The Best Washer and Dryer

After nearly 100 hours researching laundry appliances, interviewing a half-dozen industry experts, investigating the science of clothes-washing, polling hundreds of Sweethome readers, and comparing prices on top models for several months, we’re sure the LG WM3570HWA washer (usually between $750 and $900) and LG DLEX3570W electric dryer ($750 to $900) will make a fantastic pair for most laundry rooms.

Last Updated: August 18, 2015
Our recommendation for top-loading washer, the LG WT1201CW, and its matching dryer, the LG DLEY1201W, are now unavailable. Once we have time to do more research, we will make a new suggestion for an affordable front-loading set. However, we don't actually think you should buy top-loading machines, so please consider one of our front-loading picks first.
Expand Most Recent Updates
July 30, 2015: Several readers have asked about three new LG washers (and dryers) that are similar to our main pick. (Thanks!) We've investigated these products and have updated our guide with the new info—these products don't change our recommendation per se, but they do give buyers some new options to consider.
June 11, 2015: After 100 hours of research, our new picks for best washer and dryer are the LG WM3570HWA and DLEX3570W. If our top picks are sold out, we suggest the efficient (but expensive) Samsung WF45H6300AW washer and DV45H6300EW dryer. As for top-loading washers, though we generally don’t recommend them, we like the LG WT1201CW washer and DLEY1201W dryer, and if you’re looking for a stand-alone dryer, try the Samsung DV42H5000EW.
February 12, 2015: We're still finishing the guide, but we're very confident that the LG WM3570HWA washer and LG DLEX3570W dryer make the best pair for most people. These machines check off all the boxes: super efficient, great at stain removal, easy on your clothes, stackable, high capacity, reliable (as far as anybody can tell), and full featured for the price. Check back in a few weeks for our full guide, where we'll also recommend compact machines, and address some of the big issues in laundry, like why you shouldn't buy a top loader.
July 28, 2014: Both our main Kenmore pick and our alternative pick from Whirlpool have been discontinued, but we are working on an update soon. We're setting this guide to wait status in the meantime.
April 16, 2014: Updated the guide throughout with Consumer Reports' 2014 washer ratings. Our pick's overall score did drop slightly, but it retained "excellent" ratings in the areas we think are really important: washing performance, water efficiency, capacity, and gentleness.
February 27, 2014: Because of the tendency of some front-loading washing machines to smelly moldy after a lot of use, we added a "Caring for your Washer" section below with tips for preventing mold from forming.
June 14, 2013: Sears upped the price of our favorite Kenmore Elite pair, so we did some research and added another alternative, the Whirlpool Duet.

This set checks off all the boxes: excellent at removing stains, efficient with water and energy, gentle on your clothes, big enough to hold a king-size comforter, stackable, and reliable (as far as anyone can tell). Even gimmicky-sounding features like TurboWash and the steam generator turn out to be pretty useful. You could pay more for higher-end models, but the extra features you get—slightly larger capacity, superfluous wash cycles—aren’t worth the added cost. The LG appliances are top-tier machines for midrange money, and they’re the best value out there right now.

This is a top-tier washer at a midrange price, as effective at removing stains and saving energy as washers that cost hundreds more.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $1,000.

This is the matching, stackable dryer for the WM3570 washer. It has a built-in steam generator that can de-wrinkle and deodorize clothes without running a full cycle. Also available with gas power.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $1,000.

If our main picks are sold out, or if the LG models cost hundreds more where you live, check out the Samsung WF45H6300AW washer (usually $800 to $990) and Samsung DV45H6300EW dryer ($800 to $990) instead. We like the Samsung models for most of the same reasons that we like our main picks: They boast excellent stain removal and high efficiency, they have the same stacking height, and they offer similar features and controls. The Samsung washer has a few minor advantages over the LG, including a standard cycle that can be shorter by up to 10 minutes for big loads, and a 5 percent larger capacity (though honestly, they’re both plenty big, and the extra room will almost never matter). On the downside, the Samsung models take up more floor space, as they’re both 5 inches deeper than the LG models. The Samsungs (usually) cost more, too, averaging an extra $180 for the pair during our months of research. And although dryer performance isn’t all that important, we should mention that the Samsung dryer isn’t quite as accurate as the LG dryer.

Also Great
Samsung WF45H6300AW
The cleaning performance and efficiency are excellent, though this model takes up more space and costs more than our main pick.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $1,100.

Also Great
Samsung DV45H6300EW
It’s not one of the best dryers out there, but this is the stackable companion to the H6300 washer. Also available with gas power.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $1,100.

You shouldn’t buy a top-load washer, according to every bit of evidence we found. Such a model simply will not clean your clothes as well as a front-loader will. This design is also less efficient, so even though a top-loader might be cheaper at the store, it’ll cost more to own over time. But if there’s nothing we can do to change your mind, the LG WT1201CW ($765) is a pretty good, affordable high-efficiency top-loader. The LG DLEY1201W ($854) matching electric dryer is solid, too.

Also Great
Avoid top-loaders if you can. But if your heart is set on such a design, the WT1201CW is efficient and works pretty well for this type.
Also Great
An aesthetic match for our half-hearted top-loader recommendation.

Looking for a stand-alone dryer? The Samsung DV42H5000EW ($600) is big and affordable, and it works as it’s supposed to—nothing fancy, but no funny business either. Frankly, you could buy this machine alongside our favorite washer to save a couple hundred bucks. But they won’t stack together, and this dryer doesn’t have the bonus steam generator.

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $800.

Samsung DV42H5000EW
No need for a new washer? This is a great dryer for much less money than most.

Compact washers and dryers are an option for folks who don’t have the space for standard machines (which are typically 27 inches wide each, and at least 70 inches tall when stacked). Each small space has its own challenges, so recommending one particular brand and model that’ll work in most cozy homes is tough. We can point you in the right direction, however. Just to set your expectations, keep in mind that any kind of compact laundry option will require some compromise, especially when it comes to drying clothes.

Table of contents

Why you should trust us

We arrived at this pick more like reporters than product reviewers. We don’t have labs where we can test appliances, but we did spend about 100 hours putting together a bigger picture of the category, based on the results of nearly 400 professional reviews from Consumer Reports and, thousands of user reviews and message board posts, real-world wisdom from interviews with a half-dozen industry experts, data from a Sweethome reader survey, and findings from our guide to the best laundry detergents.

The experts we spoke with include Steve Sheinkopf, CEO of Yale Appliance + Lighting in Boston and a prolific industry blogger; Keith Barry, editor-in-chief of the appliance sections at; Chris Zeisler of, who spent a few decades out in the field fixing all kinds of appliances; and Angela Smith, a brand manager at LG Electronics USA.

I also worked at for about two years, during the time when it developed its appliance-testing program. Since 2013, I’ve covered a handful of other appliance categories for the Sweethome, including dishwashers, vacuums, and air conditioners.

How we picked

Today’s high-efficiency front-load washers get your clothes cleaner using much less water, electricity, and even detergent than the top-loaders most Americans once used (and still use, by the millions, today). So our search boiled down to finding a front-load washer with top-tier cleaning performance and the right balance of high efficiency, high capacity, and low price. Quiet operation, positive user reviews, and a reasonable expectation of reliability played smaller parts in the decision. As for the dryer, it just needed to be stackable. Pretty straightforward.

Our first assumption was that most people want to buy a matching washer and dryer. Not everyone shops for laundry machines this way, but matched pairs have advantages. Choosing a pair is the only way to go if you want to stack your machines, as 19 percent of respondents to a Sweethome reader survey said they do. Manufacturers are also more likely to offer rebates and discounts on pairs, according to Steve Sheinkopf, CEO of Yale Appliance & Lighting in Boston and one of the industry’s most prolific bloggers.

‘It’s all about the washer. The dryer is almost like a toss-in.’—Steve Sheinkopf
To keep the process simple, we looked for the best washing machine, not the best combined pair. Everyone we spoke with said that washers can have huge differences, while dryers all work pretty similarly. “It’s all about the washer,” Sheinkopf said. “The dryer is almost like a toss-in.” (To be fair, Consumer Reports and tests show that drying performance can vary somewhat from dryer to dryer. But the differences between washers are much more significant.)

It didn’t take us long to figure out that front-load washers are the better choice for almost everyone—and if you have a top-loader with a pole agitator, you should consider replacing it next time it needs a repair. It’s wasting at least 20 gallons of water every cycle, to the tune of almost 8,000 gallons per year on average. The agitator is slowly pulling your clothes apart, and it’s not cleaning them very well, either. A decent front-loader gets clothes cleaner using much less water and energy, even compared with new high-efficiency top-loaders.

If you have a top-loader with a pole agitator, you should consider replacing it next time it needs a repair. It’s wasting at least 20 gallons of water every cycle, to the tune of almost 8,000 gallons per year.
To find the best front-loaders, we leaned heavily on the reviews and ratings from Consumer Reports and Laundry is one appliance category where standardized testing can tell most of the story about how the machines perform in the real world. The process doesn’t change much from model to model—it’s all about the results.1 So if a washer is highly rated at either one of these testing houses, it’s probably one of the best washers, period.2 We didn’t consider scores from Good Housekeeping; the rankings are out of date, and that testing house shares almost no information about its testing process.

Even after we drilled down to stackable, efficient front-loaders with excellent washing performance, we still had dozens of models left. So we let the results of our reader survey steer some of our decisions. We asked respondents to pick the top three factors they’d look for in a washer if they were shopping for one today. We weren’t surprised to find the most popular responses (out of 760) were cleaning performance (68 percent), efficiency (59 percent), and price (58 percent).

After those three, we saw a steep drop in the popularity of other responses, but the results still gave us a few hints about which specs and features matter to buyers. Capacity proved important (36 percent). A big washer can help families crank through tons of laundry, or let smaller households finish in just a few loads. Washers commonly hold 4.2 cubic feet these days, which is enough for 20 pounds of garments—or roughly a king-size comforter. That’s bigger than almost any noncommercial washer from 10 years ago, so we made it our target.3

Noise was a common concern, too (27 percent), presumably for people who keep their machines near a bedroom or TV room. Consumer Reports factors noise into its washer ratings, so we kept an eye on its results in this regard.4

The survey responses also suggested that some people (20 percent) want a wide range of cycles and options, so we slightly favored washers with extra options, particularly sanitize, steam, and “overnight” options. Short cycle times (7 percent) landed among the least-selected responses, which surprised us. But we still assumed that for most people, a shorter cycle is better, all things considered.

Since few sources for expert reviews exist out there, user reviews factored into our pick as well. User reviews offer the best way to gauge reliability, at least within the first couple of years of a product’s life cycle. A couple of models that ranked highly at Consumer Reports and have turned out to be total duds in the real world with regular use—one particular Kenmore model is notoriously leaky, for example. We’d never know that without user reviews. Google Shopping does a decent job of aggregating user reviews from retailers (and sometimes from a manufacturer’s own site), and we also cross-checked with other sources when we got down to our top-rated models.

As with any appliance, owners want something that will work reliably for years and years. But the deeper we dug to find out what brands make a reliable washer (or any major appliance, really), the more we realized that it’s basically impossible to make such a prediction—even for brands that have been historically reliable. It’s like trying to predict the MVP of the Super Bowl before the football season even starts.5

All of this research narrowed our field of 61 front-load models—106 models total, including HE top-loaders—down to a handful of finalists.
Still, we used all the reliability data that we could find to make an educated guess. We took data points from Consumer Reports, J.D. Power, and the Yale Appliance blog. We also scoped out the prices of replacement parts for our contenders, as well as what material the crucial components are made from. All of this research narrowed our field of 61 front-load models—106 models total, including HE top-loaders—down to a handful of finalists.

Once we settled on the best few washers, we looked at their matching dryers. Our take is that as long as a dryer has an automatic dry mode and is stackable, it’s good enough to recommend as part of a matched pair. We used expert reviews and user reviews to make sure that none of these dryers had any dealbreaking flaws, such as a tendency to under-dry or damage clothes. Although the washer is by far the more important part of any laundry pair, dryers did end up playing a small part in our choice this time around. The two best washers are so similar in so many ways, but one of them has a quieter, more convenient dryer, and that detail (along with a consistently lower price) tipped the scales in favor of our pick.

We didn’t do comparative testing on the washer and dryer we chose because of the major logistical difficulties in running such a test, and because we had such great data from Consumer Reports and to aid our search. However, three homeowners on the Wirecutter/Sweethome staff purchased our LG picks in early 2015, and we’ll keep this guide updated with long-term test notes on their performance. So far, so good.

Our pick

This is a top-tier washer at a midrange price, as effective at removing stains and saving energy as washers that cost hundreds more.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $1,000.

This is the matching, stackable dryer for the WM3570 washer. It has a built-in steam generator that can de-wrinkle and deodorize clothes without running a full cycle. Also available with gas power.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $1,000.

The LG WM3570HWA is the best washer for most people because it gets your clothes as clean as washers that cost hundreds of dollars more. It’s one of the most efficient models available, thanks to light water use and a fast water-wicking spin cycle. It’s big enough to wash a king-size comforter, but it will probably fit into the same space as the washer it’s replacing. The TurboWash cycle can cut wash times in half, too (39 minutes instead of 85). The matching DLEX3570W electric dryer (or DLGX3571W gas dryer) is quiet, accurate, and easy to use. LG is consistently ranked as one of the most reliable laundry brands out there. And as a pair, these machines are right in the sweet spot for maximum value and minimum bloat.

First and foremost, the WM3570HWA excels at stain removal and overall washing performance. Consumer Reports gave the WM3570HVA (the same machine with a graphite finish) an Excellent mark for washing performance. It’s one of the cheapest washers to earn that top-tier score; most others cost $1,000 or more. Overall, it scored a 78, which is among the best ratings for a washer at this price. Our runner-up washer earned one more total point, scoring a 79, but it usually costs around $100 more. And CR’s top-rated front-load washer scored an 85, but it costs nearly twice as much as the WM3570.

LG WM3570HWA front

Over at, the WM3470HVA (a slightly older version very similar to the WM3570) boasts a score of 9.5 out of 10 almost three years after the review’s original publication—it’s in the number 6 spot out of more than 100, which is all the more impressive considering that Reviewed’s scores shift as newer, presumably better washers come out. Reviewer Keith Barry soft-pedals the washing performance in the text of the review (the testing house was still new to reviewing washers back in 2012, so the written evaluations are light on context), but the stain strip tests speak for themselves.6 The machine is excellent at removing blood and other protein-based stains, and it deals well with tannin-based stains such as red wine or waxy pigment-based stains like cocoa. It doesn’t remove sweat, grease, and other oily stains as readily. Those are pretty typical patterns we’ve spotted in most of’s test results, and the WM3470 does a better job than most. Keep in mind that none of the test strips are pretreated at all—in the real world, a few minutes of pretreating can make all the difference.

One thing that doesn’t pop out from the spec sheet: The WM3570 does a fantastic job of pre-drying clothes during its spin cycle, which saves energy by requiring less work from the dryer. The WM3570 can spin at up to 1,300 revolutions per minute, one of the fastest spin cycles out there. It uses a direct-drive motor, an electromagnet the size of a deep-dish pizza, to achieve that speed. Other washers, including our runner-up, reach the same speed but all cost more than the WM3570. reports that the WM3470 washer spun more than 50 percent of the water out of test garments, and we have no reason to think that the WM3570 is a step backward. The WM3470 is one of the best pre-dryers that Reviewed has tested—by comparison, competing models remove less than 40 percent of the moisture. With less moisture in the clothes, the dryer doesn’t have to work so hard, and the dryer is the real culprit when it comes to inefficiency.

LG WM3570HWA drum

The superior pre-drying function is just one factor that makes the WM3570 a supremely efficient washing machine. It carries an Energy Star badge, which is a great start, and it also blows past many other front-loaders and every top-loader on all the important markers for efficiency. Energy Star estimates that the WM3570 uses just 9.3 gallons of water per cycle, and Consumer Reports rates it as Excellent for water efficiency. (By comparison, a similarly priced HE top-loader uses about 12 gallons, while it’s not uncommon for a pole-agitator top-loader to guzzle about 30 gallons per cycle. Our runner-up, the front-loading Samsung WF45H6300, uses about 10.1 gallons per cycle—still good for an Excellent water-efficiency score from Consumer Reports.) The LG isn’t quite the most water-efficient washer out there, but it’s very, very close.

Its energy efficiency is typical of the best washers, too. Energy Star estimates that it will use about 100 kWh per year, which works out to about $12 based on the national average. Consumer Reports also rates it as Excellent for energy efficiency. (By some estimates, washers use 90 percent of their energy heating water, so it makes sense that water-light washers are more electricity-efficient, too. Take our runner-up, for example: It uses about 10 percent more water as well as 10 percent more electricity, according to Energy Star estimates.)

As for capacity, these machines are right on the sweet spot: 4.3 cubic feet for the WM3570HWA washer, and 7.4 cubic feet for the DLEX3570W dryer. (Dryers need a larger drum so that air can flow more freely, but the machines are intended to hold the same amount of laundry.) According to Consumer Reports, that’s enough space to hold more than 20 pounds of fabric, which is about the weight of a king-size comforter.

Even though they’re big enough to fit the largest item you usually wash at home, they’ll probably fit into the same space as the machines you’re replacing. Each machine is 27 inches wide, 28½ inches deep, and about 38 inches tall—all pretty typical measurements for today’s front-loaders. if you’re stacking them, they add up to about 77 inches. Of course, you can also line them up side by side, and pedestal mounts are available. (For anyone keeping track, yes, the WM3570 will fit on top of the Twin Wash mini-washer that LG announced at CES in early 2015.)

Cycle times are relatively quick for a front-loader. Consumer Reports’ results indicate that a normal cycle for our pick takes somewhere between 85 and 95 minutes, which is well within the range for today’s front-loaders. Your mileage may vary—all of these times are calculated based on 8-pound loads, which is the industry standard for testing. But a real-world, 15-pound load of laundry will take longer because it needs more water, which means more time filling the drum during each rinse, and a longer spin cycle.

The TurboWash feature, though, cuts that wash time by about half. TurboWash could likely be your go-to cycle for any garments that aren’t filthy. testers found it nearly as effective as the normal cycle at removing stains, yet they clocked it on the older WM3470HWA at just 39 minutes—about 45 minutes shorter than the machine’s 85-minute normal cycle. (We don’t have data on how long TurboWash takes in the WM3570, but you can expect it to be similar.)

Angela Smith, a brand manager at LG, told us the TurboWash feature “is made possible by combining the spin and rinse cycles,” and uses “twin nozzles at the front of the washer to spray a concentrated detergent solution directly onto the clothes. A high-pressure nozzle above the drum sprays tiny water particles through the clothes during high spin cycles.” Several other brands offer a similar quick-wash feature in certain washers, including our runner-up, but not usually in a model as relatively affordable as the WM3570.

Some of the most common complaints about front-loaders compared with top-loaders are that they make more noise, shake the floor more, and have a greater tendency to start smelling musty. We’ll cover those arguments, but they’re all nonissues with the WM3570. Consumer Reports gave it a Very Good rating for both noise and vibration—the highest scores in those respects for any front-load machine. And we couldn’t find any mention of a mildew smell among user reviews. Angela Smith at LG explained to us that LG washers have a “magnet that props the door open slightly to allow fresh air to circulate in the wash tub when it’s not in use.” Nice touch.

As far as we can tell, the WM3570HWA, DLEX3570W, and DLGX3571W will be reliable machines. Consumer Reports ranks LG among the most reliable brands for washing machines and dryers, with only 6 percent and 3 percent of survey respondents, respectively, noting that they needed service for machines that they’ve bought since 2009. In J.D. Power’s ratings, LG holds the top rating for Overall Satisfaction, and is tied for the second-most-reliable brand of front-load washers. According to the Yale Appliance blog, LG is one of the most reliable brands across all appliance categories.

