Remodelista contributor Allison's laundry room has long been my object of envy. So, who better to talk to when I was recently in the market for a new washer and dryer?
Allison's choice was a front-loading Whirlpool Duet steam washer and dryer. "With three kids and a dog, we easily run two loads a day," she says. Compared to top-loading washers, front loaders are not only more space-efficient (since they can be stacked), they also use significantly less water, accommodate larger loads, and shorten drying times by spinning more water out of the clothes. Some washers, like Allison's, also offer a steam option, which helps in getting out stains. In dryers, the steam option relaxes wrinkles, preventing them from setting in dry clothes.
After a few years in use, Allison would happily repurchase her Duet set, but recommends purchasing the extended warranty: "The sensors can be sensitive." Read on to see what I ended up purchasing.
N.B.: For more options, consult 10 Easy Pieces: Front-Loading Washers.
Above: Allison's setup (which we covered in Allison's Mill Valley Laundry Room) includes the Whirlpool Duet steam washer and dryer. A tip from her: "With all front-loaders, keep the door ajar to prevent mildew."
Above: Allison's exact model is the Whirlpool Duet Steam Washer (WFW9750WW) is $969 at AJ Madison. It gets excellent ratings and is quiet, stackable, and spacious. The matching Whirlpool Duet Steam Electric Dryer (WFW9750W) is $879 at AJ Madison.
Above: Allison's set were a bit too much for my budget, so I opted for a lower-priced set from the Whirlpool-owned Maytag brand. It has been a stellar performer for us. The Maytag 2000 Series 3.5 Cubic Foot Front Loading Washer and the accompanying Maytag 2000 Series 6.7 Cubic Foot Electric Dryer are $719.10 and $674.10, respectively, at Lowe's.