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
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, so they use less water; but you also must use HE detergent.
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.
are often discontinued; sometimes recalled
Our washing machine report is one of the few that
we have to check constantly and update several times a year. That's because
companies like LG and Samsung frequently discontinue models -- even those that
are very popular and highly rated. So, if you find a washer here that doesn't
seem to be available, please email me so I can investigate.
Washers are not recalled as often, but it does
happen. In November of 2016, Samsung recalled 2.8 million top-loading washers
due to reports of lids detaching and flying across the room. Nine injuries were
reported. You can read a full list of the recalled washers here. If you
already own one, you can request a remedy from Samsung. These washer are no
longer for sale at retail, but if you decide to buy a used washer, be sure it's
not on the recall list.
about the prices in this report
When it comes to washing machines, prices are all
over the place. And, at some retail sites, you can't even see the price until
you add it to your cart.
For that reason, we are quoting the manufacturer's
suggested retail price in this report, even though they are almost always found
on sale for at least several hundred dollars less. For example, one of the
priciest washers in this report -- the Whirlpool Cabrio that we cover in our
section on top loading washers -- retails for $1,200, but when we were
compiling this report it was on sale for $800. In other words -- don't be put
off by a seemingly "high" price, that's more than likely not even
close to what you'll pay.
do you need for laundry day?
While this report covers full-sized washing
machines meant to pair up with a full-sized clothes dryers, which are
covered in their own report, your laundry room may be too small for that
combination -- especially if you live in an apartment or condo. If that's your
situation, we cover laundry centers -- models that combine a washer and dryer
in one unit -- in our report on washer-dryer combos. Also, to press out
the last of the wrinkles in your dress clothes, or to just put the finish on
your look, check out our reports on steam irons and garment steamers.
Finding The Best Washing Machines
"The Best Washing Machines for Your Next Laundry Room Update"
The most credible sources for washing machine
reviews, Reviewed, Consumer Reports and Good Housekeeping, are frequently
updated and all three offer thorough, well-explained testing, making it easy to
come to a consensus for our top picks. CNET also reviews washers, although not
as many and they tend to focus on more high-tech options, but some of the
washing machines they review are highly-rated elsewhere as well.
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 Home Depot, Best Buy, and Lowe's. Some retailers, such as Home
Depot and Lowe's, also host reviews that originated 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