LG also covers its direct-drive motor with a 10-year warranty, which is by far the longest warranty of its kind in the industry. More common breakdowns, such as those affecting bearings, pumps, or logic boards, are covered through the first year, which is an industry standard. It’s a sign that LG is taking the quality of its washing machines seriously—something that the company needs to do, because the brand used to have a poor reputation for reliability, as Sheinkopf notes in the Yale Appliance blog. All the data available suggests that the WM3570HWA and the DLEX3570W (or DLGX3571W) have as good a chance at lasting as long as any other washing machine and dryer out there.’s Chris Zeisler says that can be anywhere between eight and 14 years, depending on how well you take care of your machines.

LG DLEX3750W front

The LG DLEX3570W (electric) and DLGX3571W (gas) are great dryers. Despite several of our sources’ telling us that dryers all basically work the same way and use the same amount of energy, these dryer models played a small but important role in helping us decide on the LG 3570 series as the best washer-and-dryer pair for most people.

The washer is always the most important half of any laundry pair. But our top two contenders, the LG WM3570HWA and Samsung WF45H6300AW washers, are so similar in so many ways that it’s basically a toss-up when the prices are the same. (The Samsung usually costs 10 percent more than the LG, but the Samsung has been $50 cheaper than the LG on at least one occasion.)

One difference between the brands is that the LG 3570-series dryers are significantly quieter and easier to load and unload than their Samsung counterparts, according to Consumer Reports. That’s enough of a distinction to tip the scales in favor of the LG pair, even when it costs the same as the Samsung pair. CR ranked the LG 3570-series dryers near the top of the pack, giving them an overall score of 78 on the strength of an Excellent mark for convenience (which rates the controls, ergonomics, and ease of loading and unloading) and a Very Good rating for noise. The Samsung H6300-series dryers, on the other hand, received a much lower overall score of 69 (in the bottom-middle of the rankings), with a Good mark for noise and a Very Good score for convenience.

Like any decent dryer, the LG 3570-series models have a sensor dry cycle, which automatically stops the machine when clothes are appropriately dry. And like most dryers that match a front-loader, either 3570 dryer can stack on top of the WM3570HWA washer with the aid of a cheap bracketing kit. Both models earned an Excellent mark from Consumer Reports for performance, but so do the vast majority of dryers that CR rates. We aren’t sure what CR measures with its performance test (and CR reps didn’t reply to our emails asking for details). But our best guess is that the test rewards dryers that run precisely until the clothes are dry enough to wear—no excess moisture left over, and no energy wasted on extra drying time.

LG DLEX3570W drum

The steam feature built into the LG dryer is not unique, although it is rare at such a low price. Essentially, the feature turns the machine into a part-time clothes steamer. The “freshen” cycle claims to get B.O. and wrinkles out of garments in 20 minutes without the need to fully wash and dry them. That function alone is not a reason to buy this dryer, but it is a useful toss-in, and it represents a better use of money, space, and resources than buying a separate steamer.

Like the dryer, the WM3570HWA washer has a steam feature, which the industry has been trotting out in high-end washing machines for a few years. We’re not convinced that it does much. LG’s Smith told us, “I’m not an engineer or home economist, but I understand that the combination of high-heat water particles in steam can break down dirt and grime much better than hot water alone.” It’s sort of like how a carpet steamer works, in principle. doesn’t test to see how well steam works, and Consumer Reports doesn’t seem to, either. None of the user reviews we found mention it, either.

If you’re interested in smart features, the 3570 pair has a few. If either machine throws out an error code, you can call the LG service hotline and hold your phone up to the control panel, and it’ll relay the error diagnosis to the support team. If the machine requires service, the technician will come already aware of what’s wrong with the appliance, which parts need to be swapped, and how long it should take. Also, owners can download new wash and dry cycles using an app, and send them to the machines via NFC. We haven’t heard any instances of this feature being useful to anybody yet, but maybe it could be.

Finally, people who own the WM3570 seem to love it. Its Google Shopping rating (combined for the white and graphite finishes) is 4.5 out of 5 across 307 reviews, including 234 five-star reviews. ( has barely any reviews.) The DLEX3570 also fares very well with owners, earning a 4.6 out of 5 across 259 reviews, while the gas-powered DLGX3571 earns an average of 4.6 out of 5 across 66 reviews.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

When you buy a WM3570 washer instead of a $1,200 or $1,600 washer, you give up some capacity and a few wash options. You won’t miss them if you don’t have them.

Yes, you can find plenty of expensive washers that hold more clothes than the WM3570. A few of them are larger than 5 cubic feet, including a gargantuan 5.6-cubic-foot machine from Samsung. But you’ll rarely use the entire capacity. To put that in perspective, the washer you currently own probably has a smaller capacity than the 4.3-cubic-foot WM3570. And how often do you feel like your current washer is too small? What’s more, some mega-washers have enormous footprints—Samsung’s biggest washer and dryer are each 30 inches wide and 32½ inches deep. Side by side, they take up 3 square feet of extra floor space compared with our favorite LG pair.

What is the WM3570 missing? Just Small Load and Jumbo Wash, and an option to turn a light on inside the drum. In other words, nothing worth spending more for.
The other thing you sacrifice are extra wash cycles and options. You can get them on the truly high-end machines, but you don’t need them. Look at LG’s flagship washer, the $1,450 WM8500HVA, for example. It has 14 cycles and 12 options, versus the WM3570HWA, which has 12 and 11, respectively. What is the WM3570 missing? Just Small Load and Jumbo Wash, and an option to turn a light on inside the drum. In other words, nothing worth spending more for.

As far as we’ve seen, the 3570-series washers and dryers have a very low rate of defects. They have so few negative ratings that it’s hard to find any troubling patterns.

In a few cases it sounds as if some buyers got a lemon. Tanya and BRob, each of whom submitted a review at Home Depot, and Thorne, who wrote in to LG’s website, say that their WM3570 units frequently over-fill with water. The problems range from leaking to over-sudsing to clothes that are too wet when the cycle ends. In an extreme case, water and soap bubbles leaked out of the machine’s air vent. Other reviewers, such as BeyondFrustrated at Home Depot, report leaking from the bottom of the machine. We read of a few instances of the DLEX3570W struggling to dry clothes, too. Those complaints, and a handful of related issues, are probably hardware problems that a pro should check out.

Although it totally sucks to buy a big, expensive appliance that doesn’t work properly at first, such things can happen with any brand or model, and shouldn’t discourage you from buying a WM3570. A bad run of these machines could have been floating around right after LG released the model in summer 2014. We noticed fewer recent reviews mentioning such issues (but a few complaints pop up here and there).7 All told, these machines seem to have an excellent service record so far.

Reports on LG customer service are mixed. Some owners say that reps have tried to brush off some issues as user error (which is certainly possible). Others state that they had no trouble getting LG to send a technician, though the earliest appointments were sometimes more than a week away. The technicians didn’t always solve the problem, either. Your experience will vary depending on which technicians LG contracts with in your area—and honestly, your experience will be similar dealing directly with any manufacturer. We recommend buying your machines from a store with a fair exchange policy. Lowe’s, for example, has a 30-day window for appliance returns and doesn’t charge a restocking fee, and Sears accepts exchanges due to defects if you request an exchange within 72 hours of delivery. Local or regional dealers, especially those with their own service teams, are likely to be the most responsive. If you find a problem from the get-go, do what you can to swap machines, because the repair process can be long and drawn out, and may or may not even fix the problem.

What about the new LG models?

We still think the WM3570, our current pick, is the washing machine that will make most people the happiest—for now. However, there are three new washers in the WM3xxx series, all of which look very similar to our current pick, and could be the right choice for you—especially if your local retailers are phasing out the WM3570. (Incidentally, this is a good time to look for clearance deals on the WM3570.)

The WM3575CW is the closest in terms of price and features, and is a modest update. The capacity is about 4 percent larger at 4.5 cu. ft., it’s about 10 percent more energy efficient, and it does away with the steam feature (and nobody cared). There is no matching dryer, you just pair it with the same DLEX3570 (or DLGX3570) dryer we currently call out. The only thing holding us back from making this washer our top pick, and this is nitpicking, is that we’re waiting for a few more reviews to trickle in, just to make sure there aren’t some hidden changes that we’re missing. This washer seems to be replacing our main pick at many retailers; just go ahead and get it if that’s what available near you.

Then there are two budget versions. The WM3370 does away with the TurboWash feature, and the WM3170 does away with TurboWash ​and​ steam washing. Their matching dryers also both qualify for the new Energy Star dryer certification—they’re about 4-5 percent more efficient than the 3570 dryer.

We think it’s worth paying extra for the WM3570 or WM3575 washer (and matching dryer, if you need to stack them), because the TurboWash cycle can cut wash times in half for normal loads. But if you don’t care about that and would rather save the money, get whichever of these two step-down models is cheaper—practically, they’re the same thing. You can just ignore that the WM3370 has a steam feature, because nobody has been able to give us a good reason why you’d want to spend money on that. And yes, we saw that the WM3170 was recognized by Energy Star in their “Most Efficient 2015” shoutout—the WM3370 was certified by Energy Star in 2014, so it likely didn’t qualify for the same pat on the back.

Also: Don’t pay attention to Consumer Reports’s review of the WM3370—it’s the lowest score in their database, but clearly some kind of error, because the user reviews are strong and gives it a fine score (though we’re growing a little skeptical of their washer-testing methods). They’ve pulled it in and out of their rankings over the past few months; we have no idea what’s going on.

We also just looked for new washing machines from other major manufacturers, but found nothing worth getting excited about.


Also Great
Samsung WF45H6300AW
The cleaning performance and efficiency are excellent, though this model takes up more space and costs more than our main pick.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $1,100.

Also Great
Samsung DV45H6300EW
It’s not one of the best dryers out there, but this is the stackable companion to the H6300 washer. Also available with gas power.

*At the time of publishing, the price was $1,100.

If our main picks go out of stock, or if a major price change occurs, the Samsung WF45H6300AW washer and DV45H6300EW electric dryer (DV45H6300GW for gas) is our second-favorite set of laundry machines.

The H6300-series washer is great for the same reasons as our main pick. It’s efficient, effective, reliable, stuffed with features you don’t usually find for less than $1,000, well reviewed by Consumer Reports, and well liked by owners—the scores and specs are very similar across the board. The Samsung’s standard cycle time can be 5 to 10 minutes faster depending on the size of the load, which is certainly a good thing. It also holds about 4 percent more laundry compared with the LG, though they’re both so big that most people will never notice a difference.

WF45H6300AG pair in Onyx

But the Samsung pair has a few drawbacks that tilted us in favor of the LG models instead. Price is the obvious one: Most days, each Samsung machine costs $90 more than each LG machine, so that’s an extra $180 for the pair. On only one occasion, in early May 2015, after four months of price tracking, did we find the Samsung models for less than the LG models—and that lasted for only a couple of days.

Even if the prices change permanently, we’d still give the edge to the LG pair—whether they’re the same price, or even if the LG set costs a few dollars more. That decision is mostly down to the dryers. The Samsung dryers are louder and score lower on convenience than the LG models do, leading to a significantly lower overall score at Consumer Reports. The Samsung washer and dryer are also each 5 inches deeper than the LG units, so if your floor space is tight, you end up losing a couple of square feet to the Samsung models. Samsung’s warranty period for the washer’s motor is shorter. And on the (very) slim chance you care about smart features, you can’t beam new wash cycles to the Samsung via NFC, as you can with an LG.

The competition: front-load washers

After considering more than 60 front-load washers, we found that the right amount for most people to spend is between $800 and $1,000. Plenty of the machines in that range perform just as well as the higher-end models, hold enough clothing for all but the biggest families, and have cool, useful features that are missing from cheaper models.

Spend less, and the maximum capacities shrink by 10 to 15 percent. The spin cycles are weaker, so more water stays in the clothes before you toss them into the dryer. Somewhat useful features such as express cycles and steam options aren’t available. Reliability and build quality can be sketchier, too.

Spend more, and you’re paying for things you don’t need. Humongous bodies that can be hard to fit into tight spaces. Comically oversized drums that fit more laundry than most families wash in any single load. Futuristic control panels. Superfluous wash cycles. None of this is to suggest that high-end washers are bad—most people just don’t have to spend that much money to get the machine and features that’ll satisfy them.

Within our target price tier, we came across a few washers that were serious contenders for our recommendation.

The Samsung WF42H5600AW ($810) landed near the top of our list, with a great review at Consumer Reports and a decent review at Our main hang-up was that it leaves clothes pretty wet at the end of a cycle, which drives up energy costs for the dryer. User ratings are low, too. Samsung also makes the H5000, H5200, and H5400—all of which are lesser versions of the H5600.

We passed on the Whirlpool Duet WFW87HEDW ($900) for similar reasons, and also because Whirlpool doesn’t rank as highly as either LG or Samsung in reliability polls. Whirlpool doesn’t offer much bang for the buck with midrange washers, actually. The company’s high-end Duet models such as the WFW96, WFW97, and WFL98 score very well at testing houses, but cost upwards of $1,100.

The Maytag Maxima MHW5100DW came close to getting a nod, at least as a runner-up. Both testing houses like it as much as, if not a little more than, our top two picks. The price and specs are great. And a handful of other Maytag models made our list of “maybes,” including the MHW6000AW, MHW3100DW, and MHW4300DW. Our concern, though, was the reliability and reputation of the Maytag brand. The name is tainted from the whole Neptune front-loader fiasco. Whirlpool seems to be doing an excellent job of rehabbing the brand, and the latest Maytag washers could provide years of service-free bliss. But the data, flawed as it is, still suggests that Maytag is one of the less-reliable brands of front-loaders, and we’re unwilling to go out on a limb to recommend one of them.

The GE GFWS2600FWW ($990) earned some decent scores at the testing houses, but nothing special compared with our top picks. The cheaper GFWS1700HWW ($800) managed only a Very Good cleaning rating at Consumer Reports, which is disappointing for a front-loader. GE is also one of the least-reliable brands of front-loaders according to reliability polls.

We found some solid washers under the Kenmore and Kenmore Elite brand names, but none of them ended up on our shortlist. The models in our price range didn’t fare particularly well in reviews, and all the best-rated Kenmore Elite machines cost too much. Note, as well, that Kenmore is just a label that Sears slaps onto appliances from other manufacturers. (We think the original manufacturers of Kenmore front-load washers are LG and Whirlpool.) Nothing wrong with that, especially considering that Kenmore machines are often cheaper than similar models from the original brands. Our reservation is that when you go with Kenmore, you have no choice but to buy through Sears, and that’s a hit-or-miss experience depending on the quality of your local store. loves Electrolux washers, while Consumer Reports is less enthusiastic. We had the EIFLW50LIW ($804) on our shortlist. The coolest feature is an absurdly fast 18-minute express cycle. But user reviews aren’t as glowing for this model as for other washers, the brand has a middling reputation for reliability, and the machine earned only a Very Good mark for cleaning performance at CR. Frigidaire, which is an Electrolux brand, falls into the same camp, though none of its models were impressive enough to land in our sights.

A few other European brands—Asko, Bosch, and Miele being the important ones—sell front-load washers in the United States. As desirable as these companies’ dishwashers, vacuums, and ovens are around the world, their washer designs just aren’t suited to American laundry habits. We found a Bosch contender in the compact washer department, but for the most part these machines are a pass.

Why not a top-loader?

All of the evidence—seriously, every bit of measurable, reproducible evidence, no exceptions—shows that front-loaders get your clothes much cleaner, with less water and less electricity than even the latest and greatest high-efficiency top-loaders.
All of the evidence—seriously, every bit of measurable, reproducible evidence, no exceptions—shows that front-loaders get your clothes much cleaner, with less water and less electricity than even the latest and greatest high-efficiency top-loaders. Front-loaders have speedy, powerful spin cycles that remove more moisture from the clothes at the end of the wash cycle, so the clothes don’t need to spend as much time in the dryer, which reduces energy costs. Front-loaders are also gentler on fabric than conventional top-loaders, because they have no pole agitator to twist the material. Your favorite hoodie will last longer, and you won’t need to spend as much on clothes in the long term.

Even so, a great many Americans still use top-loaders. About 50 percent of respondents to a Sweethome reader survey said they use some kind of top-loader to do their laundry—about 30 percent use an HE top-loader, while 20 percent still use a top-loader with a pole agitator.

What gives? We don’t have stats, but price seems to be the obvious reason for people to avoid front-loaders. Top-loaders with pole agitators can be as cheap as $400. If you’re not concerned about washing performance or long-term utility costs—landlords and builders might fall into that category—top-loaders are the go-to option.

Many HE top-loaders cost less than low-end front-loaders, and such a machine might be a decent option if you’re tight on cash. Fine. But consider the long view: Midrange front loaders will pay for themselves in water and energy savings, and will always get your clothes cleaner.

Other people cite physical comfort when they choose a top loader, “particularly the older crowd,” Sheinkopf says. Back pain or arthritis can make bending over whenever you need to load and unload a front-loader pretty uncomfortable, even if the machine is mounted on a riser or pedestal. If you can relate to that, then yes, you probably are better off with a top-loader.

One drawback to front-load washers is that they lock as soon as the cycle starts; otherwise water could come pouring out of an open door. So if you forget a shirt or drop a sock, usually you can’t add it to the wash as you would with a top-loader (some front-loaders do have short grace periods). This restriction could take a bit of getting used to. But really, just wait for the next load—the benefits of a front-loader are worth it.

Check out the ratings at Consumer Reports and All the best-rated washers are front-loaders. “All things considered, in our tests, front-load washing machines tend to be better at stain removal and water removal and efficiency than their top-load counterparts,” said Keith Barry, the editor-in-chief of’s appliance sites. And that’s putting it politely, because top-loaders don’t even appear among his site’s top 30 washers—and they don’t crack the top 40 at Consumer Reports.

Sheinkopf told us that he always steers his customers toward front-load washers. “The math just adds up … it runs so much cheaper than a top-loader that you’re going to return your investment in a couple years. It’s just a better-designed machine.”

Why are top-loaders even an option anymore? Top-loaders can be cheap, and Americans have been using them for a long time. Washing machines first became common in North America in the economic boom following World War II. They were all top-loaders with pole agitators, because that’s just how US manufacturers like Maytag and Whirlpool designed them. For about 50 years, very little changed, and habits started to solidify into tradition.

In the late 1990s, US appliance-efficiency standards started tightening. To meet the new Energy Guide requirements, efficient front-loaders—basically direct ports of the designs that Europeans had been using for decades—began to show up in the United States. They were much smaller than what Americans were used to, the wash cycles took longer, and the detergents at the time weren’t really suited for front-loaders, because they used so much less water than top-loaders.

Owners didn’t always use their new front-loaders the right way, either, instead sticking with their old top-load habits. Using too much detergent was a common mistake. Shutting the door right after the end of a cycle was, too. So a lot of early adopters ended up with soap in their clothes or a stinky machine in their laundry room. Front-loaders were supposed to be the high-end luxury machines, but instead of a big improvement, some people found them to be a major disappointment.

And to be honest, some of the most popular first-wave front-loaders were awful. Maytag infamously made a bad batch in the late 1990s and early 2000s with the Neptune. Steve Sheinkopf of Yale Appliance told us that these machines had a big gap between the rubber seal and the door where wash water could pool. It didn’t evaporate, and even if you were aware that the wash water was puddling up, it wasn’t easy to drain.

Today, front-loaders are much better. In Consumer Reports’s washer rankings, at the time we wrote this, 43 front-loaders scored higher than any top-loader. Not a single top-loader earned a mark of Excellent for energy efficiency, while about 75 percent of front-loaders did, including all of the top 20 models. A handful of top-loaders earned an Excellent score for water efficiency, while more than half of front-loaders did.8 Capacity, which people still sometimes cite as a strength in favor of top-loaders, actually falls slightly in favor of front-loaders. Only four top-loaders earned an Excellent in this respect, while five front-loaders did, including four in the top 10. Front-loaders even have roughly the same repair rate as top-loaders, according to CR’s reader survey.

