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Control and monitor wash cycles from the smartphone app. Comes in multiple colors and with a flat back to save space. Takes 28 minutes for a full cycle. Holds enough detergent for 32 loads and dispenses automatically.
On the high end of the price range compared to other options.
Smart Dial reduces cycle selections and remembers favorite settings. Connects to a smartphone app via Wi-Fi for notifications, cycle adjustments, and monitoring. Steam treats stains. Has reminders for using the Self Clean option.
May be loud at certain points in the cycle.
Uses premixing to improve stain removal. Boasts sanitization mode to kill microorganisms and steam mode to lift tough stains. The detergent dispenser accepts pods. Offers residue-removing, water-saving rinse option.
Not big enough for a king-sized comforter.
Incorporates antimicrobial technology to reduce odor-causing bacteria. Venting features reduce excess moisture. Fits in more spaces without extra installation space. WiFi-enabled to keep track of washing from your devices.
Some reviewers complain of excess noise.
Offers Steam and TurboWash technology to minimize wrinkles, eliminate allergens, and reduce wash times. You can control the washer using your smartphone, Google Home, or Amazon Alexa-powered speaker. Very energy efficient.
Its door isn't reversible which can cause issues with placement.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Have you ever washed clothes by hand? You pick up a piece of clothing and plunge it into the water, over and over again, scrubbing as you go. That’s essentially what a front-load washer does.
With its sideways drum, a front-load washing machine picks up clothes and drops them back into the wash water continuously during a cycle, using gravity and friction to loosen dirt, oils and stains. This process is gentler and uses a lot less water than top-load washers — anywhere from 5 to 13 gallons of water per load — even when compared to high efficiency (HE) and Energy Star-certified washers.
Front-load washers also spin much faster than top-load washers, at up to 1,600 rpm, extracting more water from your laundry. This saves energy by reducing drying time. Front-loaders can fit more clothes into the same capacity as top-loaders, especially those with agitators. What’s more, they don’t need an agitator to generate clothes-cleaning friction. And, if you choose, you can stack a dryer on top of a front-loader to save floor space.
Two models, the Samsung Smart Dial and Samsung Front-Load Washer with Vibration Reduction Technology, are our top picks for front-load washers. We favor them for their performance, capacity and ease of use. The main difference? The Smart Dial has more convenient features, including Wi-Fi, while the Samsung with Vibration Reduction comes at a more affordable cost.
This is our top pick among front-load washers. It has a 4.5-cubic-foot drum — a large size for a front loader — that can hold at least two full loads (16 pounds) of mixed cotton and synthetics. It boasts 24 wash cycles, five wash speeds, five wash temperatures and three discrete rinse cycles. These include a steam sanitize cycle, a small-load option and a steam option to lift stains without time-consuming pretreatment. Its 1,200-rpm spin gets a lot of water out before drying, while built-in antimicrobial features fight mold and mildew growth.
One of this machine’s cleverest features is its smart dial control, which learns your most frequently used settings for easy selection next time. It can also control its matching dryer, so you don’t need to reach for separate controls. It’s Wi-Fi enabled with a smartphone app and Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility.
For a more wallet-friendly choice, we picked this Samsung model with Vibration Technology. Like its higher-end sibling (see the Smart Dial above), it has a 4.5-cubic-foot drum that can hold more than 16 pounds of mixed clothes at once.
This machine has a fast 1,200-rpm spin dry. While it only has 10 wash cycles to the Smart Dial’s 24, it offers five rinse cycles as compared to the higher-end model’s three. There are five wash speeds and temperatures as well.
It doesn’t have steam functions or Wi-Fi, but it does have smartphone-enabled troubleshooting via its display. Like the Smart Dial, it boasts vibration reduction tech to keep it quiet, and it’s a fraction shallower and taller, but not by much. And, at 90 kWh/year (compared to 93 kWh/year), it uses a shade less energy, though both are Energy Star certified.
This Electrolux high-efficiency (HE) front-load washer is easily comparable to our Best of the Best with a roomy capacity of 4.5 cubic feet and SmartBoost technology, which premixes the detergent and water to create a stronger stain-fighting solution. It has 11 wash cycles, including a hand-wash setting for items that need gentle care but aren’t “delicates,” a sanitize setting with its steam function and an extra rinse setting that works well on removing pet hair and detergent residue — a big plus for those with sensitive skin.
