It can be confusing to buy a front load washer.
Our recommendations have changed almost every 90 days depending on the manufacturer, the fluctuating prices, and the availability of the product.
Best Front Load Washers:
At a Glance
- Best Front Load Washing Machines
- Best Front Load Laundry Pairs
- Are Front Load Washers Reliable?
- Which Front Load Washer Should You Buy?
- How to Buy a Front Load Washer
- Cycles and Features
- When is the best time to buy a
front load washer?
- Our Final Advice for Buying a
Front Load Washer
- Frequently Asked Questions
About Front Load Washers
Laundry has been affected more by tariffs than any other product sold in this country leading to price changes within the last 6 months.
In fact, laundry prices have increased 20-40% in the last 20 years.
LG and Samsung were hit with dumping tariffs, and every brand has been affected by the steel and aluminum tariffs.
In this article, you will learn about the best front load washers to consider, their features, the best prices, and the new tariff (tax on imported and exported goods) implications now and in the future.
You will also learn when the best time to buy laundry is as well.
This will be a long article, so click on the table of contents to skip around to what you want to learn.
Best Front Load Washers
Front load washers offer a high spin speed, larger sizes - almost double of a top load - and better electrical and water efficiency.Short on time? Get our free Washing Machine Buying Guide
This, in turn, reduces drying time, so you save by washing more clothes with less energy.
Almost all the brands below have an abundant number of cycles and features. Every unit has 5 speeds and different temperature selections for every fabric type.
Back when I started, you only had 1 speed and three temperatures to select from.
Let’s take a look at the best washing machines and pairs you should consider. Then we will describe the features
LG WM3500CW - $809.99
- 4.5 cu. ft. Ultra Large Capacity
- SmartThinQ(R) Technology
- LG SideKick Compatible
- 6Motion Technology
- TubClean Cycle
Why You Should Consider the LG WM3500CW:
First, its $699 with good features. It doesn’t have extra features like steam but has plenty of cycles and options.
It's also less deep at 30.625 inches. This machine is a great consideration if you want to place it in a tighter space like a closet.
Samsung WF45R6300AW - $899.99
- Super Speed - Fast, thorough washing in just 30 minutes
- Bixby Enabled - Chooses the optimal cycle and notifies you when it's complete.
Why you should consider the Samsung WF45R6300AW:
It has a 36-minute full wash cycle. Others have 15-18 cycles, but only for small loads.
You also have a soak cycle. This is designed to loosen up stains.
Soak and steam should power out tough stains. This new Samsung washer is reputed to be extremely quiet. They claim 40% - we will have to test that.
It’s the most reliable technically at less than 5% service within the first year. (LG had a similar repair rate with many more sold).
Editor's Note: Most of the complaints against LG and Samsung relate to lack of service when there is an issue. You should ask who will be repairing your laundry or any appliances before you buy them.
LG WM4370HKA - $1,169.99
- 4.5 cu. ft. Ultra Large Capacity with NeveRust Stainless Steel Drum
- Direct Drive Motor with 10-Year Limited Warranty
- Control Panel with Dual LED Display and Dial-A-Cycle
- TurboWash(R) Technology
- LG SideKick Compatible
Why You Should Consider the LG WM4370:
This is the most popular LG. Like the less expensive machine, it is shallower...which is better
It also has plenty of specialty cycles for you to wash in every conceivable way. It has a few cycles designed for speed, allergens, and one to clean the washer itself.
Maytag MHW8630HC - $1,129.99
- Most Powerful Cleaning in the industry driven by the Heavy Duty cycle + Extra Power button
- Extra Power Button
- Smart Appliance
- 24 Hr Fresh Hold(R) Option
- Optimal Dose Dispenser
- Quick Wash Cycle
- Sanitize Cycle
Why You Should Consider the Maytag MHW8630FW:
This is the best selling Maytag washer (and Whirlpool who is the actual manufacturer).
It has every cycle including steam. It also has a “Fresh Hold” option which will rotate the machine to keep clothes fresh in case you are not around to unload them.
The detergent dispenser will hold up to 12 loads, so you do not have to reload after each wash.
Maytag also features an overnight cycle. Add your gym clothes, an outfit or a small load and it will be washed and dried the next morning.
In terms of reliability, Maytag, along with Whirlpool, is average at a 13.88% service rate within the first year. Their parts turn around and support is better than their competition, so problems are solved faster.
