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How Do I Choose the Best Washing Machine Size?

By Christina Edwards
Updated May 16, 2024
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The size of your washing machine will usually depend on your laundry needs. If you do laundry often, a large washing machine may be the best option. If you have very little laundry, on the other hand, you may want to choose a small washer. You may also want to look at a smaller washing machine size if you live in a small home.

Before choosing the best washing machine size, you should understand most manufacturers measure washing machine capacity by weight, usually in pounds or kilograms, per load. Since this can be confusing, you may want to weigh an average load of dry dirty laundry before setting out for the appliance store.

Although you may feel a little silly, a simple way to weigh a load of laundry is by holding a basket of laundry and stepping onto a scale. Then weigh yourself without the load of laundry. Subtract the second weight from the first weight, and you will get the average weight of a load of your clothes. Common washing machine sizes range from 8 to 20 pounds (3.6 to 9 kilograms).

The next step when buying a washing machine is to decide how often you need to do laundry. A large washing machine size is typically best for larger households. Some of these can wash around 20 pounds (9 kilograms) of clothes. They do typically use more energy and water than a smaller washer, however, and this may be something to consider.

Small washers will usually use less water and energy. In a large household, however, you will probably be doing laundry much more often, and may even end up using more water and energy in the long run. These can typically hold around 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) of clothes. Also, as a general rule of thumb, front-loading washers will usually hold less.

Another thing you may want to consider when choosing the best washing machine size is the size of your comforters and how often you wash them. Obviously, washing large comforters will typically require a large machine. If you wash these frequently, you may want to opt for a large machine. Using the large-capacity washers and dryers at a laundromat may be an option, especially if these are not washed often.

When choosing a washing machine size, you should also consider the space it will take up. If you have a relatively small laundry area, you may need to opt for a smaller machine. Be sure to measure the area where the washer will go before purchasing a machine. Measure any doorways that the washing machine will need to go through as well, since you do not want to be stuck with a washer that you can't fit into your home.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By RoyalSpyder — On Feb 20, 2014
@Chmander - First of all, try to put the washing machine on a more delicate setting, as that can make it less "rough" on the clothes. Second, that's generally how materials are. No matter how well we take care of our things, they will always get worn out, and will need to be replaced eventually. Funny how I just ran into this article, and my washing machine broke down last night. Perhaps I'll consider a different size the next time I go to the store.
By Chmander — On Feb 19, 2014

Has anyone noticed that clothes can sometimes get worn out when you wash them too much? Why is that? I thought that washing machines were supposed to keep your materials clean. There's a new shirt that I bought a while ago. It's only been four months, and it's getting raggedy already. I wish I knew someone solutions to this problem.

By Viranty — On Feb 18, 2014

Generally speaking, in my opinion, the best washing machine size depends on how often you wash your clothes, and how many clothes you have. If you wash your clothes once a week, it really shouldn't bee too much of a worry. However, if you only wash your clothes once a month, consider getting a bigger washing machine. You'll definitely need it, ha ha.

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