The best front load washers effortlessly deliver clean clothes. With a door at the front, they can be stacked on top of a dryer or placed within a cupboard, saving space at the same time. Front load washers are one of the best washing machines for speed and saving water, especially compared to top load washers.
For large households where laundry quickly piles up, a spacious capacity is key. Regardless of house size, good-quality models generally have 8+ washing programmes, a good warranty and often an Energy Star certification to keep running costs down. Child locks also add extra security if you have young children loose around the house.
The very best front load washers may feature smartphone compatibility or even AI technology to predict the best program based on your previous washing habits. Steam settings can freshen up older clothes, whereas a pre-treat station is a helpful aid should you be prone to grass, food or mud stains on your clothes. You can bag great discounts on washers with many of these clever features in the Black Friday appliance deals and Black Friday washing machine deals.
Best front load washers
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We've rounded up the best front load washers to help you find the right machine for you and your household. While we endeavor to review every product that we highlight in our guides, some of the products below are still in the process of being reviewed. However, we've included the key specs, features and a summary of user reviews to help you make your decision.
Best front load washers
The Samsung WF42H5000AW is our pick for affordability, as one of the least expensive washers we’ve evaluated with a lot of features. It’s a great option for families, featuring a child lock that stops buttons from responding and a capacity of 4.2 cubic feet – plenty big enough to fit a king-size comforter. The Self Clean+ technology helps prevent dirt from accumulating and notifies you every 40 cycles when it needs cleaning, to keep your washer fresh even if your memory is poor.
The Samsung WF42H5000AW has an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Home Depot’s website. Users comment on how well this washer cleans their clothes and how easy it was to install. They claim it works quietly and some also add that clothes ‘almost feel dry’ at the end of the cycle because the spin is powerful. Not all users were impressed though, and they found the lettering came off the control area. Some were also disappointed there was no light inside the washer drum.
Maintenance of the machine is made easy by the self-cleaning cycle and the phone app diagnostics. The washing options are more basic than premium options – there are only eight cycles, which is less than most of the washing machines in this guide. However, all of the common cycles are covered, including normal, heavy-duty, bedding, rinse, quick wash, and perm press. There is even a cycle specifically for active wear. There's no steam option, which is reasonable given the affordability of this option, but something in mind if you rely on steam power to lift heavier stains from your clothes.
The Samsung WF42H5000AW is Energy Star certified, which will save you further money on energy bills, and it has a very impressive estimated annual running cost of $7. While it doesn’t come with one, there is the option to purchase a matching pedestal with this washer, and it can also be stacked with a matching dryer. The design isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s neat, tidy and easy to use.
This Electrolux front load washer isn’t the largest model in our guide, but users say it’s plenty big enough at 4.5 cubic feet to manage a family load. What it lacks in size it makes up for in features, with an Optic White cycle to keep your whites incredibly bright, and a Perfect Steam function designed to lift dirt more gently from your fabrics. There’s a considerable range of specialist washing settings, too, including a sanitize setting that can remove up to 99% of bacteria and an allergen option to get rid of 95% of allergens.
Users give the Electrolux Electrolux ELFW7637AW an average score of 4.8 out of 5 on the Home Depot website. They praised the design of the washer, and how good it looks in their laundry room, while also commenting on how well it cleans their clothes when compared to a top-load washer. Disappointingly, several reviewers said that their children’s clothes and socks were getting stuck in the rubber gasket of the machine.
In terms of design, the washer comes in white or a bold, modern titanium color. You can’t control the machine via a smartphone like other models in this guide, but you’ll find one big main control dial to easily select the best cycle, next to a neat touchpad to sift through options for temperature, soil, and spin level. Inside the drum, there’s a very helpful interior light so that you can see if there are any garments left behind, while elsewhere, the revolutionary Adaptive Dispenser can accept a wider variety of detergent packs.
