Good stain removal
Venting system controls odors
Excellent sanitize feature
Poor Quick Dry and Bulky/Bedding cycle
The GE GFW850SPNRS comes in Sapphire Blue, and we know that there are people who will want this washer just for that as consumers move toward making their once-hidden appliances part of their home décor. If blue is not to your liking, this model also comes in white and Diamond Gray. More than that, the stain-removal performance is top-notch. We also appreciated the UltraFresh vent system with OdorBlock, which helps keep the drum dry to prevent odor and dry clothes, and the SmartDispense technology, which lets you load enough soap for up to 32 cycles and take the guesswork out of how much to use for each load.
About the GE GFW850SPNRS
• Dimensions: 34” x 39.75” x 28” (D x H x W)
• Capacity: 4.5 cu. ft.
• Finishes: Sapphire Blue, Diamond Gray, White
• Wash Cycles: Active Wear, Bulky/Bedding, Cold Wash, Delicates, Normal, Power Clean, Quick Wash, Rinse + Spin, Sanitize + Allergen, Self Clean, Towels, Whites
• Notable Features: UltraFresh vent system with OdorBlock, Microban antimicrobial gasket, steam washer with SmartDispense, smart connectivity
What we like
Stain removal is superior for a front-load washer
Our tests measure how well a washer deals with stains ranging from oil to red wine. The GFW850SPNRS did well across the board. Testing showed that the Normal cycle removed 71% of all stains, which is about 5% above average. This doesn’t sound like much, but it's enough to place it in a different tier of cleaning performance. Plus, you'll never be sorry that a washer has worked too well. When we did a Power Clean cycle and turned on the optional Steam feature, the numbers jumped to 77%. We found that Delicates was the weakest, removing about 67% of stains, but it makes up for it by being 25% more gentle on clothing than the Normal cycle.
The GFW850SPNRS also has the added advantage of having an internal water heater. On the Sanitize cycle, our probes measured internal temperatures north of 150°F. Heat like that can help ensure even oily stains get cleaned, and can even denature common allergens like pollen.
No more smelly drum
Odor ranks as one of the highest complaints levied against front-load washers, which, unlike top-loaders trap water in their gaskets. If you’re fed up cleaning your washer drum, this GE has a solution. The GFW850SPNRS contains the UltraFresh Vent System with OdorBlock that rotates the drum after a cycle has finished and engage a fan to help dry out the interior. The process can take up to eight hours total, but it’s quiet enough to not disrupt day-to-day life. Families with young children, pets, or cramped laundry spaces will appreciate the convenience of not having to keep their door open for hours to dry out.
The venting system also allows for a feature called 1-Step Wash & Dry. You can place in a load of laundry that will get washed then undergo an eight-to-nine hour venting cycle, meaning clothes are dried without physically moving them to the dryer. We found that you can wash and dry a handful of items effectively, but full loads only get about 20% drier than not using the venting feature. The gasket and detergent drawer are also made up of a bright blue material called Microban, which helps prevent mildew from growing.
Auto-dispense means every load has exactly the right amount of detergent
Using too much detergent can actually make your laundry dirtier. The GFW850SPNRS offers the SmartDispense auto-dispense feature that allows you to store up to 32 loads worth of detergent. We found that on the auto setting, this washer used about 0.6 ounces of detergent for an 8-pound load, which is less than what most people typically use, but still effective in cleaning your clothes. This takes the guesswork out of measuring detergent, but if you want a degree of control, you can set the GFW850SPNRS to dispense a specific amount of soap if you’re partial to using more or less.
What we don’t like
Cycle times are slow
On the whole, we found the GE GFW850SPNRS to be a much slower washer than average. We clocked the Normal cycle at around an hour and change. That’s about 15-20 minutes longer than other washers in this price range. For context, the fastest washer we’ve tested can finish a regular load of laundry in about 30 minutes—the same amount of time as this GE’s Quick Wash cycle.
It’s an expensive appliance
At the time of publication, the GE GFW850SPNRS sells for over $1,000. You’re paying extra for the unique Sapphire Blue color and the plethora of features. Just to be clear, none of these features are special to this washer. The venting can be found on Whirlpool models and the auto dispense is also becoming a popular feature on other high-end brands. Even the Microban is similar to something Electrolux does with its gaskets. Basically, you’re paying for the cool finish and the fact that all these features are being housed in the same unit.
What users are saying
We managed to get the GE GFW850SPNRS into our labs right after it hit the market so there are few user reviews to go on. At the online retailer Appliances Connection, users give this washer 4.5 stars out of 5 with 28 total reviews. Users like the gentleness of the Delicates cycle and how easy the controls are to read. Going through the limited number of reviews on Lowe’s and other retailers, we haven’t found any major criticisms.
Should you buy the GE GFW850SPNRS?
If you like front-load washers, but have been burned by smelly drums or lackluster cleaning, the GE GFW850SPNRS is a huge upgrade. The internal heater will be welcomed by anyone who has to deal with greasy stains or has skin sensitivities. Overall, this model is expensive, but if you’ve ever had the urge to show off your laundry room, this Sapphire Blue beauty will make all your friends green with envy. Still not sold? Check out more of the best front-load washers we’ve ever tested.
Meet the tester
Senior Manager of Lab Operations@ReviewedHome
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager 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.
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