How to get the best washer and dryer for your money

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Clothes washer & dryer shopping
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If you’re looking for the best clothes washer and dryer, you don’t necessarily have to pay big bucks to get the reliability and performance you want.

In this article, we’ll look at how to figure out which washer and dryer are best for you and then share some shopping strategies that will help you make sure you get a great deal on them.

Team Clark has a three-step process for purchasing large appliances like washers and dryers:

  1. First, we learn as much as we can about the options out there and read reviews from reputable sources like Consumer Reports.
  2. Then, we figure out the best time to make the purchase, based on seasonal sales trends.
  3. Finally, we compare prices on the models we’ve selected to make sure we’re getting the very best deal available.

Best washers and dryers for your money

To start, let’s take a look at ratings for washing machines and dryers from Consumer Reports. The following machines in both categories have all been named as “best buys” by the magazine.

Top-load HE (high-efficiency) washer

LG WT1150CW

LG top loading HE washer 1

  • External Dimensions – Height: 41 in. / Width: 27 in. / Depth: 29 in.
  • 1-year warranty
  • $630
  • Auto temp. control
  • Auto detergent dispenser
  • Auto fabric softener dispenser
  • End-of-cycle signal
  • Stainless-steel tub

LG WT1501CW

384979-toploadhewashers-lg-wt1501cw

  • External Dimensions – Height: 41 in. / Width: 27 in. / Depth: 29 in.
  • 1-year warranty
  • $720
  • Auto temp. control
  • Auto detergent dispenser
  • Auto fabric softener dispenser
  • End-of-cycle signal
  • Stainless-steel tub

Front-loading washer

LG WM3500CW

396411-front-load-washers-lg-wm3500cw-10000361

  • External Dimensions – Height: 39 in. / Width: 27 in. / Depth: 31 in.
  • 1-year warranty
  • $810
  • Auto temp. control
  • Auto detergent dispenser
  • Auto fabric softener dispenser
  • End-of-cycle signal
  • Rotary dial
  • Push button
  • Stainless-steel tub
  • Stackable

Compact washer

Electrolux EFLS210TIW

395537-compact-washers-electrolux-efls210tiw-60995

  • External Dimensions – Height: 34 in. / Width: 24 in. / Depth: 25 in.
  • 1-year warranty
  • $900
  • Auto temp control
  • Auto detergent dispenser
  • Auto fabric softener dispenser
  • End-of-cycle signal
  • Stainless-steel tub
  • Stackable

Electric dryer

LG DLE7200WE

LG dryer

  • External Dimensions – Height: 44 in. / Width: 27 in. / Depth: 30 in.
  • 1-year warranty
  • $810
  • Moisture sensor
  • Electronic controls
  • On/off end-of-cycle signal
  • Drum light
  • Custom programs
  • Duct blockage indicator
  • End-of-cycle signal

Gas dryer

LG DLG7101W

397097-gas-dryers-lg-dlg7101w-10001526

  • External Dimensions – Height: 44 in. / Width: 27 in. / Depth: 29 in.
  • 1-year warranty
  • $730
  • Moisture sensor
  • Electronic controls
  • On/off end-of-cycle signal
  • Duct blockage indicator

Compact dryer

Blomberg DV17542

blomberg dryer

  • External Dimensions – Height: 33 in. / Width: 24 in. / Depth: 23 in.
  • 1-year warranty
  • $680
  • Moisture sensor
  • Electronic controls
  • Stainless-steel drum
  • On/off end-of-cycle signal
  • Stackable

Shopping strategies to buy the best washers and dryers

Once you’ve decided which washer and dryer are the best fit for you and your budget, it’s time to make sure you get the lowest price on this major purchase. There are two steps to this process.

Use the calendar to your advantage

It’s good to know that appliances are one of the darlings of holiday sales promotions. If you can, try holding off until Independence Day, Labor Day, or Black Friday for seasonal specials.

Most appliances are a great deal in September and October when manufacturers roll out new models, making older models a good deal.

The reality is that year-to-year upgrades are typically limited to style and features, so buying last year’s model will not put you at a functional disadvantage.

Track, compare and match prices

When you’re ready to make your purchase, remember that appliance sellers such as Sears, Best Buy, Lowe’s and The Home Depot will price-match identical items, with Lowe’s and Home Depot offering 10% off competitor prices. Best Buy also matches online prices with competitors like Amazon.

Once you find the appliance you want, use a barcode-scanning app like ShopSavvy or BuyVia to compare prices among retailers to really make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Don’t forget that seasons, promotions and product life-cycles all contribute to price fluctuations, which is why tracking prices is essential — even after the purchase.

Most big box retailers offer price adjustment policies, so you may qualify for a refund if the price drops after purchase.

Here are 6 easy ways to get refunds for retail price drops with no effort!

If your washer and drying are going to be hidden from public view, consider that scratch-and-dent stores offer new appliances that have been scuffed up during shipping — often at prices that can be half what you’d pay at even a warehouse club.

Sears Outlet operates a chain of scratch-and-dents outlets across the country. There’s also a regional chain called Appliance Smart that has locations in Georgia, Minnesota, Ohio and Texas.

On the question of getting an extended warranty…

Extended warranties are a common add-on when you’re purchasing appliances and electronics. Money expert Clark Howard is opposed to them.

“Salespeople will tell you that an extended warranty ‘protects your investment,”‘ Clark says. “But a TV, a washer or a DVD player is not an investment.”

So instead of going ahead and buying that extended warranty, do these two things:

  • Look at your model’s record of reliability and buy brands/models that are historically most reliable. That way you’re less likely to need that warranty.
  • Make your purchase on a credit card that automatically doubles the manufacturers’ own warranty. You’ll give yourself additional piece of mind without having to spend anything extra.

Finally, make sure you visit ClarkDeals for the latest sales on appliances and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

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