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Maytag MEDB955FC dryer review: Maytag’s monstrous dryer tackles the biggest loads

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Huge, tall, even intimidating, the $1,400 Maytag MEDB955FC dryer is truly monstrous. It's equipped with a massive 9.2-cubic-foot capacity drum, enough to swallow two very large loads of wet laundry in one gulp. 

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6.5

Maytag MEDB955FC dryer

Pricing Not Available

The Good

The Maytag MEDB955FC dryer offers a huge 9.2 cubic feet of capacity. It’s attractive and has a sturdy brushed steel exterior. It comes with plenty of special cycles and steam modes.

The Bad

It takes longer to dry clothes than other high-capacity dryers. Its control panel has small text and confusing lights. It can’t be stacked, and you can’t place it on a pedestal accessory.

The Bottom Line

The Maytag MEDB955FC dryer will draw in large households with its huge capacity, but the Kenmore 69133 is ultimately the better deal.

Still, while this dryer's size and design may scream power, its tested performance was a big letdown. Another high-capacity dryer, the $1,100 Kenmore 69133, churns through laundry much faster, costs less, and looks better doing it.

Design and features

The Maytag MEDB955FC dryer is one massive machine. While not quite as tall as Samsung's unique FlexDry DV9900, this Maytag appliance still towers at an imposing height of 43.4 inches. With a depth of 33.5 inches and 29 inches width, the Maytag dryer also has a larger overall footprint than Samsung's beast. Even the Kenmore 69133, one of the biggest dryers we've tested, takes up less space.

The reason for the Maytag dryer's remarkable girth is a gargantuan 9.2-cubic-foot-capacity drum. Built to handle two wet laundry loads from its companion washer at once, the Maytag PowerWash MVWB955FC (6.2 cu. ft.), it's the roomiest dryer we've reviewed.

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This Maytag dryer is one big laundry machine. 

Tyler Lizenby

Maytag constructed the machine's exterior from brushed stainless steel trimmed with silver metal accents. Called "Metallic Slate," this color scheme plus a nifty magnetic door latch help the dryer look and feel durable and attractive. If metal isn't your thing, Maytag sells a white version for $100 less.

Running along the appliance's upper-rear edge is its control panel. The design choice mimics the shape of top-loading washing machines and specifically its matching Maytag PowerWash washer. Unfortunately I found the panel confusing to operate. Text labels for the dryer's various settings and functions are tiny and hard to read.

The same goes for their associated LED indicators, minuscule white lights that hover mysteriously above or below these labels. As a result, I had to fiddle with the controls longer than I'd like to make sure I selected the right cycle or setting.

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The Maytag's control panel can be confusing. 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

There are plenty of dryer cycles to choose from though, 10 in all. This includes cycles to handle everything from Heavy Duty items to Bedding and Delicates. A Steam Refresh mode pumps steam into the drum to relax wrinkles and pull odors from small loads of dry fabric. The feature lets you adjust the temperature of this cycle and many others too. Temperature options range from air dry to high.

I do appreciate the dryer's drum light which allows you to view items inside both when the door is shut or open. It has a dedicated button as well, something surprisingly many dryer models lack.

There are a few drawbacks to the machine's large size and shape. Aside from eating up lots of laundry room space, the dryer doesn't support stackable arrangements. Likewise, Maytag doesn't offer any pedestal accessories for it.

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The 9.2-cubic-foot drum is quite roomy.

Performance

Despite its robust size and imposing looks, the Maytag MEDB955FC doesn't pack much of a punch. The machine turned in mediocre performance on our tests and was definitely within the lower half of dryers we've reviewed so far.

Our tests measure how much water a dryer can pull from wet fabric and how long it takes to complete this task. Additionally, we work to remove as many variables as possible during testing, including environmental conditions and test materials.  

Equipped with an array of electronic sensors that sniff out water levels inside the drum plus software to control the appliance's activity, the Maytag MEDB955FC took a relatively long 47 minutes on average to run through our test cycles. That's almost 10 minutes longer than the Kenmore 69133 dryer needed (38 minutes), another 9-cubic-foot machine.

We chose the dryer's Normal cycle meant to tackle a range of fabric types including "work clothes, casual wear, mixed cottons, and sheets as explained in the manual. We also engaged the Medium temperature setting.

