Are true European washers too small?

eleenaFebruary 19, 2013

I was about to order a Miele washer - for obvious reasons like being German-made and reliability and also b/c it was claimed to have 2.5 cu ft capacity (i.e., more than LG or Bosch Axxis).

However, I was wondering how that could be as it had the smallest listed dimensions of the three. Well, it turns out that it is only 1.88 cu ft, i.e., indeed, has the smallest capacity.

I am downsizing from a full-size Whirlpool so I could small loads daily. Now I am concerned if Miele would be just too small? I do wash queen size sheets (and sometimes, king) and I am willing to split the load if I have to but still...

If you have/had a European size washer, was it "large enough" for you?

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Sandy16

I have a family of 5 and have had no problems with the size of my Asko washers. I have 2 sets. One upstairs by the bedrooms and one downstairs on the other end of the house by the kitchen. The downstairs set was added for convenience, not due to capacity issues.

I have 1500 thread count king size sheets and have no problem washing them in one load. The dryer will ball it all together but so did my old, larger capacity dryer. I don't have a king size comforter but can wash a standard queen sized comforter.

My old fl had more capacity but I never had full loads. How you do laundry, daily or weekly, may be a consideration. Good luck with your decision!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:52PM
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lee676

I've used a older Miele and current Bosch 24"w 6kg washers (current top of the line model, don't feel like looking up the model number) and found both to be adequately large - they have about the same capacity as the old top-load washers I used to routinely use. I don't get the American obsession with huge appliances - nearly everywhere else in the world a 24" wide washer (or oven, or cooktop, or fridge) is considered standard size, not some compact appliance suitable only for one-bedroom apartments. But here in the US, even 27" is evidently too small for some, as LG and Samsung are now pushing 29" wide, 29" deep washers and dryers. Any larger and the things wouldn't fit through the doorway into the laundry room.

I do find the door opening of the Miele to be a bit small - not sure if the new ones are bigger or not. The Bosch has a larger door opening and is fine. The door openings and capacity of 27"w washers is noticeably larger still - especially on those that tilt the tub slightly - but not really necessary for fitting even large items like sheets and comforters into it. Given the choice, I found 240v power (and resulting fast water heating and ability to run off cold water only) and ability to fit under a standard countertop to be more important than huge capacity.

I have a sibling who has a recent, oversize washer and dryer that I've used occasionally, and whenever I fill it to capacity, I'm struck by how heavy and unwieldy the bag or basket of dried laundry that I pull out of the dryer is. It's too big and heavy to comfortably lift up the stairs at one time.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 5:02PM
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deke

Only two adults here and while it works for us, I could see it being a challenge for a family. Quite honestly the only reason we bought Miele was space - we could not fit a full size washer and dryer. Yes, they are awesome and look great, but is it that big of a deal? Honestly, there seem to be so many great models out there, if I had space, I would probably get something else. For example, those top loaders with the clear tops and no agitator - they look awesome and super practical to me.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:38PM
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eleena

Thank you!

Sandy,

Asko, Bosch, and LG all have larger capacity than Miele, that is why I was concerned.

Lee, no obsessions with large size appliances here, LOL.

It was OK when it was only two of us, but with our "addition", I am forced to do smaller loads every day. I *hate* that I have to wait to accumulate "whites" or "delicates" (or whatever) to fill the washer to even one-third.That is the main reason for switching. The larger size simply does not work for us any longer.

But Miele seemed just too small. I love that it is the gentlest on clothes though not the price-tag. :-)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:53PM
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georgect

European (Miele=German) washers are made smaller because they tend to locate them in the kitchen under cabinets (like a dishwasher).

Americans tend to have a "Laundry Room" off the garage or off a hall way or located in a large basement.

Europeans also do laundry every day of the week if not a few times a week.

We on the other hand have "Wash Day" usually once a week.

So since we do laundry once a week and have the room for a full sized washer & dryer, they are made bigger.

You probably won't be happy with the Meile's capacity.

You may want to look into Electrolux with it's large capacity and great customer service/support.

LG is spotty with it's customer service.

It's always nice to have a washer & dryer that can handle huge loads those times when you need it. A huge capacity front loader wont waste water on small loads either.

Otherwise you'd have to use a laundromat or do more smaller loads...both not too convenient.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 11:12PM
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Sandy16

eleena - Before I bought my 1 st Asko set I took the largest comforter I had to the appliance store to be sure it would fit. Does your store have floor models that you could try that with?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:15AM
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eleena

Sandy,

That would be a great idea but nobody carries Miele washers around here, that is the problem. They don't even have Bosch washers anymore.

