Last Updated 10/26/21
A new washing machine is a huge upgrade to any home. From team uniforms to coffee stains on your favorite shirt, having your own washer can be a huge relief when you need clothes cleaned as soon as possible. But not all washers are created equal. At Grand, we offer industry-leading washer brands, with vast options in styles and features that suit any household. So, how do you pick out the perfect machine? Our team of experts have put together these guidelines to help you decide which washer will fit best in your home and fulfill your family’s needs.
In This Article:
- 3 Quick Checks Before Shopping Laundry
- Sanitizing, Allergen And Other Wellness Washer Features
- Additional Washer Features
- ENERGY STAR Certified
- Upgrading Your Laundry Room
Before you even get into sizes, styles and features, it’s best to know some things to look for in your home and your laundry room that may limit your options when selecting a washer or dryer. This quick checklist discusses how to determine your fuel (gas or electric) as well as connecting, venting, and sizing considerations that could impact your laundry choices.
They’re on the internet, so they must be true! But seriously, reviews should always be considered. It’s important to maintain the right perspective, however. A customer that has had a bad experience is far more likely to write a review than a person that has had a good experience. On the negative side, a bad review is a bad review - there’s no sugar-coating it. On the positive side, however, it indicates that items with great reviews exceeded customer expectations to the point that the customer felt compelled to leave a favorable review of the product.
When you’re picking out your washer you’ll want to consider your family’s needs. Do you have a house full of athletes? Or furry friends at home? You’ll want to get a washer that suits both your space and the amount of laundry you actually need to wash. If you’re finding yourself running multiple loads after loads in a small capacity washer, you may want to upgrade. Once you’ve decided on price points, measure the space you have with our sizing guides.
The average washer measures about 27 inches wide, and if you have a dedicated laundry room, it will probably be configured for a 27-inch-wide machine. Very few washers are wider than that, but if you need extra space, you can often find taller or deeper options that offer larger load capacity.
Slightly smaller than the standard models, compact washers are usually closer to 24 inches across. These are perfect for medium-sized apartments and homes without designated rooms or basements for laundry. The few inches of extra space saved by a compact washer will make a big difference if you’re storing your machine in a closet, bathroom, or kitchen.
Read more on Small Space Solutions
Most washer/dryer combo units are stacked, designed with a top-load washer on the bottom and a dryer on top. These models are tall and slim, perfect for small spaces like closets and hidden corners. More modern, high-tech combo units include both washing and drying power in a single machine. All-in-One washer/dryers don’t require any switching over of wet clothes. As soon as your wash cycle is done, you can start drying at the touch of a button.
Perfect for dorms or apartments without space for a built-in washer, portable washers are slim and easily storable. You can find these in lots of different sizes, from about 23 inches wide, all the way down to 17 inches. They don’t typically have too many exciting features, but they’re great for supplementing an existing washer or saving yourself from regular trips to the laundromat.
There are two main styles of washers, both with their own pros and cons. Which style to choose is typically one of the biggest decisions you’ll face during your shopping journey, so it’s important to understand how each one will affect your laundry habits.
It used to be that top-loaders were the simpler and cheaper variety, but the price gap between these and front loaders are rapidly closing, and you can find plenty of top-loading machines with high-tech features. Buyers love them for their reliability and relatively low price points. They’re also easier for many people to use since they don’t require you to squat or bend over to load clothes in. Top loaders are also a great option for busy families, as they often let you add clothes after the cycle has started.
HE Top Loader
The main difference between a standard top loader and an HE top loader is the agitator. Most top-loading machines have a central post, or agitator, that helps move clothes around the tub. HE machines don’t have this feature, which makes room for more clothes, but can also make it more difficult to get a complete clean. HE stands for high efficiency, and any washer with this tag has to meet strict guidelines for water, energy, and detergent efficiency. This makes them great for saving on water and power bills, though wash cycles can tend to be longer, and they require special detergent to function properly.
Front-load washers will usually fall slightly higher on the pricing scale, but with the tradeoff of more advanced features and arguably more effective washing cycles. Front-load washers often have more tub space (since they don’t require an agitator) and use less water per cycle. They’re also a great option for people in wheelchairs, or with disabilities that affect mobility and balance. Front-load washers are typically more energy-efficient as well, but progress in energy-efficient technology means there are plenty of energy-efficient top-load models as well.
The definition of clean is always changing. Many washers can clean better than ever while taking great care of your clothes, with feature-specific cycles like sanitization and allergen removal. Explore the brands and products that are setting the industry standard for sanitizing and deep cleaning.
Now that you have the basics down, it’s time to check out a few major features that are making waves in the washer industry. These kinds of high-tech additions will usually tack on a few extra bucks to your washer’s price tag, but they can all help save time and keep your clothes cleaner, ultimately making your life easier. Think about which of these features would help simplify your routine best when picking the right washer for you.
Automatic Detergent Dispenser
The auto dispense feature makes sure you’re using the right amount of detergent every time. Just pre-load detergent into the machine, then the washer will measure out just the right amount for your load every time, doing away with all the guesswork. It also reduces laundry to the touch of a button, making it easy for kids (or busy grownups) to get laundry done anytime.
Wi-Fi Connected Smart Appliance
Get connected anywhere, anytime with a Wi-Fi-enabled laundry. As smart homes continue to expand in popularity, every major brand has introduced washers with app connectivity for immense benefits in ease and control. On these models, you can check your machine’s efficiency, customize wash cycles, and best of all, start a load remotely. Paired smart dryers can also automatically adjust cycle settings appropriate for the laundry. You don’t even have to be home to do it! Best of all, smart appliances can send phone notifications on maintenance and care, making laundry easy and helping you keep your machine in good condition.
Cold wash cycles are a sought-feature that can save on power, energy costs, money and help the environment. It’s also about sustaining your clothes since there is less risk of clothes shrinking, colors fading, and reducing wrinkles. Coldwater washes are absolutely fine for most clothes and laundry items on a daily cycle. Even at cold temperatures, stains can be removed, with enhanced results with a detergent that’s suitable for colder conditions. It is still recommended to use normal hot water cycles to disinfect garments
Pedestal washers sit underneath the main washer and also act as a pedestal to elevate the front load washer for easier loading and unloading. These are a great addition for running small loads and cleaning delicates and overflow from your main wash cycle. These discrete compact washers help save money and water and are the ultimate efficient use of space.
This feature is a plus for families with young kids or messy hobbies. The built-in sink lets you pre-treat stains or do quick rinses without risking spilled water on your laundry room floor. It’s a great solution for hand-treating tough stains, as well as washing delicates and other items that need special care. We would recommend this feature if your laundry room setup is not set up near a sink.
We all want to save energy and - perhaps most importantly - money when operating our appliances. Thankfully, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a list of standards for efficient home products and identifies models that meet those standards with its ENERGY STAR® certification badge. The purpose of the badge is “...providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions” (energystar.gov).
Always start shopping with a price range in mind. Washing machines cover a range of price points, with a basic top load washer usually selling for about $500, while high-tech models max out at around $2,000. You’ll want to consider what features will make your life easiest, and find that perfect balance of convenience and affordability.
Still need more reasons to ditch your rickety washer and dryer? A new laundry pair actually offers more than just improved features, styles, and energy efficiency. See what 3 under-the-radar reasons our experts recommend that can make a big difference in your life.