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The 5 best washing machines for 2024

The 5 best washing machines for 2024
Samsung, Whirlpool, LG, GE

Very few people (if anyone) actually enjoys doing laundry, but a good washing machine can help change that. Modern washers have new and advanced features such as AI-based load-sensing, automatic laundry detergent dispensers and smart alerts. Some are even intelligent enough to wait until your utility rates are their lowest before starting a laundry cycle. Plus, these modern appliances tend to be much more energy efficient, which can save you money in the long term.

If you've had your washer and dryer set for more than 10 years, it's probably time for a much-needed upgrade. Whether you purchase your new appliances outright, or choose to finance them, there are some great deals to be found when you shop directly from top brands like Samsung or LG, or buy from a well-respected appliance retailer like The Home DepotBest Buy or Wayfair.

Our top washing machine picks for 2024

Our team of in-house appliance experts has curated this roundup of the best washing machines currently available. Keep in mind, each of these appliances is sold on its own, but can also be purchased as a matching washer and dryer set, sometimes at a discount. 

If you're also shopping for a dryer, or looking for the best deal possible when shopping for any appliances, be sure to check out our in-depth and ever-expanding coverage that's part of the Home and Family section of CBS Essentials.

Best washing machine overall: Samsung Bespoke 5.3 cu. ft. Ultra Capacity Front Load Washer

Samsung Bespoke 5.3 cu. ft. Ultra Capacity Front Load Washer

Capacity: 5.3 cu. ft. | Best paired with: Samsung DVE53BB8900T dryer | Smart functionality: Yes | Key features: AI OptiWash, Auto detergent dispenser, Super Speed Wash (28 minute wash cycle), AI Smart Dial | Dimensions: 27 x 38.75 x 34.5 inches | Model #: WF53BB8900AT

Whether it's a washer and dryer, refrigerator or oven, here at CBS Essentials, we're huge fans of Samsung's popular (and higher-end) Bespoke line of major home appliances. This 5.3 ct. ft. capacity washer can wash a full load in just 28 minutes, so in addition to offering a large capacity, it also washes clothes faster and more efficiently. This saves you time and money on your utility bills. (This model is Energy Star certified.)

This washer is SmartThings compatible, so like all of Samsung's most popular appliances, you can remotely monitor and manage it from your smartphone. We also like that this washer has a detergent and fabric softener dispenser that holds enough product for 32 loads. It automatically dispenses the right amount of detergent and fabric softener at precisely the right time during each wash cycle.

If you're not sure about which wash setting to use, Samsung has built AI-based technology into this washer, so it can sense the fabric type and soil level and then adjust wash time and detergent amount as needed.

Samsung offers this washer (and matching dryer) in a variety of colors (like brushed navy, silver steel, or forest green). And both appliances offer a modern, flat panel design with intuitive controls.

Best budget washing machine: Whirlpool 3.9 cu. ft. High Efficiency Top Load

Whirlpool 3.9 cu. ft. High Efficiency White Top Load Washing Machine with Soaking Cycles
The Home Depot

Capacity: 3.9 cu. ft. | Best paired with: Whirlpool WED4950HW dryer | Smart functionality: No | Key features: Water level and wash cycle selection | Dimensions: 44 x 27.5 x 27 inches | Model #: WTW4955HW

Sure, you can spend $1,800 or more on a washing machine that boasts all of the latest features and functions, such as AI and wireless connectivity. Or you can go old school and spend under $500 on this basic Whirlpool 3.9 cu. ft. capacity top-loading washer.

This model is only available in white. It offers manual control dials that allow you to choose your desired wash cycle, water level and water temperature. There's also an option for selecting a soil level, so the washer uses heavy agitation for dirtier loads.

This is one of several Whirlpool washers that are priced below $500 when on sale. Just keep in mind, at this price point, you don't get certain features like an extra-large capacity or steam cleaning and sanitizing. You will, however, get nice, clean clothes out of it.

