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Best front load washers 2021

Best front load washers 2021
(Image credit: Samsung)

The best front load washers are designed to power through your dirty laundry with ease. These large appliances are thought to be more efficient than the best top load washers, as they can fit larger laundry loads in every wash. In our guide, we’ve compiled a roundup of brilliant top load washing machines from market leaders including LG and GE, and at a range of budgets and with different colors to suit every taste. 

If you’re wondering where to start, let your budget lead the way. In our list of the best front load washers on the market, we’ve compiled a pretty wide range of washing machines at various prices, starting from $700 right up to  $1,700. Next, look at the capacity of each front load washer. A capacity of at least five to six cubic feet is the perfect size for family households or for those who have lots of laundry to wash. Whereas smaller households or someone living alone might want a front load washing machine that has a smaller capacity and drum.

To find the best front load washers, we took into consideration a range of factors such as capacity, energy efficiency, price, features, and user reviews. All of our front load washer reviews have a rating overall but you’ll also find a selection of models that excel for certain features such as having a large capacity, being easy to use, or having short wash cycles.

Our promise to you

Another brilliant thing about the best front load washers is their running costs. Why? Because most of them won’t cost you a fortune to power. For peace of mind, we’d suggest only investing in a front load washing machine that comes with an Energy Star certification - this confirms the washer has low energy consumption. Many of the more modern front load washers are also quiet to use. This is a big bonus if you live in a flat with downstairs neighbors, or if you prefer to use your washer at night (hello, shift workers).

Overall, what makes the best front load washers stand out from the rest are the features they offer you to make laundry a breeze. Many of the best models come with sanitizing settings and smart connected features, which makes completing this household chore easier and more hygienic. Plus, many front load washing machines can be teamed with the best dryers for a matching set. However, if you’re lacking in space, we’d also recommend our guide to the best washer dryer combos.

Best front load washer overall

(Image credit: Maytag)

Maytag MHW5630HW

The Maytag MHW5630HW is our top pick of front-load washers.

SPECIFICATIONS

Size: 38 3/5(h) x 27(w) x 31 3/10(d)-inches | Capacity: 4.5 cu. ft. | No. of programs: 10 | Warranty: 10 year (motor & basket)

Reasons to Buy

Reasonably priced
Steam function
The best warranty we've seen
Energy Star qualified

Reasons to Avoid

Not the most spacious option
Some users criticize the build quality

For a relatively low-cost model, the Maytag MHW5630HW crams in a lot of great features. There's 10 wash settings including towel, quick wash, wrinkle free and even steam wash technology. Pair with the extra power button to tackle even the toughest stains. 

What the users say

The Maytag MHW5630HW scores an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Best Buy’s website. Users praise how quietly it washes and also mention they like the large selection of wash cycles. Importantly, many users simply praise how clean their clothes were after using this washer. Some users, however, were disappointed with ‘flimsy’ the detergent drawer is, and others said they felt it wasn’t as good quality as previous Maytag machines they’ve had.  

With 4.5 cu. ft. capacity, the Maytag MHW5630HW is a great family-sized washer that is stackable with the Maytag MED5630HW. With Energy Star certification, annual estimated running costs of only $9, and a stellar 10-year warranty, this is our top pick of front-load washers. 

Although the capacity of this washer is suitable for a family, there are large models available and if you want to ensure you can do loads of laundry at once, consider an option with a capacity of over five cubic feet.  

Best value front load washer

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung WF42H5000AW

The best affordable front load washer

SPECIFICATIONS

Size: 38 3/4(h) x 27(w) x 33(d) inches | Capacity: 4.2 cu. ft. | No. of programs: 9 | Warranty: 10 year (motor) 3 year (tub) 1 year (parts and labor)

Reasons to Buy

Self cleaning
Large load capacity
Diagnostic phone app

Reasons to Avoid

Less cycle options than other models

The Samsung WF42H5000AW is the least expensive washer we evaluated, and has a lot of features. The child lock and large capacity of this washer makes it a great option for a family. At 4.2 cubic feet, this washing machine will fit a king size comforter.

What the users say

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 some added that they found the lettering came off the control area. Some were also disappointed that there isn’t a light inside the washer drum.  

Maintenance of this machine is made easy by the self-cleaning cycle and the phone app diagnostics. The Samsung WF42H5000AW has only eight cycles which is less than most of the washing machines that we compared in this review. It still includes common cycles like 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.

The Samsung WF42H5000AW is also Energy Star certified and has an impressive estimated annual running cost of $10. 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.  

