What's the best front-load washing machine?
The idea of a washer/dryer combo is one that we’ve heard many people talk about over the years, but few manufacturers have actually been able to realize the potential of the concept. Well, this LG comes pretty close to realizing that potential.
So how does this all work? Well, as you might imagine, it starts with selecting whether or not you want to wash or dry your clothes and then choosing your preferred options. The washer and dryer use the same drum, which probably doesn’t make much sense until you realize that this is a ventless dryer.
What that means is that the machine actually converts hot air into water which drains out of the machine like normal. It’s a masterclass in design that makes this entire thing possible.
As if that wasn’t enough, this LG washer features steam cleaning, a separate pedestal washing machine for smaller loads, app support, and a surprising amount of features for such a complicated concept. It really is a miracle in modern engineering.
That brings us to some practicalities, though. This machine simply isn’t as powerful as a traditional dryer. It also makes it so you can’t do things like wash one load of clothes while drying another. The set-up of this machine also means that installation can be a little trickier if you don’t have the ideal environment.
For those who know they can take advantage of this concept, though, this is a great front loading washer that so happens to also be a very good dryer.
- Two-in-one washer-dryer combo
- Ventless dryer functionality
- Large-capacity drum
- Dimensions: 30 x 27 x 39 inches
- Capacity: 4.3 cu. ft.
- Manufacturer: LG
- Warranty: 10 year motor
- Functions incredibly well overall
- Pedestal washer
- Supported by an app
- Dryer not as good as a standalone dryer
- Larger size
- Installation can be tricky
Sometimes, you need a heavy-duty washer than can tackle a variety of stains and items with relative ease. For those times, the GE GFW450SSMWW is a great way to go.
The benefits of this device start with a quick look at its control panel. Simply put, the GE offers an almost overwhelming array of options. Its 10 wash cycles are an appealing enough selling point, but then you realize that this machine can be set to tackle very specific kinds of stains.
However, the best of the machine’s many options is it’s steam clean feature. Steam cleaning is not only a great option for some items, but it’s the only way to responsible clean some items. There aren’t many front-loading washing machines in this price range which feature that ability, and you’ll likely find that you love to have it available to you.
What’s amazing is that this washer’s incredible power doesn’t come at the cost of its energy and water efficiency. You can wash a full load of clothes in under 40 minutes without using too many resources, and you can generally rest assured that it’s going to get your clothes properly clean.
So what’s the catch? There aren’t many. This is a pretty large machine, which is going to make it somewhat difficult to install in some situations. It also makes it harder to take advantage of it’s stackability. Some users also say the machine can get quite loud at time.
Still, this is about as good as it gets in its particular class.
- Steam Clean Abilities
- Stainless Steel Drum
- Dimensions: 33.5 x 27 x 39.8 inches
- Capacity: 4.5 cubic ft
- Manufacturer: GE
- Warranty: Limited four years
- Can wash full load in less than 40 minutes
- Incredibly powerful
- Custom stain removal options
- Analog inputs
- Quite large for a stackable machine
- Can get loud
The LG WM1388HW is one entry into the ever-popular field of stackable washing machines. Basically, these are machines designed to appeal to users who don’t have as much space or don’t need as large of a washer.
Sometimes, the trade-off with these devices is their lack of power and efficiency. Unlike their larger counterparts, these smaller, stackable washers can struggle to handle full loads of clothes or multiple loads washed quickly.
For the most part, though, this LG avoids many of the larger pitfalls of these products. Features like its various auto-dispensers and turbo clean cycle mean that it actually does quite well with slightly larger loads.
It even comes equipped with a handy 6Motion that allows you to choose one of six washing cycles designed for various types of clothes. This makes it an especially good choice for people using a smaller washer for a general variety of clothes.
Of course, the selling point with these washers is their size. Generally speaking, you buy these smaller washers because you need to be able to stack them or fit them into a tight area. Some also purchase them as supplementary washers.
That does mean you have to accept some limitations. For all its features, this LG isn’t going to be able to function as efficiently as a full-size model. It’s also been reported that this washer is surprisingly loud for a smaller machine. Regardless, those in the market for this type of washer are going to find a lot to love with this model.
- 9 Wash Cycles
- Energy Star product
- Dimensions: 24 x 33 1/2 x 25 1/4 inches
- Capacity: 2.3 cu. ft.
