Looking for a new washer? Our testing has shown that front-loaders are superior to top-loaders in many ways. They're more efficient, have better cleaning power, and won't put as much wear and tear on your clothes as older designs.
But while you can easily spend well over a grand to get special features and controls, we're here to tell you that you don't have to.
(If you do you have a larger budget, though, check out our roundup of the best washing machines.)
Our experts have spent countless hours in our state-of-the-art labs, testing every front-loader we can get our hands on. Along the way, we've uncovered plenty of washers that offer excellent performance for well under $1K.
So instead of draining your bank account, take a look at our picks for the five best front-loading washers you can buy today for less than $1,000. Our favorite is the Electrolux EFLS627UTT (available at AppliancesConnection for $1,025.00), but we've got picks from several brands for you.
Updated November 20, 2018
Electrolux EFLS627UTTBest Overall
The Electrolux EFLS627UTT stands as one of the best front-load washers on the market. It is world's first washer to have a special place for detergent pods in the drawer, allowing for even distribution of soap. However, this washer also has strong fundamentals of stain removal and efficient cycles. Features like Sanitize, StainSoak, and Extended Refresh means that this washer can deal with any situation. Read the full review.
Where To Buy$949.00 Home Depot Buy
The Electrolux EFLS527UTT accepts all different kinds of detergents. It doesn't matter if its liquid, powdered, or pod detergent, the 527 has a slot for it. Our testing shows that the 527 can get stains out as well. Combine these two facts, and you get a front-loading washer that's worth its salt. Read the full review.
Why would I want a front-load washing machine?
Front-loading washers are a relatively new addition to the laundry pantheon. While previously found only in laundromats, residential front-loader popularity is on the rise. Front-load washers are exactly what they sound like—instead of lifting up your washer’s lid and arranging your clothes in a circle around a pole agitator or impeller, the door opens from the front, and you put your laundry in from the side of the machine.
Some studies, including our own, indicate that front-loaders may be slightly better at stain removal, more efficient, and cost less to operate per year. Also, most appliance brands seem to be creating more front-load models, so if you do decide to embrace a front-loader lifestyle, it should be fairly easy to find a model that matches your size constraints, preferred style and feature set, and budget.
Where To Buy$989.99 Best Buy Buy
LG knows how to build a great front-loading washer, and the WM3770HWA is proof. TurboWash can get clothes clean in just 30 minutes, Sanitize and Allergiene cycles are great for families, and downloadable specialty cycles can tackle any kind of stain. It's also gentle on fragile fabrics. Available in two colors—white or graphite—the WM3770HWA offers fast cycles and great stain removal at a competitive price. Read the full review.
The LG WM3670HWA lets you do your laundry your way. With five different soil, temperature, and spin levels, you can customize a million different ways for every situation. Other options like Water Plus, help you clean more unique stains like heavy soils. However, the WM3670's coup de grace is its internal water heater. Our sensors picked up maximum temperatures north of 140°F, enough to clean even cloth diapers. Read the full review.
The Maytag MHW3505FW front-load washer balances an affordable price with premium features. The 4.3-cu.-ft. washer features a Sanitize cycle and steam, both of which make it a good fit for families, and super-low sale prices mean you can get both this washer and its matching dryer for under $1,100. Even better: Our tests show this Maytag does a good job cleaning clothes, and it won't run up your utility bills, either. Read the full review.
With its lower upfront cost, it's no surprise that you won't be getting a lot of the special features that make other washers stand out. Instead, you'll be getting a washer that has a fairly average performance, except for an absolutely stellar Heavy Duty cycle that blasted stains away. The WF42H5000AW isn't a fancy washer by any definition, but it will clean your clothes, and that's the most important job of every washing machine. Read the full review.
The Samsung WF50K7500AW is a victim of its own marketing. While most of the hype surrounding it is focused on its AddWash feature–an extra door on the front that does nothing extra–it should be focused on its solid stain removal and fast cycles. Families should buy this washer because it gets through mountains of laundry more efficiently than its competitors. Read the full review.
The LG WM3270CW does a great job of addressing two of the complaints hurled from the pro-top-load camp. First, the stink. While it's true that older front loaders accumulated odors, this LG has a magnetic stopper that props the door open just enough to let in fresh air. Secondly, front loaders use less water—generally a benefit but maligned by many who believe that more water equates with more cleaning. LG skirts the argument by adding a button that fills the tub with extra water. Overall, the LG WM3270CW is a great value with excellent cleaning performance and a features that may win some converts from the die-hard top-load camp. Read the full review.
Where To Buy$679.99 Sears Buy
The Kenmore 41262 offers more innovation for less. This front-loading washer has plenty of laundry innovations that have come out over the years, but at a fraction of the cost. For example, the 41262 has Stay Fresh–a feature that keeps your laundry from getting musty by tumbling after a cycle has finished. If you've been on the fence about switching to a front-loader, the 41262 is a great place to start looking. Read the full review.
This unassuming Whirlpool washer does a good job at cleaning your clothes, but it still has enough wash options to please even the most particular of laundry-doers. Its relatively short cycle times (the longest, the Heavy Duty cycle, clocks in at a mere hour and 15 minutes), and intuitive controls make it a solid choice for an entry-level front-load washing machine. However, customer reviews reveal that, like on most front-loaders, you may need to perform routine cleaning and maintenance on the door's gasket to prevent it from smelling. Read full review.
How We Test
Every washing machine that comes into Reviewed’s labs gets put through the same testing regime, which addresses both performance and user-friendliness. Performance tests include:
• Stain removal – on a strip of AHAM-approved stains (which includes cocoa, sweat, pig’s blood, red wine, and oil), how much of each stain can this washing machine remove?
• Wear and tear – during a given cycle, how hard is the mechanical action of the washing machine on your clothes?
• Water retention – how much water does your washing machine spin out at the end of the cycle?
• Cycle time – how long is each washing machine cycle?
The best washers have solid stain removal abilities, do not damage your clothes, retain little water, and have short cycle times.
Beyond these performance tests, we also assess the usability of each washing machine, based on our experience, both during testing and during more casual use (one perk of working at Reviewed is that there are plenty of laundry machines on premises!). Our main goal is to get the answer to one question: how easy is it to actually use this washing machine? This involves cumulatively assessing the control panel, the door, the detergent dispenser, and any smart features that are included.
By combining the performance data with our own observations, we can make the solid recommendations for someone looking for any type of washing machine at any price point.