We've updated this roundup to include the Samsung WF45R6300AV front-load washer. We're testing a lot of new washers, so keep an eye out for more updates in the near future!
Investing in a well-made, energy-efficient front-loading or a top-loading, washing machines is one of the best ways to ensure that you leave your home, every morning, looking your best. A great washing machine removes stains, helps prevent wrinkles, and gets rid of odors. Dressed in clean, fresh-smelling clothes can better your chance of nailing that big job interview and provide you with greater personal confidence in every area of your life. Having a machine that can make short work of musty towels, keep your bedding looking and smelling like new, and use fabric softener to make clothes extra cozy can do wonders for the state of your home, as well.
Over the years, we've tested hundreds of washers to evaluate their stain removal, efficiency, and ease of use. Out of all of the washing machines we’ve tested, these are the cream of the crop. Between their cleaning performance and their cutting-edge features, they check all the right boxes.
The Electrolux EFLS627UTT(available at AppliancesConnection for $993.00) is our favorite washer to date. It offers superior cleaning, a blazing 15-minute Fast cycle, and even has a spot for pods in the detergent drawer. While the EFLS627UTT is the best, there are plenty of other washers that are worth checking out.
These are the best washers we tested ranked, in order:
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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.
We have plenty of experience testing these products in the lab, but we've also used them like normal people would in the course of their daily lives, which means that we have a great sense for what appliances are bargains at their price points, and which appliances have really useful extra features (as opposed to the kitchen-sink approach to features).
With all this in mind, you can feel confident that when we recommend a product, we're giving it our Reviewed stamp of approval, which means two things: firstly, this appliance performs well, and secondly, this appliance is easy to use. We're always reviewing new products, so stay tuned for our reviews and roundups of the latest products in laundry, refrigerators, dishwashers, and vacuum cleaners.
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 washing machines 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 is 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 (like WiFi) 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.
While it may seem like a minor design difference, studies (including ours) have shown that front-load machines are better stain removers and more efficient than top-loaders, and they'll cost you less over time. However, they are generally more expensive up front than their top-load counterparts, which are more ergonomic, in that you don't have to bend over to do the laundry, and more convenient, since all you have to do to add another piece of clothing to an ongoing wash is to just lift the lid and throw it in. Whatever you prefer, if you're shopping on a budget, we have lists of our picks for the best front-load and best top-load washers. If you don't have a strong preference, this list contains both top- and front-load washers.
Before you head out to the stores, be sure you know the size constraints needed for your washer. We’re not just talking about the width of the space you have in your laundry room for the washer itself (although that’s definitely important). Are the doorways in your home wide enough to actually allow the washer to fit through them during delivery? Will it be able to fit in narrow/tight stair cases? Take a tape measure and check the doorway width against the washer’s specs, and make sure you have a few inches of clearance.
Most washers have capacities ranging from 4.2 to 4.5 cu. ft. However, if you have a large family, or especially large laundry loads, you may want a high-capacity washing machine, which is typically a capacity of 5.0 cu. ft. or greater. At that capacity, you can fit nearly 1.5 times the amount of laundry that you could fit in a regular capacity washing machine, which means you get to run fewer washer cycles and finish your laundry in a shorter period of time. However, if you have fewer people in the house, you may just want a normal capacity washer; you don't want to pay for extra capacity you'll never use.
Keep your budget constraints in mind. Washer prices can run the gamut from $500 to $2,000 or more, but most tend to sit in the $800 to $1,200 range. We have recommendations for some washers with very low prices, but you can generally find great washers at any price point; it just takes a little bit of research, and figuring out which features and design aesthetics you can live without.
Also, if you can afford to wait until major holidays, most appliance manufacturers and retailers tend to offer steep discounts around those times of year; vigilantly searching for deals can save you hundreds of dollars.
How picky are you about your washer cycles? Do you want to be able to set specific cycle temperatures, soil levels, water levels, and cycle duration, or would you prefer to just hit two buttons and start washing? Do you want a cycle just for workout/sports clothes? Really consider how you do laundry on a day-to-day basis; if you prefer a straightforward washing process, you’ll probably want to buy a lower-tech dryer. Even if that extra customization seems very appealing, it may not make sense for you to buy that kind of washer if you’re not going to actually use those extra features regularly.
Other Washers We Tested
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.
We love LG front loader washing machines, and the LG WM3700HWA is one of the reasons why. In addition to its stellar cleaning performance, it's also one of the most water- and energy-efficient washers we've tested. With a dizzying array of features, including an Allergiene cycle that combats pet dander, to the Add Garments button, which allows you to easily pause the cycle and throw in more laundry, it's not surprising that we found this washer to be a people-pleaser.
