Best Washing Machine for Energy Efficiency

Maytag Maxima MHW5500FW
  • Large capacity
  • Quiet
  • Quick and efficient
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This machine is super energy efficient, easy on the wallet, gets the job done, and fits within the standard 27” space traditionally allocated to washing machines.

Cycles take a little longer than similar models with larger drums.


This washing machine is the reason this list is so small. It fits into four categories – best budget machine (on list price and realistic selling price; we’ve seen it $700 in the recent past), best compact washing machine, most energy efficient washing machine, and best washing machine for seriously dirty kids (erm, for fighting stains).

Until November 2016, we would have had a difficult time (and a slightly longer list) as the Samsung WA45H7000AW Washing Machine competes on price and size, but that particular model is part of a recall due to lids flying off while in use.

That’s not to say other washing machines aren’t good; it’s more that this Maytag is the best in all three categories.

As for compact, it’s 27”W x 32.94”D x 39”H. Not only will it fit in the standard space, it’s not so tall that stacking your appliances makes it difficult to reach into the upper one. It can only accommodate 4.5 cu. ft. of laundry, which is small. But it’s only small given the recent trend towards gigantic machines. If you don’t have a lot of laundry, you won’t even notice – you can still fit an entire hamper inside.

As for energy efficient, this baby hits the ultimate Tier III efficiency rating with an energy factor of 2.92 and a water factor of 3.2. You want that. Indeed, you may even qualify for an efficiency rebate if your state offers it.

And, if you can get it for $700-800, you absolutely should. Of course, the MSRP is $1,100, which isn’t bad, but you shouldn’t expect to pay that price.  

Plus, you will find this does an impeccable job with clothes. Between the PowerWash system and the steam for stains options, you’ll find your clothes look as good as new for a long, long time. Okay, it’s not as gentle as a few other machines might be, but it’s super tough on stains. It gets an excellent stain-fighting seal of approval from just about everyone, including Consumer Reports.

A couple more features separate this washing machine from the rest – it offers a memory option so you can easily get back to your fave program and the FreshHold option will keep clothes fresh with an internal fan and tumbling that runs for up to 12 hours after your load finishes.

So, why isn’t this the number one machine? It’s the smaller capacity and the heavier weight. It’s also that it doesn’t perform quite as well in terms of noise and vibrations – with this machine, it’s a little more noticeable. Plus, it’s nowhere near as good looking as some of the competitive machines. Luckily, you can tuck it away in the laundry room, so looks don't matter quite as much.

Load access: Stackable front loader with wash plate action

Color: White

Display and controls: Electronic readout with dial and buttons on the front facing

Wash cycles: 11: allergen, bedding, clean washer with Affresh, cold wash, delicates, drain & spin, normal, Powerwash, rapid wash, sanitize, wrinkle control – that’s really not bad at all, is it?

Number of water temperatures: 5

Dispensers: 3: detergent, fabric softener, bleach – this is the standard.

Maximum spin speed: 1200 rpm – this is the second highest speed on the list and we’re not certain you would need more, especially when you consider the energy usage.

Kilowatt hours (per year): 89 – this is one of the best out there. It’s definitely the lowest on this list. And, we think this is an absolutely stunning number given the appliance you’ll get with it.

Dimensions: 27”W x 32.94”D x 39”H. It weighs 235 pounds – low and heavy. This is a low and heavy machine. If you’re quite tall or suffer with back pain or mobility issues, you may want to consider risers.

Interior capacity: 4.5 cu. ft. – okay, it’s small. The average is about 5.0 cu. ft. Now, not everyone needs such huge capacities. Given the performance and price of this puppy, you can probably talk yourself out of the bigger is better adage.

Price: Along with whatever you pay for this machine, you get a 10-year limited parts warranty and your standard 1-year limited warranty. The MSRP is $1100, but you’ll probably pay $800-900. We’ve seen it as low as $700. Now that's a seriously, seriously good deal.


Faveable Giveaway: $100 Amazon Gift Card

Amazon Gift Card

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