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Maytag Bravos XL MEDB880BW Dryer ReviewDryer $899.99
Gets the job done, and adds some specialty cycles
The Maytag Bravos XL MEDB880BW (MSRP $899.99) is a stalwart dryer. In fact, it performs exactly like its little brother, the Maytag Bravos XL MEDB725BW. The difference? Its MSRP is $100 higher, and it has dedicated Sanitize and Towels cycles. The extra money may be worth it if you have kids and a pool.
Design & Usability
Simple for a reason
There's a reason why appliances are called "white goods," and the Maytag Bravos XL MEDB880BW makes it plain: It's white inside and out, with a little silver plastic trim on top. My colleague thought the MEDB725BW fell somewhere between purely functional and attractive, while I had issues with the tiny text on the control panel.
If your dryer is hidden in a laundry room, function matters more than looks, and the Maytag wins with simplicity. The door is easy to open. The lit interior is a bonus, perfect if that laundry room is in a dark basement.
Performance & Features
A hot bed of hot activity
The Maytag MEDB880BW showed itself to be a competent dryer. The Normal and Delicates cycles both managed to get clothes into a wearable state in about an hour and twenty minutes. The Normal cycle achieved this by hitting temperatures north of 150 degrees, which may prematurely wear some fragile fabrics. The Delicates cycle also managed to get test loads into a wearable state, but only needed to reach 138 degrees. That's still a little on the high side for a cycle that is supposed to be as gentle as possible.
The Bulky cycle managed to get our test comforter 85 percent dry, which is pretty impressive, especially since we didn't take comforter out and flip it halfway through (the instruction manual says to do that, but most consumers don't). The Quick Dry cycle was the most disappointing. Though it lived up to its name with an 18 minute duration, it only got our small test load 66 percent dry.
On the features front, the most notable option is steam refresh. If you hook the dryer up to a water supply—easy to do with a hose splitter—it adds steam to help get wrinkles out of clothing. A Sanitize cycle gets hot enough to kill bacteria, which may be helpful for families with young children.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
A Bravos with more features
All of our testing shows that the Maytag Bravos MEDB880BW performs exactly like the Maytag Bravos MEDB725BW. That's to be expected, as they're similar machines. An MSRP that's $100 higher for the 880 gets you a Sanitize and Towels cycle. The Sanitize comes in handy if you're using cloth diapers, have allergies, or just have a vendetta against microbes. If you've got a beach or pool nearby, the Towels cycle may help make life easier.
Despite the extra features, overall, the MEDB880BW is a dryer that sticks to business. No need to worry about your clothes not getting dry with this machine. However, if you have no use for a Sanitize or Towels cycle, the cheaper Maytag Bravos XL MEDB725BW may be a better choice.