Best High-End Washers

Updated September 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

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

27 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
231 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best high-end washers

Last Updated September 2019

Washing machines can be just as complicated to use as your computer, especially the high-end models. So why buy one? They may clean best, use less water, spin faster, yet they’re gentler on fabrics thanks to the multiple settings and other packed-in features.

The least expensive washing machine is the traditional fuss-free top-loader with an agitator. High-end washers are typically front-loading machines, but there are also selections of luxury top-loading high-efficiency (HE) washers with and without agitators.

There is a large selection of high-end washing machines on the market, and all the varied features can be confusing. Choosing the right washer is a matter of knowing your specific wish list of features and which models include them. Our shopping guide can help you separate what features you might need versus what features you might want so that you don’t get soaked when making your purchase. Check out a few of our favorites, too.

If you love the thought of a high-end washer but want to save a hundred dollars or so, opt for white instead of a more stylish designer color.

Key considerations

When shopping for a high-end washing machine, there are a few important considerations: top- or front-load model, capacity, drum depth, cleaning efficiency, noise, and what length of warranty is offered.

Top- or front-loading: Whether you buy a top- or front-loading washer is a decision based on your preference. Do you want to bend down (front-loading) or bend over (top-loading) to handle laundry? If space is a factor and you want to stack your washer and dryer, you’ll naturally need a front-loader. Take note that it’s easier to stuff a large comforter into a front-loading machine.

Capacity: Do you have a large family? Do you (or does someone in your family) work at a job in which your clothes get particularly messy, such as construction? Do you have an infant or toddler? Maybe you’re hoping to wash all your super-thick bath towels at once? If you’re in any of these or similar situations, you might consider one of the more generous  washers (4.5 to 6.0 cubic feet) to handle the dirty work.

Size: Take note that some high-capacity washers are also wider and deeper than smaller-capacity models. You’ll want to make sure you can fit a large-capacity washer in your space. You’ll find large-capacity washers that measure between 27 and 29 inches wide. You’ll find larger front-loading washers with drums that are 30 inches deep and top-loading washers with drums deeper than 32 inches, for example. (A traditional top-loading washer has a drum that’s about 27 inches.)

Efficiency: High-end washers are best known for their ability to clean better than less-expensive washers. That’s because luxury high-efficiency (HE) washers keep clothing in constant motion for longer cycles and in less sudsy water than traditional washers, which allows clothing to freely move around more. More tumbling motion results in better cleaning.

Noise reduction: Vibrating washers on a wood or tile floor can cause havoc. A noisy machine can sound like a tornado coming through the house when it’s filling, agitating/tumbling, spinning, or draining. High-end washers have technology to minimize vibration and keep the decibels low.

Warranty: High-end washers may cost more, but they’re less likely to break down (so it’s okay to decline the extended warranty). Manufacturer warranties are likely to span from three to ten years on parts and labor, but always read the fine print for specifics.

Leader in dual-washers

This 27-inch washer has plenty of features in its own right, but it really stands out because of the 1.0-cubic-foot SideKick pedestal washer, an innovation LG introduced in 2016. The SideKick and the 4.5-cubic-foot main chamber can both run at the same time, giving you extra washing space and options.

High-end washer features

Here’s where it can become confusing when comparing high-end washers. Each brand has its buzzwords and trademarked names for features that are really describing the same thing on numerous pricey models. You’ll have to read between the lines to figure out if you really need or want a particular feature.

Controls: Are the controls intuitive or do you need a degree in engineering to learn how to turn on your new washer? You may be more comfortable with knobs or with digital or electronic pad controls. There are plenty of high-end washers with a combination of digital and knob controls.

Cycles: You may prefer a couple of cycles or the dozen cycles included on higher-end washers. Some of the more useful include a hand-wash cycle, active-wear cycle, sanitize and allergen cycle, accelerated fast-wash cycle, and starch cycle, just to name a few.

Double washer: Certain high-end washers have an additional smaller chamber, typically 1.0 cubic foot), that allows you to wash a mini load so you don’t need to use the larger chamber.

Drum material: A high-end top-loading washer likely has a stainless steel tub (as opposed to the plastic or ceramic tubs in lower-priced models). Stainless tubs can withstand the higher spin speeds that expel more water, which cuts down on drying time.

Finish: High-end washers come in luxury finishes, such as black stainless steel, platinum, and elegant designer whites.

Pedestal washer: Another version of a double washer is the pedestal washer. Pedestals were once only used to boost the height of a front-loading machine. Now, that unused space is put to good use as a small-capacity washer for tiny loads. The only disadvantage is you have to bend down to use it.

Self-cleaning: The self-cleaning cycle is an important one to have, especially in a front-loading model. The cycle removes bacteria and reduces the growth of mold and mildew.

Smart: Many high-end washers have app connectivity that allows you to link your washing machine to an app on your phone, or it may be WiFi compatible with Google Assistant or Alexa. You can operate your smart washer remotely, adding extra cycles, for example.

Spin speed: Revolutions per minute (rpm) refers to the spinning speed of the drum. Speeds range from 800 to 1,600 rpm. There are pros and cons to higher speeds, however. On the plus side, faster speeds clean clothes better and extract more water from the clothing, resulting in shorter drying times. On the downside, high-speed models are pricey, delicate items can become damaged or tangled, and higher speeds could cause your machine to vibrate or operate more noisily. Look for a machine with adjustable speeds. A slower speed can help to reduce creases in clothing.

