The Best Washing Machines for Your Dirty Laundry

Clean your clothes and conserve energy with one of these outstanding washers.

Best Overall

GE 5.0 cu. ft. Smart Front Load Steam Washer on a white background

GE 5.0 cu. ft. Smart Front Load Steam Washer

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Best Bang For The Buck

Whirlpool 3.9 cu. ft. Top Load Washer on a white background

Whirlpool 3.9 cu. ft. Top Load Washer

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Upgrade Pick

GE Profile 4.8 cu. ft. UltraFast Combo Washer Dryer on a white background

GE Profile 4.8 cu. ft. UltraFast Combo Washer/Dryer

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A quality washing machine should last at least 10 years, but there are many advances in technology over the course of a decade that can make choosing a new one challenging. In addition to ample power and excellent cleaning ability, the best modern washing machine models offer an array of other features. 

We spoke to Ron Shimek, president of Mr. Appliance, a nationwide appliance service company, about what to look for in a new washing machine. Starting with the basics, he says that shoppers will want to look for a washing machine that fits their needs. “It has to fit in the space they have, have a large enough capacity to fit their needs, and have the options needed for their cleaning needs.” Beyond these basics, modern machines can do much more, and there are plenty of other features to consider. Some machines are designed to use water and energy more efficiently, while others have a wide range of functions to clean various fabrics and soils, and some even offer smart technology. Ahead, you’ll find important considerations to bear in mind while shopping for a new washer and see why these picks rate as some of the best washing machines.

  1. BEST OVERALL: GE 5.0 cu. ft. Smart Front Load Steam Washer
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Whirlpool 3.9 cu. ft. Top Load Washer
  3. UPGRADE PICK: GE Profile 4.8 cu. ft. UltraFast Combo Washer/Dryer
  4. BEST FRONT-LOADING: LG 4.5 cu. ft. Smart Front Load Washer
  5. BEST TOP-LOADING: Samsung 5.0 cu. ft. Top Load Washer
  6. BEST FOR LARGE LOADS: Maytag 5.3 cu. ft. Smart Top Load Washer
  7. ENERGY-EFFICIENT PICK: LG Single Unit Front Load WashTower
  8. STACKABLE PICK: Electrolux 600 Series Front Load Washer and Dryer
  9. SMART PICK: Samsung Bespoke 5.3 cu. ft. Front Load Washer
The Best Washing Machine Options
Photo: depositphotos.com

How We Chose the Best Washing Machines

There are a lot of great washers out there, and many shoppers are happy with a highly rated pick from a top brand. But to find those models that stand out above the rest, we researched trusted third-party ratings, including referencing our own guides. Hours of research went into our best stackable, front-load, top-load, and washer and dryer guides. Referencing these picks and more, we chose washing machines that are highly rated by shoppers and backed up by independent reviews and testing.

At the simpler end of the spectrum, Shimek shares that “helpful washing machine features for most homes include a quick wash cycle for time efficiency, a delayed start option for scheduling, and adjustable water temperature settings for diverse laundry needs.” That might be enough for some shoppers, especially if it means a more affordable machine. The models on our best washing machines list all clean clothes well, removing dirt and stains efficiently and effectively.

That’s the bare minimum for a top washing machine in the market though, so we looked for more. We also included many high-tech options on our list. This included smart machines and those with features such as deep-fill settings, steam-cleaning, automatic detergent dispensing, and other useful functions that can help on laundry day.

Our Top Picks

The washing machines showcased here reflect some of the best available, based on our shopping considerations like size, capacity, configurations, and cycles along with water and energy efficiency.

