The idea of scouring the internet for the perfect washing machine may sound like a daunting task. Out of all of your home appliances, a washing machine is often the most frequently used tool. Needless to say, this purchase is important!
You want a machine that will last you years if not a full decade with little to no maintenance. But, with so many options on the market, how do you choose? The last thing you want is to get stuck with a sub-par machine and a hefty repair bill.
When choosing a washing machine for home purchase, you may want to avoid Whirlpool, Samsung, and Costway brands. Whirlpool and Samsung models are notoriously testy and require frequent repair. Costway washing machines are positively affordable, but their compact size is not practical for higher volumes of laundry.
Before choosing which washing machine to purchase, it is helpful to understand the different types of machines. You will also need a better understanding of the key features to look for when choosing a machine.
Table of Contents
- Types of Washing Machines
- Front-Loading Washing Machines
- Top-Loading Washing Machines
- What Should I look for When Buying a Washing Machine?
- Washing Machine Brands to Avoid
- What Brand of Washing Machine is Most Reliable?
- Related Questions
Types of Washing Machines
There are two types of washing machines: front-loading and top-loading. Both types of machines have their pros and their cons.
When choosing the best washing machine for your home, it is best to understand the benefits of each type. This will help you feel more confident in your washing machine purchase.
Front-Loading Washing Machines
Front-loading washing machines are characterized by a door on the front of the machine. The user has to bend down to open the door and place the laundry load inside.
Benefits of Front-Loading Machines
Energy Efficiency: Front-load washing machines are more energy-efficient than top-loading machines. This style of washing machine requires less water per load.
Space Saver: If space is limited in your home, a front-loading machine is a great option. Most front-loading machines have the option to stack with their dryer counterpart. This feature is beneficial for townhouses, condos, or apartment homes that do not have a designated laundry room.
Drawbacks of Front-Loading Machines
May Require a Pedestal: The downside of a front-loading machine, as mentioned above, is that a front-loading machine requires bending down to insert laundry. Should you suffer from back problems, or if you have limited mobility, this style may not work for you. Most manufacturers offer pedestals as a potential solution to this issue. You can place a pedestal underneath the machine to heighten the door level.
Potential Mold: Another downside that is not present with top-loading machines is the potential for mold growth and foul odor. Water from front-loading washing machines tends to puddle in-door crevices, in the drum or in the detergent dispenser. If you do not regularly clean your machine, this could cause a health hazard.
Compared to top-loading washing machines, front-loaders have a shorter lifespan, which should factor into your purchasing decision.
Top-Loading Washing Machines
Top-loading washing machines have a door on top of the machine. This type of machine is a more traditional option and works in homes with more laundry room space. Most homeowners prefer this type of machine to the front-loading options.
Benefits of Top-Loading Machines
Less Risk for Mold: A top-loading machine drains water downwards. This feature prevents pools of water from forming in the tub like front-loading machines. As a result, top-loading machines tend to be a cleaner option overall. It is still recommended to wash the tub and dispenser of your washing machine once per month for optimum cleanliness.
Larger Tub Size: The tub of a top-loading machine tends to be slightly larger than many front-loading machine models. If your volume of laundry is slightly larger, you may want to choose a top-loading model.
Drawbacks of Top-Loading Machines
Energy Consumption: The downside of top-loading washing machines is their energy usage. Top-loaders tend to use more water than front-loading machines. As a result, your electricity bill may be slightly higher than if you chose a front-load model.
What Should I look for When Buying a Washing Machine?
There are many factors to consider when choosing a washing machine. From size and build to energy efficiency and cost, you want to make the right decision for your home.
Below are a few of the key factors to consider when purchasing a washing machine. Establishing definitive answers to each category will help you make the best choice.
Both size of the machine and the size of the tub are important factors to consider when purchasing a washing machine.
It is recommended to measure your laundry room space and keep these numbers handy while shopping. Washing machines generally range from 24 to 27 inches. Make sure the machine you choose will fit in the designated space. If you are choosing a front-loading machine and plan to stack, make sure to factor the height of both machines.
A larger tub size is key if you have a higher volume of laundry from additional household members. You may also need a larger tub if you plan to frequently wash larger home items like curtains or washable rugs.
You may want to choose a washing machine with a variety of preset functions and cycles to meet your personal needs.
Consider the materials of your clothes. If you have a closet full of silks, cashmere, linen, or other delicate materials, a hand-wash cycle will keep clothes intact.
If you have kids that play sports or participate in a lot of dirty activities, a presoak cycle is helpful. You may also want a longer wash option or an auto-adjusting temperature feature. Cold wash temperatures below 60 degrees will not effectively dissolve powder detergent, if this is your preference.
