Few appliances are as up-close and personal as your washing machine. Everything that you wear and that you sleep under will go through it hundreds of times, so it is important to find the right one for you. The one that can wash your clothes efficiently, quickly and, above all, effectively.
Based on more than 50 hours of extensive research of all the top-selling models, the Electrolux EFLS627UTT is our top pick overall and favorite front-loading washer. It's an excellent, power-efficient cleaner and it supports cleaning pods. If you prefer a top-loading washer, the best option is the GE GTW685BSLWS, which cleans well and can be connected to an app.Shopping for other appliances? Be sure to check out our picks for best refrigerators, best dishwashers, best microwaves, best ranges, and best clothes dryers.
How We Picked
To come up with a list of the best washing machines, we looked at the top picks from CNET, Wirecutter, Reviewed.com and other sites, as well as the top-selling models at Best Buy, Lowe's and Home Depot. From there, we narrowed the list down to the 10 top washers based on features, price, design and other factors.
|Price||Type||Drum Capacity (cu. ft.)||Size (HWD)||Programs & Wash Features|
|Electrolux EFLS627UTT||$998||Front Loader||4.4||27 x 38 x 31.5||Sanitize & Steam, Extended Refresh, StainSoak, 15-Minute Fast|
|LG WM3770HWA||$747||Front Loader||4.5||38.7 x 27 x 29.8||Allergene, Turbo Wash|
|GE GTW685BSLWS||$577||Top Loader||4.5||27 x 46 x 27||Sanitize, Deep Fill|
|Maytag MVWB865GW||$573||Top Loader||5.2||27 x 43 x 28||Sanitize with Oxi, Rapid Wash|
|LG WM9000HVA||$1,297||Top Loader||5.2||29 x 41.3 x 33.8||Sanitize, Deep Fill|
|Kenmore Elite 31633||$1099||Top Loader||6.2||30.0 x 43.5 x 29||Express, Sanitize|
|Maytag MVWX655DW||$479||Top Loader||5.2||27 x 43 x 28||Sanitize with Oxi, Rapid Wash|
|LG WM3500CW||$809||Front Loader||4.5||38.7 x 27 x 31.5||Speed Wash|
|Kenmore 41262||$599||Front Loader||4.5||27 x 39 x 30||Bulky/Bedding, Express Wash|
Note: Prices subject to change.
Latest News & Updates (August 2019)
- Maytag's new smart front-loading washer (MHW8630H; $1,119) has an "Extra Power" button that helps to remove tough stains. In addition, it can be monitored and controlled remotely using the Maytag Mobile app, and has a 24-hour fresh hold setting, which will tumble clothes and circulate air for up to 24 hours after the wash cycle ends.
- Samsung's new front-load washers are now available. The WF6100 (starting at $699) is available in white or champagne, while the Bixby-enabled WF6300 (starting at $799) is available in white, black, and champagne. Because the WF6300 is Wi-Fi connected, you can monitor and control it remotely from your smartphone.
- LG's new WM3900 front-load washer ($1,079 at Best Buy) has a 4.5-cubic-foot capacity, and uses LG's new TurboWash 360 technology (five sprayers arrayed around the interior), which helps detergent better penetrate fabrics, according to the company. It's also Wi-Fi-enabled, so consumers can receive alerts via the SmartThinQ app.
Best overall front-load washer
The Electrolux EFLS627UTT is all about the wash. Priced at just under $1,000, this front-load washer aced the tests of multiple reviewers, earning top cleaning points at Reviewed.com, CNET and others. It has a 4.4-cubic-foot drum that can hold a large wash, and it features nine wash cycles, including a 15-minute fast wash. That's fewer than some washers, but each cycle can be tweaked for temperature and soil level, so you can easily customize the wash.
The EFL627UTT also has a dedicated pod detergent dispenser. Some washers struggle with prepacked pod detergents as they can sometimes clog or not release the detergent properly, but the Adaptive Dispenser of this washer pre-mixes the detergent with water in the dispenser, then releases it to make sure it is dispensed properly.
One thing it doesn't have is an app. While many washing machines are embracing the smart home by adding apps for remote monitoring and control, the EFSL627UTT has no accompanying app. That doesn't make it a dumb appliance, though: this Electrolux has sophisticated, easy-to-use controls that can be easily customized.
