Amana NED5700BW Dryer Review
Not everything is black and white.
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The Amana NED5700BW (MSRP $799) is an entry-level dryer targeted at folks who want an affordable, stylish, no-frills dryer—like first-time homebuyers and empty-nesters.
One of the plainer machines we've ever tested, this Amana offers middling performance but sells for an appealing price. With a 7.4 cu. ft. capacity, this dryer has more than enough room for the laundry needs of most families. It lacks nearly all features, but it's stackable and the controls are simple enough for anyone to figure out. If you're looking for to get a budget dryer that can be stacked on a front-loading washer, this Amana is still worth checking out.
Design & Usability
A Dalmatian of a Dryer
Aside from a few specks of green on the control panel, the Amana NED5700BW is mostly black and white. The 7.4 cu. ft. drum is adequate for the average family's laundry.
Operating the NED5700BW is as easy as pie. If you've used a dryer in the last twenty years, there's nothing on the Amana NED5700BW that's unfamiliar. All options are plainly labeled and understood at a glance.
There are only four cycles: Normal, Delicate, Quick Dry, and Heavy Duty. For the most part, that will cover all your drying needs. For anything else, users can adjust the temperature and dryness level.
It's not that great. But it is that cheap.
Simply put, the Amana NED5700BW's performance isn't great. In all our tests, the Normal cycle never got our test laundry entirely dry, even after an hour-long cycle time. The Normal cycle also had problems with consistency: Over the course of our tests, the same towels and sheets sometimes came out slightly damp. That would've been OK—it's better for wrinkle removal if clothes end up a little moist—but a few patches of our test loads were downright wet. However, the Normal cycle was consistent with time. All of our Normal tests ran a minute or two under an hour.
The Delicates cycle was this dryer's saving grace. It actually got our test delicate load completely dry, and also stayed well within recommended temperature thresholds for fragile fabrics. Delicate clothing is very susceptible to damage from high heat. The downside is the Delicates cycle took, on average, about an hour and forty-five minutes to complete.
The Quick and Heavy Duty cycles were lukewarm at best. The Quick Dry cycle lasted 13 minutes and got our half-size load of test laundry about halfway dry. We imagine it would be useful for drying a shirt or two. For the Heavy Duty cycle, we inserted a wet comforter. The Amana removed 68% of the moisture in about half an hour. That's fine, since it's common practice to flip a comforter and run the cycle again. We withheld our gold star because the cycle got over 164°F. At those temperatures, why not run a little longer and get the comforter almost completely dry?
What the Amana does have going for it is price. It's one of the cheaper dryers that can be stacked on a front-loading washer. Most of the cycles don't get too hot, and you can always adjust the temperatures yourself. If staying on a budget is more important to you than clothes drying perfection, the NED5700BW will meet your needs.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Know what you're getting into
Although it shares similarities with pricier Whirlpool and Maytag dryers (Amana is the company's basic brand), the Amana NED5700BW is clearly a budget dryer. It's one of the cheapest stackable models, and it has a complete lack of ancillary features. We're going to count that as a plus–it's clearly designed to keep things simple.
Where it lags behind is pure performance. Sure, it does alright when drying clothes, but users will have to deal with very long cycle times and even a few damp spots. It may fit your laundry room, but that doesn't mean this Amana will fit your lifestyle.
By the Numbers
Here at Reviewed.com, we use the scientific method to form opinions on products—like clothes dryers. In the dryer world, it all comes down to collecting data on temperature and water removal. The Amana NED5700BW's price and design proved more impressive than its performance.
Normal & Delicates
To test the Normal and Delicates cycles, we wet eight pound loads of laundry to 1.7 times their weight in water. These test loads were placed in their respective cycles with internal temperature sensors.
At the end of the Normal cycle, test loads came out 93% dry on average and often still felt damp to the touch. The maximum temperature that our sensors picked up was just 148°F—good for clothes wear, but bad for timing.
The Delicate cycle turned out to be the most effective for removing moisture. Test loads subjected to this test cycle came out completely dry. The highest temperature recorded was around 108°F, which shouldn't damage any fabrics. The drawback is that the cycle took, on average, one hour and forty-five minutes to finish. That much tumbling not only makes you wait, but can lead to clothing shrinkage.
Heavy Duty & Quick Dry
The Bulky cycle is the most tricky for many dryers. It's easy to get one side dry, but not the other. That's why a lot of dryers will signal you to flip your comforter mid-cycle. We wetted our test comforter to 1.5 times its weight.
The Amana NED5700BW subjected our test comforter to 164°F temperatures for 27 minutes. The end result was a comforter that was 68% dry.
The Quick Dry lived up to its name, lasting 13 minutes. On average, our four pound test load came out 46% dry. That's not bad, but not stellar either.