Best small front load washer

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung WW22K6800AW

The best front load washer for homes with less space or smaller households

SPECIFICATIONS

Size: 33 1/2(h) x 23 17/27(w) x 26 17/27(d) inches | Capacity: 2.2 cu. ft. | No. of programs: 12 | Energy Consumption: 120 kW/year | Warranty: 10 year (motor) 3 year (tub) 1 year (parts and labor)

Reasons to Buy

Smaller capacity for tight spaces
Vast array of wash cycles
Steam function

Reasons to Avoid

Not the lowest running costs we've seen

Not everyone needs a large-capacity washer. If you're in a smaller household or have less space, it can be better to opt for a smaller model. The Samsung WW22K6800AW has a 2.2 cubic foot capacity, 12 preset cycles, and steam washing technology, proving that you don't need a large washer to pack a punch. This washer will do a full load in only 36 minutes, meaning that even if you're doing multiple loads you can have them done in a jiffy. 

What the users say

The Samsung WW22K6800AW scored four out of five stars on Home Depot’s website. Many of the user reviews come from customers who needed a washer to fit a very small space. They praised how well this Samsung model coped with a full wash load, and said it was ‘perfect for a condo’. Some users were frustrated to find there was no internal light on this washing machine, and they also found it quite loud.  

The average running cost for a year is $11, which isn't bad by any means although it's not the lowest we've seen. At $900 when full-price, this is a mid-priced front-load washer which is justified by the number of features on offer.

There's app compatibility for Smart Care diagnosis and self-cleaning functions to save you time and effort. The Samsung WW22K6800AW is also stackable with a matching dryer, the Samsung DV22K6800EW, making it ideal for smaller spaces. There's the standard Samsung warranty of 10 years on the motor, 3 on the steel drum, and 1 on parts and labor. 

Best premium front load washer

(Image credit: LG)

LG WM9000HVA

The best premium front load washer, with unbeatable efficiency and lots of nifty extras

SPECIFICATIONS

Size: 40 3/4(h) x 29(w) x 33 3/4(d) inches | Capacity: 5.2 cu. ft. | No. of programs: 14 | Warranty: 10 year (motor) 3 year (tub) 1 year (parts and labor)

Reasons to Buy

Compatible with the LG SideKick
A great compatible app 
Best for efficiency two years running

Reasons to Avoid

Very expensive

LG consistently turns out the newest developments in kitchen appliances, which explains why you can usually expect to pay a bit more for these models. The LG WM9000HVA comes with 14 wash cycles including sanitary and allergen settings, and has steam wash capabilities. 

What the users say

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's 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 on the LG WM9000HVA is what sets it apart from other models, and it makes the steep price more understandable. 

Best smart front load washer

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung WF50K7500AW

The best family-friendly front load washer, with smart features

SPECIFICATIONS

Size: 38 7/10(h) x 27(w) x 34(d) inches | Capacity: 5 cu. ft. | No. of programs: 14 | Warranty: 10 year (motor) 3 year (tub) 1 year (parts and labor)

Reasons to Buy

Designed to keep running costs low
Small frame, easy to store
Energy Star certified

Reasons to Avoid

Expensive

With 5cu. ft. capacity, extra-quiet running and a nifty AddWash door, this is a top pick for a big household that have the money to invest. The Samsung WF50K7500AW is above average in front load washer prices but it covers all the bases with a good warranty, ADA and Energy Star compliance, and low running costs.

What the users say

The Samsung WF50K7500AW has an average user score of four out of five stars on Home Depot’s website. Positive reviews include comments on how clean clothes come out, how quiet this machine operates, and how many impressive features there are too. Some users weren’t impressed that you need extra hardware to connect to WiFi with this washer.  

Self Clean+ will ensure that your washer is running efficiently with minimal hassle, cleaning itself every 40 washes so you don't have to. Great for families or those with less time on their hands. Plus, nobody really likes cleaning their washer, do they? 

There’s an impressive number of cycle options, including ones specifically designed to tackle allergens. You’ll also be able to wash a full load in just 30 minutes - super handy if you’re in a rush. 

