Washing machines are one of the must-have appliances that you certainly can’t live without. While you can always do your laundry by using your bathtub (some folks do it, believe us) or visiting a laundromat once a week, it is much more convenient if you have one in your place that you can easily access at any time of the day. However, there are things to consider before choosing the right one for you.
According to the SolidSmack Home Appliance and Tool Research Team, the first thing to think about when choosing a unit is the functions. Are you just looking for a simple wash-only model? A wash and spin combo unit? Or something with a dry function as well? There is nothing wrong with purchasing a washing machine with the sole capability of washing clothes. However, it will also mean that you need to purchase a separate dryer/spinner (unless you want a dripping wet shirt hanging on your porch). Also, using units with combo functions will save you space. If this is one of your major concerns, a front-load model will benefit you better. Most households living in limited spaces commonly prefer them as they can fit almost anywhere but can still offer a huge load capacity. One example is the LG WM3998HBA which has a ventless drying system and dries clothes by exposing them to high air temperatures. This makes it very ideal for places where hanging clothes is almost impossible due to limited space. However, if you are planning to have such a model with this function, it means you have to be more careful with the types of clothes you are going to use it with. For instance, in our test, we specifically avoided sportswear and clothes with rubber prints. According to our experts, doing so can cause the material to burn which will lead to an unfavorable odor after the drying process.
On the other hand, if you want more conventional settings and buttons, there’s the top-load type. It offers more traditional and more straightforward use but it doesn’t lack the special features that can make your laundry tasks much easier. Most models of this type now come with washing, rinsing, and spinning functions. They also offer a handful of programs that use a combination of the said functions so you can just leave the clothes and just check them after some minutes. By simply connecting an inlet hose to the faucet and hooking up the drain hose to the sink, it will manage everything for you.
To know more about them, our team sought the best washing machine products on Amazon. And though there are giant brands dominating the platform, we didn’t take for granted the other options available. This is why we came up with some items from less-known brands. Nonetheless, to assure their value, our research team reviewed their features and we confirmed it with a series of tests we conducted on-site. Here are our findings and verdicts about each of them:
1. LG WM3998HBA
4.5 cu. ft.
41.75 x 31.5 x 29.5 inches
LG WM3998HBA offers all the features you are probably looking for in a washing machine from multiple settings to remote commands by using LG’s appliance app. It can be a bit overwhelming for those who are transitioning from the traditional models to this modern type. Yet, the basic features are pretty intuitive as each of them is well labeled. However, we still suggest reading the manuals in order to familiarize yourself with more of the advanced modes and features to assure you know the right settings for the clothes you are about to wash and dry.
It has a 4.5 cu. ft. capacity and can handle all types of fabrics from delicate to bulky types. The best part about this washer and dryer combo is that it does all the work for you. It washes, rinses, and dries fabrics for you. Besides the ThinQ app where you’ll be notified (it also lets you check and control the cycle anywhere), the machine plays a tune that will remind you once the clothes are done.
It is also very compact. With the dimensions of 41.75 x 31.5 x 29.5 inches, it is ideal for laundry areas or homes with limited spaces such as condos and apartments. Plus, it uses a ventless drying system so there is no need for vents at all. The collected condensation from the wet clothes drips out of its drain hole, so you can simply let it flow into the bathroom or anywhere more convenient for you.
We really love how brilliant this drying system is. It automatically readjusts your drying process as long as there is dampness being sensed by the machine. In our test, it took us 3 to 5 hours to wash and dry a single load of clothes but the output was extremely pleasing. It managed to completely dry light-fabric clothes with no wrinkles after all the processes made. However, we realized that in some cases some items with thick fabrics can still come out slightly damp. In our case, we had a couple of jeans. The good thing about it is that the jeans come out very hot that they automatically dried just in another hour.
Prior to the test of the product, we conducted research about it and we encountered a lot of issues from other users claiming that it is too ‘noisy’ for a washing machine. Yet, we want to remind our readers that it is most likely due to the unremoved shipping bolts that you NEED to remove yourself. Without these bolts, LG WM3998HBA can work like magic.
Further, cleaning it is truly easy. While it doesn’t have the traditional lint trap you find in other models, the lint and hair automatically gather in the rubber gasket in the door. It is just a matter of wiping any materials after every load which we found not a problem at all.
2. LG WM3488HW
2.3 cu. ft.