What Reviewers Say
CNET: "It removes stains better than any model we've tested, its well-designed display looks great and contributes strongly to its user-friendliness."
Reviewed.com: "It has speed for when you need it, and extended cycles for when you don't. Combine that with the ability to disperse a pod's detergent evenly, and you get a washer that can handle just about anything."
Best top-loading washer
Front-loading washing machines are generally the most efficient, but some people prefer the old-school top-loader type. They are easier to load and can be more reliable, so if you prefer this type, the GE GTW685BSLWS is our pick.
It can hold a huge number of clothes in its 4.5-cubic-foot drum, and the central agitator ensures that all of the clothes in large loads get moved around. Reviewers agree that this washer washes very well: CNET found that it removed more than half of the stains on a heavily stained test strip. They also praised its simple controls, but found that it was somewhat noisy (like most top loaders). That may not be an issue if it is located in a basement or laundry room, but it might be noisy in smaller homes.
The GTW685BLSWS also uses a fair amount of electricity: nearly 50 per cent more than our front-loader top picks. Although it is cheaper, this could make it more expensive over time. It also lacks a water heater, meaning that the sanitize cycle will be only as hot as the hot water supply of your house. If your hot- water heater isn't that good, that cycle may not be effective.
The GTW685BSLWS doesn't come with smart-home features, but these can be added for just $49 with the GE ConnectPlus WiFi Module, which fits inside the machine. This adds Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT support, so you can find out how long the cycle has to run with Amazon or Google voice commands.
What Reviewers Say
CNET: "GE's $699 GTW685BSLWS is a solid top-load washing machine. It cleans well, it looks nice and it has a lot of features considering its lower price."
Reviewed.com: "If you're a top-loader fan who has to have the agitator, and does a careful job distributing the load inside the washer, this washer can strike the right balance of tradition and technology in your laundry room."
Best top-load budget washer
Cheap washing machines aren't the bargain they might first appear. Although you might save money up front, you usually end up spending more over time, because they use more electricity and water than pricier machines. And, if the washer doesn't perform well, you'll just end up washing clothes again.
If you live somewhere where utilities aren't too expensive, the Maytag MVWX655DW is a good compromise that can save you a couple of hundred bucks off our top picks. This top-loader has a decent selection of wash cycles, and offers good cleaning performance, according to reviewers. It takes a while, though: The PowerWash cycle was the most effective at cleaning, but took a 1.25 hours.
The downside is that, like most top-loaders, it is an energy and water hog. The PowerWash cycle took a hefty 20 gallons of water, and required a lot of power to run. It is also a very basic machine in other ways, with no smart-home features, no time delay and no other fancy features. But it has it where it counts: It washes clothes well.
What Reviewers Say
Reviewed.com: "Soft-close hinges, a PowerWash cycle and a 4.3-cubic-foot drum add touches of class — as well as some modernity — to a highly affordable machine. If you're OK with those upgrades, and no others, and you don't live in an area with high utility costs, this machine should do a fine job."
Top front-loading washer on a budget
If you take the LG WM3770HWA and strip out some of the fancy features, you get the LG WM3500CW. And you save yourself about $200, which makes it our best front-loader pick for budget buyers. You get the same top-of-the-line reliability, fast wash cycle and overall excellent performance as the more expensive model.
What you won’t get, though, is the hot water heater. So if your hot water isn't very hot (or isn't reliable) and you want to sterilize clothes, go for the more expensive model. You also lose a few of the fancy cycles, such as the delayed start and a cycle that removes allergens. You do still get the Wi-Fi smart- home features, though, so you can monitor this washer from your couch and comfortably enjoy the feeling of saving money.
Some users and reviewers have complained that some wash cycles take more than an 1.5 hours to complete, and that the control panel is hard to read.
What Reviewers Say
Better Housekeeping: "This washer cleans and spins out well but the Normal setting takes forever to do a load of laundry -- over 1.5 hours."
Best Buy: "Unless you place your unit in a spot that has pretty good direct light on the front of the machine, it's not easy to read the panel. It isn't backlit, and the lettering isn't in a contrasting color from the panel."
Best for large families
Got a big family to wash uniforms for? Need to regularly wash bedding? The LG WM9000HVA has you covered. This front-loader has a huge 5.2-cubic-foot drum that can hold a comforter or a big load of laundry, and cycles for everything from a quick wash to a deep allergen-removing wash.