I do not remember seeing any compact washers lately. I guess nobody wants them.

I used to have a compact Kenmore washer before this one and I did just fine. True, I was happier with the full size washer because I did laundry once a week. But that is not the case anymore.

George,

As far as I know, large capacity washer may not waste water for small loads but they do not do a good job with them. And they are rougher on clothes. It has been my experience and I read reports from other users confirming that.

Do you know how Electrolux does with small loads?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:08AM
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georgect

@eleena...
You should talk to Cleanteamofny because he has owned the IQ-Touch and now owns the Wave-Touch (both Electrolux).
You can look up his email on this forum and I'm sure he can answer your question on the Electrolux.

See attached video of a small load "Quick Wash" in the Electrolux IQ-Touch.
(Notice it's spin cycle during ramp-up, when it senses an off balance, it slows slightly to let water expel from the clothing then ramps up again and when it senses it wont cause a off balance issue it goes into high spin.) It has a good balancing system and doesn't dilly dally going into spin.

Here is a link that might be useful: Small Load Quick Wash

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 12:12PM
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whirlpool_trainee

I can fit two sets of thick flannel duvet covers plus pillow cases in a typical European washer. The duvet covers are about 60 x 78 inches and the pillow cases 32 x 32 inches.

With that being said... having a Duet makes the other washers around it in the laundry room look like toys. And I like being able to wash one normal-sized load in one hour (because I do have a laundry day).

My laundry room at my old house: my mother's E'Lux washer and dryer and my Duet.
*click me*

Here's a nice video of the Frigidaire Affinity (aka IQ-Touch for less bucks) doing a small load. The video is 8x speed but there's also a real-time version.

Alex

Here is a link that might be useful: Frigidaire Affinity Front Load Washer - Quick Wash Cycle seen 8x speed.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 5:47PM
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miele1966

Hi. I figured I might give my 2 cents on this. I live in the US, and I have a Euro Miele. It does appear small, and yes, the drum might be 1.88 +/- feet. However, true Miele are made to be loaded to capacity. I can wash 2 queen sets of sheets or 2 sets of double sheets WITH a double duvet, in one load. They can be loaded FULL. Most larger American front loaders may have huge tubs, but they do not perform well when fully loaded. Some manuals even recommend loading the washer 3/4 full for best results. The general rule of thumb is to load the washer, and leave a fists worth of room at the top of the drum. Since these washers can take actually full loading, don't let the size fool you. I will add, in my experience, that a true 220 volt European washer will out clean any washer that is currently for sale in the US. I currently have a Miele, and previously I had a Bosch Axxis. Both were excellent performers, and built like tanks. I say if you can get a REAL 220 volt Euro Miele, go for it!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:27PM
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eleena

This is VERY helpful, thank you everyone for the replies and the videos!

Miele1966,

Where would I get a 240V Euro Miele???

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 12:23PM
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buffalotina

eleena, Miele is no longer offering 240V washers for the US Market. I recently purchased their current W3033 model which is 120V. I am pretty happy with it, though I do miss the better heater that I had on my previous 240V Bosch Axxis. I love the capacity, I struggle to fill it for some loads. We are 2 persons.

BTW, Where I live you will not see compact washers actually on display, as least not in mainstream appliance places. But they are available. I guess dealers are not going to waste showroom floor space with a niche product that only a few people are seeking.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 6:28PM
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lcubed

there's alway the mile little giants which still appear to be available in 240V. if only it didn't cost as much as my old car!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 9:20PM
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miele1966

Buffalotina is right. Miele is not sold here in the US anymore. I got my Miele about 6 years ago. I actually called my local high end appliance showroom. I asked about them carrying 220 volt Euro washers, or where I could track one down. After the saleslady checked, she said they had a warehouse out of state, and gave three models to choose from. They were apparently close out models. So, I looked up the three models, and made my choice. They even delivered it to me! I do not know if that would work now, or not. For me, it was worth the extra effort. I love my Miele.

A word about 220 volt washers. They do require a dryer outlet. So, that would probably require adding a second dryer outlet to your laundry room. Bosch Axxis washers are 220v, and the washer actually plugs into the dryer. So that set only takes the one dryer outlet.

