Whirlpool WED4815EW Dryer Review
This featureless dryer isn't subtle, but it dries clothes and only costs $379.
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If all you want is a simple clothes dryer, check out the Whirlpool WED4815EW (MSRP $599). It gets clothes dry with high heat, and has almost zero special features. Still, it has a sensor-based cycle, and did acceptably in our tests.
The real upside, however, is the price: It's just $379 on sale, and a lot of retailers offer free shipping. If your old dryer stopped working and you don't want to spend a fortune to replace it, check this Whirlpool out.
If you don't mind spending just a little more and want a few more cycles, consider the Whirlpool WED4915EW. It's also got more temperature settings, as well as a Wrinkle Shield option. The overall drying performance, however, is no better than the cheaper alternative.
By the Numbers
What the Whirlpool WED4815EW (MSRP $599) lacks in grace, it makes up for in simplicity. Sure, the limited cycle choice and limited features may make for a very fundamental approach to drying that’s almost completely devoid of nuance, but our tests show that—for better or worse—this appliance will get your clothes very dry.
Design & Usability
As simple as it gets
The WED4815EW is why they call home appliances "white goods." In fact, the only variation from the uniformly white finish is found on the control panel, which features—wait for it—a grey backing with black text. Edgy, right?
In fact, the 4815 is visually identical to the WED4915EW in almost every way: a 7.0-cu.-ft white interior drum, crank controls, and a pullout lint trap are found on both models.
That said, the only two aesthetic differences are actually pretty noticeable: The WED4815EW uses a regularly hinged door as opposed to the 4915’s hamper-style set up. It also doesn’t have a light inside the drum.
While not necessarily a game changer, think about how large and how well lit your laundry room is while weighing those two factors. Then weigh that against the $110 price difference.
Normal & Delicate
For our Normal cycle test, we set the crank control to Energy Preferred and paired it with Medium heat. This resulted in a cycle that lasted an average of 1 hour and 8 minutes, with temperatures peaking at 158.1°F. While a bit warmer than we’d like, it at least managed to get our test clothes 100% dry.
Our Delicate test produced nearly identical results. The Less Dry setting paired with Low heat resulted in temperatures that topped out at 152°F. While somewhat tolerable for a Normal cycle, that’s definitely too warm for more fragile fabrics. Be aware of this when drying less hardy items, especially since our test cycle ran for 1 hour and 15 minutes. At least clothes again came out 100% dry.
Quick Dry & Bulky
Crank timers are vague at best. After setting the dial to a 30 minute Timed Dry cycle for our Quick Test, the dryer tended to finish a bit early—around 28 minutes on average. Despite using the High heat setting, the Whirlpool was only able to reach 145.4°F in the time allotted. As such, our smaller test load was only 87% dry—still too damp to be wearable.
On the other hand, the More Dry setting paired with High heat had no problem turning up the juice. After subjecting our large, downy comforter to temperatures peaking at 171.5°F for about 1 hour and 16 minutes, it came out 93% dry. While those temperature were alarming, it’s hard to argue with the results: Most dryers never come close to that kind of performance result for this particular test.
Performance & Features
Heat it up
The WED4815EW uses overly high heats more often than not, with varying results. Regardless of the temperature setting we selected, the machine reached maximum heat levels above 152°F.
While that’s not ideal in terms of garment longevity, it’s hard to argue with results: Our Normal and Delicate tests weren't that different from one another but at least each cycle got 100% dry. Even our bulky comforter came out with almost all excess moisture removed—no easy feat.
If your wardrobe can take some punishment, this could be a great budget dryer for your laundry room. However, don’t expect to have much control over what the machine does. There are only three temperature settings to choose from, and we didn’t notice much of a temperature difference among them.
There are also few extra features to speak of. In terms of cycle variation, you’ve got sensor-based options essentially based on how dry you want your clothes (More Dry vs. Less Dry), a manual Timed Dry option that ranges from about 20 to 80 minutes, and a no-heat Fluff Air option for when you’ve just got to tumble out some wrinkles.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Whirlpool provides a standard one year warranty on parts and labor. If part of the machine is damaged upon delivery, or if something fails through regular use, the manufacturer will send someone out to fix or replace the dryer.
Laundry at its most straightforward
There’s not much to say about the Whirlpool WED4815EW because there’s not much to it: Put your wet clothes in, crank the timer, and push the start button. Minimal cycle selection and no features keep the learning curve low.
True, the temperatures are a touch higher than we’d like, but it’s par for the course with similarly priced models. However, with sale prices around $380, it's easy to forgive the lack of more nuanced control.