Best Overall

GE 5.0 cu. ft. Smart Front Load Steam Washer

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Product Specs

  • Type: Front-load
  • Capacity: 5 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 39.75 inches tall by 28 inches wide by 32 inches deep

Pros

  • UltraFresh Vent System rids the washer drum of excess moisture to prevent musty smells
  • Gasket, dispenser, and draining system are treated with antimicrobial technology to prevent bacteria growth
  • Smart-dispense system automatically releases correct laundry detergent amount for up to 32 loads

Cons

  • Some reviewers experienced the control board failing within the first few years of use

Front-load washers have a bad reputation for getting a musty smell, which comes from the washer drum and door gasket not drying out properly. The GE front-load steam washer helps prevent odors while also adding smart convenience for laundry day. This machine has GE’s UltraFresh Vent System with OdorBlock—a feature that helps the machine dry out, keeping it fresh inside. On top of that, parts of the machine (gasket, dispenser, and

draining system

) are treated with Microban antimicrobial technology, which helps prevent bacteria growth and the smells that come with it.

A fresh-smelling machine is great, but that’s not the only draw to this washer. It’s also user-friendly and smart: Owners can monitor and control the GE washer from a smartphone. The model’s detergent dispense system holds enough soap to wash up to 32 loads of laundry and dispenses a suitable amount for each load automatically.

For cleaning those extra-dirty items, a deep-fill function and a sanitize setting can kill germs and some allergens. Users also can take advantage of the PowerSteam feature to deep-clean grime and tough stains. This machine is said to run fairly quietly, plus it has a 5-cubic-foot capacity, which is large enough for most households.

Get the GE 5.0 cu. ft. washing machine at Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Wayfair, Best Buy, or GE Appliances.

Best Bang For The Buck

Whirlpool 3.9 cu. ft. Top Load Washer

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Product Specs

  • Type: Top-load
  • Capacity: 3.9 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 44 inches tall by 27.5 inches wide by 27 inches deep

Pros

  • Reliable and effective washing machine with fewer bells and whistles, amounting to a more economical price
  • Range of settings, including 12 wash cycle options, plus water level, rinse, and soil level
  • Its impeller takes up less space and is gentler on fabrics than an agitator

Cons

  • Can become out of balance when washing bulky and heavy loads

Plenty of modern washers are chock full of features, but they come at a high price tag. While it sounds nice to have a smart machine with tons of settings, sometimes, all a household needs is a simple cleaning machine. The Whirlpool 3.9-cubic-foot washer fits the bill and comes at an economical price. It’s a top-load washer with a decent capacity.

A smooth stainless steel wash basket and impeller gently agitate laundry loads, preventing snags and taking up less space than a traditional agitator.

To handle any type of dirty laundry, this machine has 12 cycle settings. Users can also choose from several different water levels and rinse options, as well as four soil levels. For those rushed moments, a Quick Wash cycle cleans loads in as short as 30 minutes, while a late lid lock makes it possible to toss in last-minute items. Use the soak and wash cycle to complete both tasks without having to switch settings mid-wash. To take good care of garments, this washer has both a whites and colors cycle, as well as a delicate cycle for fragile items.

Get the Whirlpool washing machine at Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Best Buy, AJ Madison, or Whirlpool.

Upgrade Pick

GE Profile 4.8 cu. ft. UltraFast Combo Washer/Dryer

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Product Specs

  • Type: Front-load washer and dryer
  • Capacity: 4.8 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 46.7 inches tall by 28 inches wide by 32 inches deep

Pros

  • A washer and dryer all in one to save space with a single unit that cleans and dries
  • Takes about 2 hours to clean and dry a load, with no need to transfer laundry
  • Plugs into a standard 120-volt outlet and doesn’t need a dryer exhaust vent, adding to flexibility

Cons

  • May need additional drying time for larger loads

At first glance, the GE Profile UltraFast Combo washer and dryer looks like a pricey machine, but it becomes more reasonable when you realize it’s a two-in-one unit. Washer-dryer combos don’t have the best reputation, but this one rates highly because the dryer actually works. It can both wash and dry a large load in about 2 hours, and there’s no need to transfer the load from washer to dryer; this unit does both jobs. It successfully dries clothes with the UltraFast Combo Fast Airflow Drying System, which uses warm high-speed air to gently dry garments at a lower temperature.

