The latest in front loading washers is an optional steam cycle. A sanitize cycle is often associated with this feature. The washer has a built-in water heater which raises the water temperature hot enough to kill 99.9 % of germs and bacteria in your wash. Most washers with this feature will only hold the water at an extreme temperature for several minutes, just long enough to sanitize, then will reduce to a more gentle temperature so the fabrics are not damaged. This cycle will disinfect, but it will also activate the detergent more to remove more stains and dirt.
As far as steam goes, it may be one of the best inventions to happen to laundry. Hate to iron? Now you won't need to. Just toss your clothes in on the steam cycle and they will be refreshed and wrinkle-free. You may also like the fact that if you wear a nice shirt/dress out, just toss it in on the steam cycle at the end of the evening to remove any food or smoke odors along with removing the wrinkles. Washers with the steam cycle are typically about $100- $200 more than non steam models.
Frigidaire is among our least repaired brands that we currently offer. Read Least Service/ Most Reliable Brands. This brand has been in operation since 1918. From the early years to the late 70’s, they were owned by General Motors and has been under ownership by Electrolux since the early 1990s. Electrolux is a Swedish multi-national home appliance manufacturer headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. It is the world's second-largest home appliance maker by revenue (after Whirlpool). Frigidaire claims to be the 1st manufacturer of the room A/C and 30” electric range. They currently manufacture in the US and northern Mexico.
Whirlpool has been around since 1911. Whirlpool and has had a great history in the US with brand reliability. It also fell among our least repaired brands. Based in Benton Charter Township, Michigan, this company is listed in Fortune 500. They have an annual revenue of approximately $18.4 billion and more than 70,000 employees. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, and Amana. After acquiring the Maytag Corporation on March 31, 2006, the Whirlpool Corporation surpassed Electrolux to become "the largest home appliance maker in the world". Whirlpool has manufacturing facilities in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Amana, Iowa; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Cleveland, Tennessee; Ohio (Clyde, Findlay, Greenville, Marion and Ottawa). They are the largest manufacturer building within the US (we think it is important).
Within these brands we have the two largest manufacturers of appliances in the world as Frigidaire is owned by Electrolux.
The Frigidaire is a great bang for the buck, but you would be lucky to fit anything beyond a queen sized comforter inside. It does have an inexpensive feel/design compared to the other two. Although considered by many to be an entry level brand, this model includes many features that would typically be seen only in $1000 washers.
Electrolux has been consistent with their design for at least 6 years, allowing for a premium product at a lower price. It’s the only washer in North America to have a reversible door. I’m also a fan of its larger capacity. Even if your load is small, the large capacity in the Electrolux or the Whirlpool allow for a better tumble/wash action. If you’re looking to be able to tackle small loads rather quickly the Electrolux features an 18 minute fast wash, which is good for two shirts and two pairs of pants.
Whirlpool tends to change their models about every two years to keep things fresh and exciting. However their newest model feels almost identical to their last. It certainly has the most premium look of the majority of washers out there. Last year’s model was a favorite among consumer magazines.
At any given time these brands may offer extra rebates for buying the matching dryer. All three washers offer pedestals to raise the washer off the ground and offer ample storage for detergents and such. You may also stack them atop each other.
Between these washers it’s not a case of you get what you for pay for, I personally feel that all three models are the best in their respective price ranges. In terms of versatility I have to say the Electrolux is the way to go. It features size, steam as well as no useless extra frills well below $1000.
Read the Yale Washing Machine Buyers Guide with comparisons of top, front and hybrid washers plus a simple guide to understanding the latest washing machines. Well over 15,000 people have read a Yale Guide.
Rick Medeiros has over 6 years of appliances sales experience and is in the appliance sales department at Yale Appliance + Lighting. He enjoys travelling, live music and learning to play the guitar.