Word has it that you can purchase the 220v Bosch Axxis sets here in the States again. If they are of the same quality as they were when I bought my set 12 years ago, I would highly recommend them. I gave my sister my Axxis set for her family of 4, about 6 years ago. That washer has done 12-25 (up to 40) loads a week, for it's entire life. It had one repair about the 6 year mark. And it still washes just as well as they day I bought it.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 10:54PM
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fpmom

Eleena I see you are still trying to decide re your washer and dryer like I am lol!!!! I noticed you asking about Electrolux and small loads - it's 'ok'... not too bad but not fantastic - just average - I wonder how gentle it is on it and thought that this morning when I was putting my toddlers clothing away which looked more 'worn' than usual (I only wash their clothes in small loads on 'hand wash' in cold water and usually every day) It gets things clean enough but I don't like how short the gentle cycles are (25 mins all up incl '2' rinses) and how short the rinse cycles are and I wonder how if it gets things clean enough... fyi the appliance place that sold the set to me is replacing them for me because the washer had mold appear within 8 mths of use - am replacing with Asko or Bosch Axxis and at this point am leaning towards the Bosch despite the fact that I prefer the appearance and gasket of the Asko... the Asko has less plastic on it and seems more solid (I like that it has a steel outer drum) though I think Bosch will be better for gentle smaller loads which when weighing things up is a bigger priority (I just hope I won't have mold issues with it and will have to be extra vigilant with drying the gasket down etc despite the fact I don't have time for all that)
lee676 how do you find your new Bosch? Am wondering about its performance and how gentle it is on clothing? feedback would be great thanks!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 1:13PM
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Sandy16

Miele 1966 - The Asko washer plugs into the dryer. No seperate outlet required.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 4:32PM
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lee676

Sears and Lowes both sell the Bosch 240v washers - only some stores have them on display, but they all will sell, deliver, and install them. Some Best Buy stores that were recently upgraded with their "Pacific" appliance departments should always have them on display in their stores - check the BB website to see where the nearest store in your area with the expanded appliance department is.

I bought my 240v Miele W1986 used (for under $200!) and it's easiiy the best washing machine I've ever used, with the best build quality and the easiest to use controls. Just set the temperature you want it to heat your water to in degrees F, select a spin speed (up to 1200rpm), choose from a few cycles and options, and you're set. It can draw from the cold water line only if you have a small water heater, or both hot and cold if you wish, and the powerful 240v internal heater quicky boosts the temperture, in 15 degree increments up to 190F.

Although there are several schemes used to connect 240v washers to American 240v/30a dryer outlets, they actually run on 15 amps (20 for some brands). The European dryers also need only 15 amps so they sometimes have a fused 240v/15a outlet on the back so you can plug the 240v/15a washer into the dryer, and the dryer into a 240v/30a outlet, and power both machines with one outlet.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 5:47PM
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fpmom

lee676 how do you find your new Bosch?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 7:18PM
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lee676

The Bosch (24460) is excellent overall - well built, quiet (except the jet-engine whirr during the fast final spin), decent capacity, good water extraction for less time/energy in the dryer, cleans well, heats its own water and quickly, easy to load and unoad, can be installed under a standard countertop or under a dryer as well as left freestanding. About the only thing I don't like is not having a temperature selection between about 90F and 120F, and the controls that don't tell you what the temperature or cycle time is (you can refer to printed documentation for this though).

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 12:05PM
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fpmom

thanks lee676 - did you get the matching Bosch dryer? If so, how do you find it?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 2:41PM
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lee676

I didn't use a Bosch dryer, which I've read works well enough but is noticeably slower than most American dryers because it runs on 240v/15a rather than 240v/30a, with many of the latter using up to 5500 watts rather than about 3000 watts max available from 15a service. I also wanted to use a gas dryer which is less costly to run in my area, and I already had a gas line there and not 240v service of any kind (I had to run 240v/15a for the washer). i bought a recent used Kenmore gas dryer that was in like-new condition (for $125), the Frigidaire-made 5.7 cu.ft dryer with front controls that matched their smaller 27"w 3.1 cu.ft. washers sold by both brands. It's as powerful and fast as 240v/30a American dryers, has a full feature set (I like the volume control for the end-of-cycle buzzer, which can also be shut off completely) and is a good size match for the Bosch dryer, even though its 27" wide and deep (sticking beyond the countertop in the back, but the top panel can be removed so it fits underneath). Kenmore and Frigidaire don't seem to sell these anymore, except as part of their stacked laundry units which have this same basic dryer on top.