And they’re better suited to American laundry habits. Chris Zeisler of RepairClinic put it best: “When the front-loaders first came here, they were very small and took a lot of getting used to. But we’ve adapted them to our style.” They hold more laundry than most top-load washers from even a few years ago, typically offering enough space for at least 20 pounds of fabric per load. HE detergents are sold everywhere, and they even come in premeasured packs, so it’s harder to over-soap your clothes out of ignorance. And all the experts we talked to basically said that if a new front-loader ends up stinking, that isn’t the machine’s fault—the user just needs to make a few simple changes in behavior.

We’ve done everything we can to show you that a decent front-loader is a better washing machine than any top-loader. We totally understand that you might want to buy a machine that you feel familiar with, and that you’re reasonably confident will work well for many years—doubly so if you had a bad experience with an early front loader. But try to keep an open mind. And if you ultimately settle on a top-loader, do yourself a favor and buy an HE model.

A good top-loader, if you really want one

Also Great
Avoid top-loaders if you can. But if your heart is set on such a design, the WT1201CW is efficient and works pretty well for this type.
Also Great
An aesthetic match for our half-hearted top-loader recommendation.

The LG WT1201CW HE top-load washer and DLEY1201W matching electric dryer (DLGY1202W for gas) are a fine pair of top-load machines. To be clear: The washer is worse at cleaning clothes than almost any front-loader. It’s also less efficient in every way, so any savings on the sticker price will evaporate as your utility bills roll in. But if you absolutely can’t be convinced to buy a front-loader, this top-load pair is about as effective and efficient as they come, for the least money you need to spend to get anything decent.

(Just as we were getting ready to publish this guide, the LG 1201 washer and dryer pair went out of stock at most national retailers. LG told us that these models have not been discontinued or replaced, so we’re expecting to see them back in stock sometime in the near future. Meanwhile, they’re still available through many local and regional outlets.)

Because HE top-loaders can be cheaper than front-loaders, we targeted a lower price range for this pick. The WT1201 washer received a solid review at, earning a score of 7.1, while the best top-loader earned a mark of 7.6. Consumer Reports gave it a rating of just 63, a middling score compared with that of the best HE top-loader, which earned a 73. We think that’s partially a scoring error. According to Energy Star, the WT1201 is equally efficient to some LG models that CR rated higher for efficiency. (No offense, but we trust the federal agency.) Consumer Reports has removed the WT1201 review from its listings since we started our research, which is puzzling because that machine is still a current product.

CR rated the model’s washing performance as Very Good, and Reviewed’s stain-strip tests show that it’s effective at removing blood, wine, and sweat, though it’s less successful with grease and cocoa. Put another way, our main pick (the LG front-loader) stands in the first tier for stain removal, and the WT1201 lands firmly in the second tier. But that’s still respectable. User reviews are generally positive: It currently holds a score of 4.6 out of 5 at Google Shopping based on 617 reviews aggregated from a few sources.

For a top-loader, the WT1201 is a relatively efficient washer, but front-loaders still put it to shame. Energy Star estimates that it uses about 14 gallons of water per cycle, while Reviewed testers measured about 14.5 gallons. Not bad, though that’s about 50 percent more water than our favorite front-loader, even though the WT1201 is only about 4 percent larger in terms of capacity.

Energy Star also predicts that the WT1201 will use 170 kWh of energy per year, about 70 percent more than our main pick. That discrepancy could be a little higher in real life, too, because you can get away with using cold water in a front-loader and your clothes will still come out clean. Regardless, HE top-loaders are simply not as effective at stain removal, so you’ll have to use warm or hot cycles more often.

According to, the WT1201 removes only about 36 percent of water from clothes during its spin cycle, which is a weak showing but not uncommon for a top-loader. That means the clothes will need to spend extra time in the dryer, which is what drives up your utility bill. Good front-loaders get garments at least 50 percent dry.

We found a few recurring complaints about the WT1201 in user reviews. The most troubling: A handful of reviewers note that the machine falls out of balance constantly, tossing up the UE (“uneven”) error code.

An uneven or unbalanced-load warning usually happens when garments bunch up on one side of the drum as it spins. This throws off the weight distribution, and the machine automatically aborts the cycle to prevent damage to the suspension. Then the washer has to go through a lengthy rebalancing process, which uses more water and energy. Front-loaders almost never encounter this problem because the tumbling motion keeps clothes from bunching up too much. The problem is also uncommon in pole-agitator top-loaders. It’s unfair to say that unbalanced loads are common in HE top-loaders, but based on all the user reviews we’ve read, this design is the most susceptible to the problem.

Circling back to the WT1201 in particular, we’ve seen only a few complaints about frequent, unrelenting uneven-load errors. The examples we did find probably come down to user error—the washer must remain perfectly level (and the WT1201 has built-in adjustable legs for just that purpose), so any kind of tilt can create issues.

To be honest, we’ve brought up the problem here mostly because the cheaper WT1101CW had a major problem with uneven loads. That was the model we were all set to recommend, but we read close to 100 complaints about constant UE error codes, even after the owners went out of their way to fix the issue. As far as we can tell, the WT1201 doesn’t have that problem to the same degree.

Other user complaints have more to do with the HE top-load design than with the machine in general. Owners who are short say that they sometimes have trouble reaching items at the bottom of the big 4.5-cubic-foot drum. Some customers are baffled by how little water the machine uses, and seem certain that it must be a defect. (It’s not.)

The DLEY1201W dryer is not currently ranked at Consumer Reports (CR may have removed the rating at the same time as it pulled that of the WT1201CW), but it is one of the best-rated dryers at, earning an 8.7. As we’ve mentioned, there’s not much interesting to say about dryers. This model gets your clothes just the right amount of dry on the sensor dry cycle, which is all you’ll really care about. It also has a steam feature, a rarity at this price.

We strongly considered a few other washers for this pick, and if you’re unsettled by the possibility that the LG WT1201CW might have balance issues, consider the following as leads for the rest of your search.

The LG WT1701CW ($827) is the top-loader that’s most similar to the WT1201CW. The WT1701 holds a couple extra pounds of laundry and has the TurboWash feature for faster cycles, though it costs about $100 extra. If the WT1201CW remains out of stock for more than a few weeks, this is the model (along with the matching DLEY1701W dryer) that we’re most likely to recommend instead.

The Maytag Bravos MVWB700BW ($674) and the similar B725 model nearly got the nod thanks to strong reviews from both CR and Reviewed, and a great price. But the average user review scores for this model are about a full point lower than those for the LG.

The Whirlpool Cabrio WTW8100BW got an excellent review at Reviewed, but similar models scored just okay at CR. Not many user reviews are available, and this model isn’t sold at many retailers, either. We think the company has discontinued it.

The Kenmore 28102 can be as cheap as $660, and it has strong reviews at both testing houses. But we prefer not to recommend Kenmore products because you have no choice but to go through Sears, and that’s a hit-or-miss experience depending on the quality of your local store.

Apart from those three, we liked the looks of some LG, Samsung, Whirlpool, Maytag, and even GE models in the $900-and-up price range. But if you’re going to spend that much, you’re far better off getting a front-loader, so we decided to pass on making a recommendation in that segment.

Plenty of cheaper HE top-loaders are available, too, but they have mediocre performance scores from both testing houses. Most models from Frigidaire and GE fall into this camp, though you can find some Whirlpool models in this range, too.

What about compact washers and dryers?

Compact washers and dryers come in all shapes and sizes, because small apartments, vacation homes, and other cozy quarters come in all shapes and sizes, too. We’ll go over some of the better small laundry units we’ve seen, and you can figure out which type will work best for your particular situation.

The high-performance option is to buy a compact front-loader. All the models we’ve seen are 24 inches wide and built to slide under a kitchen counter, just like a dishwasher. They start at around 2 cubic feet of capacity, which holds about 8 pounds of laundry, though some models claim to hold more than twice that much. Otherwise, they work just as larger front-loaders do.

Such models are popular in Europe, but the selection here in the US is somewhat limited. The Yale Appliance blog has a decent rundown of the top options, and we’ve narrowed in on two that are a good place to start looking. The 2.3-cubic-foot LG WM1377 ($1,000) has the best user ratings of any of the models mentioned in the Yale post, and is the only compact front-loader for less than $1,000 that seems any good. Then there’s the 2.2-cubic-foot Bosch Axxis Plus WAP24202UC ($1,260), which Yale endorses on the strength of the brand’s reputation.

Matching compact dryers are available for the LG and Bosch compact washers, as well as most others. Unlike their full-size counterparts, most of them lack vents. On the plus side, you can shove an unvented dryer under a counter or into a closet without running a hose out a window or through a wall, and they’re pretty energy-efficient. On the downside, they take about twice as long to dry clothes, garments tend to come out wrinkled, and usually you still need a 240 V outlet. Almost all of the current compact, unvented models use condensers, which slowly convert steam into drops of water. The water catch is designed to be emptied manually, but you can also run a drain line into your washer’s drain. It’s a compromise, for sure—you might consider line-drying instead, if that’s feasible.

A few other manufacturers make compact front-load washers (and matching unvented dryers) like the LG and Bosch models above, but you can probably pass on them. Whirlpool makes a couple that cost less than $800, including a Maytag-brand machine, but the user reviews of such models are miserable. A few small brands like Ariston and Blomberg make compact washers in the same price range, and some of them have done well in testing at Our concern is that you’ll have a tough time finding proper service for the machines if they break down. Asko and Miele make high-end compact washers that cost around $2,000. That’s a lot of money, but the Yale Appliance blog says that Miele washers rarely break down. If that’s a price range you can tolerate, you might want to head to a showroom and talk to a sales rep.

If front-load compacts don’t fit your situation or don’t seem worth the money, you might check out a combo stack, sometimes called a laundry center or unitized laundry. It’s an all-in-one unit with a top-load washer on the bottom and a conventional vented dryer on top.

Such units are still pretty tall—a combo stack is actually only an inch shorter than our favorite LG machines when they’re stacked up. And you need to be able to vent the dryer. You won’t find any pro reviews of these things, but we know that they won’t clean as well as front-loading compacts, simply because they are top-loaders. A combo unit, however, represents the cheapest way to get a washer and dryer into a space the size of a closet—any stackable front-loader and dryer will cost hundreds more than one of these combo units. If you decide that this style is your best bet, check out the Frigidaire FFLE2022MW. As far as we’ve been able to tell, it’s the only combo stack with a high-efficiency washer that costs about the same ($1,100) as its competitors.

Top-loading compacts are another option, but you probably want to avoid these unless you have no other choice. They’re generally sold in the US by white-label import companies like AvantiDanby, and Haier, mainly through big-box retailers. We’ve found some as cheap as $300, and a few are even on wheels, like a portable dishwasher. Availability is pretty spotty, though, and we don’t have any info on how well these things work because nobody reviews them—even on retailer websites. But think of it this way: If full-size, full-price, brand-name top-loaders aren’t so great, what should you expect from a cheap, small, no-name version?

As for cheaper dryers, Avanti makes a compact condenser dryer that uses a 110 V outlet. It costs about $300. Much like the cheap compact washers, this model hardly has any reviews, and if a 240 V condenser dryer has a difficult time getting your clothes dry, imagine how the half-powered version will work.

Whatever you do, do not buy an ‘integrated’ washer/dryer, which promises to wash and dry your clothes in the same machine, all in one cycle.
Whatever you do, do not buy an “integrated” washer/dryer, which promises to wash and dry your clothes in the same machine, all in one cycle. Everything we’ve heard suggests that the washing performance is fine, but the drying function barely works. That’s because such an appliance is a condenser dryer, which is already kind of a crap technology, with the anti-bonus that the entire system is sopping wet at the beginning of every cycle.

What if you want just a dryer?

Also Great

*At the time of publishing, the price was $800.

Samsung DV42H5000EW
No need for a new washer? This is a great dryer for much less money than most.

So your dryer broke, but you want to keep your washer? No problem. The Samsung DV42H5000EW is a great, affordable electric dryer. (A gas-powered version, the DV42H5000GW, is also available.)

The H5000 has a capacity of 7.5 cubic feet, which is enough to hold more than 20 pounds of laundry—a bit more than the LG DLEX3570W, the dryer portion of our favorite pair. Consumer Reports gave it an overall score of 79, which makes it the highest-rated dryer for the price in CR’s rankings (and puts it one point ahead of the LG dryer, for what that’s worth). It earned Excellent marks in drying performance, convenience, and noise, and a Very Good mark in capacity. awarded it an Editors’ Choice badge. Like all good dryers, it has the all-important moisture sensor and automatic cycles, which prevent it from over-drying your clothes.

On the downside, the H5000 lacks a steam generator, so it can’t run a deodorizing, de-wrinkling cycle as some higher-end washers can, including our pick, the LG DLEX3570W. And if you buy this dryer on its own, without a matching washer, you won’t be able to stack the machines.

Settling on this model was an easy decision. We looked at the top-scoring models at Consumer Reports and, focused on the cheaper models, and cross-checked with specs and user reviews to make our choice.

You might be wondering whether you could just buy this cheap dryer alongside the washer we recommend. Sure. The disadvantage is that you wouldn’t be able to stack this dryer on top of our favorite washer or our runner-up, because they’re slightly different sizes. They also don’t look alike. If such things don’t matter to you, mix and match as you please.

Here’s the thing about dryers…

Dryers are power hogs. The Environmental Protection Agency says they use more energy than any other home appliance, including the refrigerator. And according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group, electric dryers account for 2 percent of all electricity use in the US—that’s including commerce and industry, not just residential use.

All that energy for a chore that could be done on a clothesline. But here’s a surprise: Millions of Americans aren’t allowed to line-dry their clothes, at least not outdoors. Some communities and homeowners associations have banned the practice because it’s considered to be an eyesore—or interpreted differently, it creates the impression of a neighborhood where people can’t afford washers and dryers.

Now there’s a Right to Dry movement. Banning clotheslines is an egregious restriction on personal freedoms, advocates argue. Line-drying (and washing clothes in cold water) would prevent millions and millions of tons of carbon emissions each year, not to mention cutting utility bills by billions of dollars. It helps clothes last longer, too. Some organizations go so far as to argue that line-drying could reduce obesity and depression, because people will get some extra outdoor activity each week just by reaching up and clipping clothes to a cord. There’s even a documentary called Drying for Freedom that explores the intersection of clotheslines, personal freedom, consumerism, and environmentalism.

All right, let’s be real: Even if Congress amended the US Constitution to specifically recognize line-drying as an inalienable right, most Americans would still favor dryers. The machines are convenient, and most people already have one. Line-drying takes more patience than we’re used to. Line-dried clothes also tend to be wrinkly, stiff, and rough compared with tumble-dried clothes. Towels are especially sandpapery when they come off the line (though that rough texture is a fantastic exfoliant). Plus, you know, there’s winter. If you can’t hang clothes outdoors because of the weather, indoor hang-drying is a nightmare. You have no sun to speed up the drying process and bleach your whites, and no breeze to freshen up the smell and semi-soften the fabric.

So line-drying isn’t a perfect solution. Can’t you just buy a more efficient dryer? Not really. A regular dryer heats up to about 135 degrees Fahrenheit (on a permanent press cycle) in order to draw the moisture out of the fabric. That takes a bunch of energy. Then all that hot air gets blown out of a vent (along with the moisture), so the dryer has to work constantly to keep the temperature up. It’s like leaving your front door open on a cold day and trying to keep the house cozy.

An electric dryer uses almost as much energy as a new fridge, dishwasher, and washing machine combined.
Dryers are so fundamentally inefficient that Energy Star didn’t bother to certify dryers until 2013, and even now, only a few dozen models have earned the badge (compared with hundreds of washers). The standards aren’t strict, either—it’s just a matter of which models are slightly less power-hungry. An electric dryer uses almost as much energy as a new fridge, dishwasher, and washing machine combined. And dryers still use about as much energy as they did back in 1981, according to the NRDC. If you’re part of the 25 percent of people who have the right hookup for a gas dryer, get one of those instead. They haven’t become any more efficient in decades, either, but at least they’re about 30 percent better than electric models.

One liiiittle glimmer of hope: ventless heat-pump dryers. A lazy way to explain such machines is that they work a bit like backwards air conditioners. A heat pump has a hot side and a cold side. The hot side heats air, which circulates through the dryer’s drum to help moisture evaporate from the clothes—same as in a typical vented dryer. But instead of dumping the hot, moist air out of a vent, the dryer passes it over the cold side of the heat pump. Moisture condenses onto the cold coils, while the dry, still-pretty-warm air keeps moving back to the hot side of the pump then back into the drum, and the pattern repeats. These dryers don’t have to work so hard to keep the internal temperature up, so they use much, much less energy in a cycle than typical dryers do.

What’s the catch? Heat-pump dryers just started arriving in the US (the first models from LG and Whirlpool came out in November 2014, and Blomberg just released a compact model). Like any first-generation product, they’re expensive. The cycle times are also significantly longer than those of vented dryers—2 hours instead of 30 minutes. And even if your heat-pump dryer cuts energy use by 40 percent, it will still use more energy than any other white good in your home. But hey, maybe in a couple of years you’ll have three options when you’re looking for a dryer to match your washer: electric, gas, or heat pump.

In the meantime, you could try to use your dryer more judiciously. Run long, low-heat dry cycles instead of short, hot cycles. Use the spin cycle option in your washer—it whips moisture out of your clothes so that they don’t need to spend as much time drying. You could line-dry when possible, or even combine the two techniques: After you line-dry your items, toss them into the dryer on an unheated fluff cycle for 10 minutes to soften up the fabric without using much energy.

At this point, you might be wondering about the environmental impact of washing machines. Washers have a much smaller ecological footprint than dryers, and almost everyone agrees that they’re worth it. Check out this TED Talk—even hardcore environmentalists who refuse to drive cars will still use washing machines.

Care and maintenance (and how to do laundry)

If you just bought a high-efficiency washer for the first time, or if you’ve owned one for a while and you’re having problems with it and can’t figure out why, read on for some notes on the best practices.

Washers clean clothes through a combination of temperature, time, wash action, and detergent. Reduce the impact of one of those factors, and you can make up for that by increasing the impact of another.

For starters, you can wash most of your items on the cold setting most of the time. Today’s detergents work better in cold water than old detergents did, and front-loaders use a superior wash action and run for a longer time than old washers used to. As a result, the water doesn’t need to be as warm as it used to be. Since about 90 percent of the energy that your washer uses is to heat water, cold-water washing will save you a few bucks per year, and countless tons of carbon in the aggregate. It’s also better for your garments, because cold water doesn’t cause colors to run or fabric to shrink or warp.

To be clear, you have plenty of good reasons to use warm or even hot water. Certain stains come out only with heat, like oils, or after a cold pretreatment, tannins and dyes. (Here’s a cheat sheet.) If your washer is located in the basement, cold water might be too cold to work properly in the winter. But it’s worthwhile to consider cold-water washes as your standard practice.

Always use HE detergent, and usually less of it than you think you should use. We cover this topic in much greater detail in our guide to laundry detergents. But the basic idea is that because HE machines don’t use much water, HE detergent is engineered specifically for a water-light environment. It won’t get very sudsy, but that’s fine—don’t let your eyes fool you into thinking that the detergent isn’t working.

If you add too much detergent, it won’t wash out of your clothes. Over time, a filmy residue from the detergent (especially if it’s scented) will build up throughout the washer. The gunk traps moisture throughout the drainage system, turning it into a petri dish for mildew and mold, and it will make your washer stink like a forgotten pair of gym shorts.

Worse, excess residue can lead to mechanical problems, pricy repairs, and a shorter life span for the machine. Some people think liquid fabric softener causes problems, too, so use it at your own discretion.

After each washing cycle, you absolutely need to leave the door cracked, at least for a few hours. We’re emphasizing that because it’s mandatory, yet so many people seem to have missed that memo. Front-loaders are almost watertight when they’re closed, so moisture has a hard time evaporating. Any droplets left over from a cycle become a breeding ground for mildew (or even mold), which leaves behind a musty smell. Some people seem to resent having to do this (which boggles my mind, personally), but Chris Zeisler of RepairClinic told us that leaving the door ajar “becomes sort of a standard habit,” and it’s an easy, effective step to stop your washer from stinking. Things are beginning to change: Our top pick, for example, has a magnet that props the door open ever so slightly when it’s on standby. But to be on the safe side, keep it open between uses.

