Can you get it for me wholesale? "It" being a good washer and a dryer.
February 28, 2008 6:42 AM   Subscribe

Proud mavens: help me find a new washer and dryer!

After getting screwed out the ying-yang on our last purchase I have been carefully researching washer and dryer options, but feel as if I need Ph damn D in appliancology to make the right decision. Here's what I know I want, in order of importance: ENERGY STAR compliance, good value when bought as a pair (meaning both washer and dryer are good machines), and best warranty/service records. Basically, I need help both deciding what to buy and where to buy it. So if you are in love with a particular brand and/or know of an amazing deal, I'd love to know about it. I will bake you some cookies if you save me cash, for real.*

Brands I've already ruled out: Frigidaire, Maytag, and GE. Other than that I am all ears.

(Also, I've seen this thread but since the information is two years old an update would be great.)

*Warning: cookies may suck.
posted by melissa may to Home & Garden (24 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Very happy with our Siemens front loading washer & gas dryer. No problems at all, and super efficient. AJMadison has great prices and have been good to work with, but we ended up going through Best Buy to get the 0% financing on it.
posted by zeoslap at 6:52 AM on February 28, 2008

This is very similar to the washer we got.
posted by zeoslap at 6:57 AM on February 28, 2008

We've been very happy with our Whirlpool Duet Sport. They are quiet, effective, very efficient*, had good reviews, and were very highly rated by Consumer Reports for reliability.

We got them from while they were on sale (which they frequently are). The price was about the same as in-store at Costco (and a couple hundred less than your local big-box store), but included free shipping, which was a big deal on such large appliances since we have a small car.

If you skip the remarkably overpriced pedestals, the area on top of the machines is perfect for folding laundry.

Even if you skip the Duet Sport, definitely go with front-loaders. The consensus I've read is that top-loading EnergyStar washers don't actually get your clothes particularly clean.

I've never measured the efficiency myself, but they are Energy Star at least
posted by JMOZ at 7:01 AM on February 28, 2008

I forgot to mention Costco also provides unparalleled warranties. My mother has (to my shame and dismay) brought back items years later, which they accepted with a smile. Obviously, I don't condone that, but at the same time, they do stand behind their produces pretty well.

Also, I guess I should have included links for your convenience:

Duet Sport Washer at

Duet Sport Electric Dryer at Costco

Duet Sport Gas Dryer at Costco

If you have the hookups for both, gas is significantly more efficient.
posted by JMOZ at 7:06 AM on February 28, 2008

Ours are well past their 15th year and still working fine. As I've noted in past appliance posts, one of the pluses with Kenmores is that wonderful owner's manual you get, featuring schematics and parts lists that make it a snap for the owner to perform most maintenance or repairs that may have to be done.

Whatever brand you get, opt for the most minimal set of features you honestly think you'll need. So many premium models come loaded with so many custom controls and other bells and whistles, when most people end up using their washers set on one temp setting and one or two load-size settings.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:08 AM on February 28, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks all so far. JMOZ, I considered the Whirlpool Duet Sport through CostCo but this thread from the GardenWeb forums gave me pause, and doing a little price comparison at showed me that their price (at least the current price) is actually higher than, say, at BestBuy. However, since you had a good experience I will keep it in mind as an option.

(I should have also mentioned that our current washer is irreparably broken so anything that can be delivered quickly is mighty attractive.)
posted by melissa may at 7:13 AM on February 28, 2008

If price is the main driver, you might consider US Appliance. I ordered all my kitchen appliances from them a short while ago when we did a remodel and they saved me almost $500 and delivery was just over 2 weeks. The entire process was efficient and painless. I found one other online appliance vendor with even lower prices, but elected not to go with them because of bad feedback on epinions and other sites. I don't know if they do as well with washer/dryer prices, but they might be worth checking out.
posted by Lame_username at 7:25 AM on February 28, 2008

I also purchased a number of major appliances from AJ Madison that zeoslap mentioned above. I did price comparisons everywhere in town and they had the best prices, free delivery, and no sales tax. Delivery took a couple of weeks. I didn't care about my washer and dryer being a matched pair. I ordered a Bosch washer (I think it was this one) and a GE dryer, which I have been very pleased with. You might also want to look at ConsumerSearch which is a meta review site. That is where I figured out which washer and dryer I wanted to buy.
posted by bove at 7:34 AM on February 28, 2008

We have a Kenmore front-loader washer. We like it. If nothing else, it's much easier to load and unload -- just put the laundry basket next to its gaping maw, tilt, and feed it. Then it easily vomits your clean clothes back into the basket.