25.5 x 24 x 33.5 inches
For a much smaller space, there is a need for a more compact unit. However, quality and performance must never be compromised just to get that washing machine for your small space. This is where LG WM3488HW enters.
It is a compact combo of washer and dryer with a 2.3 cu. ft. capacity and dimensions of 25.5 x 24 x 33.5 inches. Nonetheless, inside its small shell are tons of controls and features to enjoy. This includes the 14 wash programs, Sanitary Cycle, TubClean Cycle, 6Motion Technology, and more.
Again, we suggest checking and removing the shipping bolts before use to prevent unwanted noises and movements from the unit. Once removed, it can run smoothly and quietly. On the other side of the coin, while its size differs from WM3998HBA, it is still pretty heavy but the setup is pretty simple. With the help of our experts, we were able to level it and install the hot and cold water hoses and drain hoses easily.
Again, just like its sibling, it comes with a handful of advanced settings so you might want to read the manual. It is pretty much like the WM3998HBA though, of course, it lacks more modern features such as the ThinQ connectivity. It however features the SmartDiagnosis which is an app that can help you ‘diagnose’ problems being encountered by the washer.
On the other hand, while its size can be truly enticing for those who live in small spaces, keep in mind that it really has a limited capacity. If you intend to maximize its wash and dry capabilities, it is advised to just fill it with half a load in each cycle to ensure better drying of clothes.
Just like WM3998HBA, it employs a ventless drying system. It also takes 3 to 5 hours to complete the washing and drying process but once the clothes come out, you can expect wrinkle-free fabrics. In our test, bulky clothing items with thick fabrics like sweaters and jeans came out a tad bit damp. Thankfully, due to the high temperature caused by the drying process, they dried pretty quickly even when we didn’t put them in hangers.
3. COMFEE’ Portable Washing Machine
1.6 cu. ft.
20.7 x 20.3 x 36.6 inches
The COMFEE’ brand isn’t a big name in the market and we were even a bit hesitant to give it a try at first but after a series of research, we know this one can be a perfect fit on our list. With the dimensions of 20.7 x 20.3 x 36.6 inches, we would say it is more of a medium-sized unit instead of a small one. Yet, it really is still portable as it is relatively smaller than other models on the market. It also has rollers which make it easier for you to move it. Besides its compact size which will allow you to place it almost anywhere in your house, it does the job as fast as 40 minutes. This includes the rinsing of the clothes which is truly marvelous. What even shocked us is that after all the processes, the clothes we tested didn’t come out dripping wet. They were damp, yes, but this makes it possible for you to just air dry them. If you have hangers at home, you can just hang them to dry and this almost makes the use of an additional dryer machine unnecessary.
Other major things we really love about it are its settings and modes. Though it is a fully automatic washing machine, it is much more intuitive than the LG options we reviewed. As a matter of fact, we found its manual unnecessary because of how straightforward its use is. It has 6 of the most commonly used programs such as the Normal, Quick, Heavy, Bulky, Delicate, and Spin Only. It also allows you to select from the 3 water levels (Large, Medium, and Small) and temperature (Hot, Warm, and Cold). It also features an Extra Rinse option and a Delay button which make it more convenient for your specific needs. When we tried the latter and set the time we wanted, it didn’t falter and did as it is told to do.
If you hate buttons, nonetheless, you can simply press the ‘Start’ button and it will set things in standard settings (Medium Load size, Cold Water, and Normal washing program). This makes it extremely convenient for all kinds of users. We also love the LED display, allowing us to view the settings and modes we selected. It also comes with the necessary accessories you need such as the sink adapters and hot and cold water hoses. Once it is attached properly, it won’t leak.
4. Black + Decker BPWM09W
Black + Decker
.9 cu. ft.
17.7 x 18.1 x 31.5 inches
For an extremely portable design, Black + Decker BPWM09W is the best recommendation we can offer to you. It has dimensions of 17.7 x 18.1 x 31.5 inches and it only has a .9 cu. ft. capacity but it won’t fail your expectations in terms of performance.
Another thing that probably can entice anyone from having it is its terrific modes and settings that are extremely intuitive. There is almost no need for a manual that our team was able to operate the machine right away. Also, no fuss at all as it only requires cold water in washing clothes. Practical and simple. Even better, setting it up is easy and quiet! Of all the units we tested for this review, this is probably the best in terms of the noise level. It even has an unbalance detection mechanism that corrects the imbalance of load to prevent vibration.