Best Front Load Laundry Pairs
Most people concentrate on the washer as part of their laundry purchase, yet the dryer is still very important.
Almost all of the front load dryers now have a "sensor dry" which automatically shuts down the heat by sensing how much moisture is in the clothes. This will save you money and prevent shrinkage.
Samsung Steam Laundry Pair
Samsung's entry-level laundry pair comes with their diamond drum interior, which is gentler on clothes than most machines and their washer uses the power of steam for a deeper clean.
LG Entry Line Laundry Pair
This is the best selling LG pair with steam in both units, a child lock, and 3 more cycles - Bulk, Sanitary, and Allergen.
LG Upgrade Laundry Pair
LG produces a decent machine, especially for its technology. This washer has the capability of transmitting data by phone with the Smart Diagnosis program to identify any issues.
Whirlpool Front Load Laundry Pair
Electric $1,999 / Gas $2,099
This is a good set with steam in the washer to power out stains and steam in the dryer to refresh and release wrinkles from your clothes. Both are very large. The washer is 4.5 cubic feet and the dryer is 7.4 cu. ft.
Maytag Maxima Front Load Laundry Pair
The top of the line Maytag Maxima set will give you every conceivable feature you could want in a machine. Steam, a 1,400 RPM spin-speed, and 11 wash cycles are standard on most high-end machines.
What isn't standard is the overnight wash cycle which allows for a small load to be washed AND dried overnight. The dryer adds steam as well.
Are Front Load Washers Reliable?
Most Reliable Front Load Washers for 2019
|Service Qty||Shipped Qty||Service Ratio|
|LG Electronics||72||1246||5.78 %|
|Speed Queen||19||14||135.71 %|
|Grand Total||455||3494||13.02 %|
The Korean brands, LG and Samsung, have overtaken Whirlpool and Maytag as the most reliable laundry units for 2019. LG’s number has been the most impressive with more units.
As we have written so many times, Samsung and LG struggle in some areas with parts, service, and technical service after the sale.
So be careful and at least inquire about service before you buy
It seems Whirlpool has struggled with the tariffs more than the more highly penalized Korean brands.
Electrolux has great technology but needs to improve their reliability and their dryers have a well-documented lint issue.
Speed Queen has issues with their front load washers. You can have your machine fixed for free within the first 5 years, if it’s under warranty. Finding a service tech can be a problem.
However, from a numbers standpoint, their front load machine may be well built, but it's not as reliable as the other major brands.
Which Front Load Washer is the Best?
There is a reason to buy any front load washer on this list. They have similar capacity and similar features and prices.
The basic LG has decent features at a more affordable $699 price.
After that, you are buying features like higher spins, better dispensers and more customizable wash programs.
It depends on what you will use and value. All three manufacturers LG, Samsung and Whirlpool are worth considering.
How to Buy a Front Load Washer
You should always look for good reliability first and then the features. The capacity and cycle options you now have in front load laundry are probably more than you will ever need or use.
Let's dive into those options.
Front Load Capacity
A top load washer with an agitator has a usable capacity of about 2.4-2.5 cubic feet. Front load washers average about 4.5 cubic feet or almost twice as large.
The largest front load washer is 5.8 cubic feet. However, at 34 inches deep, you may have a tough time fitting this huge machine into your space.
Prices are most competitive around the 4.5 cubic foot size.. The 5.8 cubic is roughly $1,800-2,000, so you pay dearly for added capacity.
Cycles & Features
Cycles are hard to understand, but its based on a timer. This machine has 16 cycles to cover the accurate wash, rinse and soak duration for each fabric.
Wash/Rinse: Most people use "Hot" for whites and "Cold" to not shrink anything. You have 5 combinations in most machines for different fabrics.
Spin Speed: Measured in revolutions per minute (RPM) of the barrel. Faster spins dry the clothes faster.
Smart Dispense: In the Whirlpool/Maytag, there is a smart dispense holding loads of detergent, so you do not have to fill the dispenser for every wash.
Maytag Optimal Dose Dispenser
Turbo: LG washes 30 minutes faster than a normal LG cycle.
Wi-Fi: LG and Samsung both have Wi-Fi compatibility. This will be a great feature in the future. You can see the time remaining as well as turn on/off the machine. However, it is too unreliable presently.
Heat Boost: Better models offer an internal heater for added cleaning power on whites.
