The Best Front-Load Washers Under $1,000 of 2019By Cindy Bailen and Jonathan Chan, Updated May 07, 2019
We've updated this roundup to include the LG WM3500CW.
Over the years at our testing labs, we’ve proven that front-load washers are superior to top-loaders. They remove stains better, use less water, and are gentler on clothes. However, front-load washers are not perfect and one of their major drawbacks is that they’re expensive.
We've spent hundreds of hours testing dozens of front loaders at every price point. After analyzing all the data, we picked out the top budget performers. In this roundup, the top metric was the price-to-performance ratio, or how well the washer moved stains versus how much it cost. The secondary metric revolved around useful features. Expensive washers tend to have a lot of luxury features like automatic detergent-dispensing and super-fast cycles.
The Electrolux EFLS627UTT (available at AppliancesConnection for $1,073.00) came out on top for its one-of-a-kind features, excellent stain removal, and a 15-minute Fast cycle. Good, fast, and affordable, the EFLS627UTT has it all.
While Electrolux took two of the top spots, Whirlpool, Samsung, and LG also had a good showing.
Here are all the washers that we think are the best, in ranked order:
- Electrolux EFLS627UTT
- Electrolux EFLS527UTT
- LG WM3770HWA
- LG WM3500CW
- Samsung WF42H5000AW
- Samsung WF50K7500AW
- LG WM3270CW
- Kenmore 41262
- Whirlpool WFW75HEFW
Electrolux EFLS627UTTBest Overall
The Electrolux EFLS627UTT front-load washer stands as one of the best front-load washers on the market. One reason? It is the 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 powerful stain removal and efficient cycles; it managed to do a solid stain-removal job in both the 46-minute-long Normal cycle and the 15-minute-long Quick cycle.
The EFLS627UTT has a stainless steel tub and is chock-full of features and options including Sanitize, Perfect Steam, StainSoak, and Extended Refresh. StainSoak reheats and recirculates the detergent so that it has more time to tackle your really tough stains. Extended Refresh is great for those who can't stick around to immediately get wet laundry into the dryer; it continues to tumble your wet laundry in the washer until you get home. Between the bevy of features and great cleaning performance, it's no surprise that the EFLS627UTT is our favorite washer.
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 – Using 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 solid recommendations for someone looking for any type of washing machine at any price point.
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.
The Electrolux EFLS527UTT has the same general performance and features as the Electrolux EFLS627UTT washer, including the pod detergent slot. However, it shines in its own right: its Delicates cycle is particularly gentle on your clothes, while the Heavy cycle is among the most effective stain-removing cycles we've ever tested, which is really saying something.
The EFLS527UTT also has a clever feature called StainTreat II, which allows you to select certain wash program options for especially difficult stains like blood and chocolate. Additionally, the cycle times are generally shorter than they are in the Electrolux EFLS627UTT, so if you're short on time, but you still want stellar stain removal, the Electrolux EFLS527UTT is the washer for you. Additional cycle options like Activewear Cycle, Sanitize, and Perfect Steam mean that this washer is worth every penny.
Where To Buy$989.99 Best Buy Buy
LG knows how to build a great front-loading washer, and the LG 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.
If you want a lot of bang for your buck, then the 4.5-cu.-ft. LG WM3500CW is the front-load washer for you. Like most LG washers, you can customize each part of the cycle, from the timing, to the amount of spin, to the level of soil on your clothes. This washer did stellar in our lab tests; its stain-removal capabilities has it cleaning as well as or better than more expensive washers.
The Cold Wash feature makes it easy for you to save money on your utility bills, and if you're going to be away from home for a while, the Fresh Care feature continues to tumble your clean laundry so that it doesn't sit and get stale in the washer. Last but not least, this washer works with Google Assistant. You could, in fact, turn your washer on with a voice command. The LG WM3500CW packs great cleaning performance and neat features into a relatively small price tag.
Where To Buy$659.00 AppliancesConnection Buy $719.10 Home Depot Buy $719.00 Abt Buy $719.99 Best Buy Buy
With its lower upfront cost, it's no surprise that the Samsung WF42H5000AW is pretty bare bones. 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.
Where To Buy$998.60 AppliancesConnection Buy $1,169.10 Home Depot Buy $1,169.00 Abt Buy $1,169.99 Best Buy Buy
Most of the hype surrounding the large capacity, 5.0-cu.-ft. Samsung WF50K7500AW front-load washer is focused on its AddWash feature—an extra door on the front that does nothing extra—when it should be focused on its solid stain removal and fast cycles. The Normal cycle is only 30 minutes long, and in that time, it effortlessly deals with stains, even with a large load of laundry. While the Normal cycle is a solid performer all by itself, for really tough stains, the Heavy cycle cleans even better. If you prefer to save money on heating up water, the Eco Cold cycle will make your wallet happy.
Like most high-tech washers, there's plenty of customization options here: You can set the water temperature, soil level, and spin amount in a given cycle, with extra rinses and spin options also available. This is a good washer for large families; it gets through mountains of laundry more efficiently than its competitors.
Where To Buy$719.00 Home Depot Buy
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 means 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 features that may win some converts from the die-hard top-load camp.
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.
Where To Buy$809.10 Home Depot Buy
The unassuming Whirlpool WFW75HEFW 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 with most front-loaders, you may need to perform routine cleaning and maintenance on the door's gasket to prevent it from smelling.