Maytag Maxima MED5100DW Dryer Review
A great value from Maytag.
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The Maytag Maxima MED5100DW (MSRP $1,099 in white or $1,199 in metallic slate) is an excellent dryer. That's no surprise, since it's fundamentally similar to the MED8100DC. Minus a few steam-based features, most of the differences are aesthetic ones. But while the 8100 felt overpriced, a $500 difference in MSRP makes the 5100 a much better deal.
Since Maytag is owned by Whirlpool, the 5100 is also nearly identical to the excellent Whirlpool Duet WED87HEDW—except it adds Maytag's 10 year warranty on the drum and motor, and sale prices are occasionally a bit lower on the Maytag. Both are among the first Energy Star certified dryers on the market.
Like its corporate counterparts, this Maytag's easy-to-use interface, elegant design, and cycle versatility make it a great choice for consumers who don't want to spend more than $1,000.
By the Numbers
While not perfect, the Maytag Maxima MED5100DW is a versatile machine that did well in most of our tests. It's nearly identical to the Whirlpool Duet WED87HEDW, and similar to Maytag's flagship MED8100DC—and that's not a bad thing.
Design & Usability
Shiny and white
While this dryer is also available in Metallic Slate for $100 more, the 5100DW has a glossy white finish that looks clean and elegant. The dark, translucent door lends the overall design some contrast.
The black font on the controls is easy to read, even if the orange indicator lights don’t pop as much as they would against a dark background. The touch screen console is easy to manipulate, as is the cycle select dial.
On the inside, you'll find a white powder coat drum—one of the reasons for a lower price tag. Unlike stainless drums, enamel ones may flake or rust over a long period of time.
Normal & Delicate
Much like the MED8100DC—the next step up in Maytag’s new laundry series—the Normal cycle got clothes 100% dry but ran a bit hotter than we’d have liked. Cycle times averaged a lightning-fast 49 minutes and reached highs of 157.4°F.
Delicates, on the other hand, got clothes 99% dry—excellent for gentle fabrics—in one hour and 20 minutes with temperatures that only reached 112.7°F. It’s easily the best cycle we tested on this machine.
Performance & Features
Works where it counts
There’s no question that the 5100DW is a phenomenal dryer. The Normal cycle performed almost perfectly, while Delicates was suitably gentle. Specialty cycles like Rapid Dry and Bedding had a bit more trouble compared to the best dryers on the market, but were still serviceable and should do a good job if you follow the guidelines in the product manual.
With the exception of specialty steam cycles, the cycle list is identical to the flagship 8100DC, making this machine a very versatile mid-tier dryer. Specialty cycles like Sanitize are great for supplementing more common options like Heavy Duty.
Only when it comes to steam does the 5100 lag behind. Other dryers let you dewrinkle, sanitize, and even clean delicate items using a steam cycle, but the 5100 is limited to Refresh, a touch-up cycle that uses to steam to help de-wrinkle and deodorize loads that don’t necessarily need a full cycle.
Other features include an energy saver mode that lowers temperatures and prolongs drying times, a damp dry signal, and a Wrinkle Prevent feature—distinct from the Wrinkle Control cycle—that will continue to tumble your laundry periodically at the end of a cycle until you come collect it.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Quick Dry & Bulky
Rapid Dry is a manual cycle that initially defaults to 26 minutes. After that much time had passed, clothes came out 89% dry. That’s actually not bad, especially given its peak temperature of 142.4°F. We test all our Quick cycles with a standardized four pound load, but this cycle is designed to dry only three or four articles of clothing. It should have no problem doing that.
Bedding proved to be surprisingly good, though its timing was inconsistent. That's just what you'd expect from a sensor-based cycle in a 7.4-cubic-foot drum. Average peak temperatures of 165.2°F were high, and cycles ranged from an hour and 20 minutes to an hour and 30 minutes. Still, the dryer got our test comforter 82 percent dry—no small feat. If you were to flip your comforter halfway through the cycle, it might get fully dry.
A Great Value
Hits the sweet spot of performance, design, and price
The Maytag Maxima MED5100DW isn’t going to redefine drying, but it will do a great job drying clothes. It even includes energy saving cycles that help it earn a blue Energy Star badge.
The 5100DW is also attractive, and provides a versatile set of cycles and features for a reasonable price. Actual drying performance is competitive with other machines at this price point. And if you don't like its looks, buy the nearly identical Whirlpool WED87HEDW instead.
Some retailers offer this Maytag for as little as $899, which ups the appeal even further. If you're looking for an upscale, stackable dryer, we wholeheartedly recommend buying it.