The buzz in laundry appliance circles (trust me, they exist) these days for washers is all front load, front load, front load.
Or is it?
The Whirlpool appliance crew came in last week to show our sales staff its new line and argued that many of today’s customers want top load laundry again. But these customers aren’t replacing a top-loading washer with a top-loading washer; They’re replacing front-loading washers with top-loading washers.
True, some of the earliest front-loading washing machines came fraught with mold issues and vibration and noise problems. Those early kinks have pretty much, ahem, come out in the wash. But apparently, not everyone’s convinced.
Plus, Whirlpool’s high-efficiency top-load washer offers many of the same features front-loaders became popular for:
- extra-large capacity
- high spin speeds
- less water and detergent used
Also available are features such as steam cleaning and drying, allergen-eliminating cycles and precision detergent/bleach/fabric softener dispense.
All Whirlpool’s new washers are rated are at the peak of energy efficiency ratings — Tier 3 — by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (see “Energy Star not sole guide for energy-efficiency”). The Cabrios sense the size of the load and only use as little as 14 gallons per wash, as much as 31 gallons fewer than a traditional top-load washing machine.
I’m a huge front loader snob, but I have to admit that the features are pretty darn similar and who wouldn’t rather reach down than bend down. I think they’re definitely a good machine for the customer who wants quality but not another front loading washing machine.