The LG WM3997HWA Ventless Steam Washer-Dryer makes conventional laundry less messy and more efficient. It offers sufficient tub capacity while making washing and drying more effective in the long run. Its ventless drying system offers a direct motor drive along with an exceptional anti-vibration system which helps reduce noise and rattling when you’re putting a heavy load. This best front loading washing machine has the best sanitary and wrinkle care technology which uses steam to eliminate all kinds of stains, dirt, odors, and wrinkles. This electric washer also spins faster than the others, making it one of the most ergonomic front loading washers on the market.
This may be an expensive pick, but the Maytag MHW8100DC Power Pair Steam Washing Machine boasts of many exciting features you probably haven’t seen before. With a 4.5 cubic feet capacity, this is a complete laundry system. It has both a power-wash system to attack extremely stubborn stains, dirt, odor, and wrinkles. It uses a combination of steam and water temperature to minimize the footprint of a detergent, while maximizing its effect. Other advanced features include a stainless steel wash basket, allergen wash cycle, advanced vibration control system, and LED functionality. You won’t miss to care about such a striking and effective front loading washer.
The Kenmore 41302 Front Load Steam Washer is one of the first most efficient and budget-friendly front loading washers on the market. It has a 4.5 cubic feet capacity with an Accelerated Wash cycle that does the job in less than 30 minutes. It even features a perfect Steam option which pre-treats your clothing for a good wash. The Cold Clean System uses varied water temperatures to clean as effectively and efficiently as warm water. This is necessary for more sensitive fabrics and more strong detergents. Our scores on the best front loading machine conclude that the Kenmore 41302 is the best front loading washer for most people.
A Little Background
A front loading washing machine offers energy-efficient performance for both electricity consumption as well as water consumption. This makes them the top choice for a washer, as compared to top loading models. This kind of design for a front loading washer is the primary appliance design in Europe. However, many popular manufacturers in America, and elsewhere, have adopted this efficient and ergonomic design.
The horizontal-axis washer, or front loading washer, consists of a horizontal basket and an outer tub. The clothes put for wash are loaded inside the tub horizontally. The back and forth rotation of the cylinder of the tub by gravity is responsible for mixing the fabric with the water and the best laundry detergent for a good wash. That said, horizontal-axis washers use very less soap and water than top load washers. Because of which they produce less amount of suds and foam in the process.
This kind of a front loading washer starts filling with water at the lowest level. So when you throw in a big pile of clothes to wash, they soak up all the moisture and so decreasing the water level of the tub. Right then, the washer refills the tub with more water to bring it back to its original water level for optimal performance.
Now you may think that the time taken for all the laundry clothes to absorb the moisture is more than you expected, most high-quality horizontal-axis washers come with a functionality that slowly tumbles the tub containing the clothing and water to boost the water absorption. It also adds more water during the tumbling action. This feature saves both time and water for efficient use.
How We Picked
It’s good know about the features that make a front loading washing machine efficient, accurate, and effective. The first feature we considered for a good front loading washer was its size and tub capacity.
Size and tub capacity
If you want a compact, yet accessible front loading machine, it’s important to measure the space you want the washer to be in. To begin:
- Measure the width of the space. It’s important to keep at least an inch of space of either side of the washer to reduce heat buildup and promote proper air circulation.
- Measure the depth of the space. You need to add at least 6 inches of gap for opening and closing the front loading washer door more comfortably.
- Measure the height. A front loading washing machine, unlike a top-loader, doesn’t require any above-machine clearance for its door, hence leaving an inch of a gap is sufficient.
For more compact spaces, going vertical with the best front loading washing machine is best.
About tub capacity, the best way to measure the idea capacity is in cubic feet. A good washer machine, which is best for large families, a 4.5 cubic feet tub capacity is plenty. That should hold up to 30 bath towels without difficulty.
