The 8 Best Front Load Washers of 2021

Add convenience to your laundry routine

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Where there's a front load washer, there's an efficient laundry routine. This type of appliance isn't in the business of aggressive agitation, heavy lifting, or excessive water usage. Setting one up in your home will allow you to unload and load your clothes with total ease, and take advantage of a space-saving, stackable design. Plus, front-loading models have a reputation for very gently cleaning your items in their average-sized drums. Since clothes are tumbled in the tub, you can rest-assured that delicates, tees, and blankets will all be treated with the finest care.

In the process, the machine will thoughtfully conserve water, making front-loaders much cheaper to operate in the long-run. You will need to do hands-on maintenance whether you install a compact or high-capacity model in your house, and get into a regular cleaning routine. Front-loaders can collect mildew and not-so pleasant smells that can stick to your clothes. Many washers on the market come with a self-cleaning cycle to help with this though, and you can crack the swinging or reversible door to air the gaskets and seals out.

Long story short? With the right features, front load washers can be an accessible, efficient, and easy appliance to own. See the best front load washers below.

Our Top Picks
You can enjoy efficient cycles that gently pull water from your clothes, and a self-cleaning setting that keeps your washer fresh.
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At a low price, this efficient washer delivers popular amenities, like dispensers, a stackable design, and a steam function.
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The vent system of this washer helps prevent mold, while its smart features allow you to transfer settings to a matching dryer.
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Between a closet-depth build and cold wash setting, this is a great pick for any home that wants to save space and resources.
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With a stackable design and self-cleaning option, this washer's in the business of easy, flexible, and functional laundry days.
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The 5.8-cubic-foot drum in this washer can handle a king-sized comforter and sheets in one load, and provide a thorough clean.
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Despite its compact design, this appliance has 15 different wash cycles, and dispensers for detergent and fabric softener.
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This washer earns an Energy Star rating for how much energy it consumes, which is better for both the environment and your bills.
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Best Overall: Samsung WF45T6000AW 4.5 cu. ft. Front Load Washer with Vibration Reduction Technology+

Samsung washer

Capacity: 4.5 cubic feet | Cycles: 10 | Drum Material: Stainless steel | Smart Capabilities: Yes | Energy Star Certified: Yes

What We Like
  • Improved drum pattern

  • Self-clean setting

  • Energy Star certified

What We Don't Like
  • No steam function

  • Must run a calibration cycle

The Samsung WF45T6000AW marries the latest features with reliable design, making it our best pick for a front load washer. It has a standard-sized drum at 4.5 cubic feet and 10 different cycles for cleaning all kinds of garments from activewear, to bedding, and whites. You can also choose one of five temperature levels to rid your clothes of stains, save money (Typically, cold water is less costly than warm water.), and treat your colored items with the utmost care. What sets this washer apart from others, though, is how it saves energy and water, while also providing a thorough clean.

Not only does the model have an Energy Star rating, but it also has a drum with an improved pattern that pulls water from your clothes in an efficient fashion. This ensures that grime is not left behind during the rinse cycle, and your clothes aren't left with snags and pills. After 40 cycles, you'll be reminded to run the self-cleaning cycle that rids the model of any bacteria and mildew that's likely built up over time. When it comes to front-loading models, this mode not only will increase the lifespan of your machine, but leaves your laundry feeling fresher than ever.

Aside from an impressive clean, this appliance also comes at a decent price. Just note: you need to run a calibration cycle before you dive into your regular laundry routine and after installation is complete. It's in your best interest to read through the user manual, so you can also learn every feature. This washer does not have a steam function or reversible door, but will remain a gentle member of your household if you do follow the user manual's guidelines.

Best Budget: Samsung WF45R6100AC 4.5 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Front Load Washing Machine

The Samsung WF45R6100AC 4.5 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Front Load Washing Machine is a budget-friendly option.

Capacity: 4.5 cubic feet | Cycles: 10 | Drum Material: Stainless steel | Smart Capabilities: Yes | Energy Star Certified: Yes

What We Like
  • Self-clean setting

  • Stackable design

  • Steam function

What We Don't Like
  • No reversible door

  • Can vibrate during spin cycle

A front-loading washer, while stylish, doesn’t need to be a budget buster. The Samsung WF45R6100AC is a high-efficiency model that has the standard, 4.5 cubic feet of drum space and features of a much more expensive washer. At the same time as conserving resources such as water and energy—which can bring down your bills, by the way—this unit treats you to a steam function, a full array of dispensers, and even a stackable design. (Although, you do need to purchase a separate stacking kit to stack it with its matching dryer.)