- Manufacturer: LG
- Warranty: 1 Year
- 6Motion washing
- Auto dispensers
- Small size
- Lacks some advanced features
- Can be Loud
- Washes a little slow
Samsung has long been a trusted name for all kinds of technology, and the WF42H5000AW certainly helps maintain their legacy as an industry leader.
Efficiency is the name of the game with this washer. When we say “efficiency,” we’re referring to the device’s relatively low electrical needs, but it’s more about how its various features make it easier to effectively wash various clothes in a single cycle.
With eight wash cycles, four temperature settings, four spin settings and more, this Samsung washer is equipped to accommodate a variety of needs or just effectively handle your typical load of clothes. You won’t have to worry about that one stain or that one delicate item that could be ruined in the wash. Where this model really impresses, though, is in how quietly it washes your clothes while applying so many of its wash features. Samsung promises virtually silent washes, and most users seem to agree that they barely notice the machine running at all. This is a particularly nice feature for those who are in relatively close proximity of their washing machines.
The downsides to this machine are few, but worth noting. Some users feel that the washer can break down easier over the course of heavy, long-term use, but those cases seem to be relatively rare. Thankfully, any potential issues are easy to diagnose with help from the washer’s compatible app. The machine might also run a little louder on uneven or rough surfaces.
Those potential downsides do relatively little to lessen the appeal of this incredible washing machine.
- Four temperature settings
- Eight wash cycles
- Vibration-reduction technology
- Dimensions: 27 x 38.75 x 33 inches
- Capacity: 4.2 cu. ft.
- Manufacturer: Samsung
- Warranty: 1 year
- Smartphone compatible
- Runs quietly
- Great for gentle fabrics
- Some reports of leaking
- Works best on certain surfaces
- May wear down over longterm, heavy use
The name Electrolux might not jump out of you, but trust us when we say that this is one smaller front-loading washing machine that you want to check out.
We must emphasize “smaller size” once again. This is not a full-size washer, which means that it does come with the features and drawbacks inherent with those models. However, the Electrolux stands out in that particular category by virtue of just how small it is. This machine is the perfect solution for homes that either lack space or potential buyers looking to fit their washers into a particular decor.
The Electrolux’s small form is complemented by its sleek touch controls. It’s nice to get touch controls for a washer in this price range. They’re not only easier to use, but they really add to the sleekness of the overall design.
Performance-wise, the Electrolux benefits from features such as scheduling options. It sounds simple, but it’s actually pretty handy to be able to get a cycle ready but delay the start of it until it benefits you. The Electrolux also features a surprisingly large stainless steel drum for a stacking front loader.
The Electrolux doesn’t suffer too greatly in any particular areas, but it does lack the spin and cycle features of some competing models, and it can run a little louder than you may like depending on your set-up.
When space is at a premium, though, this beautiful washer that still manages to effectively clean your clothes is certainly a great way to go.
- Specialized for delicate fabrics
- Larger drum capacity
- Dimensions: 35 x 30 x 41 inches
- Capacity: 4.3 cu. ft
- Manufacturer: Electrolux
- Warranty: 10 years motor, lifetime tub
- Small size
- Easy touch controls
- Scheduling options
- Can run a little loud
- Can struggle with large loads/items
- Low on spin features
Bosch is a well-respected name when it comes to washers and dryers, and it’s not hard to see why. So many of their products adhere to a standard of quality that the company has worked hard to earn.
The Bosch WAT28402UC certainly continues the brand’s legacy for those in the market for a small-form washer.
It’s actually easier to get the downsides of this model out of the way since there are so few of them. First off, it’s a compact washer, which means it can’t handle the full load of other models. The Bosch in particular was designed more for speed washing smaller loads. It’s looks are also not quite as sleek as some of the competition, and some users do report minor technical issues after longer periods of time.
However, this is about all you could ask for if you’re in the market for a stackable front load washer that emphasizes performance. Where the Bosch really stands out in that respect is with its astonishing 15 available wash cycles. From jeans to towels, the Bosch excels at handling smaller loads full of specific items. It works even better than some larger, more expensive front load washers in that respect.
As noted, the Bosch also works incredibly fast, even when compared to other washers in its class. If you’re someone who likes to regularly wash smaller loads, this is your dream front loading washing machine.
If it was a little more effective with slightly larger loads, this might just be the runaway favorite front load washer in its class.
