There’s the punchline about whether something, usually an expensive something, will also do your laundry for you, ostensibly to make it worth its expense. With an actual washing machine, that answer is basically yes. And some good news is, you don’t actually have to shell out for a great washing machine to find one that will fit your lifestyle and budget, and, you know, do your laundry. While even the best washing machine may not be able to load itself and transfer your clothes to the dryer, with a bevy of smart-enabled units and all manner of functions and cycles to choose from, we may be getting close to the washing machine that actually does it all. (Now if we could also find a dryer that folds, we’d really be in business.)
When choosing a new washing machine, consider that most units are between 24 and 29 inches wide, with variable depths that are typically between 24 and 34 inches, so your first step is to narrow the list by what fits your available space. Beyond that, aspects such as front-loading or top-loading functionality, capacity, available cycles or a combination of all of these are the most important features to consider when buying a new washing machine.
On average, washing machines run between $600 and $900. But there are units on either side of that average if you’re looking for either a very basic model to get the job done or a tricked-out washer with every available feature. (Remember that the self-loading washing machine does not as of yet exist.) I evaluated several models at various price points, sizes and features, to bring you the best washing machines for 2022.
Looking for more home appliance recommendations? These are the best refrigerators, dishwashers and air conditioners for 2022.
Best washing machines for 2022 LG
This front-loading LG model gives you about as much space as possible for a front-loading washer: 4.5 cubic feet, which is considered an extra-large capacity for front-loading models. It has many of the same desirable features as other LG models — high efficiency, reduced noise, automatic load sensor — and additionally offers a Speed Wash setting, which has many user satisfaction reviews and cleans a load of laundry in approximately 15 minutes.
This model is sturdy and is designed so a dryer can be stacked on top of it to save space. It also plays a short melody to let you the cycle is finished.
If price is the major factor in choosing your washing machine, this American-made, top-loading Amana model has over five figures of positive reviews from major retailer sites. The bells and whistles are fewer, and the capacity is only 3.5 cubic feet, but you still get a reliable, straightforward appliance that offers several basic cycles, plus an auto-sensing water level feature that monitors water use and volume and adjusts throughout the cycle accordingly. Despite its lower cost, users frequently remarked positively about the cleanliness of the clothing, and that it even ran quieter than expected.
The build for this one seems solid although the look is rather basic. One thing I noticed is that this model does not have a fabric softener slot, so you’ll have to just drop it in or buy a separate dispenser.
It’s not always about the features that you most regularly use, but about having features available that you might sometimes need to use. If available features are driving your comparative shopping experience for washing machines, GE offers a top-tier, front-loading model with consistent customer satisfaction and just about every available add-on. While it is more expensive than the models listed above, it is still slightly less expensive than other models that offer as many features as it does.
This washing machine offers 5 cubic feet of space, is smart-technology enabled, and comes with a whopping 12 standard cycles, including a quick wash cycle and a sanitize function for items such as towels and gym clothes that can commonly attract mildew through moisture. A steam option is also available to help vaporize deep stains, an automatic detergent dispenser measures for you based on the size of the load, and a venting feature allows the washing machine to dry out between cycles even with its door closed. In a sea of otherwise white, black, and stainless steel machines, this GE washer is also, refreshingly, navy blue.
Because of the many features, this model sports a more complex control panel — a combination of digital and manual dials — but one I found intuitive and easy to adjust. It has a sleek, modern look and is available in white or sapphire blue.
While many people do buy matching washer/dryer sets, it’s almost never a requirement to do so. However, if your available laundry space is narrow and requires a stackable washer/dryer, (because why resort to air drying if you don’t have to?) this LG washer/dryer tower has extremely favorable reviews, offers 4.5 cubic feet of space in the washer and 7.4 cubic feet in the dryer, and only requires 27 inches of width to accommodate it. Among its 10 wash cycles is Allergiene, which uses steam to help remove excess pet dander and dust.
This model is about as sleek as washer/dryer combos get with a fully digital display and control panel. It’s available in black steel and white.
With full-size washing machines averaging about 27 inches wide, this 24-inch model from GE offers a reliable solution for smaller spaces (or smaller door frames). Offering 2.8 cubic feet of space, this petite unit still offers eight wash cycles, including Speed Wash. Users often remarked in reviews about being the best available for a condominium setting, and how the drum still felt like plenty of space to do even large loads of laundry. A folding lid keeps the vertical space requirement on the low side as well or allows for the possibility of a stacked, compatible dryer.
The detergent and fabric softener drawers are set in the back while a dedicated bleach opening sits separately towards the front of the rim. Because it’s a top-loading unit, you won’t be able to stack a dryer on top which is something to consider if floor space is limited in your laundry space
How we evaluate washing machines
I researched the washing machines on this list by analyzing specs and user reviews from major appliance retailer sites such as Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe’s. I also considered their best-selling and top-rated models, and the available features compared to price as a measure of each machine’s overall value. I focused primarily on those models that had a rating of at least 4.5 stars with at least 500 reviews, or at least the highest rating among the highest number of ratings for the feature or size I was evaluating