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Last updated: 02/19/2020

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Technology has made our lives easier and more enjoyable. If you think about the devices that have most affected your lifestyle, it is possible that smartphones and televisions first come to your mind. However, others have probably contributed much more in making your daily life comfortable. Having a washing machine, for instance, can save you a lot of time.

These machines are also more efficient than washing by hand, especially when it comes to very dirty clothing. Not to mention how tiring it can be to clean sheets, bedspreads, and other large tablecloths. You can find a great variety of these home appliances on the market, but they’re far from all being the same. In the following shopping guide, we’ll help you pick the most suitable model.

Key Facts

  • You have countless washing machines to choose from. You should carefully analyze the characteristics of each model you’re interested in, so you can make the best decision.
  • The spin speed of a washing machine is one of its most important aspects. Expressed in RPM (revolutions per minute), this value determines how humid the clothes come out.
  • The load capacity is also essential, as we’ll discuss later on. Nowadays, the majority of models offer capacities superior to 11 pounds. If you opt for one of these, make sure that you can also put lower loads so as not to waste energy.

Our Selection of the Best Washing Machines on the U.S. Market

Learning about the most popular models on the market is a great way to discover essential features. You can also read the reviews and check the ratings from past buyers of specific washing machines to have a clearer idea of what each model can offer you. In the following section, we’ve selected the best appliances available on the American market.

The Best Washing Machine Overall

Panda’s PAN56MGP3 is a wonderful little washing machine with all the right features to leave you happy, and this is why it’s Amazon’s Choice in the category. It offers a load capacity of 11 pounds, and you can pick from any of its 10 programs to best take care of your clothes. With a sturdy stainless steel drum, this washer will stand the test of time despite its space-saving size. The Delay program allows you to do the laundry even when you’re not home.

The Best Compact Washing Machine

Dubbed a “small living lifesaver” by customers, Giantex’s twin-tub washing machine offers so much in so little. The washtub has a capacity of 11 pounds, while the spinner dryer can hold up to 6 pounds at a time. With three types of washing, this model is particularly useful for camper vans, dorm rooms, and small studios. It’s extremely easy to use and has a spin speed of 1,300 RPM, leaving your clothes dryer than most washers.

The Best Budget-Friendly Washing Machine

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This washing machine is incredibly affordable, but don’t worry about its quality: it has received fantastic reviews from past users. This compact model features a washtub of 5.5 pounds and a spin tub of 4.4 pounds, so you can do several small loads in no time. Despite its low weight and ease of use, this washing machine is sturdy and built to last for years. The great news is that it’s designed to work with virtually all laundry additives.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Washing Machines

Now that you’ve discovered some of the best washing machines out there, you should know more about various key characteristics. This will also help you understand which requirements the model you chose must meet. However, you probably still have some unanswered questions regarding these home appliances. This is why we’ve answered the most frequently asked on in the section below.

little girl and her mom doing the laundry

Washing machines are essential appliances to have at home.
(Source: Evgeny Atamanenko: 70806596/ 123rf.com)

What is a washing machine exactly?

As its name suggests, this household appliance is designed to wash clothes. It features a perforated drum so that the water, detergent, and softener can penetrate. Driven by a motor, this drum moves during the whole washing process at different intensities. You will have access to various programs and features depending on the model you purchase.

Should I buy a washer-dryer?

The climate in some parts of the country makes it almost essential to have a dryer. It can be a hassle finding a spot for it if you don’t have much space in your kitchen, or if you lack a laundry room. For that reason, you might wonder about the possibility of purchasing a combo washer dryer. While it’s a good option, it naturally has its own drawbacks.

Its main advantage is that it saves space and time since you won’t have to move clothes from one machine to another. The main disadvantage is that the dryer part generally has half the capacity of the washing machine, so you’ll have to dry your clothes twice or put half a load only. In addition, these appliances consume a lot of energy and some models don’t dry as well as a standalone dryer.

A washer-dryer is a useful solution if you live in a humid climate zone and you don’t have room for another appliance. In other cases, you are advised to keep your washing machine and dryer separate.

What is a smart washing machine?

Technology is advancing at an incredible pace, and more and more smart devices see the light of day every year. This type of washing machine has the ability to adapt to the clothes you place inside, automatically creating the most appropriate program. This interesting option will save you time, water, and energy.

Washing machine

It is important that you familiarize yourself with the different programs of your washing machine.

Are front loaders or top loaders better?

The way you load your washing machine is another criterion that you need to consider when making your final decision. You can pick from two different types: front or top loading. This will not only determine where you put the clothes, but also the size and capacity of your appliance. We’ve listed the main characteristics of both options below to help you make up your mind:

  • Front-load washer. You introduce the clothes through the front. They reach a maximum load of 29 pounds, although they usually offer efficient programs for as little as 5 pounds. Their water and energy consumption is lower, and their standard width is generally 23 inches.
  • Top-load washer. With a maximum capacity of 15 pounds, you place the clothes from the top. These models tend to be narrower and therefore ideal for smaller homes. They use more water and energy than front-loaders. They are just as efficient and are more comfortable since you don’t have to bend down to put your clothes in.

What load capacity should I choose?

As we briefly mentioned earlier, this aspect is one of the most important to evaluate when making your purchase. You may think that an 11-pound washing machine is enough and that you’ll simply have to put more loads of laundry on. However, the truth is that bigger is better. Otherwise, you’ll get tired of washing and may end up needing clothes urgently. Here’s a rough guide to figure out which load capacity you need:

Capacity Household
11 pounds 1 or 2 person(s)
13-15 pounds 3 or 4 people
17-22 pounds Large families
Over 22 pounds Very big families, or those with a particular need to wash clothes

How is the energy rating of my washing machine measured?

