Help me choose a front loader washing machine
December 29, 2011 12:49 AM   Subscribe

What is the best front loading washing machine, for under $1000, available in Australia, that meets this criteria:

We're moving to a new flat and want to buy a front loader washing machine for the first time (long-term, top loader user). We only do standard washes of clothes, sheets, towels for a 2-person household.

1) quiet: the machine will be located in our kitchen/open plan dining area, so noise level is a concern.

2) stable: we are on the 2nd floor, so we don't want a machine that jumps around as it goes through its spin cycles.

3) efficient: energy and water efficiency is an important consideration for us.

4) reliable: is known for being well made and/or good warranty.

5) size: 5-7kg is ideal.

I am also keen to hear your recommendations for online options to purchase from, and/or good shops in Sydney (inner west).

Thank you.
posted by MT to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Appliances online (one word) have been very good for me. Your needs are slightly different to mine but I chose with an online subscription to choice magazine, which is very thorough in these matters. Good luck.
posted by jojobobo at 4:03 AM on December 29, 2011

Best answer: I've also had great success with researching a bunch of whitegood purchases through choice and then buying on appliancesonline. Appliancesonline has great service too, and really fast installation.

The latest choice review lists noise as a metric, as well as the energy and water efficiency of each model, so you could pick up a report for that quite easily. The Electrolux EWF1074 looks like it's done well against your requirements of noise and efficiency. (it's also on sale at appliancesonline. handy!). Hopefully that's a good research start point for you?

In terms of other feedback: I got a larger kg one that was more quiet than some of the lower kg models. I got a Samsung whisperdrive thingie, and it's been quite whispery and generally great. I've found Front Loaders to be way more quiet and far less jumpy than top loaders. Much happier with the water usage, too.

I am absolutely a front-loader convert, and sound a bit laundry obsessed. whoops.
posted by pymsical at 9:48 PM on December 29, 2011

We bought a frontloader Bosch Classixx from the local Good Guys store in Melbourne about six months ago on the basis of it being a good fit for our price and size requirements, and it's pretty energy and water efficient. It's quiet, immobile and takes 5-7kg. No problems yet. We only use it on the 15 min wash setting (very convenient if you're in a hurry). The other programs take forever, but haven't missed them.
posted by kittiwake at 4:14 AM on December 30, 2011

We just purchased a stacking Bosch set for our Sydney flat. I'm afraid we didn't do much research, other than cost, so I can't answer your questions about noise and efficiency. (We're originally from the US, so we're not familiar with a lot of the brands in Australia.) Because we needed a stacking washer/dryer set, with a condensing dryer, that narrowed down our options a fair bit. We had planned to get a Fisher & Paykel set, mainly because we wanted something with a good price/quality ratio. We've used that brand in other rentals and had a friend recommend it. But the salesperson ended up talking us into a slightly more expensive Bosch set, as he claimed the quality would be much better. (My dad also advised that Fisher & Paykel often gets poor reviews for reliability, so I think the salesman was not just trying to upsell.)

We literally just had it installed, and have run a couple loads of wash so far. It seems to be running very quietly, although it is shut away in a closet. Past experience with having the washing machine installed in the kitchen is that the spin cycle is the noisiest part, and can indeed make a ruckus for you and the neighbours below, especially if your floor is not completely level. I think all the front loaders are pretty energy and water efficient. We got the Classix 1000rpm model. The salesman said that in a drier climate like Sydney, it wasn't necessary to have the higher 1200-1400rpm. The lower rpms might also help address the noise issue for you.

I did want to recommend a local retailer. We researched at appliancesonline first, but decided against buying from them because we can't take a day off work easily to wait for a delivery. But they provide a good price baseline to work from. We looked at some of the chains like Harvey Norman, but there were similar issues around delivery with the holidays. We ended up popping into a local chain called Winning Appliances, and found that they had a good selection available, and free next day delivery to boot. It was a good shopping experience-- very low key, with no staff breathing down our necks while we shopped, but very helpful once we had surveyed our options and had questions. The washer was the same price as appliancesonline. A far better shopping experience than Bing Lee or Harvey Norman. (And with all the fuss lately about the big chains passing off returned goods as new, we figured it couldn't hurt to go with a local family-owned business.)
posted by amusebuche at 4:57 AM on December 30, 2011

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