Washing Machine Reviews

Editor's Note:
The November 2016 recall of dozens of models of Samsung top-loading washers sent us back to the drawing board to find alternatives to some of our previous recommendations. The good news is that we found plenty of great top-loading and front-loading washers, at a variety of price points, for an efficient -- and safe -- laundry day.
 
LG WT1701CV
Specs that Matter
Capacity - 4.9 cu. ft. Preset wash cycles - 12Size (w,d,h) - 20.5" x 41.25" x 44"
Best Reviewed
Best top-load washer
LG WT1701CV

The LG WT1701CV is one of the most attractive washers around, reviewers agree, thanks to a high-tech-looking front control panel that's also easy to use. But it doesn't get ugly when it comes to performance, earning raves for that from experts and owners alike. At 4.9 cubic feet, it's a great fit for all but the fluffiest king-sized comforters, and its self-balancing technology means you don't have to rebalance big loads as often.
See our full review »

GE GTW680BSJWS
Specs that Matter
Capacity - 4.6 cu. ft.Preset wash cycles - 14Size (w,d,h) - 27" x 27" x 46"
Best Reviewed
Best cheap top-load washer
GE GTW680BSJWS

You'd think at this price the most the GE GTW680BSJWS can offer is a few basic features, but you'd be wrong. Loaded with enough cycle options to suit any laundry fanatic, it's also super simple to use, making it a great choice for the dump-in-and-wash crowd as well. The GTW680BSJWS gets good ratings for its cleaning performance and cleans clothes faster than practically any other top-loader on the market.
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Kenmore Elite 41072
Specs that Matter
Capacity - 5.2 cu. ft.Preset wash cycles - 14Size (w,d,h) - 29" x 34" x 40.8"
Best Reviewed
Best washing machine
Kenmore Elite 41072

No washing machine draws more praise than the giant, 5.2 cubic foot Kenmore Elite 41072 (offered in white) or its metallic silver identical twin, the Kenmore Elite 41073 (Est. $1,100). It's packed with features to make cleaning clothes easier than ever, including a lightning-fast, 15-minute Express Wash (although the Normal cycle takes only 38 minutes). Cleaning performance is excellent on all cycles, and the washer earns a 2016 Energy Star Most Efficient designation.
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Samsung WF56H9100AG
Specs that Matter
Capacity - 5.6 cu. ft.Preset wash cycles - 15Size (w,d,h) - 30" x 32.5" x 42.6"
Best Reviewed
High capacity front load washer
Samsung WF56H9100AG

The Samsung WF56H9100AG is a great choice for big families because it holds a LOT of clothes -- its 5.6 cubic foot washing basket is the largest of any residential machine. The machine is fast, and cleaning performance is rated as very good. The Samsung WF56H9100AG is feature packed too, earning an Energy Star Most Efficient designation. The washer comes in black (onyx), or in white as the Samsung WF56H9100AW (Est. $1,300).
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Whirlpool WFW87HEDW
Specs that Matter
Capacity - 4.3 cu. ft.Preset wash cycles - 9Size (w,d,h) - 27" x 33.5" x 38.75"
Runner Up
Cheap front load washer
Whirlpool WFW87HEDW

The Whirlpool WFW87HEDW lacks the high end features found in more upscale front-load washers, but it also lacks their high price. Expert reviewers give it solid ratings across the board, and owners rave about it, saying its cleaning performance is excellent. They also say it's very easy to use and its 4.3 cubic foot capacity is a good choice for standard laundry room setups where a high-capacity washer may be a squeeze.

Your washing machine should fit your lifestyle and budget

It's probably safe to say that everyone needs a washing machine. From there, it becomes a question of preference and lifestyle -- A big family? A dirty job? Messy kids? Just you and your dainties? All of these are important considerations, as are things like your available space and, of course, your budget

Types of Washing Machines
Top-Load Washers

This is the classic washer style, and it's popular because top-loading washing machines are easier to load and unload than front-loading machines (since you don't have to stoop over to open them). They also tend to cost less than front loaders. Traditional top-loaders, which use an internal agitator that spins on a vertical axis to churn the water and clean the laundry, are the least expensive type. However, they cost more to run because they use more water and electricity than the newer high-efficiency (HE) models. They also hold less laundry, make more noise and get lower scores (often sharply lower) in professional tests. We do not recommend any agitator-style top load washers in this report, because none get recommendations from the most trusted sources. All of the top-loading washers we do recommend are HE models, and use less water; but you also must use HE detergent.

Front-Load Washers

Front-load washing machines are considered to be the best-performing washing machines available, and they're the most water- and energy-efficient, too. Their horizontal tubs tumble clothes into and out of the water, making it possible to wash a full load with relatively little water and their higher spin speeds wring out more water, so laundry requires less time in the dryer. On average, front loaders tend to be gentler on clothes than top-load machines. Front-loading washers can usually be stacked with a matching dryer to save floor space -- assuming you have the ceiling clearance. However, the most efficient cycle times tend to be lengthy, sometimes an hour or more. The good news is that, if you're in a hurry, virtually all feature a quick wash cycle that speeds things up. Once again, use of an HE laundry detergent is a must with front-loading washers.

Finding The Best Washing Machines
Our Sources1. ConsumerReports.org
Washing machines2. Reviewed.com
Laundry Reviews3. Good Housekeeping
WashersSee All

The recent recall of dozens of Samsung top-loading washing machines meant we had to update this report a few months sooner than normal. The good news is that our most credible sources, Reviewed.com, ConsumerReports.org and Good Housekeeping, had already addressed the recall and offered alternate recommendations for affected washers they had previously recommended. As always, all three of these sources do thorough, well-explained testing, making it easy to come to a consensus for the picks in this post-recall report.

Owner-written reviews rounded out the picture, especially when it comes to gauging long-term durability as well as the manufacturer's response to complaints and warranty issues, considerations that aren't measured in professional tests. We found the best user reviews for washers at retailer sites such as HomeDepot.com, BestBuy.com, and Lowes.com. Occasionally, you see some reviews at these sites that originate elsewhere, notably the manufacturers' sites. However, we took the existence of these duplicated reviews into consideration to find those washing machines that truly score with owners.