The Electrolux ELFW7637AW isn’t the cheapest front-loading washer on the market, but it is Energy Star Certified, meaning it’s guaranteed to meet high energy efficiency standards and save you money on bills in the long run. Plus with a 10-year Motor Warranty, you’ll have peace of mind against your purchase should anything go wrong. This is a good-looking mid-range front-load washer, and a great choice if you don’t need the largest capacity going.
LG consistently turns out the newest developments in home appliances, which explains why you can usually expect to pay a bit more for these models. The LG WM9000HVA comes at a premium price, but it’s also great looking and has pretty much every feature you’re likely to want from a washer.
Scoring an impressive 4.7 out of 5 stars at Best Buy, the LG WM9000HVA is a hit with users that rate its ‘huge’ capacity highly. They also claim that this washer works quietly and plays a nice ‘tune’ once the wash load has finished. Some users criticize the price of this washer, claiming it’s ‘expensive’, and others have issues with the smart app. Others found that the detergent drawer didn’t ever drain properly.
There are 14 wash cycles in total, including sanitary and allergen settings, as well as steam wash capabilities that you don’t get on cheaper models. A selection of 12 wash options includes TurboWash, Prewash, Delay Wash and Extra Rinse. To control the machine there’s a large, main dial with touch buttons or app compatibility which lets you download new cycles and monitor your machine – even when you're out of the house.
You can also pair the LG WM9000HVA with the LG SideKick, which is a smaller 1cu. ft. washer that takes the place of a pedestal, letting you run two washes at once or wash a few essentials without turning on the entire 5.2 cu. ft. machine. It's smart innovation like this that won the LG WM9000HVA Energy Star awards in 2018 and 2019 for efficiency and innovation.
The spacious capacity of the LG WM9000HVA is what sets it apart from other models, and it makes the steep price more understandable. The motor gets a 10-year warranty, which is a nice guarantee against any future breakdowns. If you want the very best washer that money can buy, with child safety features, intuitive controls and beautiful construction, this is the one for you.
The GE GFW550SSNWW is a front-loading washer that boasts the latest WiFi connectivity. Being smart home enabled, you can start and stop your laundry from anywhere as well as receive notifications on its progress. The delay wash function also means you can set the machine to start at a time when it’s most convenient for you.
The GE GFW550SSNWW is a popular choice with more than 6,500 user reviews on Home Depot alone. It gets an average score of 4.7 out of 5 stars overall, while 97% of people recommend the model. Users loved how quiet it is during operation and the fact that it connects to Wi-Fi. On the downside, there were a few complaints about the machine having an overly-powerful spin cycle, and a few also found it leaked after a few months.
Many users understandably want their washer to be quiet in operation, especially when it’s in a well-used area like a kitchen. Fortunately, this model has what’s called “balancing technology” which has been specifically designed to rebalance uneven loads during the spin cycle to keep the noise to a minimum.
When it comes to washing, the UltraFresh Vent System inside the drum eliminates excess moisture so that you don’t get odors and dampness inside. What it lacks is a steam function, but like many other models in a similar price bracket, there’s a sanitize cycle, plus a quick wash cycle that takes 20 minutes to run through. Overall, you get 10 wash cycles – lower than some – but all the essentials are covered, whether you live alone or have a big family.
Overall, the design is pleasing, featuring a large, glass door and digital touch controls alongside a big dial that lets you select the clearly labeled cycle. It’s ADA-compliant, which means that it’s deemed to be easy to operate and access by the Americans with Disabilities Act. In terms of size, the 32-inch depth makes this model ideal for keeping in a cupboard, while the reversible door gives you more options about where it gets installed.
The Samsung WF53BB8700AV is a very smart machine indeed, offering Wi-Fi Connectivity so that you can schedule, start and stop cycles remotely from your smartphone using Samsung’s SmartThings app. It also lets you customize your cycle list, and the AI Smart Dial can learn your washing habits and recommend your favorite cycles to speed up the process of housework.