This machine is the size of a single washer or dryer, plugs into a standard 120-volt outlet, and doesn’t require a dryer exhaust vent, so its installation location is flexible. This washer-dryer is smart, so it’s possible to control it from a phone, with the option to download specialty cycles. This model also has SmartDispense technology, automatically dispensing detergent for up to 32 loads. To save energy, try the EcoCool Cycle, which washes in cold water and then cycles into an efficient dryer cycle to use less power. On top of these features, it doesn’t hurt that this machine looks sleek.

Get the GE Profile washer/dryer at Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Walmart, AJ Madison, or GE Appliances.

Best Front-Loading

LG 4.5 cu. ft. Smart Front Load Washer

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Product Specs

  • Type: Front-load
  • Capacity: 4.5 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 39 inches tall by 27 inches wide by 30.25 inches deep

Pros

  • Quick wash cycles with an extra-fast Speed Wash cycle that cleans in just 15 minutes
  • Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)-certified Allergiene cycle removes more than 95 percent of allergens
  • Sensors and AI technology can adjust settings according to the fabric texture and load size

Cons

  • Control panel is a bit busy and can be hard to decipher, particularly in low-light settings

This LG model offers excellent performance in a compact front-loading machine. It’s a powerful washer that has tons of useful smart features. Pair it with the ThinQ app for on-demand control and monitoring. That’s the norm for smart washers today, but this machine takes it a step further. This washer has built-in sensors and AI technology to detect fabric texture and load size so it can select the best settings.

On top of the usual array of cycle options, an Allergiene cycle harnesses the power of steam to remove more than 95 percent of common allergens. This machine is AAFA certified. In part, it achieves this deep clean with the help of the five powerful jets, which use variable sprays to penetrate fabrics.

The Speed Wash cycle is impressively fast, cleaning a small load in only 15 minutes. Users can choose their wash temperature, soil level, and spin speed to customize cycles to the items inside. LG recommends pairing this machine with the brand’s

LG SideKick pedestal washer

, which helps elevate the machine to a more comfortable height and adds even more convenience, with the option to wash small loads in the pedestal.

Get the LG 4.5 cu. ft. washing machine at The Home Depot, Best Buy, Abt, AJ Madison, or LG.

Best Top-Loading

Samsung 5.0 cu. ft. Top Load Washer

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Product Specs

  • Type: Top-load
  • Capacity: 5 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 44.6 inches tall by 27.5 inches wide by 29.4 inches deep

Pros

  • Built-in water jet inside drum helps to pretreat and rinse dirty items
  • Has several accessibility features: a shallow drum, audio assistance, and braille on the control panel
  • Self-clean feature keeps machine fresh, with a reminder to run it every 20 cycles

Cons

  • Loads can remain quite wet after the spin cycle

The Samsung 5.0-cubic-foot washer is a far cry from an old-school top-load washer—it’s an excellent option for those who don’t want to make the switch to a front-loading machine. This model gives plenty of good reasons to stick with this type of washer. First, it’s Energy Star certified, so it is an efficient pick. It also has a large and shallow easy-access drum that uses an impeller rather than an agitator. This eliminates some of the main cons of old top-load washers.

For pretreating clothes and for those extra-dirty loads, this machine has a water jet inside the drum so users can rinse off grimy items—this means no need for the messy transfer between the laundry room sink and the washing machine. The Deep Fill option uses more water for a stronger clean. It also has a self-cleaning function, which alerts users to give it a spin every 20 wash cycles

With this washer, Samsung is ahead of other brands on accessibility. Along with its shallower bin, this washer features audio assistance, so it plays a different sound for each setting. It also has braille right beside the main control panel buttons.

Get the Samsung 5.0 cu. ft. washing machine at Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Best Buy, or Samsung.