This gives you more options when arranging your laundry room, and creating a stress-free area to tackle your chores. Now, this washer doesn't have a reversible door, which may make things a little complicated, if you're looking to stack the machine. However, there are 10 wash cycles and seven additional options to choose from, for treating certain fabrics or colors the exact right way. Having issues with the model? Use the smartphone app to troubleshoot before getting on the phone with a Samsung representative.

Last but not least, your washer is upgraded by one of three finishes: champagne, platinum, or white. Your only negative review of this machine will be that it can vibrate a lot during the spin cycle, despite the new vibration technology that's been built into it. Make sure you set up your washer on a flat surface, and that it's balanced before you run a cycle.

Best Splurge: GE 5.0 cu. ft. Capacity Smart Front Load Steam Washer

GE GFW850SPNDG

Capacity: 5.0 cubic feet | Cycles: 12 | Drum Material: Stainless steel | Smart Capabilities: Yes | Energy Star Certified: Yes

What We Like
  • Can sync with matching dryer

  • Quality venting system

  • Tumbles wet clothes

What We Don't Like
  • Lots of features to learn

  • Can be noisy at times

It’s hard to beat this well-equipped and innovative model from GE. The GE GFW850SPNDG is the ultimate front load washer on the market, and mostly because it features a vent system that's designed to reduce the chances of mold and unpleasant odors. Front load washers have a reputation for easily transferring a mildew-like smell to your clothes, since they're not as good as top-loading washers at draining the water. But, the venting system in this washer faces this issue head-on.

Now, it's still recommended to dry the door gasket and leave the door open after every cycle. But, the unit also has gaskets, dispensers, and a drain made of antimicrobial materials that'll work alongside you. It will also do an impressive job of cleaning, thanks to user-friendly features. For example, it's WiFi-enabled and can easily sync with its matching dryer to automatically transfer cycle settings. In addition, there's a 5.0-cubic-foot drum, and total of 12 wash cycles, including activewear, allergen, cold wash, speed wash, and sanitize.

Plus, there's an internal fan to tumble small loads of 2 pounds or less dry, steam function, and reversible door. All in all, the range of amenities of the GE GFW850SPNDG make it an expensive option and one that requires a lot of learning. However, it'll likely be a big upgrade for your laundry room and lifestyle.

Expert Buying Tip

"To help cut costs, you can look for appliances with minor scratches or dents and negotiate a discounted rate. This is an easy way to still get the product you want but with some minor cosmetic imperfections on the outside." — Brittney Castro, Mint CFP

Best High-Efficiency: LG Electronics WM3600HWA 27 in. 4.5 cu. ft. Ultra Large Capacity White Front Load Washer

The LG Electronics WM3600HWA 27 in. 4.5 cu. ft.Ultra Large Capacity White Front Load Washer can be stacked with a matching dryer.

Capacity: 4.5 cubic feet | Cycles: 10 | Drum Material: Stainless steel | Smart Capabilities: Yes | Energy Star Certified: Yes

What We Like
  • Allergen cycle

  • Steam function

  • Closet-depth build

What We Don't Like
  • No interior light

  • Long cycle times

If a high-efficiency model is what you're after, the LG WM3600HWA won't disappoint. This washer pairs a 4.5-cubic-foot drum—which is average, and not "ultra large" like the listing may lead you to believe—with a closet-depth build that'll work well in a range of homes. The interior can handle up to 20 pounds of your dirty clothes at a time, and a cold wash setting allows you to be even more eco-friendly and efficient with your laundry routine.

In total, the LG front-loader has 10 wash cycles for you to choose from, including an allergen cycle and a speed wash one that'll finish a load in just 15 minutes. On top of these settings, the washer also has a self-clean cycle to help keep the drum clean, and a powerful spin cycle that'll leave your clothes almost dry by the time the load is complete.