Speaking of efficiency, these machines consume much less energy, water, and detergent in the long run. If you opt for washers with the “High Efficiency” tag, they use only 20 to 60 percentage of energy, water, and soap than standard models. However, they do they longer to wash a single large pile of clothing, but are often backed by smart sensors that adapt as each wash cycle completes.
The water usage of front-loaders are one-third or half of the water capacity of top-loaders. Moving forward, a front-loaders’ spin-dry effectiveness has the capacity to rise above 2000 RPM, while extra high efficiency loaders do not exceed 1100 RPM.
Horizontal-axis loaders are much quieter than top-loaders. This is because the former comes with an often sound-proof door seal which generates more balance during performance. Top-loaders, on the other hand, need a unique mechanical transmission that generates more noise than the rubber seal used in front-loaders.
Front loading washing machines offer more reliability than top-loaders as the latter is more prone to leakage. Unless the former doesn’t offer a more secure seal to keep the water from leaking, the latter is less prone to leakage. This is because gravity is in favor for top-loaders as it keeps all the water at the bottom of the tub during wash.
Lastly, front-loaders are perfect for small families as well as short people. With its immediate door locking mechanism and horizontal drum, throwing in a large pile of clothing is easy as ever. Most high-grade models come with risers that slightly elevate the ergonomics of a front-loader to have more storage drawers underneath for better usage. Plus, you can raise the door of the model to match your preferences, with a high-quality and durable riser.
Our Best Pick
This washer-dryer is a dependable and efficient one to choose. It comes with a generous warranty which saves you time doing laundry and runs the best front loading washer and dryer combo. It contains varied washing and drying cycles with customizable settings for delicate, normal, and thick fabrics. Plus, if you want to extend either washing or drying time, you can do it on this washer. The best thing about this model is that it makes common laundering needs to the next level, without the effort. You can choose from the various water temperatures, from hot to cold, and tailor the machine’s sanitizing needs in a second.
For ease of use, the LED settings estimates how much time is left for the washing and drying cycle. For efficiency, the SenseClean monitor uses water consciously regardless of how heavy the load is.
Flaws but not Dealbreakers
This model is slightly heavier than others. It weighs at least 215 pounds. So it’s best for houses with plenty of space. You also need to make sure not to move the machine around after purchasing.
Our Best Step-Up Pick
The Maytag is a professional and efficient front loading washing machine. It is best known for outperforming other models in terms of lightning-fast operation, cleaner cycles, and noiseless performance. It has automatic control over various processes, including temperature control, detergent dispenser, and a sturdy rotary dial. It even yells out an audible end-of-cycle signal for smooth operation. The automatic bleach dispenser releases the appropriate amount of detergent or bleach based on the weight and water level of the clothing in its stainless steel tub. Plus, it even releases detergent throughout the cleaning cycle, for the optimal cleaning cycle.
There is much to say about this best front loading washer machine. It’s Energy-Star certified making it one of the best energy efficient models with sufficiently low power consumption. Conventional models cannot pose to compete with this one. It has the looks and appearance of high-grade and sophisticated front loading washer. The kind that will make your laundry hours comfortable and tire-less.
Our Best Budget Pick
The Kenmore front loading washer is a straightforward and practical buy for most buyers. It has a spacious capacity of 4.5 cubic feet. The stainless steel drum offers easy access to all your clothes. Plus, the entire section is well-illuminated by LED lights, so using the machine during the night is no problem. The glass door seal comes with a magnetic plunger, which helps in letting all the air out, when you want to. About its performance, this best front loading washer machine offers a spin rate of 1,300 revolutions per minute. It has double jet sprays and an automatic detergent dispenser that cleans all your clothes in under 30 minutes. It has 10 washing cycle settings for washing delicate to bedding or for simply sanitizing any one piece of clothing.
The easy start-up and touch-button control make it easier to operate. The Kenmore is Energy-Star certified which lets you boost cost-saving performance, all at a valuable price.
