Memorial Day weekend has arrived and it's time to set summer in motion. ...
Front Loading Washing Machine
Washing Machines Features (continued)
Front-Loading Washing Machines.Front-loading washing machines (or "horizontal axis washers") are the trendier and pricier choice for washing machines. CNET estimates that a front-loading washing machine will typically set you back between $700 and $2,700, but they have advantages that many consumers find hard to ignore.
When it comes to your clothes, front-loading washing machines have a lot to boast about. Front-loaders feature a large load capacity (a big time-saver if you're washing for your whole family or prefer to only do a large, sporadic load). Recent studies are also showing that the clothes end up cleaner than the more traditional top-load washers. Front-loading washing machines are also gentler on your clothing, which may be another valid concern for a thrifty consumer. Keep in mind, though, that front-loading washing machines do have longer cycles than top-loaders.
Another advantage is space related -- if space in your laundry room is limited, you may prefer a cheap front-loading washing machine, like the LG WM2101HW (starting at $630) or the Frigidaire GLTF2940FS (starting at $538), which can be stacked with a dryer for a smaller footprint.
On the other hand, common complaints about front-loading washers exist at all price levels. Users are frustrated about the hassle of small washables catching between the rubber seal, or "boot," and the door. Your front-loader repairs are also likely to be a bit costlier, and potentially more frequent than if you were to go with a top-load washer. Another common complaint is their tendency toward mold and mildew. This may pose a problem in high-traffic laundry areas. Experts advise leaving the door cracked open between washes to deter mold development.
Washing Machine Colors.Don't overlook the more playful of washing machine features. From stainless steel to midnight black to bright cherry red, today's washing machines are available in a wide array of colors and finishes. Perusing the website of one big box store revealed nine different washers in varying shades of blue, ranging from turquoise to cobalt. If your cheap washer will be in the kitchen or another central location, it may be worth ponying up a few extra bucks to match your decor. White is the cheapest, and in the discount washer category, often the only option. Budget appliances shave dollars off the price tag by eliminating non-essentials, and color choice is one of the first extras to go. All of our top picks -- the Admiral ATW4475VQ, LG WM2101HW, Maytag Centennial MVWC6ESWW, and Frigidaire GLTF2940FS -- are available only in white.
Washing Machine Cycle Speed.Though it's likely to be an afterthought for buyers, cycle speed is a washing machine feature that pops up often in online washers reviews. First-time users of front-loading machines are often surprised when wash cycles take twice as long as those of top-load washers. Whereas an inexpensive top-loading washing machine may clean clothes in 20 minutes or so, it's common for inexpensive front-loading washing machines to need 45 minutes or more, although washables typically require less drying time after emerging from a front-loader. The majority of consumer critics of the longer cycle times consider this more an irritant than a deal-breaker, but it's worth taking into account when making your buying decision.
Don't Bother Cheap Washing Machines
Another model absent from industry experts' lists, this 3.1 cubic-foot front-loader has a spotty track record with users. Most consumers like the energy efficiency and cleaning power this machine offers, and happy owners note it comes with knobs instead of an electronic control board, which is pricey to repair. However, complaints pop up frequently about bearings giving out, drum supports breaking, and door latches failing. Read more »
Frigidaire FTF530FS Review
Maytag Centennial MVWC6ESWW Review
Frigidaire GLTF2940FS Review
Admiral ATW4475VQ Review
LG WM2101HW Review
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