- AquaStop Plus water leakage protection
- ActiveWater Efficiency Technology
- EcoSilence motor
- Dimensions: 23.5 x 24.2 x 33.2 inches
- Capacity: 2.2 Cu. Ft
- Manufacturer: Bosch
- Warranty: 1 year
- 15 Wash cycle options
- Some potential structural issues
- Struggles with large loads
- Analog interface hinders design
The LG WM9000HVA is an interesting companion piece to some of LG’s other models (specifically the WM1288HW and WM3997HWA).
This mode’s calling card (and some would argue best feature) is its size. With a 5.2 cubic feet capacity, this is a massive front load washer. The size alone makes it an appealing option for larger families or anyone who has to regularly do larger loads of laundry.
Yet, there are many larger washers out there. What makes this model really stand out is its suite of features. From steam cleaning technology to a pull-out smaller washer that is perfect for quickly cleaning just a few items, this machine is overflowing with options that are presented in such a clean way as to ensure that you won’t be overwhelmed by everything on display.
Ultimately, these options add up to produce a cleaning experience that LG estimates (and many consumers confirm) will save you up to 30 minutes on your wash cycles. Again, for the type of consumer that this model is intended for, that can be a huge deal.
However, the fact remains that not everyone is necessarily going to need this style of washing machine. This LG’s size and price point essentially ensure that it’s not going to appeal to people who don’t have the space for it or a need for its larger capacity. Its app could also use some updates as users report some functionality problems and a lack of features.
For those who want a large, powerful, and sleek machine, though, you may need to look no further.
- TurboWash Feature
- SmartThinQ Design
- Steam Technology
- Dimensions: 29 x 41 1/4 x 33 3/4 inches
- Capacity: 5.2 cu. ft.
- Manufacturer: LG
- Warranty: Direct Drive Motor 10 years limited
- Perfect for large families
- Incredible features
- Great design
- App could use some updates
- Perhaps "too much" washer for some
- May make loud noises
Electrolux returns with a smaller washer that manages to feature most of the advantage of its larger counterpart.
Straight away, the first thing you’ll notice about this washer is its touch controls. That’s a feature that even some of the better modern machines surprisingly lack. While we wouldn’t dare argue that’s reason enough to buy a machine, it’s hard to deny that the touch set-up does look much cleaner than the analog alternatives out there.
Besides, its the features you get with those touch controls that really sell the machine. Electrolux’s 14 wash cycles ensure that you’ll find an option for just about every load while its steam cleaning capacity offers an incredible option (sometimes a necessity) for certain types of clothes.
What’s more impressive is that Electrolux promises quiet operation from this small washer as well as a wash that will remove 99 percent of bacteria and 95 percent of common household allergens when you select its deep clean option.
You sometimes sacrifice power for convenience with these models, but this Electrolux does quite a lot to ensure that only the minimal sacrifices are made. It’s a powerful little machine.
Unfortunately, it’s not a miracle worker. Its capacity feels a bit small even for what you usually get from these models. There are also slightly longer wash times and could potentially be some leakage issues here and there.
From top-to-bottom, though, this is simply one of the best smaller front-load washer options out there. Its touch controls, deep-cleaning options, and steam technology alone make it an easy recommendation.
- IQ-Touch® Controls
- 14 Wash Cycles
- Steam Cleaning Options
- Dimensions: 29 x 28 x 38 inches
- Capacity: 2.4 cu. ft.
- Manufacturer: Electrolux
- Warranty: 1 year
- Beautiful touch controls
- Small size
- Deep-cleaning options
- Potential for leakage
- Smaller load capacity
- Slightly longer cycles
This all-in-one option represents an intriguing middle-ground for those who balk at smaller models but aren’t ready to commit to the larger and more expensive options.
Like its all-in-one counterparts, the base appeal of this unit lies in its dual-functionality. The idea of a washer and dryer combination is appealing for a reason. Think of the space and energy you can save. Well, the Equator certainly offers that.
The first area the Equator really stands out is in its drying options. The ability to select either vented or non-vented drying means that this unit can not only accommodate even more set-ups, but it makes this unit that much more effective as a dryer for those who can choose the ideal settings.
The Equator surprisingly excels as a washer as well thanks to its general efficiency and the various washer settings included with this model. You really don’t sacrifice much in the washer departement, actually, but you might want to expect longer times in general thanks to the general set-up and concept of this device.
