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Choosing the right washing machine for you and your household is no easy feat. Not only does the essential appliance require quite an investment, but all the different buttons and features can quickly become overwhelming. One thing's for sure, there's a lot of information available, which is why we did our best to streamline it for you.
We've rounded up all the best washing machines of 2023, so think of this as your ultimate guide to the most reliable options the market has to offer. We looked at the best-selling front-load, top-load, and even portable washers and selected the true standouts by analyzing key features like cleaning performance (including innovative cycles), water and energy efficiency, smart technology features, and more. We also singled out valuable customer reviews, consulted industry leaders, and even did tests of our own (enter: a convenient pick for renters who have always wanted to do laundry at home).
To make sure you have all your bases covered, we also interviewed Whirpool laundry brand manager Morgan LaLonde to get advice on making a smart purchase and maintenance tips to help keep your new appliance running smoothly. "With proper care and regular cleanings, washers can last for many years," she tells House Beautiful. "In fact, we recommend cleaning your washing machine about once a month or about every 30 cycles to prevent buildup and soils that would ultimately deteriorate an appliance."
She went on to explain exactly how to clean a washing machine. "To best clean a washing machine, first remove all items inside and use a cleaning tablet, like Affresh Washing Machine Cleaner on the cleaning cycle to thoroughly clean the inside of the appliance," she says. "If your washing machine has a detergent dispenser drawer, use a damp cloth or machine cleaning wipes to wipe down the drawer surfaces. In case the drawer is removable, you can also soak it in hot water for an even deeper clean." Want even more detail? Scroll on for our step-by-step guide, including a helpful video.
Now you're ready to take on the task of finding and maintaining a washing machine. We guarantee that with our easy-to-use spotlight of the best of the best, you'll be placing an order and scheduling your delivery in no time!
UltraFresh Vent System Washer
This GE front-load washer is the best overall because it truly makes doing laundry and keeping your appliance clean easier. It has a unique vent system that gets rid of excess moisture, which helps prevent odors, mold, and mildew. The other feature we love is the automatic detergent dispenser. Its sensors gauge how big and dirty your clothes are, then it dispenses exactly the right amount of detergent to get them clean. That means you'll never use too much and get yucky buildup. You'll also never have to pour and measure (and inevitably drip) again. On top of all that, it has a special cycle that can wash and dry a small load so you don't have to transfer anything to the dryer. With a five cubic feet capacity drum and an app you can use to control the settings, this washer has everything you could want, plus GE's ultra-reliable customer service.
TurboWash 3D Smart Washer
Unlike other top loaders, this smart washer doesn't have a center agitator—that's the post that moves your clothes around and frankly wears them down faster. It has an impeller in the bottom that gently moves them around instead. You won't need to play Tetris trying to fit large loads or comforters (even king-size ones, thanks to its five cubic foot capacity drum). Despite using less water than other models, it has powerful cleaning motions that rub your clothes and linens against each other, resulting in an extra deep clean. As for what TurboWash 3D means, it refers to a unique 29-minute wash cycle—you'll love it when you're in a hurry.
Washer with Load & Go XL Dispenser
"I have a terrible habit of leaving my clothes in the wash instead of transferring them to the dryer right away," confesses senior shopping editor Isis Briones. "Sometimes the load stays overnight and everything smells horrible the next day. That's the main reason why I went with this Whirpool washer. Its 12-hour FanFresh feature consists of a built-in fan that immediately activates after the cycle finishes, tumbling clothes for up to 12 hours and basically acting as a dryer."
Gone are the days of pulling stinky, damp-to-dry clothes, towels, or sheets out of your washer hours after they're done washing. This washer keeps them fresh for you. It also has steam to remove stains and allergens even more effectively. On top of that, there's an automatic detergent dispenser that can hold 40 loads' worth. As fancy as this all may sound, the intuitive controls couldn't be easier to use, according to Briones.
Front-Load Stackable Washer
You get a whole lot for less money with this Samsung stackable washer. It has 10 preset washing cycles, including a special one to get whites their whitest, and five water temperature levels. Those who live in a small space will also love the vibration reduction technology, which helps it run quietly, and its closet-depth design, which means it doesn't stick out as much as many other machines do and can squeeze into tighter spots. The only thing to keep in mind is that front-load machines are prone to mildew and other unwanted buildups, which can mean more maintenance for you. Luckily, this machine has a self-cleaning feature ready to eliminate 99 percent of bacteria in the drum and save you work.
Top-Load Smart Washer With 2-in-1 Removable Agitator
This top loader has all the bells and whistles for an easy, customized laundry experience. It has a unique agitator that you can remove: Leave it out for normal loads, and put it in when you want a deeper clean. The Load & Go automatic detergent dispenser makes life easier by holding enough for up to 20 loads. To make things even simpler, you can connect to the brand's app and control your load from afar.
Front-Load Smart Compact Washer
"We needed a small washing machine and nonvented dryer for our second-floor laundry room," says senior editor Elyse Moody. "We've had this Miele set for over a year and love it. I was concerned that it was small, but it can fit king sheets or a duvet cover. It's super quiet and has steam and settings for handwashing, woolens, and baby clothes. I love how gentle it is on delicate fabric. I don't take anything to the dry cleaner anymore."