Best for Large Loads

Maytag 5.3 cu. ft. Smart Top Load Washer

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Product Specs

  • Type: Top-load
  • Capacity: 5.3 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 42.88 inches tall by 27.25 inches wide by 27.88 inches deep

Pros

  • Large capacity: Spacious drum with an impeller has space for 5.3 cubic feet of laundry
  • Extra cleaning-power options with an extra-power feature and a deep-fill function
  • Built-in water faucet in the drum simplifies pretreating dirty garments

Cons

  • Fairly pricey for a top-loading machine with comparable features to more affordable options

With a large 5.3-cubic-foot capacity, the Maytag top-load washer is the best washing machine for high-traffic laundry rooms. It can handle a lot in a single load, and it’s powerful, too, to help make sure every item gets clean. This laundry machine is top loading with an impeller in a smooth stainless steel drum.

The Maytag has a Deep Fill function for an extra scrub when it’s needed, as well as an Extra Power feature, which has an intense prewash and extra agitation to boost stain-fighting power. For pretreating, this machine has a built-in water faucet, so it’s possible to rinse off garments right in the washer drum, which can save a bit of time for those who wash a ton of laundry.

The machine’s Quick Wash cycle cleans small loads in 30 minutes. This machine also has a Sanitize with Oxi cycle that Maytag says can remove 99.9 percent of household bacteria. This unit is a smart model, so it’s possible to control the washer from anywhere, as well as troubleshoot some issues. It’s also Energy Star certified, so it can keep up with high demand without putting too much strain on utility bills.

Get the Maytag washing machine at Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Best Buy, or Maytag.

Energy-Efficient Pick

LG Single Unit Front Load WashTower

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Product Specs

  • Type: Front-load (wash tower with dryer)
  • Capacity: 4.5 cubic feet (washer) and 7.4 cubic feet (dryer)
  • Dimensions: 74.38 inches tall by 27 inches wide by 30.38 inches deep

Pros

  • A good energy-efficient pick; ranks highly among Energy Star–certified washers
  • Comes in tower design with dryer to save space in tight laundry rooms
  • Powerful steam technology in dryer can refresh items or sanitize pillows
  • Smart technology can detect fabric texture and load size

Cons

  • Some purchasers feel the washer could be more robust and rinse better

It’s no surprise that the LG WashTower is Energy Star certified, and it ranks highly among Energy Star picks. This single unit has a stacked washer and dryer, with a 4.5-cubic-foot washer and a 7.4-cubic-foot dryer. That’s plenty enough for many households, especially considering this machine’s performance.

On those rushed days, running this washer to clean large loads should take under 30 minutes thanks to five jets that use variable sprays to clean garments. The dryer’s TurboSteam technology can be used to refresh clothes between washes as well as sanitize soft items like pillows and stuffed toys. Another useful cycle on the washing machine is the Allergiene cycle, which removes up to 95 percent of common allergens like dust mites and pet hair (as a bonus, this machine is AAFA certified).

This washer is among LG’s smart picks. It has built-in fabric sensors that work with an AI system to customize wash settings. It detects the fabric texture and load size, then customizes the wash motions and dryer temperature. Of course, this smart appliance combo also connects to LG’s ThinQ app for remote control.

Get the LG WashTower washer/dryer at The Home Depot, Wayfair, Best Buy, or LG.

Stackable Pick

Electrolux 600 Series Front Load Washer and Dryer

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Product Specs

  • Type: Front-load
  • Capacity: 4.5 cubic feet (washer) and 8.0 cubic feet (dryer)
  • Dimensions: 38 inches tall by 27 inches wide by 32 inches deep

Pros

  • Boasts a few stain-fighting features, including SmartBoost, StainSoak, and Perfect Steam
  • Has an impressively quick Fast Wash cycle, completing the cycle in only 15 minutes
  • Also has settings for sanitizing, allergen, and pure rinsing, which is ideal for those with sensitivities

Cons

  • Some cycles are slow, despite having one of the quickest fast-wash cycles

Stackable washers and dryers are the best choice for tight spaces since they take up less floor space. Stackable washing machines are always front loading, which means they’re usually efficient and can come with all sorts of features. The Electrolux 600 series stackable washer and dryer is a powerful cleaner. Its SmartBoost feature premixes water and detergent before it enters the drum, which helps with stain removal. For really tough stains, the StainSoak option adds stain remover to the mix to pretreat. In addition, the model’s Perfect Steam feature uses steam to remove stains.