Best Pick with Accelerated Technology
The Kenmore Elite 41002 front loading washer has a large capacity, a ventless condensing and drying system, and accelerated washing technology. This model understands your basic needs for quick, effortless, and efficient laundering. With its Steam Treat technology, you can also pre-treat and tackle all the stubborn stains, paint, and odor. The dimensions of the design seem to work efficiently for housekeeping. That means, the Kenmore Elite is good for compact spaces.
What we liked the most about this exceptional pick is the Accela Wash Technology. It helps you accelerate the pace of washing and drying in under 30 minutes. And in doing so, you can get rid of the toughest of stains, dirt, odor, and rough texture of even sensitive fabrics. It has 14 distinct cycles, including a steady Allergen cycle, to remove most household and environmental allergens from the clothes. It also helps when you have bed bugs and want to clean your bedding to kill them all. And thanks to its impressive Energy-Star ratings, you can save a good amount in power bills for daily use.
There’s more to this model than some of its similarly-priced competitors. That being said, Kenmore is a reliable and efficient brand to rely on for your appliance needs. And this model, in particular, offers stable and effective performance for a long time.
Best Pick with Steam Cleaning Technology
The Electrolux front loading washer is a solid choice for many reasons. It features a 4.4 cubic feet capacity, has 5 varied water temperatures along with 9 good washing cycles, and a steady SmartBoost technology. The SmartBoost technology combines the advantages of proper water consumption and detergent use to give you the best of the best possible cleaning. It premixes both water and detergent to penetrate into all kinds of clothing and fight off dirt, odor, and food stains.
This one is a good choice for children whose clothes often come out dirty and mud-ridden. This machine uses steam and an intuitive design to get out stains. While it also offers an effective 15-wash for quick sanitizing and washing. If you want a straightforward front loading washer that performs smoothly and without pressure, go for this one. The LED screen display houses all the dials you need for better control. The control panel houses temperature settings, soil level, and spin speed for the best possible configurations.
When I say this intuitive machine can do it- I mean it. It has the kind of features that make it best for removing food, wine, mud, grease, or any other stains. It has a special chamber that premixes water and detergent based on your choosing. And this works on all kinds of fabric including bedding and towels.
Best Pick with Automatic Technology
When you talk about the best washing machines on the market, Samsung is a brand everybody knows. This front loading washer, in particular, has a 4.5 cubic capacity and a full factory warranty for long-lasting use. It has fully automated functionality for temperature control, and detergent and fabric softener dispensing. With a bright display and built-in speakers, it lets you know when it’s at the end of the washing cycle. The best part about this model is that it’s both lightweight and quiet. It doesn’t produce any kind of rattling or vibration or buzzing sound, even while washing a heavy load.
The stainless steel tub and rotary dial are all made of high-quality materials. Plus, it’s stackable for saving more space in your room. Use this best front loading washing machine for more than a year and still see no maintenance repairs or damages. You can clean synthetic fabrics for a shorter cleaning cycle time or throw in bedding and have it cleaned as good as new for 60 minutes. Oversize clothing loads are best cleaned in such a model due to its motion sensor feature. This determines the exact amount of water, detergent, and fabric softener requirements for a good wash.
Best Pick with TurboWash Technology
The LG WM9000HVA TurboWash Front Loading Washer uses steam with SmartThinQ technology for a good wash. It is a big front loading washing machine, so make sure you have plenty of space to accommodate it. With its graphite steel finish, this one is durable as they come. The door comes with sturdy handles on both sides, so they do not slam shut or bounce back out during closing. It even has LED lighting for better accessibility and an app remote control that you have downloaded on your smartphone. The intuitive interface and user-friendly panel make all the difference.
More importantly, the washing cycle starts from 34 minutes to 50 minutes for a good washing cycle. The time taken to finish a load can depend on the fabric quality and level of dirtiness. This model is good for washing light to heavy loads. It also sanitizes clothes for working with extremely dirty loads. To top it off, the performance is quiet and vibration-free. For extended performance, this washer is also compatible with other TwinWash systems. Which makes it a good LG model for excellent performance.
