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You don’t have to pay $1,000 or more to get a washing machine that cleans well. And while we've tested plenty of washers that cost far more, most of us would rather spend less.
"Eighty-three percent of all washers sold in the past 12 months were $800 or less," says Eric Voyer, vice president of TraQline, a company that tracks trends, market share, and consumer behavior for the retail industry.
There are more than 130 full-sized and compact washers in our washing machine ratings from brands including Bosch, Fisher & Paykel, GE, Kenmore, LG, Maytag, Miele, Samsung, Speed Queen, and Whirlpool.
We combed through our ratings looking for the best washers that sell for $800 or less.
“These washers not only clean well, but most are also water- and energy-efficient, even the more basic agitator top-loaders,” says Richard Handel, the engineer who oversees CR’s tests of laundry appliances.
So what’s the catch? Most aren’t gentle on fabrics, and some are noisy.
We run a battery of tests in our lab. To find out how well each washer cleans, test engineers launder swatches of fabric stained with red wine, cocoa, carbon (which is similar to soot), and other items.
They’re meant to challenge the washer so that we can see real differences among the machines.
All washer types have their advantages and drawbacks, so see our washer buying guide if you’re weighing one type against another. And to make it easier for you to choose a specific model, we incorporate lab test results, predicted reliability, and owner satisfaction into one Overall Score.
CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of full-sized HE top-loaders (the kind without a center post agitator), agitator top-loaders, and front-loaders for $800 or less that perform well in our tests.
For more choices, see our washing machine ratings, and check the Features & Specs section to help you compare models.
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