Wanna save a few hundred bucks? Don't get the matching dryer. We got the dryer that is mechanically the same as the matching dryer, but instead of matching the fancy-pants front-load washer, it matches a mid-range top-load washer. Saved us like $300.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:37 AM on February 28, 2008

Seconding Kenmore. We bought a washer and dryer from Sears at our last house and deeply regretted having to leave them behind; they worked beautifully and Sears sent a guy out every year to do maintenance so they'd keep running well.
posted by languagehat at 7:54 AM on February 28, 2008

I can second the Whirlpool Duet Sport - we've had the pair for a year now and they work very well for us. We have them stacked in our condo and apart from the inevitable exaggeration of movement under spin (they don't 'walk', but they do sway) they've been fine.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 7:54 AM on February 28, 2008

melissa may- when comparing the price, be sure to remember that they charge an arm and a leg for the pedestals. The links I posted above are without (your link is with). The difference is absurd for a what the pedestals are. A couple of other points-

1) The delivery time was much sooner than what Costco listedn on their website.
2) The link from GardenWeb is about the internal heater for the water. To be honest, I don't remember if ours has that since we only rarely wash anything hotter than warm, but if you care about that feature, email me and I'll check my manual when I get home tonight.

Also, ROU-Xenophobe is right about not getting the matching dryer, but I want to offer one caveat- newer dryers have a dryness sensor which stops when the clothes are dry. This can potentially save A LOT of energy, so be sure the top loader you buy has this feature. My wife really wanted a dryer that matched, so it didn't matter for me.
posted by JMOZ at 8:32 AM on February 28, 2008

Consumer Reports's current "best buy" for a front loader is a Frigidaire GLTF2940F. If you don't want the Frigidaire brand, a Kenmore will be the same model with a different label and one differently-styled knob -- that's what they told me at Sears when I went to look at it. (I went with the Frigidaire, because it was cheaper, and so far I'm very happy with it. So are my kids.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:38 AM on February 28, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks JMOZ, I memailed you. Those are some dang cute kids! Not to alarm you, the corpse (your user name always makes me smile, by the way), but the reason I said no Frigidaire: it's our current busted make; the used appliance dealer I called said that after 4-5 years the washers tend to develop major problems like broken struts (that's what happened to us); the dryer thermostat went bad and our clothes have been scorched as a result; AND I've read lots of generally poor feedback about Frigidaire in general (see here for a sample written by a repairman who runs an appliance fixing forum).

Part of the challenge here is distinguishing between the random consumer disgruntlement that every brand has from brands with serious global problems. So it may well be that your machine is great and will continue to be so. My own poor experience and additional research has made me leery of it, though. I just want to find a set that has a good track record for a good price, and it's been very confusing to sort through all the options. Thanks again to everyone taking the time to help.
posted by melissa may at 8:57 AM on February 28, 2008

We are happy with our Kenmore (rebranded Frigidaire, I think) dryer, but much less happy with its matching front-loading washer which died expensively after only three years of light use.

Now we are very happy with our Staber washer (top-loading horizontal axis) which appears to be pretty much bulletproof.
posted by bink at 8:59 AM on February 28, 2008

Sorry, meant to link to Staber.
posted by bink at 9:01 AM on February 28, 2008

I like my Kenmore machines. I haven't had them long enough to discover any potential problems. Although after spending about 2 grand on both of them I wish I'd gone with an LG all-in-one machine for a lot less.

Still, it's a quantum leap from the 60's era machines we replaced.
posted by O9scar at 9:06 AM on February 28, 2008

I'm very happy with my Fischer & Paykel top loader. It has a high-speed spin cycle, so my clothes dry fast.

