If all this sounds similar to the Whirlpool WTW8000BW, which costs $50 less, it should. The two models are nearly carbon copies of one another, except for one important distinction: The more expensive WTW8100BW features a tinted “EasyView” window on the lid, so you can actually see what’s going on inside your washer.

All black, tinted up.

The 8100’s attractive control panel uses a green on glossy-black color scheme, with chrome accents for the main cycle dial. A ring of LEDs surrounds that dial, making it easy to tell which cycle you’ve selected.

For most users, the cycle dial and the Start button will be all the control you'll ever need. If you’d like to drill down even further, though, detailed options are best configured from left to right across the panel. For each cycle (except Quick Wash), you may specify soil level, spin speed, and washing temperature, as well as the additional options of extra rinsing or Whirlpool’s “EcoBoost,” delay the wash for a few hours, or toggle the chime for completed cycles.

If your whites could talk, they'd thank you.

Test performance was identical to the Cabrio 8000, which makes sense because they’re basically the same machine. This washer’s Whites cycle was the most effective, even beating out the Heavy Duty cycle for top marks. The tradeoffs here were time (our Whites cycle test load clocked in at 69 minutes) and clothing wear (Whites was by far the most damaging cycle, even more than Heavy Duty). In fact, we noted the Normal cycle was nearly equivalent to Heavy Duty in both stain removal and clothing wear, making us wonder what’s so “heavy” about it.

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The Quick cycle couldn’t remove sweat or dirt as well as others, but at only 34 minutes it’s a quick and efficient way to get the job done. Speaking of efficiency, this washer is somewhat cost-effective: We estimate an annual operating cost of $45.86 for this machine, decent but slightly inferior to most front-loaders.

For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.

Willing to spend $50 on a window?

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The WTW8100BW offers no performance advantages over the WTW8000BW, so going with the windowless version is a great way to save fifty bucks. After all, there’s not much to see in there, just wet clothes.

Of course the window doesn’t take anything away from this washer’s overall performance. While the machine's feature set is sparse—especially for $900—stain removal is still strong, capacity is huge, and efficiency is better than most.

And yes, we’ll admit there’s something rather mesmerizing about watching your clothes slosh around inside a washer... or maybe we’re just spending too much time in the lab.
Our suite of lab tests comprised more than 18 test loads for the Whirlpool WTW8100BW, including measurements for hot and cold water requirements, electricity usage, internal drum temperature, and water retention. We gauge stain removal using controlled, pre-soiled testing cloth, and report results relative to the AHAM industry standard. Clothing wear is tested with controlled mechanical action cloths, which fray according to agitation intensity.
While Heavy Duty is typically the strongest washing cycle, the 8100’s best cycle was actually Whites, where this machine achieved the best removal scores for all five of our test stains: sebum (sweat), carbon (dirt), blood, cocoa, and red wine. Heavy Duty was significantly worse than Whites at removing dirt and cocoa. The Normal cycle’s performance was actually similar to Heavy Duty, though Normal did struggle with sweat stains.

Clothing wear is a common tradeoff of stain removal, and was distributed in reverse-order of washing performance. The Whites cycle is very harsh on clothing, followed by Heavy Duty, then Normal. For example, the Whites cycle produced an average of 76 frayed threads, while the Delicates cycle produced only 6.
Based on the washing habits of an average American household, we've calculated the total ongoing ownership cost of the Whirlpool WTW8100BW at $45.86 per year, including water and electricity. Each Normal cycle will run you $0.09, and the most expensive cycle is Whites at $0.24 per wash.

The average finished wash load from the WTW8100BW will retain 62% of its water weight, and that means a little more work for your dryer (which is more costly to operate). A more efficient washer might retain 50% moisture or less.

Meet the testers

Christopher Snow

Christopher Snow

Managing Editor

@BlameSnow

Chris was born and raised less than ten miles from our editorial office, and even graduated from nearby Merrimack College. He came to Reviewed after covering the telecom industry, and has been moonlighting as a Boston area dining critic since 2008.

See all of Christopher Snow's reviews

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.

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