Reviewed.com praised the quick washing of the WM9000HVA, taking 34 minutes for a normal load and an hour for a full load, as well as its quiet operation.
A water heater makes sure that the sterilize wash cycle reaches the high temperature it needs, while the TurboWash feature sprays water into the wash for even detergent dispersal.
If you need even more space, or want to wash delicates separately, the WM9000HVA is also compatible with the $570 LG WD100CV Sidekick, a small separate washer that fits below the main unit. This can run independently of the main washer, so you can wash a delicate load at the same time you are washing a comforter.
What Reviewers Say
Reviewed.com: "If you need to wash a hamper full of laundry for a big family, or you often have to clean fluffy, king size comforters, this washer has the plenty of room to do a good job on that."
Best Buy: "The small access door at the bottom...makes it easy to clean the build-up that happens naturally due to the design of front loaders."
Fast and quiet washing
Although it’s a slightly older model, the LG Turbowash WM3770HWA has it all, with a 4.5-cubic-foot large-capacity front-loader drum that can hold a lot of clothes. It has an outstanding selection of wash programs, ranging from a quick Turbowash for lightly soiled items to the high-temperature Allergiene cycle. This cycle is approved by the Asthma and Allergy foundation, and LG claims it removes more than 95 percent of allergens. There is also a steam cycle that sprays the clothes with steam for more efficient washing.
Reviewers generally praised the WM3770HWA, especially the large drum and the clear, easy-to-use control layout. They also found that the washing performance was excellent, with top performance on a range of stains without damaging clothes. It was also fast: Reviewed.com found that the TurboWash mode took just 15 minutes, and a typical 8-pound load took just 30 minutes.
Large families may be better off looking at the more expensive LG WM9000HVA ($1,619.99), which has an even bigger drum, but If you have a lot of items that need a seperate gentle wash, the optional LG WD100CV Sidekick pedestal ($570) could work for you. This adds a second washing drum that can be used independently of the main one. Although at just 1 cu.ft. it’s not very large, it is big enough to do a small hand- wash load, and at it's cheaper and much tidier than buying a second washing machine.
What Reviewers Say
Reviewed.com: "This front-loading washer is a good value, boasting many high-end features at a reasonable price point. The little melody that the WM3770HWA plays at the end of a wash cycle is a delight. And with cycles as short as these, you'll hear it sooner than you expect."
Wirecutter: "This machine checks off all the boxes: It's an excellent stain remover, versatile enough to clean almost any load of laundry, and gently handles different fabrics."
A great top-loader for the money
This top-loader washing machine is a good value. The Maytag MVWB865GW uses an agitator, a central pillar in the wash drum that swirls your clothes around. The drum is 5.2 cubic feet, which is big enough to hold a large wash without getting tangled. Reviewed.com tested it with three large bed sheets, all of which were still cleaned well. That's a lot of sheets.
Washers like this are usually energy hogs, but the MVWB865GW isn't like your grandmother's washer in this regard. This Maytag is also surprisingly quiet for this type of washer. Reviewers praised the low noise in both the washing and spin cycles.
The controls are straightforward; there’s a single control dial on the front to set the wash cycle, and two buttons to power the unit on and stop and start the cycle. And that’s it: no Wi-Fi, no smart-home controls, no Super Mega Wash Cycles and no water heater to raise the temperature of the water coming into it. While some of the models from LG and others play little tunes to let you know that the wash is done, the MVWB865GW settles for a simple beep.
What Reviewers Say
Reviewed.com: "Can be a good value if you routinely do laundry for a crowd."
Home Depot: "This Maytag washer is a dream. It is old school: dial settings, top load, and not a lot of bells and whistles. But so far, after two months, it just works."
The king of capacity
Is your laundry pile more like a mountain than a molehill? The Kenmore Elite 316133 is a monstrous top- load washer that has a huge 6.2-cubic-foot drum. That means it can handle up to about 16 pounds of laundry at once, or a couple of days worth of clothes for the average teenager. It manages to get them clean as well: reviewers and Amazon buyers all praised its performance at removing stubborn stains.
