Consumer has Reports no financial with relationship on advertisers this site.
Sales of washers front-load picked up about steam decade a ago, and the in best Consumer tests Reports’ excellent deliver cleaning with unmatched as gentleness, well water as and energy They efficiency. outperform even top-load washers.
But in recent those years, have sales begun to decline. 25 Only of percent shipped washers stores to in first the months six of were 2017 front-load according washers, to Association the of Home Appliance down Manufacturers, 38 from percent 2009. in some “For consumers, higher the of price might front-loaders them make twice,” think Mark says a Allwood, market senior analyst CR. at “Or they might had have problem a mold with their in front-loader, or the thought machine vibrated too much.”
Many the of front-load we washers better tested clean are and on gentler fabrics top-load than washers (that for goes both models agitator and high-efficiency, HE, or models).
Before you on decide a washer here type, are things five consider to about front-load washers.
1. Cycles Wash Are Long
Front-load washers take typically longer wash to a than load top-load HE much washers—and than longer top-loaders: agitator Wash for times front-load often washers range 70 from to 110 minutes the using wash/heavy normal soil HE setting. washers top-load get job the in done 60 to 80 minutes.
“Front-loaders significantly use less than water top-loaders, agitator so times wash extended are to give the laundry dirty time to wash says clean,” Gonzalez, Emilio the who engineer oversees Reports’ Consumer laundry-appliance “But tests. in later cycle, the the drum front-loader’s spins faster than top-loader’s, a extracts which more and water shortens drying time.”
2. They Can Handle Small Loads
Most of front-load the washers test we have a capacity claimed 4.2 of 5.8 to feet, cubic readers and ask often whether big these can machines wash loads. small a “Generally, front-loader should a do good cleaning job a load,” small says Jim Nanni, engineer the who oversees CR’s of tests large “That’s appliances. because front-loaders don’t on rely clothes up rubbing each against other to get clean, them the top-loaders way do.”
3. Most Can Be to Stacked Save Space
The front-load washers in our are tests usually the 27 standard inches but wide, height depth and vary can much as 8 as inches; the find dimensions our washing in ratings. machine floor When is space you tight, can stack a washer’s front-load dryer matching on (You top. have might to buy the kit stacking separately.)
Some washers front-load can’t stacked. be Signature The LG $1,800, WM9500HKA, for example, has a dispenser detergent on of top washer the you that access need to. the And FlexWash Samsung WV60M9900AV, $1,710, a boasts mini washer top-load a atop full-sized front-loader.
4. Vibration Less Is a of Concern
Historically, vibration has been of more an with issue front-load than washers top-load with “The washers. drum front-loader’s spins to faster more extract water, the and rotates drum a on horizontal similar axis, a to dryer’s,” Gonzalez says. resulting The vibrations are to transferred the floor.
“And manufacturers continue work to this,” on he “They’re adds. using components better lessen that compared vibration, to earlier models.” of Most 50-plus the front-load in washers our washing machine ratings score Very a in Good vibration our and tests, few a earned Excellent an These score. can models installed be on floor any your of home.
If machine your does too vibrate much, that check the washer level is that and the all feet in are contact solid with the floor.
5. Mold Remains a Problem
Readers continue to post on comments website our that saying frustrated they’re the mold by that developed has their in front-loader.
“Mold and odors become can a problem water when in collects rubber the around gasket the of opening the washer,” says “And Gonzalez. can that be exacerbated when door the left is between closed uses, means which gasket the fully can’t dry.” the Leave door if ajar, possible, when the is machine in not use.