Best Pick with Hypoallergenic Features
The LG WM3770HWA front loading washer has the features that will make most of our readers happy and satisfied. It is as efficient and straightforward as a model can be, all at a good price. Along with offering one of the quickest washing cycles on the market, it also offers an exceptional self-cleaning performance. For a supreme front loading washing machine, this model runs smoothly and quietly. It also houses a couple of features that increases stain-removing and mildew-busting performances.
By buying this model, you’re actually saving tons of money in the long run. It demands little maintenance over the course of months and saves on power bills as it is Energy-Star certified. With a distinct 30-minute cycle, this front loading washing machine will fit well in your laundry room. The design is spacious, attractive, and portable. It has a smart knob control panel for changing steam cycles, a smart cleaning diagnosis, and start and pause functionality.
For asthma patients, this is a good choice as it features Allergen and Fresh Care performance. And with its true sanitize cycle, this washing machine diagnoses and fights off all kinds of stains, odors, and dirt. Something tells me that you may appreciate this pick more than the others.
Best Pick with MegaLoad Technology
The Samsung Front Loading Washer comes with features, like the 5 cubic feet capacity, that make it a good choice for most people. In our testing, the efficient performance of the 14 preset washing cycles and PowerFoam feature is top-notch. The former lets you wash all kinds of clothing for both shorter or longer washing cycles. Similarly, the latter optimizes the machine’s performance for cleansing the fabric more deeply by using less power, water, and detergent. The preset washing cycles include steam wrinkle mode, steam sanitize mode, eco-friendly normal, heavy duty, permanent press, active wear, bedding, delicates, wool, time dry mode, air fluff, and quick dry.
The bottom line, this best front loading washing machine offers good electric washer and dryer performance for the price.
Best Pick with Accurate Cleaning Technology
The Kenmore Elite 41002 Front Loading Washer is an effective front loading pick. Why? It has a 5.2 cubic feet capacity with a SteamTreat and Kids Wear Cycle to rely on. The SteamTreat cycle, according to testing, removes the toughest of stains in the shortest of time. The durable steam power is both accurate and effective at fighting off difficult odor. Coupled with its sanitizing cycle, this model uses steam along with high water temperature to kill of all kinds of dirt and allergens. You will not feel compelled to use strong bleaches for the job anymore.
The direct drive motor on the Kenmore lasts longer without adding pressure or power consumption. It is Energy-Star certified for good. On the other hand, the Kids Wear Cycle offers accurate scrubbing and clearing of bacteria and dirt. It rinses tough clothes twice with the same amount of water and detergent for a single rinse.
There were many best front loading washers that looked both promising and efficient, but the reason why many of them didn’t make it to this list is because they weren’t durable enough. When we started writing about home appliances, we focused on finding models that were easy to use, efficient, and most reliable. That’s how we ended up picking these top 10 contenders in this guide. All these are the best cleaners, the most accurate, and are gentle on all kinds of clothing.
It’s highly unlikely that any one of our picks should break down or cost you in repairs after a year of use. They last longer than most picks on the market and they’re cost-valuable too. We looked for features that offer quick and effective washing cycles with varied times, automatic functionality, and a handy LED control panel. What’s more? All our washers are easy to install and stackable for versatile use. You don’t want anything that feels too old-age or mechanical to use, unless it has an intuitive interface and an ergonomic design. And that’s exactly what our picks offer, all at practical prices and long-lasting durability.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the best washing cycle time for a front loading washing machine?
A. Horizontal-axis washers have been around for a long time with features that make it one of the most efficient washers on the market. The washing time of a front loader is longer than that of a top loader. But it offers less soaking time and post-wash time, making the best choice for thorough cleaning.
The washing cycle of a model also includes the spin cycle and washing setting. Simply put, a front-loader spins at least one-third faster than a top-loader. This means it boosts a faster drying action which reduces the total spinning cycle and time of the dryer setting.