The Elite 316133 is a big washer when it comes to your water and electricity bills, though, using an estimated 290 kWh per year. That's more than double the amount of smaller, more efficient washers, so that might be a problem if your electricity is expensive. It didn't use a huge amount of water, though: CNET measured it as using 15.3 gallons for a typical load.
A Sterilize cycle is also on offer, helped out by the ability to spray steam onto clothes inside the drum. That's a big plus for those with allergies or who smoke.
With a drum bigger than the average concert hall, it is perhaps no surprise that the washer itself is big. At just under 43 inches high, this washer may not fit in some laundry rooms. It’s also rather noisy, according to several Amazon buyers. So, it's a great pick if you need to wash uniforms for an entire football team, but make sure that it will fit in your house first.
What Reviewers Say
CNET: "An exceptional top-load washing machine. Not only does it look nice, it also has all of the basic features you need plus a steam function. It has a massive capacity, too, which is great for large families."
Amazon: "Because it's so large I spend less time on laundry since I don't have to split loads in two now. It actually cleans well. It's not very loud either."
A good washer that can save you money.
The Kenmore 41262 is a basic, but well-performing, front-load washer. That means that it does an excellent job of washing your clothes, but without fancy features. Reviewed.com rated its performance as very good, and its efficiency for both water and electricity as excellent.
What you don't get with the 41262 are the high-end features that make other washers easier to use and more flexible. You don't get any remote monitoring or smart-home features, so you can't monitor the progress of the wash from your cellphone or through Alexa. Nor do you get some of the less commonly used wash cycles such as Sterilize, as there is no built-in water heater.
You do get a Stay-Fresh feature, though, which will tumble and ventilate your wash for up to 19 hours after washing is finished — that’s very useful if you often forget to move the clothes to the dryer when they are done. Speaking of funky smells: the Kenmore 41262 also has a magnetic stopper that holds the door very slightly ajar when the washer is not in use, which helps to dry out the drum to keep it from getting musty and smelly.
What Reviewers Say
Reviewed.com: "We think that's a good deal for a front loader that exceeds our stain removal expectations. If you want a front-load washing machine but don't want to spend thousands, the Kenmore 41262 is worth checking out."
Sears.com: "It cleans great and the spin speed makes it the clothes dry faster. Only downside is the wash cycles are pretty long on this washer."
Washing Machine Safety Tips
If you have a front-loading washing machine or dryer, Consumer Reports has a list of safety tips for families with young children and pets.
- Lock the door to your laundry room
- Keep the washing machine's door shut
- Engage the washing machine's child-lock feature
- Turn off water to the washing machine when not in use
Washing machine buying tips
Front- or Top-Loader?
Top-loader: As the name suggests, the clothes are loaded through a door on the top of the washer into a large, round drum. Some use a central pillar called the agitator to move the water and clothes, while others use a rotating plate at the bottom. The bottom plate is preferable, as it involves less wear and tear on the clothes.
Front-loader: Clothes are loaded through a door in the front, into a round drum that rotates to agitate the clothes. This type generally uses less water and electricity than top-loaders, as the drum does not need to completely fill to wash the clothes. However, the drum has to be locked during the wash cycle, though, so you can't add that lone sock that you found in the bottom of the hamper halfway through. This also means that if the seal around the door fails, they can dump water all over your floor. Modern front loaders are pretty reliable, though.
Combination: For those who have tight spaces, a combination washer/dryer — which washes the clothes and then dries them in the same drum — might seem to make sense, but in general, they’re not worth the trouble. They take much longer to dry clothes than a stand-alone machine, and they are more complex, making them prone to breaking more frequently than stand-alone washers and dryers.
Power and water connections
All washing machines will require three things: power, water and a drain. For power, you will need a 110V socket on its own circuit. For water, all will require a cold-water connection, and most will also need a hot- water connection. The exception are those that have their own built-in water heater, but these will also use your hot water if you need it. Lastly, you will need a drain for the washer to dump wastewater into. Don't succumb to the temptation to put the drain line into a sink: this will inevitably fall out and dump water all over the room.
Will it fit?
If you are putting the washer into a small space or under a counter, make sure that you measure the space to make sure it will fit. Most front-loaders are designed to fit under a standard worktop, but don’t assume — measure before you buy. Most front-loaders are also built so that you can stack the accompanying dryer on top of the unit, which saves space, but don't assume that. Check the specs to see if the units are listed as stackable.