Not all of my posts are about what happens in my daily life. Some of them are, and sometimes they’re one-time experiences that I learn a lot from and that I think can help others. This one happens to be one.
My goal for this is to help anyone who is in need of a washing machine and doesn’t know where to start.
Because the information is O-VER-WHEL-MING.
When our machine of 18 years decided to die on us twice in the middle of loads, and we took it apart and couldn’t fix it permanently, we had to buy a new one.
I was grateful that it lasted that long, but sad that we had to go spend extra money on that expense.
Since I like to go into any large purchase with an arsenal of knowledge, I want to break some of the information down for you and give you a jumping off point.
All that to say, I wish someone had written a semi-comprehensive yet concise guide to get me started. So here ya go 😉
This post contains affiliate links, which means that, should you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thanks!
What Type of Washing Machine Is Best?
I’m not going to tell you that answer. Sorry. That would presume that I knew all about your life and what would fit best.
However, I will give you the options, and you go from there. Note that these options and features are what are currently available.
Types of Washing Machines Available
Currently, there are three standard types of washing machines, and these are the general order that I will go through them:
1. Front-loader with a door that swings out,
2. Top-loader with agitator, and
3. Top loader without agitator (has an “impeller” instead (will explain)).
Pros and Cons of a Front Loading Washing Machine
• Very stylish/trendy, can often get a matching dryer to make a set
• Taller load input at door, may help people with back problems
• Not harsh on clothes, cleans really well
• Larger load capacity (less laundry, woohoo!)
• Many luxury features come standard, such as steam cleaning.
• Less noise when running (they may also play a soft tune to let you know the cycle is completed)
• Price is similar to top-loaders (front-loaders used to be more expensive).
• Mold and mildewy smells. Ugh. Keeping mold out is definitely a challenge with these models. You have to be very diligent in cleaning it/keeping it clean and many suggest leaving the door open after a load, which is not an optimal storage position.
• Cycle time may be longer, since as it spins, your clothes will only get partially wet/cleaned (but spinning is also what allows them to get so clean)
• Cannot add clothes during the cycle (though many top-loader manufacturers are adding this as a safety feature)
• Children and animals like to hide in here and could get stuck with the door closed.
For years, I knew I wanted a front loader. However, when we went shopping, we did not even consider a front loader.
Mostly because one of my best friends had the front door lock pop off and all the water from the load came gushing out, flooding at least half of her upstairs and most of the downstairs. No thanks, not for me at least.
While this is not typical and is very much a fluke, it came at the right (or wrong) time for us when looking at machines.
So, then we were left with top-loaders.
What You Should Consider with a Top-Loading Washing Machine
You now have your option of a top-loader 1. with a standard agitator (like you probably grew up with), or 2. with no agitator and an “impeller” instead.
An impeller acts similarly to an agitator, but it is not nearly as tall, it’s only a few inches high at the bottom of your washing machine drum.
I will tell you now, we ended up with this highly rated top-loader. It has an agitator.
Update: I really do like this washer. The only thing I wish I would have taken into account is its width.
It is a tad wider than our old unit and more than other units available, and the other model we were considering was taller more so than wide.
Now in our laundry room, it is a little bit tight, but is still workable. Just FYI on that.
I explain a little further down about the Deep Water Wash setting on this unit.
We chose one that contained an agitator for the reasons below:
Initially, I wanted a machine with an impeller so I could put my large comforters and mattress covers in it and wouldn’t have to go to the laundromat (for the comforters) or do several loads of sheets if they included the mattress covers.
During my research and talking with staff at home improvement stores, it was clear that machines with impellers, at this stage of the game, have a few problems that are difficult to overcome.
For instance, there is nearly no friction between water, soap, and clothes in the cleaning cycle, which is what gets the clothes clean.
For machines with an agitator, it does exactly that – it provides the movement and friction enough to clean clothes well.
For machine with impellers, the water often doesn’t get high enough to completely soak the clothes. You can see this verified in many of the current impeller machine reviews on any website. Now, this is also an effect of high efficiency, but it is worse with impellers.
The best way to ensure that all of the clothes are soaked is to have jets that have water coming down from the top.
Currently, LG is the only mainstream brand that offers that feature, so if you want an impeller, get an LG (or whatever brands have begun to put that in their washers.)
