Front-Loading Washing Machine Purchasing Advice
June 5, 2010 5:35 AM   Subscribe

What is the best, most-reliable front-loading washing machine one can get for under $1000?

This question hasn't been asked in a couple years, so I thought I'd ask again as we're in the market. Currently have a front-loading Whirlpool Duet, which has given us a bunch of trouble. Looking for reliable performance via moderately heavy use (at least one load a day, sometimes two).

Ideally we'd spend btw $600-$700, but would be willing to go up to $1000 if we knew it would be reliable for many years.

What should we consider?
posted by Ike_Arumba to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
In the past I've found good info in the Yale Appliance Blog.
posted by alms at 6:25 AM on June 5, 2010

A washer repairman who I talked with a couple days ago said he'd buy Kenmore in a heart beat in terms of reliability.
posted by Atreides at 6:26 AM on June 5, 2010

Just a word of caution - I had a base model Kenmore that bit the dust after about 4 years. Repairs to fix it were approximately 75% of the purchase price, so I never bothered fixing it. I had read only good things about Kenmore too, but it seems the base model might be a bit of a lemon (going by reviews I've read on the model since).
posted by backwards guitar at 7:58 AM on June 5, 2010

As a purely anecdotal point of comparison with backwards guitar, we've have the base model Kenmore (the one that goes for $650-700 US) for seven years now and had no problems. Very pleased. I like that it looks so nondescript - when front loaders took off in the US they immeadiately became chrome behemoths with oversize doors and digital controls, etc.

Also, I've had the front off the Kenmore and the build quality is quite decent - lots of cast aluminum and EPDM parts, and the electronics are built to European standards.
posted by werkzeuger at 8:22 AM on June 5, 2010

Oh, and we're washing cloth diapers for 8 mo old twins at least once every 24hrs in hot water. Takes very little soap.

posted by werkzeuger at 8:26 AM on June 5, 2010

According to the most recent review in Consumer Reports, the $800 Kenmore 4027[2] was their highest rated.
posted by No New Diamonds Please at 8:47 AM on June 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Do they sell Bosch in the US? Rated best in Europe.
posted by A189Nut at 8:55 AM on June 5, 2010

I've had a Bosch front-loading washing machine, a dishwashers, a refrigerator and all kinds of garden tools. And I've been consistently impressed with how long they last and how well they do their respective jobs.

Mind you, we don't see a lot of Kenmore appliances over here (the UK), so I can't offer any points of comparison.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 9:04 AM on June 5, 2010

The most common complaint online about Bosch in the US is an ongoing issue with the door gaskets, and that the parts/service situation isn't quite up to scratch. I was inclined to spend the extra, knowing their reputation back in Europe, but ultimately decided against it.

We bought th entry-level Amana from Home Depot (a Whirlpool brand, but made by Samsung) which is often available for under $600 before tax. It's lacking a built-in thermostat (though we mainly wash on cold) and the spin speed isn't up to what I'd like from a front loader, but it does the job and hasn't shown any signs of trouble over six months. Their new version, which came out in January, spins slightly faster and has a redesigned control panel (fixing another niggle) so it might be worth a look.

(Going somewhat over the $1000 limit, the little Miele W1612 is meant to be the dog's bollocks, but I'm pretty sure it's only sold in Canada right now.)
posted by holgate at 9:50 AM on June 5, 2010

I have a Bosch front-loader. You must remove clothes immediately and dry it, or it will go mildew-y. Too small a load and it will not spin, for which the repair folks will send someone out to your house, and attempt to charge you. "Nope, not covered under our repair agreement, yeah, they couldda told ya by phone. I get a lot of these calls..."

My clothes get very clean and they dry way faster, so the front-loader's been worth it.
posted by Mom at 3:48 PM on June 5, 2010

I have had a Kenmore mid-level washer for six (I think) years, and am still very happy with it. It was the most energy-efficient one they had that fit my budget, which was definitely under $1000.
posted by gingerbeer at 7:43 PM on June 5, 2010

Love every Bosch appliance I've had so far (washer, dryer, dishwasher).
posted by madmethods at 8:40 PM on June 5, 2010

We've had very good luck with Bosch front-loading clothes washers. (Just don't get the Hieronymus model. That was a mistake.)
posted by pracowity at 1:55 AM on June 6, 2010

I bought whirlpool duet a few years ago and love it. I think it is in your price range.
posted by bluesky43 at 11:40 AM on June 6, 2010

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