Making a Washing Machine Purchase

The dirty laundry is everywhere. And a reliable washing machine is a much for any size family. But knowing where to start can be a challenge. Prices can range from under $500 to up to $2000. There are top loaders and front loaders. There are additional features, some necessary and some a luxury. The important thing though, is that your washer lasts a long time and gets your clothes clean.

Here is what you need to look for when shopping for a new washing machine.

Washing Machine Type

First, you need to decide between a top loading and front loading washing machine. There are pros and cons to each model. Top loaders (agitators) are often less expensive, have shorter cycles, and are less prone to mildew build up. Front load washing machines use less water and can be less damaging to clothing because of the lack of an agitator.

Both types come in high-efficiency (HE) models, which is important for water conservation and helpful for consumer with septic plumbing.

Know Your Space

You need to know your space, as larger capacity washers and dryers will take up a few more inches than lower capacity ones. You need space behind the washing machine for water hookups. You’ll also need a couple of inches between your washer and dryer as well.

Depending on where your washing machine is in your home, you may want to factor in sound. Some models are much quieter, a nice perk if your laundry room is near the family/ living room or a bedroom.

Choose Your Size

You want to make sure you have a washing machine big enough for your needs but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to buy the biggest one out there.

A handy guide for washer size is:

  • 6.2 cubic feet capacity is approximately 28 bath towels.
  • 4.2-5.1 cubic feet capacity is approximately 17-21 bath towels.
  • 3.3-4.2 cubic feet capacity is approximately 14-17 bath towels.

Extra Features

Not all features are necessary, but some are definitely a welcome bonus. A few common features are:

  • Automatic Temperate Control for optimal temperature setting.
  • Extra Rinse Cycle is helpful for sensitive skin and certain types of clothes like cloth diapers.
  • Stainless Steel Tub means higher spin speeds and less water remaining.
  • Automatic dispensers, some which store months of detergent.

For more information and to compare models and ratings, check out Consumer Reports.