There’s no Wi-Fi on this Electrolux, but if you choose, it can notify you when it’s done. Its adaptive fill feature adjusts the amount of water it uses to the weight of each load. It can spin at a fast 1,300 rpm and consumes only 85 kWh of electricity a year; it is Energy Star certified.
If you’ve got plenty of laundry to wash, the LG Signature might be right for you. Its 5.8-cubic-foot capacity can take on a king-sized comforter and a complete set of sheets at once, and its 1,300-rpm spin can wring a lot of water out of these big loads.
The LG Signature is large at over 41 inches tall and 34 inches deep, so make sure you’ve got the space for it. It has 14 wash cycles, including a fast and powerful TurboWash option to quickly clean big loads, but it only has two rinse cycles and a single rinse temperature.
HE detergent is required for the best cleaning results with this machine. It’s got Wi-Fi with Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility. It uses around 120 kWh of electricity per year.
The LG WM4000HWA front-load washing machine offers a user-friendly experience with an impressive range of features. Operating the machine is a breeze, with a single knob for cycle selection and a touch panel for adjusting water temperature, spin speed, and soil-level settings. The TurboWash setting, exclusive to LG, efficiently tackles large loads by combining rinse and spin cycles, significantly reducing washing times. The machine's energy and water efficiency make it an environmentally conscious choice. Despite the absence of physical buttons on the control panel, users can conveniently to start, pause or monitor laundry remotely with a smartphone or with a smart speaker
In terms of aesthetics, the LG WM4000HWA sports a stylish design with a tempered glass door, elevating the look of any laundry room. The washer's cleaning performance is commendable, offering a variety of wash cycles, including a speedy 15-minute Speed Wash option. The Allergiene Cycle, certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, utilizes steam to remove allergens effectively. The FreshCare feature is a standout, preventing that unpleasant odor in forgotten laundry by tumbling clean clothes at intervals. Overall, the LG WM4000HWA strikes a balance between effective stain removal, reliability, and aesthetics.
Most of our picks on this list have ways to deal with the occasional odors and mold that can plague front-load washers (see our Maintenance section below for more details). This GE washer, another of our expert’s suggested picks, tackles this problem with a vent system that allows moisture to evaporate from the drum even when the door is closed. What’s more, antimicrobial materials are built into the drum to discourage mold and mildew growth.
At 4.8 cubic feet, it’s got plenty of space for clothes, towels or comforters, and its 1,300-rpm spin speed extracts plenty of water. Users can choose from 10 wash cycles and two rinse cycles with five rinse temperatures. If you want to ensure germs are eliminated, the Sanitize with Oxi cycle removes 99.9% of bacteria.
We love the adaptive fill feature that optimizes water use and the automated temperature control, which gives you the best water temperature for the cycle. It’s also Wi-Fi capable, although voice assistants like Alexa need an additional proprietary bridge.
This GE model is the bigger sibling of the other GE washer we feature. It has one-fifth of a cubic foot more in capacity and an extra 2 inches in depth. It shares the odor-controlling venting and lining of the other GE machine on our list, and it adds a couple of impressive features. Most interestingly, it has the ability to wash and dry small loads without needing to use a separate dryer.
Another plus is this machine’s automated dispenser — it measures out and adds detergent as needed, storing up to 50 loads’ worth of detergent in the unit itself. Its PowerSteam feature loosens stains, and the sanitize cycle not only kills 99% of bacteria but also removes allergens from clothes.
We’re impressed with this model’s 12 wash cycles, two rinse cycles, adaptive fill, automatic temperature control, Wi-Fi connectivity and 1,300-rpm spin. Notably, it uses 158 kWh of electricity a year, which is on the high end of this list.
This Whirlpool is the largest front-load washer the company sells, with a capacious 5-cubic-foot drum to handle big loads. It’s one of the more high-tech models on our list, letting you customize and save combinations of its 35 wash cycles and options from the touchscreen control embedded in its futuristic door.
Its automatic dispensing system measures out detergent and fabric softener without any intervention, but it also allows you to add a different detergent manually if you need to. It can get a thorough clean using only cold water, and it can use steam to fight stains and sanitize. If you’re in a rush, it can do a small 3-pound load in as little as 15 minutes.