Who is this for, though? Well, anyone who needs or is interested in an all-in-one and has the extra space for this model should buy it over smaller alternatives. It’s also great if you don’t want to commit to the higher price tag of more premium models.
However, you do have to accept that the Equator is there to fill a void in the market for those kinds of users and is not necessarily the best in class. It does its job well, though.
- 1,200 RPM washer
- 12 wash cycles
- Washer-dryer combo
- Dimensions: 22 x 23.5 x 33.5 inches
- Capacity: 1.57 cu. ft.
- Manufacturer: Equator
- Warranty: 1 year
- Many wash options
- Beautiful color options
- Vented and non-vented drying options
- Smaller capacity
- Lacks deep clean power
- Long cycles
When you’re buying a front-loading washing machine, you’ve really got to ask some questions about what you’re looking for. Those questions should take into account things like features, looks, and size, but you also need to consider reliability
If having a washing machine that makes you feel sure you won’t have to worry about your washing machine for quite a while is what matters most to you, then take a look at the Crossover.
The Crossover is designed for dependability and efficiency. As one of the favorite choices for commercial laundromats everywhere, you can rest assured that the Crossover is designed to handle a large number of loads over a long period of time. It’s an incredibly well-built machine that even benefits from superior water efficiency options designed to curb usage without sacrificing quality.
Many of the Crossovers best front-facing features can be found...well, on the front of the device. It’s door is large and sturdy, but easy-to-open and built to make it that much easier to add large loads to the drum. The drum itself is also beautifully put together and does a nice job of drawing the eye.
The biggest problem with this Crossover is that it’s simplicity affects it in some negative ways. It lacks the advanced features of some of its counterparts, and outside of the drum and door, it looks very much like a more commercially designed washing machine.
If, however, you don’t need much more from your front load washer than dependability, it’s hard to go wrong here.
- Energy Star machine
- Stainless steel drum
- Dimensions: 33 x 27 x 39 inches
- Capacity: 3.5 cu. ft.
- Manufacturer: Crossover
- Warranty: 3 years limited parts
- Built for longterm use
- Incredibly water-efficient
- Quiet operation
- Lacking some features
- Simple analog input
The battle between front-load washers and top-load washers has always been an interesting one.
Basically, top-loading washers are generally more powerful, don't need to run for as long, and respond to certain washing conditions and materials better than front-loading machines. Front-load washers, meanwhile tend to use less energy and water, are better for smaller spaces, and create less lint.
A quick look at the differences between both models suggests that they are separate, but ultimately equal, options. You could certainly make the argument that both fit certain needs, but as time goes on, it becomes clear that front-load washers represent the more appealing modern option for many shoppers.
Why front-load washing machines are best
The biggest reason for the swap is almost certainly the environmental and conservation benefits of front-load machines. The figures vary from model to model, but many sources suggest that front-load washers ultimately use about half of what their top-load equivalents do. At a time when many are trying to do what they can to help the environment, swapping to a front-load washer can actually lead to long-term benefits.
They can also lead to some personal conservation benefits. Front-load models can save you over $100 a year in energy costs over their top-load counterparts. It may not sound like a lot, but over time, it can make up for the higher initial cost you tend to get with modern front-loading machines.
There are other benefits as well. Front-load machines tend to be aesthetically more pleasing, typically include more modern features, don't produce as much lint, and most of them can even be stacked as a way to save space.
What's better is that the natural conversation benefits of the front-load design have resulted in more manufacturers finding ways to make up the power difference between the two models. There are some exceptions, but if you buy a modern front-load washing machine, you really shouldn't experience that much of a difference between the two from a fundamental standpoint.
Are front-load washers really better for your clothes?
Some people even swear that it's better for your clothes to wash them over time with a front-load washer. While some of that is based on preference, there is some truth to the matter. Front-load washing machines are generally designed to be a bit gentler on clothes thanks to their efficient designs and smart uses of water.
How to pick the best front-load washer
But we're not here to sell you on the front-load washer benefits so much as we're here to assist those of you who have decided that it's time to either make the switch or buy a new front-load washer. If that is the case, you may find that the number of options available can be a bit overwhelming.
However, by breaking down the benefits and potential drawbacks that you get with just about any front-load washer, we've come up with a shortlist of models that represent the best of what this type of unit has to offer while mitigating their potential downsides.
So here's a look at some of the front-load washers that will show you the full benefits of this technology.