Kenmore vs. Whirlpool

When it comes to clothes dryers Kenmore and Whirlpool are some of the biggest names in the business, known for their reliability.  Which is something really worth looking for in such a big ticket item.

In this article we examine how these top dryer brands compare and contrast.  After a very brief overview of each company, we’ll then look at their price ranges, their drum size, and their features.

Then we carry out a direct comparison of two dryers from each range, both at the more affordable end of the spectrum.  And finally we wrap up with a befitting conclusion.  

By the end of the article, you should be much more well informed, and in a position to decide which brand might be the better of the two for your particular needs.

Overview of Kenmore

The Kenmore brand of household appliances has been around from as far back as 1913, over 100 years ago, and they have certainly come a long way since, with many different categories of product in their offering.  They are currently based in Chicago IL.

Although the brand is still very prominent and strong, it’s interesting to note that as of 2017, Kenmore products are produced by a number of different manufacturers, including Whirlpool.

Product Offering from Kenmore

The dryers available from Kenmore include electric dryers, gas dryers, portable dryers and smart dryers.

Price Range of Kenmore Dryers

Kenmore dryers come in a wide variety of prices, starting at about $500 for a more basic machine, and going up to a whopping $1,400 for one with all the bells and whistles.  That’s nearly three times the cheapest option.

Drum Sizes of Kenmore Dryers

Kenmore trumps Whirlpool when it comes to the drum size of their dryers - Kenmore’s gas dryers often feature a drum size of 9.2 cubic feet.  And with such a large internal capacity available, not only can you dry your clothes and towels, but it makes much lighter work of drying bedding too.

Features of Kenmore Dryers

Kenmore has a number of different features which make their product offering that bit more than just your basic dryer.

First off, there’s always a selection of settings so you can customize your drying cycle according to what kinds of items are in that particular laundry load, so you never have to worry about your delicates getting damaged.

Then there’s their Accela Steam technology which not only helps reduce odors, but also reduces wrinkles and reduces static.  Then there’s Steam Refresh, which shakes out wrinkles in your clothes.  

And further to that end, there’s also a Wrinkle Guard function, which intermittently tumbles your laundry after the drying cycle, so that you don’t get any wrinkles forming before you have a chance to empty the dryer.

There’s also SmartDry technology, which uses digital sensors to monitor moisture level in the drum, and then set the heat level accordingly.  We like this feature because it means that you don’t have to worry about your clothes over drying.

And Kenmore dryers have another great feature called Sanitize Dry.  This is designed to eliminate 99.9% of all the common household bacteria without having to wash the clothes first.  This is great news if you need your clothes ready in a hurry.  That said, it’s our view that you should still wash your clothes in a washing machine before drying them.  But it’s very reassuring to have such a function in place, and to always know that things like your baby’s clothes and your bedding can be made super fresh.

A more recent addition to Kenmore’s innovation in their dryers is their Smart Control, which allows you to keep tabs on your laundry via your smartphone.  And if that wasn’t enough, many Kenmore dryers also work with your Alexa voice assistant if you have one.  And whether through their smartphone app or with voice commands, you can receive alerts about when a cycle is complete, stop and start your dryer as you please, and customize a drying cycle as you see fit.

Recommended Kenmore Dryer

Kenmore 65132 7.0 cu. ft. Electric Dryer with SmartDry Plus Technology in White, includes delivery and hookup

This machine is one of Kenmore’s most reasonably priced offerings, yet still offers many of the features we’ve mentioned thus far.

It has a large load capacity, coming in at 7 cubic feet.  There’s a Wrinkle Guard option to give your clothes a quick toss to prevent set-in wrinkles well after the dry cycle is completed.

And there’s SmartDry Plus technology which uses moisture sensors to adjust the dry cycle accordingly.

Overview of Whirlpool

The Whirlpool Corporation is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of home appliances, headquartered in Benton Charter Township, Michigan, and is a Fortune 500 company, with 67 million products sold each year.

The Whirlpool brand first came to be used 1948, but has a rich history both before and since, which is readily available on the net for anyone with a keen interest.  Unfortunately it’s beyond the scope of this article to go into it any further here.

Product Offering from Whirlpool

The product offering from Whirlpool in terms of their dryers runs much like that of Kenmore in that it includes electric dryers, gas dryers, and smart dryers.  And although we found compact dryers on their website, none of these were specifically branded as portable dryers.  Whirlpool does however have an additional line of dryer, which is the stackable variety for commercial organizations.

Price Range of Whirlpool Dryers

Whirlpool dryers are noticeably more expensive than Kenmore dryers.  For example, their cheapest offering comes in at $600, while their most expensive higher end offering comes in at $1,900, which is in excess of 3 times the cost of their cheapest offering.

Drum Sizes of Whirlpool Dryers

Many Whirlpool dryers feature a roomy drum size of a very generous 8.8 cubic feet, which is more than ample for a medium sized family or household, or a larger family for that matter.

But for those that simply don't have the space to accommodate a large dryer in their home, Whirlpool’s most compact dryer has a drum size of 3.4 cubic feet.  So you may have to do several loads of laundry one after the other with such a small machine.

Features of Whirlpool Dryers

Many of the features sported by Whirlpool dryers mirror those of Kenmore.

For example, their Whirlpool® app lets you set, start or pause the dry cycle and keep tabs on it while you're away.  Plus, you can also use it to assign laundry tasks with customizable texts to your family members.  And you can get certain Whirlpool machines to work via voice assistant commands too.

And where Kenmore has Wrinkle Guard, Whirlpool has Wrinkle Shield, whereby you can prevent wrinkles by using tumbling and steam for up to 150 minutes after the cycle ends.

Plus there’s a Steam Refresh cycle which uses steam to reduce odors and wrinkles without rewashing.

And as with Kenmore, Whirlpool dryers also offer a Sanitize cycle which does the same as the Kenmore one does, eliminating 99.9% of common household bacteria.

And where Kenmore has SmartDry technology, Whirlpool instead has AccuDry™ Sensor Drying Technology, which again uses special sensors to detect moisture levels, but instead of adjusting the heat, it simply adjusts the length of time of the drying cycle.

What we did notice though is that Whirlpool also has an EcoBoost™ option, whereby you can save money by using less energy, and all the while still get the same great drying performance. 

Recommended Whirlpool Dryer

Whirlpool WED4815EW 7.0 cu ft Electric Dryer with Heavy Duty Cycle

Like the Kenmore machine reviewed briefly above, this Whirlpool dryer is one of the brands’ most affordable offerings, and comes with a spacious 7 cubic feet load capacity.

And it uses Wrinkle Shield, which in effect is just the same as Kenmore’s Wrinkle Guard.

In short, with this Whirlpool machine, you get many of the features shared by the Kenmore machine of a very similar value, but without the addition of moisture sensors to make any necessary adjustments to the dry cycle.

Conclusion

Both these two brands are very similar in their product offering when it comes to dryers with many identical features seen across both, albeit known by different names.  

The main differences between the two brands are that Whirlpool dryers are more expensive than Kenmore dryers, both at their cheaper and at their more expensive end.  And Whirlpool has an Ecoboost function that proves popular with those concerned about the environment and climate, a function that we haven’t come across with Kenmore.

Of the two dryers recommended above the Kenmore machine clearly offers the best bang for your buck.

But, whichever brand you decide to go for, you can be confident that you’ll get a good durable machine that will dry your laundry as often as needed, and will last you.