Which Kind Is
There are two groups within this category—regular and high-efficiency. A regular top-load washing machine is what comes to mind when you think of a traditional washing machine. They are often the least expensive and use an agitator to clean the clothes. A drawback is that they use the most water and can be noisy. On the other hand, high-efficiency top-load washers use less water by sensing the load and filling up accordingly. They also spin at high speeds, which will reduce the need for long drying cycles, keeping your energy costs down.
These washing machines are becoming the sought after choice of many consumers. Not only do they use less water and make less noise than top loaders, but most can handle up to 20-pound loads. Sometimes stacked with a dryer, front-load washers make a great choice for the environmentally conscious consumer.
Even though they cannot handle huge loads, portable washers make a perfect choice for people who don't have space for full-size models. They can be stored away and taken out when needed.
A washer/dryer combo is one unit that washes and dries your clothes. These are popular options for those who don't have much space. Although they are front loading and gentler on your clothes, they do tend to be more expensive than separate units.
With both gas and electric options, dryers have become more energy-efficient and affordable. Electric dryers are cheaper to buy upfront but over time, gas dryers tend to be less expensive. Full-size models are 25- to 27-inches and can fit a wide variety of budgets and needs. How many loads do you dry per week? How long do you plan on keeping the dryer? Ask yourself these important questions before selecting a model.
These make great options for city dwellers and other people who don't have extra space. Measuring 24-inches or less, compact dryers come in electric or gas and can stay tucked away in a closet.
Regardless of what type of washing machine or dryer you're looking for, be sure to do your homework before making a purchase.