What Should I Consider When Buying a Washing Machine?

Diana Bocco
Diana Bocco
Front-load washing machines often require special detergents.
Front-load washing machines often require special detergents.

The key to selecting the right washing machine is to ask yourself a series of questions about your lifestyle and needs. For large families, for example, it makes sense to invest in a large machine with a stainless-steel tub. Those with limited space and those who wash often will probably be okay with an apartment-size device made of high-grade plastic.

Top loading washing machines are typically less expensive than front loaders.
Top loading washing machines are typically less expensive than front loaders.

There are two main styles of washing machines: top-load and front-load. A top-loader is usually cheaper, but also less energy-efficient, so it may end up costing more in the long run. Compact and easier to to store, this type has a limited loading capacity of less than 11 pounds (5 kg).

A front-load washing machine is energy efficient, but more expensive at the time of purchase. It also requires the use of a special detergent, which can be more costly than the regular kind. A front-loader has the advantage of being able to accommodate a dryer on top or providing some flat work surface. This type of machine also can handle a larger load.

Front-load washing machines are more energy efficient, but also more expensive, than top loaders.
Front-load washing machines are more energy efficient, but also more expensive, than top loaders.

Another consideration when choosing a washing machine is programming. New washers typically come with a series of preset programs, such as automatic washing, delicate linens, short wash cycle, and anti-wrinkling. This added benefit takes the guesswork out of washing, as the machine estimates the necessary water temperature, washing time, and strength of spinning.

Size and lifestyle needs are two important things to consider before purchasing a washing machine.
Size and lifestyle needs are two important things to consider before purchasing a washing machine.

When buying a machine, it pays to consider a dual machine that combines washing and drying functions. The major disadvantage of this type is the fact that the drying function is generally not as strong or effective as with a separate tumble dryer. However, a dual machine is a great space saver and usually cheaper than buying a washer and a dryer separately.

Front-loading washing machines tend to be quieter, but more expensive, than other types.
Front-loading washing machines tend to be quieter, but more expensive, than other types.

A high-quality washing machine can be quite expensive, although cheaper models are available. Many manufacturers concentrate on quantity over quality. As a result, it is possible to buy one for just a few hundred US dollars, but it will probably only last a few years. Buying a reconditioned machine from a manufacturer known for its quality is a good alternative for those looking for a trusted brand at an affordable price.

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Discussion Comments

anon352058

One should never buy a Whirlpool washing machine in India. It is horrible and all the time I have problems and the service is also not good.

anon265160

I'm looking at how to beat planned obsolescence and actual performance stats for washers and dryers.

This industry is taking us to the cleaners because they do not have to be accountable to anyone.

This is the 21st century, and we still haven't figured out how to make a good washing machine! What?

anon131825

To who ever is looking to buy a front load washing machine in India. Please do not buy Whirlpool. Their after purchase service is very bad. and it seems their products have electronic issues all the time.

anon124924

You can buy front loading washers that actually remove so much of the water that the clothes are ready to wear at the end of the washing cycle. Unbelievable! --Slikvee

overreactor

There are some new washing machines on the market that have a built in compartment for detergent. It can store as much as six month worth of detergent. The machine is programmed so that it automatically adds the right amount liquid to each load of laundry.

Katie13

My circuit breaker says "125 amps maximum". If I put a portable clothes washer (holds just 6.6 lbs. of laundry) in the kitchen, will it throw the circuit breaker? (Can't find how many amps portable washers use). Would it hurt my refrigerator if I unplugged it when I used the washer?

Thx for any help, (don't want to buy the washer if I can't use it).

Katie

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    • Front-load washing machines often require special detergents.
      By: Kitch Bain
      Front-load washing machines often require special detergents.
    • Top loading washing machines are typically less expensive than front loaders.
      By: tab62
      Top loading washing machines are typically less expensive than front loaders.
    • Front-load washing machines are more energy efficient, but also more expensive, than top loaders.
      By: g215
      Front-load washing machines are more energy efficient, but also more expensive, than top loaders.
    • Size and lifestyle needs are two important things to consider before purchasing a washing machine.
      By: Johanna Goodyear
      Size and lifestyle needs are two important things to consider before purchasing a washing machine.
    • Front-loading washing machines tend to be quieter, but more expensive, than other types.
      By: George Dolgikh
      Front-loading washing machines tend to be quieter, but more expensive, than other types.