The only "downside" of this machine is that it takes a while for one cycle to complete. Like many other HE models on the market, the cycle times are long, because the washer is using less resources and needs to tumble your clothes longer. There's also no interior light, which can make it hard to see your items in your washer's drum and efficiently move them to the dryer, or reversible door. But, there is a steam function to also aid in the removal of allergens.

Expert Buying Tip

"Hot water shrinks cotton. Turn clothes inside out to protect cotton clothes from fading and other damage by the action of the washing machine." — Marilee Nelson, certified building biologist, environmental consultant, and co-founder of Branch Basics

Best Stackable: Maytag MHW6630HW 4.8 cu. ft. Stackable White Front Load Washing Machine with Steam

Maytag MHW6630HW

Capacity: 4.8 cubic feet | Cycles: 12 | Drum Material: Stainless steel | Smart Capabilities: No | Energy Star Certified: Yes

What We Like
  • Extra power function

  • Keep clothes fresh for 16 hours

  • Quiet operation

What We Don't Like
  • Long cycle times

  • No reversible door

All stackable washers are front loaders, but not all front loaders are stackable. The Maytag MHW6630HW is a stackable, front load washer that treats you to more than a flexible, space-saving build. It also has a total of 11 wash cycles and larger-than-average, 4.8-cubic-foot drum. You can make use of a self-clean setting when odors, mildew, and bacteria begin to build up in your drum, and a steam function works to remove allergens and stains that have set into the fibers of your clothes.

If you need extra stain-fighting power, you can also take advantage of the extra power button, which will increase the power applied to any load. The control pad, located on the front of the machine, houses the regular settings and additional options, including the Fresh Hold option. Enabling this option keeps fresh clothes tumbling for up to 16 hours after a cycle is complete. At regular intervals, the washer will run the drum motions, so your clothes don't develop a musty smell. This is particularly convenient if you're busy, in a rush, or frequently forget about your clean laundry.

The Maytag washer is not CEE rated, nor does it have a reversible door. However, it does operate quietly, so you can set it up in a laundry room that's close to a bedroom or main area of your home. This is a perk in itself.

Expert Buying Tip

"Map out your game plan. Buying an appliance, if you have time, should take time." — Tiffany Aliche, The Budgetnista and author of Get Good with Money

Best High-Capacity: LG SIGNATURE WM9500HKA 5.8 cu. ft. HE Mega Capacity Smart Front Load Washer

LG WM9500HKA

Capacity: 5.8 cubic feet | Cycles: 14 | Drum Material: Stainless steel | Smart Capabilities: Yes | Energy Star Certified: Yes

What We Like
  • Steam function

  • TurboWash option

  • Can be controlled remotely

What We Don't Like
  • Has a very wide build

  • Expensive

Whether you have children or are a frequent traveler who stops home and tackles a lot of dirty laundry at once, the LG SIGNATURE WM9500HKA will be your best friend. This high-capacity, front load washer has nearly 6.0 cubic feet of drum space, and boasts the ability to wash a king-size comforter and your sheets in one single load. In doing so, the high-efficiency model won't waste energy or water, and will notify your phone when a cycle is complete. To make use of this smart feature, download the brand's app on a device and connect the washer to your phone using its built-in WiFi.

Of course, you don't have to use this smart feature, if smart technology isn't your thing. This model has a range of other features you can take advantage of, including a TurboWash option that'll shorten any cycle up to 30 minutes, a steam function, and 14 unique wash cycles. Some of the notable wash cycles include allergen, cotton, knits, and sanitize. There's also a very large viewing window, so you can check in on your items at any time, and a variety of dispensers for bleach, detergent packs, and fabric softener.

Unfortunately, this model isn't stackable. It's also 30 inches wide, so you'll want to measure your space in advance. When measuring, be sure to include any doorways. A professional delivery and installation team will need to get this machine through those doors, so you can use it. It also has a left-swinging door.

