Need help with choosing a Front-Load Washer

John91CApril 1, 2011

Hello...we are new to the forum and would like to participate with our 1st post!

We are moving into a home within the next few weeks and we are looking for a new Front-Load W/D.

Price is not a huge factor...reliability and quality are what matter to us...

A few things about us: we are in the U.S., family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids ages 4 & 2), and currently we are doing our laundry in a HE Maytag top load washer, 2 times a week with about 3-4 loads each time.

This will be our first front-load washer...

We are deciding between:

1) Whirlpool WFW97HEX with matching electric dryer

2) Miele W4842 with matching electric dryer

3) Bosch 800 series with matching electric dryer.

I've read multiple pros/cons on each company and am royally confused!

We like the Whirlpool because of their new "automatic" detergent dispenser and ability to detect water conditions and it automatically determines the amount of detergent to dispense for those conditions...we also like the fan fresh option because we sometimes leave our last load in over-night.

What we don't know is the overall reliability of the new 97HEX model...the 94HEX got the #1 ranking on consumer reports and 97HEX got #3.

We like the Miele because of the honey-comb technology, build quality and from what I've read a very good machine at cleaning clothes...

What we don't like about Miele is the 4.0 cu size (according to the manual you can only do up to a full size comforter).

I'm hesitant on Bosch from the reviews I've read about noise level/overall cleaning quality.

We are honestly leaning towards the Whirlpools but I would like everyone's opinion/suggestions...I know Miele is a great quality brand but is it that much better?

Many thanks...John & Kate

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Also try looking at Electrolux WaveTouch.
I can't find too much bad press on these machines.
They have huge capacity 5.1 cu. ft. washer and 8.0 cu. ft. dryer.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 9:35AM
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Not John and Kate + 8? ;)

I spent months researching my new machines (literally - you can trace my posts back to summer of last year I think). I had a Frigidaire front loader for 10 years so I was not new to front load washing. My Frigidaire was pretty basic (no heater, no fancy settings).

We are a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids ages 8 and 5). I'm not even sure how many loads we do but it's a lot. When you factor in bedding, towels, clothes, separate loads like tea towels, cleaning cloths, my husband's dress shirts ... oh my!

I narrowed my search down to Miele (W4842) and LG (WM3885). I would have considered Samsung but they do not make a gas dryer for Canada.

I wanted, very badly, to love the Bosch Vision 800. Firstly, they are discontinuing their 27" washing machine line end of this year. That concerns me from a part perspective. You would hope parts will be available way down the line but who's to know.

I also felt Bosch did not feel very solidly built. I found the dials and plastics felt cheap.

I also felt that Whirlpool and Maytag did not feel very "solid". On one machine I was looking at, the detergent drawer was hard to push in and stay in.

I really felt the LG machine felt very solid. Everything on them moved effortlessly from dials to detergent drawer. They seem to get very good customer reviews and they were voted most reliable by "a leading consumer magazine".

In the end I opted for the Miele (W4842/T9822). I gave up bells, whistles and larger capacity in the hopes of cleaning excellence. I've had them since early February. I can't say how much better they are than my second choice LG (as I've never owned the LG). Although my parents have brand new LG (entry level) machines and are very happy with them.

I can say that the Miele definitely washes better than my previous machine and rinses MUCH better. I was always struggling with bubbles left on the glass of my previous machine and that is never a problem with the Miele. Even detergents that were too sudsy for my previous machine work wonderfully in the new Miele.

Miele has some features that are hard to appreciate until you own them. I read previously that most machines determine how much water to use based on weight of the load. Miele does not do that but instead "senses" how much water is needed. Therefore, on a load like towels that absorb a lot of water, it will give you more. Other makes will not. I think this makes a difference.

Miele also has a setting for comforters (I also use it for mattress pads or anything really bulky) that will "vent" the item(s) first. It thoroughly wets them and then spins out before it actually begins washing.

I wasn't sure the heater was a big deal to me. I hadn't had one before and things seemed ok. I really appreciate it now. I also appreciate that the Miele maintains target temps in all settings (except Normal). Other makes (like LG) will only guarantee temps in sanitary and extra hot.

I often use the Extra White setting now for items like tea towels, bath towels and bed sheets. My tea towels are noticeably whiter and cleaner. I also feel better knowing they are washed in such hot water.

I'm very pleased with my Miele pair. The dryer is another whole discussion. I really like it. It dries very quickly and leaves clothes with some moisture which in the long run is better for fabrics.

They are not the largest machines available; you have to decide what your top priority is. Nor are they the quietest (LG is a little quieter - maybe due to their direct drive motor) - although they are not that noisy.

I really wanted the best cleaning with the (hopefully) most durable machine. I did get a free upgrade to a 10 year warranty with Miele so that definitely helped push me to that decision. I had to pay for the extended LG warranty and it was only for 5 years.