Steam: Steam lifts the tough stains like grass, wine, and blood. This is a worthwhile upgrade depending on how you stain your clothes.
SmartBoost: Electrolux mixes the detergent and water and then applies the mix on your clothes.
2 Washer: Samsung offers a double washer in the same chassis. It's a good feature, but you can buy 2 full-sizes for less.
Overnight Cycle: Maytag offers a way to wash and dry an outfit or small load using the wash and spin cycle.
LG Sidekick: Kind of the opposite of the Samsung two washer, but the second washer is under the main washer. It's a good idea, but there are numerous water connections to install, so be careful.
When is the Best Time to Buy a Front Load Washer?
Although you probably will not wait if you have a broken washer, there are better times to buy major appliances.
Ranking from the best: Black Friday (now known as all November), Tax weekend, Labor Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, and Independence Day.
Around these holidays, prices could be 10-30% off. LG and Samsung employed this strategy in conquering the electronics business. Every commodity manufacturer has followed.
Use it to your advantage.
2018 was a little less robust due to Tariffs.
2018 was a tough year as prices have increased 20% year on year.
Samsung and LG were hit with trade tariffs, increasing their costs. Then there is the steel and aluminium tariffs for all companies.
It has actually hurt US based Whirlpool and their Maytag subsidiary the most. They have had availability problems for almost 4 months. I am guessing they were not prepared for the steel tariffs.
If there is any good news, you do not have to be pressured to buy now. Prices have stabilized and there are no further increases announced.
Should you buy an extended warranty?
You will be asked and pushed by your store to buy an extended warranty.
First, you should never buy a warranty from a company who does not offer their own service. These warranties are outsourced and not designed to fix anything promptly or even correctly.
If you are buying this for a peace of mind, then you will get exactly the opposite of repair or lack thereof.
For washers, the numbers suggest not buying a warranty.
At 4-13%, these machines work better than almost every other appliance.
Unfortunately, the repair itself is incredibly expensive because they have a direct drive motor.
We find it better for you to simply replace the machine than the parts and time to properly repair a bad direct drive system.
So it’s insurance of a low repair versus a very high cost.
Although the reliability is the same as a top load washer, it’s much more expensive to fix a front load.
The top loads are simple machines, whereas the front load works on a much more intricate direct drive motor.
Then there is the mold issue.
How to Prevent Mold in your Front Load Washer
A lot of reviews talk about mold in their front load washers. Mold is caused by standing water over a prolonged period of time.
You can develop mold in a front load due to the standing water in the gasket and the back of the machine.
To prevent mold in your washer, you should always make sure the washer barrel is dry as possible, especially the gasket in the front.
You can do this by running a towel over the gasket and leaving the door open to air dry after you are done using your washer.
A few companies specifically address mold. LG has the Tub Clean cycle, which is a 149-degree wash. Maytag has a separate fan.
If you do have mold, run a wash without clothes under a high temperature and use Affresh tablets to clean any mold and/or mildew.
Our Final Advice Before Buying a Front Load Washer
Reliability is better than the average on a front load washer and almost the same as a simple, less efficient top load washer.
We changed the brands we sell at Yale last year because of the 300% spread between reliable and less reliable machines.
Most of the horror stories about appliances are the inability to find qualified technicians to fix the washers on a timely basis, especially on more complicated front load models.
Above all, you need to figure out who will be fixing your new washer before you buy it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Front Load Laundry:
1. Which brand is best for front load washing machines?
LG, Samsung, and Whirlpool are statistically the best front load washers.
2. How long do front load washers last?
6-10 years is the average lifespan of a washer, according to the United Servicers Association.
3. What's better, a top load or a front load?
Front loads are larger with better cycles and energy efficiency. As I said previously, front loads have a larger capacity and use less water and energy, so you will save money in the long run. However, if you are still looking for a top load, I would recommend the following models.
Whirlpool WTW4855HW - $479
This top load washer has multiple spin speeds, 12 wash cycles including "Quick Wash," and a porcelain drum.
This is actually the same machine I sold in 1986. What you will like is its reliability and ease of use.
Whirlpool Top Load Pair
￼This pair is very similar to what our folks bought 20 years ago. It still works well and is to repair. However, it is much more expensive to operate than a front load and uses more energy and water.
4. Why do front load washers smell?
Standing water is the main problem especially at the gasket. You want to dry the gasket and any residual water. Leaving the door open helps as well.
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A Note About Pricing