With a capacity of 2.26 cubic feet, this front-load smart washing machine may be smaller than others, but it's full of huge, next-level features. The TwinDos detergent system dispenses the optimum amount of detergent for each load, and there's a QuickIntenseWash option guaranteed to remove stubborn stains. Plus, customers love that it's WiFi-enabled, allowing you to monitor and control cycles through the app. It also reminds you to clean it so it doesn't develop stinky odors or mildew.
If you want to wash as much as possible at one time, this LG washing machine is the one for you. It has a slightly larger capacity than standard machines, coming in at 5.8 cubic feet, and it's compatible with the LG Sidekick pedestal washer, which can sit underneath and was an additional small load simultaneously. This extension is great for washing delicates, plus it lifts the main washer to make doing laundry easier on your back.
An added bonus? "The fact that we can child lock it when it is on or off is fantastic," a reviewer raved. Another shopper with a family of nine revealed the squad "needed a workhorse" and that's exactly what the TWINWash is.
Washer With Extra Power Button
The attention is in the details with this classic Maytag choice. For instance, customers love the soft-close glass lid so you don't just slam your washing machine shut. Just inside the lid, there's a built-in faucet you can use to rinse clothes—no utility sink necessary! It has an impeller instead of an agitator so it's gentler on clothes, but you can still get a traditional deep clean when you want it thanks to the deep-fill option that adds extra water. Then, there's also a powerful stain-fighting performance cycle, a dual-temperature wash, and much more.
Front-Load Smartboost Washer
Stains are the absolute worst. Instead of stocking up on detergent and removers, why not invest in a washing machine that can do all the hard work for you? Electrolux's Smartboost Washer can get the job done with its strong stain-fighting cycles and unique settings. The Smartboost feature premixes detergent and water before adding them to a load, helping distribute the detergent and clean more evenly and effectively. StainSoak adds a stain solution to the mix for extra-deep cleaning. We also love the Optic White cycle, which gives your whites a powerful rinse to help keep them pristine. It doesn't have an automatic dispenser, but if you like using laundry pods, you'll love this machine's dispenser. It's designed to help pods work their best—no more tossing them in the drum with your clothes. All in all, you'll get a clean like never before.
If you're an apartment dweller who has to have something less permanent, consider a portable washing machine. (Just make sure to check your lease agreement to ensure it's allowed.) Take it from Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful's Dark House podcast cohost, who wrote an in-depth review on the machine. She confirms: "The machine is small enough to fit in my tiny bathroom and doesn't take up much space to store. It's also insanely easy to use."
All you need to run it is a faucet and an electrical outlet. It has eight different cycle settings and holds up to 6.6 pounds of laundry. Its powerful spin cycle leaves your load nearly dry. It's faster, easier, and so much more civilized than going to a laundromat.
What Should You Look for in a Washing Machine?
Front-Loading vs. Top-Loading
Buying a front-loading or top-loading washing machine is ultimately a personal preference, but there are important factors to keep in mind, like the layout of your space.
A front-loading washing machine is the most efficient choice when it comes to saving water and electricity. It can also be stacked with its matching dryer on top to save space in closets. Furthermore, you're able to add a pedestal for more washing capacity or storage and raise the height to make using the machine easier. Don't forget to keep in mind that front-loading machines do require more maintenance to avoid mildew and bacteria buildup because water can pool in various areas, including the door gasket, dispenser, and drum.
On the flip side, a top-loading machine may be easier to operate because it doesn’t require you to bend down. The more traditional setup is also less likely to develop mold and odors, but some have agitators that can be harder on fabrics.
It’s essential to pay attention to the capacity of a washing machine. The drum size generally ranges from 2.5 cubic feet to 6.0 cubic feet. Smaller drum sizes are great for compact rooms, individuals, or smaller families. Larger drum sizes are ideal for big families or those who frequently wash bedding.
Cycles and Smart Features
Many washers have basic cycle options, but keep an eye out for special customizable cycles. Some have top-of-the-line features including an automatic detergent dispenser, delay start and finish, sanitization, wrinkle care, allergen removal, and more. Steam can be helpful to remove stains; most front-loading washers have it, but only some top-loading washers do. You may also want to keep smart technology features like WiFi and app capabilities in mind.
What Type of Washer Is Suitable for Large Comforters?
"Large-capacity machines are best for effectively washing large comforters, as smaller washers and dryers aren't equipped to handle bulky items and materials like comforters," according to LaLonde. "A large-capacity washer needed for comforters has at least a five cubic foot capacity, and large-capacity dryers have at least a seven cubic foot capacity. Top-load washers can be better for larger capacity loads since the continuous pressure of large loads in a front-load washer may cause the need for repairs down the road. Commercial dryers at a laundromat are good options for those without large-capacity machines at home."
Finally, How Did You Choose These Washing Machines?
While researching the best washing machines, we turned to industry experts and resources including Consumer Reports' Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings, Yale Appliance reliability research, and J.D. Power's annual Kitchen and Laundry Appliance Satisfaction Study for data on key factors. We also read up on tests done by many of the main editorial labs in the U.S., including our sister site The Good Housekeeping Institute and Reviewed. These deep dives paired with customer reviews help offer a wider scope of how these machines operate. Finally, we asked our editors, all design and housekeeping experts in their own right, to share their personal experiences with washing machines at home.
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