To further support that, Consumer Reports currently has 9 of their 10 highest rated impeller top-loaders as GE.
Though I really liked the idea of the impeller, we figured we would wait until the technology got better on those before getting on. Hopefully in another 18+ years. #fingerscrossed
What Does High Efficiency Mean
Top-loading washing machines are almost always high efficiency now. This means basically that they’ll save water.
If you’ve read my stuff at all, you know I love things that are environmentally conscious.
However, the difficulty with high efficiency is that these machines weigh your clothes, and provide the amount of water it thinks it needs.
In speaking with sales staff and looking online, the complaint is that the clothes don’t all get wet. Apparently the ability to weigh the clothes isn’t quite perfect.
The advice that was given to me was to find a machine that lets you add extra water to the load. For example, ours has a Deep Water Wash dial button.
I asked the salesperson if she meant that I should pretty much leave that on for every load, she looked a little regretful that it had to be that way, but said yes.
To be fair, it will still be high efficiency even with a bit more water, so I am okay with that. After all, it’ll be better than doing a second load to make up for the impartial first load.
Update: after several months of use, I have stopped using the Deep Water Wash setting. I haven’t found that I really need it, except maybe for towels, as they seemed to go through a transition period where they got stinkier quicker.
That seems to have tapered off a tad currently, maybe with the weather getting cooler, we’ll have to see, but I do like that I don’t have to use the deep water setting, at least for regular laundry.
Samsung Washer Machine Review
Now, I am not here to malign any brand. But I am here to help you make an informed decision.
I won’t say that Samsung washing machines are terrible. They are quite beautiful and I’m sure they will work well for however long.
I just want to tell you that whenever the word Samsung was brought up, whether it be between salespeople or in online spaces, the word was pretty much “Don’t.”
Apparently, there’s something not too reliable about them. I have also read complaints that repair personnel do not like to fix them, and may charge higher to do so, or may flat out refuse to work on them. Buyer beware.
Look, I have respect for Samsung. They make great tv’s, phones, and other electronics. But maybe in the washing machine world, don’t be fooled by the slick look and soft siren song of the cycle ending tone.
What Kind of Washing Machine Hoses Should You Get
Quick, simple answer: braided steel hoses like these.
These hoses are simply less likely to burst than the standard rubber hoses. And they’re only a few dollars more.
Very worth it to save the hassle of flooding.
They should be changed every 5 years, or as directed on the product. Keep your receipt on them because they will also likely have a warranty on them.
Is an Electronic or Dial Instrument Panel Better on Washing Machines
This one is subjective. What I will say is, if you have money and budget is no issue, get the fancy one with the fancy panel!
If budget is an issue, you will need to consider that the electronic instrument panel is much more likely to burn out/have errors before the rest of the washing machine. Therefore, you may need to figure in repair costs.
Because we were trying to be frugal but also get a high-quality machine for the price, we went with an instrument panel that has a series of dials. They are much more reliable and much cheaper and easier to fix (I could possibly do a lot of it myself).
I mean, sure, you want to be happy when you look at your washing machine, because laundry can sometimes be a drag, so you can get a fancy one if you want, that’s up to you and your partner and your other partner aka your budget.
To me, washing machines are all fairly nice-looking and you can’t really go wrong with even the most basic style. Plus, it’s the room no one else sees, so spend your money looking fancy on a new rug or kitchen cabinet hardware or somewhere that it will be appreciated by everyone.
And be thankful that you have plenty of clothes to get dirty. And that you are rich enough to have a laundry room in your house.
And that you live in a time when you don’t have to go to the river and scrape them against a washboard. So much more to life than being miserable about laundry.
Just my two cents.
I hope this helped give you more information about the washing machine types and some of the pros and cons.
If it was helpful or if you have more questions, please let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you! Thanks for reading!!
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2 thoughts on “Best Washing Machine Recommendations: What to Consider”
Thanks for mentioning that there are three different types of washing machines. My brother is planning on opening a laundromat soon and needs to buy some equipment. I’ll let him know that he needs to consider what kinds of washing machines he should buy.
Thank you for the comment! I’m glad it was helpful! For laundromats, I’ve only ever seen front loaders, but I’m not sure why — maybe because they don’t have problems with unbalanced cycles? That’d be interesting to know.