How to Choose a Washing Machine

A washing machine is not something everyone has at home, but you know that having one provides a major convenience and can save you a couple hours a week. The first thing to ensure is that you have adequate space and the right hook ups in your home or apartment. Once you complete this, you want to start exploring the washers themselves so that you can pick one that will ensure your laundry needs are properly addressed.

Size and Style Considerations

When it comes to width, most washers are approximately 24 to 33 inches wide. If you are using a front loading washer, in addition to the space the washer takes up, you also need to ensure that there is a minimum of 36 inches in front of it to open the door and remove the laundry. Use a tape measure to measure the space you are using for your washer. Make sure that you also measure the washers you are interested in to get an exact measurement, especially if your space is limited.

Combination and Stacked Units

Those who have 33 square inches of space to work with can look at the stacked units. This is also ideal for people who are not able to stoop or bend easily. It is more comfortable to load and unload when you put the washer approximately 15 inches from the floor.

A combination unit contains both a washer and a dryer. These units are often ideal for apartments and small homes since it is a washer and dryer one on top of the other. These take up a small amount of space and can even fit into a small closet.


You want to know how much laundry you can fit into your washer to ensure that it can accommodate your home’s laundry needs. Typical capacities include:

  • 7 to 2.3 cubic feet for a compact washer
  • 1 to 2.5 cubic feet for a medium washer
  • 7 to 3 cubic feet for a large washer
  • 1 or higher cubic feet for an extra large washer

If you live alone, a compact washer is generally enough to get all of your laundry done without an issue. If you have a large family, you might want to consider a large or extra large washer. Ensuring that you choose the right capacity makes sure that you get all of your laundry done as efficiently as possibly.

Speed and Other Options

There are a number of speed and other washing options that you need to know about. Different speeds and options are necessary for various types of laundry. For example, if you are washing some with difficult stains, you want to find a washer with prewash and presoak cycles. Consider the following information when picking out the washer with the right cycles and speeds for you:

  • When you look at basic washers, you will find up to four agitation speeds, but high-end washers might have more options.
  • If you need heavy-duty cycles, you might want to look at the high-end models. These models are also more likely to have options like a prewash cycle.
  • Preset wash cycles provide you with a variety of temperatures, agitation levels and speeds for various types of clothing. A basic washer might offer permanent press, regular and delicate cycles.

Use this as your quick guide for what to look for when you are exploring the washing machine options available. Make sure to really think about your lifestyle and laundry needs when you are seeing what is out there. This will ensure that the one you choose fits well and is able to handle your laundry.

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