Moving forward, front-load machines come with more advanced customized settings for differently types of fabrics. For example, you can extend the washing cycle of a front loading washer to 30 minutes, using the same amount of water and detergent. This makes it an energy-efficient pick for the long run. If you have a smart meter, washing overnight with the help of the customized setting of a front-loader, for a cleaning washing cycle, you can save on energy costs.
According to a study, the average washing cycle time for a front-loader, as compared to a top-loader, is 118 minutes. And the washing cycle of a top-loader is 58 minutes. Even though the former takes a longer time to clean a pile of laundry, it uses almost one-third of water, detergent, and energy.
That said, studies suggest that if you need a machine with the least amount of drying time and more effectiveness in washing cycle and speed, go for the best front loading washing machine. (1)
Q. Do I need a washer-dryer combo?
A. Many homeowners often debate the need of a washing machine that has both washing and drying capabilities. A 2-in-1 combo sounds great, but does it actually get the job done effectively? Let’s find out.
Here are the best advantages of using a washer-dryer combo for your laundry convenience:
- It saves tons of space and effort to use and maintain a separate washer and dryer for long-term usability.
- You do not have to program the machine for the washing and drying function separately. It has an automatic washing-then-drying functionality to rely on.
- The cost for purchasing and maintaining a washer and dryer separately is the same as buying a 2-in-1 combo.
- The limited drying capacity of a 2-in-1 combo is much more efficient than buying a separate dryer for clothing.
Here are the disadvantages of owning a 2-in-1 washer-drying machine:
- The drying capacity of a combo can dry only half the capacity of a separate dryer.
- A combo dryer uses more water for cooling than some machines.
- A combine washing and drying cycle takes more time.
- Some high-grade 2-in-1 models take up more space.
You should buy a 2-in-1 combo if you’re not in a rush to do your laundry. It is especially for those of you who dislike putting in manual effort in switching the clothes from the washer to the dryer. A 2-in-1 combo takes all the effort out of your hands and makes performance more effortless and efficient.
Q. How can I prolong my front loading washing machine’s shelf-like?
A. The best part about buying such a washer is that you can make it extra efficient and longer lasting based on how you use it. If you’re buying a super-efficient or a “High Efficiency” washer, you may want to do the following things in boost performance and durability.
With the help of a good detergent, you can reduce foam and suds than regular detergent. If you look closely, some detergents come with “High Efficiency” labels that are best used with horizontal-axis loaders. This type of soap offers better resilience and smoothness for optimal cleaning. Plus, you don’t have to use a large amount of detergent for a large pile of clothing than regular detergent. So it’s important to check whether your detergent is fit for high-efficiency use or not.
Keep the dispenser drawer open when not in use. This is very important as mold and mildew breed in cramped spaces. When you keep the dispenser drawer open, the constant air circulation keeps the detergent compartment clean without allowing moisture to set in and become wet.
Keep the seal door open when not in use. If you wash clothes a lot, or live in a growing family, the constant exposure of detergent in a cramped tub can lead to mold and an unpleasant smell. By keeping the seal door open, you’re letting all the moisture out. So it helps keep the interior of the washing machine dry. Make sure to clean the seal door with a mild detergent if it starts to form bubbles or mildew. You can even use a dry paper towel to clean the surface and keep it dry and odor-free.
Opt for hot water washing as much as cold. This is important because regular cold water washing can cause residue buildup in certain parts of your washer. So a consistent warm or hot water washing will remove all stuck soap and grime from the interiors. With the help of a built-in self-cleaning cycle, you no longer have to worry about using too much or too little hot water for maintaining the washer.
Make sure you inspect the stainless steel basket after each washing cycle. Many times, smaller times, like delicate clothing or socks, can easily get stuck in unnoticeable or inaccessible parts of your washer. So after removing each heavy load after washing and drying, inspect the entire tub. If you fail to do this, it could lead to mold growth which could hinder the proper functioning of the tub.