Instead of a dryer, I use a clothesline tree in the garden (a cheapo version of this idea) or a retractable line in my bedroom. On a hot day, the clothes outside dry as quickly as I can wash the next load.
posted by PatoPata at 9:13 AM on February 28, 2008

We have a Bosch Nexxt front-loader. In terms of efficiency, the thing is marvelous. Seriously. It's considered one of, if not the, most efficient laundry machines for sale in the U.S (which is why my crazy, eco-insane landlord bought it). And it does a hell of a job. We had a Kenmore before, and this just blows it out of the water both with efficiency and how the clothes come out.
posted by General Malaise at 9:20 AM on February 28, 2008

I just bought a GE Profile pair from Home Depot. Very happy with them. The 'quiet by design' models are nice; they are next door to my bedroom and I can sleep through their entire cycles.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:01 AM on February 28, 2008

I'm recommending the place rather than the model, since we got a Maytag (front loader), but we got a good deal at Bargain Barn on Sandy.

They have a good selection of used washers and dryers. And we've been really happy with ours, especially happy with the $500 price tag for both machines. They delivered it the day after we picked it out (they almost delivered it the same day but the driver ended up running late).
posted by birdie birdington at 10:51 AM on February 28, 2008

Part of the challenge here is distinguishing between the random consumer disgruntlement that every brand has from brands with serious global problems.

That's pretty much what Consumer Reports is designed to do. They'll rate on energy star, provide some very comprehensive information on performance/warenty/etc as well as test the products to see how well they do the job. I've used them lots for exactly this type of search. Their online ratings were last updated 2/08 (so, right now, basically) and you can pay a small fee ($3.95 maybe?) to access their entire database online or check out the current issue at your local library. (Here is the link to the dryer ratings).
posted by anastasiav at 11:20 AM on February 28, 2008

Unless Consumer Reports has a later update, check the June/July (can't remember) 2007 issue at the library. They recommended the Bosch Nexxt 300 and LG machines as most energy efficient & best value frontloaders, along with a Whirlpool model that is being/has been discontinued. Best Buy had/has the LG & Whirlpool units to look at - Lowes had the Bosch & LG.

We got the Bosch W/D with 15 inch risers & have been very happy with them. Works great & with the risers my wife saves her back when she does the washing (risers were about $190 apiece extra). Washing takes longer than front loaders (typically around 50 minutes), but the spin cycle is more efficient, resulting in less drying time/energy required.

Structurally, the Bosch didn't seem quite as robust as the LG & Whirlpool models, but they were around $400 more. We paid around $2200 at Lowes, after talking them down 10% based on internet prices available without tax & free delivery offered just before Christmas (don't know if that still applies).
posted by Pressed Rat at 2:24 PM on February 28, 2008

Response by poster: Follow-up: After your advice and additional research and with a specific budget in mind (if money were no object, I'd have gone for the LG Steam Washer -- zowie) I narrowed down the choices to machines from Fisher & Paykel or the Whirlpool Duet Sport. We went to Lowe's today originally thinking we'd purchase the Fisher & Paykel. However, they had a pair of Whirlpool Duet Sport WFW8500SR models on deep clearance -- they were still in the original packing but had been misplaced in the warehouse for over a year, and are no longer a model they will be offering, so they wanted to move them fast. In addition, I had already requested a 10% off coupon online; you can also get 10% off if you apply for a Lowe's card. Up until today Lowe's was also offering a $100 rebate on all Whirlpool high efficiency models, as well as a rebate for delivery costs. They offer next day delivery including installations and hauling away the old appliances, so we'll have them tomorrow morning. They also gave us paperwork so we can get an additional $100 from EnergyTrust of Oregon for buying an Energy Star appliance, and for a tax credit of $150 through the Oregon Dept. of Energy. In addition to all this, the big clincher was that they have the cheapest extended 5-year warranty we could find. This is a big purchase and we didn't want to get caught in the same warranty-less dilemma we're in now again.

Adding up all the various discounts, rebates, and incentives, all told we'll be saving around $700 dollars, plus we'll get the machines a lot more quickly than I originally thought we would. I think the big lesson for us was that in addition to researching online for the lowest price it's well worth it to hoof over to the stores in person to see what they have on the floor that may not be advertised online. Also, there are a lot of different issues to take into consideration -- cost of operating the machine over time, warranty length and quality, additional tax and energy incentives that may be available, etc. -- so it's very much worth it to do the legwork.

Thanks again to all of you for your help with this.
posted by melissa may at 2:27 PM on March 1, 2008

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