Maytag Bravos XL MEDB725BW Dryer Review
Solid drying at a good price. Who could ask for more?
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The Maytag Bravos XL MEDB725BW (MSRP $799), which will be in stores in early August, is an affordable, effective dryer designed to pair with a Maytag high-efficiency top loader. It sells for $200 less than the two-year-old MEDB750YW and outperformed it in our tests. Sure, it’s not a flawless machine—specialty cycles and extra options are sparse, and the Normal cycle ran warm—but for the price, it’s one of the best on the market in its class.
Wringing Out the Facts
The Maytag Bravos XL MEDB725BW passed nearly all of our tests with high marks. When you put those results into context with other machines in its price range, this Maytag becomes all the more attractive.
Design & Usability
It's worth showing off.
The Maytag MEDB725BW is a perfect example of how simple doesn’t necessarily mean ugly or bland. Toeing the line between functional and attractive, this dryer won't make you wish you spent more money on a fancier machine.
The steel-like backing on the controls gives this dryer a sleek edge, with black text and indicator lights that visually pop. It's fairly easy to read, though a slightly larger font wouldn't have hurt.
Actual physical interactions were positive, as well. The control knob felt sturdy, and all buttons provided a satisfying click every time we pressed them. Unusually stiff mesh made this otherwise standard lint trap easier to clean than usual, and the door never required slamming to shut. If you replaced the white enamel drum with a stainless one, it would look downright high-end.
Normal & Delicate
Maybe a touch too long, but the work horse cycles certainly got things dry.
The Bravos XL MEDB725BW's Normal cycle peaked at 151.9ºF, which is slightly warmer than ideal. While we would have preferred something in the low to mid 140's, the 100% dry results and cycle times averaging about 63 minutes make it easy to recommend for all but fragile fabrics.
The strongest cycle, however, was definitely the Delicate setting. Offering up the best performance out of the four cycles we tested, it also got our clothes perfectly dry. Peak temperatures, while not the coolest we've seen, stayed below a brisk 127.6ºF. What's more, the average cycle length of 74 minutes is actually a bit shorter than the norm.
Quick Dry & Bulky
Specialty cycles could be improved, but not by much.
For the Quick Dry test, we used the Maytag's Small Load cycle. Though it's designed for loads of just three to four items, our standard test load is 4 lbs. As such, after 18 minutes with temperatures hitting a high of 118.5ºF, our clothes came out just 64% dry. That's not bad; if you dry loads of the appropriate size, or adjust the time accordingly for larger sets of laundry, you should do just fine.
What really impressed was the designated Bulky cycle. To be clear we did not go in and adjust our test comforter when the mid-cycle beep went off in order to maintain consistent testing producer. That said, our test comforter still came out 87% dry. Phenomenal! It's still too damp to be usable, but results like that are exponentially superior compared to the average dryer, which often leaves a big damp knot of a comforter. Peak temperatures hovered at 147.8ºF, so you shouldn't have to deal with any overdrying. Cycle times proved to be a bit erratic, though: one test ran for an hour and 24 minutes, while the second attempt clocked in at just one hour and six minutes. As you might expect, the first test got our comforter much more dry, which is indicative of sensor issues typical of this cycle in nearly every dryer we test.
Performance & Features
Bringing all the basics to bear.
This Maytag may not be the most comprehensive machine around, but it didn’t skimp on the basics. All the standard cycles are here, plus a few extras such as the Sheets option. Four dryness levels and five temperature settings are also what you'd expect from a machine that cost as much as this one.
Most importantly, this machine did a great job drying laundry. Cycles stayed within a reasonable time length, temperatures—while occasionally a hair too warm—were all quite acceptable, and even our notoriously difficult Bulky test produced strong results. It was some of the best performance we’ve seen on a model under $1,000.
The only downside? A clear lack of features. You get a Wrinkle Prevent, which keeps clothes tumbling until you take them out, and a Damp Dry Signal that will let you know when it's time to air dry delicates. You can also adjust the volume of the dryer chime, but you won't find a steam option or sanitize cycle here.
Bringing the Heat
Great drying for a great price.
Expected to go on sale in early August, the Maytag Bravos XL MEDB725BW is definitely a machine worth keeping an eye out for. With a distinctly affordable MSRP of $799, and effective drying that exceeds all expectations attached to that price bracket, we say “bravo” to this Bravos.