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Kenmore 69133 Dryer review: Mighty dryer has smart looks, does lots of laundry fast

If you seek a sleekly modern clothes dryer that's speedy and has plenty of laundry capacity, then the Kenmore 69133 is for you.

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Brian Bennett
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Brian Bennett

Senior writer

Brian Bennett is a senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET. He reviews a wide range of household and smart-home products. These include everything from cordless and robot vacuum cleaners to fire pits, grills and coffee makers. An NYC native, Brian now resides in bucolic Louisville, Kentucky where he rides longboards downhill in his free time.

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Top-loading washing machines and their similarly sculpted clothes-drying counterparts such as the $1,100 Kenmore 69133 dryer used to be the norm. This style of laundry appliance has been upstaged by flashier units of the front-loading variety. Fashionable and more convenient, you can stack them vertically in compact towers or sit them atop pedestal accessories to gain extra laundry room storage.

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7.6

Kenmore 69133 Dryer

The Good

The Kenmore 69133 dryer pulls moisture from wet laundry with astonishing speed and offers a large 8.8-cubic-foot capacity to process hefty laundry loads. The appliance's control panel is simple to use and flaunts updated styling that's both modern and attractive.

The Bad

The Kenmore 69133 has relatively few specialty cycles, fewer than what other advanced dryers offer. The appliance's controls are mounted along its back edge, which rules out stacking it above washers to save space. You can't place the dryer on top of a pedestal accessory either to gain extra storage or put its door within easier reach.

The Bottom Line

If you value raw clothes-drying horsepower above all, then Kenmore 69133 dryer's excellent performance will have you hooked, but take a hard pass on this machine if you plan to stack your laundry machines vertically or drop them onto pedestals.

While the Kenmore 69133 dryer can't perform any of those tricks, it does boast a few compelling abilities all its own, the most impressive of which are truly outstanding drying power and swift cycle speeds. Decked out in modern styling, this big 8.8-cubic-foot-capacity laundry machine is a real looker as well. However, if you have your heart set on a trendy front-loading model, the Kenmore 69133 won't satisfy. In that case, the $1,099 Electrolux EFME617S Perfect Steam or $1,400 Kenmore Elite 81072 are better options. But big families and, frankly, anyone who'd like to spend less time doing laundry will love this appliance.

Kenmore's spacious top-load style dryer serves up chic design, speed (pictures)

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Design and features

Standing a full 42.9 inches tall, spanning 29 inches wide and reaching a depth of 32.2 inches, the Kenmore 69133 is one very big boy. A major contributor to the dryer's large footprint is its huge drum, which provides 8.8 cubic feet of capacity. While not quite as accommodating as the Kenmore Elite 81072 (9-cubic-foot capacity), the dryer is spacious and certainly has enough room to process loads from its official washer counterpart, the Kenmore 29133. A monster in its own right, the front-loading washing machine offers 5.3 cubic feet of clothes cleaning capacity.

Made to match its companion aesthetically as well, the Kenmore 69133 mimics the washer's classic front-load shape and has controls running along its back, topmost edge. Smartly curved, contoured and sporting a surface of glossy black, the control panel cuts a stylish profile.

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The curved control panel is mounted on the back edge.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The panel's capacitive buttons further heighten the dryer's modern look. More like a smartphone than a typical home appliance, these keys activate with a mere featherlight touch. The contemporary product design continues with the machine's sound alerts rendered in soft electronic chimes rather than shrill beeps or mechanical buzzes. All this adds up to an appliance that's a breeze to use and fun to interact with.

I only have a few control-related complaints. First are the panel's distinctive blue lights and indicators, which are small, faint and harder to see than the brighter LEDs on other dryers. Secondly, since this dryer's control panel is back-mounted, you can't stack it on top of another laundry unit such as a washer or vice versa.

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This dryer uses capacitive buttons that activate at a light touch.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

These vertical configurations are a great way to save space or shoehorn bulky appliances into cramped laundry rooms. Additionally, the panel's location rules out setting the dryer on a pedestal accessory. Pedestals ergonomically raise washer and dryer doors so you don't have to bend over as much when opening or closing them, but this would make the controls hard to reach.

Compared to the seemingly endless cycle choices many fancy dryers have, the Kenmore 69133 has a relatively tame selection of seven sensor-driven modes (10 counting basic timed cycles). For example, you won't find exotic options precisely labeled for reducing allergens or treating sportswear or towels. Instead, the machine provides traditional cycles for items generally classified as "Normal," "Casual," "Delicates" and "Heavy Duty."

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The panel's small lights and labels are hard to see from a distance.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Thanks to the Kenmore 69133's in-line cold-water connection, the dryer offers two steam cycles. "Steam Refresh" is meant to gently fluff and remove wrinkles from dry fabric by injecting hot water vapor inside the drum. "Sanitize" subjects wet towels and bedding to hot steam for a prolonged period in an effort to destroy any lurking germs.

