Best Front-Load Washers of 2018

Angela Parkinson ·
Home & Appliance Editor
Updated
We maintain strict editorial integrity when we evaluate products and services; however, Top Ten Reviews may earn money when you click on links.

We've been evaluating front-load washing machines since 2010. We've spoken to product experts, compared manuals and specification sheets, and read countless consumer and professional reviews in our search for the best. After more than 200 hours analyzing the most popular front-load washers on the market, we recommend the LG WM1388HW for its compact design, broad selection of wash cycles and energy efficiency.    

Best Overall
LG WM1388HW
The compact and convenient LG WM1388HW can fit into any laundry space and offers a wide selection of wash cycles for cleaning a broad range of items in the most efficient way.
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Best Value
Samsung WF5000AW
The Samsung WF5000AW is big and budget friendly, with a low initial investment of less than $800 and an annual operating cost of less than $18.
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Best for Big Loads
Kenmore Elite 41072
This Kenmore unit has the largest capacity of any front-load washer we evaluated, making it a good match if you have a big household or if you simply want to avoid the trip to the laundromat to wash comforters.
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Product
Price
OVERALL RATING
Energy Efficiency
Price
Features
Design
Warranty
Estimated Annual Operation Cost
Estimated Annual Power Cost
Estimated Annual Water Cost
Estimated Annual Water Usage
Average Water Used Per Wash
Water Factor
Energy Star Qualified
Drum Capacity
Steam Option
Delay Start
Drum Light
NSF Certified
Smart Phone Diagnostic
Presets
Wash Cycles
Soil Levels
Quick Wash (minutes)
Width
Color Options
Stackable
Pedestal Drawer
Motor Warranty
Parts Warranty
Tub Warranty
$749 Amazon
3.4 3.4 4.4 5 3.6
$19.70
$14
$5.70
2850
9.66
4.2
2.3
14
3
24 Inches
1
10
1
5
$49 Wal-Mart
3.4 5 2.5 4.5 3.5
$17.85
$10
$7.85
3927
13.44
3.2
4.2
8
3
27 Inches
1
10
1
3
$597.96 Sears
3.5 3.9 1.5 4.7 5
$15.11
$7
$8.11
4059
13.76
3.2
4.3
5
3
27 Inches
1
10
1
Lifetime
$899.99 Amazon Warehouse
2.2 4.9 3.3 4.7 1.9
$21.47
$13
$8.47
4239
14.4
3.2
4.5
10
5
27 Inches
1
1
1
1
$799.99 Sears
2.8 3.4 3.5 4.7 3.9
$19.23
$11
$8.23
4116
13.76
3.2
4.3
8
3
27 Inches
1
10
1
10
$999.99 Amazon Warehouse
1.4 4.2 4.7 4.4 1.9
$23.76
$14
$9.76
4880
16.64
3.2
5.2
14
3
29 Inches
1
1
1
1
$845.88 Sears
1.8 3.4 3.9 4.9 1.9
$22.44
$14
$8.44
4220
14.4
3.2
4.5
10
4
27 Inches
2
1
1
1
$1060.61 Rakuten
2 0 5 4.9 3.5
$22
$13
$8.55
4278
14.5
2.9
5
14
3
27 Inches
2
10
1
3
$948 Home Depot
2.8 0.9 3.2 4.7 1.9
$22.42
$14
$8
4210
14.4
3.2
4.5
12
3
27 Inches
1
1
1
1
$1289.75 Goedeker's
5 0 1.5 5 1.9
$14.58
$10
$4.58
2294
7.92
3.6
2.2
14
3
24 Inches
1
1
1
1
Best Overall

LG WM1388HW

The LG WM1388HW packs a lot of variety and options into its tiny frame. It tied for the most wash cycles of any washer we reviewed. This means you get to wash everything in the way that's best for its particular fabric.
Most washers give delicates a delicate cycle and cotton items a normal cycle. The WM1388HW takes it many steps further by giving sportswear its own cycle. There are also cycles specifically for bulky items and baby clothing, among others. Aside from the cycles, there are lots of choices to customize whichever cycle you choose, including 10 wash options like extra rinse, self-cleaning and delay wash. There are also five different water temperatures to choose from – extra hot, hot, warm, cold and tap cold, so you can use only as much energy as you need for each load and nothing more. This washer also has a wide variety of cleaning patterns that help ensure optimal cleaning for different types of clothing – rolling, stepping, scrubbing, tumbling, filtration and swinging. One option the LG lacks is steam, but you generally have to buy a much more expensive machine to get that. With a 2.3-cubic-foot drum capacity, this is probably not the best for large households. It can still hold 12 pounds of laundry. That's enough for most loads in most homes. It may not be the best at washing larger quilts and comforters, though. With a smaller machine you get a lot of energy efficiency. The LG WM1388HW costs about $19 a year to run. There were actually a few that were even more efficient, but this one is still very competitive. The estimated annual water usage is minute.
Pros
  • A wide selection of cycles offers specific cleaning for different types of clothing.
  • This compact machine can fit in almost any laundry space.
  • The self cleaning cycle will help maintain this washer.
Cons
  • It lacks a steam option.
  • It's too small for large comforters and quilts.
  • Other machines have lower utility costs.
$899.00Sears
Best Value