It comes with wheelers which will allow you to move it easily. However, keep in mind that the wheelers are only on one side of the machine just like in the COMFEE’ unit we tested. On the other hand, attaching the hose to the sink is easy. It’s almost a plug-and-play type that as soon as you set things up properly, you can push a button and just check it once in a while.
Based on the load size, you can also adjust the water level. It also has a LED display where you can set up its delayed start time feature. Further, besides the huge buttons for washing, rinsing, and spinning the clothes, it also has options for 5 cycle programs including Heavy, Gentle, Normal, Rapid, and Soak. Of all, we found the Rapid cycle very favorable for busy individuals who want a fast yet reliable washing cycle. It only took us 19 minutes to wash some clothes. And managing to remove the dirt we intentionally smeared on the fabric, its output was just as pleasing as the performance of other programs. We also found its spinning process very efficient. In our test, we used a combination of clothing items made of thick and thin fabrics. While jeans seem to be a little damp after spinning, the machine did a great job for cotton shirts and other thin-fabric clothes as they come out almost dry.
5. Panda PAN6320W
1.34 cu. ft.
20 x 19 x 34 inches
With a 1.34 cu. ft. capacity and dimensions of 20 x 19 x 34 inches, it almost has the same size and capacity as the COMFEE’ unit. It comes from one of the rising brands of the era and has a lot to offer despite its size.
It offers the 4 basic functions of washing machines (Soak, Wash, Spin, and Rinse). Compared to others, it has more options for water levels as it offers a total of five. On the other hand, we love its 10 washing programs. Basically, each program is a combination of the functions of the machine. For instance, Quick Wash works by watering, washing, draining, spinning, watering, rinsing, draining, and spinning - a repetitive set of processes. Based on our test, it took 23 minutes to finish the entire cycle. Some complicated programs such as Heavy Duty and Soak & Wash apparently employs longer series of process. Unfortunately, we were a bit saddened that these programs are not explained in the manual itself. But on a positive note, using it is very simple. The buttons are well labeled and there is a LED display that will guide you in setting up the programs and functions.
As for the performance, it doesn’t really disappoint. It is as effective as the other top-load models we tested. We also love the fact that you have a direct option to spin your clothes from 10 to 90 minutes using the Air Dry program. With this, you can be sure that once your clothes come out, they would be ready just to be dried with air.
We also praise the quality of the 39-inch inlet hose it comes with. It is thick and compared to other cheaper brands in the market, you know that the thickness of its body will let it last for years without deteriorating. It also has 2 rollers installed in its back which means you have to push it while tilted. If this is an issue to you, however, there are lots of dolly products you can purchase on Amazon.
Best Washing Machines - Buyer's Guide
If you are living alone, having a washing machine with less than 1 cu. ft. capacity isn’t a problem. However, for a family, a bigger unit is a must as it offers a bigger load capacity. Choosing the inappropriate size of the washing machine can be problematic as it means washing your clothes in multiple batches.
We suggest looking for washing machines with combo functions. This won’t just save you space since you don’t need to purchase a separate dryer/spinner, but it will also make things more convenient for you. Most units now with combo functions are automatic which will let you just select a program and let the machine handle all the works.
The more advanced features the washing machine has, the more complicated they can be for some users. For instance and in most cases, front-load washing machines have multiple buttons and functions. While some of the functions and programs can be intuitive, we still suggest reading the manual of the unit especially in setting the time and drying function. This will ensure the best performance from your washing machine. On the other hand, if you can’t stand such complexities, we suggest automatic top-load types which have fewer functions.
We know how hard it is to gamble on less-famous brands when it comes to investing in certain types of appliances. This is why we conduct research and tests to confirm their quality and value. We proved it in the COMFEE and Panda products which cost lower compared to other giant brands. Though it is true that they do not have some of the bells and whistles, they are more than equipped to perform their jobs and give you the best bang for your buck.
Best Washing Machines - FAQs
It is not really suggested to manually fill water into your automatic washing machine. Besides the fact that it defies the concept of the machine as an automatic type, this can affect its performance.
Top-load washing machine models are faster than front-load units. The latter, however, can dry clothes more efficiently since they use hot dry air inside. Also, thin-fabric clothes come out dry and ready to use just after an entire cycle.
An average washing machine can last up to 11 years. Yet, this depends on the quality of the unit and how you take care of it.
A quality washing machine can last up to 11 years but you do not need to wait that long, especially if you are frequently experiencing troubles using it. If it also needs frequent repairing, it is better to purchase a new one.