When our washing machine broke, we were set on a journey for the perfect washer and dryer. But shopping for washing machines is harder than it looks! We walked into the first store and had 30+ different sets to choose from that all looked basically the same. How would we know which one would be right for our family? After lots of research and time, here’s my tips to help you should you need to pick a washer and dryer set out!
How to Pick a Washer and Dryer Set
Pick your washer first – Often, washers and dryers are sold as a matching set, which gives you twice the factors to consider. Focus on finding a couple top picks of washing machines that will work, and then add in the dryers to your consideration to see if it makes a difference or rules out any of your options. Washers will have biggest differences in features, sizes, and even aesthetics so focus your search on the washing machine and then make sure the dryer has what you are looking for after that.
Know your capacity needs – Empty nesters, college students, and growing families will all have very different capacity needs. Washer range from the low 3 cubic feet to upwards of 5 cubic feet. Comparing a 3.8 cubic feet washer to a 4.0 cubic feet one may not seem like that much of a difference, but if you can wash two extra towels in every load that will make quite a difference! While bigger is almost always better, it may be a space concern or price concern to go with the larger capacities.
Top load vs Front load – There are different benefits and disadvantages between top and front loading washing machines. You may need to do some research before you start to shop on which style you prefer. As a basic guide, front loaders are considered more effective at cleaning and often have steam sanitizing cycles. They also use very little water. The downside of a front loader is they are more prone to mold and mildew and they are very expensive to repair. Top loading washing machines are nearly as energy efficient as front loading machines. They allow you to pretty easily open the lid to add last minute additions to your load. They are also often larger in capacity than front loaders, though many today are catching up or matching capacity size.
Know your measurements – Before you begin to shop, measure and note down the measurements in your space. You don’t want to end up with a set that is too tall, too wide, or just too large to comfortably work in your laundry area.
Energy Efficient – The majority of washing machines available for purchase these days are energy efficient. Watch out for ones that aren’t, though. Chances are, you will want one with high energy efficiency to save you money on your wash loads.
All the bells and whistles – Each different manufacturer and washer has it’s own special features and offers from steam sanitizing, delayed start, auto dispensing detergent, preset wash cycles, and many more features. Learn about them, decide if any are essential for your family and which features might just be nice extras. Most of the extra features won’t make too much of a difference overall, but if there are ones you know are a “must have” for your family, make note of it before you shop.
Price, sales and promotions – Absolutely everything goes on sale, so if your dream washer isn’t on sale, chances are it will be in the next few weeks. I used to think you needed to wait for the “hot” buying times of the year and only shop then. But this year, we bought ours nearly in early November and when Black Friday sales came along, the super hot sales prices just matched what we had already paid without having to wake up first thing in the morning for a sale. Keep in mind, most stores will also let you price match should the price drop lower within 30 days. Check with the retailers you are shopping at for terms. Usually you will just need to take in a receipt and show the sales ad to claim a credit back on the price difference. Watch for rebates, sales, coupons, and other offers for the best price possible. Keep in mind that some retailers offer free delivery which can calculate into your savings as well.