For cleaning whites, this machine has an Optic White cycle (Electrolux claims it works better than using a normal cycle with bleach). With all of these options, almost any load will come out fresh and stain-free. If worried about leftover detergent or fabric softener, the unit’s Pure Rinse option rinses even more thoroughly than an extra rinse cycle to make sure any residue is washed from clothes.

This machine has both a Sanitize and Allergen setting to remove germs and common allergens and boasts a 15-minute Fast Wash option. Along with all these great features, the Electrolux is Energy Star certified.

Get the Electrolux washer and dryer at Lowe’s (washer and dryer), or The Home Depot (washer and dryer), or Best Buy.

Smart Pick

Samsung Bespoke 5.3 cu. ft. Front Load Washer

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Product Specs

  • Type: Front-load
  • Capacity: 5.3 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 38.7 inches tall by 27 inches wide by 34.4 inches deep

Pros

  • Robust smart features: control, schedule, and monitor wash cycles, along with power usage
  • AI Smart Dial monitors laundry habits to recommend favorite cycles
  • Aesthetically pleasing; sleek look available in some unique colors

Cons

  • Fastest wash cycle takes 28 minutes, which is not impressive compared to others on the market

Even just judging by its name, the Samsung Bespoke washer sounds like a premium product. Judging by looks too, it’s a model as sleek as it is smart. Usual smart capabilities, like the ability to control and monitor cycles remotely, complement a few extra features as well. The SmartThings app makes it possible to start, stop, or delay the washer and to monitor and manage power usage. After analyzing habits, it will send tips and alerts to help save on the electric bill. One feature of this machine is the AI Smart Dial, which learns and then recommends most-used cycles.

It also gives users the ability to customize their cycle list.

This washing machine is another large-capacity pick, boasting a 5.3-cubic-foot capacity drum. With 24 wash cycles, it has plenty of settings to get a load of laundry nice and clean. A steam-clean setting helps to lift tough stains and to sanitize and remove allergens, depending on the chosen cycle. The Super Speed Wash option on this machine runs for 28 minutes; it’s slower than some of the other options on this list, but at least it’s easy to control from the app. Antimicrobial treatment and a self-clean cycle help keep the inside of the washer fresh. The cherry on top is that this machine is Energy Star certified.

Get the Samsung Bespoke washing machine at Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Abt, or Samsung.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Buying a Washing Machine

The Best Washing Machine Option
Photo: bestbuy.com

The perfect washer will fit its allotted spot, hold lots of dirty laundry, and have plenty of cleaning options for different fabrics and soils. Here’s what to factor into your search for the best washing machine for your space, stuff, and lifestyle.

Types of Washing Machines

Washing machines come in two basic forms: front-loading and top-loading. Top-load models were the standard for decades and still hold a strong place. Old-fashioned front-loaders had a reputation for maintenance problems and mildew growth, but the new crop has largely outsmarted these issues while packing in plenty of helpful technology.

Front-Loading Washer

Front-loaders clean more thoroughly and efficiently, using less water and electricity than top-loaders. Plus, front-loading washers remove more water at the end of the cycle. And if the units stack, they save space.

Unlike the twisting action of top-loading machines, front-loaders use a tumbling motion to clean laundry. No space is lost to the agitator, the vertical center arm that provides motion in many top-loading washers, so the whole interior is available for laundry. The tumbling action is gentler on clothing than an agitator, which can pull, twist, and snag. Front-loaders also require about 5 fewer gallons of water per load, which adds up to about 2,000 gallons per year.

The machine saves washing energy, plus it saves energy that other appliances use. A reduced water requirement translates to a reduction in hot water usage, so the water heater isn’t working as much. Also, because the washer removes more water from the clothes at the end of the cycle, the dryer doesn’t run as long.

