Washing Machine Buying Guide
Washing machines are typically the longest lasting appliances in your home and they can greatly affect your water and energy bills, so it is important to understand all that contributes to the decision-making process of buying a new washing machine. Please use this handy buyer’s guide from Goedeker’s to better educate yourself on all the different factors you should consider when shopping for a new washing machine.
Types of Washing Machines:
The top load washing machine has long been the standard design, with the washer door located on top of the machine. These models are cost effective with a wide variety of colors and styles to choose from. These are often less expensive and can wash clothes more quickly, but they may use more energy and water than front load machines.
The front load washing machine is a new option that is becoming increasingly popular with high-end users. The machine door is on the front of the machine, and it tumbles clothes much like a dryer does. These models will use less energy, water and detergent than top loading machines and are usually quieter.
Stacking your dryer on top of your washing machine to make them one unit is considered a laundry center. These models are ideal for apartments, condos, and other areas with limited space. Laundry centers typically have less capacity than single units but are great space savers.
Stackable washers sometimes come with a stacking kit included in your purchase, but other times the stacking kit has to be purchased separately. Make sure to note the necessity of a stacking kit when you are shopping.
It is important to determine what capacity is needed in your new washer based on your household size and individual needs. This feature is measured in cubic feet.
All washers will have the basic cycles such as light, regular, and heavy. Many other wash cycles may be available depending on the model. Here are some examples:
- Permanent press
- Hand wash
- Rinse cycle or extra rinse
- Spin only or extra spin
- Steam cycle
- Soak cycle
- Quick wash
- Delay start
The spin speed can range from 600-2000 rpms depending on the model. More advanced models can reach higher spin speeds.
Other Features to Consider when Shopping:
- Noise Reduction – Newer models may include noise reduction technology for quiet operation.
- Anti-Vibration – Advanced suspension systems, or anti-vibration systems, help stabilize your machine to reduce vibration and noise.
- Automatic Temperature Control – Automatic temperature management helps keep cleaning consistent by maintaining the temperature you want. This also keeps the water from overheating which reduces shrinking and color bleeding.
- Automatic Water Level Control – Automatic water level adjustment helps your washer perform more efficiently. Load size options may also help you better regulate the amount of water you use per load.
- Display – Many washers feature a cycle status bar, cycle status lights, a time remaining indicator, and an end of cycle signal to notify you when your clothes are finished washing.
- Color – Most washers you will see for sale are white or gray. Red, silver, and stainless are also fairly common colors. Black, blue, bisque, and champagne are less common but still available for some models.
- Tub Material - The best models have stainless steel tubs. High quality plastic and porcelain-coated steel are other options. However, the latter can rust and deteriorate if the porcelain gets chipped.
- Detergent Dispenser - New models can dispense detergent, bleach and fabric softener at the right times throughout the wash cycle for maximum efficiency and garment care.
- Timer – If your washer includes a timer, this gives you the ability to start loads at different preset times of the day. This can be useful for when you are out and about, for example.
- Save Your Settings – Some newer models allow you to save the settings from your previous load to make washing a little easier.
- Control Lockout – Some washers include a control lock, or child lock, safety feature.
- Reversible Door – Reversible doors give you the ability to mount the door for access on the left or right side depending on your preference.
- Pedestal - Some models come with a pedestal to raise the height of the machine for easier access. This also adds more storage space with a bonus drawer in the pedestal. Pedestals can also be purchased separately.
- Antibacterial - In order to save energy, some advanced models have microbe-killing capabilities that sanitize clothing without the use of hot water.
What is Energy Star?
Energy Star is a program from the US Department of Energy and the US Environmental Protection Agency that certifies appliances as "energy efficient" and helps reduce environmental impact and utility bills. A model with the Energy Star label uses 30%-50% less water than models without the label.