Laundry

Whirlpool Cabrio Platinum WED8900BW Dryer Review

All the features, all the performance, all of the steam

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If a watch doesn't tell time, it doesn't matter that it's waterproof or has a 21 jewel movement. Similarly, if a dryer doesn't get clothes dry, none of the extras matter.

Luckily, in addition to having a steam cycle and a fancy handle, the upscale Whirlpool Cabrio Platinum WED8900BW (MSRP $1,099) is a competent dryer. The Normal and Delicate cycles got our test laundry loads into a wearable state. The Bulky cycle impressed us even more. Our only complaints were how long cycles took, and how hot they got. Other dryers in this price range offer similar features, but save time and aren't as harsh on fragile fabrics.

To read our full review of this dryer's matching watching, the Whirlpool Cabrio Platinum WTW8900BW click here

By the Numbers

Every dryer that enters into our undergoes a battery of tests. Each test is designed to present us with objective data. So when we make a claim about an appliance, it's backed by science. For dryers, the tests are all about one thing: getting your clothes dry. Wet test loads are placed into a dryer along with heat and humidity sensors. After a cycle completes, we are then able to determine how much moisture has been removed, how much time it took to dry laundry, and whether a dryer overdried clothes.

Design & Usability

The Cabrio Platinum fruit does not fall far from the tree

The dryers in Whirlpool's Cabrio line share many of the same attributes, so if you want to know more about the design and usability of the WED8900BW please see our review of the WED8100BW. Save for a few cosmetic changes, the two dryers are essentially identical. The door sticks a little, but is functional. The dark control panel makes the text pop, and easy to read. Also, yellow indicator lights make it easy to identify what selects and features are active.

We're glad that Whirlpool hasn't changed a lot on the WED8900BW. The biggest difference is cosmetic: a silvery plastic coats the door handle. On other models, it's white.

Normal & Delicates

The Normal and Delicates cycle both use approximately eight-pound loads wetted to 1.7 times their weight. These loads are tossed into their respective cycles with humidity and temperature sensors.

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On average, the Normal cycle managed to remove all of the moisture from our test laundry. Reaching a max temperature of 153°F, this cycle took over an hour. At that temperature, you may start to see damage to fibers in your clothing after many, many dry cycles. For tougher fabrics you should have no problems. Either way, when the chime goes off your clothes will be in a wearable state.

The Delicates cycle also got our test laundry dry, with our instruments measuring that 99% of moisture was removed. The Delicates cycle peaked out at 106°F, which is no warmer than a summer's day in Arizona.

Performance & Features

Brings the heat, and then some

On the Normal cycle, this dryer got an eight pound load 100 percent dry. That's a good thing. But it took an hour and five minutes and got as warm as 153.1°F. Other dryers can do the same thing in less time at a lower temperature, which is a better bet for delicate fabrics.

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The water hookup for the steam option is located next to the exhaust vent.

This story continues on with the Delicates cycle. That took an hour—not bad, but the control panel said only 28 minutes. Internal temperatures reached 131ºF.

Overall, this machine performed exactly like the cheaper Whirlpool WED8000BW. So why pay more? Features. The WED8900BW has a plethora of them. The biggest is the ability to add steam to selected drying cycles. There's also a dozen additional cycles tailored towards specific clothing types, like Active Wear.

For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.

Quick & Bulky

The Quick cycle test uses a four pound load wetted to 1.7 times its weight. After the cycle finished we found, on average, 49% of the moisture removed. It took 13 minutes to complete, so if you run it twice—or put in fewer items—you should be golden.

The Bulky cycle is the Gordian Knot of drying tests. A comforter is wetted to 1.5 times its weight and tossed into a cycle. The WED8900BW got the cycle 69% dry. That's not bad. It's not unusual for something as voluminous as a comforter to require two cycles and a flip in between.

Conclusion

More features, more money

The Whirlpool WED8900BW performs admirably and has a lot of features. The Whirlpool WED8000BW performed just as well, but has fewer features and costs $200 less. If you want steam cycles that refresh laundry and reduce static, plus a dozen or so specialty programs, get the pricier WED8900BW. Otherwise, you can move down the Cabrio lineup and still feel comfortable that you're getting a competent dryer.

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