It can be confusing to buy a front load washer. They all look the same with similar features like spin speed, steam, and wash cycles.
In this article, you will learn about front loads, the new tariff (tax on imported and exported goods) implications, best models and brands to consider, and then the best prices for washer and dryers.
Why Buy Front Load Washers?
Front loaders are popular because they offer the larger size, almost double of a top load, with better electrical and water efficiency as well as a higher spin speed.
This, in turn, reduces drying time, so you save by washing more clothes with less energy.
Almost all the brands have 5 wash/rinse combinations and 5 speeds for any type of fabrics. When I started full time at Yale, we sold just one or two-speed washers.
Why Not Buy Front Load Washers?
Although the reliability is the same as a top load washer, it is 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.
You can develop mold in a front load due to the standing water in the gasket. It is easily preventable. Just dry the gasket after each use and then leave the door open to dry any moisture.
2018 will be interesting if you are buying laundry units. Prices will most certainly increase during the year.
Samsung and LG were hit with tariffs, increasing their costs. Whirlpool will probably increase their prices, simply because they can and still remain competitive.
This article is updated frequently as rebates change monthly anyway. Recommendations can change with prices, which will be more volatile this year.
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Best Washers for 2018
Pricing updated for February 2018
Top Load Washers
The first two are top loads for comparison. 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, these two are the best to consider.
Whirlpool WTW4816FW - $299
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.
Speed Queen AWNE82SP113TW01 - $899
This top load washer is constructed of durable stainless steel. Speed Queen is known for their commercial, high-quality machines.
In fact, this machine has a 5-year warranty. However, the capacity is much smaller than a front load while using a ton of water and energy.
You would think the reliability would be excellent, but it is 1-7% higher than the most popular front load washers.
Front Load Washers
2017 Reliability Statistics
|Units Sold||Units Serviced||Service Rate|
LG has the base cycles and no steam. However, it is the shallowest at 29.5 inches in depth and won the least serviced after Whirlpool at 5.31% in the first year.
The LG WM3270CW Front Load Washer
Samsung WF45M5500AW - $649
This is the better washer to the $499 piece you see online and at Yale. It has a greater capacity of 4.5 cubic feet and steam functionality.
If you have children, trying to remove stains from their clothes is a daily chore. Steam is great for loosening stains. This machine also offers Wi-Fi, so you can track the cycle time on your phone.
It is reliable but Samsung needs repair within 7.79% of the time within the first year.
Whirlpool is the lowest in terms of repair at 3.82%. This machine has the Smart Dispenser, which automatically sends the right amount of detergent into the wash. It also has a steam function and is 4.5 cubic feet.
Maytag MHW8200FW - $899
This is the best Maytag washer (and Whirlpool who is the actual manufacturer). It has every cycle including steam and 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. Two key features to Maytag are the overnight wash cycle and their reliability.
The overnight wash allows you to put an outfit in the washer and have it completely washed and dried the next morning.
In terms of reliability, Maytag, along with Whirlpool, is among the best at 6.58%. Their parts turn around and support is better than their competition, so problems are solved faster.
Best Front Load Washer & Dryer Laundry Pairs
Most people concentrate on the washer as part of a 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.
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.
Speed Queen Top Load - $1,499
Speed Queen is solid but similar to the Whirlpool just with much better all steel components and a 5-year warranty.
Samsung Entry Line Laundry Pair
Samsung's entry-level laundry pair come 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 produces a decent machine, especially for their technology. This washer has the capability of transmitting data by phone with the Smart Diagnosis program to identify any issues. However, the repair turnaround for parts is a bit slower.
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.
Which Should You Buy?
Confused? Don’t be. All the machines 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, it was 1 speed and three temperatures.
Samsung is the largest and fastest but needs service a more than the others.
Maytag is the most reliable in terms of percentage with the fastest turnaround for parts and service. Their 8200 models may currently be the best value.
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A Note About Pricing