Once a month or so, wipe down the big rubber boot seal on the door, preferably with some vinegar. “It tends to gather some water at the bottom, from being moist all the time,” Zeisler told us, and that’s prime real estate for mildew to grow. But one minute of care, once a month, will nip that in the bud, Zeisler suggested.

Zeisler also recommended running a cleaning cycle a couple of times a year using a cleaning tablet like Affresh. (Angela Smith of LG recommended monthly cycles.) Even if you use an appropriately small amount of detergent, you’ll still have some moisture-trapping residue building up in the drainage hoses. The combination of super-hot water and a cleaning tablet will dissolve that gunk and help keep your washer running smoothly and stink-free.

As for your dryer, be mindful of lint. Clean the lint trap after each cycle—otherwise moist air can’t escape, so your dryer can’t do its job. Every couple of months, run some water through your (clean) lint trap to see if it flows freely. Fabric softener can create a filmy residue over the mesh that restricts the flow of moist air, again making it tough for your dryer to work properly. If the water pools, scrub the mesh with a toothbrush and then try to run water through it again. If that still doesn’t work, it’s time to buy a new filter.

Another critical bit of dryer maintenance: Clean your dryer exhaust lines every year. Lint builds up in the tubing and poses a “tremendous fire hazard,” Zeisler told us. The National Fire Prevention Association estimates that in 2010, more than 5,000 fires were caused by dryers that had not received proper cleaning. Use rigid hoses—the old plastic accordion hoses are now illegal, because lint got trapped in the folds pretty easily. Keep the path from the dryer to the exhaust vent as short and straight as possible. Zeisler really wanted us to stress this point, and you should take this bit of maintenance seriously.

Like any appliance, your washer and dryer will need service at some point. RepairClinic has an excellent series of videos on what can go wrong—and how you, as a regular person with a simple set of tools, can fix many of the most common problems, including broken inlet valves, cracked hoses, and popped drive belts. But once you start running into issues like fried logic boards, busted filter housings, and dead direct-drive systems, don’t be afraid to pay for professional help.

Steve Sheinkopf of Yale Appliance warns that modern appliances don’t last as long as older, sturdier models. So yeah, your old Maytag top-loader from the 1980s may have lasted for 25 years, but it’s unrealistic to expect that your new machine will—sorry. On the plus side, your new washer uses a fraction of the water and much less electricity, gets your clothes cleaner, and helps them last longer.


1. No matter which brand of washer you’re using, you’ll put clothes in the same way, use the same amount of detergent, and select the same cycle—and that’ll be the right way to do your laundry. The process is basically identical among all front-loaders.

That isn’t the case with other appliances. With dishwashers, for example, you’re supposed to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to load each kind of dish—and you can find significant variations from model to model. If you put your plates in backward, say, or if you block the jets with your casserole dish, some dishes will come out dirty. With refrigerators, meats go in one drawer, vegetables go somewhere else, and the layout varies from model to model.

We’d argue that performance testing isn’t the best way to rank many appliances and home goods. But it is the best way to rank washers. Trying to monitor the process in real time—for instance, how each model’s unique mechanical action and temperature-control profile work to remove stains throughout the cycle—would be pretty cool. But it would also be tough to pull off. And it’s not as if owners can tweak the cycles anyhow. So the results are all that really matter. Jump back.

2. What about when outlets report wildly different ratings for the same washer? It happens. For example, a Frigidaire that earned a respectable 8.1 out of 10 at received a miserable score of 49 at Consumer Reports.

In one especially extreme case within Consumer Reports, the LG WM3370HWA received a comically bad score of 13, while the similar LG WM3570HVA—the graphite-finish version of our favorite washer—earned a great score of 78.

We tried asking both testing houses about the discrepancies. Keith Barry at said that he can’t point to just one factor, and that “it’s hard to know [with Consumer Reports] because they’re not very public with what their actual test results are.” Consumer Reports did not respond to our emails.

What else could explain the discrepancies? Each outlet runs a similar, but not identical, batch of tests, so that’s part of it. In a recent article, Consumer Reports notes that testers run all their tests at least twice. Whether does the same is unclear. And after the outlets have gathered the raw data, each group probably weighs the relative importance of each test differently, so the results add up to a different total score. If the scores are based on nonlinear statistical modeling, a test result that deviates far from the norm can screw up the curve.

Is that enough to explain away the most extreme discrepancies? Probably not. Testing error falls within the realm of possibility. Both outlets churn through dozens of washer reviews each year. Mistakes can slip through, especially when the reviewers are on tight schedules.

We’ll probably never know why the ratings can be so dramatically different. But we did spend a lot of time reading between the lines of the rankings, and double-checking the results within the context of everything else we learned from experts and user reviews. Warts and all, there’s no substitute for the data that Consumer Reports and publish. Jump back.

3. For what it’s worth, 30 percent of our survey respondents indicated that they do laundry for three to five people, 41 percent do laundry for two people, 28 percent do laundry for just themselves, and 1 percent do it for six or more people. Jump back.

4. In our reader survey, 43 percent of respondents who own their washer and dryer keep them in a dedicated laundry room. About 25 percent keep their machines in the basement, 16 percent stuff them into a closet, 6 percent put them in the kitchen, and 9 percent store them someplace else. Jump back.

5. Taken as a whole, reliability data can start to paint a picture of how a brand’s wares might hold up in the first couple of years of its life. But it can’t necessarily tell you about how a specific model from that brand will hold up. Kenmore, for example, sources its machines from a few different manufacturers (LG and Whirlpool, we think). GE makes some of its appliances in Asia and others in Kentucky. So predicting reliability isn’t all about the brand name.

The quality of individual components might hint at how long a machine will last. Metal is sturdier than plastic, obviously. But today’s washers and dryers are loaded with logic boards and other electronics, which tend to be pretty expensive to replace. Knowing when those components will crap out is difficult, too, since they have no moving parts. You could be at the mercy of a bad batch of boards; that happened with some Bosch dishwashers a few years ago.

Sure, if a total lemon is out there, breaking down for lots of owners during the warranty period, then word will get around. But if the problems start to pop up three or four years in—past the warranty period and probably after the model has been discontinued, yet way short of the life expectancy—then owners have no good way to get the word out to potential buyers. And that doesn’t necessarily mean anything about how other products from the brand will perform in the future. Jump back.

6. How do the testing houses measure wash performance? Standardized stain strips. Keith Barry from spoke with us about the procedure. The testers buy (in bulk) strips of fabric with five pre-stained zones: pig’s blood, red wine, cocoa, simulated sweat, and a mixture of carbon and oil.

“Those stains are chosen specifically to represent different methods of stain removal,” Barry said. “Different stains require different [mechanisms] to be removed. Some of them need agitation, they need to basically be scrubbed out. Some of them need to sit. Some of them need soap, the detergent, to do the work. So the things that we chose are representative of different methods of stain removal. They can let us know in aggregate … these stains can speak for a lot of other household stains.”

Testers pin a stain strip to a towel, toss it in the washer along with a few extra towels to bring the load up to a standardized weight, add a standardized detergent, run a cycle, and then use a spectrometer to measure how much each stain faded. Then they repeat the test for a few different cycles.

Consumer Reports didn’t respond to our questions about how it tests wash performance, but from the looks of the website’s informational video, CR uses a similar procedure.

If you’re interested in any of the other tests that CR and Reviewed conduct—wear and tear, capacity, water use, and energy use, among others—they’ve each published a “lite” version of their procedures on their respective websites. Here is the Reviewed page, and here is the CR page. Jump back.

7. Other reviews complain that the WM3570 makes too much noise, or shakes the floor during the spin cycle. It’s certainly not a silent washer, but taking the time to make sure it’s sitting level can make a big difference—and the WM3570 comes with built-in adjustable legs for you to do just that. Alize at the Home Depot site mentions noise from water hammering, which has more to do with a home’s plumbing than with a washing machine.

Two users also complain that their clothes come out of the WM3570 bunched up and wrinkly. On the one hand, it’s a sign that the clothes are nice and dry when they come out. On the other hand, those wrinkles won’t come out if you line-dry. Running an unheated fluff cycle for a few minutes is a quick way to fix the problem. Jump back.

8. Back of the envelope, we think that owning and operating an HE top-loader will cost about $20 more per year than operating our favorite front-loader—an extra $2 for water, an extra $8 of energy to heat that water, and probably $10 more to run the dryer long enough to get all the extra water out. Those estimates are based on national averages, so your mileage may vary. But basically, the best front-loader pays for itself in about five or six years, and in the meantime you’ll save resources, get your clothes cleaner, and make them last longer. Jump back.

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  1. Washing machine rankings, Consumer Reports, June 2015
  2. Clothes dryer rankings, Consumer Reports, June 2015
  3. Washer and dryer reviews,, June 2015
  4. Steve Sheinkopf, CEO of Yale Appliance + Lighting, phone interview, January 2015
  5. Keith Barry, Editor-in-chief of appliances, phone interview, January 2015
  6. Chris Zeisler, Appliance expert at RepairClinic, phone interview, January 2015
  7. Angela Smith, Brand manager at LG Electronics USA, email interview, March 2015
  8. Washing machine buying guide, Consumer Reports, 2015
  9. How we test laundry,, 2015
  10. Joseph Stromberg, Inside Consumer Reports, Vox, 2015
  11. Reader survey, The Sweethome, December 2014
  12. Yale Appliance blog, 2015
  13. Clothes washer product index, Energy Star, 2015
  14. Clothesline bans by state, Community Associations Institute, 2015
  15. Noah Horowitz, Call to action: Make clothes dryers more energy-efficient to save consumers up to $4 billion, National Resources Defense Council Staff Blog, June 12, 2014
  16. Hans Rosling, The magic washing machine, TED Talk, 2010

Originally published: June 11, 2015

We actively moderate the comments section to make it relevant and helpful for our readers, and to stay up to date with our latest picks. You can read our moderation policy FAQ here.

  • dilladop

    Speed Queen

  • Ben Campbell

    Do any of the test units have reversible doors? It seems like these assume the washer will go on the left. My house (and every place I have ever lived, for that matter) is plumbed to put the the washer on the right. This was not much of a problem for top-loaders, but is pretty inconvenient for front loaders.

    • Richard Baguley

      Ben, unfortunately, few front load washers have reversible doors, as that could make the seal less reliable.

  • JBritton

    Top loaders seem to be more reliable – there is just less complexity to it. That’s also why they are in general cheaper.

  • tracieoh

    Just went back to a top loader, Speed Queen, after an aggravating battle with mold in our Whirlpool Duet Sport front loader. It was given a favorable rating from Consumer Reports back when we bought it in 2007, by the way. Combined with the supposed energy savings, it seemed like a smart purchase at the time.

    I’ve always found it curious that CR remained mostly mum on the mold issue, not giving it the attention paid to the newer Pyrex dishes. And, with several consumers having similar mold problems, it would seem like something they’d investigate.

    But, as this article makes no mention of mold either, I’m lead to believe that it’s one of those issues no one wants to touch?

    • Richard Baguley

      Tracieoh, mold can be a serious issue with washers, but it isn’t something we are able to evaluate, unfortunately. I know there are a number of class action suits going on about it right now that allege that it is caused by machine defects (see, but the truth of the matter is hard to determine.

      • tracieoh

        Richard, thank you for providing the link about the GE class action. We’ve received a notice for Whirlpool, and from what I’ve read regarding other cases, it doesn’t look good. I suspect we’re just another casualty of green-washing, as I strictly followed the upkeep suggestions, which were to keep the door open after every load and run a monthly bleach cycle. When I saw that companies were selling tablets designed to “clean” front loaders, noting they can have a bad smell (no, really! Wonder why) I was shocked at the hubris. Not knowing the whys behind the defects, perhaps cost-cutting measures, I can only sit dejected, knowing that in today’s world, we put the interests of the business first, blindly assuming/hoping they fulfill their part of the relationship (remember what’s good for GM is good for America, AND VICE VERSA?) and trickle down on us.

    • James Mattison

      CR is utterly relentless in liberal causes. It is a liberal cause to green the earth! That means downplaying mold or any other unfortunate side-results, regardless of the particular product that they are reviewing. They are quite biased, and sometimes do not give the answer mom and pop would expect. Rather, they sometimes give the answer that they want mom and pop to follow.

    • Sooky

      But do you like your Speed Queen? Does it clean well? Does it spin too hard wearing out clothes? Is it gentle on fabrics? Are you happy?

  • Baltassar

    LG front-loaders do have reversible doors (just bought a set). Not sure about the mold issue mentioned by another poster, but the new LG washer has a latch arrangement that keeps the door slightly ajar when you are not using it, which might help solve this problem. I didn’t expect to like the new front loaders as much as I do. They are not slow, as I expected, and because there’s no agitator in the washer you can wash more delicate stuff.

  • itay

    I’m curious if you’d keep your recommendation the same now that the Kenmore model costs 1100-1200 at Sears (white vs gray), vs the LG which you can get for 1080-1180. The price changed last night.

    • Richard Baguley

      Itay, our recommendation stays the same. Sears/Kenmore did some tweaking on the model that seems to improve performance, so it is still worth it.

  • Aetles

    Here in Europe the machines from Miele usually win tests of washers and dryers, they are German built, quite expensive but lasts very long and reliable. But they’re not very common in the US I believe…

  • m urph

    Is there a recommended gas dryer? Gas is a LOT cheaper in my neighborhood.

  • foresmac

    The top Kenmore Elite model is virtually identical mechanically to the Whirlpool Duet and the top Maytag front loader (I forget the brand name). All are designed and built by Whirlpool with slight differences designed to appeal to different market segments. For instance, the comparable Maytag models use “commercial” quality parts that are rated for much longer wear/lifetime. Kenmore models are designed to always optimize for the shortest cycle times. The Whirlpool model may get clothes technically cleaner (in certain edge cases) and keep fabrics lasting slightly longer but cycles times will be longer (for both washing and cleaning).

    Besides Kenmore’s speed advantage, you also get the benefits of buying from Sears, including special sales, warranty, service, etc. Whirlpool will tend to have the “best” performance while trading speed. Maytag charges a premium for premium components, but it will tend to outlast the other two brands.

    • Jamie Wiebe

      Hi there, thanks so much for the comment. It looks like the Kenmore Elite we mentioned in the article is made by LG, not Whirlpool, but we’re checking into the rest of the your points. Much appreciated!


      • foresmac

        I’m surprised to find this is true:

        Whirlpool made Kenmore washers and dryers exclusively from the dawn of Kenmore laundry appliances until apparently 2009 (I last worked there in 2007). Whirlpool still manufactures conventional and advanced top-load laundry, it seems.

        • Richard Baguley

          Foresmac, the definitive way to tell is by looking at the source code for the Kenmore washer, which identifies the manufacturer. Do any of the other commenters who have this washer know the code? You can find it using this guide:

  • AbbiV

    Thank you for writing such an informative guide- made me feel very knowledgeable and well prepared when I went to the store :-)

    Sears just dropped the price of the Kenmore Elites you recommend back down to $899 (with an additional $70 cash back on their points card good towards a future purchase) BUT this price only seems to be available *in* store. I noticed that there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the Kenmore 4147 & 4137 models, other than looks and a 10% increase in capacity. Both have the Turbo/Accel Wash option and the matching dryer (Model 8137) has steam too. I thought the 4137/ 8137 tandem was a better value :-/ Any reason that they didn’t score as high with you?

  • ultravelocity

    We had this washer but it developed mold within 6 months. Switched to a top loading LG.

  • Peter_Meyers

    Great article! I live in a space-constrained NYC apartment. Any thoughts regarding compact/stackable washer dryer models?

    • zmook

      The Kenmore 41472 and 81472 are stackable, according to mfgr specs (I haven’t purchased yet).

  • lal_tree

    I considered this article pretty heavily when I decided to buy a new washer and dryer earlier this month. I ended up getting the LG WM 3470HA (in white) at Lowe’s for $867 with free delivery and haul away of my old washer. I also got the matching dryer for the same price. Considerably cheaper than the Kenmore version, considering that Sears also wanted another $50 for delivery.

  • KatGamer

    Would you consider picking a best washer-dryer combo unit for those with tiny apartments or homes?

    • Russ

      for people who live in small apartments and/or households who don’t have someone at home to switch clothes between two machines, check out this LG compact washer-dryer combo unit.

      I’m both a small apartment dweller and someone who isn’t around to mind the machines. I’ve had it running twice a day for the past year and it works well. Load sizes are small, but being able to put the clothes in before work and come home to clean clothes is nice. Likewise, I can put in a load before bed and wake up to clean clothes in the morning.

  • UFCIsSux

    Did the author get paid by the word for this article? Sheesh, that’s a lot of words just to say that front-loaders are better.

  • eaadams

    Thanks for the point to Sears Outlet, that is going to save some serious cash. Just cant afford a full blown deal right now.

  • pegsbored

    Sorry Richard, I tend to whole heartedly disagree with you. From experience I can say front loaders are unreliable, do not clean well, and are overpriced for what they do. While they are flashy and have little melodies that play to tell you the wash is (finally after 2 hours) done, they are junk. I gave up on them and went with a speed queen that is reminiscent of my Mothers 1960’s Kenmore. It’s simple, dependable, and best of all, my clothes are really clean! Front loaders are being touted now for some odd reason and they do not clean well at all, even when acutely following the manufacturers instructions. After a $1500 mistake that died three years later I am the proud owner of a $600 dollar mid level speed queen and love my workhorse. Oh yeah, how’s this for energy efficient. My front loader took a minimum of 90 minutes to do a load and still manage to not get the clothing clean. My speed queen does a much larger load (less laundry loads per week) in about 20 and gets them extremely clean. I think less electricity use is an energy saving feature, is it not? I can get all of the laundry done in 4 hours now where with the front loader it was two days. I’m so happy the front loader died. Dare I say the name brand? I guess I should just say that some manufacturers should stick to TV’s (Samsung). Now the biggie, buy a Speed Queen and support American Industry! If you love your country, buy American made products and Richard, you should be touting this company as well. Or, Richard, are you for American jobs disappearing into China and Vietnam? Oh, and any gals reading this post, sure the pretty front loaders are attractive and look sexy in the laundry room, but take it from someone who remembers clothe diapers….they (front loaders) won’t get out the skid marks without serious pretreatment and scrubbing. The old fashioned speed queen does, and hey it’s retro!
    (proud owner of a two year old speed queen I think will last at least 20)

    • Liam McCabe

      Did some research, and this is wrong on a few counts, just wanted to correct it so readers don’t get false information.

      – Front loaders are, bar none, better at cleaning clothes. Top loaders don’t crack the top 30 washers at or the top 40 at Consumer Reports. To be fair, their test strips don’t account for skid marks.

      – Length of the cycle is a minor factor in overall efficiency. That has more to do with the amount of water used, and the amount of energy it takes to heat that water. Front loaders use less than 1/3 the water of an old-school top loader like the Speed Queen. On top of that, imagine how much more energy it takes to heat 3x the water…

      – Speed Queen is actually majority owned by a Canadian pension plan. Oh the irony.

      But thank you for the comment, your misconceptions seem to be pretty common, so we know what to address in the update to this guide.

      • Liam McCabe Is A Dope

        Front loaders are not better than top loaders, you lying scumbag. Who gives a care what Consumer Reports says? They’re agenda-driven and peddle crap.

        I’ve used plenty of top-loaders and front-loaders and the top-loaders always clean better. Anyone who does laundry for a living knows this. I know it doesn’t satisfy your desperate need to buy overpriced junk, qu**rbait, but it’s the truth.

        I don’t care what’s more energy efficient–I’d rather get my clothes clean. You know, that’s the whole point.

        Who cares who owns the company? Speed Queen machines are all manufactured in the U.S. Do you really think your f*ggy plastic Samsung toy is made in America?

        Stick to servicing bus stop restrooms, since that’s all you know, boy.

