Which Brands Make the Most Reliable Washing Machines?

How to find a washer that lasts: Check the reliability ratings based on CR members' reports on more than 127,000 machines

A parent and her child folding clothes in front of a washing machine and dryer.
Photo: Takahiro Igarashi/Getty Images

Has your washer gotten a bit funky? Did you inherit a rumbling basement monster with your new house? An unreliable washing machine can throw a big wrinkle into your everyday life. Should you repair it, deep clean it, or deep six it? Most urgently, how will your next load get clean?

A reliable washer can eliminate laundry drama from your busy life. In fact, reliability is the factor that CR members are most likely to deem very important when weighing their next washing machine purchase. It pays to invest in a quality washer that’s built to last. Our latest member survey results can help you find just that. 

MORE ON WASHING MACHINES

The new survey reveals which brands are most reliable—we calculate the likelihood newly purchased models from a brand will develop problems or break within the first five years—and how likely owners are to recommend their washer to friends and family. We factor these ratings into the Overall Score for each model in our washing machine ratings.

Survey results are based on CR members’ experiences with 127,353 washing machines purchased new between 2010 and 2020. CR analyzed four types of washing machines—front loaders, top-load agitators, HE (high-efficiency) top-loaders, and compacts.


Consumer Reports can help you make a greener choice for your laundry room by helping you choose of the best eco-friendly washing machines from our tests.
 

Problematic Washing Machines

Among CR members surveyed, the most commonly reported washer issues were tangled or balled-up clothes (9 percent), excessive noise or vibration over time (6 percent), odor (6 percent), non-spinning drums (5 percent), and water drain failure (5 percent).

Mold, mildew, and odor complaints were much more common among owners of front-loaders and compact washers—17 percent of front-loader owners cited mold/mildew buildup and 15 percent cited odor as concerns; for compacts, 12 percent cited mold/mildew buildup and 10 percent cited odor. HE top-load washers as a group were singled out for not cleaning clothes thoroughly. 

Below, we highlight details from our reliability survey, as well as washers from the brands that score high in both the survey and in our lab tests. If you're shopping for a new appliance, check out our washing machine buying guide to learn the pros and cons of different washer types. Also review our washing machine ratings to see how well models performed in our tests, and for their detailed features and benefits.

Agitator Top-Loaders

Among 11 top-load agitator brands rated in our survey, Speed Queen is the most reliable, snagging an Excellent rating in predicted reliability. And it's the only brand to earn an Excellent rating for owner satisfaction, too.

Roper, Hotpoint, and Amana garner Very Good ratings for reliability, but none particularly impress CR members—Roper earns a Good for owner satisfaction, and Hotpoint and Amana earn just Fair ratings.

Crosley, Kenmore, Maytag, and Whirlpool earn middling marks for both reliability and owner satisfaction. GE and Frigidaire also receive midrange ratings for reliability, but only Fair for owner satisfaction. Fisher & Paykel earns Fair ratings for reliability and satisfaction.

In our tests, the Speed Queen TC5000WN agitator top-loader (below) is one of the best at cleaning. In fact, Speed Queen agitator top-loaders as a group enjoy a cult-like admiration among CR members because they reliably clean clothes thoroughly and have easy-to-use controls. Claimed capacity is only 3.2 cubic feet, however, which is smaller than most full-sized washers we test. This model places performance over efficiency. If energy efficiency and water efficiency are high priorities, you may want to shop around.

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