Best washing machine for larger size loads: LG Signature 5.8 cu ft. Large Smart W-Fi Enabled Front Load Washer

LG Signature 5.8 cu. ft. Large Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Front Load Washer

Capacity: 5.8 cu. ft. | Best paired with: LG Signature DLEX9500K dryer | Smart functionality: Yes | Key features: 14 wash cycles, 5 temp. settings, steam technology, deep-clean sanitize cycle, anti-vibration system | Dimensions: 41.18 x 29.62 x 33.17 inches | Model #: WM9500HKA

If you're seeking a high-end, front-loading washer that offers all of the features and functions you could want, we recommend this LG Signature washing machine. It provides a 5.8 cu. ft. capacity, one of the largest sizes out there. It's also a smart appliance, so you can remotely monitor and control this washer from your smartphone using LG's ThinQ mobile app.

This LG washer offers a Smart Grid Ready feature. When active, this feature communicates with your other devices and runs cycles when electricity rates are the lowest. 

This LG Signature front-load washer offers 14 wash cycles including turbo wash, permanent press, heavy-duty and delicates, as well as five temperature setting options. To rid your clothing of odors and germs, this washer includes LG's deep-clean steam technology. We also like this model because it offers a feature that limits vibration and helps to reduce noise when the washer is running.

Best washer/dryer in one unit: GE 2-in-1 Profile Ultrafast Combo

GE 4.8 cu. ft. UltraFast Combo Washer & Dryer

Capacity: 4.8 cu. ft.  | Smart functionality: Yes | Key features: Washer and dryer combo in one unit, complete run-time per load is about 2 hours | Dimensions: 46.7 x 28 x 32 inches | Model #: PFQ97HSPVDS

Why buy a washer and dryer when you can get both in a single appliance? Thanks to the latest 2-in-1 washer and dryer combos, you simply load in your clothing, adjust a few settings and press start. In about two hours, your clothing will be washed and dried, without requiring you to transfer clothing from the washer to the dryer.

One drawback of this particular 2-in-1 unit is its rather small (4.8 cu. ft.) capacity. This washer/dryer combo offers a ventless design that takes up much less space than a separate washer and dryer. It's also Energy Star certified, so it's energy efficient (and could qualify you for a nice rebate from your utility company).

The unit has a detergent dispenser that holds enough liquid detergent for up to 32 loads. It then dispenses just the right amount of detergent during each load. There's also a separate compartment for fabric softener. Using the GE SmartHQ app, you can scan the barcode on your detergent and fabric softener bottle when you refill the dispensers. This appliance then automatically determines how much detergent and fabric softener to use and when to dispense it. Another feature we like is the Microban antimicrobial technology that helps to prevent odors and keeps the internal workings of the appliance clean.

Best stacked washer/dryer unit: GE 2.3 cu. ft. Top Load Washer and 4.4 cu. ft. Electric Dryer Laundry Center 

GE 2.3 Cu. Ft. Top Load Washer and 4.4 Cu. Ft. Electric Dryer Laundry Center
Best Buy

Capacity: 2.3 cu. ft. | Best paired with: Not applicable | Smart functionality: No | Key features: Washer and dryer in one unit | Dimensions: 75 x 23.75 x 27.37 inches | Model #: GUD24ESSMWW

Ideal for apartment living, this GE Electric Laundry Center includes a 2.3 cu. ft. capacity washer and 4.4 cu. ft. capacity dryer in one unit. It's comprised of two distinct appliances, so you'll need to manually transfer your clothing from the washer to the dryer when appropriate.

The all-in-one unit features a top-loading washer on the bottom and a front-loading dryer on top. It's designed to fit in a closet-size space. The unit has an integrated water heater, but lacks a steam function. There's a separate bleach, detergent and fabric softener dispenser. 

There are 11 wash and rinse cycles, plus six dryer cycles. The washer and dryer each offer six temperature setting options. This unit is not Energy Star certified.

