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Best Front Load Washers

Updated April 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. Read more
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How We Tested

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 61 Models Considered
  • 5 Models Tested
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 136 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Shopping Guide for Best Front Load Washers

    Last Updated April 2018

    When the laundry piles up and you’ve run out of clean clothes to wear, it helps to have an efficient washing machine that’s simple to use. Doing laundry isn’t likely to be the most challenging chore on your to-do list, but a quality washing machine can make the task of cleaning clothes a little more pleasant. And front load washers have benefits that top load units don’t.

    We at BestReviews research hundreds of products so you don’t have to. We talk to the people who know about the items and assess the comments of those who use them. We never accept free products from manufacturers, so you know our recommendations are objective.

    Scroll up to see our top five picks if you’re ready to buy a front load washer. If you still have questions, continue to the shopping guide below. We provide you with information that we hope will help you pick the right model for your needs and make your laundry day just a little bit easier.

    Unlike top load washers, all front load washers are very efficient, using less energy and less water.

    How front load washers differ from top load washers

    Both front load and top load washing machines have advantages and disadvantages, but front load washers offer a few benefits that their counterparts don’t.

    • They are energy efficient.

    • They require less water to run as compared to top load washers (except high-efficiency top load models)

    • They clean clothes very well, thanks to the quick spinning action.

    • They are quieter.

    • They wring out more water, allowing the clothes to dry faster.

    • They offer more cycles and functions.

    • They can be stacked with a dryer to save space.
       

    Front load machines aren’t perfect, however. Here are a few drawbacks.

    • They are more expensive.

    • They have a longer wash cycle.

    • They can leak.

    • There is a possibility of mold growth.

    EXPERT TIP

    Because front loaders use less water, you can use less detergent. Using too much can leave a residue in your washer and on your clothing.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Considerations for front load washers

    When deciding on the perfect front load washing machine for your laundry room, give some thought to the following.

    Washer size

    Front load washers tend to be larger than top load washers. These models also don’t have a central post like top loaders do, so there’s more room to fit clothing. This makes them an excellent option for big families with lots of laundry to do. And if you live in a cold climate with very chilly winters, it’s likely that you’ll be washing large blankets and bulky comforters. A bigger washer can better handle oversize loads.

    The capacity you need will depend not only on the amount of laundry produced by your family each week but also the size of your laundry area. A front load washer can be stacked with a dryer to save floor space. Just make sure you have enough vertical room to accommodate the height of the set.

    Some models have a cleaning cycle. Pop in a store-bought washing machine cleaner tablet and run this setting once in a while to prevent mold growth and mildew smell.

    Cycle options

    Most people are satisfied with a selection of basic wash cycles, and front load washing machines come equipped with standard settings of temperature and load type. Most models also feature a hand-wash cycle for delicate items and a setting for bulky items like large blankets.

    Front-load units don’t always have a setting for load size. The reason? These machines use less water compared to top loader washers and often have built-in sensors that automatically adjust the water level according to the size of the load. Some models also give you different rinse options to ensure clothing is appropriately rid of detergent residue.

    In general, front load washers are more likely to offer special functions, including the following.

    • Steam settings that wash, sanitize, and dry clothes

    • Deep-cleaning modes with foaming action

    • Ability to add detergent for several loads
       

    Choose a machine that features the wash cycles that meet your needs. Specialized functions like sanitizing cycles may not be worth the extra cost for some people.

    Longer wash cycles may seem like a pain, but the benefit is shorter drying time.

    Bluetooth

    For the homeowner who craves ultimate connectivity, some front load washers can be controlled by smartphone via Bluetooth. You can monitor the progress of your laundry and receive alerts when the clothes are ready for the dryer. The homeowner who spends the day at work may not need this feature, but for someone who’s home all day, a reminder can prove quite handy.

    EXPERT TIP

    Don’t put too much laundry in your washer at once. This can reduce cleaning efficiency and put undue strain on your machine.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Front load washer prices

    Front load washers generally cost more than top loaders, but over time, a front loader will likely save you money because it uses less electricity and water than other models.  

    Expect to pay between $600 and $1,200 for a front load machine. The more expensive washers typically have a larger capacity, a higher-end exterior finish, and a more extensive selection of features and wash cycles.

    EXPERT TIP

    Bending over to load a front load machine may put undue strain on your back. Consider putting your washer on a pedestal.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Tips

    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.

    • Use the right detergent. High-efficiency (HE) front loaders require HE detergent to prevent excess buildup that can clog parts of your washer and promote mold growth.

    • Remove clothes as soon as they’re done. Letting wet clothes sit for too long can promote mold growth.

    • Clean the rubber seal regularly. It will help prevent mold growth, a common issue in front load washers.

    • Clean the dispenser regularly. Mold can grow there, too.

    • Don’t overuse certain cycles. Using the heavy and high-speed spin settings too often may cause premature wear and tear on your machine.

    • Use hot water occasionally. Cold water is more energy efficient, but we suggest that you use hot water on occasion to help rinse away accumulated residue in the washer tub.

    • Load the clothes loosely. Your clothes won’t clean as well if you cram laundry into the washer. Your machine will have to work harder, too.

    • Match wash cycle to laundry. Carefully select the wash cycle to match the type of laundry you’re doing. You’ll get better results.

    • Check the pockets of pants and jackets. Change, keys, and electronics can be damaged or damage your machine.

    • Undo buttons. This will help prevent shirts and other garments from being torn as the washer spins and tumbles.

    A trick to preventing mold growth is to leave the door open slightly to let air circulate when the washer is empty.

    Faq

    Q. The water in my washing machine doesn’t seem to be draining fully. Why is this?
    A.
    Your washer’s drainpipe may be blocked. Clean out this area to remove debris like hair or lint that may be preventing the water from flowing. An overfilled washing machine may also drain improperly.

    Q. It doesn’t look like there’s any water spinning around in my washer. Is anything really getting clean?
    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.

    Q. How can I prevent mold from growing in my front load washer?
    A.
    Mold growth is one of the biggest issues facing owners of front load washers, but you can reduce the chances that it will start to grow inside of your unit. Use HE detergent, and don’t overdo it with soap or other products (like fabric softener). Inspect the door’s rubber seal and wash it once in a while. Run a load of laundry using hot water occasionally, and clean the washer tub on a regular basis.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Laura
      Laura
      Writer
    • Steph
      Steph
      Writer