The Samsung WF53BB8700AV has fewer reviews than some models in this guide, but still gets an average of 4.8 out of 5 from the Home Depot and Best Buy websites. Users loved its sleek and minimalist high-tech design, and that it has a matching dryer available. They also liked the variety of cycle options and the large capacity for towels and bedding. Some users complained that Samsung’s customer service wasn’t the best when they had issues.
There are five wash temperatures and speeds, and it’s possible to wash a full load in just 28 minutes – although there are many more options. When it comes to washing cycles, there are 24 in total, from bedding to bulky items and delicates to whites.
As this washer has a shallower depth than some competitors, it’s suitable for closet installation without sacrificing capacity, or can be tucked into a kitchen corner or laundry room very neatly. You can also stack the washer on top of a dryer, to further save on space and keep your appliances together. The design of this washer is absolutely stunning, featuring a clean flat panel at the top where the dial sits. One user mentioned that you can’t see the LCD controls until you hit the power button, but that’s a design feature rather than a defect.
If you’re not someone who enjoys leaving things for a machine to decide, then the Samsung WF53BB8700AV might not be the best choice for you. But if you want a sleek design, love the latest technology and want to control your washer while in another room or even out of the house, it’s one of the best choices.
The Electrolux EFLW317TIW is a straightforward washing machine that gets the job done quietly and reliably. While it’s not the cheapest entry-level machine out there, with big-brand technology at the helm, you’re guaranteed an excellent performance. Inside, the roomy 4.3 cubic foot drum means it can cope with heavier loads, although it certainly doesn’t offer the biggest capacity in our guide.
The Electrolux EFLW317TIW has an average score of 4.4 out of five stars on Home Depot and has nearly 1,000 five-star reviews. Among its positive reviews, users comment on how quiet this machine is and how easy it is to use. Others found the machine to be a bit too basic and ‘wished they’d upgraded’ to something with more features.
Operation is simple, with just five cleaning cycles and three different options for water temperature, soil level, and spin speed. The settings include hot, warm, and cold for heavy-duty, normal, delicates, and rinse and spin. But the real winning feature here is how energy efficient this machine is to run. As it’s Energy Star certified, you can expect much lower running costs than other models that do not have this certification (although we’ve tried to pick models with this in our guide).
The Electrolux EFLW317TIW is decidedly no-frills for the price. The white design is basic, it doesn’t offer steam cleaning, and it can’t be controlled remotely via WiFi and a smartphone app. Yet, with a ten-year warranty and guaranteed efficiency (energy consumption of just 55 kWh/year), it might just well pay for itself in the long run.
It’s important that you buy the right washing machine to suit your home, your needs, and your lifestyle, and while this appliance is at the cheaper end of the Electrolux range, it’s still fairly expensive when you consider the fact it has fairly limited features. But, if you want reliability and quality, you get what you pay for.
The LG WM9500HKA is one huge front load washer, capable of tackling the biggest family loads or even commercial applications thanks to its 5.8 cubic feet capacity. To further this the washer is twin-wash compatible, giving you the option to add a pedestal washer underneath to tackle two loads of laundry at the same time.
There’s an average user rating of 4.4 out of five on the LG WM9500HKA. The positive reviews state how quietly this machine works. The capacity is a real plus for many, with one user explaining that she could fit her family’s wash load of many towels in one. Those that weren’t as keen on the LG WM9500HKA found the controls to be over-sensitive and that the detergent drawer was too easy to open by accident.
Unsurprisingly this is one of the most expensive models in our guide. It’s complete with smart features and Wi-Fi enabled, which means you can control this washing machine from your phone, or a compatible Google Home or Amazon Alexa device. Unlike the other models we’ve included, this machine’s controls are fitted on the sleek door panel and include LED indicators and a familiar dial-a-cyle ring.
Overall the LG WM9500HKA looks distinctive and very stylish. But because of the door design, the detergent drawer is actually accessed via the top of the LG WM9500HKA. This might sound good initially, but it does mean you won’t be able to stack this washing machine with a dryer, which is one of the advantages of other front load washers.