Opt for a best front loading washer with a self-cleaning cycle. This is to ensure that all potential problems such as mildew, mold, or bacterial growth is kept under control. Most times using a high-end detergent in a front loading washer can lead to mold and mildew forming, sooner than one might anticipate. So a machine that does its own self-cleaning diagnosis is best to keep you worry-free and happy.
Q. How to troubleshoot a washing machine?
A. Here are some common washer problems and their quick and simple solutions.
“My washer isn’t turning on.”
If you encounter such a common problem, the fix can either be in the powering, motor, timer, or lid of the machine.
- Make sure the machine is electrically powered the way it’s supposed to.
- An overheated motor can lead to such restricted performance. So make sure you allow the motor to cool down before using it again. Over-washing your clothes, studies suggest, can also have an effect on both your washer and your health. (2)
- All front loading washers stop working if the lid is open. Make sure the lid is tightly shut and positioned for the machine to start its operation.
- Make sure the timer on the washer is aligned with the control panel. If it isn’t, that could be the reason why your washer isn’t turning on.
“The water inside the tub isn’t draining out completely.”
This problem can surface for many reasons. It may be that there’s some kind of debris clogging the drain hose or the drain pump is jammed. Also, if you’re using too much of detergent, it could lead to many suds which restricts proper drainage. Make sure there isn’t any sock or coins wedged between the tub and drainage system.
“The washer isn’t spinning correctly.”
If that is the case, the fix can either be in lessening the load, fixing drain pump, belts, or the motor.
- A machine can get pressured and unbalanced if there are too many clothes in the basket. So reducing the number of clothes you put in may solve the problem.
- It’s possible that some sock or pen or coin is clogging the drain pump. This could also restrict the spinning due to a constant jam.
- Sometimes, when the machine’s spinning belt is damaged or worn down, it needs to be replaced. If the washer isn’t spinning correctly, make sure the belt isn’t broken or damaged.
“The washer is leaking constantly during use.”
Just because your washer is leaking, that doesn’t mean you need to do an expensive repair. Exhaust these simple fixes first.
- Check the connections on your drain hose for any cracks, foreign objects, or clogs.
- Make sure the water-filling hose is tightly-secured.
- Due to constant water flow, the water inlet may be rusted due to mineral deposit buildup or mildew. If it is, the water inlet valve needs to be replaced immediately to stop the leaking.
- If you are using hard water to wash your clothes, do not use too much detergent or a fabric softener. This could lead to suds which spills over the tubs and causes leaking.
- Make sure you opt for a door with magnetic seal. So the water during washing will not seep out under any circumstance.
“The washer is vibrating and shaking.”
If this is the case, it means the front loading washer is not balanced. The machine will start to rattle and shake if it’s seated on an uneven floor. You can place stumps of plywood under the washer or add castor wheels to level it.
When you put in too many clothes at once, it causes over-loading which could be the reason why your washer is shaking. Check for the manufacturer instructions for the maximum weight capacity of the machine before using. (3,4)
Q. What kind of special features will I get?
A. A lot of features come into play when you think about special features.
A front loading washer may consist of a Smart Dispense Technology. This technology offers intelligent sensors that sense the amount of soap/detergent the load needs for an optimal wash. It dispatches an appropriate amount of detergent and saves the remaining for upcoming washing cycles.
Multiple washing baskets
This is an advanced feature for which you have to pay a higher price. Multiple washing baskets means you can load more than a single load of clothing for both washing and drying. Or you could load all the sensitive fabrics in one basket and thicker materials like bedding or towels in another.
App remote control
Having to download a separate app remote control on your phone is one of the best special features to have. This will allow you to control the washer without having to physically go to it. This is only possible if the front loading washer has constant electric power access. Such common apps and voice control features make integrations very easy. But they come at a higher price tag.
Wrapping it Up
Case in point: the LG WM3997HWA Ventless Steam Washer-Dryer is a best choice for everyone. It has all the important features for the best front loading machine. It offers the best cleaning performance, has the best brand reputation for brand reliability, offers short washing cycles, and is efficient to use.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.