FWIW, my sales guy works in a store that sells the most Miele in Canada. He sells a lot of Miele (he's even been to Germany to see manufacturing first hand). His first choice is Miele, his current second choice is Samsung and then LG. He's no longer a fan of Whirlpool/Maytag and definitely not Bosch. He said if everyone could see what's "under the hood" of a Miele - they would choose it over the others. No one builds them like Miele (he tells me).

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 10:31AM
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I'm not trying to convince you to get the Miele but I wanted to post this video link. It was a very thorough explanation of what you get when you buy Miele (hard to find when it comes to Miele).

"Agreed, it is often only details that make Miele machine stand out from the crowd at first glance. So far, so good. But its about more than just that. At Miele, its all about perfection, and taking the gentelist care of garments and textiles."

Enjoy the vid!

Here is a link that might be useful: Miele - The Art of Laundry Care

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 10:55AM
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Thank you for the reply and the link to the video. It's jut John & Kate + 2 ;)

The only few concerns I have with Miele is the 4 cu ft size and if there ever was a problem with Miele how good their service would be. Also we do not have the 10 yr extended warranty option here in Washington State but then again Whirlpool only has a 1 year warranty as well.

How is the size of the washer working for you? We're leaning more towards Miele since the price difference is minimal (Whirlpool just raised their prices) so we'll see in a week or so what we finally decide, thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 8:18PM
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I was told by a saleman at Sears that the prices of matrials to manufacture and transprotation of goods are on the rise so sears was raising prices in April. I just placed my order with best buy yesterday. My machiine was priced $899 and on sale for $637. Todday that same machine is $999 and on sale for $849. seems that best buy upped prices to after the sales from the last week of March ended.

With the cost of energy going up I would think this trend is only going to continue. If I were you I would decide as quickly as you can and place an order if you can find a store that will hold the item until your new home is ready.

I made due with a 3.5 cu ft washer granted I am a single guy but I do wash large bedding and I dont have time to do tons of loads every week. I ordered a Samsung steam washer that is 4.3 cu ft. I would think that any thing in the 4.0 to 4.5 size should be good for most families, I grew up with much less back in the 70's and 80's and we were a family of 6. The old Maytag's nver held as much at once at the new washers do.

Miele is a wonderful machine, German enginered to be a premuim brand and last at least 20 years. No Machine is as well made and tested to preform. IF Miele were in my budget I'd have a set. I remember when I learned of them and went to the showroom to see them before I settled for that Frigidaire that just grenaded on me. I was so impressed. I was almost scared the sales person was not going to talk to me as if I drove in to a car lot in a chevette to look at a corvette. hopefully next time around I can get a set of Miele's and have them until I retire. I guess I am saying to you get the Miele if you can afford it.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 9:48PM
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For $249, you can get an extra FOUR years of full Miele Extended Warranty thru Miele, and serviced by Miele. If you re-new before the original extended warranty expires, your can add another 4 years. Miele...Anything else really is a compromise. I've tried Samsung, Electrolux and Frigidaire over the past 20 years, and I ALWAYS return to Miele. The build quality, performance and service provided is unmatchable!!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 1:27AM
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Hi John,

I think it's hard to imagine a "one size fits all" washing machine. Like someone else posted here once, she wished her Miele were bigger at times and smaller at times.

For my regular laundry it has been more than large enough. Sometimes I think my loads look small in there (slightly less than half the drum). But with kids, I sometimes do a load of clothes mid week if I need certain things clean.

It's plenty large enough for other regular washes like bath towels, tea towels, dress shirts, cleaning cloths, etc ...

My previous machine was less than 4 cu ft and I seemed to get by with that so I knew I was at least gaining some size.

We have a king bed, two full/double beds and one queen guest bed. It handles sheets for all the beds no problem. It has washed my son's full quilt (which is really a queen size) no problem.

The only size issue I've had is; I ordered a water proof mattress pad for my youngest son from Lands End. It is very thick. It just fit in the washer (IMO). Because of it's thickness it barely tumbles. My friend ordered a king size of the same mattress pad (she's having a new baby) and she also has the Miele. She hasn't washed it yet but I'm anxious to see if she gets it in there. I should know by the weekend.

I think it would wash my king size matelasse no problem but I don't think you'd get a king comforter (thick kind) in there.

This was part of my decision making dilemma. I decided that for the odd large piece I wasn't willing to give up (hopefully) superior cleaning on 98% of my laundry for the ability to wash that one large item.

For me, part of the reason that the LG WM3885 looked so much larger is that LG has the largest drum "opening" in the industry. They look really huge. Hard to say if I would have been as happy with the LG but I am happy with the Miele (thankfully).

It's tough to decide ...

I'm not sure where you live so I don't know what Miele service will be like. I live very close to Miele's Canadian head office/gallery so I don't think I'll have any issues. My experience with delivery and set up was excellent. I think things are a little different here in Canada. Miele handles all their own delivery, installation and servicing. Anything happens we deal directly with Miele.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 9:50AM
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