Best front load washer for stain removal

(Image credit: GE)

GE GFW450SSMWW

The best front load washer for tackling stains and deep cleaning

SPECIFICATIONS

Size: 38 7/10(h) x 27(w) x 34(d) inches | Capacity: 5 cu. ft. | No. of programs: 14 | Warranty: 10 year (motor) 3 year (tub) 1 year (parts and labor)

Reasons to Buy

Sanitize cycle and stain remover guide
Tumble care function

Reasons to Avoid

Poor warranty
Reports of fading buttons

The GE GFW450SSMWW offers a bunch of great functions including a tumble care function to keep washing wrinkle-free, and a sanitize setting that claims to remove 99.9% of bacteria. The inbuilt water heater enables high-power steam cleaning and the stain removal guide panel offers a no-nonsense approach to deep-cleaning your clothes.

What the users say

The GE GFW450SSMWW is a popular choice with nearly 4,000 user reviews on Lowe’s alone. On that site, this washer has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. It’s praised for its various settings and some even add ‘clothes have come out cleaner than before’ compared to other models. Other users aren’t keen on the cycle lengths, claiming ‘anything other than a quick wash takes a long time’. Many other reviews also claim that this machine is loud.  

The hangup is that the GE GFW450SSMWW has the worst warranty of the bunch with only a year's coverage. There's also been reports of the buttons wearing off, which can be a bit frustrating. 

Best front load washer for energy efficiency

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Electrolux EFLW317TIW

The Electrolux EFLW317TIW offers a reliable performance for regular laundry needs.

SPECIFICATIONS

Size: 38(h) x 27(w) x 32(d) inches | Capacity: 4.3 cu. ft. | No. of programs: 5 | Warranty: 10 years (motor & tub)

Reasons to Buy

 Energy efficient  
 Fits most spaces 

Reasons to Avoid

 No quick wash 
 Limited features 

The Electrolux EFLW317TIW is a straightforward washing machine that gets the job done quietly and reliably. And while it’s not the cheapest entry-level machine out there, with big-brand technology at the helm, you’re guaranteed an excellent performance, plus the roomy 4.3 cubic ft drum means it can cope with the loads too.

What the users say

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 are comments on how quiet this machine is and how easy it is to use. Others found the machine to be a bit basic and ‘wished they’d upgraded’. 

Operation is simple and the settings include hot, warm, and cold for heavy-duty, normal, delicates, and rinse & spin. But the real winning feature here is how energy efficient this machine is to run. Energy Star certified, you can expect much lower running costs than other models that do not have this certification.

Even though the Electrolux EFLW317TIW is decidedly no-frills for the price, with a ten-year warranty and guaranteed energy efficiency, it might just well pay for itself in the long run.

Best front load washer for short cycles

(Image credit: Home Depot)

GE GFW550SSNWW

The GE GFW550SSNWW is a great option for families and it can deep clean clothes in just 35 minutes.

SPECIFICATIONS

Size: 39.75(h) x 28(w) x 32(d) inches | Capacity: 4.8 cu. ft | No. of programs: 10 | Warranty: One-year entire appliance

Reasons to Buy

 Smart controls 
 Speedy wash settings 

Reasons to Avoid

 No steam cycle 
 No separate spin cycle 

If you want to get your washing done and you want to get it done fast, the GE GFW550SSNWW is a great option for you. This machine can thoroughly clean a load of washing in just 35 minutes. There’s also a range of useful settings including a Sanitize mode. 

What the users say

The GE GFW550SSNWW scores an average of 4.7 out of five stars on Home Depot’s website. Users really like that this washer can be controlled via an app, and others praised this machine’s cleaning power too. The not-so-positive reviews comment on how loud this machine is while it operates, and that some found the UltraFresh Vent system to be underwhelming.  

The standout feature with the GE GFW550SSNWW, though, is its UltraFresh Vent system - this clever feature gets rid of the excess moisture inside your washing machine so that odors don’t build up. It also means you won’t have to worry about leaving your washer door open to dry after using it. 

It’s disappointing to see the GE GFW550SSNWW doesn’t have a separate spin cycle, especially for those that don’t have a dryer and need to get as much water out of their laundry as possible. However, the GE GFW550SSNWW does offer up some other fantastic features such as the add-a-garment after the cycle has started function, and the Oxi cycle which is capable of removing up to 99.9% of bacteria. 

Best large front load washer

(Image credit: Home Depot)

LG WM9500HKA

This huge front load washer has the biggest capacity of all the models we’ve reviewed.

SPECIFICATIONS

Size: 41.9(h) x 29.63(w) x 34.6(d) inches | Capacity: 5.8 cu. ft | No. of programs: 14 | Warranty: One-year parts and labor, 10-years on the motor

Reasons to Buy

 Huge capacity  
 Smart features 

Reasons to Avoid

 Bulky design  
 Can’t be stacked 

The LG WM9500HKA is one huge front load washer! This machine has a massive 5.8 cubic feet capacity, which makes it a great washer for family homes or busy households. 

