Maytag Bravos XL MVWB835DW Washing Machine Review
In case of family laundry emergency, open door.
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The Maytag Bravos XL MVWB835DW (MSRP $999) wants only one thing: to help you do the most amount of laundry in the least amount of time. This 5.3-cu.-ft washer retails for just over $800 and has the capacity to easily handle multiple baskets of laundry at once—ideal for families who are short on time but long on dirty clothes.
Don't worry: Quantity does not cut down on quality. For example, the 835 has the PowerWash cycle–one of the most powerful stain removers we've ever tested on a top-load washer. When you combine the MVWB835DW's power and its size, laundry day gets a lot easier. And if you like the concept of the 835 but want more features, check out the Maytag MVWB855DW.
To read our full review of this washer's matching dryer, the Maytag MEDB835DW, click here.
By the Numbers
To ensure consistency, we evaluate every washer that passes through our doors with exactly the same tests. Our approval of the Maytag MVWB835DW is based on its ability to remove stains gently and effectively, all while using water wisely.
Design & Features
Tall, pale, and handsome
Let's be real: You don't really need a washer to look fancy, but style is always a nice bonus. We think this Maytag's sleek silver control panel looks quite handsome.
It's obvious that the MVWB835DW's designers put a lot of effort into the machine. From top to bottom, the MVWB835DW sets itself apart from the blander top-loaders currently on the market. First it has a tinted glass lid with soft-close hinges. When you open the lid, you'll find a detergent dispenser that slides on metal rails. It's important to have a sturdy dispenser because aside from the lid and controls, the detergent drawer is what you interact with the most.
On the topic of interaction, you won't have an issues with the MVWB835DW. The buttons on the control panel are easy to read and large enough to prevent any wrong presses, although you may have to get used to the slight delay before they respond.
We analyze our test stains under a photospectrometer, and a computer determines the resulting cleanliness of each load via color. The stains themselves come in the form of mechanically coated strips of cloth that are covered in representative substances like cocoa and blood. We place these strips in test loads made up of towels, bedsheets, and pillows.
The PowerWash cycle lived up to its name. It removed 2% more stains than the Normal cycle on the hottest water setting. On default settings, the Normal cycle removed 6% less stains than the PowerWash cycle. However, time is a major trade off. The PowerWash cycle required an hour and half, while the default Normal finished in 52 minutes.
In individual stains, this Maytag did best against cocoa and blood stains. Oil-based stains gave the MVWB835DW a harder time. We saw the largest difference on the PowerWash cycle where the cocoa stain got 21% cleaner than the oil stain.
Water and electricity meters help us calculate the efficiency of washing machines. We use data from the meters to estimate annual running costs, based on a formula that factors in national costs and use patterns. Using that formula, we estimate the MVWB835DW will cost around $65 per year to operate.
We also weigh our test loads before and after a wash cycle in order to see how much excess water each cycle spins out. Every drop of water your washer spins out is one your dryer—an energy-hungry appliance—won't have to deal with. Good washers will spin out around 50% of excess water, and the MVWB835DW was close at 48% on average.
Double the laundry
If you fill it to the brim, the 5.3-cu.-ft. drum can hold between two and three baskets of laundry, slashing the time you might spend on chores. However, all the extra water you use might increase your utility costs. We estimate the MVWB835DW will cost the average user about $65 per year to operate—twice as much as the most efficient front-load machines we've tested.
The cycle you'll want to keep in mind for big messes is PowerWash. Maytag advertises PowerWash as the best clean in its class. While there are many caveats to that claim, the effectiveness of the PowerWash cycle cannot be denied. Our lab tests show that this hour-and-a-half long cycle ranks among the best cycles of any top-loader we've evaluated. Any way you dice it, PowerWash lives up to its name.
However, the MVWB835DW is no one-trick pony. When we put the Normal cycle on the hottest setting and added an extra rinse, the resulting stain removal results came within 2% of PowerWash.
PowerWash and the high-scoring Normal cycle both needed over an hour to finish. If want to save more time, check out the Normal cycle on its default settings. This cycle needed only 52 minutes to finish and you'll only take a 4% penalty in stain removal.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Test Result's Page.
For one year after purchase, Maytag will cover labor and parts to repair any manufacturer defects. That's standard across the industry. As an extra, however, Maytag will cover parts for the drum and drive motor from the second to tenth year of ownership. It won't pay for any labor to do the repairs.
Betting On Big
This Maytag is the answer
The market is moving towards bigger washers and the Maytag MVWB835DW is riding that trend with grace and style.
If you use the MVWB835DW's PowerWash and Normal cycle, you'll be getting a better-than-average clean. You may be using more water, but that's exactly what many consumers are looking for.
From it's stainless drum to its soft-close hinges, the look and feel of this washer also impressed us. Anyone who wants to spend around $800 for a big, top-loading washing machine should consider the MVWB835DW.