Despite its high purchase cost, this washer is another energy star certified model and received the most efficient mark in 2015 – so you know that it meets rigorous energy efficiency performance levels set by the U.S. environmental protection agency. LG also backs the motor with a 10-year limited warranty, giving you some assurance against malfunctions in the future.
If you need a big capacity for a busy household or save up all your washing to do at once, this LG model is a brilliant investment and a stunning buy.
What to look for when buying a front load washer
How we evaluated front load washers
We purposely selected a variety of front-load washers from major retailers to compare, taking into account popularity with customers. We made detailed charts comparing features that matter for front-load washing machines, including annual operating costs, total capacity, water used per wash, dimensions, warranty and more. We gave better rankings to the units that have useful features like a wide variety of cycles, soil levels and water temperatures and presets.
What to look for when buying a front load washer
Here are the key features to look for when you're buying a front loading washing machine...
1. Energy Efficiency
All the washing machines we reviewed are Energy Star certified by the U.S. Department of Energy. That means they are at least 20 percent more energy efficient than the minimum required federal standard. Many of these machines go far beyond the Energy Star level. If you want a machine with a low running cost , you should pay attention to other energy stats as well, including the estimated annual operating cost, power cost, water costs and water usage. The DOE also provides information about average water used per wash and the water factor (WF), which is the number of gallons per cycle, per cubic foot. The lower the WF, the better.
A fair amount of energy efficiency is determined by the size of the machine – if the washer has a smaller wash drum, it will use less water and power. As such, it is definitely worth buying the smallest machine that accommodates your needs. However, the correlation is not always exact. We saw many machines of roughly the same capacity that have quite different energy efficiency numbers. See our energy scores for more information, and check out the DOE's site for specifics about energy efficient machines.
2. Wash Cycles & Options
Washing machines with a great amount of cycles are generally better, but look at the types of wash options, too. If you plan to use cloth diapers for your baby, for instance, you will want a sanitize cycle. If you have athletes in your household, you may want a heavy-duty cycle that can power through stains. We gave higher scores to machines that have NSF-certified cycles. This means they can reduce 99.9 percent of microorganisms without carryover to future loads.
Some machines also have allergen cycles for anyone who has more sensitive needs and must have their washing machine reflect this. For anyone in a rush, Quick cycles which can be completed in just 30 minutes will be a godsend, as they allow you to get through your mountain of clothes a lot quicker, and don’t compromise on washing power.
Another new and popular feature is machines that can automatically dispense detergent for you. All you need to do in order to get up to 40 excellent washes is inset your detergent once, and your machine will use the weight of your load to determine exactly how much detergent it needs. Many users have said this feature saves them time and also a lot of money, as they aren’t overusing laundry products anymore, and repurchase them less frequently.
3. Design & Dimensions
Before shopping, measure the space you have available for your washer. Even if you have a tiny laundry room, you can find innovative features on a compact unit. The best compact washers offer design features so you won't feel like you have to sacrifice functionality for size.
You may also want to consider a front-load washer with a reversible door so that you can cater your machine to your laundry room, or for anyone with disabilities who needs improved access.
A washing machine represents a significant investment, so look for one with strong coverage from the manufacturer, especially on the motor. You should be able to count on the most expensive part of the washing machine for years to come.
Proper maintenance for front load washers
Front-load washers are notorious for smelling like mold and mildew. It may even deter you from buying a front load style of washer. But there are ways to keep the smells in check. It really is as simple as airing things out, maybe more than you are used to with a top-loading machine. Some washers offer self-cleaning functions but you'll still need to manually clean from time to time. There are three things that really need attention between uses.
- The Gasket: The seal around the machine's door has folds in it that need to be cleaned out on a regular basis or gross things will start to grow. Wipe it down with a paper towel or a rag often.
- The Door: Keep it open when you are not using the machine. This allows the tub to air out and helps keep it dry. Less moisture in general is a good thing for these machines.
- The Detergent Tray: Keep the air circulating around the detergent tray, too. Pull it out so air circulates through it, and remove it for a thorough cleaning regularly.