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There are numerous sensor and timed cycles to choose from.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Performance

When it comes to the primary function of removing unwanted moisture from laundry, the Kenmore 69133 dryer absolutely crushes it. This machine performed well enough to unseat our reigning dryer king, the LG DLEX 5000.

Keep in mind that our test procedures are crafted to assess how much moisture a dryer can pull from laundry and how long it takes to complete the challenge. We also strive to eliminate as many variables as we can during testing, including environmental conditions and test materials.

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You get a roomy 8.8-cubic-foot drum on this dryer.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Relying on a combination of electronic sensors that analyze water levels inside the drum plus internal software that commands the appliance's behavior accordingly, the Kenmore 69133 dryer needed only 38 minutes on average to finish our test loads. We chose the machine's Normal cycle (meant for "medium to large loads of mixed fabric" as stated in the manual) and its Medium temperature setting.

This is the briefest cycle time I've recorded to date. To put things in perspective, the previous dryer champion, the LG DLEX 5000, was 4 minutes slower (42 minutes), while the Kenmore Elite 81072 1 minute behind that (43 minutes). Trailing those were the GE GFDS260EFWW dryer (48 minutes), the Electrolux Perfect Steam EFME617 (54 minutes) and the GE GTD86ESPJMC (60 minutes). In the rear is the GE GTD81ESSJWS (67 minutes), the most sluggish dryer we've taken for a test drive.

Dryers Compared

Dryer Electrolux EFME617S Perfect SteamGE GFDS260EFWWGE GTD45EASJWSGE GTD81ESSJWSGE GTD86ESPJMCKenmore 69133Kenmore Elite 81072LG DLEX 5000
Capacity 8 Cu. Ft. 8 Cu. Ft. 7.2 Cu. Ft. 7.8 Cu. Ft. 7.8 Cu. Ft.8.8 Cu. Ft.9 Cu. Ft.7.4 Cu. Ft.
Cycle Types 9124121491414
Avg Cycle Time 54 Min.48 Min.48 Min.67 Min.60 Min.38 Min.43 Min.42 Min.
Energy Star Certified YesNoNoYesYesYesNoYes
Avg Power Usage Per Year 608 kWhNANA608 kWh608 kWh608 kWhNA607 kWh
App NoNoNoYes, Android/iOS (optional upgrade)Yes, Android/iOSNoNoYes, Android/iOS
Waranty 1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)1 year limited (parts, labor)

The Kenmore 69133 removed an average 5.3 pounds of water from wet loads while running its cycles. That's slightly less than the Kenmore Elite 81072 (5.4 pounds), GE GFDS260EFWW (5.7 pounds), GE GTD86ESPJMC (5.6 pounds), GE GTD81ESSJWS (5.6 pounds), LG DLEX 5000 (5.6 pounds) and Electrolux Perfect Steam (5.5 pounds).

That said, the Kenmore 69133's water evaporation rate of 0.139 pound per minute is the highest mark we've ever observed and edges out the LG DLEX 5000 (0.135 pound per minute). It's a more important stat because it describes a dryer's sheer drying power.

The Kenmore's steam performance didn't blow me away, though. Like other dryers I've used, cotton shirts I processed with the "Steam Refresh" cycle flattened many, but not all, unsightly creases.

WATER EVAPORATION RATE (IN POUNDS PER MINUTE)

Kenmore 69133 0.139LG DLEX 5000 0.135Kenmore Elite 81072 0.124GE GFDS260EFWW 0.121GE GTD45EASJWS 0.115Electrolux EFME617S Perfect Steam 0.103GE GTD86ESPJMC 0.095GE GTD81ESSJWS 0.084
Note: Longer bars equals better performance

Conclusion

So is the Kenmore 69133 the right dryer for you? That depends on many factors. But it's safe to say that this laundry machine won't cut it if you yearn for the efficient look and practicality of a pedestal. Likewise for those with limited space in their laundry rooms who would benefit from a stacked washer and dryer arrangement -- the appliance will let you down.

For big families whose priority is to process huge loads of clothes with speed, this attractive 8.8-cubic-foot-capacity Kenmore dryer is just what the doctor ordered. We also like the matching good looks, superb cleaning ability and large capacity of its companion $1,100 Kenmore 29133 washing machine. Together, the pair will serve you well.

If you need something bigger, the truly massive $1,400 Kenmore Elite 81072 dryer (9 cubic feet) will meet your needs but at a higher price. Also a mighty performer, it does support vertical stacking in addition to pedestal mounted configurations, which just might sweeten the deal.

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7.6

Kenmore 69133 Dryer

Score Breakdown

Design 8Usability 7Features 6.5Performance 8.5