On the downside, front-loaders are not as durable as top-loaders. Overloading the machine can wear out the rear bearing—the part that supports the weight and movement of the drum—which will mean a pricey repair bill if someone needs to fix the machine. They require more maintenance, such as cleaning the door and gasket after every use to ensure that mold, mildew, and odors don’t build up inside the drum or on the door. What’s more, anyone with back problems may find bending over to load and unload the washer uncomfortable.

Top-Loading Washer

Most folks find top-loading washers clean adequately and are pleased to avoid some of the maintenance issues associated with front-loaders. In some situations, opening the lid on a top-loading washing machine can be a smarter use of space than swinging open the front door of a front-loader. Also, they may be less of a back strain for some users.

High-efficiency machines, which use multidirectional washtub movement instead of an agitator, are the best bet for cleaning ability and water usage in the top-loading category. The wash cycle runs longer, but the energy and water savings are significant. By pretreating stains, top-loaders can produce similar cleaning results as front-loaders, but they cost less.

Size

While shopping for a washer, consider the dimensions of the laundry room or other space available for the machine. For a side-by-side washer-and-dryer setup, the minimum space requirement is 54 inches wide. Standard height ranges from 38 to 43 inches, and depths between 28 and 34 inches.

Compact washers measure about 24 inches wide, while standard machines are 26 inches or wider. If space is limited, a compact washing machine may be the best choice. Compact washers are about the size of a dishwasher and fit within various cabinet configurations.

Capacity

Washer capacity refers to the internal volume of the drum. The size determines the amount of laundry that can wash per load. For one or two people, a small- to medium-size washer, with a capacity of 1.8 to 3.5 cubic feet, is ideal. Families need the larger 3.6- to 5.1-cubic-foot capacity of a large washing machine.

The washing machines with the highest drum capacity are front-loaders, mostly between 4.2 and 4.5 cubic feet. Some go as high as 5-plus cubic feet. Top-loaders range from 3.1 to 4.0 cubic feet. Compact washing machines have a capacity of just over 1.5 cubic feet.

Configuration

Washer/dryer combinations can be configured either side by side or stacked. In stacked combos, the heavier washer supports the dryer. Stacked units save floor space but require bending and reaching to access the front-loading machines. Also, the swinging front doors don’t work with every floor plan.

Side-by-side washers and dryers offer the flexibility to use either front-loading or top-loading washing machines. In this configuration, front-loading washers can be placed on a pedestal for easier access without bending.

Options for Cycles

The basic washing machine cycle is wash-soak-rinse-spin, but plenty of additional cycles are available. Older machines used mechanical controls to select for water temperature, water level, wash action, and runtime. Most current models use electronic programs that conserve water and energy while providing a better-quality wash. The following are the cycles to look for in your next washer.

  • Normal Wash: This is the go-to setting for normally soiled cotton and linen fabrics like mixed garments and sheets. It uses warm water and a high spin rate for maximum efficiency.
  • Cold Water Wash: Cold water is the key to avoiding fading in dark-colored clothing and retaining brightness of bright-colored linens, casual clothes, and mixed loads. It is also the choice for lifting cold water stains like blood and toothpaste. It uses additional wash action with a cold water wash and rinse. Some washers feature separate cycles for “colors” and “darks” that may have subtle differences.
  • Whites: The “white fabrics” cycle uses hot water and automatically dispenses chlorine bleach at the right time.
    Heavy-Duty: Sturdy, colorfast items like jeans and towels sometimes need intense cleaning. The “heavy-duty” cycle uses extra wash action and hot water to aggressively break down dirt. Some machines also have a “towels” cycle.
  • Wrinkle Control: Choose this cycle to wash button-down shirts, professional clothing, linens, synthetic blend active wear and non-iron clothing, and any garment with “permanent press” on the tag. These cycles use a low-speed wash and medium spin rate with warm water. They’re also called “permanent press” and “casuals.”
  • Delicate: The delicate cycle combines gentle wash action with a low spin rate in cold water. Use it for lightly soiled sweaters, wool, delicates, machine-washable lace and silk, and anything with “gentle” on the tag. It may also be listed as the “gentle” or “hand-wash” cycle.
  • Bulky: Use this setting for coats and jackets, bedding, and small rugs. It is a warm water cycle that uses a modified washing action to reduce tangling. The “bulky” cycle may also be called the “bedding” or “sheets” cycle.
  • Rinse and Spin: Use this quick, cold water cycle for items that need a rinse without detergent, such as swimsuits, or as an add-on for items that may need an additional rinse.
  • Sanitize: This is a hot or extra hot water cycle for items that need to be sanitized. It may require a special detergent for full effect.
  • Deep-Water Wash: Some washers offer this cycle for heavily soiled casual and mixed loads. It uses additional water and robust washing action in warm water.

