Close your eyes and picture the pinnacle of domestic clothes drying. What you've imagined might very well be the $1,800 LG DLEX 9000V. Crafted in smooth curves and glossy surfaces, this dryer certainly looks luxurious, but, more importantly, it's big enough to handle large laundry loads with ease and powerful enough to process them quickly.
Still, the ultra-expensive DLEX 9000V isn't flawless. Despite its opulent price tag, the door feels flimsy, and the companion app and smart-home functions feel too complex to be truly useful. Forgive those flaws, though, and you'll be rewarded with excellent performance and features galore. That, along with the high style, makes this a compelling high-end appliance, especially for large families. If you're willing to consider a top-load style dryer without connected smarts, however, you can save a bundle by choosing the $1,100 Kenmore 69133 -- it's a close match that costs a lot less.
Design and features
Essentially a larger version of the LG DLEX 5000, the DLEX 9000V benefits from all of its smaller sibling's design strengths and a few of its weaknesses as well. Specifically, the DLEX 9000V dryer flaunts the same handsome chassis (available in white or "graphite steel" finishes) that's made mainly from painted steel and chrome. Most of the dryer's front face consists of a smoothly curved door, which sports a window of darkly tinted glass.
Behind the glass sits the dryer's huge 9-cubic-foot capacity stainless steel drum. This over-sized container offers much more room for clothing and bulky items than the 7.4 cubic foot capacity DLEX 5000. The obvious trade-off is a bigger physical footprint (40.9 inches tall, 29 inches wide, 33.4 inches deep).
Still, a front-mounted control panel helps to mask the dryer's girth, since it lives on the dryer's door and doesn't add undue height to the machine the way a top-mounted panel would. The panel's black plastic material also blends seamlessly into the door's dark glass window.
At the center of this 4.5-inch tall strip is the dryer's main control, a cycle dial that spins and clicks gently both clockwise and counterclockwise. White LED lights ring the knob and glow to highlight precisely which dryer cycle it has selected. Overall, the machine's controls are very intuitive and a cinch to operate. One annoyance, though: The door itself feels too lightweight and flimsy, and doesn't slam shut comfortably. Employing any elbow grease to close it actually causes it to rebound back at you.
Just like the DLEX 5000, the 9000V offers 14 cycle programs to choose from. They range from basics such as "Normal," "Heavy Duty" and "Perm. Press" to advanced cycles for "Jumbo Dry" or "Bedding." There's even a "Downloaded" setting for activating special programs you've pulled from LG's servers in the cloud and installed yourself.
LG also sells pedestal accessories for the DLEX 9000V, in matching white ($300) and graphite steel ($330). These add-ons offer extra laundry storage, and also raise the dryer door so it's easier to reach.
Thanks to its internal Wi-Fi radio, the DLEX 9000V can link to the LG Smart Laundry app on your iPhone, iPad or Android device. Open it, and you'll be able to monitor the dryer's status and see how much time remains in an active cycle.
It's similar to what we've seen from competing smart appliances from GE, but LG's system is more ambitious. The GE Laundry software limits you to viewing current dryer status while LG's app lets you begin new cycles right from your phone or tablet.