Speed Queen has it fans—if user reviews are any indication—despite costing a lot more than most washers. And while other manufacturers tout enormous capacities, innovative features, and outstanding cleaning, Speed Queen promises 25 years of commercial-grade performance. Consumer Reports just tested two Speed Queen washers, including a $1,900 front-loader, and a Speed Queen electric dryer. Here’s a look.

You’ll see Speed Queen commercial washers and dryers in laundromats. The Wisconsin-based manufacturer claims its laundry appliances for home use are “built with rugged, commercial-grade construction and pushed beyond their limit” in the test lab to deliver 25 years of performance. Speed Queen even provides an online calculator that estimates how long their washers will last. It’s based on the number of loads you do each week. At 8 weekly loads the washer should last 25 years, but at 10, that number drops to 20 years. An asterisk warns this number is based on Speed Queen’s tests and not guaranteed. These appliances are made in the U.S. and come with unusually long warranties—three years for parts and labor for washers and dryers with mechanical controls, five years for electronic controls. The industry norm is one year.

Brand Reliability

Speed Queen top-loaders are among the more reliable washer brands, according to Consumer Reports Annual Product Reliability Survey of over 115,000 subscribers. There weren’t enough Speed Queen front-loader owners to qualify for our analysis, but our dryer brand data, based on more than 105,000 subscribers, shows that for electric dryers, LG is the most reliable brand with a 5 percent repair rate. Speed Queen’s was 10 percent (Fisher & Paykel was 20, making it the most repair-prone brand analyzed).  

Two Speed Queen washers from Consumer Reports' tests.

Speed Queen Test Results

Speed Queen AFNE9BSP113TW01 front-loader, $1,900
This front-loader scored 70 out of 100 and was the most expensive and fastest of the 39 we tested. It took 55 minutes using the normal wash and heavy-soil (max) setting. It has electronic controls so the 5-year warranty applies. Cleaning was impressive and gentle on fabrics. This Speed Queen is water efficient and extracts much of it so dryer time is shortened. Vibration wasn’t a problem, but it's noisy and claimed capacity is just 3.4 cubic feet, enough for about 15 pounds of laundry. The top-scoring Samsung WF56H9110CW front-loader can fit about 28 pounds. It’s $1,450. 

Speed Queen AWNE92SP113TW01 agitator top-loader, $1,000
At $1,000 it’s twice the price of some agitator top-loaders. However, it has electronic controls so it comes with a 5-year warranty. Wash time is a brisk 35 minutes using the normal wash on heavy-soil (max) setting and cleaning was impressive and one of the gentlest on fabrics that we tested. But claimed capacity is just 3.3 cubic feet, fitting around 14 pounds of laundry and, like many agitator washers, the Speed Queen uses a lot of water, about 26 gallons to wash our 8-pound load and it's noisy. Overall, this washer scored 39 out of 100. In a past test the $800 Speed Queen AWN542 top-loader scored 29.

Speed Queen ADE3SRGS173TW01 electric dryer, $700
Not the most expensive of the group—the $1,800 LG DLEX9000V holds that title—and the Speed Queen’s capacity is very good; claimed capacity is 7 cubic feet. But this dryer scored only good in drying, mostly because it lacks a moisture sensor and over dried our laundry when we wanted it somewhat damp (handy when ironing). The dryer’s temperature is higher, especially for delicates, than what we’ve seen recently. And this dryer is noisy. Overall score is 35. This dryer has mechanical control and comes with a 3-year warranty.

Find a washer and dryer

Consumer Reports tests models, month after month. Our washer and dryer ratings include dozens to choose from. Use the features & specs tab to help you decide, noting the dimensions of the appliances. Some with jumbo capacities are wider than usual. And take a good look at the brand reliability data. It’s like asking 100,000 friends and neighbors about their experiences with a brand. Questions? E-mail me at kjaneway@consumer.org.