The laundry room may be a practical space, but it still needs an update from time to time. Here are our picks of the coolest new products and features for making more out of a boring chore.
While a laundry room may never be the most beautiful or the most fun room in your home, it is possible to make it sleeker, smarter, and more sustainable. Make over your room with our laundry list of must-have appliances and accessories, including the latest innovations in design and technology.
1. Green Clean: Many manufacturers are designing laundry appliances to be as environmentally friendly as possible. The latest and greatest are washing machines that use sensors to automatically analyze the wash cycle and adjust water temperature and even soap amounts for the "greenest" clean possible. Fair warning: These eco-friendly machines are expensive with price tags typically around $1,200 or more.
2. Geek Squad: Gadget lovers will be excited by the high-tech options now available for the laundry room. There are new machines that include full-color touch screens, which allow the user to easily scroll through a list of specific settings and cycles. There are also machines with built-in USB ports that permit custom settings and manufacturer updates. You can outfit your laundry room with a wall-mount holder for a tablet so you can play music while you fold laundry or keep a stain-removal guide handy.
3. Fantastic Features: Laundry machines have come a long way in recent years. Need more proof? There are now washers that offer specialty cycles for everything including stuffed toys and active wear, adjustable speeds and rotation directions, and stabilization technology to reduce vibration noise. Even better, washers with steam settings can sanitize clothes to remove as much as 99.9% of common household allergens, such as dust mites and pet dander, to help family members with asthma or allergies. There are also dryers that include a wrinkle-release setting to tumble without heat.
4. True Colors: Put more "fun" in a functional room by outfitting your space with colorful laundry machines. Forget classic white, black, and beige -- appliance manufacturers now offer washers and dryers in a range of creative hues, including yellow, green, red, blue, and even pink.
5. Space Savers: Most homes don't give much square footage to the laundry room. Stackable washer and dryer units can make the most of a small space, as do freestanding units that sit atop drawers for storing washing supplies. There are also many less expensive solutions for maximizing the laundry room's footprint, such as foldout ironing boards, pullout folding tables, and retractable clothing lines.