Laundry System Picks: Washing Machines and Dryers
New washers and dryers can save water, energy, time, and detergent. See our favorites with manufacturer information included.
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High-Tech Laundry System
Three extra-quiet components make up the UltraCare Laundry System: an energy-efficient front-loading washer, a dryer that senses temperature and humidity, and a drying cabinet with hanging space equivalent to 50 feet of clothesline, plus glove hangers and an optional shoe rack. Delicate underwear or sweaters dry quickly, with no damage. Hidden helpers include a handy pullout shelf for folding, an ironing board, and a removable laundry basket.
Washer #W6222; Dryer #T712; Drying Cabinet #DC7171 $1,229; $ 929; $1,129 Asko North America 800/898-1879; askousa.com
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Stylish Front-Loading Washer and Dryer
This GE Profile SmartDispense frontload laundry pair is a stylish workhorse. The washer, in white, champagne, or sassy red, holds up to 24 bath towels or 50 T-shirts. The dryer is no slouch either -- use the reverse tumble-action to minimize wrinkles, or place delicate items on a built-in shelf or hanger for quick air-drying. Optional pedestals store and dispense laundry products based on load size, soil level, fabric, and water hardness.
GE Profile SmartDispense $1,299; $1,099 GE Appliances 800/626-2005; geappliances.com
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Quiet Laundry Appliances
SilentDesign ensures that this Frigidaire Affinity Laundry system is whisper-quiet to operate, even though the washer has seven different wash cycles, with Intelligent Fabric Care. It can also be set with a 14-hour delay for maximum convenience. The dryer is extra large, with seven auto-dry cycles and a shrink-guard option. Color choices include Glacier Blue (shown).
Affinity washer ATF7000EG; dryer AEQ7000EG Washer from $759; Dryer from $669 Frigidaire 800/374-4432; frigidaire.com
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Whisper-Quiet Washer and Dryer
Ariston's Premiere washer and dryer offer sleek European styling with elegantly rounded control panels. Sound absorbers in the front-loading appliances keep noise levels down to almost undetectable levels. Raise the washer and dryer on optional platforms to minimize bending, or stack the two appliances if space is a problem. Shown in sophisticated Platinum, the washer holds up to 15 pounds of laundry and you can set it to delay washing up to 12 hours.
Washer # AW149NA ; Dryer #AS65VXSNA $1,599; $899 Ariston 888/426-0825; aristonappliances.us
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Large Loads for Less Energy
Cabrio washers and dryers are extremely efficient at laundry. The washer cleans three baskets of laundry in a single load, using about half the water and energy of a traditional top-load style, while a tempered-glass lid keeps everything in view. The dryer finishes in under 30 minutes, giving just enough time to fold before the next load is ready. Or, let its touch-up cycle refresh clothes and remove odors with bursts of wrinkle-relaxing steam.
Cabrio Washer WT6600S; Dryer $999-$1,099; $849-$949 Whirlpool Corporation 866/698-2538; whirlpool.com
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Washing Machine with European Styling
Built for compact spaces, the Axxis Plus washer still handles a lot of laundry. With a quiet-operating tub--the largest in its class--the front-loading washer has an Energy Star rating and easy-to-read LED display. Best of all, the spin cycle turns at twice the usual speed; the laundry emerges with less moisture so each load requires less time in the dryer, speeding up laundry-day chores.
Model #WFR2460 $1,349 Bosch 800/921-9622; boschappliances.com
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Steam Washing Machine
Living up to its name, the LG SteamWasher uses TrueSteam technology to remove stubborn stains by lifting them out for whiter whites and brighter colors, without using extra detergent. The LCD display--in English, French, and Spanish--can also be set on the SteamFresh cycle, to refresh clothes and reduce wrinkles in up to five garments at a time. Shown in Navy Blue.
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Colorful Washer-Dryer Combo
Kenmore's Elite HE5t washer makes laundry day (almost) a pleasure. The front-loading design uses less water, less energy, and less detergent while SteamCare technology almost eliminates the need to pre-treat stains. Set the Timed Oxi option to release color-safe bleach. Despite its king-size tub, the washer uses up to 77% less energy and 73% less water, qualifying it for the Energy-Star rating.
Kenmore Elite HE4t $1,499 Sears 800/349-4358; sears.com