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Most Efficient Clothes Washers (Uses the Least of Water)

July 20th, 2015 | 2 min. read

By Danny Nguyen

Most Efficient Clothes Washers

We live in an age where we are very conscious about energy and water consumption. Energy and water bills can be expensive.   

If you are in the market to replace your old laundry, there is plenty of information about general efficiency. There is not much about water usage out there.The good news is any new machine will likely use less water and electricity than models sold in the past.

Traditional top loaders, however, with an agitator are not as efficient and can use up to 50 gallons per cycle.

Let's review the differences.

Front Load vs. Top Load


As an industry overview, energy efficient washers use less than 15 gallons of water per cycle. The industry has both energy efficient front loading and top loading laundry.

The majority of energy efficient machines are load sensing. They measure how much laundry and soap you put in the machine and use the corresponding amount of water

Generally, front loading washers use less water than top loaders and are better for cleaning performance. Gravity allows the clothes more movement in the drum.

Top loading high efficiency washers typically do not have an agitator. The agitator is designed to move clothes in the washer drum in a top loader. When you remove the agitator the cleaning performance isn’t as strong.

First, here are a few tips on how to save water. 

How to Save Water

  • You should use a small quantity of high efficiency detergent. Using too much detergent will cause the machine to use more water and extend the rinse cycle. You really do not need much detergent in a high efficiency machine.

  • Adjust your wash cycle to what you are putting into the machine. A small lightly-soiled load does not need a heavy cycle. 

  • Make sure you load your washer correctly. This is really important if you have a high efficiency top loader. In these washers you want to load clothes around the perimeter of the machine. This reduces the likelihood that your washer will become off-balanced. An off balanced load can trick the washer into thinking it has more clothes to wash and will add extra rinse cycles.

  • Look for washers with a higher spin speed. These machines will spin the clothes more dry so your dryer won’t run as long using less electricity.

The Manufacturers

The laundry industry is fairly simple. There are relatively few companies that make laundry.

Whirlpool Corporation
Whirlpool is an American company and is the largest appliance manufacture in the world. They also own Maytag. They are probably two of the most well-known brand names in laundry.

Maytag washers tend to have more commercial parts and usually a better warranty. You can find Whirlpool/Maytag producing full size and compact front loaders, laundry centers, and top loaders.

Samsung and LG
Samsung and LG are two South Korean companies known for manufacturing appliances with many innovative features.

They manufacture some of the largest laundry in the industry as well as full size, compact, and top loading laundry.

Most Water Efficient Front Load Washers

3. Samsung WF56H9100AW: 4593 gallons per year 


  • 30" Front-Load Washer with 5.6 cu. ft. Capacity
  • 15 Wash Cycles + 13 Options
  • SuperSpeed Option
  • Steam Cleaning, 1,300 RPM
  • PowerFoam Technology
  • Energy Star Most Efficient 2014
  • $1,439

2. LG WM4270HWA: 3841 gallons per year


  • 27" Front Load Washer with 4.5 cu. ft. Capacity
  • 1,300 RPM
  • 14 Wash Cycles + 11 Options
  • 6Motion Technology
  • SmartDiagnosis
  • Energy Star Most Efficient 2014
  • $1,099

1. LG WM3170CW: 3662 gallons per year 


  • 27" Front Load Washer with 4.3 cu. ft. Capacity
  • 7 Wash Programs + 9 Wash Options
  • SenseClean System
  • Upfront Electronic Control Panel with Dual LED Display
  • Energy Star Most Efficient 2015
  • $789

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons to consider a front loading washer. Reliability and availability of repair would be the first reasons especially with washing machines.

Water, however, will become more precious and expensive in the future. Buying a front load washer of really any type is the best way to save water and money, but still have a machine that cleans properly.

Additional Resources

Download The Yale Washer Buying Guide with features, specs and inside tips to all the brands like Samsung, LG, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, Maytag and more. Well over 100,000 people have read a Yale Guide.

Washer Buying Guide

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Danny Nguyen

Danny Nguyen has over 20 years of experience at Yale Appliance. He takes pride in helping customers complete their dream kitchens. Danny enjoys eating, running, and competing in Spartan races. If he's not competing in a race, he is often traveling with his family.

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