Pros / This has the largest capacity of those we reviewed.
Cons / The Kenmore Elite 31633 is expensive.
Verdict / This massive machine will not be right for every home but it will be great for families.
The Kenmore Elite 31633 is a large-capacity top-load washer that works well for big families. It includes 11 wash cycles, five soil levels and several wash-and-rinse temperatures. This washer is designed to use less water than most agitator-type machines, so it costs less, on average, to operate each year. The matching dryer, the Kenmore 61633, has a 9.2-cubic-foot capacity. It uses SmartDry Ultra technology that adjusts temperatures to prevent overdrying. If you need a more compact washer, consider the Kenmore 28132.
This top-load washer is Energy Star certified but is not the most efficient washer out there. Still, considering its huge 6.2-cubic-foot capacity, its efficiency isn’t bad either. This Kenmore top-loader uses 290 kilowatt hours of energy each year, which equates to $43 annually. When you include the yearly cost of water, it bumps up the total to $43 annually to operate, depending on how much laundry you do and how often.
This top-load washing machine uses Quad Action Impeller technology, which uses power spray jets and impeller motion to keep your clothing moving as it cleans to remove deep dirt. It also has a direct drive motor to reduce noisy vibrations. Another innovative feature is one called Acella Wash, which lets you wash large loads in faster-than-average time using a unique wash motion sequence. That makes this washer a good choice for people with big families who want to do a lot of wash quickly.
You get the standard wash cycles with this washer, like heavy duty, normal, bulky bedding and white as well as some less common ones like a sanitize cycle that includes Oxi gel and steam to give it additional cleaning power. This washer uses high-efficiency detergent that is dispersed throughout the cycle from the dispenser. The Oxi and steam are also dispersed throughout the cycle.
You get several wash cycles that you would expect on a washing machine like this, such as delicates, heavy duty and express. You can also choose to do a deep wash, which deposits extra water into the washtub when you need it. Though there aren’t many specialty cycles, you get the clean-washer cycle, which helps keep your washtub free of soap scum and any odor-causing bacteria.
The warranty for the Kenmore Elite is on the low end when compared with other top-load washers out there. You get a standard limited one-year warranty that covers the entire unit, while other washers – mostly the high-efficiency top-load washing machines on our lineup – include separate warranties for the motor and wash drum. The weak warranty is especially disappointing considering the relatively high price of this machine.
Not surprisingly, it is almost the largest machine we compared so it might not fit too easily into every laundry room. It is worth it to carefully measure your space if you plan to bring this machine home.
The Kenmore Elite 31633 ties for the most expensive unit we reviewed but it also comes with the most capacity. It can handle huge loads of laundry and that will make family life a lot easier. It also offers solid energy efficiency for its size and a nice selection of cycle types so you can clean a wide variety of clothing and bedding thoroughly.