Control panel takes the guesswork out of laundry
Designed to help preserve colors
Large drum makes it hard to unload
Tapping just two buttons will give you access to over 25 different wash cycles–meaning whatever the laundry situation, you'll be covered. Even more convenient is the 5.3-cu.-ft. drum, which can easily handle a family of four's laundry. Given a sale price hovering around $800, we'd say this is a washer for first-time buyers and consumers who want more customization for their laundry.
To read our full review of this washer's matching dryer, the Whirlpool Cabrio WED8000DW, click here.
Design & Usability: Your mileage may vary
Depending on how you like to do laundry, the Intuitive Touch Control system of the WTW8000DW can either save or waste time. By dividing the panel into What to Wash and How to Wash, it can take the guess work out of doing laundry. This means no reading tags.
On the other hand, if you're the type of person whose interaction with a washer consists solely of selecting the Normal cycle, the WTW8000DW's control scheme will slow you down—even if it does help your clothes look better with targeted wash cycles.
As clean as it looks, the control panel is actually quite cluttered. There are five What to Wash options ranging from Whites to Casual, and five How to Wash options. Beyond that, there are 12 modifiers for temperature, soil, and spin speed levels. Sometimes there's such a thing as too much choice.
You need to decide what kind of consumer you are. Do you want to take very precise care of your laundry? Or do you just want to press start?
A compromise between cost and innovation
There are washers out there like the Maytag MVWX655DW that will give you better cleaning for less money. But that Maytag isn't going to give you any of the features and controls the WTW8000DW offers. And if you want to get stain removal and high-end features like steam cleaning, you'll have to jump up to the Whirlpool WTW8500DW, which costs $1,299. The WTW8000DW sits in the middle, like Goldilocks.
The Mixed Cycle, set to Normal with the max soil level, proved to be the best. Not only did it remove protein stains thoroughly, it also brought the right temperature at the right time.
See, when washers add hot water too early, they have the tendency to "cook" protein stains onto fabric. The WTW8000DW avoided that by starting off cool and ramping up the heat. The rest of the cycles, like Whites and Delicates, performed as well as the WTW7300DW–a washer that's 0.5 cu. ft. smaller and $100 cheaper.
The WTW8000DW does have a major weakness: it may be too smart for its own good. Load sense allows washers to use an appropriate amount of water and spin. Although it's designed to save water, it can sometimes backfire. During several of our test runs, the WTW8000DW had to rebalance its load a few times. That happens when the washer senses that the load is uneven, and the drum fills up with water in order to redistribute the laundry for a more even clean and faster spin cycle.
The process forced cycle times to go on way longer than they should've. A 53-minute Normal cycle occasionally turned into a 1 hour 15 minute wait—and that's after we loaded it according to a precise pattern that's supposed to prevent unbalanced laundry.
When it was all said and done, we estimate that the WTW8000DW will cost $81 a year to run based on national use and wash patterns. If the load balance issue were addressed, you could save as much as $20 a year on water costs.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Cleaning performance is all about stain removal. To measure this, we use mechanically coated stain strips. Substances like pig's blood and cocoa powder are representative of different kinds of stains requiring different kinds of removal—such as through detergent or agitation.
We place the stain strips into balanced, eight-pound test loads made up of towels, pillowcases, and bedsheets. The test loads are subjected to test cycles. When a cycle finishes, we analyze the strips under a photospectrometer, which determines how close to white each strip is and shows how much of each stain has been lifted.
The WTW8000DW did well against blood and cocoa stains. That shows a good temperature profile. That means that it didn't add hot water too early, which "cooks" protein-based stains into fabric. Oil-based stains, like sweat, didn't fare as well. That's a sign that detergent didn't end up having enough time to work its magic.
We take two different factors into account when calculating efficiency. The first is pretty straightforward. Resource usage is determined via water and wattage meters. Based on national average costs and use patterns, we estimate that the WTW8000DW will need about $81 in utility costs per year to run.
The second half of the equation is water retention. The more soaked your laundry is, the more time it'll have to spend in your dryer or on the clothesline. That'll cost you either money or time. On average, the WTW8000DW spun out around 55% of excess water. Anything above the 50% mark gets the passing grade.
The Whirlpool WTW8000DW has a one-year warranty that will cover parts and labor for any defect found at time of purchase.
Before you buy
The Whirlpool's Intuitive Touch Controls are supposed to take the guesswork out of laundry. That gives the WTW8000DW a lot of appeal to consumers new to the world of doing their own laundry. But laundry veterans will also find many useful features, like the 5.3-cu.-ft. drum and the effective wash plate.
At $999 MSRP, the WTW8000DW is a very cost-effective way to own this new approach to fabric care. Consumers looking for a mid-range washer that's huge will be satisfied by the look and feel of this Whirlpool. Just remember that other top-load washers use less water, cost less to purchase, and do a better job cleaning.
Meet the tester
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.
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