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 103,000 machines

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Mother and daughter with laundry Photo: 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 you get your next load 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. And our latest member survey results can help you find just that.

Our survey reveals which brands are most reliable—we calculate the likelihood that 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 103,633 washing machines purchased new between 2011 and 2021. CR analyzed four types of washing machines—front loaders, top-load agitators, HE (high-efficiency) top-loaders, and compacts.

Problematic Washing Machines

Among CR members surveyed, the most commonly reported washer issues were tangled or balled-up clothes (9 percent), excessive vibration over time (6 percent), odor (5 percent), non-spinning drums (5 percent), water drain failure (5 percent), and noise (4 percent).

Mold, mildew, and odor complaints were much more common among owners of front-loaders and compact washers. Fifteen percent of front-loader owners cited mold/mildew buildup and 15 percent cited odor as concerns, while 11 percent of compact washer owners cited mold/mildew buildup as a problem and 9 percent cited odor. HE top-load washers as a group were singled out for not cleaning clothes thoroughly. Members specifically dinged HE washers from GE, Kenmore, Maytag, Samsung, and Whirlpool in this regard.

Below, we highlight details from our reliability survey, as well as washers from the brands that score high in both the survey and 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. And review our washing machine ratings to see how well models performed in our tests, and for details on their features and benefits.

If you bought your Samsung high-efficiency top-loader between March 2011 and November 2016, read about this class-action lawsuit to see if you can file a settlement claim.

Become a member to read the full article and get access to digital ratings.

We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.