The market is full of washer and dryer choices. What difference do the various options really make? Which is best for you? We’re here to help you figure out which laundry system best suits your needs.
The simplest machines out there, a standard washer and dryer are low on both price point and complex features. If you just want to get your clothing clean and dry without a lot of decisions, then these machines are for you. Though these basic laundry systems have become much more quiet over the past decades, they are not the quietest appliances available. Nor are they the fastest: Average wash-and-dry time is a little over two hours. However, they get the job done — and you won’t have to spend the afternoon at a laundromat. The Amana 3.5-cubic-foot top-load washer and 6.5 cubic-foot electric dryer are great examples of efficient, basic machines.
If your laundry needs are a little more demanding — maybe you’ve got a big family or you’d like a few bells and whistles — the next generation of washer and dryer is a good investment for you. The big difference between standard machines and high-performance machines are in efficiency and features such as programmable controls. High-performance machines clean more thoroughly with less water, and their larger capacity means you wash fewer loads. Both of those things mean lower water and electricity costs. The machines require a high-efficiency (or HE) detergent, which produces fewer suds than traditional detergent. High-performance machines tend to run more quietly than standard machines and have a shorter wash-and-dry cycle time. Good mid-tier selections are the Whirlpool® 4.8-cubic-foot Cabrio® top-load washer and the Whirlpool® 7.0-cubic-foot Cabrio® electric dryer.
When it comes to the ultimate in clothing care, a top-end laundry system like the LG 4.9-cubic-foot Mega Capacity Front Control TurboWash™ Washer and 7.3-cubic-foot Ultra Large Capacity High Efficiency Front Control SteamDryer™ with SteamFresh™ (those names are a mouthful!) are among the elite of the clothes care world. The washer holds large loads, of course, and has 12 washing programs and five temperature settings. Same goes for the dryer, which is also a clothes steamer. Just think: You can skip handwashing delicates and never leave home with wrinkled pants again. Plus, these machines are fast, energy efficient, and so quiet you’ll hardly know they’re running. The only thing they can’t do? Fold your clothes and put them away.
You still have to do that yourself.