How much should you spend on a washer? You don’t have to pay $1,500 to get a washer that cleans well. Expensive washers offer a jumbo capacity and extra features, but if you don’t need to wash 26 pounds of laundry in one load and using your phone to check your laundry’s progress from Starbucks isn’t a priority, then take a look at these washers from Consumer Reports’ tests. They get the job done and cost $800 or less.
Compared to agitator washers, HE top-loaders typically clean better, use less water, and spin at higher speeds so more water is extracted and dryer time is shortened. But the high-speed spin can tangle and wrinkle clothing and normal wash time using the heavy-soil setting is usually 60 to 80 minutes. Save time by using the normal wash on normal-soil setting. It’s also known as the medium-soil or mid-soil setting.
Consider: LG WT7500CW, $800, Kenmore 28132, $700, Kenmore 26132, $550, Kenmore 27132, $600, LG WT5480CW, $600, Kenmore 29132, $800, Maytag Bravos MVWB835DW, $800, and the LG WT5270CW, $720. They have large capacities, were impressive at cleaning, and most are relatively quiet as you’ll see in our washing machine ratings. But like most top-loaders they weren’t so gentle on fabrics. Check our washing machine ratings for other models under $800 to consider.
Tip: Your laundry will tangle less if you wash similar items together rather than dump everything into the machine at once. Add a few items at a time and unbunch sleeves, pant legs, and socks. Shake them out before you put them in the dryer, and if you’re not sure an HE top-loader is for you, read “5 Reasons to Buy an HE Top-Loader.”
The best we tested clean better than most of the top-scoring HE top-loaders and use less water. Most front-loaders are gentle on fabrics, and relatively quiet. The washing machine ratings offer the details. Wash times range from 70 to 110 minutes using the heavy-soil setting, so use the normal-soil setting to save time. Front-loaders spin even faster than HE top-loaders, usually extracting more water and reducing dryer time. For all their advantages, front-loaders have their drawbacks, like every washer type. Some readers say that mold buildup continues to be a problem in front-loaders.
Consider: Maytag Maxima MHW5500FW, $800, LG WM8500HVA, $800, Maytag MHW3505FW, $650, Samsung WF50K7500AW, $800, Whirlpool WFW75HEFW, $720, LG WM3670HWA, $700, Kenmore 41262, $600, and the Samsung WF42H5600AW, $720. You’ll see other washers for $800 or less that are also impressive in our washer ratings.
Tip: A front-loader’s high spin speeds might vibrate too much for the machine to be placed near a bedroom or family room, but keep in mind that concrete floors can absorb vibrations well, unlike wood-framed floors. You’ll see vibration scores in our ratings.
If what you really want is an agitator top-loader, you’ll see 25 in our washing machine ratings. Consider the Kenmore 22242, $480, Maytag MVWB765FW, $800, Maytag MVWC416FW, $400, and several others. Love Speed Queen? You’ll see Speed Queen in our ratings of agitator top-loaders and front-loaders. Our washing machine ratings tell the whole story. We rate washing performance, energy- and water efficiency, gentleness, noise, vibration, and cycle time (normal wash on heavy-soil setting). Claimed capacity is stated in cubic feet. The best matching washers and dryers helps you zero in on sets, and our washer buying guide is good way to compare washer types and learn about all the features.
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