Whether destined to live in your house or your basement, a washing machine, and it's handy sidekick, dryer
, are cornerstones in our world of personal hygiene. Yes, they can be expensive, but getting the most expensive model will probably only get your clothes a teeny bit cleaner. Yes, there are plenty of nifty functions available on the higher end models, but ask yourself exactly how much you need those functions, and weigh out if the extra expense is satisfactory. There are a lot of options available to you, and many (even basic machines) come with a lot of great functions that make laundry a little easier. There are also the handy styles like Important Features
recommends buying the largest machine you can for your space and budget.
* Consider linens
that will need washing. Buy one big enough to clean your bed linens, particularly your comforter
(unless it is dry clean only of course).
* Want to help the environment? Buying the biggest machine you can will cut down on the amount of loads you need to do, saving water and electricity. Buy one that is Energy Star rated to protect the environment and lower your electric and water bill. Check out our Green Guide
for more info.
* Where will you put the washing machine?
* If it's going next to a living room choose the quietest model possible.
'''Buttons and Knobs'''
* Some machines have sleek electronic displays with lots of touch-pad buttons.
* Electronic buttons may not be as durable as an oldloading machines.
* On highefficiency ones, you may not have a choice.
* Watch out for models that try to lure you in with lots of different pre-programmed settings.
* A few such as Bright Colors, Whites and Delicates are nice but you probably don't need more than six or seven.
* Usually the conditions used in those extra settings can be duplicated with the right combination of intensity, water temperature and soak time on any other machine.
'''Porcelain vs. Stainless Steel'''
* Stainless steel tub washing machines
are preferable for the tub.
* It won't rust or chip, and is sturdier than porcelain tub washing machines
'''Automatic Water Controls'''
* Temperature Control: Automatically chooses the correct temperature for each cycle.
* Level Control: Adjusts the water level automatically to the size of the load of laundry.
** They tend to be smaller, handling from eight to 12lbs. of clothing.
** More expensive but they are quiet and perform as well as their larger counterparts.
** Top Manufacturers: European brands Miele
** This is an optimum choice for those who want the quality and modest prices of side by side washer and dryer models.
** Larger than compacts, they can handle larger loads.
* '''Laundry Centers
** One unit model: if it breaks, that might mean that the whole thing needs to be replaced.
** Usually about six feet tall and as narrow as the compacts.
** Sometimes the quality of the two components are not equal.
For more products related to the laundry room, these guides may be helpful.
*Our guide to GE Appliances
could be useful in helping you find the product you want.