Pricey washer produces lackluster laundry

ConsumerReports.org

Spend $1,000 on a top-loading washer and you probably have a laundry list of expectations. At the top of that list is laundry so clean that even the tough stains are washed away. But that’s not what happened when Consumer Reports tested a $1,000 washing machine from Fisher & Paykel.

The manufacturer’s website boasts that their washers use world-first technology to deliver better clothes care and reliability. This technology helps boost the price. We tested the Fisher & Paykel AquaSmart WL4227P1, a high-efficiency top-loader, and found it was gentle on fabrics and relatively quiet, but mediocre in our washing tests and couldn’t completely remove some of our tough stains.

“It was excellent in our energy efficiency tests, in part because its uses a lot less hot water which could have affected how well it cleaned,” says Emilio Gonzalez, an engineer who runs Consumer Reports’ tests of washers and dryers. And when it comes to brand reliability Fisher & Paykel was among the most repair-prone brands of top-loaders. That’s what we found when we asked over 92,000 readers who bought a washer between 2008 and 2012 about their experiences.

Take a look at our washer Ratings and brand reliability information. There are nearly two dozen top-loaders that are recommended, including the top-rated LG WT1101CW,  $700, and the Samsung WA422PRHD [WR], $750.  And if you want a matching washer and dryer, here are some of the best from our tests.

—Kimberly Janeway

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