What the users say

There’s an average user rating of 4.3 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.  

Complete with smart features, which mean you can control this washing machine from your phone, the LG WM9500HKA adapts its washing mode depending on what’s inside the drum. Differing from the other models we’ve included, this machine’s controls are fitted on the door.

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. 

Best front load washer for easy use

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Electrolux EFLS627UIW

The Electrolux EFLS627UIW is great for sanitizing your washing and it’s easy to operate.

SPECIFICATIONS

Size: 38(h) x 27(w) x 32(d) inches | Capacity: 4.4 cu. ft | No. of programs: 10 | Warranty: Lifetime tub warranty, 10-year motor warranty

Reasons to Buy

 Easy operation 
 Innovative detergent drawer 

Reasons to Avoid

 No smart controls 
 Pricey  

Standing out for its innovative detergent drawer design, the Electrolux EFLS627UIW has a specifically designed area where you can place detergent pods or use alternative washing detergents. What’s more, this washer pre-mixes detergent and water to tackle stains and dirt with more powerful cleaning. 

What the users say

Users give the Electrolux EFLS627UIW an average score of 4.7 out of five stars on Home Depot’s website. With almost 4,500 user reviews on that site alone, this is a very popular model. Users praise how quietly this machine operates and they also liked the number of wash cycles. Those that weren’t so impressed felt the machine was a bit ‘cheap’ in terms of how it’s made.  

Ideal for allergy sufferers, the Electrolux EFLS627UIW has a sanitizing mode that kills up to 99% of bacteria and 95% of allergens. There’s also a steam function that causes steam to saturate through your laundry and give it a deeper clean. 

There’s also an internal light inside the washer drum on the Electrolux EFLS627UIW - a handy feature we love. Plus, this washing machine is incredibly efficient and is really affordable to run each year. Whilst it has a variety of spin settings, this machine doesn’t have the fastest spin speed around. 

How we evaluated front loaded washing machines

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.

How much does a front load washer cost?

There is a pretty broad range of prices when it comes to front-load washers – from about $700 to $1,700. You can find a good machine for right around $900 and still get advanced features like steam cleaning. We deliberately included washers for every price point but never compromised on quality when assembling our guide.

Best front load washing machines

The best front-load washers will come with a variety of cycles and steam functions.  (Image credit: Samsung)

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.

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.

4. Warranty

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.

What size washer do I need for a king-size comforter?

Maybe your old machine didn't fit your comforter, which meant a trip to the laundromat when it was time to wash it. One of the most common answers we found to this question online is you need about 3.8 cubic feet to fit a king-size comforter, but that might be a little too small, according to our research. Lots of cleaning experts also list 4.5 cubic feet and larger as the proper size for cleaning a king-size comforter. However, even that may be too small.

The question is not just can you fit it in but also can you clean it properly. The testing that we do is around actually cleaning the comforter in different capacities.

Any machine over 4.5 cubic feet in capacity can properly clean a queen-size bedding set – comforter, sheets and pillow cases. A washing machine over 5.2 cubic feet can clean a king-size set. Machines over 4.5 cubic feet can fit a king-size comforter, but they might not clean it quite as thoroughly.

The answer may depend on the type of comforter you have, too. A really bulky one might not have enough room to get clean in a 4.5-cubic-foot model, but a thinner one might be just fine. Consider what type of bedding you have. We recommend you buy a machine with at least 4.5 cubic feet of space for any king-size comforter, with more space for bulkier comforters.

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.

How full should a front-load washer be?

The answer to almost any question you have about your washing machine is to follow manufacturer instructions. However, many of the manuals we looked at don't actually address the overfill question directly – they simply list loading laundry and closing the door as steps in the process. A few of the manuals warn against overfilling your washer but have nothing about how much laundry it would take to do that. We also spoke with several manufacturers' customer service departments to get a feel for the prevailing wisdom. We were told to leave room at the top, though no one got very specific.

Some washers have a fill line, but for those without one, we recommend you fill the drum no more than 80 percent full. There has to be adequate room to move water through the clothing. If you stuff the wash basin too full, there won't be room for proper agitation and clothing will not come clean. Overloading your washer not only leads to rewashing loads that didn’t get clean, but it can also cause undue stress and wear on the motor.

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