To find the best washer according to your needs, here are the main criteria to consider: the type of appliance (front or top loading), capacity, washing cycles, noise, energy consumption, and functions of cleaning.
1. Choose the type of washer: front or a top loading
First, choose your washer according to the space you have and where you will install it; a top-loading model, for example, is not suitable under a counter or cabinet, since the door is located on top of the device. Front-loading (front or load forehead) are most popular, and it is in this category, you will find the largest selection of models. As the name suggests, clothes are loaded through a door on the front of the washer.
The advantage? You can install it under a worktop or, in some cases, stack a dryer on top to save space. Front-load washers require less energy and water than top load washers because clothes are tumbled in the tub. In general, these models also remove stubborn stains better, and they rinse and spin clothes more efficiently during the regular cycle.
2. Choose the capacity
The capacity of a washer, often displayed in cubic feet (ft 3), will give you a good indication of the number of clothes you can wash per load. For a small family, choose a washer of approximately 3.5 to 4.5 ft 3, and if there are people in the family, go with a large capacity washer (over 5 ft 3). Be aware, however, that these models are a little less common than the others (we tested six of this type); they are also generally bulky and expensive.
3. Check the washing cycles offered
The cheapest devices have primary wash cycles (e.g., regular, delicate / hand wash, quick, etc.), while the more expensive models offer more specialized programs (auto, Steam, sanitary, etc.). However, the usefulness of these cycles remains marginal. If you want a washer that’s easy to understand and use, go to the basics.
4. Option for a silent washer
This criterion is essential, depending on where your machine is installed in the house. If your device is in the basement, the noise level does not matter, but if it is in the kitchen or near the living room, the noise it emits can become annoying. In general, front load washers are slightly quieter than top load washers, while agitator models are a bit louder than those without one.
5. Option for an energy-efficient model
The consumption of water and electricity is an important criterion when buying a washer. Choose an energy-efficient model certified by Energy Star. It will be less greedy than another, which is not certified.
6. Check the other functions
Other features have to be put into consideration, such as the cleaning functions. Cleaning functions entail the delayed start or scheduled end, Intelligent sensors, Steam, and others. Also, some devices allow you to select spin speeds to vary according to the cycles. High speed will enable you to spin clothes better, but it increases the power consumption of your washer. On the other hand, it reduces the time necessary for drying after that. Low speed is indicated for fragile or easily wrinkled items.