Dryers compared

Dryer Electrolux EFME617S Perfect SteamGE GFDS260EFWWGE GTD45EASJWSGE GTD81ESSJWSGE GTD86ESPJMCKenmore 65132Kenmore 69133Kenmore 81383Kenmore Elite 81072LG DLEX 3570VLG DLEY 1701VLG DLEX 5000LG DLEX 9000VMaytag MEDB955FCSamsung FlexDry DV9900Whirlpool WED92HEFU
Capacity 8 cu. ft. 8 cu. ft. 7.2 cu. ft. 7.8 cu. ft. 7.8 cu. ft. 7 cu. ft. 8.8 cu. ft. 7.4 cu. ft. 9 cu. ft. 7.4 cu. ft. 7.3 cu. ft. 7.4 cu. ft. 9 cu. ft. 9.2 cu. ft. 7.4 cu. ft. (total)
7.4 cu. ft. 
Cycle types 9124121449101412121414101210
Avg. cycle time 54 min.48 min.48 min.67 min.60 min.41 min.38 min.46 min.43 min.41 min.44 min.42 min.43 min.47 min.43 min.57 min.
Avg water amount removed 5.5 pounds5.7 pounds5.5 pounds5.6 pounds5.6 pounds5.4 pounds5.3 pounds5.7 pounds5.4 pounds5.4 pounds5.5 pounds5.6 pounds5.5 pounds5.5 pounds5.45.4
Energy Star certified YesNoNoYesYesNoYesNoNoNoYesYes NoNoYesYes
Avg. power usage per year 608 kWhNANA608 kWh608 kWhNA608 kWhNANANA607 kWh607 kWhNA608 kWh607 kWh607 kWh
App NoNoNoYes, Android/iOS (optional upgrade)Yes, Android/iOSNoNoNoNoYes, but functions limitedNoYes, Android/iOSYes, Android/iOSNoYes, Android/iOSNo
Warranty 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)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)

This cycle time is also long compared with other big dryers we've tested. For example, both the LG DLEX 9000, and Kenmore Elite 81072 were 4 minutes faster (43 minutes), That said, the Maytag dryer edged out other appliances that were even more sluggish, including the GE GFDS260EFWW dryer (48 minutes), the Electrolux Perfect Steam EFME617 (54 minutes) and the GE GTD86ESPJMC (60 minutes). The back of the pack remains the GE GTD81ESSJWS (67 minutes), the slowest dryer we've tested.

Another important number we measure is a dryer's water evaporation rate. It describes the amount of water on average a dryer can remove from test loads of wet fabric over a period of time. Again the Maytag MEDB955FC displayed middling drying power here, with an evaporation rate of 0.117 pound per minute. By contrast, the Kenmore 69133's score of 0.139 (pound per minute) easily qualifies it as the reigning dryer champ.

WATER EVAPORATION RATE (IN POUNDS PER MINUTE)

Kenmore 69133 0.139LG DLEX 5000 0.135Kenmore 65132 0.133LG DLEX 3570V 0.133LG DLEX 9000V 0.128Samsung FlexDry DV9900 0.126LG DLEY 1701V 0.124Kenmore Elite 81072 0.124Kenmore 81383 0.122GE GFDS260EFWW 0.121Maytag MEDB955FC 0.117GE GTD45EASJWS 0.115Electrolux EFME617S Perfect Steam 0.103GE GTD86ESPJMC 0.095Whirlpool WED92HEFU 0.095GE GTD81ESSJWS 0.084
Notes: Longer bars indicate better performance

Conclusion

Spending $1,400 on a clothes dryer is a big ask for any budget. In the case of the $1,400 Maytag MEDB955FC, the bargain includes the biggest capacity drum we've seen anywhere. This, when paired with the Maytag dryer's sturdy and attractive chassis, may sound tempting, especially to large families hunting for a major laundry room upgrade.

You'd be better off, however, choosing the $1,100 Kenmore 69133 instead. It also provides a roomy drum (9 cu. ft.) but processes its wet loads in much less time. The dryer has controls that are easier to use too, it costs less and frankly, has more style. If money is no issue and you prefer plenty of features including stackable configurations and pedestal upgrades, look to the robust $1,800 LG DLEX9000.

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6.5

Maytag MEDB955FC dryer

Pricing Not Available

Score Breakdown

Design 8Usability 6Features 7Performance 6