Whirlpool Duet WED87HEDW Dryer Review
America's first Energy Star dryer is also a stellar performer.
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By the Numbers
Easily the best thing about the Whirlpool Duet WED87HEDW (MSRP $1,099) is its well-balanced performance. Not one cycle in our tests scored poorly, making this a great choice for consumers with multiple laundering needs.
When it went on sale earlier this summer, the Whirlpool Duet WED87HEDW (MSRP $1,099) became the first clothes dryer to achieve Energy Star certification.
In this case, energy efficiency doesn't come at the expense of performance: Our tests show this dryer is one of the best out there. In addition to fast and effective drying, the WED87HEDW also has a solid list of features. We also like the fact it sells for just $899 on sale. Comparable in many respects to the Maytag Maxima MED5100DW, this Whirlpool is easy to use, versatile, and a great choice for a dryer.
Design & Usability
Simple and stylish
The 87HEDW is a straightforward dryer with a glossy white finish. Reflective silver edging around the door gives it some added personality, while a curved border around the control console creates a smooth and elegant look.
Speaking of the controls, we were fans of the user interface. Buttons are responsive and the display is easy to read. Green indicator lights don’t pop out against the white background as much as they would against a darker one, but there was never any confusion as to which cycle was selected or what features were turned on. Should you prefer, this model does come in Chrome Shadow (read: gray) for an extra $100.
On the inside, a bright LED acts as a searchlight for errant socks, and has no problem illuminating the white enamel-coated drum. Other machines in this price range have stainless drums, which are less prone to flaking or rusting after many years of use. Still, this shouldn't be a deal breaker.
Normal & Delicate
As usual, the Normal cycle did exceptionally well. It only managed to remove all excess moisture in one of our two test cycles... but we’re pretty darn happy with 99% regardless. Peak temperatures of 153.8°F could be cooler, but you always have the option of turning on EcoBoost when drying thinner fabrics. Average drying times normally clocked in at about 50 minutes.
Delicates was as close to perfect as you can get, with average moisture removal rates of 97%. With temperatures reaching just 112.2°F, this is a gentle cycle that—at about 1 hour and 24 minutes in length—will be great for fragile garments.
Performance & Features
Exceptional drying across the board
Unlike machines that sometimes get clothes dry and other times leave users with a damp mess, this Whirlpool is one consistent dryer. Not only did the Normal cycle get our test load 99% dry—which is ideal for preventing wrinkles—the Delicates and Quick Dry modes did almost as well. Even the difficult Bulky cycle did a substantially better job than average.
Even if you don't trust the WED87HEDW's well-calibrated sensor, Whirlpool has you covered. A Timed Dry mode pairs with three dryness levels and five temperature settings (including air only) for a commendable level of customization. When you throw in specialized cycles like Sanitize, Casual, and Heavy Duty, there’s very little that this machine can’t handle.
The 87HEDW has a steam hookup in the back, but it’s only there for two things: The Steam Refresh cycle, and as an extra addition to the Wrinkle Shield feature. Other dryers let users actually clean delicate items using steam.
Other features are expected. A damp dry signal and control lock are fairly standard for a machine in this price bracket, while EcoBoost gives consumers the option to increase efficiency by lowering temperatures and increasing drying time.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Quick Dry & Bulky
With a default length of 26 minutes, Quick Dry—a cycle with a user-adjustable duration—did a fantastic job. Temperatures peaked at 158.2°F, which is definitely warmer than we’d like to see. With such a short cycle, though, even more fragile fabrics should be okay. Given that it removed 91% of excess moisture from our test load, it’s hard not to be happy with the results.
The Bulky cycle was the hottest mode of all, reaching temperatures of 164.1°F. That’s definitely too hot, and could lead to overdrying, but you can’t argue with the results: After roughly 1 hour and 19 minutes, our comforter came out 85% dry, much better than most other machines in any price range.
A Well-Balanced Bargain
An approachable—and affordable—dryer
The Whirlpool Duet WED87HEDW is an extremely sensible purchase. Energy Star certification means it's engineered to be responsible, consistently strong drying across all tested cycles make it a great performer, and extra features add to its versatility.
Sure, there are better dryers with a longer cycle list, and there are dryers out there that are much cheaper. But if you want a superb dryer that's designed to pair with a front load washer, and you don't want to pay more than $1,000, it's hard to beat this Whirlpool.