Steam: A steam cycle is intended to loosen fibers enough to lift tough dirt and stains from the fabric.

EXPERT TIP

If you’re hankering for a large-capacity washer, remember that the bigger the washer, the deeper the drum. Users report having to resort to tongs to reach socks and other items in the back or bottom of a very large washer drum.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If you prefer a top-loading washer with an agitator, it will toss around your clothing with a little more gusto than an agitator-free model. Agitators are inherently less gentle on clothing regardless of how much your washer costs.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

The high-speed spin of a high-end washer can tangle clothing. To avoid this, wash similar items together, such as sheets in one load, towels in another, jeans in a separate load.


Staff  | BestReviews

High-end washer prices

$690 to $1,075: You’ll find front-loading washers with limited features, such as presoak and steam, and better-quality smart top-loading washers (more cycles and settings than traditional top-loaders). Many larger 4.5-cubic-foot models are plentiful in this price bracket. Speeds typically reach around 1,200 rpm.

$1,075 to $1,600: You’ll find the bulk of high-end washers with a variety of cycles and settings in this price range. Front-loading washers have larger drums and capacities, from 4.5 to 6.0 cubic feet. You’ll find stainless steel drums, more than adequate speeds averaging 1,300 rpm, and many with the prized steam setting.

$1,600 to $4,125: Here, you’ll find luxury brands offering front-loading machines. In this price range, you’re paying for the brand’s premium name as well as the fastest speeds, proprietary features, streamlined aesthetics, and longer warranties. One thing to think about if you’re considering buying one: be sure you can find qualified people to service these specialized appliances.

Smorgasbord of cycles and settings

This 4.5 cubic-foot Samsung gives you a large array of cycle and setting options that will care for your clothing and bedding. The 27-inch model offers 14 preset wash cycles and 12 more options, including the coveted Deep Steam and Sanitize cycles. The model’s SuperSpeed setting cuts wash time almost in half without sacrificing performance.

Tips

  • Clean a front-loading machine often. Front-loading washers are known for their mold and mildew issues. The reason this happens is because water pools in the door’s water gasket, dispensers, and drum, which causes the problem, plus creates odors. Front-loaders just need a bit more attention than top-loaders. Frequently clean the gasket and interior, and leave the door open so the drum can dry.

  • Remove pet hair from clothing. Excess pet hair on clothing can clog your washing machine’s hoses. Before washing, remove as much pet hair as possible by putting on a pair of rubber household gloves and wiping down the item with your hands. The rubber glove method picks up pet hair better than lint rollers and tape.

  • Save money with HE. A high-efficiency washing machine with multiple cycles costs more to buy, but investing in an HE washer can lower your water and energy bills in the long run.

  • Keep up with regular maintenance. High-end washers are designed to last a minimum of 10 to 15 years if they’re well maintained. That means manually cleaning buildup from dispenser drawers, using the washer’s cleaning cycle occasionally (if your model has one), and never overstuffing the machine with clothing or detergent. Paying a little more up front beats having to replace a lower-priced washing machine every five years.

Other products we considered

We can’t talk about high-end washing machines without mentioning a few more of our favorite models. The 24-inch Miele Smart Compact Front-Load Washer is loved by users for its reliability, its signature high-quality scratchproof and corrosion-proof enamel exterior finish, and its CapDosing feature for custom treatment and cleaning power for specific garments. Bosch is known for making some of the quietest washing machines in the industry. The Bosch 500 Series Front-Load Washer may be a bit smaller than others, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in features, such as anti-vibration side walls. If you’re hoping to buy a high-end model by Speed Queen, a brand best known for decades for manufacturing the most reliable washers on the market, we love the 27-inch Speed Queen Front-Load Washer. You’re paying for the size (3.48 cubic feet), the ability to stand up to heavy use, plus the features you’ll find on other high-end machines.

All HE washers are also Energy Star compliant, meaning they meet stringent energy guidelines because of the increased efficiency.

FAQ

Q. What size washing machine will hold a king-size comforter?

A. A 4.5-cubic-foot front-loading washer likely fits a king-size comforter with a little room to spare. These washers can hold about 20 pounds of laundry. A queen-size comforter fits into a 3.5-cubic-foot washer.

Q. How do I measure my space to know what size washer I can fit?

A. Measure your space as you would for any piece of furniture. The only difference is that you should leave about six inches behind the washer to allow space for water hookups, vents, and outlets. The six-inch rule also applies if you’re going to stack your front-loading washer and dryer.

Q. What exactly is a high-efficiency washer?

A. A high-efficiency (HE) washer uses a different washing system than traditional and less costly washers. There are criteria a washer needs to meet in order to be considered a high-efficiency machine. It doesn’t have an agitator. It’s designed to use less water and low-sudsing HE detergent. It relies on sensors to adjust water levels to the load, which eliminates wasted water (and saves money because you’ll use less energy to heat water). HE washers have a faster spin cycle to extract more water from clothes and shorten energy-sucking drying time.

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