Best Washing Machine Buying Guide

There is no escaping dirty laundry, but a reliable washing machine that gently cleans clothes for years to come eases your load. Here’s how to find the best washing machine for your budget and needs. Washers sell for around $275 to $2,500, depending on the type, capacity, and features. And while doing laundry may be a mundane task, best budget washer dryer , the washer aisle is anything but boring.

You’ll see multitasking machines that allow you to wash two loads at once, all-in-one front loaders that go straight into dryer mode, pod-dispensing front-loaders, built-in pretreat features, and more. Buying a matching washer-and-dryer set remains popular. The coordinated styling makes a statement, but not all couples make a great pair. “The Best Matching Washers and Dryers” highlights the best from our tests. Want to save money? Read “Laundry Products that Waste Loads of Money.”

Lab-Tested for Your Home

To find out how well each washer cleans, CR's testers use a spectrocolorimeter to analyze fabric swatches stained with red wine, cocoa, and carbon (which is similar to soot), among other stains, before and after washing. The lighter the stain after laundering, the higher the machine scores in cleaning. This test is meant to challenge the washer so that we can see real differences among the samsung dryer maintenance .

A washer that cleans well but is tough on fabrics is no dream machine, so we evaluate how gentle a washer is on fabrics. Testers record the amount of water and energy the machine uses, and the energy needed to dry laundry. We measure how much vibration the washer transmits to a wood floor. And because some machines are noisy, it’s good to know that before you buy, so our panelists judge the washer’s noise levels during the fill, agitate/tumble, drain, and spin cycles.

Washing Machine Types

Every type has its advantages and drawbacks. Do you prefer loading laundry from the top of a washing machine rather than bending to load a front-loader? A pedestal boosts a front-loader’s height—making loading easier—but you’ll pay $250 or more for the convenience.Whatever you’re considering, know that washers with a capacity of more than 4.5 cubic feet readily fit a king-size comforter in our tests.

And if the warranty matters, most tested full-sized machines come with a one-year warranty on parts and labor. Speed Queen, however, offers warranties ranging from three to seven years. You’ll see capacity and warranty information in our washing machine ratings. The pros and cons below refer to the washer types as a group, based on our testing. There are exceptions, which you’ll see in the ratings.

Size Up Your Space

Bigger capacities often result in a washer that’s 2 or 3 inches wider than the usual 27 inches; same with dryers. Measure the space you have to work with and allow at least 6 inches behind the washer for water hookups, and about an inch between the washer and dryer. Measure the doors to your home to make sure a new washer can fit through them. Check dimensions in the washing machine ratings, and note which front-loaders can be stacked with a matching dryer. If space is tight, also consider the compact washers we tested.

If a quiet machine matters, consider washers that scored Very Good or better in our noise tests. You’ll know they’re working, but they shouldn’t disturb you. And while most manufacturers have reduced the vibrations that full-sized front-loaders transmit to the floor, take a close look at vibration scores in our washing machine ratings.

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