or low temp settings.
The only extra feature to speak of doesn’t even impact the actual drying cycle: When active, Wrinkle Shield will continue to tumble clothes periodically for up to 90 minutes after a cycle has concluded to prevent wrinkles from setting in.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
When a dryer doesn’t have a designated Quick Cycle, we use a 30-minute Timed Dry to approximate. Despite heat set to High, and the dryer's tendency to get too hot on other cycles, this test run only peaked at 147.9°F. Still, after half an hour, our test laundry was only 91% dry—not dry enough to wear.
Leaving the dryer on High heat, we used the Very Dry sensor cycle for tackling our large down comforter. A run time of about 48 minutes and temperatures that peaked at 156°F still weren’t enough to get to the damp center of our large item. The comforter was only 69% dry, making it the most disappointing test cycle of the lot.
Whirlpool provides a standard one-year parts and labor warranty. If the product should fail, or be damaged out of the box, the manufacturer will send a technician to repair or replace your unit.
Low cost, and performance to match
If you're on a $500 budget and just need a big hot box to dry your clothes in, the Whirlpool WED4915EW is certainly worth a look. Even so, we'd recommend you keep shopping.
If you don’t mind the 4915's high heat and lack of features, you can find a machine that’s cheaper—like the Whirlpool-built, Home Depot exclusive Admiral AED4675YQ, which sells for $449. On the other hand, the Kenmore 81182 has an accessible interface and better drying performance for just $200 more.
Meet the testers
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
Logistics Manager & Staff Writer@ReviewedHome
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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.Shoot us an email