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Matching washers and dryers quiet enough for the main floor

Consumer Reports News: March 26, 2013 03:08 PM

Most potential homebuyers want their washer and dryer on the main floor of the house, according to a new survey from the National Association of Home Builders. It's convenient, but if the machines are so noisy they drown out your conversations, then the basement starts to look appealing. In Consumer Reports' tests we found eight matching washer and dryer pairs that are quiet enough for prime placement near a family room or the bedrooms..

"Take a look at the washers and dryers that scored very good or better in our noise tests. You'll know they're working but they shouldn't disturb you," says Emilio Gonzalez, the engineer who runs our tests of laundry appliances. "But you'll hear the machines that scored good or lower. They make annoying, sustained sounds." For our list of smooth operators we chose matching washers and dryers that, based on their overall performance, made our list of top picks and were very good or excellent in our noise tests. Unfortunately, none of the impressive washer and dryer pairs for $1,500 or less made this list because they produced more of a din than a whisper.

Here's a look at eight matching pairs of washers and dryers. All offer large capacities and the dryers have moisture sensors that help save energy by turning off the machine when the laundry is dry. We frequently show these appliances in white but many pairs are also available in other colors that may match your decor.

High-efficiency top-loading washers and matching dryers
LG duo. The LG WT5070C[W] washer, $1,000, and LG DLEX5170[W] electric dryer, $900, are a dynamic duo. The washer was impressive at cleaning and gentle on fabrics. The dryer excelled at drying and of the nearly 100 models tested, only four scored excellent in our noise tests and this LG was one of them. The gas dryer is LG DLGX5171[W], $1,050.

Samsung set. The Samsung WA5451AN[W] washer and Samsung DV5451AE[W] electric dryer, each around $900, are CR Best Buys. The washer did an impressive job cleaning our laundry in 65 minutes—that's fast compared to front-loaders—and was gentle on clothes. The dryer was superb at its task. The gas dryer model is Samsung DV5451AG[W], $1,000.

Front-loading washers and matching dryers
LG duos. The LG WM8000H[V]A washer and LG DLEX8000[V] electric dryer, each $1,350, were excellent at washing and drying. The washer's capacity is the largest we've tested, but the normal cycle on heavy-soil setting takes 100 minutes for an eight-pound load. And when we filled the washer to capacity it took more than two hours to clean 24 pounds of laundry. Try the TurboWash option. It delivered comparable cleaning of our eight-pound load and cut wash time by about 20 minutes. Each machine is two inches wider than usual. The gas dryer is LG DLGX8001[V], $1,440.

The LG WM3470H[W]A washer, $1,100, and LG DLEX3470[W] electric dryer, $1,000, were superb at cleaning and drying. The dryer tops our ratings and was one of the quietest we tested. The gas model is LG DLGX3471[W], $1,200.

Samsung sets. The Samsung WF457ARGS[GR] washer and Samsung DV457EVGS[GR] electric dryer, each $1,550. The washer tops our ratings and was one of the few front-loaders that did superbly in our vibration tests, but normal wash time on heavy-soil setting takes 100 minutes. The dryer aced drying. The gas dryer model is Samsung DV457GVGS[GR], $1,700.

The Samsung WF520AB[P] washer and Samsung DV520AE[P] electric dryer, each $1,400. The front-loader is among the few tested that rated excellent in vibration. Both machines have steam options. The prices shown are for platinum-color models. The pair comes in white for slightly less. The gas dryer model is Samsung DV520AG[P], $1,480.

Whirlpool pairs. The Whirlpool Duet WFW96HEA[W] washer, and Whirpool WED96HEAW electric dryer, each $1,300, were superb at cleaning and drying laundry. The washer was one of the few front-loaders that was excellent in our gentleness tests and the normal wash time, on heavy-soil setting, is 50 minutes. That's half the time of some front-loaders. The dryer was one of the quietest tested. The gas dryer is Whirlpool WGD96HEAW, $1,400.

The Whirlpool Duet WFW94HEX[W] washer and Whirlpool WED94HEAW electric dryer, each $1,100. For excellent cleaning and drying of laundry, this pair gets the job done. The washer's normal wash time is 75 minutes. The dryer has a steam option which our past tests found leaves shirts wrinkled but removes more odors than conventional dryers. The gas dryer is Whirlpool WGD94HEAW, $1,200.

Kimberly Janeway

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