Even better, the WM3700HWA has a door stop that props the door open after a cycle finishes to help the door gasket dry. This feature may seem minor, but allowing the gasket proper time to dry can prevent mold growth that results in terrible smells. One thing to consider is that the control panel isn't backlit, so to prevent eyestrain, we recommend this washer for well-lit laundry rooms, rather than sparsely-lit basements. That shouldn't be a problem though, since this washer's performance and energy savings mean you'll be dying to show it off to anyone who drops by.
With a steam cycle, a sanitizing wash, and a large 5.2-cu.-ft. capacity, the giant LG WM9000HVA has a unique, sleek look that will class up a laundry room. Despite knowing that its 29-inch width is 2 inches wider than most other washers, we were impressed by how much this front-load washer could fit—and how well it cleaned. The Heavy cycle removed about 81 percent of the stains in our test, which makes it one of the highest performing washers we've ever tested when it comes to stain removal.
If you've got a lot of laundry to do, this LG will make short work of it. Since it's compatible with LG's TwinWash system, you can do two loads at once if you need to. Plus, it boasts both great form and function. LG has cleverly designed this washer to have an angled basin so that it's easier to unload it without having to bend over as much. It also has an extremely quiet operation; not only does it look like a fashion statement in your laundry room, but it won't disrupt conversation in the next room over.
The GE GTW680BSJWS features the very best of top-loading technology, with everything the American public wants out of a washer: a massive 4.6-cu.-ft. capacity, a warm rinse feature, and powerful stain removal. We also love its efficient wash cycles, but if efficiency isn't a big deal for you, you might appreciate the Deep Fill feature, which allows you to add more water to a given cycle (even if you don't actually need more water to get your laundry clean).
By including both a dial for cycle selection and a control board for cycle options, laundry novices and experts alike will have an easy time choosing exactly what cycle they want for a given garment or food stain. If you don't like bending over or squatting to get wet clothes out of your washer, we heartily recommend the GE GTW680BSJWS as our favorite top-load washing machine.
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.
If you want a workhorse front-load washing machine that has fast cycles and is both tough on stains and gentle with delicates, look no further than the Samsung WF45R6300AV. Like most Samsung washing machines, it has a dizzying array of cycles and cycle options, but the ones that stands out the most are the Sanitize cycle, which gets hot enough to kill all sorts of germs and bacteria, and the No Spin option, which is the best and safest choice for delicate clothes like sports gear, lingerie, bathing suits, and blouses.
The WF45R6300AV is no slouch when it comes to stain removal; the Heavy and Normal cycles are among the best cycles we've ever tested in our labs, hands down. The Quick Wash cycle is effective as well, but the best part of the Quick Wash cycle is its short run time of 28 minutes. If you're a big believer in smart home gadgetry and the Internet of Things, this Bixby-enabled washer won't disappoint. You can get alerts on your phone when a cycle finishes, and download a cycle from Samsung's cycle library that matches your exact stain needs. For a washer that gets the job done right the first time and has useful extra features, be sure to check out the Samsung WF45R6300AV.
The GE GTW485ASJWS is our best top-load washer with a pole agitator. It combines traditional methods and current technology to clean your laundry. Want to fill it to the brim with water? You can do that with the Deep Fill button. Would you rather let the washer calculate the exact amount of water the load needs? Sure, no problem, just pick a cycle and run it.
There’s plenty of room for laundry in the 4.2-cu.-ft. drum, and this machine meets Energy Star guidelines. The washer provides a dozen cycles to choose from, and the stain guide feature lets you specify the type of stain you want the washer to deal with. It will figure out the temperature and spin needed to remove it. However you prefer to do your laundry, the GE GTW485ASJWS will help you get it done.
With its lower upfront cost, it's no surprise that the Samsung WF42H5000AW is pretty bare bones. However, you'll be pleasantly surprised to fine that this washer, which has a fairly average cleaning performance in general, also has an absolutely stellar Heavy Duty cycle that blasted stains away.
There are a number of extra wash and cycle options, but the panel is legible and easy to navigate. The WF42H5000AW isn't a fancy washer by any definition, but it will clean your clothes without a lot of extra fuss, and that's all you need.
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.
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Senior Lab Technician at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.
Julia is the Senior Scientist at Reviewed, which means that she oversees (and continually updates) the testing of products in Reviewed's core categories such as televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, and more. She also determines the testing methods and standards for Reviewed's "The Best Right Now" articles.
Cindy Bailen loves writing about major appliances and home design and has spent over 15 years immersed in that. In her spare time, Cindy hosts pledge programs for WGBH-TV in Boston and other public television stations.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.