Samsung WF5000AW

The Samsung WF5000AW is the least expensive machine we evaluated, and it still has a lot of the most modern features. It also has a big capacity that could make it comfortable for a larger household.
With 4.2 cubic feet, it is bigger than most of the units we compared. It can fit almost three laundry baskets of soiled items at a time, so you can do bigger loads less often. This unit takes care of itself in some ways with its self-cleaning cycle and its phone app diagnostics. At 27 inches wide, this one is not that compact, so it might not work for smaller laundry rooms. It is stackable, though, so you can save a lot of room that way. The eight wash cycles is lower than most we compared. 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 is no steam cycle, but there are more choices than normal for water temperature, so you can use as little energy for heating water as possible. The Eco Warm setting is cooler than traditional warm. This front-loading washer has a large capacity and a host of convenient features, including user-friendly controls and a smartphone app, that make it one of the best-reviewed units on the market today.
Pros
  • Lots of selection in water temperatures offers energy savings when used correctly.
  • The 4.2-cubic-foot capacity fits almost three laundry baskets of clothing at a time.
  • A phone app for diagnostics can make repairs easier.
Cons
  • This is not the best choice for small laundry rooms.
  • Other units have more cycles to choose from.
  • There is no steam cycle.
$719.00Sears
Best for Big Loads

Kenmore Elite 41072

When you have a larger household, capacity is important. This unit from Kenmore is the largest we reviewed. Its 5.2-cubic-foot capacity can handle all the heavy bedding you can throw at it.
That capacity is tied to quite a bit of girth, so make sure you can accommodate the almost 30-inch width in your laundry space. The Kenmore Elite 41072 still manages to be incredibly efficient; it will likely be noticeably less expensive to run than the one you are replacing. It costs about $14 a year to operate if used with an electric water heater. This washer is designed to clean clothes beyond the surface with its steam option, which can remove even the dirt that has set in. A sanitize cycle kills 99.9 percent of bacteria without forcing you to add bleach. It has six wash motions – saturating, rolling, stepping, tumbling, swinging and scrubbing – to maximize cleaning power for different types of clothing. There are 14 wash cycles, including a bulky cycle for things like bedding and a workout cycle for gym clothes. There are also eight wash options to choose from, including extra rinse and pre-wash, and the electronic LED controls make everything easy to navigate.
Pros
  • It has the largest capacity in our evaluation so even big bedding fits.
  • A sanitize cycle kills bacteria and is even certified by the National Sanitation Foundation.
  • This machine is tied for the most wash cycles.
Cons
  • This is not the cheapest option in terms of energy costs.
  • At almost 30 inches wide, it requires significant space.
  • With the door open, this model needs 57 inches of available depth – other machines needed a foot less.
$999.99Sears
Best Warranty Coverage
The best front load washing machines represent a significant investment for most folks, so we like the ones that come with some strong warranty coverage. The Electrolux EFLW317TIW offers the best warranty coverage of any unit we considered.
This washer comes with different amounts of coverage for different pieces. Many just offer one year on everything but the EFLW317TIW offers 10 years on the motor and lifetime coverage on the tub. Electrolux is the only company to offer lifetime coverage on any part, among those we compared. That inspires a lot of confidence in this washing machine. It is especially impressive since it scored third overall when we weighed a combination of efficiency and convenience features among 10 of the best-selling front load washers on the market. There were a few features we prefer that are not available on this machine, though, including a drum light, steam option and smart phone diagnostics.
Pros
  • This is the only machine that comes with lifetime warranty coverage on anything.
Cons
  • There is no steam cycle with this unit.
-
Read the full review
Most Energy Efficient
The Bosch WAT28402UC was dramatically more efficient than most of the other front load washing machines we compared.
But that's a little less impressive when you consider it is also the smallest capacity washer we reviewed with just 2.2 cubic feet of drum capacity. That might mean it can't accommodate a larger household. It still stands out when comparing it to other small machines, though. There was another machine that was 2.3 cubic feet in capacity and its numbers were not nearly as good for estimated annual operation costs, power costs, water cost, water usage and average water used per wash. This Bosch machine is expensive, but you will make up for the higher initial cost over years of efficient use.
Pros
  • This washing machine is designed to save on water and power costs for years to come.
Cons
  • The smaller drum won't accommodate very large loads.
-
Read the full review

Why Trust Us

We have spent hundreds of hours since 2010 comparing and researching front-loading washers. We have watched product videos, read manuals and spoken to customer service representatives to determine the best in the industry. We have utilized EPA figures to quantify energy efficiency and spoken with industry experts to gauge what matters for this type of appliance.

There is still some debate about whether to buy a top-load washing machine or a front-loading machine. That decision is a matter of personal preference, obviously, but generally front-load washers save on space because they can be stacked, according to Edward Crump, Brand & Product Marketing Manager for Frigidaire.

"Front load units also typically offer better cleaning and handling of clothes, and tend to use energy and detergent more efficiently," he wrote in an email. 

How We Tested

We purposely selected the best-selling front-load washers from major retailers to compare. 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 scores 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 $600 to $1,700. You can find a good machine for right around the middle of that range if you can live without some of the more advanced features like steam cleaning. The five most popular front load washing machines on Home Depot, Lowe's and Best Buy have an average price of $782.

Features to Look for When Buying a Front-Loading Washer

Energy Efficiency
If you are replacing an old machine, you are bound to find a new one that is much more efficient. Modern designs use less water and energy. If you are replacing a top-load washer with a front-loading machine, you will likely see a savings in energy costs. But some do a better job than others. Pay attention to the Water Factor, which indicates the number of gallons per cycle, and the Department of Energy's yellow label, the estimated annual energy cost.

Wash Cycles & Options
More 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.

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.

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.


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