When Consumer Reports tests washers, we do a lot more than wash laundry. Gentleness tests? Check. Vibration? Check. Water and energy use? Double check. Cycle times are recorded, capacities are measured. And our noise tests can help you find a washer and dryer that are quiet enough to be near the bedroom or family room. Take a listen.
You’ll want a washer and dryer that scored very good or better in our noise and vibration tests if your laundry room is near living areas. You’ll know these machines are working, but they shouldn’t disturb you. Models that scored good or lower make annoying, sustained sounds or vibrate noticeably, and are better suited for basements. So just how loud is a washer that scored excellent in our noise tests? How poor is poor? The video below gives you an idea.
“The noise score for washers is our testers’ judgment of the sounds made during the fill, tumble or agitate, spin, and drain portions of the normal wash cycle,” said Emilio Gonzalez, the engineer who runs our tests of laundry appliances.” For dryers the noise score reflects our testers’ judgment of the machine drying an 8-pound load of laundry. Of the 100-plus washers tested, the $1,200 Kenmore Elite 4157 front-loader was the quietest. It came very close to making the recommended list and was superb at cleaning in our tests, has a large capacity, and vibration wasn’t a problem. With some front-loaders, the high spin speed causes them to vibrate too much so you wouldn’t want to place them near bedrooms or busy areas of the home. Among top-loaders, none scored excellent in our noise tests but many of the recommended models, such as the top-rated LG WT1101CW, $700, and the $750 Samsung WA422PRHD[WR], scored very good.
The quietest recommended dryers include the top-rated Samsung DV50F9A8EVP, $1,100, the Maytag Maxima XL MED8000AG, $1,450, LG DLEX3470[W], $1,000, and Whirlpool Duet WED96HEAW, $1,300. Check out these top-rated matching washers and dryers if you’re shopping for a pair. Sets at about $1,600 or less are often relatively noisy, but use our ratings of washers and dryers to find the best for your budget.