Electrolux EFME417SIW Dryer Review
An affordable take on Electrolux's new laundry lineup.
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Normal & Delicate
Electrolux's 417 dryer series boasts drying performance that can hold its own with the higher end models. The only issue we had was the length of the Normal cycle which runs about 1 hour 4 minutes. That's longer than many competitors, but almost exactly the same as the 517. With peak temperatures of just 135.3°F, it's still cooler than most of the other machines we've tested—which is good news for delicate clothes. And clothes came out 100% dry. For all that, we don't mind waiting a few more minutes.
The Delicates cycle was just as good. After about an hour with temperatures staying below 120°F, it removed roughly 98% excess moisture. For delicate garments that's great, especially if you want to finish up with a line dry or a warm iron.
The Electrolux 417 dryer—available in both gas and electric—is the most basic model in their new lineup. But in this case, basic doesn't mean bad: The 8-cu.-ft. 417 is more stylish, versatile, and effective than almost every other unit in its price bracket. It even has steam!
Oh, and did we mention? That price is as low as $699 on sale, making it one of the best budget-friendly dryers available. You can go cheaper, but you'll lose out on performance and features in a big way.
Design & Usability
The value of the 417 dryer is most obvious in its low-key design. For this price, we weren't surprised to see a white enamel interior instead of the stainless you'd get on the flagship 617. It's also only available with a white exterior finish—no special Titanium grey here.
Our biggest issue with the 417 is its control interface. The 517 and 617 models feature a Nest-like cycle-select dial that spins around. The 417, however, has a cycle button that you have to press in order to move from one option to the next. It's cumbersome and unnecessarily clunky; we also were surprised that the starting point is always Fast Dry as opposed to Normal, or whatever cycle you used most recently. Still, with only seven cycles to choose from, it's a fairly minor irritant.
The feature list has gone through some slimming, as well. There are only four dryness levels, four temperature settings—no Sanitize here, folks—and Timed Dry only goes up to 60 minutes instead of 75 on the other Electrolux models. It still includes Perfect Steam, Eco mode, and Delay Start... but there's no Extended Tumble or Anti-Static. This is not the dryer for laundry micromanagers.
Quick Dry & Bulky
The quick dry on this model comes in the form of a 20 Minute Fast Dry option. For reference, the 517 has an 18 minute cycle, while the 617 clocks in at 15. Oddly enough, they all perform roughly the same: The 20 minute cycle removed 70% excess moisture and got up to 129°F. We test quick cycles using a 4-lb. load, but when used as intended—roughly two or three outfits worth of close maximum—it should be just fine.
Heavy Duty was also more than up to the task: After roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes, our large comforter was 85% dry. As is often the case, you'll need to fluff any large item that takes up the entire drum in order to get the best results.
Performance & Features
The 417 certainly doesn't disappoint when it comes to drying clothes, despite its tangibly—if subtly—inferior interface. The 20 Min Fast Dry cycle was just as effective as the 18 minute version on the 517 and the 15 minute version on the 617. The Normal cycle got clothes completely dry, and the only difference between the pricier models is that it ran about four minutes slower.
On the whole, temperatures are still gentle and clothes are still dry. And at the end of the day, that's enough to make the 417 a superior machine compared to almost everything else out there.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
As with both the 517 and 617, Electrolux offers an extensive warranty on its entry level model. The wash drum boasts a lifetime warranty, while parts for the drive motor is covered for 10 years. All other parts are covered for two years, while labor for everything is only covered for one.
Just as great, and even more affordable
The Electrolux 417 dryer may not feature a laundry list of specialty cycles or sleek controls, but it comes darn close. More importantly, it does a great job drying clothes without damaging them. Retailers sell this machine for $699, which makes it a affordable, stackable match to an excellent front-load washer.