  • jim goldstein

    One issue with front loading washers. They end up getting a smell like rotten eggs which is close to impossible to get rid of. We use stuff from Amazon to clean it every 8 washes or so but it always returns. Going back to top loading washer. Sure it uses more water but you don’t have to smell like you know what!

    • tony kaye

      Funny I’ve never had this issue with mine.

      • Will Taylor

        There are MANY complaints about this issue with front loaders all over the Internet. The author even mentioned the related mold issue earlier in the comments. I’m actually surprised that with the proliferation of this issue, that longer-term testing hadn’t been done for reliability and usability. Even a quick glance at the ratings of the washer on would be enough to make me nervouse about buying or recommending. Just my thoughts.

        • tony kaye

          Thanks for the feedback!

          • Will Taylor

            Thanks for modding. It’s a tiring and mostly thankless job, so “Thanks!”

  • Jan U. Airy

    Does anyone know if there is a difference between Kenmore products in the U.S. and Canada, or if Kenmore has changed their manufacturer arrangements? Everything that I have read online talks about how Kenmore front load washer/dryers are manufactured by LG with, apparently, a few select models (perhaps in the past) made by Whirlpool, I think I read? In any event, I went to a Sears location in Canada yesterday and mentioned to the salesman about Kenmore being made by LG and he said NO they are not, and that they are made by Samsung – right down to the famous Samsung diamond drum, which Kenmore calls their “jewel” drum.

    After HOURS spent – over about a week now – researching various front load washer/dryer combos, I’m not sure that I’m really any further ahead at the moment. I had narrowed it down to Kenmore, Samsung, LG or Electrolux. However … now I’m reading some not great reviews about the particular Samsung model that I almost purchased, and also reading that Maytag was rated #1 by some review site or other (I forget which) after reading elsewhere that Maytag, Whirlpool and GE should probably be avoided. The Sears salesman seemed to agree that GE is one of the worst choices, but he said customers are very happy with their Whirlpool purchases.

    Also of note, the Sears salesman said that buying the Kenmore Elite range is a waste of money – unless you are super sound sensitive. He said the only REAL difference between the basic line and the Elite line is that the Elite has additional insulation to make it quieter and that he would not recommend a customer spend the extra money for an Elite model. I’m interested to know if anyone has any comments in that regard.

    • Maddy

      Hi: I just bought a Kenmore Elite pair from Sears in Mississauga, Canada based on the salesman’s emphasis that Kenmore Elite was made by Samsung. I, too, am surprised that LG is mentioned in this article but could be for different countries.

  • CharlieM76

    Despite living in a low humidity climate, I’m in line with several of the comments here about front loaders regarding mold and smell. I’d like to see you separate out front load and top load washers.

  • Jim Sturgill

    Avoid Sears delivery and setup. They outsource to local companies. This is hit or miss. Our “installers” were glorified furniture movers. They would not adjust door openings and were ill-equipped to connect water or level the units. (They didn’t even have a level.)

    Save your money and pick up at the store. Or better yet, support a company that gives a damn about customer service. (After an hour and 10 minutes on the phone with their customer help line it was clear they didn’t care and only wanted to get me off the line.)

    • tony kaye

      Will note this and forward along to our editors. Thank you for the feedback!

  • Ryan Booth

    The reviews on the sears sites are abysmal for this. Are you sure??

    • tony kaye

      3.5/5 stars & 3/5 stars. Not exactly abysmal. Other examples/links? Maybe I’m not seeing the same thing as you. Thanks!

      • Ryan Booth

        I don’t think I noticed that before. I think I was just reading the actual reviews. A lot of problems. I guess if the net out isn’t that terrible not everyone has a bad experience. Those numbers would still translate to about 40% of people having major problems.

        • tony kaye

          How did you come to that percentage, as well as “major problems”?

          • Ryan Booth

            3/5 is a 60% approval rating. It’s not exact. The 40% would be those that voted 1 or 2 stars and if you read their comments they report major problems. Scientific? Not so much. Just using it directionally.

          • tony kaye

            Ahhh gotcha. Sorry I wasn’t being snarky, I was just seriously curious. I guess that adds up. Next batch of updates & notes I send in I’ll include this. Thanks for the feedback!

  • G Close

    We love our Speed Queen washer. The reviews for this online (Amazon and Consumer Reports) are outstanding. It’s old-fashioned, with few electronics and a long warranty. Our high efficiency top load Whirlpool washer lasted all of 2 years, so we wanted something that would last.

  • Amber Fagan

    Just purchased the Kenmore 41472 Washing Machine from Sears. Used the discount code SEARS50 and got it, new hoses, removal of my old one and installation for $881.98.

  • WinstonChurchill101

    Wow-just search Kenmore/Whirlpool repair-specifically F70-71 errors-I have one of these and while it does a good, no a great job when its working, its been repaired multiple times and after about 6 months its error code time-thats what led me to this site looking for a better washer! Its NOT Kenmore-but don’t listen to me-search as I said earlier……my repair bill is greater than the cost of the unit.

  • Guest

    for people who live in small apartments and/or households who don’t have someone at home to switch clothes between two machines, check out this LG compact washer-dryer combo unit.

    I’m both a small apartment dweller and someone who isn’t around to mind the machines. I’ve had it running twice a day for the past year and it works well. Load sizes are small, but being able to put the clothes in before work and come home to clean clothes is nice.

  • Eric Hancock

    You guys don’t seem to have mentioned condensation dryers. Very useful for apartments like mine that can’t vent a conventional dryer outside.

  • Darren Murph

    These are now selling (closeout) for under $700 at, but I’m seeing a really startling amount of extremely negative reviews for these around the web. With most Wirecutter / Sweethome articles, it’s pretty easy to see that people generally agree with what’s on top. But I’m scared to pull the trigger on these because of the poor reviews. Part of me thinks that washers and dryers in general are targets for awful reviews — maybe more user error than other gadgets?

    • Jimmy Pautz

      I would take those reviews into consideration. The high efficiency top loading LG washer I had have almost all positive reviews and I love it.

      • captainmike

        LG is tops in reliability per Consumer reports

  • GL

    Question on the alternative pick, as the Kenmore 41472/81472 are all sold out in my region. How much weight was given to reliability data for your picks? Looking at the reliability data that Consumer Reports and JD Power has published, Whirlpool lags LG, Samsung & Kenmore Elite. Understanding that there are tradeoffs, what was the thought process in comparing performance vs. reliability?

    I’m considering the Whirpool Duet WFW88HEAWH that is recommended, but the lower reliability scores gives me pause.

    Consumer Reports- % reporting problems: Whirlpool=11%; LG (survey leader)=6%

    JD Power- Reliability score: Whirlpool = 3/5 stars; Samsung, Kenmore Elite, LG & Electrolux (survey leaders)=5/5


    • GL

      One tip that I stumbled across while shopping online. Some towns or utility companies offer rebates on washers. Be sure the check the Energy Star website (, but I had better luck with that uses Turns out that I can qualify for a $100 rebate from my town water company that I didn’t know about!

      • tony kaye

        Thanks for the note about EnergyStar & rebates! Our picks are slowly going down so we’ll start research on this ASAP and let you know what we find out!

  • Kyle Conroy

    Time to update this. Unfortunately, Sears is no longer offering these models. Any idea if Kenmore is coming out with a replacement for these?

    • tony kaye

      Thanks for the heads up! We’ll update as soon as we get some research on this!

  • Ariadne Etienne

    I don’t care about how fast the machines wash and dry. I have lots of clothes. I want to know how reliable it is. What is the history of recall on the machine? What kind of problems have people reported with it? Does the manufacturer have a history of problems with their machines? And of course how energy efficient is it, and how expensive is it to repair when parts that wear out require replacement. I want a machine that will last, not one that will do every single sock in the house in a single wash.

    • tony kaye

      We’re refreshing this guide. Sit tight!

      • elkoubi

        Any idea as to when you’ll have an update. My wife and I are hoping to get a new set soon. I just had to order parts for our existing washer (an old Kenmore top-loader) to fix it. This is the second time in the last six months that something mechanical on it broke. It’s been an easy fix both times, but we also want to go more efficient.

  • Cory McCarty

    Any chance you could offer any indication of an ETA for the updated guide? I think my washer is dying, and I’d like to wait for a new guide, but if it’s more than a week or two off I might need to go ahead and buy a new one.

    • tony kaye

      I know our researcher is working on this as we speak, but the bigger the products, the longer the research process. No ETA yet but when I hear something I’ll let you know.

      Also, not sure if you’re aware but we offer a newsletter. We let readers know a week in advance what things will be coming up next. Sounds right up your alley!

      • asdfasdfasdf

        Still waiting….

        • tony kaye

          Still researching…

  • guest

    After noticing that the online reviews for CR top-rated HE washing machines were mixed to negative, and the online reviews for the lower-rated Speed Queen were uniformly glowing, I went with the Speed Queen.

    I grew up with CR and have had a subscription all my life, but I strongly suspect that their liberal agenda influences their reviews of certain products.

    I am all for being conscious of energy and water consumption, but I see no reason that my wish to be environmentally responsible should provide an appliance manufacturer with a reason to exploit me by forcing me to buy a washer that is made out of plastic, breaks down all the time, takes forever to wash clothes, and doesn’t get them clean.

    I hear that my Speed Queen will last for 20 years and I hope by then someone will have figured out how to build a HE washer that works.

    • WTF9999

      They can. CR has nothing to do with the quality of the product. That’s the manufacturer. Manufacturers do not want to build a quality machine that will last; there’s no money in that.

  • Mark

    Any updates coming on this soon?

    • tony kaye

      It’s in the works! Coming soon.

      • Pixie Bernard

        Hello Tony. On July 28th you guys said the update was coming soon. 11 days ago, you said the update is coming soon. How soon are we talking? Next year, next month, a week? I ask impatiently because I moved into a new house and have been putting off getting a new washer and drying because I have a lot of faith in you guys and really trust your research. But “soon” followed by month-long delays is misleading at best. Should I go ahead and buy something now, or does soon really mean soon?

        • tony kaye

          Unfortunately, we don’t have an ETA. When it comes to large home appliances like refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers, it takes more time for obvious reasons.

          Do you subscribe to our newsletter? It’s the best way to stay on top of upcoming guides.

  • Renee

    what would you recommend for a second floor laundry room? I am hoping for quick wash cycles, steam dryer, all around quiet and little vibration. Thanks! :)

    • tony kaye

      We’re in the middle of updating this guide now, so check back soon. If you don’t see something that suits you when we update, let me know by replying or dropping a comment and I’ll see what I can find out!


    Are there front-loading stackable washers/dryers?

    • tony kaye

      We are revamping this guide. When it’s updated I’ll ping you :)

      • MisterMaury

        Are we talking a week, a month? I see posts here from 6 months ago saying a new guide is coming out soon.

        Not to look a gift horse in the mouth though, appreciate the efforts of this site, I just have a washer that’s wailing like a banshee, so not sure how much longer I can wait.

        • tony kaye

          Sorry, we really can’t put an exact date on when this refresh will be published. Also, keep in mind that the larger the product, the more time testing takes. Bluetooth headphone research can take 1-2 months+, not to mention competition & the writing/editing process. Washers & dryers are big – and it’s also important we get things right because they’re appliances you’ll depend on daily in your home.

          You can easily return an set of pillows we rec if you don’t like them. Not that easy with things like fridges, washers, dryers, etc.

          The only thing I can do is suggest you subscribe to our newsletter to keep up with this.

  • Alexander Sohn

    Curious to how the best pick held up in terms of noise levels compared to the competition. Our washer and dryer placement is in a closet off to the side of our entertainment room, so it can be pretty annoying sitting down to watch a movie, only to have the quiet scenes interrupted with the noise of our washer and dryer. We’re looking to upgrade so if the pick served well in the noise department as well, I’m considering a purchase. Thanks for the great reviews as always!

  • Sarah

    Any chance this review will be updated in time for Christmas shopping?

    • Sam

      I think it’s time to remove this article entirely until it’s actually updated.

      • tony kaye

        We’re working on this as fast as we can without doing a crummy job. The larger the product, the longer the testing process (dual products in this case) We need to make sure we’re not recommending poor appliance – or in this case TWO.

        I understand you’re frustrated, but removing this guide wouldn’t solve anything. Wait status makes sure readers know we’re in the process of picking new models and lets them know they shouldn’t buy just yet.

        • Jack

          the problem with front loaders (i have 2) is obvious. the drum is on its side. duh!!! rocket science not required. wait until the little device called a WAX MOTOR fails and the door opens in mid wash LOL it wasn’t funny then.

  • talldrseuss

    Looking forward to you guys addressing washer/dryer all in one or stackable combos for us apartment dwellers.

    • tony kaye

      Can’t say for sure if those will be included in our guide. My initial instinct says there’s a good chance we might not include them in our guide being that they’re fairly niche.

      • Matt Tagg

        out of interest, why are they niche? do they not work well?

    • Jeff Byrnes

      I, too, would be interested in hearing about a stackable combo.

  • StephLovesDogs

    It would be wonderful if this could be updated soon!

    • tony kaye

      We know :)

  • darrenmiller

    Is there an estimate on when there might be an update to this? Thanks!

    • tony kaye


      • darrenmiller

        Thank you! By soon are we talkin days, weeks, or more than a month you think? I’m moving to a new place on Wednesday and need a washer and dryer, and I’m trying to figure out if it’s worth waiting for this update before buying.

  • Jim B. Johnson

    Do you have an ETA on an update?

    • tony kaye

      Coming soon!

  • Stovers

    Front load washing machines are the best way to go I agree! Stovers has a great selection and all are really well priced!

  • captainmike

    I just bought a new washer dryer
    selected top load
    selected LG
    got the WT1701cv and DLEY1701 for $825 each
    will get extended squaretrade warranty using big discount codes.

    did lots of looking and research

    consumer reports said only LG and Samsung are safe bets for reliability.

    • Lisa E.

      I have a Samsung front loading washer and dryer, bougt 3 1/2 years ago, and both are currently broken (the washer for the 4th time, the dryer for the 2nd). It takes 2 weeks at the minimum to get parts, and that’s IF the repairman happens to guess right on what’s wrong, which twice now her hasn’t. It’s been a nightmare, and I will never, ever, ever buy another Samsung as long as I live.

  • Sarah Anderson

    I just tried to buy the LG WM3570HWA washer & dryer at Home Depot here in Bozeman, Montana. It is advertised in the HD flyer on sale this weekend for $798 each. Was told – Sorry , unavailable. Various excuses including this model is being discontinued & also it’s on one of those boats stuck off the west coast. No rain check. The other two similar LG models also unavailable.

    • tony kaye

      Yep we put this on wait status while we check out newer models. No surprise that it’s unavailable. We’re actively researching this, but when we put a WAIT status above, it means don’t buy (and can mean outdated/no longer sold).

      • Sarah Anderson

        Thank you for responding.

  • James May

    I’m in the market to buy a washer and dryer very soon(within this week) So I was hoping to get a sneak peak into your latest “wait” update.

    The washer and dryer set that I am about to pull the trigger on is below, so I was hoping to get some early insight. Did you test the units below? If so, any major red flags? I know LG manufactures Kenmore, so it goes along with your top pick – but was wondering why you switched to LG instead of Kenmore as your top pick this time around.(since they seem to have comparable models in each price range, and are cheaper from my research)

    Any Help is appreciated, Thanks!

    • Liam McCabe

      As far as we know, LG does make Kenmore Elite washers and dryers, but they are not quite the same machines. A few things:

      When you get a Kenmore, you have no choice but to go through Sears. We hear some great things about Sears, and some not-so-great things about Sears. Seems to be a real crapshoot based on your local branch. Lack of choice in dealers/service is a mark against Kenmore.

      Yep, there are LG and Kenmore Elite models that look pretty similar on paper. But when we lined them up in a spreadsheet, the Kenmore models in the price range we targeted ($800-1200, roughly) tend to have lower ratings from the testing houses, as well as lower user ratings. Quality control seems to be a bigger issue with Kenmore/Sears.

      We targeted the $800-1200 price range because you get all the performance/efficiency benefits and a lot of the useful features of the highest-end machines, with plenty of capacity. The LG model we picked are 4.3 cu ft, which is about as large as any washer (front or top load) from even just a few years ago. Holds 20+ pounds of laundry, which is a whoooole lot of fabric—enough to wash a king-size comforter.

      The washer and dryer you linked look very good, especially for that sale price. We’ve tracked it around $1250 most of the time, which puts it in the Cadillac tier. Great scores from the testing houses, though we’d guess that’s mainly because the sheer size of the thing broke their statistical modeling for how they figure out their scores. (I used to work at one of these places, it happens.) 5.2 cu ft is a truly, truly massive washing machine. There’s no reason to think that it’s a downside in terms of performance or anything like that, but we think that most people will be perfectly happy with a still-very-big 4.3 cu ft machine and an extra $600 in their bank accounts. (Not to mention that anyone who needs to stack their machines probably won’t be able to fit such big machines.)

      Anyway, none of this is to discourage you from getting those Kenmore Elites. They seem like great machines for the price, as long as you have the space for them—just above the range/size we targeted. Hope this was helpful, thanks for reading.

      • James May


        This was an incredibly helpful, and quick!, response. Thank you so much for taking the time and thought to reply. We have a few more things to consider when making our decision.

        Thanks Again!

  • JoeTheMusician

    The new LG recommendation for a washer is very timely for me, and it really does seem to be a sweet spot in the marketplace. My 12 year old Whirlpool is on the way out (spin cycle decreasingly effective) but the matching dryer is still going like a champ. I don’t really want to buy another dryer as it seems that the efficiency savings are almost all in the washer. But my nagging question is will the old dryer be able to adequately handle the loads from a new washer? I can not figure out the capacity of the old dryer beyond Whirlpool’s marketing moniker “super capacity plus”. The model is an LEQ9508LW0, with the label “Ultimate Care II” but I can’t tell more than that. I know the new recommended LG dryer is 7.4 cubic feet, but my old one is surely smaller (7.0? Less?). I don’t care if they match but don’t want to waste money on a big washer if the dryer can’t handle the loads.

    One other question: I understand new energy star regulations just went into effect last week (specification version 7.0). Does that mean new models are around the corner? Or are the ones out already compliant?


    • JoeTheMusician

      The price on the washer just dropped at Home Depot to $778, plus tax but including delivery and haul-away, so I went ahead and ordered the washer. Not the dryer, but if I decide that I really need to upgrade the dryer I can do so later.
      Thanks for the recommendation!

      • tony kaye

        And thank you for the deal tip!

      • Liam McCabe

        Sorry just got around to seeing this comment—how’s the old dryer working out for you?

        • JoeTheMusician

          It appears to be doing fine. I probably only rarely use the maximum capacity of the washer, and the clothes come out of the washer a lot drier to begin with because of the highly efficient spin cycle. Washing a large comforter might pose a problem but I would likely air dry that anyway. The washer seems to do a good job and the cycles are much quicker than i expected (40+ minutes), again likely because I am not utilizing the full capacity – despite the loads seeming (to me) to be pretty large.

  • justjmatt

    I’m looking to replace my washer-dryer set (washer is ok, but clearly not built for second-floor laundry, what with the vibration, and I want to destroy my “won’t dry consistently” dryer) with the WM3570HVA and matching dryer from LG (aka the graphite version of the pick in notes), however, other people in my household are concerned about the “in an event of a leak” risk with a front-loader. Is there any real difference, safety wise, between front-load and an HE top-load machine?

    • Liam McCabe

      That’s a pretty common fear about front loaders leaking. Yes they can leak, and so can top loaders. It’s nothing to worry about specifically with front loaders. In short: Front loaders are sealed super tight, and they don’t fill up with that much water anyway.

      The doors on front loaders are sealed so tight that they can cause odor problems if you leaved them shut between uses. (New models including the LG we recommend don’t have this issue to nearly the same degree, and in any case, it’s wise to get in the habit of leaving it cracked between cycles.)