The energy expenditure is obviously a factor that you need to take into account during your shopping process. A more efficient washing machine will generally be sold at a higher price, but it’s still worth opting for these models. You’ll more than get your money back in the long run, and you’re also making a positive decision for the environment. Here is how this rating works:

Energy rating Explanation
A+++ These are the most efficient models.
A++ Very efficient
A++ Very efficient, but less than the previous rating
A Moderate consumption
B Slightly higher consumption
C High consumption
D Highest consumption

What programs do washing machines have?

You’ll come across a fair few programs the first time you use your new washing machine. If you get completely lost with all the symbols, you might decide to learn one and use it for everything. Or you may simply change the temperature of the water. This is a terrible way to do it, and you won’t get the most out of your new appliance. Here are the main washing machine programs available:

  • Cotton. This is the fabric that most resists high temperatures — up to 90 degrees. You can naturally lower this temperature, but never exceed the temperatures indicated on clothing labels. This will prevent them from shrinking. This program is suitable for sheets, towels, and bathrobes.
  • Sanitize Cycle. This program is designed for particularly dirty clothing, or when someone has been ill. Its long cycle will reach a maximum temperature of 90 degrees.
  • Synthetic. This type of garment generally doesn’t get too dirty. You are advised to wash these clothes at a temperature between 40 and 60 degrees. This program also has a long wash and spin cycle.
  • Low Load. Usually used for underwear, it is short and washes at a low temperature — 30 degrees.
  • Mixed Load. It is used when mixing different clothes. The temperature of the water isn’t too high.
  • Silk. This fabric is extremely delicate and requires a short program, with low temperatures and a soft spin cycle.
  • Wool. It is also a very fragile fabric. It should be washed at a low temperature and with a short spin cycle.
Laundry room

You will always find the right washing machine for your home.
(Source: Evgeny Atamanenko: 84975599/ 123rf.com)

What are the advantages and disadvantages of washing machines?

We’ve already looked at a few key characteristics that you should take into account when making your purchase. If you truly want to pick the ideal washing machine for your needs, make sure you don’t overlook any of them. In the following table, we’ve summed up the main benefits and drawbacks of these household appliances for you:

Advantages
  • They are essential in any home
  • They are cheaper than hand washing
  • You can wash any type of clothes
  • They save you time and money
Disadvantages
  • They can wear clothes down
  • You have to separate clothes
  • Some models can be harder to use

Shopping Criteria

We’re reaching the end of our shopping guide, and you’re almost ready to make your purchase. However, there are still some key criteria that you need to be aware of. In the following section, we’ll be detailing five important aspects that will be essential when the time comes to pick the best washing machine for your home.

Spin Speed

As we mentioned earlier, the revolutions per minute that your washing machine reaches is fundamental and will determine how dry your clothes are when they come out. A washing machine that spins at 600 RPM will leave 80% of the humidity in the clothes. With 800 RPM, it will leave 60%, and only 50% if it has a spin speed of 1,200 RPM. The best models leave less than 40% humidity with their 1,400 revolutions per minute.

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Noise

Maybe your job only allows you to put a load of laundry on at night, or you may do so because these are off-peak hours for water and energy. In those cases, it is essential that you purchase a quiet washing machine. Nowadays, you can find various models that offer this type of technology. There are also panels designed to prevent vibrations during the spin cycle.

BiebersgrillsTwitter Influencer

“In Germany, it’s the most normal thing that washing machines are placed in bathrooms and not in the kitchen, where they definitely don’t belong.”

Program

You might think that the more programs your washing machine has, the better. While this might be true, you should take it with a grain of salt. You should first and foremost search for a model with easy-to-use programs. The option of pre-programming your laundry cycle is very useful. That way, you can plan when the washing machine turns on even if you’re not at home.

Efficiency

When it comes to energy savings, models rated A+++ are your best option. You can also use certain specific programs designed to save both energy and water. Some machines, for instance, automatically calculate the load to make the most affordable washing possible. This type of feature is particularly important if you have a tendency not to fill your washer completely.

Load Capacity

We’ve discussed this before, but it’s important that you remember to consider the load capacity of the appliance you want to purchase. In that regard, we encourage you to refer back to the table featured in our article when choosing your washing machine. You should base this load capacity on the specific needs of your household.

You may share your home with only one other person, for instance, but still need to wash clothes very frequently. Or you might want an appliance of 17 to 22 pounds to wash your favorite duvets. Some people, on the other hand, prefer to have a smaller model at home and use a laundromat for larger beddings. In the end, the choice is always yours.

Summary

As you probably knew already, washing machines are essential appliances in any home. While you might think that every model on the market features the same characteristics, there are key differences between them. The type of load, for instance, offers two possibilities: front or top loading. The spin speed of your washer will also determine how humid your clothes are when they come out of a cycle.

Don’t overlook the programs that the washing machine features; they should be easy to use. You may also be interested in getting the most energy-efficient appliance possible. Last but not least, the load capacity of the washer needs to be tailored to your specific needs. With all this in mind, you’re set to pick the right model for your home.

Did you find our shopping guide on washing machines useful? If that’s the case, feel free to share this article on your social media. You can also leave us a comment in the section below!

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Why you can trust me?

As a literature and translation licensee and avid traveler, language has always been at the heart of my daily life. A freelance translator since 2014, I love to delve into a variety of topics that contribute to my professional and personal development. My favorite things in life? Maté in the morning, soccer with friends, and old school hip hop.