LG WM1388HW Review

Large capacity is generally regarded as a selling point, but not everyone has a sprawling laundry room. If you need a compact front loading washer, we recommend the LG WM1388HW.

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

This is a compact and efficient machine with lots of wash options, but it might not be a good fit for larger households.


  • +

    This washer can be stacked with a dryer to fit into even the tiniest laundry spaces.


  • -

    It lacks a steam cycle.

Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Large capacity is generally regarded as a selling point, but not everyone has a sprawling laundry room. If you need a compact front loading washer, we recommend the LG WM1388HW. It has less than half the drum capacity of some of the front load washers we compared, including the family-sized Kenmore Elite 41072, but there is still plenty of room for most households' laundry needs. It can fit up to 12 pounds of laundry. A complete outfit for an adult usually weighs 3-5 pounds so this washing machine could fit almost a full work week's clothing comfortably at a time.

This unit is designed to be compact enough that it will fit in almost any space. It measures just 24 inches wide, which is 2.7 inches smaller than the average unit in our front load washer reviews. This may not sound like much, but if you are limited on space, a few inches can make all the difference. Stacking the LG WM1388HW with the matching dryer saves you even more laundry room floor real estate.

This LG washer can still do a fair amount of laundry, including lots of different types. There are 14 wash programs for different scenarios. That ties for the most cycle types in our comparison. There are the usual cycles: Delicates, Permanent Press, Speed Wash, and Tub Clean. There are also unexpected ones like Sports Wear, Sanitary, Baby Wear, and others. You can also add to the cleaning capabilities through options like extra rinse and delay wash. There are more water temperature choices than usual, including extra hot, hot, warm, cold and tap cold, so you use only as much energy as you need for each cleaning scenario. This machine also offers more control over spin than do most, with extra high, high, medium, low and no spin options.

This front load washing machine is smart. You can use the app to download new and specialty cycles that are not included initially on the washer. The app also transmits the error tone to get a diagnosis instantly. You can phone the call center, hold your phone up to the machine, and have the app transmit the error code to the technician, who can then help you from there.

This compact unit is a decent bet for energy efficiency, though there were actually a couple washers that had slightly lower estimated yearly energy costs in our comparison. The Energy Guide for this LG front load washer indicates that it will cost about $14 a year to run when used with an electric water heater. Other units we reviewed had estimated annual costs of up to $18. The LG WM1388HW was above average when we compared its water factor, so that is not ideal. The water factor is tabulated by the Environmental Protection Agency to help consumers compare machines. It is the number of gallons per cycle, in this case, 4.2 gallons per cubic foot. This is the only washer that uses more than four gallons, which is a bit disappointing.

The LG WM1388HW has a reasonably low initial cost at just under $1,000. The machines in this price range do not typically include a steaming option. There is no steam cycle, but there is a sanitize cycle that should have many of the same effects, using extra hot water to kill germs.

This machine is covered by a very strong warranty, and that inspires confidence. The motor is covered for 10 years and the tub for 5. Other parts are only covered for a year, but that is standard in this class of products. There were only a couple that had more coverage.

The LG WM1388HW might not be the best option if you have a large family, but it works great for apartments, condos and smaller households. This is a very compact unit, but still includes some advanced features like integration with your phone for easier diagnosis and repair. There is also an impressive selection of wash cycles and ways to customize each cycle beyond that, so you can get the type of clean you need that is specific to each load.

Need a better alternative?


Best Front Load Washers of 2019

Top Ten Reviews has reviewed the Best Front Load Washers of 2019 so that we're able to offer you the authoritative buying advice you expect. 

Angie Parkinson

A contracted writer for TTR, Angie has been reviewing vacuum cleaners, countertop appliances and other home goods for more than eight years. Her spare time often goes to planning improvements for her quirky 103-year-old home or hiking in the gorgeous Utah mountains. In her past role, she was a newspaper journalist and she has a bachelor's degree in Technical Writing.