      Front loaders barely fill up past the bottom of the door—they just do not use very much water as you’d think, and much less than any top loader. Conventional pole agitator top loaders use 2.5 to 3x as much. That’d be a much more catastrophic even if water leaked out.

  • sadief

    Really looking forward to the compact machine recommendation. Hope it’ll be ready soon!

  • Alice

    I’m also really looking for a compact recommendation!

  • Jo Lynn Barnicoat

    Unfortunately the Kenmore Elite washer 41472 and Dryer 81472 have been discontinued and are no longer available. If they were that great – why would they discontinue making them?

    • tony kaye

      Newer lines come out with features added. Better technology, standards, etc.

      • cory

        is the 41482 the replacement? Does it hold up?

        • tony kaye

          We won’t know until we’re finished researching!

  • Danthelawyer

    Well, my four year-old Samsung died a week ago. The repair tech told me yesterday it would cost $800 to fix. Since it seemed unlikely that he would have an incentive to push customers away from repairs, I believed him. So I turned to the Sweethome and saved myself dozens of hours of research by just picking the LG you almost recommended in February. Thank you!

    (Now how about a refrigerator guide update?)

    • Markthetog

      See my response above. I am not sure LG is any better as there is no evidence that they will support their gear in any meaningful way.

  • wintmod

    IF YOU NEED COMPACT, ESPECIALLY IN DEPTH: After hours of research, the smallest (shallowest) stack I could find were an ASKO W6424W washer and T754 W dryer. Mine is installed 24 3/4″ from a wall in which the duct bulges right where the ASKO is thickest, so you might get a bit closer. Specially requested specs shows 23 7/8″ as the unit’s depth, though the manual also calls for a 1/2″ gap from the unit to the wall. (All my measurements are at the maximum, from the knobs which protrude about a 1/2,” so overall the look is less.) Beware: multiple manufacturers claim “24 inch depth” units, but buried in their manuals require more space behind for cords, hoses, and for ducts up to 4-6″!
    Other space-savings tips: buy and you can cut down a periscope or other rectangular, rather than round, duct; venting out the side, rather than the rear, of the dryer may be tighter and easier. With the ASKO, I did not need to buy 90 degree/right angle (stainless) hoses. I couldn’t wait on Sweethome and hope this helps.

  • ExcelsiorDDZ

    Just ordered the LG WM3570HWA washer and LG DLEX3570W dryer to replace the Whirpool top loader and a dryer that is on the way out. Thanks.

  • Kwakers012

    Hi the Sweethome! Any idea when this guide will be updated? In February, it said in a few weeks. I’m getting close to having to replace our washer/dryer. =)

    • tony kaye

      It’s being worked on! Best I can say :)

  • Markthetog

    I bought a Samsung front loader on the recommendations of Consumer Reports. It worked well for three years but now needs a board replacement and the part is no longer available! Apparently they do not make parts for washers after they change models every year or so. So…. if you are unlucky enough to need a repair, just pray the part is on someone’s shelf or you are SOL.

    “Buy from a company that will be around” Sure they are around but don’t give a rat’s butt about the customer who bought three years ago.
    In the end the “reliability” ratings are anecdotal baloney from a sample that is too small to measure. In addition, the raves for ALL machines come from someone who has put three loads through without a problem.
    There is no statistically meaningful reliability resource for appliances. Consumer Reports has reliability ratings for cars but not for major appliances.

  • peacockaja

    Throw all these out and get a Speed Queen top load washer and never look back

    • Whit McGhee

      My in-laws just bought a Speed Queen. It’s a top-loading, non-HE washer, it’s got absolutely no electronic boards inside…and they say it’s by far the best washer they’ve ever owned.

  • gyamashita

    just picked up the LG WM3570HWA. we had an older LG front loader in a previous house and man, that seems antiquated in just over 5 years. next thing is to get our samsung dryer stacked on this new LG…

  • cory

    The Kenmore 41472 is no longer in production.The Sears salesman in Stone Mountain, GA told us the 41482 was the model that replaced it…any idea if it holds up to it’s predecessor? Or if that’s true?

  • David

    when will the 3570 full update be published?

    • tony kaye

      We’re working on it as fast as we can!

  • RudimentaryDiode

    Can you recommend a stacked set in your next update? My house only has room for a washer/dryer that are directly on top of each other in the laundry closet. We simply don’t have the room for two side by side models.

    • Carlos Valera

      Front loaders can be stacked, which both of the models recommended here are. So they actually did recommend a stackable pair.

  • Ryan

    I just can’t get my head around buying a front loader. Everything I read says based on national averages a front loader’s extra efficiency equates to an energy savings of $30 a year and a water savings of $30 a year. So you save $600 over the course of a 10 life of the machine which would be about a wash (pun intended) vs a top loader fractional purchase price. However everyone I ask who has had a front loader for 5+ years says the following: They are a pain in the ass to keep from smelling because and they still end up smelling. They are 4-10 times as expensive to fix and most of the mid life issues (electronic boards) cost as much as a new machine to fix $800-$900. So setting aside the possible eco benefits why would we want to take on the head ache and cost of dealing with flawed technology that quite frankly isn’t sexy. I mean these things was our clothes who want’s to drop 1500-2400 every 5-6 years (realistic lifespan per technicians and people I know) on a new washing machine.

    • Liam McCabe

      We just published an update to this guide today that covers most of your questions. But a quick list:

      – Front loaders are better at stain removal than any top loader, even in a cold cycle.

      – Front loaders spin much more water out of clothes, so your dryer runs shorter cycles, and that’s where you end up saving real money on utility bills. Factor in those savings, and you probably do save money on front loaders even if the board fails.

      – If you use a front loader properly, it won’t smell, and should keep running smoothly (mechanically at least—the boards are a problem). Older models smelled more, and the industry has come up with a few ways to make the new ones less likely to smell.

      Best practices include: Leaving the door cracked after each cycle, to let moisture evaporate, which prevents smells. (Our new top pick has a magnet that automatically props the door open a bit.) Using the right HE detergent and less of it, to prevent residue from building up in the washer, which in turn prevents mechanical failures and mildew growth. Running a very hot cycle with no detergent like 2-4 times a year to clean out residue, also preventing mechanical failures and mildew growth, bonus points for using a specialized cleaner. Wiping down the seals every few months, to prevent mildew growth.

      The thing is, industry does a terrible job educating people about how to use their machines, because they’re scared of telling people what to do. Most of (not all of) the issues with front loaders could’ve been avoided if they did a better job helping people adjust their old top-loader habits to new front-load washers. Then they wouldn’t be in this pickle where people are so skeptical of the “new” design (which has been in the US for 15+ years now), even though it’s strictly better.

  • Thom

    The top-load pick links say they are no longer available.

    • tony kaye

      We’re aware but thanks for the quick tip!

  • Jess

    I wrote a long post about the bad experiences I’ve had with this washer, and my post mysteriously disappeared.

    I’m not retyping it all, but the gist is:

    Don’t buy this washer–it has a design flaw which causes sudsy water to spew everywhere out of the drain pipe, even when 1tbsp of soap.

    I am very upset at the Sweethome, since I bought this washer on their recommendation for $1k and now I’m stuck with a piece of junk. I realize that it was my choice to take their recommendation, but I do not trust their process anymore.

    If this post disappears too, I also wouldn’t trust the legitimacy of their commenting system.

    Very disappointed.

    • tony kaye

      Hi Jess! Just a quick note on your comment situation. This is a new guide that we’ve updated. When we do this we scrub all the comments since they’re typically outdated. We didn’t remove your comment out of malice or because you were critical. We always welcome feedback. It was just removed with every other comment due to updating.

      As for your situation, I’m really sorry that this happened to you. Did you contact the seller and invoke the warranty? There is no reason why this shouldn’t be covered/fixed.

      Also, which model washer are you referring to so we can do some checking on this? Thanks!

      • Jess

        The one you recommended — the WM3570HWA. I bought it specifically because of this page. I am looking into the warranty options now, but the comments on the Amazon page are disheartening–it seems like a lot of other people have had similar issues and have been given the run around by LG and Home Depot.

        I’m glad to know you don’t remove critical comments. I’m not sure why it got deleted then though, because I posted it after you updated the guide. It was the first post on the page.

        • tony kaye

          If it’s still under warranty there is no reason anyone should give you the run around. Warranty means you’re covered – unless it’s an issue not relating directly to the washer itself. Give it a shot & definitely let us know if anyone gives you the run around.

          I just went through all the comments in my inbox and the deleted ones on the admin page. Can’t find anything written post-update/pre-comment scrub. Sorry about that!

    • Nick Welch

      I don’t understand. Of course sudsy water spews out of the drain pipe. Is it… overly sudsy? I don’t get it.

      I have the WM3370HRA which is nearly the same, and it just drains like any other washing machine does… in fact, the amount that comes out at any one time is dramatically less than the huge amount a top loader gushes out.

      • Jess

        The drain tube from the washer is inserted downwards into a large pipe that takes the water outside the house. With the old washer, the water flowed from the tube into the pipe with no problem. With this one, soapy water comes spewing out where the tube goes into the pipe.

        Yes–I use 1tbsp of HE washing liquid, barely enough to get the clothes not to smell. I have tried switching to powder, which is slightly better at not causing suds to spew, but forces me to use warm water when I’d otherwise use cold.

        • Nick Welch

          It seems more likely that you have an issue with the drain pipe. Perhaps it is older and only 1.5″ instead of now-standard 2″, or perhaps it has a partial clog, or improper venting.

  • Whit McGhee

    I’m hearing great things about Speed Queen washers. They won’t make any “best” lists because they look like commercial washers and lack a lot of the electronic features that most washing machines advertise. But they do get your clothes really, really clean. They’re also made in America and come with one of the best warranties in the business.

    One of my family members is a physician who just bought a Speed Queen for home use. He says even years-old bloodstains have come out of his white coats.

    • jakematthew

      Thanks you for sharing this!

      • Liam McCabe

        Yes, Speed Queen does make a reliable, simple washer. (My parents own one.) The brand has the best reliability rating for washers at Consumer Reports, for what that’s worth. However, Consumer Reports has also found that compared to other washing machines (even other old-school, pole-agitator washers), they just don’t actually clean clothes very well compared to most modern washers.

        • G Close

          I own a Speed Queen washer, after experiencing a more modern washer whose circuit board failed in less than three years, making it uneconomical to fix. Couldn’t be happier with the Speed Queen washer. It washes very well, but I think the impeller is pretty hard on clothes. I am sure a front loader would be more gentle. The upside is it gets the clothes clean. It won’t win any efficiency contests for water or electricity, but given the construction, I expect it to last a very long time and be repairable for 10-15 years. Also made in USA. It’s completely old school, just like a washer in a landromat from the 1970s. If you want industrial strength, this is it.

  • Nick Welch

    I just bought the next model down, the WM3370HRA and its dryer. The main thing it lacks is turbo mode, which I’m okay with because the dryer is usually the time bottleneck, and we don’t generally have a time crunch for doing laundry. Anyway, the actual reason I picked this model is because it’s available in red. It’s pretty great looking.

    Look out for the 10% off Lowe’s coupon that’s going around lately — the one where you fill in some random numbers. It helped me knock the price down to a little over $700 each.

    On a different note,

    “Run long, low-heat dry cycles instead of short, hot cycles.” — is there any evidence this actually saves energy? Because I can recall googling about it in the past and I came up short. The heating element is not any more efficient when run on low (it’s always 100% efficient), and a longer dry cycle means that more conditioned air is exhausted from your home, causing unconditioned outdoor air to leak in to replace it. I did find a recommendation on some government site recommending use of low heat to save energy, but there was no explanation.

    • Liam McCabe

      That’s a good question about the dryer efficiency—I took the advice from the same gov’t site, in all likelihood.

      There’s another good reason to use a lower temp, to protect the clothes. But as far as the energy savings, I’m going to look into that, thanks for bringing it up.

  • ansar99

    I am looking at the picture and wondering why there are so many controls/options/buttons. Is there a decent front loader that my mom/grandmother could use?

    • tony kaye

      Forwarded along!

  • JBritton

    Interesting that you dismissed top-loading washers pretty quickly. The latest HE top loaders have huge capacities, no agitator, are highly efficient, and the most notable difference, are much more reliable over time. There are fewer things to break, and no door seals that will start leaking over time.

    One of the issues with Consumer Reports is that they usually don’t have good data on model reliability. They are good at assessing the features, but you have to dig into the comments on other pages to get a perspective of the long term consumer experience and reliability of the washers.

    • Liam McCabe

      We have an entire section on why you should also avoid HE top loaders. We spent dozens of hours figuring out why exactly top loaders are not worth your money. That meant reading hundreds of product reviews, thousands of user reviews, and talking to a bunch of industry professionals. This was not a quick dismissal—it was based on an overwhelming amount of evidence against top loaders.

      There’s no evidence that good HE top loaders are more reliable than good front loaders over time. (Bad appliances will break down no matter what, and I guess it’s fair to argue that some companies aren’t very good at making front loaders). As HE machines, they suffer from the same potential mechanical problems as front loaders, caused by residue buildup from over-using detergent in a water-light environment. Same logic boards that are expensive to replace when they break down. Aside from the seal (which will hold up just fine with a few minutes of maintenance per year), what are the other parts that a front loader has that an HE top loader does not?

      Mainly, HE top loaders just don’t actually clean your clothes very well for how much they cost. It’s one thing to have the illusion that a washing machine is deep-cleaning your clothes. It’s another thing for a washer to actually remove stains, including all the sweat that you can’t see. and CR do a great job with their stain-strip testing, and top loaders of any kind trail way behind even mid-range front loaders.

      On the topic of long-term customer satisfaction, all the user reviews we checked out suggest that buyers tend to be slightly less happy with HE top loaders than with front loaders.

      We also addressed the limits of CR’s (and other outlets’) reliability ratings. Nobody has a crystal ball, and it’s impossible to say how one model will hold up. But you can get an idea of trends, among categories and (somewhat) among brands. The best front loaders are just as reliable as the best HE top loaders.

    • jameskatt

      Top-loading washers:
      1. Do not stink and collect sewer water in a bottom container like the LG washer does.
      2. Generally do not rust since manufacturers have made them for decades – unlike the LG washer cited here as best
      3. Do not collect mold like the LG does.
      4. Are far more reliable and can last for decades – unlike the rusty LG.

  • Ano Nymous

    I’m concerned with the focus put on CR’s reliability rankings. I frankly find CR reviews underwhelming as a whole because they (unlike this site) provide almost no context for why they give a particular machine a particular rating. They don’t, for instance, discuss whether a particular machine did an outstanding job of cleaning sebum but only a very good job of cleaning blood, but instead simply provide one opaque rating per category.

    This is doubly true with regard to their reliability ratings. They rank by brand, not model. While LG appears to have fewer incidents of repairs than Whirlpool or Samsung for front loaders, for all we know those repairs could be almost entirely among the lower priced machines, or among the higher priced machines, or distributed in some other misleading way. While I took the reliability ratings into consideration, it played a small role in my decision to pick the Whirlpool WFW72HEDW over other models. Its main competition is from the similarly priced LG WM3170CW, but I ended up picking the Whirlpool based on the higher amount of customers who would recommend the product (97% for Whirlpool vs 93% for LG on HomeDepot). While the 10 year motor warranty on LGs is very tempting, it seems like most people have breakdowns in terms of bearings, drums, and circuitry, none of which would be covered by that warranty anyway.

    Does the writer agree that the CR reliability index is too opaque to be of much use in recommending a particular model, and will he give some additional consideration to the two models I just named? After about 15 hours of research, these are, in my opinion, the two top competitors for value minded, reliable and effective front loaders.

    • Liam McCabe

      CR’s rankings aren’t perfect, but they’re the best thing we have until we can get our own test lab.

      As for reliability, we spent a few paragraphs on this in the guide…yeah, breaking it down by brand instead of model isn’t a perfect representation, but CR does break it down by type, front load vs top load, and most of the brands represented sell machines at a variety of price points. So there’s some legitimacy there. We also considered reliability data from JD Power and a local appliance showroom in the Boston area, and LG came out near the top in all three. Should you blindly trust the numbers? No, but it’s some of the only data out there. And like you, aggregate reliability was a part of our decision, but not a major one.

      In terms of reputation: Speaking candidly, I think Whirlpool has an advantage in terms of reputation because it’s an American brand—little bit of nationalism, some nostalgia at play. (If you read the comments sections on appliance stories / reviews at, it might help you understand where I’m getting that impression). Whirlpool absolutely makes great washers, but so do LG and Samsung…and all of them made not-as-great washers within the past 10 years, while the industry adjusted to front loaders. I just get the impression that some buyers are quicker to dismiss foreign brands, and that could account for some of the 4% difference in the Home Depot recommendation.

      In any case, it sounds like you did your research and settled on the Whirlpool for good reasons. It’s all about what works for you! I hope our guide helped out along the way. Thank you!

  • David Bressler

    Bought the dryer. Save yourself the trouble if you live in an apartment.

    That little comment above about “keep the vent line short” — well, there’s no way to do that in an apartment. At least not short enough for the “smart dryer” to acknowledge. There’s apparently no way around the sensor, the dryer simply refuses to work.

    Not only am I out $1,000 for the dryer, I’m out the almost $1,000 for cleaning the vents that didn’t help.

    Oh, and both units have too many options if you have small children. Who has time to study for what appears to be a Phd in doing laundry just to run a load of wash? By the way, if it auto-senses when your clothes are dry, why do you have to pick a dry cycle or time? Why can’t you just say, this is delicate or these are towels, go dry it?

    • tony kaye

      Forwarded along!

    • Liam McCabe

      Sorry to hear that, thanks for the feedback, first time I’d heard that. Hope you can get the dryer swapped. It might be a similar problem with most modern dryers?

      Interface-overload is a common complaint, I don’t think the industry has taken that into consideration. But we will from now on. And yeah auto-dry selections could be improved.

  • JesseeA

    Is the WM3570HWA being discontinued? It’s unavailable at my local Home Depot stores, other than a clearance floor model.

    • tony kaye

      Looking into it!

    • tony kaye

      I don’t believe it’s been discontinued. What region are you in? It’s showing in stock for a few of our staffers in different parts of the country. It’s also still available from Best Buy & Sears

      • JesseeA

        Thanks for checking. I’m in Cincinnati. Maybe the stores around here just won’t be carrying that model anymore.

      • JesseeA

        OK, after investigating a little more, it seems like LG might be phasing in a slightly different model: the WM3575CW. It looks very similar to the pick here, but it’s available for the same price as the matching dryer from Home Depot (same dryer recommended here). Is this washer the 2015 version of The Sweethome’s choice?

        • green

          3575 doesn’t have steam option

          • 75th

            Sweethome guys, you should draw extra attention to this. The spec sheets at say the 3575C has Steam and the Allergiene cycle, but I just got the washer and it does not. Just sent LG support a nastygram to see what if anything they’re prepared to do for me for selling me a washing machine under false pretenses.

            (I know I shouldn’t be this upset about it, but I wanted a machine with all the features of your recommendation, I did my diligence, and I got screwed.)

          • Liam McCabe

            Yep you’re right, I found the spec sheet you’re talking about. They don’t mention it on the main part of the product page, but I downloaded a PDF which does indicate that the WM3575 has Steam and Allergiene, when it does not. We’re going to get in touch with LG to see what the deal is.

  • fourthords

    How does the WM3570HWA stack up against its lesser-expensive modeled brethren? I was recently in a Best Buy and came across the WM3170CW ($799.99) and the WM3370HWA ($899.99); with the exception of additional wash cycles obviously, what differences are there between these two less-expensive LG models and the one The Sweethome recommends? Are they just as reliable? Do they clean just as well? Are they as efficient?

    • Liam McCabe

      They look very similar! The WM3170 has not been reviewed by either Consumer Reports or; the WM3370 hasn’t been tested at, and CR’s overall score of 13 is obviously a testing error. They should perform similarly, but without test data I’m going to stop short of saying that they’re the same…wash algorithms can vary from model to model even if the hardware is very similar.

