A good washing machine is essential to every household, and while they all serve the same purpose, the variety of machines available can make purchasing one a puzzle. This buying guide will take you through each type of machine, and explain what to look for in each to guarantee you’re making the most informed choice possible when shopping.
How Big Of A Washing Machine Do I Need?
There are actually a few questions to ask yourself about a washing machine’s size when you’re looking for a new machine.
First off, how much space have you set aside for your machine? If the machine is going in the garage or a large room, then this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If, however, space is at a premium, then you’ll need to start taking some measurements to see what you can fit.
However, the size of a machine isn’t all about what fits in your home. It’s entirely possible to buy a machine that is just too big for the user. One easy way to see if this will be a problem is to reach in and around the machine you’re thinking of buying and seeing if you can easily reach everything inside of it.
Which Features Are Most Important To Me?
If it’s been a while since you last bought a washing machine, then you may be surprised by the number of features available today. Temperature settings, smart washers controlled by apps, sanitation cycles for allergy-prone users...there’s a whole world of options out there.
The best thing to do before buying a washer is look at a list of popular features and prioritize which ones matter to you. Your favorite washer may not support an app, but it might feature a hand wash setting perfect for delicate fabrics. It might not allow for variable water temperature, but it might have settings designed for the stains your kids seem to collect on their clothes.
More often than not, the right set of features is more important than a washer with every big feature.
What Does My Average Clothes Load Look Like?
Along with knowing how big of a washer you can fit into your home, it’s important to know just what your average wash load looks like.
If you’re a single person who mostly washes shirts and pants, you probably don’t need to break the bank on a washer unless you plan on your needs changing. If you’re washing for a family, you’re going to need a much larger machine. If you usually do several washes in order to accommodate various types of clothes, consider a high-efficiency machine or ones with settings designed to help you out.
Yes, you can always buy the biggest and best washing machine on the market, but if you’re adhering to a budget (as so many of us are), knowing what your most common needs are will save you a lot of money and time when shopping for a new washer.
Do I Need A Front-Loading Washing Machine?
The old question used to be “Front-loading or top-loading?” These days, though, it’s more about the conversation surrounding front loading washing machines.
Front-loading washing machines are, in the minds of many, the new standard. They’re often smaller, more accessible, and their design makes them more efficient all-around. However, they are often more expensive. Sometimes, they are significantly more expensive.
Many people with the money to buy the right front-loading machine will often be better off doing so, but the fact of the matter is that this isn’t a case of “being cheap.” There are just some people who don’t need to spend the extra on a front loading machine. This is another one of those cases of knowing your needs.
How Much Does Efficiency Matter To Me?
When we talk about washing machine efficiency, we’re actually talking about two things.
The first is the energy efficiency of the machine. While it’s not as easy to get government rebates for owning energy-efficient appliances as it used to be, it’s still a generally good idea to buy an energy-efficient washer. They’re better for the environment, and they use fewer resources.
However, what we’re really talking about are “high efficiency” washers. Proper HE machines (which you should research before buying one given how much misinformation there is), tend to be able to wash clothes quicker while using less water. However, the premium you pay for this advantage can be significant.
If you’re not in a position which requires you to be able to wash clothes as quickly as possible (or if you’re not regularly doing multiple loads), then you may not actually need a top-of-the-line HE washer. Whether you want one is a different story.