Best Compact: Bosch WAT28400UC 300 Series Compact Washer

Bosch washer

Capacity: 2.2 cubic feet | Cycles: 15 | Drum Material: Stainless steel | Smart Capabilities: No | Energy Star Certified: Yes

What We Like
  • Lots of specialty cycles

  • Stackable design

  • Energy Star certified

What We Don't Like
  • No steam function

  • Requires European outlet

The Bosch WAT28400UC manages to pack a ton of cleaning power into a small, front-loading washer. It measures at just 23.5 inches wide, meaning it can likely slip into the smallest of laundry rooms or even a designated cleaning closet with ease. Despite its size, though, it still provides plenty of amenities. There is a 2.2-cubic-foot drum which is enough space for two people to complete their weekly laundry, and 15 different wash cycles, including ones for allergens, delicates, and items that should be hand-washed.

In addition, this model comes with dispensers for fabric softener, detergent, and pre-wash detergent, so you can start a cycle and not come back until it's all done. Now, these cycles can take a long time and also be rather noisy, so make sure you don't need a piece in as little as 20 or 30 minutes. When you're in a little bit of a crunch, you can rely on a speed wash setting that'll make this washer more convenient to use. As is the case with many other compact and portable models, though, this machine is fairly basic.

There's no steam function or reversible door, although the piece is stackable. For the most quick and easy experience, be sure to read over the washer installation requirements beforehand. This front-loader does require a European outlet, with 240V capabilities. According to the installation instructions, a NEMA 6-15 or 6-20 will do.

Best for Energy Savings: Electrolux EFLS627UTT 4.4 cu. ft. Front Load Washer with SmartBoost Technology

electrolux-front-load-washer

Capacity: 4.4 cubic feet | Cycles: 9 | Drum Material: Stainless steel | Smart Capabilities: No | Energy Star Certified: Yes

What We Like
  • Energy Star certified

  • Stackable design

  • Reversible door

What We Don't Like
  • Can be noisy at times

  • Needs to be aired out

Saving energy is not only eco-friendly, but also budget-friendly. For that reason, you may want to check out the Electrolux EFLS627UTT that has all the bells and whistles. This efficient model is outfitted with a 4.4-cubic-foot drum, which is almost average, and nine wash cycles that'll meet the needs of just about any laundry scenario. If you're in a rush, you'll appreciate the 15-minute quick wash, and powerful stain-fighting technology that'll tackle oil, dirt, red wine, and tomato sauce spills.

Other amenities of this appliance include a dispenser for detergent packs, and a steam function. There's a sanitize cycle for ridding your clothes of harmful bacteria, and the entire model has a CEE Tier II rating. In terms of your bills, the Electrolux washer is estimated to use only 85 kWh per year, which is equivalent to $10 per year when it's used with an electric water heater. It's also stackable, and has a reversible door, making it a very accessible option.

Shoppers should keep in mind that this machine is extra prone to developing odors and mildew, and will need a little extra care so that it's aired out properly and remains fresh. Like many other front-loaders, it can be aired out, though, by simply cracking the door after a cycle is complete. Plan to clean the gaskets, seals, and drum every few months as well.

Final Verdict

When it comes to a front-loading washer, the Samsung WF45T6000AW (view at Lowe's) is a quality pick. It's a high-efficiency model with a gentle drum and self-cleaning cycle. Plus, it's very quiet when operating, thanks to the brand's vibration reduction technology. If you want to spend a bit less, the Samsung WF45R6100AC (view at Home Depot) is the front-loading pick for you. It doesn't have a reversible door, but is stackable and includes dispensers.

What to Look for in a Front Load Washer

Drum size

The average drum size for a front load washer is 4.5 cubic feet, which is typically enough space for a week's worth of laundry for one or two people. Although this average is less than that of a top-loading model, it's plenty of room to wash a king-sized comforter, as well as a few pillowcases. Some portable, front-loading washers only have around 2.2 cubic feet of space, which is ideal if you're living in a small apartment or RV. There are also high-capacity models that stretch to nearly 6.0 cubic feet. That size is most suitable for large households who are constantly doing laundry, and would like to maximize each cycle.

Steam function

A steam function helps tackle stains, grime, and wrinkles in your clothes. In some models, it's automatically selected with your cycle, say, if you choose an activewear or allergen cycle that's more gentle. The function works by adding steam into the drum of your washer throughout the cycle, that then seeps into the fabric of your clothes. The steam carries your detergent further into the fabrics, and delicately loosens grime. Now, a steam function is very popular in washers, but it's not a guarantee, which is why it's important to think about when buying.