If, however, you only have lightly used or soiled garments, you need a quick wash cycle option. Or, if you frequently wash heavy, bulky items, you may want extended spin to ensure drainage of extra water.
You must consider the design of your laundry room or the location where you will place your washing machine and dryer.
If you have limited space, a stackable front-loading washing machine is the best space saver. You must also consider the location of walls or doors in your room that could block the washing machine door from opening properly. You certainly don’t want to be stuck with a machine that blocks a doorway or hits the wall when opened.
Not all users are concerned with power consumption and energy efficiency. If this is important to you, you may want to choose a power-efficient washing machine. You can identify low energy machines by looking for the Energy Star label from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The Energy Star label ensures that your machine meets the government’s standard of energy consumption. Machines with this stamp of approval may also offer a rebate of up to $300 if you live in a qualified state.
You can visit the Energy Star rebate finder website to see what rebates you qualify for based on your zip code. This does not just apply to washing machines, but also appliances like furnaces, water heaters, and more.
Purchasing a washing machine requires some future planning. How long do you plan to keep your washing machine? If you are purchasing a washing machine and dryer for your home, how long do you plan on living there?
If your intention is to move in a few years, you may want to spend less than $500 on a washing machine. However, if you plan to live in your current home for many years, a larger investment makes sense.
Washing Machine Brands to Avoid
We scoured popular websites that sell home appliances to find brands with poor customer reviews. The following brands have multiple models with 3-star reviews or lower on Home Depot, Lowe’s, Best Buy, and Costco online shops.
You may be surprised to find popular brands like Whirlpool and Samsung on this list. This list was developed as a cautionary tale rather than a “do not buy” list. The brands on this list have many additional models that are rated with 4 or 5 stars.
We recommend that you do further research on the particular models you are interested in with the following brands. Reading online reviews and talking with store specialists will help you make the best decision for your home.
After reviewing hundreds of reviews on home appliance websites, we found the Whirlpool 3.1 cu. ft. front load commercial coin-operated machine and the 2.3 cu. ft. front load compact washing machine to be the lowest-rated models.
With the Whirlpool 3.1 cu. Model, users stated that the coin box broke soon after purchase which prevented the machine from working. Other users stated that the machine showed an error code that was not covered in the user manual. These issues lead to long conversations with customer service and high repair costs over time.
The 2.3 cu. Whirlpool model costs $1,149, but the reviews do not prove its worth. A majority of the negative reviews claimed that this model needed repair after less than 50 washes.
Models with Negative Reviews
- Whirlpool – 3.3 cu. ft. White Commercial Top Load Washing Machine
- Whirlpool – 2.8 cu. ft. Cashmere 240-Volt Ventless Smart All-In-One Washer Dryer Combo
- Whirlpool 5.3-cu ft Smart Capable High-Efficiency Top-Load Washer with Load and Go Dispenser
- Whirlpool 1.9-cu ft High-Efficiency Stackable Front-Load Washer ENERGY STAR
- Whirlpool – 4.3 Cu. Ft. 35-Cycle High-Efficiency Front-Loading Washer
The consensus from customer reviews is that Whirlpool customer service is difficult to deal with. Customers also claim that the repair costs for issues with their Whirlpool washing machines rack up to almost the cost of the machine.
If you are looking for a washing machine with longevity and low maintenance requirements, you may want to avoid the Whirlpool brand.
Generally speaking, Samsung washing machines are efficient and worth the cost. However, there are 2 models in particular that were rated poorly on Home Depot and Lowe’s websites.
The Samsung – 6.0 Total cu. ft. High-Efficiency FlexWash Washer and the Samsung – 5.5 Total cu. ft. High-Efficiency FlexWash Washer had ratings of 3.6 and 3.5 stars, respectively. Both models connect to your mobile device for operation. Reviews did not identify the mobile connectivity as an issue.
Quality attribute ratings on both models were rated low. Customers spoke negatively about the repair costs claiming they ranged from $1,000 to $2,000 for seemingly small parts.
The feature options on Samsung models are highly rated, however. Samsung washing machines are notoriously high tech and robust. The FlexWash feature on both machines allows users to wash two separate loads at the same time. This feature was highly rated on customer reviews.
Models with 4.5 Star Rating
The following Samsung washing machines are ranked with 4.5 stars and over 1,000 reviews each on Home Depot online. These models seem to have a unanimous approval:
- Samsung 4.5 cu. Ft. High-Efficiency Platinum Front Load Washing Machine with Steam, Energy Star
- Samsung 5.0 cu. Ft. Hi-Efficiency Fingerprint Resistant Black Stainless Top Load Washing Machine
A Samsung washing machine may be an option for you if you want many features and do not mind a high repair cost. The mobile connectivity and FlexWash are interesting features that may appeal to high-tech users.
