LG WM1377HW 24-inch Compact Washing Machine Review
A pint-sized washer for families with little ones
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By the Numbers
In our appliance testing facility, we perform a series of standardized test on very washer. The two biggest factors separating a good machine from a bad one are cleaning performance and efficiency. For more information about how we test washing machines click here.
This product has been replaced with the nearly identical WM1388HW, which adds more wash cycles. While we have not tested the newer model, most of our conclusions about the WM1377HW should still apply.
The 24-inch, stackable LG WM1337HW (MSRP $999.99) is a very compelling solution for families. This tiny washer only measures 33 and a half inches tall, 24 inches wide, and 25 inches deep, but has all the cycles parents and caretakers need.
It's all thanks to LG's decision to give this washer an internal water heater, which allows it to get super hot. When combined with a detergent, the Sanitize cycle promises to clean everything from cloth diapers to soiled bedsheets. Given its moderate price tag, the LG WM1337HW will likely fit your budget too.
Cleaning performance is determined by how much of a stain gets removed from stain strips–swatches of cloth mechanically coated in representative soils like cocoa and red wine. We place these strips in standardized laundry loads made up of bedsheets, towels, and pillowcases. After a cycle is complete, we take the strips and analyze them under a photospectrometer to determine, via color, how much of each stain has been lifted.
Speed Wash surprised us, climbing to the top of the cycle rankings–though some of our shock was mitigated when we saw that it took an hour for the "Speed" Wash to finish. It used two gallons of water less than the Normal cycle, which was likely due to the smaller load. The Normal cycle on the hot setting came in second, lagging 6% behind the Speed Wash with an 8lb. load. Heavy Duty on its default settings came in third with an 8% penalty versus Speed Wash. We attribute this lack of stain removal to the fact that Heavy Duty cycles tend to rely on agitation, and because a full-sized test load can barely fit inside the WM1377HW, some laundry "stalled," meaning it got trapped in the middle of the drum untouched.
Delving into individual stains, the WM1377HW did well against protein-based stains like cocoa and blood. Across all cycles, foodstuff stains were removed most thoroughly. This LG did the worst against oil and sweat stains. Typically, these stains are tough because of high heat needed to remove them. It's all the more disappointing because the WM1377HW has an internal water heater to get that much-needed hot water.
Design & Usability
If it fits your home, it fits your lifestyle
When you first set eyes on the LG WM1377HW, the first thing you'll notice is its compact stature. With a 2.3-cu.-ft. capacity, this washer will require a change in laundry habits if you're used to a full-sized, American washer. Big washers accommodate between two and four baskets of laundry. The WM1377HW can barely fit one, if that. But if a compact washer is all you can fit in your home, the LG WM1377HW beats lugging your clothes to the laundromat.
And if you have little kids–or big messes–you'll be hard pressed to find washers with a Sanitize cycle for under a thousand dollars. The WM1377HW provides one, plus a Baby Wear cycle. The Sanitize cycle is for tough jobs: cloth diapers, soiled bedsheets, or when the security blanket needs a wash. The Baby Wear cycle is designed for getting out food stains without wearing out clothes.
Performance & Features
Aim small, miss small
There are washing machines out there that want to be everything to everyone. And as the saying goes, a jack of all trades is master of none. The LG WM1377HW's design has one goal: be small. When you need a stackable washer to fit in a narrow laundry closet, your options are limited. You can go laundry center or you can choose a compact. The advantage of having a compact front loader, like this LG, is that you get more tech in a smaller space.
In our tests, that tech translated into above-average stain removal. Across all the cycles, our lab tests showed that this washer used enough hot water and agitation to scrub a wide range of stains.
The Speed Wash cycle stood out the most... even though we found the Speed part of Speed Wash a bit of a misnomer. This cycle lasted an hour when we used a four-pound load of laundry–about half a basket. However, it was the fastest cycle we tested on the WM1377HW. And it cleaned better than any Speed Wash we've seen thus far. It combined high temperatures and all the spin this little washer could muster. These results showed us that the WM1377HW is at its best when you're doing small amounts of laundry, frequently.
The faults of overloading this machine became apparent during the Heavy Duty cycle test with an eight-pound load. It lagged eight percent behind the Speed Wash in stain removal. One way washers get out stains is by rubbing clothes against the side of the drum. In a compact machine, like the WM1377HW, it's easy for some laundry to get trapped in the center, a phenomenon known as "stalling". This causes uneven cleaning, since neither detergent nor mechanical action can reach those items.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
We see efficiency as a two-pronged issue. The first is rather straightforward: what goes into the machine. We hooked the LG WM1377HW to water and watt meters to determine resource usage. Assuming average national costs and use patterns, we calculate the yearly running cost of this machine will be on the order of $30 a year. That's on par with other front loading washing machines, and about half what the average top loader costs.
On the other side of the coin is Water retention. The more water a washer spins out, the less time your laundry needs to spend in the dryer, which is one of the most energy-hungry appliances in the typical home. On average, the WM1377HW spun out about 44% of all excess water, which is a little below average.
The LG WM1377HW has a one-year warranty that covers parts and labor for any manufacturer defects found at the time of purchase. It also has a ten-year warranty for the drive motor that covers only parts. A lifetime, parts-only, warranty covers the drum.
Before You Buy
Sometimes great things come in small packages
We put the LG WM1377HW through its paces in our testing labs, and were throughly impressed with the results. This compact washer bridges the gap between very European-styled compacts like the Blomberg WM 98400SX and an okay American front loader.
Yes, the LG is a niche product, targeting families with small children that have limited space. But other than its size, it's no different than any other front loader when you combine the reasonable price, the good cleaning ability, and the family-centric design. The LG WM1377HW is one attractive machine.