Wi-Fi enabled, it communicates with Alexa, Google and Siri through its smartphone app. However, it doesn’t spin as fast as other models at 1,160 rpm, and it uses 141 kWh/year. Like many washers these days, it does best with HE detergent.
Built to last at Maytag’s plant in Clyde, Ohio, this machine upholds the trusted brand’s tradition of quality with features comparable to any of the models on our list.
It’s got 4.5 cubic feet of capacity for 16 to 20 pounds of laundry, 10 wash cycles, four wash temperatures, four wash speeds and two rinse cycles. Its top feature is an Extra Power mode, activated by a button on the main control dial that dominates the front panel. Push that button in any cycle, and this stackable Maytag washer adds a dual-temperature wash of hot and cold water to attack stubborn stains.
It also features a steam-cleaning option, and it only uses 86 kWh/year of electricity. Notably, the washer lacks Wi-Fi and spins at a maximum of 1,160 rpm.
Not every home has the space, or the need, to get a double- or triple-load washing machine. Enter this smaller appliance, the IQ Touch from Electrolux. With a capacity of 2.4 cubic feet, it sits within the mainstream of the brand’s European offerings, where smaller front-load washers have been standard for years.
With a depth of only 25 inches, the IQ Touch can fit in places large washers can’t. Quiet operation is a welcome bonus, even on second floors and near bedrooms. It has 14 wash cycles with five rinse cycles and five rinse temperatures for specific fabric care. It even has the option to refresh wrinkled or lightly soiled items that don’t need a full wash.
This little Energy Star-certified machine spins at a fast 1,400 rpm and uses about 93 kWh of electricity in a year. It does lack Wi-Fi, and HE detergent is a requirement.
Before choosing a front-load washer, consider the size of your laundry area. Most front-load washers, except compact models, measure 25 to 28 inches wide and 30 to 34 inches deep. They seldom get taller than 40 inches. Don’t forget to leave clearance around the unit as well: you need around 1 to 3 inches at the sides, 4 to 6 inches at the back for power and water hookups and enough space in front to fully open the door.
What about stackable units? Stacking a matching dryer on top of a front-load washer saves floor space, but some people find it can be difficult to reach the dryer’s controls that way.
The biggest obstacle to getting a good clean is overloading your washer. A standard laundry load is defined as 8 pounds of items, 50% cotton and 50% synthetic. A 2- to 3-cubic foot washer can hold up to one load, while 4- to 5-cubic foot washers hold two or three loads. Cramming clothes into the drum makes it hard for water and detergent to penetrate and prevents the clothes from rubbing against each other.
Front-load washers are deeper than top-load washers thanks to their sideways drums. They tend to fit more clothes than top-load washers with the same stated capacity since they don’t need to make space for tall agitators or even low-profile impellers. The extra space comes in handy if you need to wash heavy blankets or bulky comforters. A more capacious front-load washer can better handle these bulky, oversized loads.
A growing number of appliances can connect to your home’s smart network so you can monitor and control them from your smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. This can come in handy if you need to be out of the house but want to know how much time a load is taking and when it’s done. It’s also helpful if you want to use any special options for that cycle.
Having smart features also means a washer can be controlled via a voice assistant. Amazon’s Alexa is the most commonly supported voice assistant among smart washers, with Google Assistant also in the mix. Apple’s Siri, so far, is less supported.
Because of their position and the speed at which front-load washers spin, the bearings on their drums can wear out fast, necessitating service. Front-load washers should also be wiped down after every use, especially around their doors and gaskets, to discourage mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew spotting is one of the top causes of service calls for front-load washers. They are also more prone to leaking compared to top-load models.
Your shiny new front-load washing machine will work more efficiently and last longer if you use and maintain it properly. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your washer.
A. Front-load washers generally cost more than top-loaders, but their water and electricity savings can make up for that over time. Expect to pay between $600 and $2,000 for a front-load machine. Pricier washers typically have a larger capacity, a higher-end exterior finish, smart-home connectivity and a more extensive selection of features and wash cycles.
A. Your washer’s drain pipe may be blocked. Clean out this area to remove debris, such as hair or lint that may be preventing the water from flowing. An overfilled washing machine may also drain improperly.
A. Yes! Front-load washers use about half the water that top-load models do. Front-load units spray additional water as the clothing tumbles and spins during a cycle, but overall, the water level remains low. Don’t worry. Your clothes will come out clean, and you can feel good about using less water.
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