Costway offers portable, compact washing machines. This brand is specially developed for compact spaces and easy mobility.
The Costway – 15 in. 1.4 cu. ft. High-Efficiency 120-Volt Smart Portable Top Load Washing Machine with Steam ENERGY STAR and the Costway – 14 in. 1.6 cu. ft. Portable Top Load Washing Machine Mini Compact Washer Dryer are low rated online.
Both machines require users to shut off the water during each load since these models do not have an auto shut-off feature. Both the 15in and the 14in models come with drain tubes. Users must also drain dirty water after each load.
Customer reviews for Costway washing machines spoke negatively about the compact size. Many users claimed that the machine was unable to reach a water source, which made it impossible to use. Users also shared that drainage was a complicated process.
High Rated Models
The Costway 19 in. W 1.34 cu. ft. Smart Portable Top Load Washing Machine Spin Compact Washer is a highly rated model. At 4 stars and $299, this model seems to work well with customers. Users do recommend that you purchase your own hose from a home improvement store. The provided hose may not reach the water source effectively.
The 15 in. and 19 in. Costway models are not available in California. If you are a California resident, these models are not available to you. If you are in need of a compact model for either mobile living or a tiny home, Costway is great.
It is important to keep in mind that Costway machines will require action on your part to complete your laundry load. Without a water auto shut-off feature, it is imperative that you stay by your machine. If you fail to do so, you risk flooding your room or your home.
What Brand of Washing Machine is Most Reliable?
When choosing a washing machine brand for your home, you want a machine that is reliable. You may also want to choose a brand that has low maintenance and maintenance costs.
LG, Maytag, and GE brands are considered the most reliable brands for washing machines. Read on to learn why each brand is a consumer favorite.
LG is a South Korean electronics brand established in the 1950s. The LG brand offers products from cell phones and TV’s to solar panels and air purifiers. LG is considered the top washing machine brand on the market as rated by consumers. LG offers both top-loading and front-loading washing machine models with a variety of cycle options.
The washing machine and dryer designs offered by LG are sleek and uncomplicated. Most LG machines have Energy Star seals, which means they are effectively energy efficient. LG washing machines range from $600 to $4,000 and offer a range of cycle options based on your needs.
Maytag is an American company that manufactures their products in the United States and Mexico. The brand was established in the late 1800’s and acquired by Whirlpool in 2006.
Maytag provides a variety of top-loading and front-loading washing machine models. Many of the Maytag models are rated 5 stars by customers who rave about the brand’s reliability and consumer-friendly machines.
The Maytag 4.7 cu. ft. Smart Capable Top Load Washing Machine is the highest-ranked model. This model offers a remote start so that you can operate your machine from anywhere using the Maytag app. The Advanced Vibration Control on this model also reduces the sound of the machine to ensure quiet operation.
Maytag dryers are also very highly ranked on home appliance websites. They offer stackable washer and dryer combos if you want to save space.
GE washing machines are consistently ranked the highest washing machines on home appliance websites. General Electric is an American technology company that produces kitchen and home appliances among other technology products.
GE offers a variety of washing machine models that range from simplistic design and function to high-tech Odor Block and vent systems. The GE 5.0 cu. ft. Front Load Washing Machine with OdorBlock UltraFresh Vent System, for example, is rated 4.7 with over 1,000 reviews with a 94% approval rating.
You will find it difficult to find a GE washing machine with bad customer reviews. GE is certainly one of the most reliable washing machine brands on the market.
Which type of washing machine is better? Front-loading or top-loading?
Front-loading washing machines tend to outperform top-loading washing machines by a fraction. Also, front-loading washing machines are more energy-efficient using the least amount of water per load. A front-load washing machine also has stackable functionality, which is a great space saver.
What are the best brands for washing machines?
The best brands for washing machines are generally Maytag, LG Electronics, SpeedQueen, and Amana.
Do I need an extended warranty on my washing machine?
You may want to purchase an extended warranty if you are not experienced with simple washing machine repairs. Make sure to look for free warranties before you make a purchase of an extended warranty. Your credit card may offer perks that include extended warranties.
What washing machine brand lasts the longest?
Speed Queen is considered the most reliable washing machine brand on the market. While their machines are aesthetically minimalist, the Speed Queen machines can last up to 25 years. Speed Queen dryers are similarly built and can last just as long.
How long should a washing machine last?
On average, your washing machine should last around 14 years at around 5-7 loads per week. This would total 2,800 to 3,900 total loads of wash. If you do more than 7 loads per week, your washing machine will have a shorter lifespan.