Door design

Front load washers can have a right-swinging, left-swinging, reversible, or dual-opening door. The best design for you entirely depends on your lifestyle and the layout of your home. If you're installing a front-loading washer in a closet or tight mudroom, you may need the door to swing in a particular direction so that it doesn't collide with a door or cabinet. A reversible door gives you the flexibility to open the door in either direction, which is convenient if you have an unusual laundry layout or plan on re-decorating your space. A dual-opening door swings and opens hamper-style. This design keeps your clean clothes from falling on the floor, but is a rare find.

Standout Features

Self-clean setting

It’s common for front-loading washers to have mildew and mold buildup in their drum, since their design is less suitable for draining. This can cause your clean clothes to have an odor, or lingering allergens after a cycle. A self-clean setting in front-load washers can be run every so often to keep bacteria from collecting, and is especially effective when paired with a stainless steel drum.

Pedestal

A laundry pedestal, which can be installed under a compatible front-loading washer and/or dryer, is a great solution for households that have limited storage space. This piece is usually sold separately, and acts like a pull-out drawer once installed. Use it to store containers of fabric softener, detergent, or dryer sheets, in homes without little kids who can easily access it.

FAQ
  • Are front load washers better than top load?

    Front load washers are better than top load washers when it comes to resources, accessibility, and providing a thorough, gentle clean. They often use less water and energy—making them cheaper to operate—and can be stacked with a dryer for a streamlined and compact laundry routine. Since the washer relies on drum motions to tumble your clothes, a front load washer can also be more gentle, and create less wear and tear. On the downside, they are more expensive upfront, and aren't always easy to repair and maintain.

    The verdict: one type is not undeniably better than the other, and the best type for you comes down to personal preference and your budget. To make a decision, check out our full top load versus front load washer comparison guide.

  • How long do front load washers last?

    A front load washer will typically last around 10 years. You can increase your appliance's lifespan by maintaining it properly and quickly addressing any repairs that may need to be done. To maintain it, make sure your washer is balanced before starting a load. Run a self-clean cycle or clean the drum yourself once a month, or whenever you start to smell odors or mildew. Lastly, be sure to only use a compatible detergent, especially if your front-loader is a high-efficiency model.

  • Do front load washers leak?

    Both front load and top load washers can potentially leak due to wear and tear. In front load washers, leaks are commonly caused by soil and soap interrupting the door seal, or the door not closing all the way. If your machine has a reversible door, in particular, you'll want to make sure the door is lining up properly and the hinges are tight enough. For more on how to diagnose washing machine leaks, go to our full guide.

  • Do front load washers clean well?

    Since front load washers are more prone to the build-up of mildew and odors, they have to be cleaned more often. However, they clean well, as long as you remember to do a little hands-on maintenance or run a self-clean cycle. For hands-on maintenance, you'll want to pour 1/2 cup of liquid chlorine bleach into the detergent compartment, and then run a cycle. You'll also want to wipe down the door. Now, if you want to get ahead on your cleaning, make sure you're always using the right amount of detergent and not leaving damp clothes in the drum for too long, too. Everything you need to know is detailed in our guide on how to clean a front load washer.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Having tested and researched dozens of laundry machines, we looked at functionality, efficiency, and overall value when recommending the best front load washers. We considered capacity, cycle options, and door design, in addition to each unit's maintenance level, vent system, and helpful smart features. For insight, we spoke with: Brittney Castro, certified financial planner for Mint; Marilee Nelson, certified building biologist and environmental consultant, and co-founder of Branch Basics; and Tiffany Aliche, The Budgetnista and author of Get Good with Money.

Marisa Casciano is the large appliance expert for The Spruce, and has researched the ins and outs of air purifiers, dishwashers, and more in the home space. While she loves her top-loading washer, she's very open to the perks of a front load washer and sees the value in owning this type of appliance. For this piece, she read through dozens of user manuals, product listings, and cleaning guides. Plus, she scoured verified customer reviews on multiple major retailers' websites, and checked out the models in-person to get a feel for their size, finish, and practicality.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Mold in Your Washing Machine: The Mystery and The Menace. Consumer Reports.

  2. CR lab-tests the new vent feature to see if it does what it promises. Consumer Reports.

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