Water and Energy Efficiency

While part of a washing machine’s cost is the upfront price, a much larger aspect is the operating expense. Using 40 gallons or more of water per load, a washing machine quickly adds to the monthly water bill. Much of that water must be heated first, increasing the gas or electricity bill as well. To greatly reduce the overall cost of owning a washer, look for a water- and energy-efficient model.

Older washing machines used between 30 and 45 gallons of water per load. Modern high-efficiency washers fill and use from 15 to 30 gallons only to wash the same amount of laundry. The high-efficiency benchmark is now 5 gallons per cubic foot of capacity. A highly efficient 3.5-cubic foot washer uses about 17.5 gallons of water per load.

To make it simple, look for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star insignia. Energy Star-certified appliances are proven to operate 10 to 20 percent more efficiently than their non–Energy Star peers. Additionally, the Consortium for Energy Efficiency’s Super Efficient Home Appliance Initiative provides tiered ratings. Tier I is approximately equivalent to Energy Star qualification. Washing machines with higher tier ratings, up to Tier 4, show increasing levels of efficiency.

Other Conveniences

The newest washing machines offer loads of technological conveniences to make laundry day easier. Look for upgrades such as:

  • Reversible door for convenient setup on either side of the dryer
  • Speed wash cycle
  • Automated water level
  • Scheduled cycle start
  • Interior light
  • Ventilation system and maintenance cycle to keep the machine clean and fresh
  • Wi-Fi connectivity and app for remote operation
  • Compatibility with smart-home devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Automatic detergent dispenser
  • Fresh-hold laundry ventilation system that ventilates clean laundry while in the drum, keeping it fresh until it’s unloaded
  • Dryer capability that allows the washer to double as a dryer (for small loads)

FAQs  

Some households use their washer once a week, and others every day. No matter how often you use it, you might still have questions about this laundry room workhorse. After all, it’s an appliance that should last you a decade with the proper maintenance and cleaning. We’ve answered some frequently asked questions ahead to help.

Q. Which brand of washing machine is the most reliable?

It’s difficult to choose one single “most reliable” brand—dependability can vary from model to model across brands. We have compiled a list of the best washing machine brands to shop from. Many have made themselves household names for having reliable products, and you likely won’t go too wrong if you choose a highly rated product from one of these top companies.

Q. Which is better: a top-loading or front-loading washing machine?

Front-loaders tend to have a better rep for more efficient and effective cleaning. Still, there are  great top-loading washers on the market, and some are Energy Star certified and powerful cleaners. Ultimately, choose one according to your preferences—you are the one who has to use it, after all!

Q. Is a washer better with or without an agitator?

Newer top-loading washers tend to have an impeller instead of an agitator. There are a few benefits to impellers: They tend to be less rough on the laundry, don’t take up as much space in the washer drum, run more quietly, and can use less water to wash loads. Impellers generally perform better than agitators, but for those who like a traditional agitator machine, there are still options available.

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Mark Wolfe

Staff Writer

Mark Wolfe is a second-career freelance writer based in Georgia and has an extensive background in the horticulture industry. Since 2020, he has contributed numerous gardening and home improvement articles to BobVila.com, along with a variety of consumer product reviews.

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