If you’re about to purchase a new washing machine, the good news is that you have more models and better features to choose from than ever. But picking the right washer can be confusing. Here’s what you need to know before you reach for your wallet.
Understanding the Basics
Comparison shopping is always a good idea. But you’ve got to be clear on what you’re looking for. Here are the issues you need to think about right away, and then we’ll walk you through the more advanced choices and features.
- Size and Capacity
Washers have increased in size, making them more efficient by washing more laundry at once. If you’re replacing an older machine, make sure the new one will fit in the space you have available. Next, consider how much laundry you’ll do on a regular basis. A smaller unit is fine for a single person, but a king-size washer like the Samsung WA456DRHDWR may be better for a family. It can manage nearly two-and-a-half laundry baskets worth of clothes with each load.
- Front vs. Top Loading
Top-loading washers are fast and relatively inexpensive. Newer, front-loading washers often cost more but use less water (which offsets some of the additional expense), clean more effectively, are gentler on clothes, and offer more advanced cleaning and time-saving features.
- Wash Cycles and Cleaning Options
All laundry is not created equal. Denim work jeans should get different treatment than silk lingerie, and the best washing machines have a multitude of cleaning modes designed for nearly every type of garment and fabric. Samsung’s WF456ARGSGR features 21 wash cycle modes, including a mode for bedding and a high-temperature sanitizing mode for infant clothing.
You aren’t stuck with just white or lime green any more. Consider whether the machine will fit in with your laundry room’s décor.
Other Details to Consider
- Control System
The dial-based control knob remains a standby, but next-generation washers feature touchscreens and even Wi-Fi, letting you control your washing machine and monitor its progress on select mobile devices.
- Noise Level
Front-loading washers are generally quieter than top-loaders, but check reviews to see how loud your selected washer really is. Samsung’s WF456ARGSGR features Vibration Reduction Technology to keep things quiet.
- Special Features
Advanced washers offer a wide range of additional cleaning features that merit consideration. Samsung’s WF456ARGSGR, for example, includes a PowerFoam system that creates a gentle foam that penetrates thick or multi-layer fabrics like comforters. Features like steam washing and Samsung SpeedSpray, which shoots detergent-infused water directly onto clothes, get your laundry cleaner with less preparation by you.
- Energy Efficiency
Check for the ENERGY STAR logo on your washing machine. Power-saving features can help trim electric bills.
More Questions to Ask
You may need to dig into the deeper specs when considering the finer points of one washer versus another. Here are some additional questions to ask yourself or a salesperson while shopping..
- Is the washer an “HE” model? High-efficiency washers typically hold more and wash better, but they cost more and require special detergent.
- Does the washer feature automatic temperature control to correct for especially hot or cold water in the pipes?
- Can the washer be programmed to start at a later time?
- Is a steam setting available to help clean very dirty laundry?
Key Points to Remember
Need a quick tutorial? Clip this section and take it with you when you’re shopping for a washer.
- Larger capacity machines are best for bigger families, particularly HE models, but make sure it fits in the laundry room. Hint: Bring a tape measure to the store.
- Top-loaders are fast; front-loaders use less water.
- Multiple cycle choices give you more flexibility.
- Wi-Fi features let you monitor your laundry without listening for “the beep.”
- Be sure the control system is simple to use.
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Source: Samsung Home Appliances