I'm intrigued by the 24"w GE DSKS433EBWW which runs on 30 amps and has the controls on the bottom, convenient if stacked (on a shelf or countertop, as it won't attach directly to a Bosch washer). But it shuts off based on a thermostat, not a proper moisture sensor, which is less accurate. And though an American design where 30a rather than 15a is the norm for electric dryers, I'm not sure it takes advantage of the extra power availability - need to check the label on the appliance itself.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 1:37PM
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fpmom

thanks lee676

I think I am swaying back to the Asko lol!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 3:46PM
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noopd

Just my two cents, we r a family of 4 (1yo and 3 yo) w frequent house guests (in laws, family). We have the currect model Miele (3033 and 8003 stacked) and we have no problem w the capacity. We had them for about 1.5 years. We usually do laundry every 2- 5 days and that serve us pretty well. I like them very much.
If I compare them to my friends LG, they look very small in comparasion but I seriously doubt bigger is better for us. I like to separates whites from colors and the kids so its nice to not needed to wait very long to do a load.

Before the Miele, we had a set of kenmore stackable front load and they worked great too.

This post was edited by noopd on Tue, Mar 12, 13 at 7:04

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 6:55AM
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rococogurl

My new Miele pair is about 2 weeks old now and I'm extremely happy with them. I find them more different from the other two brands than I'd have imagined. Dryer is very different as well. This is my favorite of all three brands.

And most definitely not too small for us.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 2:44PM
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fpmom

How exciting rcocogurl! How do you find them different? especially the dryer?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 11:03AM
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fpmom

How exciting rcocogurl! How do you find them different? especially the dryer?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 12:27PM
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rococogurl

@fpmom -- Like so many Miele products, complex and customizable and with the inevitable learning curve. The washer has produced excellent results for me, from whitening yellowed pillow covers to washing silks. Dryer offers much, much control than the other two I've had (Asko, Bosch) and gets each load only as dry as it needs to be. No overheating. Two of DH's synthetic shirts came out of dryer looking like they had been professionally pressed.

Just paying the bill for these today -- gulp -- but so far it feels like $ very well spent and a greater level of assistance with the inevitable chores.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 9:54AM
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fpmom

Oh rococogurl I'm so jealous!!!! I would get these in a heartbeat if the appliance place sold them (that's replacing the electrolux)
Out of interest can you tell me which model numbers you purchased and whether the pillow cases got white because of the machine or hotter water? I'm esp jealous re the dryer because that sounds like the dryer I want!!! So tired of dryers shrinking everything so much (my Asko condensor dryer back in Australia never did - I'm wondering if the condenser vs vented has anything to do with performance?)... thanks again for the details - I really am so envious and wish I had just ponied up the $$$ to start with for the Miele

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 10:44AM
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rococogurl

fpmom-- I purchased the Miele 3035 washer and 8005 vented dryer in stainless which are the same as the 3033 and 8003 in white.

Over time, I'm not convinced that 140 or 175 water temperature makes as much difference as the cold pre-wash with oxygen bleach followed by a long (2 hour) hot wash -- what buffalotina calls a profile wash.

I got the whitening results on the pillow covers in the Miele with cold prewash and hot wash at 140. That's the hottest I'm currently going except for dishtowels, which I do at max. I was washing my older towels in hotter water (in the Asko) and it was aging them. Since I dialed it back to 140 newer sets look better.

The Miele has 158 -- which is hot enough to cook an egg. I use that for dishtowels or if one of us has been sick. Don't miss or feel I need the boil wash and if it's a tradeoff between that or better performance on the delicates and synthetics, that's a good one for me.

Had Asko and Bosch dryers previously. This one is a different animal -- it's taken some time to figure out. It's vented. Bosch was a condenser and got much hotter on all settings overall. The Asko had a low/hi but also less control.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 8:57AM
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fpmom

Oh rococogurl I'm so jealous!!!! I would get these in a heartbeat if the appliance place sold them (that's replacing the electrolux)
Out of interest can you tell me which model numbers you purchased and whether the pillow cases got white because of the machine or hotter water? I'm esp jealous re the dryer because that sounds like the dryer I want!!! So tired of dryers shrinking everything so much (my Asko condensor dryer back in Australia never did - I'm wondering if the condenser vs vented has anything to do with performance?)... thanks again for the details - I really am so envious and wish I had just ponied up the $$$ to start with for the Miele

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 2:11PM
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