The One Thing to Know Before Buying a Front-Loading Washing Machine
There are a lot of reasons to opt for front-loading machines, let us name a few. The flexibility for stacking them. The ease of pulling items out the front of the washer and straight into the front of the dryer. And for us five-foot-tall folks, there's less risk of toppling in yourself.
Front-loading machines are also known for being more efficient than top-loaders. According to Consumer Reports, "The best front-loaders clean better and are gentler than the best HE top-loading washing machines while using less water."
But that doesn't come without a cost. Front-loaders can cost up to around $2,000. That's the far end of the spectrum, but it's not uncommon to see $1,300-$1,500 options. And that might not include the pedestal, which can run another $200 or $250. (But the storage is so worth it.)
And as Consumer Reports notes, "The best HE top-loader, the LG WT5680HVA, runs $1,000. Some impressive HE top-loader washers cost $650 or less, including the Kenmore 27132."
But you also may end up paying for repairs. Front-loaders are infamous for mold and mildew issues, which many manufacturers have since been quick to address. The Sweet Home spoke with repairmen to find out if that's still true. Turns out that often, user error is to blame. "If you use the wrong detergent, too much detergent, or too much fabric softener, or let the drum and gaskets stay wet between uses, mildew and mold will grow in your washer and it'll stink. Top-loaders, on the other hand, rarely end up reeking like mildew, because moisture can easily evaporate out of the unsealed top door." The solution? Let the door and drum air out after using, only use a modest amount of detergent, and regularly run a self-cleaning cycle. No stinky washers here!
So tell us, are you a loyal top-loader? An avid front-loading fan? Every laundry room and routine is different—it all comes down to personal preference.