Whirlpool Duet WFW9151YW Review
For a unit in its price range, this Whirlpool offers great cleaning performance and an attractive set of features.
The Whirlpool Duet WFW9151YW is a mid-range, front loading clothes washer. It offers an attractive feature set for its price, but it’s an even better deal if you can find it on sale—sometimes a good $200 less than its $849 MSRP. One thing is certain; a sharp eye on the competition is advisable.
Design & Usability
On the sales floor, the Whirlpool Duet WFW9151YW is virtually indistinguishable from any other machine in its price range.
This model's simple controls are easy to decipher, see, and use. Unlike some washers we test, its cycle selector knob remains on whichever wash you last used—helpful if you use the same cycle over and over again. The surrounding control panel is a bit crowded, but all the options and buttons are well-labeled and easy to push. The door, however, felt less well designed. It is encased in a rather cheap-feeling plastic. Still, the hinges and locking mechanism worked well.
Performance & Features
Solid cleaning performance on most cycles, but some were clearly better than others
The Duet did an excellent job on the often-used Normal cycle. In five minutes shy of an hour, the Whirlpool got most stains very close to white. It did its best work on blood, cocoa and wine stains, though it also did a decent job getting out carbon and oil. Dialing up the heat, the Whitest Whites cycle showed us that tricky oil-based stains were diminished in appearance, and red wine stains all but disappeared. If you spill something on your favorite shirt and you've got a Whirlpool Duet WFW9151YW in your laundry room, choose this cycle. On the other hand, the Heavy Duty cycle also didn't live up to the expectations its name or its claim of a 72-minute cycle time, barely outperforming the much shorter Normal wash.
For features, this Duet offers EcoBoost, an option that slightly reduces water temperature to save money and energy. There’s also TumbleFresh, which turns clothes over to keep them from getting musty from sitting in the washer after a cycle. The rest of the offerings are run-of-the-mill.
When it comes to water and energy, the Whirlpool Duet WFW9151YW is inefficient compared to other front loading machines we’ve tested, with an annual ownership cost close to $38 on average. If you’re replacing an older washer or a top loader, though, you’ll still notice a dip in your water and electric bills.
This Duet inspires boring adjectives.
Although it suffers from uneven performance across cycles and lacks some options that can be found on pricier machines, this Duet does a good job on the frequently-used Normal cycle. Otherwise, every cycle had a sticking point that kept us from recommending it without reservation. The Delicates cycle, for instance, wasn’t that gentle on clothes. The Heavy Duty cycle took longer than the Normal cycle for only slightly better results.
Rather than settling for this washer, we recommend shopping around; this is a crowded segment with stiff competition. You could almost certainly find a better washer with more features (like a Sanitize cycle) for a better price.
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