      Most obvious difference though between the WM3570 and the cheaper models is TurboWash. Some people are fine without it, but it does cut cycle times in half.

      The WM3170 also has no steam option…no great loss there.

      If you’re comfortable without TurboWash, your call!

  • Sue L-J

    Would never buy another front loader ever. Have whirlpool duets and it’s nothing but problems. After spending $400 for repairs they still don’t know what’s wrong with it and it’s only 3 1/2 years old. I’m going back to a top load at least my husband can fix those himself.

    • Leonard

      Thats why you buy a protecion

      • Sue L-J

        Had one but it didnt help.

  • jameskatt


    I bought the LG Washer and Dryer front loading pair from Home Depot because they looked modern, advanced, cool, and functional. They looked great and I assumed they would work great.


    RULE #1: AN APPLIANCE NEEDS TO BE RELIABLE. Appliances should last 10+ years. LG Broke Rule #1. LG is new to making appliances. They don’t have a track record of experience. I replaced the drier with a MayTag drier. The MayTag has worked like a champ for the past several years.


    A. The LG COLLECTS SEWER WATER in a lower container that has to be frequently emptied and cleaned. Why doesn’t it simply drain this waste water down the drain like other washers? This is a huge design flaw.

    B. The TOP LEFT CONTAINER FOR DETERGENT AND SOFTENER GETS MOLDY contributing to the stink. You have to remove if after every wash to clean it and dry it.

    C. YOU MUST LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN WHEN NOT IN USE. Otherwise the moisture in the drier will breed mold and your clothes will stink. This is poor design.


    RULE #2: WASHERS SHOULD NEVER RUST. I found out that it is common for LG Washers to RUST after a few years of use. This is completely unacceptably poor design.

    I am going to replace the LG Washer ASAP with a MayTag.

    LG is simply too inexperienced in appliance design. I suspect every Korean company is in the same boat.

    LESSON #1: The Sweet Home and The Wire Cutter reviewers are simply too inexperienced to review Washers and Driers. They look at the bells and whistles. They don’t look at the practical aspects of appliance use – which also means the long term experience of years of use.

    They missed the sewer water collector in the LG washer.
    They missed the rusting of the LG washer.

    These are unacceptable mistakes and deficiencies in the review.

    • Liam McCabe

      Sorry you had a bad experience with an old set of LG models. Which models gave you trouble?

      LG was known for quality problems but all the evidence suggests that they’ve really pulled their act together in the past 5 years. Reliability is very difficult to predict (as we cover in the guide) but the sources we consulted all mentioned LG washers as some of the least repair-prone these days.

      As for smells—again, as we cover at length in the guide—all front load washers need to be left open between uses, or they will begin to smell. Even Maytag (ironically, it was a lawsuit over particularly smelly washers that led to the company’s buyout by Whirlpool). Haven’t heard any complaints of rust with this model, though it hasn’t been out long enough to tell I suppose—that said, LG built a magnet into the door to keep it propped open between cycles, which lets the water evaporate, preventing odors and rust.

      Detergent drawer mildew is a known problem with any washer. Wash it out thoroughly every few months (citric acid like Tang is a good soaking agent), and it should prevent some of that issue.

      There is no sewer water collector, but there is a filter you need to clean periodically, as there is with most front loaders (including Whirlpool / Maytag and Samsung brand). The repair experts we spoke with didn’t mention this as one of the most pressing maintenance tasks, but we’ll probably add this to the guide.

      Of course it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to agree with everything we’ve written; everyone has their own history with appliances, and their own set of habits that tend to die hard (the industry hasn’t always done itself favors in getting people up to speed with the latest advancements). But we did try to lay out all our arguments at length, as well-sourced and clearly as possible—including the issues that you’re concerned about that came up in our 100+ hours of research.

  • g khera

    we have carpet in our hallway where our current top loading machine is. I read that excessive shaking can occur with a front loader- should we avoid a front loader? Thanks!

    • Liam McCabe

      Thanks for your question. There’s no good reason to avoid a front loader anymore.

      Some older models were known to vibrate or shake, and get very loud. But most new, decent front-load washers (including the LG we recommend) don’t have that issue.

      As we covered at great length in the guide, most of the problems you’ve heard about front loaders are outdated. Older front loaders weren’t great, but they’ve fixed most of those issues in newer machines. It’s just nothing to worry about anymore.

      The only thing you need to be concerned about, regarding vibration, is installing the washer so that it’s level—and that’s true whether you get a front loader or a top loader.

  • HeyThereNow!

    One of the differences I have found between the LG DLEX3570V and the
    DLEX3370V dryers is that the 3570 is not Energy Star Qualified, while the 3370 is. The 3370 purchase price is also less than the 3570. The corresponding washers are both Energy Star Qualified.

    My question is, what is the real world difference between the Energy Star Qualified dryer and the non qualified?

    • Liam McCabe

      Yeah good question. I looked up the specs at and the 3370 uses about 30 kWh less than the 3570 per year—about 4-5% savings. The official line is that E Star dryers have to be 20% more efficient than the average dryer, so the 3570 is efficient compared to most dryers, and the 3370 is about as good as it gets.

      I’m not sure what the real world difference is, to be honest. I’d have to do more digging, but I have a few ideas.

      It could be that the 3370 has a more efficient drying algorithm, and it legitimately is much more efficient than the 3570. That would be great. It took a long time for the EPA to release a dryer specification, maybe their announcement forced the hand of the appliance industry to actually innovate, like it did with washers 10-15 years ago.

      Or it could be that the 3370 somehow exploits a loophole in the testing requirements. It has fewer dry cycles than the 3570, maybe that has something to do with it? In that case, real-world use wouldn’t be much different at all.

      The truth, as usual, is probably somewhere in the middle. If you’re leaning toward the 3370, go for it. You’ll miss out on the high-speed wash cycle in the 3570, which cuts your wash time in half for most typical loads. But you might save a few bucks if the sale price is right, and maaaybe the dryer turns out to be more efficient.

  • Jeff Bridges

    I have noticed that a front loading washer usually has higher efficiency. It uses less water and cleans the clothes better. I think it is due to the fact that it can use gravity to tumble the clothes around without them sticking together like they would in a top loaded washer.

  • Tyler Willis

    I just replaced my Whirlpool front loader from 1998 with your recommendation. My old washer got the job done but had it’s third water pump die on me and rather than replace it, I decided it was time to modernize. One really great feature of the LG (and most of the newer models I looked at) is how easy they make it to maintain vs. the older ones. You can clean out the filter with a convenient front access panel that requires no tools. I was, of course, able to use the $6.30 that I pulled out of the old washer’s drain hose. That coupled with the 4th of July sale discount and a 10% coupon from lowes took my total cost of ownership down to $621… a pretty great value. I’m only one wash in, but so far I’m very happy. If you have an old washer or have been previously disappointed in a front loader, it’s worth considering the upgrade.

    Things I like best:
    – Much more water efficient than the old one
    – Easier to maintain
    – Better capacity than my old washer without taking up more space
    – The Front door thoughtfully opens the opposite direction of the dryer door, making it much better for side by side operation (my old washer didn’t do this).

    Things I hate
    – The end-of-cycle alarm is too quiet and too cute. I hate it.
    – The interface isn’t near as simple as my old washer. There really aren’t that many different ways to wash clothes… at least there shouldn’t be. I’m sure I’ll learn it in time, but it would be a poor choice for a vacation rental.

    • Liam McCabe

      Thanks for sharing! Glad it’s working out for you so far.

  • Eric S

    Any recommendations for a compact front loader along with a *vented* compact dryer? The condo I’m purchasing has one of those 1-piece (like this, but it’s old and may not last longer. I’d like to get a proper front loading units as replacements. The area already has a dryer vent, so I’d definitely be looking at vented unit.

    If they don’t really make such a thing, I guess I might just have to look into having the closet widened a little bit to accommodate standard size – has anybody ever had this done?

  • Eric S

    Are there any recommendations for a compact front loader along with a *vented* compact dryer? The condo I’m purchasing has one of those tall 1-piece white units with the top loader on the bottom and dryer on top, but it’s old and may not last much longer. I’d like to get a proper front loading units as replacements. The space already has the vent, so there’s no reason for me to consider a ventless model.

    If there isn’t a recommended model, I guess I might just have to look into having the closet widened a little bit to accommodate standard size machines – has anybody ever had this done?

    • tony kaye

      Will forward along to your expert!

    • Liam McCabe

      Great question. They do exist. Quick search turned up some vented compact dryers with decent user ratings, including some with an auto-dry mode.

      There’s a Whirlpool model for about $650 that looks promising, and a Kenmore version that looks like the same thing for a few bucks less. A couple others turned up, too, including a Maytag that costs more, and a Blomberg model that has a matching front load compact washer (finding service for Blomberg can be tricky, though).

      Main thing to look out for is that the dryer can safely stack on top of whichever washer you get. Good luck, and glad that you asked about this!

  • stinkypoop

    I bought the recommend washer about a month ago and have done about 10 loads. I am really happy with it and glad I read the review (several times!)
    because having never owned a front-load I wanted to make sure I was making an informed purchase. Coming from a top-load with pole agitator, you do have to change the way you do laundry. For example, my old washer never had a filter that needed to be maintained or rubber gaskets that needed wiping down. That said. my old washer was terrible at removing water during the spin cycle and used 3X more water.

    Some advice if you’re comparing LG models. Most LG washers have a speedwash setting and it’s not the same as Turbowash. The recommended model has both. Speedwash is designed to handle a small load of laundry. I was suspicious that Turbowash might have been used as a new marketing word for speedwash and almost got talked into buying one. Sure glad I didn’t because there is a difference.

    In Canada, we don’t have the option of getting the white model,3570HWA, only the silver/grey 3570HVA version. They are being carried by Sears, Lowes, and I think Home Depot for about $950.

  • Dillon Ross

    Was at my local Home Depot and saw that the LG WM3570HWA was on clearance. Does anyone know if they are discontinuing this model? I am moving at the beginning of August and I wanted to put off purchasing until after we moved.

    • tony kaye

      I don’t believe so. Someone else noted a clearance sale on this model a little while back but it’s still going strong. Will let our expert know just in case!

    • Liam McCabe

      I’ve checked with LG a few times and they have said straight-up that it is still a current model. However they’ve also introduced a few new (very similar) models recently, just minor tweaks to the same base, similar model numbers. We are looking into those right now and will potentially update the guide with more information. I think you’re safe on holding off until after your move, but even if they do disappear, there will be a very similar model available for a similar price.

  • dimp945

    I’m skeptical about the seemingly unanimous position that front-loaders are better than top-loaders. Can you address my concerns?

    1.Efficacy #1: tests seem to be done on mild staining (food, dirt, etc) rather than serious/accumulated stains (e.g., armpit, blood), and using COLD water using ONLY detergent. It isn’t surprising that FL are superior in this case because of the way that they agitate the clothes against one another – similar to scrubbing by hand. In this case they do not need hot water or other stain removal products (OxiClean, Borax, pre-treaters, or even bleach).

    2.Efficacy #2: FL do not have a “soak” setting. The technique used by FL owners to work on serious stains is to SOAK THE CLOTHING IN A BUCKET OF HOT WATER. That seems pretty archaic to me and totally defeats the purpose of owning expensive laundry equipment. The TL advantage of soaking ability is not considered (or tested) in reviews.

    3.Efficiency: far too much emphasis is placed on efficiency by laundry reviewers. Do reviewers score other products (e.g., a lawnmower) based on how efficient it is? Of course not. Obviously using less energy and water when possible is preferable. But if relying on MINISCULE amounts of COLD water results in laundry that is still dirty – then what’s the point?

    4.Gentleness: the idea that FL are superior because they are “less hard” on clothing is a bit of a joke repeated as marketing fluff. I don’t recall hearing that people’s clothing was falling apart from 1950-2000 due to their TL machines. Maybe people shouldn’t be buying disposable clothing made in third-world countries instead?

    5.Reliability: if manufacturers have overwhelmingly put R&D resources into FL (owing to govt mandates), then should it be surprising that the more expensive FL have better reliability than new TL? It is obviously not impossible to build a reliable TL – see Speed Queen’s models which are expected to have a service life of 25 years and are warrantied for 5, or the millions of TL still in use that were manufactured 20+ years ago.

    My overall point is that I doubt a FL is able to clean clothes with normal levels of dirtiness better than a TL so long as the methods are appropriate for each machine, and that testing methodologies are biased in favor of FL and energy efficiency. Moreover, when it comes to serious staining, TL has the advantage due to larger quantities of hot water and soaking ability.

    I want to buy a new machine that cleans well, is reliable, and uses less energy and water, but I am very skeptical that this can all actually be done.

    • Liam McCabe

      Up to you to decide which kind of washing machine you want to buy—all we can do is point you back to all the evidence we gathered from dozens of independent sources.

      Time and time again front loaders outperform top loaders in every facet of every independent test. Methodology at the testing houses is to use an industry-standard stain strip that has a row of 2×2″ (I think?) squares of thickly, evenly applied charcoal / oil mix, pig’s blood, etc. Front loaders remove more of those stains than any kind of top loader, no pre-soaking.

      See the expert sources in our detergent guide: The mechanical action in front loader drums and the advances in HE detergent formulas mean that you do not need as much time or heat in the washer to achieve the same level of cleanliness. And you don’t need to use cold water if you don’t want to—front loaders get water just as hot using much less energy, because there’s less water to heat. Water efficiency is proving to be a very important feature in California right now due to the drought.

      The testing houses also use “wear strips” in their tests, and top loaders pull the fabric apart much faster than front loaders do. Delicate items that you would not be able to wash in a top loader can be washed in a front loader.

      Reliability of front loaders in the last 5 years seems to be a drastic improvement over the years previous to that. We’ll have to see how well they hold up over time, but the trend is a positive one. Speed Queen washers are built like tanks, yes, and I think everyone would agree they’ll last longer than pretty much any other washer out there. But they cost as much as front loaders do, and more importantly, simply don’t clean clothes nearly as well.

      We have no agenda apart from giving you the full picture and recommending a couple of models that we think will make people’s lives better. Up to you if you want to believe all the evidence we’ve presented. Good luck.

      • dimp945

        Thanks for your reply. I disagree with a few of your points, however.

        In lab conditions, a FL and TL *will* use the same temperature of hot, warm, or cold water – because it’s a lab, and they need to reproduce testing conditions. However, in the real world, if your water heater is not located directly next to your laundry equipment, the FL machine may not use enough water to clear the water line of unheated water! And the FL “standard” (or eco) cycle uses straight cold water; what does “cold” mean exactly? Well, it depends! The temperature of “cold” water (ground water temperature) is drastically different in my California home vs. my Canadian home. The ground water at my Canadian home is so cold in the winter that it is basically an ice-bath. This does virtually NOTHING to get clothes clean, no matter what kind of machine or detergent is being used. And, as I mentioned, because the water heater is not located in the laundry room, a FL machine will not use enough water to clear the lines of unheated water, even if I choose a “hot” wash!

        I agree that conserving water is important – but only where it *is* important! For example, at my California home, obviously water conservation is paramount right now. But at my homes in Canada and Florida? Give me a break. Those of us that are stupid enough to purchase homes in the middle of a densely-populated desert (like California) should have to live with the inconvenience of water conservation. But let’s not pretend that should be forced on the entire country of Canada (1/10 the population of the USA with far more fresh water) or states like Florida that are literally swimming in water.

        I’m not sure how you can state that the reliability of FLs in the last 5 years has improved; not enough time has lapsed yet. All I know is that I’ve purchased two expensive FL machines in the last 6 years and both have broken down within 2 years…not to mention the issues with making my clothes and laundry room stink (yes, I kept the damn door open) and not actually cleaning my clothes. In contrast, my new home in Florida has a TL machine from 1989. Not only does this 26-year-old machine still work with no problems whatsoever, it was able to clean literally dozens of items that I thought I was going to have to throw away because they were so stained and yellowed. These stains and yellowing were the result of using the new, expensive FL machines at one of my other homes.

        I don’t believe that has an agenda. Quite the opposite, actually. I think this is the most trustworthy site for reviews that I’ve found. However, I think on this particular review (laundry equipment), you should be more critical of how tests are being conducted by the big reviewers (consumer reports et. al). Your conclusions clearly contradict the “real world” experience of many people, as reviews on Amazon and in this comment section reveal. For the next update, why not LISTEN to the complaints of real-world users before writing them off as anti-science bumpkins that refuse to listen to evidence? For example, I’ll repeat one beef I have with your dismissal of TL machines: how does one SOAK clothing with a FL? In a bucket, as in Zimbabwe? Or do you actually contend that a FL machine is so good at cleaning that soaking is never necessary? And not just in a lab, either – in actual users’ homes, from Texas to Alaska.
        I don’t mean to come off as antagonistic, but I do want to express my frustration with new laundry equipment. IMO it should not be so damn difficult to buy a machine that “just works”, is reliable, and efficient.

        • Liam McCabe

          That was a thoughtful response, raises a lot of good points that we don’t know the answers to, and I really appreciate the time you took to point this all out, seriously.

          I see what you’re saying about top-loaders: Our dismissal focused on pointing out that most (if not all) of the biggest problems with front loaders have been resolved, or were based in misunderstanding, and that the testing houses show overwhelmingly that front loaders outperform top loaders.

          But you’re right, we can go deeper—variations in water temperature, what the practical upsides of pre-soaking are in a world with front loaders (and how people might have to adjust that part of their washing habit), and so on.

          I’m not sure we’ll be able to find hard data to answer those questions but we will look for it. I’m skeptical of the editorial test labs too, when it comes to laundry. I used to work for one of them, it’s fair to say there’s room for improvement (and they do revise their methods periodically). But these sources are the only outlets that share data. Maybe it’s a crock but it’s the most objective crock we’ve got.

          FWIW most front loaders have built-in water heaters to get the temperature up to the target—this should correct groundwater temp problems.

          And long-term reliability is the great mystery, we can’t solve that one, but middle-term reliability has improved—much lower service rates for LG and Samsung, and for front loaders in general, in the first 2 years and first 5 years than there used to be.

          Regarding listening to readers: Our conclusions actually do reflect the real world experience of the vast majority of people who buy front loaders. Look at the average scores from user reviews, written by real people in real homes who spent real money.

          Some people really do prefer a top loader, and that’s cool.
          But there are tons of people who haven’t heard the full story on modern front loaders. Maybe when they read our guide, they’ll find evidence that they’ve never seen before, learn simple but crucial new habits that the manufacturers never bothered to mention, and then end up buying a front-load washer that’s more effective and efficient and makes them happier than the top-loader they would’ve bought instead.

          We’re trying to share as much of that story as we can, and we think, on the whole, we’re helping readers by challenging them to question their preconceptions and habits.

          But again, I really appreciate that you took the time to raise those questions and point out your hangups. Gives us more to think about for our next update, which will hopefully go even deeper.

          If you find a new piece of equipment that works for you—top or front loader—we’d love to hear about it, really. Hopefully you learned something here, I definitely learned something from you. Thanks again.

          • dimp945

            Thanks again for your reply. The reason I posted my remarks here is because it is the only review place I’ve found where the staff read and consider remarks from random plebs on the Internet. So thanks for that :)
            Regarding internal water heaters: manufacturer’s claims of an “internal water heater” seems to be more marketing BS than actual engineering. For one, they use 120V power which takes forever to warm the water. Second, the internal heater seems to only be engaged in one or a few programs (mostly the “sanitize” setting). Third, manufacturer’s meaning of “hot” is not the same as what it used to be; it seems that these internal heaters will only heat to a maximum of about 110F. My water heaters get much hotter than that, and do so much more efficiently using natural gas rather than 120V power. Moreover, new machines apparently refuse to actually allow a “hot” water wash; on the so-called “hot” setting, the cold water inlet is still mixed in with the hot water inlet rather than using straight hot from the home’s water heater. This is especially problematic in scenarios where the water from the “hot” inlet is actually unheated since the washer uses so little water, and the water from the cold inlet is near freezing.
            I could be wrong about some of the above, but the point remains that getting hot water to enter the washing machine is NOT a transparent process to the consumer. With new technology it should really be *easier* to select water temperature, not harder. For example, at least as an option, a prompt of: “select desired water temperature in degrees F.”
            To be clear, I would personally prefer to use a FL machine with all its purported advantages, including using (and paying) for less energy and water. But more importantly, I need a machine that doesn’t require special training to use “correctly” (I’m reminded of the “you’re holding it wrong” fiasco with the iPhone) that will actually clean dirty clothing and won’t break down mere months after the MFR’s warranty!

