Low end washer/dryers vs high end?

swbsam

Platinum Member
Dec 29, 2007
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I'm looking to buy a washer dryer set and there seems to be a vast difference in prices between models... Does a more expensive set really clean clothes better, or are the features that are added really convenience extras not necessities?
 

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
62,385
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Originally posted by: Sabot
get the one that grills sandwiches while you wait

Oh they make those, but the maintenance contracts can be a real bitch.
 

mshan

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2004
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At least for washers, I remember reading that front loaders are supposed to use less water and be more gentle on clothes.

I also remember reading that there was some law change years ago about amount of water washers can use, so that newer top loaders can't clean well because they can no longer use amount of water they need to clean optimally.

 

mugs

Lifer
Apr 29, 2003
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No, I don't think a high end washer will get your clothes any cleaner than a low-end washer. Higher end dryers do have a "dry until the clothes are dry" option instead of "dry until the time runs out," so you don't waste energy drying clothes that are already dry (which probably isn't good for the clothes either). Our dryer also periodically turns the clothes over a few times every few minutes after the cycle ends so they don't wrinkle if you don't take them out right away. Front-load washers use a lot less water than top-load washers.
 

mugs

Lifer
Apr 29, 2003
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Originally posted by: mshan
At least for washers, I remember reading that front loaders are supposed to use less water and be more gentle on clothes.

Yeah that makes sense, because they don't have the agitator to beat on your clothes.
 

iamwiz82

Lifer
Jan 10, 2001
30,772
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I have a high-end set, they both sense the load and adjust the time accordingly. Be aware that HE detergent tends to be a bit more expensive, though.
 

tyler811

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2002
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Front loader washer are said to be better. I though have a clothes washer (top loader) and dryer that I bought from BB over 6 years ago for $289 each. They are still both working like brand new. The important thing is to keep each one level. If they are not level then your looking at belts wearing out prematurely and motors frying and drums flying out of alignment.
 

bignateyk

Lifer
Apr 22, 2002
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I would think the issue would be more one of durability vs. functionality.

Cheap washers/dryers probably get the job done pretty well, but are they gonna break after 2 years?
 

FreedomGUNDAM

Platinum Member
Jun 14, 2006
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I have a mid-grade washer and dryer made by Whirlpool that I purchase 12+ years ago. Have only had repair work done on the washer twice. We have three small children and I average at least one load per day.

I too am consider the top load vs front load washer/dryers. I am worried about the seal around the front load washers because it would seen like a possible source of water leakage.



 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
25,026
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Clothes washers are basically all the same. Think about it. It is a open tub that holds water and a motor that moves your clothes around. You can put all the bells and whistles you want (a grilled sandwhich maker as said above), but the washer is still a tub with a motor attached. The biggest difference on cleaning is the detergent you use, not the washer.

There are minor variations, of course. Ultimately, these minor variations may be meaningful enough to warrant spending more. I personally like a washer with several choices on load size. That way I don't waste water, energy, or detergent by filling it full for a small load. And a washer that does a good job spinning out the water is quite desireable to me (so you save a bundle on dryer time and dryer energy usage). You won't find those features on the very low end washer models. I tend to lean towards a few models above the very low end.

Front loading washers are quite nice (more room, far better spin drying, use less water and electricity, etc). But, they require very expensive detergent (to function properly with less water), the door seals can leak, and the tight door seals mean that many models are plagued by mold (mold was an issue that was fixed permanently in top loaders years ago, but really old top loaders still have mold issues).

As for dryers, there is even less of a difference with each model. I'd lean closer to the low end here. Splurge on a few more features on the washer instead. A dryness sensor helps, but that is just about the only really useful add-on feature.

 

swbsam

Platinum Member
Dec 29, 2007
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Thanks for the advice guys - I guess we'll skip the absolute cheapest but won't go for those shiny, $1,000 LGs either.
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
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I don't know if I would consider her high end or low end. I just know she doesn't always clear the hamper out or clean the clothes with enough fabric softener even though I tell her to use more. Should I get a newer model?
 

episodic

Lifer
Feb 7, 2004
11,088
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I have a roper washer and dryer that I bought from Sears in 1991. They were on sale for 149 each. They are running as I speak. No frills. . . works great.
 

Capt Caveman

Lifer
Jan 30, 2005
34,547
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Go for mid-range front loaders. I have a set of LG front-loaders that cost me around $1.1k on sale and love them. HE detergent isn't much more expensive and you'll save from using less water and less electricity(the spin cycle of the washer does a better job of drying so you need less time in the dryer).

In regards to the mold issue, I just leave my front washer open a crack when you're not using it. No issues.
 

rstove02

Senior member
Apr 19, 2004
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I would buy one of the cheaper front loader washers ($600-$800). They use about a tenth of the water as a top loader and use less electricity since it does not require a powerful motor to agitate 20+ gallons of water. Front loaders are also able to spin faster than top loaders, which gets more water out of them and results in shorter drying times. Avoid any front loader that has the fancy "steam" option.

As for dryers, go sub $300. All those things are are glorified hair dryers attached to a tumbler. Avoid buying the $600+ matching dryer with the front load washer. The dryers are where they make most of their profit from.
 

mugs

Lifer
Apr 29, 2003
48,924
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Originally posted by: dullard
Front loading washers are quite nice (more room, far better spin drying, use less water and electricity, etc). But, they require very expensive detergent (to function properly with less water)

I wouldn't call it very expensive. Costco's Kirkland brand detergent is HE, and it's not expensive.
 

alkemyst

No Lifer
Feb 13, 2001
83,967
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all washers are not created equal at all.

Most in a price range are very comparable though.

Once you get into the stupid money then it's really about features that are convenience only.

That said most of those that worry about this don't have the wardrobe where it matters...cotton shirts, khakis, and jeans along with the tighty whites are hard to mess up in a washer.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
94,862
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With the silly amount of people are paying for a home washer, I would have just gone with a commercial one. Sure you have to have a rebar concrete base, but you know you are getting some serious washer :)
 

DrPizza

Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
Mar 5, 2001
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Everyone seems to think that the water issue is a global problem. It's not. It's a regional problem. I you live in areas where water is more scarce, then save water. Otherwise, who cares? But, from what I've read, the front loader washer does a better job of getting the water out of the clothes, saving energy for drying. But, does it save enough money to justify the difference in expense? I'm a bit skeptical on that. We just replaced our 20 year old washer that worked great right up to the day the motor died. 2 or 3 times, I had to replace the little rubber coupling that connects the motor to the gears - kids have overloaded it a few times. It's a common repair (many people, not knowing any better, simply replace their washing machine when that part goes, because they assume the repair will be expensive. It's a repair that a 12 year old could be taught to perform in 10 minutes. ) I also replaced the dog ears just a couple months ago. We replaced it with another washer from Sears for $289 or something like that. The new washer works great. Our drier does have a dryness sensor - saves quite a bit of energy. Plus, the cool-down cycle further saves money by eliminating the need to tumble press clothes that finished drying when you weren't around.