Good cleaning performance for a compact washer
Cycles take a long time to finish
For consumers who are unsure whether or not you need a compact washer, it’s pretty easy to figure out: If you are either replacing an older compact washing machine or don’t have the space or hookups for a full-size washer, then a compact is your best bet. If you can fit a full-size model into your home, do so. You get more capacity and higher cleaning capability for your money, especially considering compact models charge a premium for cramming their components into such a small package. Don't pay extra for a worse wash if you don't have to.
About the GE GFW148SSMWW compact washer
Dimensions: 33.25” x 23.44” x 25 5/8” (H x W x D)
Capacity: 2.4 cu. ft.
Cycles: Active Wear, Casuals, Casuals with Steam, Cold Wash, Delicates, Heavy Duty, Normal, PreWash, Quick Wash, Rinse + Spin, Sanitize, Stain Wash with Steam, Towels, Tub Clean, Whites
Cycle options: Delay Wash, Extra Rinse, five soil settings, five temperature settings, five rinse settings, two spin settings
Matching dryer: GFT14ESSMWW or GFD14ESSNWW (both dryers have a socket to allow you to plug your washer in, saving on outlet space)
User manual: GE GFW148SSMWW compact washer manual
What we like
Cleaning performance is decent
Smaller-capacity washers sometimes have trouble getting the same quality wash as a full-size model. A smaller capacity typically means your loads need to be small, otherwise your laundry has a lot less room to move around and agitate, which results in less scrubbing. If you have room for a full-size unit, we recommend getting one. However, if you’re trying to make do with limited space or replace a broken machine that lives in a tight spot, compact washers still give a pretty good clean—just not the best.
In the GE GFW148SSMWW’s case, we saw more or less average cleaning ability, which is actually pretty good for a compact washer. Across the board, this GE was either dead average or about 6% under par, but again, we need to grade on a bit of a curve.
The Heavy Duty cycle was most effective at scrubbing and removed about 75% of the gunk from our stain strips. The Normal and Quick wash cycles both cleaned about 68% of the stains away, while Delicates got laundry about 60% of the way to clean. These numbers might not seem particularly impressive, but keep in mind we measure against some tough stains—like cocoa, blood, sweat, and red wine. Regular laundry suffering from everyday wear and soiling comes out just fine.
What we don’t like
Cycle times are slow
This is one area where compacts often have difficulty. To offset a smaller capacity and less agitation, wash cycles tend to run a bit on the long side—and the GE GFW148SSMWW is not exempt.
Where the average full-size washer takes about 50 minutes to finish their normal cycle, the GFW148SSMWW took a little over 80 minutes to complete. This is pretty long even for a compact washer. We expect the cycles to take maybe 10 or 15 minutes longer, not 30 minutes.
On the plus side, times do seem to be consistent. The Normal cycle only differed by about a minute at most from test cycle to test cycle—that means you can at least set a timer and come back later, which makes the long cycle length a bit more palatable.
What owners are saying
User reviews were generally positive for the GE GFW148SSMWW. Those who own the device tend to like its cleaning ability, small size, and how it can plug into the dryer. Those who don't like the device seem to have received lemons, with complaints ranging from leaky drain hoses to loud noises and very heavy vibrations. We didn’t run into any of these issues during testing.
The GE GFW148SSMWW is covered by a limited one-year warranty for parts and labor, which is a basic policy for appliances.
Should you buy the GE GFW148SSMWW?
Yes, if you can't fit a full-size in your home and you're looking for a good value. The GE GFW148SSMWW is a solid compact washer that probably won’t disappoint. It has decent cleaning power and the main downside, long cycle times, may not be a deal-breaker for many consumers—especially given that most compact washers have longer cycle times. We think it’s appropriate for its price point.
Of course, compact washers and dryers tend to charge a premium for their reduced size: If you can fit a full-size model in your home, those will give you more bang for your buck overall.
Meet the testers
Mark Brezinski is a senior writer with seven years of experience reviewing consumer tech and home appliances.
Kyle Hamilton is a product tester at Reviewed, specializing in home appliances and technology.
Checking our work.
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.Shoot us an email