GE GFD85ESPNRS Dryer Review
This top GE dryer has a modern look and great features, at a cost
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With its interesting color options and modern look, the GE GFD85ESPNRS (available at AppliancesConnection for $1,073.00) front-load dryer will get your laundry 100% dry on multiple cycles, but it might take a while. Overall, this is a powerful dryer with some useful features, like steam cleaning. It does have a few performance hiccups—cycles can run hot, the Bulky/Bedding cycle didn't dry well, and other cycles took up to 20 minutes longer than the machine’s estimate. This being said, the solid performances elsewhere means these issues are unlikely to be deal-breakers. The main problem is that its price point puts it in direct competition with dryers that are faster and more efficient, like the Electrolux EFME627UTT.
The GE GFD85ESPNRS has a more youthful, modern design than we see on a lot of dryers. Its control panel and edges are more rounded and it comes in some non-traditional color schemes like Sapphire Blue, which make the appliance more a part of a home's décor than something to hide in a basement. Its traditional control dial for cycle selection is augmented by a touchpad for more granular controls like dryness level and temperature.
About the GE GFD85ESPNRS front-load dryer
Dimensions: 39.75” x 28” x 32” (H x W x D)
Capacity: 7.8 cu. ft.
Finish: White, Sapphire Blue ($100 extra), and Diamond Gray ($100 extra)
11 cycles: Bulky/Bedding, Cottons, Delicates, Mixed Loads, Permanent Press, Quick Dry, Sanitize, Steam Dewrinkle, Steam Refresh, Timed Dry, and Towels
Washer Link: With the paired GE washer, this dryer receives information over WiFi that helps it select ideal cycle settings for your particular load.
Wrinkle Care: Keeps tumbling dry laundry after a cycle is complete to keep wrinkles from forming.
PowerSteam: This option will refresh and de-wrinkle your laundry with steam.
Paired washer: GFW850SPNRS
What we like
Solid performance on the Normal and Delicates cycles
We saw great results from the Normal and Delicates cycles. The laundry came out bone-dry each time and the temperatures didn’t exceed the 150°F threshold where you can start to see heat damage to your clothes. Some of the cycles did take longer than average, but it's hard to argue with the results.
Controls keep the granular options off to the side
The majority of dryer users turn the dial to Normal and push start, and that’s the end of their interaction with any controls. Maybe the bulky or quick cycles will get some use, but few users are actually adjusting the water or temperature levels on their dryers. As such, we like the GFD85ESPNRS’s approach to controls: Use the dial for quick and intuitive cycle selection, and head over to the touchscreen for more detailed customization. It keeps everything accessible, but doesn’t force anyone to bother with extras if they don’t want to.
Steam features help you get rid of wrinkles and eliminate germs
If you haven’t had a dryer with steam features, you’re missing out. The GE GFD85ESPNRS’s PowerSteam option will let you quickly and easily remove wrinkles from an entire load of laundry, leaving just minor creases (if any at all) for hand ironing. The steam also lets the GFD85ESPNRS offer a sanitize cycle that is claimed to get hot enough to kill germs without wrecking your clothes with dry heat. If keeping your clothes wrinkle- and germ-free, these steam features will be game-changing.
What we don’t like
Cycles can take longer than anticipated
This is kind of a double-edged sword. The GFD85ESPNRS has internal sensors so it knows when your laundry is dry. If, at the end of a cycle, your laundry still isn’t dry, it’ll take some extra time to ensure it gets there. This can add about 20 minutes to the cycle length the dryer initially displays. While this does mean your clothes will be dry when the cycle finishes, it also means the overall dryness-per-minute rate for the GFD85ESPNRS is fairly low, leading to higher energy usage overall.
The Quick Dry cycle runs long and gets too hot
First, the name is a bit of a misnomer: While the average quick cycle takes about a half-hour to complete, the GE GFD85ESPNRS’s Quick Dry took 58 minutes. According to our tests, that's an average of two minutes longer than the Bulky/Bedding cycle. Second, the cycle itself ran slightly too hot. Anything over 150°F can damage your clothes, and we measured temperatures exceeding 162.4°F. It’s not going to scorch your clothes, but it will lead to premature wear and tear over time.
The Bulky/Bedding cycle leaves laundry soggy
We weren't particularly impressed by the GE GFD85ESPNRS's Bulky/Bedding cycle. While it did finish in a quick 56 minutes, it only got our test comforter about 69% dry, which is well below the 85% dry we see on average. This is an instance where we wouldn't have minded if the machine took extra time to finish the job.
The price point is steep
The GE GFD85ESPNRS is an average dryer with an above average price. All our complaints about it are relatively minor at most, but unfortunately its price point draws comparisons to other dryers that put up better numbers on our performance and usability testing. It's hard to recommend a product when there are similar models out there for the same price or cheaper that get the job done better. If you like the unique aesthetic of the GE GFD85ESPNRS, try to pick it up on sale.
What owners are saying
Because this model is new, there currently aren’t sufficient user reviews available online. We’ll update this section in the future once they start getting posted.
GE offers a one-year warranty for parts and labor caused by manufacturing defects. This is a pretty limited warranty compared to a lot we see. Often dryers with stainless steel drums will guarantee that part for a longer period of time, but that’s unfortunately not the case here.
Should you buy the GE GFD85ESPNRS?
Probably. The GE GFD85ESPNRS is currently the best GE dryer we’ve tested. Many cycles produce bone-dry laundry, and it has a unique aesthetic with some fun finishes. It does have some performance missteps, but as long as you stick with the better cycles you'll do just fine. If you like how it looks and don’t mind sometimes waiting a little extra time for your laundry, it’s not a bad buy—especially if you can find it on discount.
The problem is, for about the same price (or slightly lower) you can get our top-rated dryer, the Electrolux EFME627UTT. The Electrolux had much better drying efficiency, faster cycles, and a quick cycle that lived up to its name: It finished in only 15 minutes. The GE GFD85ESPNRS is a good dryer, but its current price just happens to put it in the same bracket as the best of the best.