Is the saying ‘Go big or go home?’
Well, this gift idea is definitely big…and they certainly carry a big price tag.
If you are sick of doing your laundry at the laundrymat or just need to seriously update your equipment, then a new washer and dryer may be the best items to put on your Christmas List.
Need some suggestions? I have lots of opinions on “good” washers and dryers.
Instead of featuring specific models of washers and dryers, I’ll highlight specific features. I’ll preface this with saying that these are for Front-Load washers only. Now that I have a front-loader (FL) I will never be bothered with a top-loader again. But that is a post for another day!
- Load Size Sensor – why waste water? A machine with a load sensor only uses the amount necessary. Save the environment and your water bill too! Almost all FL now have this feature.
- Sanitizing Cycle – Especially helpful if you use cloth diapers. Or you need to wash sick bedding/clothes. Or your man physically works hard every day and his clothes prove it.
- Energy-Star Certified – this goes without saying. If you’re going to spend the big bucks for a top-of-the-line washer, it needs to drastically reduce your water and electricity bills.
- Oxi Dispense Option – I’m one of the biggest Oxi-Clean fans that there is. Not having an Oxi dispenser would definitely be a deal-breaker for me. It dispenses your Oxi product at just the right time in the cycle in order to maximize its boosting power.
- Steam Option – This seemed like a needless option to me when we purchased our current washer. I wasn’t convinced it would work any better than just plain Oxi-Clean. I was so wrong. The steam option is a must for our family. It gets rid of really tough stains like mustard, tomato sauce, blood, baby poop. It certainly upgrades the price, but it does really work, in my experience. It is the ultimate in stain removal.
- Size – We currently have a family of 5. I would never buy smaller than a 4.2 cu. ft. machine. Honestly, I’d buy the biggest machine I could afford. Even if you’re a smaller family, there will occasionally be either large items you want to wash at home or laundry is piled up and you have large loads. Trust me – you won’t be disappointed by buying the largest capacity machine you can afford.
- Multiple Washing Programs – I make a concerted effort to wash our clothes on the cycle that is best in order to prolong the life of them. I need a good sanitizing cycle for dipes, an ultra delicate cycle for lingerie, hosiery, and the like and a heavy duty cycle for towels and such. And of course a Normal cycle for everyday washing. All of the other cycles are just icing on the cake in terms of clean clothes. I love having options.
- Self-Cleaning Cycle – I also thought this was a useless feature prior to my education on FLs. I’m so glad I was wrong about it also. I use it several times a month since I own a laundry business, but the normal household only needs to run it once a month or so.
- Size – If you bought a large-capacity washer, make sure not to skimp on the dryer. If the clothes don’t have enough room to tumble, they’ll take longer to dry. And that’s no good.
- Wrinkle-Shield Option – Allows clothes to tumble at intervals until you can take them out.
- Multiple Cycles – A variety of options is ideal. The goal is to easily select a cycle that is specific to the wet garment. A manual cycle is mandatory for garments that don’t fit the mold.
- Steam option – This is my favorite by far. Have a load of clothes that you threw on the bed but never got around to folding? Put them back in to tumble with the steam option and they look freshly laundered. Knocks out wrinkles and odors. I could talk about this option for hours.
- A reversible door – Sometimes plans don’t proceed as you think they might. If that’s the case, you’ll be happy the door can be moved.
My biggest piece of advice?
Buy the warranty.
Today’s washer and dryers have a tremendous amount of electrical components. Which means there are lots of opportunities for malfunction.
I am definitely not one to buy a warranty, but was so relieved last month when my washer had to be repaired. A $250 part is not fun to pay for out of pocket!
Do you own a front-loader? What is your favorite feature?
May I ask what brand you have? I purchased the Maytag Neptune five years ago and I want to get an additional set…one for downstairs and one for upstairs. The Maytags are made really well. We are a military family and the dryer has been dropped twice off the back of the moving truck…it still works! Any assistance would be great!
Hi Wende! Wow – I am shocked that your dryer still works after being dropped twice! Obviously those Neptunes are built well!
I have a Kenmore Elite He5t Steam Washer and Steam Dryer. They are so fabulous and I just adore them. I love the steam component for stain removal in my washer and the steam in the dryer for refreshing or touchups (gets wrinkles out VERY well). I’ve never had any trouble with mold or mildew in my washer, as that is a common problem in FL’s. Honestly, I have very few complaints. I’d definitely buy it again.
However, I would also buy the warranty on the washer. My husband is an electrical engineer and commented when we bought the washer that it had a huge electronic board…meaning lots of opportunity for electronic error. But this is the case with most FL’s now, not just the Kenmore. Sure enough, we had to replace a sensor that would’ve cost us over $450 with parts and labor. We were so grateful for that warranty (and we NEVER buy warranties!).
Now Sears customer service and repair? Not so pleased with them…
But my Kenmore washer and dryer themselves are fabulous and I’ve been very pleased.
Let me know if you have any specific questions!
Thanks for stopping by!