In The Market For A New Washer & Dryer (Best Brand? Top Loader? Front Loader?)

The time has finally come, and I am now in the market for a new washer and dryer. I’ve been researching and searching for days (and probably missed some great Memorial Day sales), but I still have no idea what I should buy. I’ve read countless customer reviews on numerous washer and dryer sets, but they didn’t seem to clarify anything. What is the best brand of washer and dryer? And do I want a top loader or a front loader? My head is spinning.

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For the last ten years, I’ve been living with a very basic Kenmore 70 Series washer and dryer. They look like this…

I’ve actually used these for much longer than 10 years. (Not this exact set that I have now, but the Kenmore 70 Series in general.) I did a little googling, and the Kenmore 70 Series dates back to the 70s. It’s actually what I purchased when I had my own apartment in my 20s. I sold those when I moved to Turkey, but when I came back to the States, I remembered loving those so much that I searched for and bought another Kenmore set for my apartment. And those followed me to our new house in Oregon after Matt and I got married.

Then when we moved into this house, I figured that I’d eventually get a brand new washer and dryer, but I decided that while I waited until I had a nice laundry room or laundry area, I’d purchase another Kenmore set just to hold me over in the meantime. I’m pretty sure I got the set for somewhere around $300 or $350.

Well, that’s been almost 10 years ago now. And that’s precisely why I’ve kept buying these simple Kenmore washers and dryers for the last 20+ years. These things are absolute beasts. They’re durable and reliable, and because nothing on them is computerized, they’re cheap to fix if something goes wrong.

But the time has come. A few months ago, I noticed that the bottom of the washer was rusting and leaking some water every time I’d do a load of laundry. I never really worried about it because my washer and dryer are in the sunroom (a term I use very loosely). Do you remember what the sunroom looks like? This is what it looked like when we moved in…

And nothing has changed today except that the room is filled with stuff. I basically use it as a storage room, and it’s where I have my big tool chest, shelves holding paint, polyurethane, and stains, leftover supplies from projects, extra lumber, large tools, etc.

The room is ground level (the rest of the house is on a pier and beam foundation about 18 inches from the ground), and whoever built this room created the floor by putting two layers of heavy plastic over concrete (which I’m assuming was the original outdoor patio) followed by a layer of particle board, topped with two layers of thin commercial-style carpet. Every time it rains hard, water comes in under the back sliding door. So needless to say, a little bit of water leaking out from the rusted corner of the washer with each load of laundry really can’t make this room much worse than it already is.

But a few days ago, the agitator in the washer completely stopped working reliably. (I could get it started if I turned it manually for a minute or two). But a couple of days later, the agitator stopped working completely, and the water wouldn’t drain out. All of that with the rust at the bottom means that it’s really not worth putting money in it to fix it. And sometimes, the dryer decides that it doesn’t want to heat up, so it just blows cold air. It’s only done that twice in the last year, but it’s still inconvenient.

So here I am, for the first time in my entire life, ready to buy a brand new washer and dryer. I’ve decided that after all this time, I don’t want to buy more used appliances. I want them to be new. I just don’t know what kind to buy.

What I like about top-load washers

  1. I’m used to them. I’ve never had anything else. And it’s human nature to be drawn to what we’re familiar with.
  2. In my mind, it just seems like they work better. I know that’s probably not true, but having a tub that fills with water and has an agitator in it just makes sense to me. 😀
  3. I always wonder about the random scenarios. What if I want to dye some fabric? Sure, I’ve only done that about three times in the last 10 years 😀 , but can that even be done in a front-load washer? I don’t see how.

What I like about front-load washers

  1. You can have a countertop over the washer/dryer set, which I think looks nice and clean. And when I’m envisioning what our future laundry room may look like, I always picture a countertop over the washer and dryer. That wouldn’t work with a top-loader.
  2. I’m only five feet tall, so getting things out of the bottom of a top-load washer is always a challenge. A front-loader would be so much more convenient for me.

So just comparing those lists, a front-load washer seems like a better fit for me. But then I’m always hearing about all of the extra cleaning that front-loaders require in order to keep them from smelling musty. Unless that problem with front loaders has been fixed over the last few years, the idea of that doesn’t thrill me in the least.

But I don’t want to actually click that Buy Now button until I hear what y’all have to say. I love being able to hear your experiences, so let me know what you think as far as brands go, but also regarding the top loader vs. front loader issue. And what about the musty smell problem that front load washers have? Is that a thing of the past? Do they still require extra cleaning and attention to keep that smell away?

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