An excellent washing machine may make the distinction between looking great on your favorite outfit or squandering time scrubbing stains by hand. That’s the reason why we’ve tested nearly three hundred washers and dryers in our labs in Cambridge, MA. We searched for models that clean and dry the best, help clothes last longer, and don’t waste time or resources.
This machine checks off all the boxes: It’s an excellent stain remover, versatile enough to clean almost any load of laundry and gently handle different fabrics. Some nice features help avoid odor and mold issues, and it seems to be one of the more reliable full-size front-loaders you can buy at this time. The noise and vibrations are low, the wash capacity is high, and even gimmicky-sounding features like TurboWash and a built-in water heater are useful.
Washer and dryer pairs are a favorite choice, although some don’t make a fantastic couple. Their coordinating style makes a statement, but you are going to question how a terrific washer and a noisy dryer that’s tough on clothes ended up together. Enter the matchmaker.
Technology enhancements make cleaning your clothes less of a chore than ever thanks to features like: High-pressure cycles which rapidly clean clothes in almost half the time than your average washer, vibration-reduction technology so your downstairs neighbors won’t kill you in the event that you tackle a lot of late-night laundry, and NSF-certified allergen and sanitize cycle, eliminating the household bacteria that challenge your allergies. So if you’re looking for a high-powered machine that’ll remove the worst of stains and get your clothes looking fresh, these front- and top-loading washers are the answer.
Kenmore 41262 4.5 cu. ft. Front-Load Washer
Best for All-Around Versatility
Not only does this machine have eight different wash cycles, it also has a quick-add option for those last minute forgotten items. You’re going to get loads of use out of its express cycle, which is very good for gently-worn laundry that just needs a quick refresh. Additionally, it delivers a delayed start time option for when you suddenly realize you’ve got an errand to run and you don’t want your clothes sitting in the drum for hours before you’re back.
Maytag MHW5500FW 4.5 cu. ft. Front Load Washer
Best for Linens and Heavy Duty Loads
If ever there’s a case in which you have to wash 29 towels at once, this washing machine will fit all these! It’s literally huge, and its Power Wash cycle will diminish stains and eliminate grime with no extra work on your part. Additionally, it has a Fresh Hold setting that circulates air for up to 12 hours following your cycle is done, so in the event that you forget to switch the laundry over, it won’t get that weird musty smell overnight.
LG WM8100HVA 29-Inch Front Load Steam Washing Machine
Best for Pristine, Wrinkle-Free Results
Short on time? This washing machine’s high-pressure nozzle blasts through your dirtiest loads of laundry (read: kids’ play clothes) in 30 minutes less than your ordinary washer. Steam-clean technology not only gently washes your clothes, but also smooths out wrinkles. We think we’re prepared to retire our steam iron.
It only gets better thanks to the Cold Wash technology, which uses cold water and super-enhanced washing motions to dig deeply into fabrics without damaging them. Plus, enjoy the all the money you’ll save by using cold water without compromising warm-water performance. Win/win.
Samsung WA48J7700AW 4.8 Cubic Feet High-Efficiency Top Load Washer
Best for Efficiently Pre-Treating Stains
Say goodbye to soaking your stained clothes in the kitchen sink like a Flintstone, and say hello to easily pre-washing directly in the flip-up built-in sink with a water jet and a scrubbing board like the true Jetson you are. This futuristic, yet affordable, washer has 11 washing cycles which range from normal, heavy-duty, permanent press, bedding (!), Activewear (!!), waterproof (!!!), delicates, and more.
How We Test Washers and Dryers
Along with washing performance Consumer Reports’ washing machine tests look at how gentle a washing machine is on fabric in addition to its power and water efficiency. We look at noise and vibration, and note cycle times using the standard wash, heavy-soil setting. We no longer score capacity since readers said they wish to determine how important that is in them. We do tell you claimed capacity in cubic feet. In our clothes dryer tests we run the machines with different sized loads and a variety of fabrics. We also measure noise, and note convenience.