Whether you're washing your baby’s blanket, freshening up a blouse you want to wear to a big interview, or just doing your weekly load of laundry, you rely on your washing machine to get your clothes clean the first time, with minimal intervention on your part.
For better or worse, today’s washers are different than the ones you grew up with. At Reviewed, we’ve tested them all, washing thousands of pounds of laundry so we can tell you exactly which ones to buy, and which features are worth your money. The best washers may not come cheap, but they'll rid your clothes of stains, treat expensive fabrics with care, and help you spend less time on chores. Our favorite washer, the Electrolux EFLS627UTT (available at AppliancesConnection for $1,025.00) cleans very well, and makes other washers weep with envy at the sight of its detergent dispenser, which has a special place for detergent pods.
(If you want to replace both your washer and your dryer, be sure to check out our picks for the best dryers as well.)
No matter how much space you have or what kind of laundry you do, we’ve got you covered. These are the best washing machines right now.
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; it managed to do a solid stain removal job in both the 46-minute-long Normal cycle, and the 15-minute-long Quick cycle. Features like Sanitize, StainSoak, and Extended Refresh means that this washer can deal with any situation. Read the full review.
What to consider when purchasing a washing machine
Whether it’s an emergency replacement, or you’re just looking to class up your laundry room, there are a few things you should consider when you go to purchase a new washing machine.
Front-load vs. Top-load
While it may seem like a minor design difference, studies (including ours) have shown that front-load machines are better stain removers, more efficient, and will 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 4.2-4.5 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-$1200 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, 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.
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 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 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.
The Electrolux EFLS527UTT is in the same family and 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. Between its stellar performance and neat features like an Activewear Cycle, Sanitize, and Perfect Steam, you get a front-loading washer that's worth its salt. Read the full review.
Where To Buy$989.99 Best Buy Buy
LG knows how to build a great front-loading washing machine, and the WM3770HWA is proof. Turbo Wash 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. An ingenious door stopper props the door open between cycles, preventing the build-up of moisture and mildew that can lead to a smelly gasket. Available in two colors—white or graphite—the WM3770HWA offers fast cycles and great stain removal at a competitive price. Read the full review.
Where To Buy$1,209.10 AppliancesConnection Buy
The MHW8200FC is Maytag's flagship front-loader. The Optimal Dose feature lets you store up 12 loads worth of detergent in a single go. Fresh Hold, a cycle that circulates air after washing the clothes, keeps your laundry from getting musty, so you can have a load laundry going while you're at work and not have to worry about mildew on your clothes. While the washer's heavy cycle, PowerWash, took a long time to finish (it clocked in at about three hours), our tests showed that Maytag's claim that it leads the market in stain removal is a valid one. 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 cycles for every situation. Other options, like Water Plus, help you clean more unique or heavily soiled items of clothing. However, the WM3670HWA's coup de grace is its internal water heater. With this hot water heater, not only do you get steam cycle options, but maximum temperatures north of 140°F in regular wash cycles. With temperatures that hot, you can clean one of the most problematic pieces of laundry—a cloth diaper. Read the full review.
With a steam cycle, a sanitizing wash, and a 5.2 cu. ft. capacity, the giant LG WM9000HVA has a unique, sleek look that will class up a laundry room. We were impressed by how much it could fit—and how well it cleaned. Since it's compatible with LG's TwinWash system, you could even do two loads at once. And a 34-minute Turbo Wash cycle saves time, too. Another bonus is its 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. If you've got a lot of laundry to do, this LG will make short work of it. Read the full review.
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). With a low sale price, it proves that premium can be affordable, too. 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.
The LG WM5000HVA boasts some of the company's best laundry technologies. Turbo Wash allows you to do a normal load of laundry in 30 minutes, while the tilted drum makes it easy to both load the machine and find that last sock afterwards. An intuitive and touch-sensitive control panel makes you feel like you're operating a vital piece of equipment on a spaceship. It has a sleek design and our tests show it’s tough on stains, gentle on clothes, and efficient to boot. It’s laundry made quicker and less painful—what more could you ask for? Read the full review.
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 how much 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. Read the full review.