Samsung WF42H5000AW Washing Machine Review
It's all average—except for the Heavy Duty cycle.
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In life, sometimes we want the best of the best, and sometimes we just want what's good. The Samsung WF42H5000AW (available at AJ Madison for $625.10) didn't make us jump up and down during testing, but its average performance was far from frustrating. The 4.2 cubic-foot washer offers good efficiency and a decent Heavy Duty cycle. Perfect if you want something that just plain cleans your clothes, but substandard if you're hoping to be blown away by a perfectly designed machine. We'd call this one "good enough."
The WF42H5000AW doesn't boast any features to write home about, but that's to be expected on a budget front-loader. The machine is on par with other washers in its price range. If you're looking to upgrade into the front-loader market and you like Samsung products, the WF42H5000AW may suit you just fine.
To read our full review of this washer's matching dryer, the Samsung DV42H5000EW, click here.
By the Numbers
We base our reviews on empirical data. On this page, we'll discuss the tests and results that our review of the Samsung WF42H5000AW draws from.
Design & Usability
Simple can be good.
I think I'm getting soft in my old age. I'm interested in my 401K allocations, and suddenly control panels with big print have a growing appeal. In my mind, plain white washing machines have gone from "bland" to "elegant." The WF42H5000AW's clean design reminds us a lot of the Samsung WF398ATPAWR, and looks neither cheap nor ostentatious.
This washer has only seven cycles, the names of which are printed in bold black lettering. The control panel itself is black with white print, and all very easy to read. Beyond that, what you see is what you get: push button, activate feature. There are no hidden features, or menus within menus. When it comes to ease of use, this Samsung has a simple formula that works.
Cleaning performance is the most important element of a washing machine. We test this using stained cloth swatches coated with common substances like wine and cocoa powder. After these strips go through a wash buried within a load of test laundry, we scan them with a photo-spectrometer to see how much of the stains have been lifted.
All the cycles performed at or below average across the board. Only the Heavy Duty cycle bucked the trend by giving a better performance. However, every cycle had the most success when removing protein-based stains, while dirt was each cycle's Achilles heel. All cycles had middling performances when dealing with sweat and red wine stains.
Testing efficiency is a two-step process. First, we measure what goes into a washer. We hooked the Samsung WF42H5000AW to water and wattage meters to determine resource usage.
In this regard, the WF42H5000AW had superb scores. Based on national averages, we estimate the yearly running cost to be on the order of $28. That's less than half the cost of the average top-loader.
The second step of efficiency testing is all about what comes out of a washer. The more water the washer spins out of your laundry, the less work your dryer will have to do. This saves you time and money.
We were slightly disappointed with the results of this step of the resting process. On average, test loads emerged from the washer with a 64% increase in weight, indicating that they still held excess water. Numbers over 50% tend to make drying cycles longer.
Performance & Features
Top of the low end
The Samsung WF42H5000AW, like the old Cleveland Cavaliers, is carried by one player. Most of the cycles performed at or below average. But the Heavy Duty cycle stepped up as this washer's LeBron James. In an hour and a half it could bust through stains ranging from protein to dirt. The Normal cycle was the second-best. At 56 minutes, the Normal cycle gave the kind of performance we'd expect at WF42H5000AW's price range.
It's worth noting this washer does not offer Steam Clean or Sanitize cycles. That shouldn't be an issue for most, but those with bad allergies or piles of cloth diapers to wash may find this machine lacking.
Most of the tests we ran on the WF42H5000AW resulted in scores that were in line with its cost. It won't break the bank now or later. Based on national average costs, we estimate the yearly running cost to be around $28. Not bad at all.
Overall, you'll get what you pay for, plus that great Heavy Duty cycle. This washer doesn't have a lot of extras to offer. What it does have, however, works well enough.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
For those who don't want to overthink washing machines
The Samsung WF42H5000AW isn't fancy, but it will meet the needs of most folks. A lack of extra cycles might turn off people with more specialized laundry needs. However, if you load dirty laundry into this machine, it will emerge significantly cleaner. You can't ask for much more at a retail price of $720.
The bottom line? If you want a front-loader that won't drain your bank account, the Samsung WF42H5000AW is worth checking out.