10 features to look for when buying a washing machine

Regardless of the brand, many washing machines look very similar on the outside. However, it's the technology offered within each appliance and the feature set provided that set each apart and contribute to its pricing. Here are 10 key things to look for when shopping for a washing machine:

  • Physical size: It's important to carefully measure the space where you plan to install your washing machine (and dryer) to make sure the models you choose will fit within the designated space and the appropriate power and plumbing connections are easily accessible. While a professional installer can handle connecting your new washing machine to your home's pre-installed plumbing and electricity, if you need to add these features to your home where you plan to install the washer and dryer, you may need to hire a licensed plumber and electrician.
  • Capacity: How much laundry a washer can hold per load is measured in cubic feet. If just one or two people live in a household, a smaller capacity washer will be adequate, but if you have kids or multiple people living in your home, you'll want a higher capacity washer (at least five cubic feet).
  • Front versus top loading: Washing machines come in two main designs: front-loading and top-loading. Which you choose is a personal preference and a matter of the size of the space where you'll be installing the appliance. If you plan to stack a washer and dryer, you'll probably need a front-loading option. Top loading options, however, tend to be less expensive.
  • Onboard controls: Pay attention to the buttons and dials used to control the washer. You want controls that are well-labeled, easily accessible and intuitive to operate. An onboard display can also be useful so you can see options selected, a timer and other pertinent information while the appliance is running.
  • Smart functionality: Many mid-priced and high-end washers from major brands now offer smart technology and utilize artificial intelligence to make using the appliance easier and more efficient. Smart technology allows you to monitor and control the appliance remotely using a smartphone app. How AI is used varies greatly between brands and washing machine models.
  • Wash cycles and other options: The best washers offer a good selection of wash cycles, water temperature options and other features that allow you to properly clean your clothing based on the type of fabric they're made from. We also recommend choosing a washer that uses steam to sanitize clothing and remove odors. 
  • Cost of the matching dryer: Most people opt to purchase a new washer and dryer at the same time. If this is the case for you, pay attention to the cost of both appliances and make sure they fit within your budget. Keep in mind that you can often save money when you purchase a washer and dryer at the same time.
  • Washing process: This determines how the washing machine actually cleans your clothing. For low-to-mid range models, most rely on an agitator that moves your clothing around during the washing process. This option tends to be less expensive, compared to high-efficiency (HE) washers that tend to offer larger capacities and more thorough cleaning options. HE washers use less water and are able to remove more water from the clothing by the end of the wash cycle, which means you'll experience shorter drying times.
  • Noise and vibration suppressing features: All washing machines make noise. After all, they're machines that have to work hard to get your clothing cleaned. However, some models offer noise suppression materials built into the appliance's housing to muffle noise, as well as anti-vibration technology that also helps to reduce noise when the washer is operating. 
  • Rebates, delivery and installation options: Depending on the make and model washer (and dryer) you choose, a cash rebate may be available from Energy Star, the appliance company, your utility provider or your state. This can reduce the overall cost of your appliance investment. But, as you're shopping for your washer (and dryer), pay attention to how much you'll be charged for delivery and installation, since this varies greatly. Depending on where you buy your appliance from, the service that delivered your new appliances may remove your old appliances either for free or for an additional fee, so be sure to calculate this into your budget as well.

What is the best washing machine to buy?

The best washing machines to buy include smart features such as AI technology, Wi-Fi connectivity, antimicrobial capabilities, super speed and a bevy of wash cycle options to tackle a small load or a large load of laundry. If you have a large family or know that you like to wash your king-size duvet once a week, consider a large or ultra-large capacity washing machine. 

Keep in mind, just about every washing machine has a matching dryer that's sold separately. While you can purchase these two appliances one at a time, you'll almost always save money if you buy them together. And you can typically save even more money of you bundle your washer and dryer purchase with other major home appliances as well. This applies if you purchase your appliances directly from a brand like Samsung or LG, or shop from a popular retailer, like The Home DepotBest Buy or Wayfair

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