Appliance Science: Which Washer/Dryer is Right for You?
If you need to replace your washer or dryer, or both, you may find the shopping process daunting. From size and configuration, to efficiency and tub size, today’s machines offer a great deal of options. Here’s what to look for before you invest.
Top or Front Loading Washer?
Choosing between a top- or front-load washer is largely a matter of preference, cost, and space. Top-loaders are usually less expensive than front-load machines. And if bending is an issue for you, a top-load washer provides ergonomic benefits, since you can drop and retrieve clothing from the top.
A front-loader offers a bit more design flexibility: You can top it with a counter to create a convenient folding space, or raise it on a pedestal to a back-friendly height and add storage beneath. And though they typically cost a bit more, front-loaders tend to clean more efficiently than most top-loaders; they also spin faster and extract more water for quicker drying.
Side-by-Side or Stacked Units?
Most stand-alone machines tend to be larger, more efficient, and more powerful in general than stacked machines. However, when lack of space is an issue, a stacked unit can be a lifesaver—and Speed Queen stacked machines perform with the same efficiency as their stand-alone counterparts, albeit in a smaller footprint. They can fit into some closets, basements, or behind partitions, and they are ideal for second-floor installations, where dirty laundry from the bedroom or bathroom can be placed directly into the waiting machine. Just keep in mind that closet installation requires a vented door and additional space around stacked machines to dissipate dryer heat.
Gas or Electric Dryer?
The connections in your laundry room will likely dictate your dryer choice. But if you have both a gas hookup and a 240-volt outlet, go for gas. It costs a bit more than an electric model, but it's cheaper to operate over the long haul: 27 cents per load, compared with 84 cents for electric*. That’s a savings of 57 cents per load—which adds up, considering that the average American family does more than 400 loads of laundry a year. Whichever model you choose, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s installation recommendations. (*Source: )
What the Pros Know
Having built professional-grade commercial and residential washers and dryers for over a century, Speed Queen knows a thing or two about creating durable machines that get the job done. So, we asked them to share the innovations and features that could put Speed Queen machines at the top of your shopping list.
- Even Washability: Speed Queen’s patented baffles and ideal tumble rhythms perfectly lift your laundry and cascade water throughout the entire load, delivering an even, thorough clean. IMAGE 4
- Reduced Cycle Times: Many top-loaders take up to an hour for a full wash cycle, but Speed Queen machines get the job done in less than 30 minutes—and less time doing the wash equals more time for you.
- Metal Drums: Speed Queen machines are constructed of premium, metal components instead of plastic, and feature a stainless-steel wash tub that won’t corrode or rust—and, in fact, gets smoother over time for a gentler wash.
- Quiet Operation: Machines tend to make a lot of noise. And if they’re in your basement or a dedicated laundry room, then that may not matter to you. But if your washer and dryer live near bedrooms or common living areas, the noise could be quite disruptive. Speed Queen machines with Dynamic Balancing Technology virtually eliminate noise and vibrations for near-silent operation, making them ideal for these locations.
- Efficiency: Continuous over-drying is not only a waste of money, but over time it can ruin your favorite clothing. Be sure the dryer model you choose has moisture-sensing technology that starts cooling the load when the optimal dryness level is reached. This eliminates excessive drying, which saves you time, lowers your utility costs, and protects the clothes you love.
- Time-Saving Technology: Forgot to take your clothes out of the dryer this morning, and now they’re completely wrinkled? Speed Queen’s ingenious Extended Tumble feature helps eliminate wrinkling by tumbling clothes for two minutes at 20-minute intervals, if the door isn't opened.
- Easy Cleanup: Look for a dryer with an upfront lint filter that is easy to reach and clean between loads to ensure proper airflow.
- Made in the U.S.A.: If buying American is important to you, you’ll be pleased to know that Speed Queens have been manufactured with pride in Ripon, Wisconsin for over a century.
* For complete warranty information, please review your warranty bond.
For more than a century, Speed Queen has been the leading expert in “clean,” manufacturing washers and dryers that are built stronger—to last longer. Find the right Speed Queen laundry machines for your home now at