          • Liam McCabe

            This won’t answer all your questions (again, thanks for raising them, it’s gotten our wheels turning), but have you seen our guide to detergents? Has some info from the detergent makers about how they’ve formulated their products to work in much colder environments than they used to.


            So you may be right that the temperatures aren’t as hot as they used to be (not sure one way or the other, like you said it is not transparent, but we’re going to ask). Either way it’s not as important as it used to be because the detergents are much different.

            Does any of this solve the problem of near-freezing groundwater? Still not sure. Dunno when we’ll be able to answer that but we’re going to look into it this fall.

          • dimp945

            I haven’t read your review of detergents but I’ve bookmarked it now and I’m sure I’ll learn a few things. However, I have purchased detergent based off of Consumer Reports’ recommendations (Tide, Kirkland, and Woolite Dark), so I at least know that I’m not using junk detergent, but maybe I need to read up on how different detergents might work better or worse for my particular laundry situations.
            With that said, I’ve had tremendous success with good laundry detergent in a TL machine. When stains are more serious, I use warm or hot water. When stains are severe, I use hot water and OxiClean. This has been a straightforward and foolproof strategy for me.

          • Artcurus

            This is an old post, but you should be aware that Government regulations are now severely limiting the use of hot/warm water in washing machines. Both in quantity and actual temperature. Many new machines have flow restrictors installed to do just this.

            Most units do not have inline water heaters, and to make matters worse, an inline water heater would have actually SAVED on energy usage. However, when the new regulations were being discussed, two points kept coming up from the industry and from consumer advisory groups, the new machines were using dangerously low levels of water (in terms of health and safety), and that adding a heater would improve performance levels. Both of these suggestions were thrown out and we now have we have today.

            Heat is the enemy according the eco-save the planet types, but that’s another post. That’s for water heaters, dishwashers, the list goes on.

            That being said, research Speed Queen. They are the last American made 1970’s style washer, 27 minute wash cycle, you adjust the water temperature (fills with straight hot water) and clothes come out spotless. After reading hundreds of complaints about the new HE washers, Speed Queen was the best choice and we are extremely happy.

          • tony kaye

            EDIT: You mean our editors post is old?

    • Rick Cole

      the thing about front loaders is pretty much nailed by you friend. font loaders need to be cleaned ALOT, the rubber boot in the front needs to be cleaned to inhibit bacterial growth or mold and mildew. the door needs to be left open after use to “lessen” the chance of mold or mildew growth, and the machine needs to be put into a clean cycle once a month. these things turn into petri dishes in a hurry if you dont clean them. and i get alot of complaints that it doesnt get the clothes “clean”.(that depends on kind and amount of detergent,) add-ins like softener, “scent bursts”, oxi clean, and even kinds of bleach can make growth behave differently, which means to clean the unit more frequently. not a style of unit i recommend unless you have a large family and it sees frequent use. (3 to 7 times a week)

  • Christian Russo

    Has anyone been able to get the iPhone app to work, like, at all? I’ve had it for 3 weeks now and I still have zero idea how to even begin connecting the washer to the application. I keeps asking me to sign up, but then when I do, I can’t even figure out how to register the appliance.

    • tony kaye

      Just asked our expert!

      • Christian Russo

        Thanks Tony! The app is literally the least important thing about the washer, so I’m not really jonesing for it, but since they market the ‘smart’ features that require the app, I’d at least like to know how the frick it works. Plus, if they have a custom cycle for sweaty workout clothes I could download, that would be something worth giving a shot…

      • Christian Russo

        Any word?

        • tony kaye

          I let him know shouldn’t be long!

        • Liam McCabe

          Sorry, got nothing for ya. Tried looking at LG’s support site but they don’t offer anything. I will ask a few people on staff who bought one and see if they know anything. Did you try contacting LG customer service?

          • Christian Russo

            No problem! I did not try calling them – I had a suspicion/expectation that they would have no idea about anything app-related. I could try contact them though and see what they say.

            Interesting to note though is that the app has 1.5 stars on the App store with users stating that the app plain doesn’t work with their machines. Nothing definitive though.

          • Liam McCabe

            Heh, well that is a disappointment about the poor app rating but not all that surprising. Let us know if you figure anything out.

  • Rick Cole

    with the app question. did you get “lg smart diagnosis” or some 3rd party app? it will have a little medical cross on the front. follow the prompts.

    as for these “picks”, these washers are the biggest pieces of crap money can buy. why you ask? because i fix a samsung or lg front load EVERY SINGLE DAY! theres waaay too many problems with them. they are cheaply made and the money you spend mostly goes to the aesthetics and brand loyalty. both of them just launch a whole appliance line. cooktops, ranges, ovens, the works. the ranges dont last 2 months before needing a new board. the new washers come with bent baskets because of the mildness of the steel they use for them. in my opinion as a repair technician. not worth your money. do your research. dont let someone do it for you.

    • Harry Sawyers

      What do you recommend instead?

      • Leonard

        Kenmore Elite is good

      • Rick Cole

        bosche is a wonderful product. techs hate them mainly because they are so hard to repair if and when they break. aesthetics are ok and the price is reasonable depending on model. speed queen is making a residential line of products now too that are absolutely astounding. comes with a conventional knob and dial mechanical setup, or a electronic display. front load or top. my pick would be a top load. their top loads are built like the old style kenmores. clunky, heavy, and bulletproof. they have changed the aesthetics of the unit to be more appealing. nevertheless its built in the usa, built to last, and wont let you down. and my final recommendation would be fisher & paykel. made in new Zealand with earth-friendly products. the washer is solid and built to last. may be an ugly machine to a few people, but it gets the job done. reasonably priced for todays consumer market, and parts are easy to replace, again, if and when it breaks.

  • Glitter

    Would it be possible to have a footnote or something with the old picks? I’m going to be in the market for a washer and dryer soon, and my local Cragislist has a TON of really nice machines that are a year or two old. I’d like to use your recs to pick a good one!

    • tony kaye

      We noted above in our Update History that our previous picks have been discontinued

      Both our main Kenmore pick and our alternative pick from Whirlpool have been discontinued, but we are working on an update soon. We’re setting this guide to wait status in the meantime.

      • Glitter

        Yes, I understand that. Since I am shopping the second-hand/used market, those machines being discontinued is not really an issue for me as it is entirely possible someone would be selling them on the second-hand market. I was hoping to use those picks to help me guide my second-hand purchase, but if you can’t post that information, then I will have to proceed without your guidance!

  • Tom B

    I’ve noticed that the LG WM4270HWA is now on sale at Home Depot at a lower price than the LG WM3570HWA. Are there any important differences between two machines?

    • Leonard

      The LG WM3570 is an older model BUT it is made with better parts. It is also quiter than the WM4270. Remember that you get what you paid for. WM3570 is much better.

      • Polina

        Leonard: can you clarify where you saw / got the information that it is made with better parts or that it is quieter? The specs are the same for noise reduction. Do you work for LG manufacturing or is there some source for your knowledge?

      • Paul Romano

        I would like to know the reasoning behind these comments too, since I am comparing these two models.

  • Max N

    Purchased the WM3570HWA and DLEX3570W based on this recommendation and some research and other experiences. We actually purchased your runner up set from Best Buy first and the washer failed catastrophically filing my garage with smoke and the second one they replaced it with came with a broken door latching mechanism. Onto the LG set… We order the LG set and the washer seems to be working great but the dryer started making horrible noises as soon as I tried to run it. Really disappointed with both of these brands! I just want a good front load set that works!

    • Harry Sawyers

      Max, sorry to hear that! Has either brand been willing to replace the units? Are you willing to give a replacement LG set a chance? Please let us know what happens.

      • Max N

        Samsung’s customer service seemed more concerned with whether there was any damage to my home or if anyone got hurt from their washing machine billowing smoke into my garage, considering any potential injury or damages claims. They would have sent a tech out to look at it, but I just had Best Buy replace it and ultimately give me a full refund for everything when the second unit was broken as well. The LG set was purchased through the Appliances Connection website and they are sending a tech out to look at the DLEX3570W dryer. I’m hoping they can just fix it or quickly replace it, because at this point I just want to be able to do my family’s laundry.

      • Max N

        Update. The LG tech came out and looked at the dryer. Apparently the motor that runs the blower fan and drum had been jostled and shifted either during shipment or delivery. It was an easy fix and both the units work great now.

  • Romi

    Very good review article. was going to get LG WT1101CW top loader (670$). But now looking into front loaders. what do you think about LG WM3170CW (719$) vs Samsung WF42H5200AW (699$)? Tight on budget.

    • tony kaye

      Our expert isn’t around at the moment but as soon as he returns we’ll see what he has to say!

  • g khera

    HI, looks like the Lg1201 is not being sold anywhere. Is the LG1101 the older version? totally different? looking for top loader thanks!

    • tony kaye

      Looking into it!

  • Jennifer

    I had ruled out ever getting a FL again for all the reasons discussed. But decided to read your review to find out why you were so adamant about FLs in general and the LG you specifically recommended. The link provided took me to Home Depot and when I scrolled down to reviews saw there were a lot of unhappy customers, specifically with regards to leaks. I don’t care if LG comes out quickly to repair, I don’t want to start off with a new machine that leaks. Too many echoed the same problem.

    I think I will go with a TL that while quite a bit more expensive, may be more efficient in the long run and hopefully more reliable. My choice is the LG Mega Capacity WT5680HVA

  • CM

    Readers and SweetHome editors- Do you think the LG3570 offers more value at $761 (graphite steel) vs. $674 (white)/$724(black) for the Samsung WF45H6300? I need to place the order ASAP. Thanks much!

    • Liam McCabe

      Sorry for the delay but if anyone else sees a similar deal, I’d go with the white Samsung at that price. Toss-up for the black one.

  • Alan Kipping-Ruane

    What about a portable washer and dryer that you hook up to the sink?

    • tony kaye

      Maybe in the future!

  • EuroGirl

    Love how in depth you go, you answer every question that could come to mind! EXCEPT – What about a hand wash cycle? The LGWM3570 4.3 doesn’t seem to have one – does the manual give setting instructions for hand washables? Other wise the LGWM4270 4.5 model does have a hand wash setting, and the depth is the same for both units at 29.75″ so that’s helpful for my space issues but aesthetically, I much prefer the round door of the LG3570, over the square door of the LG4270. I also noticed that very few of the machines out there even have a hand wash cycle, so I’m wondering why this is and whether it should be a deciding factor for me or not? Input would be really appreciated!

    • Liam McCabe

      Unless your closet has an unusually high number of super-delicate, hand-wash-only items, you probably don’t need to worry about this. The typical Delicates cycle should handle most of it. If items really need to be hand-washed, you should probably actually hand-wash them. Nobody I talked to for this guide mentioned it as a necessary / worthwhile feature.

  • Brian Rosman

    Thanks for the work you put into this review, Liam. We need a washer, and we always look to Sweethome/Wirecutter for advice on every major (and lots of minor) purchases..

    But . . . looking at the reviews of the LG 3570 on CR, Lowes, and Home Depot, there is a substantial, but minority of reviewers who complain bitterly of leaks, and that the LG Repair was unable to fix. Another group of user reviews complain of “water hammer,” which I had never heard of.

    So for example, of the the most recent 10 reviews at Home Depot, 3 say “Don’t Buy.” One is titled “Total Nightmare.” Of the 10 reviews on CR, 1 guy writes twice to complain of leaks, another about water hammer, two mention noise, and the rest are happy (1 says not enough water).

    What do you think of these reviewers? How should a consumer move forward when most people like a product, but more than just a few have serious issues?

    • Liam McCabe

      I totally understand that when you’re spending this much money on a purchase you want to triple-check to make sure it’s a good one. But we looked at all the user reviews that were available when we published, have heard about all of those issues, and still think that this is a safer bet than other washing machines.

      Online reviews skew negative—people look for an outlet to complain if they feel wronged, but if a product works as advertised they generally just go on with their day. You’re hearing from a proportionately higher number of people who had a bad experience than who think it works perfectly well. That said, compared to other washing machines, the average rating is higher than just about anything else out there. This was a big factor in our decision to recommend this washer. (Side note: CR reviews are almost always crushingly negative, for any product in any category.)

      Leaks happen, usually because of bad hoses or faulty connections but sometimes you get a lemon—it happens. Try to buy from somewhere with a reasonable return policy. Water hammer (banging sound in your pipes from high water pressure) is an easy fix in almost every case. You can turn the valves at the input to adjust the pressure, or if it persists, add a $15 “arrestor” to the hookup, that gets rid of it.

      It’s possible that LG made a bad run of WM3570, that could explain more bad reviews recently. But I think it’s just a coincidence.

      Dig deep enough and you’ll find some people who really, really hate anything, especially with appliances. This washing machine was the closest thing we found to a safe bet, and it was also rated highly for performance, efficiency, and is a great value. Hope that helps.

  • Pam VanO

    Can anyone tell me how much space is required behind the LG 3570? My challenge is that I have a shallow laundry closet in my 1980s condo (30″ deep, with a 5″ frame). My current stackable is is a Maytag Neptune. It is about 28″ deep, but I need almost 5″ behind it. This means that the washer/dryer protrudes from the closet by 3″, extending into the door frame. I can close the door, but barely. Would love to find a good product that also fits my space, but it looks like that might not be possible. Can anyone tell me the total depth that is required for the LG, beyond the stated 29.75″? Much appreciated.

    • Liam McCabe

      I don’t think they’ll fit in your closet unfortunately. The dryer needs a good 4 or 5 inches of clearance for the exhaust hose, so that puts it right up to the edge of your door frame. Not sure you’ll be able to find a full-size washer that fits, sorry.

      • Pam VanO

        Thanks Liam. That’s what I was afraid of. Not sure what my options are now, but I appreciate the information.

  • Tanya Gordon

    First of all thank you so much for doing these reviews, as it’s really helpful to have a place that sums things up from various sources!
    I was about to buy the recommended washer and dryer combo from home depot, but then noticed that the LG 4270 models are very similar and will actually be less expensive than the 3570 (because of the PG&E and water agency 150$ rebate – Not a significant difference (only about 50$), but at first I couldn’t find a reason not to order the “better” model, until I noticed that both the dryer and the washer are ranked lower in the Consumer Report – drying and washing performance are both very good vs excellent on the 3570 models.
    Is there a way to explain that? Is there a significant change between the versions in terms of internal parts? How would you suggest choosing one version over the other?

  • K.C. Murphy

    One thing glaringly missed, here, as the owner of a fancy LG front-load washer – is that they collect mold that cannot be cleaned OUT of the machine. Smelly clothes, dark stains that do not come out, etc. We had a maintenance person in, thinking he could pull out the drum and help us clean it. He took one look at it and said “Oh, front load. Yeah, it’ll be about $800 to get that drum out of there. Front load washing machines are not a good design and they ALL get super moldy”. He then went on to outline to us the PLETHORA of products on the market to attempt to clean the front load washer of the black mold that they seem to be unable to avoid. Soooo… I’m not feeling like this “front load or die” article is totally covering all the aspects of the Front Loading washing machine craze…

    • dimp945

      I’ve posted on here previously about my skepticism regarding the superiority of the new front-loading equipment, and your post reminded me of another concern that I do not think I’ve mentioned…

      How do FL machines perform in unconditioned laundry rooms – particularly those located in climates that are hot and humid (i.e., all the Southern states)? I think this is one more variable that TheSweetHome should consider before crowning FL machines the uncontested winner.

      My new home in Florida has an unconditioned laundry room that gets very hot and humid. This has not been a problem for the current top-loading machine that has been in service since the mid-1980s; there is no mold in the machine.

      In contrast, my FL machines located in conditioned laundry rooms at my homes in very dry climates (in Western Canada and Southern California) *still* get moldy (and, yes, I’ve left the bloody doors open).

      So, I wonder how much worse a FL machine will grow mold in a hot and humid laundry room in Florida. If I did install a FL machine in my unconditioned laundry room in Florida, am I crazy to think that mold within the first year of ownership would be all but guaranteed?

    • tony kaye

      This wasn’t glaringly missed, we actually mention this more than once in the guide. We also mention how to prevent this-

      After each washing cycle, you absolutely need to leave the door cracked, at least for a few hours. We’re emphasizing that because it’s mandatory, yet so many people seem to have missed that memo. Front-loaders are almost watertight when they’re closed, so moisture has a hard time evaporating. Any droplets left over from a cycle become a breeding ground for mildew (or even mold), which leaves behind a musty smell. Some people seem to resent having to do this (which boggles my mind, personally), but Chris Zeisler of RepairClinic told us that leaving the door ajar “becomes sort of a standard habit,” and it’s an easy, effective step to stop your washer from stinking. Things are beginning to change: Our top pick, for example, has a magnet that props the door open ever so slightly when it’s on standby. But to be on the safe side, keep it open between uses.

      Once a month or so, wipe down the big rubber boot seal on the door, preferably with some vinegar. “It tends to gather some water at the bottom, from being moist all the time,” Zeisler told us, and that’s prime real estate for mildew to grow. But one minute of care, once a month, will nip that in the bud, Zeisler suggested.

      • K.C. Murphy

        I would just say, with an article topping 14 THOUSAND words, you might place this little warning more prominently. It is a HUGE factor. I never would have bought our dumb front-loader had I known, and your trusting audience might be glad to be able to weigh this aspect.

        It’s not just a musty smell, it’s BLACK MOLD that will stain and thus ruin your clothes. Propping the door open will most certainly NOT alleviate the problem for more than a year. Meaning these washers are mold-vectors within 3 years. Prop a fan up in there every time you aren’t using it! Have an absorbent kitten sleep in it while it’s not in use!

        Here’s the thing – our washer is ALWAYS in use. We start it when we leave for work, we empty it and start another load when we get home, we start another load when that’s done as we go to bed. Not a lot of opportunity to CONSTANTLY AIR THE THING OUT. It’s a terrible design for MOST use-cases. When this first began, we checked in with our surrounding community and they all confirmed that this type of use is also their typical schedule.

        It doesn’t seem like our use pattern is particularly uncommon. Our repairman also agreed, and said he deals with this same front-loader dilemma on calls, daily.

        I’m suggesting that you might give as much weight to “front loaders will be un-repairable and ruin your clothes, despite any type of anal-retentive care you might be able to provide it early on, within 3 years.” as you give to “front-loaders are the second coming of the lord” (which is the leaning of most of the 14k words in the article).

        • tony kaye

          I’m sorry, but I don’t think things such as black mold, mildew or staining necessarily will happen if you own a front loader. They can happen, but if you take proper care they shouldn’t. Forwarding to our expert now so he can assess the situation. I apologize if our recommendations & findings are not on par with your own.

          Personal experience: My mother has been using her front loader for about 5 years now (all day long too) and by following these simple steps she’s been able to successfully avoid mold & mildew, as well as black mold that stains clothes. Sometimes you do get whiff of stale water, but not too often in recent memory. I live in an apartment with no laundry on-site so I still go out to her house to do free laundry, and I’ve never once had an issue personally with any of these things- this is going on 2 years for me.

  • Conor Sullivan

    so, lets say I’m part of that small group doing laundry for six. What would be your recommendation for a high capacity set?

  • Rob Johnson

    Hi great article appreciate the detail. Any idea on what the comparable model is in Australia as the WM3570HWA doesn’t exist on the LG AU webpage.

  • Britt Selvitelle

    Not sure if I’m an outlier, but I’d really like “smart” features in a new washer/dryer so that I can be notified when a load is done and reminded if I’m busy and forget to take it out. Does the LG have this, or recommendations for models that do?