Kenmore Elite 41072 Washing Machine

Best Overall Washing Machine

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Why people love it
  • Cleans thoroughly
  • Large capacity
  • Very quiet

This front loader machine has plenty of adjustable settings, a 5.2 cu. ft. capacity, a stay-fresh feature for long days, and it’s energy and water efficient.

The door isn’t adjustable from one side to the other and if you pack it full, the wash cycles will take time.

Details

We know this isn’t the largest capacity washing machine. It’s also not the cheapest. It doesn’t have 49 preset cycles, nor does it automatically adjust water temperatures. It’s also not the swiftest machine on the market.

So, why is it number one? What makes it the best washing machine overall?

It makes compromises in all the right places. It can handle a very generous amount of laundry with a capacity of 5.2 cu. ft. You’ll find this around the $1,000 price point. The wash cycles it does have are super customizable – and the kids wear cycle is a boon for many families. And, as long as you don’t overpack this machine, you can expect many loads to finish in 40-60 minutes.

The noise and vibration reduction features also make for quiet, smooth operation. You can actually run the washing machine and enjoy dinner even when the laundry room is next to the kitchen table.

And, it gets better still. Energy and water efficiency, along with washing performance, are excellent. You’ll get the results you want without damaging your clothes, your budget, or the environment.

You have the option of 5 soil levels and additional energy and time saver options, just as you would expect. Parents will appreciate the NSF-certified sanitize cycle that removes up to 99.9%. Add to that the StreamTreat which lifts stains quickly and easily. Who needs bleach? You won’t with this machine. There’s also a ColorLast option and a Stay Fresh feature which will jumble your clothes around every so often when you’ve not had a moment to empty the washing machine.

Okay, the average load time is about 75 minutes, and the door opens to one side, and that’s all you get. But, most people can totally work around that. What might give you some grief, however, is the size. At 29”W x 33.875”D x 40.8”H, it’s a little wider than the traditional standard of 27”. But, again, you can stack this with your dryer if you have a small laundry nook.

Finally, if Kenmore isn’t your thing, you may want to consider the LG WM8000HVA; it’s almost exactly the same machine under a different brand name.

Load access: Stackable front loader with tumble action

Color: White

Display and controls: Electronic LED with a dial. Words are, for the most part, easy to read and operation fairly intuitive.

Wash cycles: 9: whites, heavy-duty, delicate, normal, rinse & spin, steam, light wash, speed, specialty – it’s a good selection number for the price, though we wouldn’t have minded a bedding wash cycle. Of course, you can still get bedding in the machine; there just isn’t an explicit cycle for it.

Number of water temperatures: 5

Dispensers: 3: detergent, fabric softener, bleach – this is more or less standard. You’ll find additional dispensers in other machines, but many people can’t find a use for them.

Maximum spin speed: 1200 rpm - it’s not the highest available, but it is really, really good. Indeed, there may not be any benefit in going higher.

Kilowatt hours (per year): 102 – this is very reasonable; it’s actually one of the lowest available.

Dimensions: 29”W x 33.875”D x 40.8”H. It weighs 204.6 pounds. This is just about average on all counts.

Interior capacity: 5.2 cu. ft. This is a little better than average.

Price: The MSRP is $1,650, but you’ll rarely find this washing machine listed as such. At the moment, you can find it for about $1,000. The included warranty is 1 year on parts and labor, but you’ll want to top up your protection plan as you should with any major appliance of this sort.

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