No matter how many things you have to do in your life, one of the things you can always count on is the fact that you always need clean clothes. But where to start? Today’s major in-home appliances come with a dizzying amount of bells and whistles and range from cheap to very high-end. Here’s how to choose a washing machine in 2016.

How to Choose a Washing Machine: Buyer’s Guide 2016

Load Capacity: How to Choose a Washer Size

This is just a measure of how many clothes a washing machine can hold. The bigger the washer, the more expensive it will usually be. If you don’t need to wash large loads, you can save money by buying a washer with a smaller load capacity.

A single person might even want a smaller load capacity instead of having to wait to have enough dirty clothes to fill up a large washer. On the other hand, if you have a large family, you definitely want a large load capacity unless you want to be running three loads of laundry a day.

Another thing to consider with load capacity size is your bedding. You can always split a pile of clothes into smaller loads, but you can’t do that with a blanket or large comforter. If you have a king size bed, you will definitely need a large load capacity so that you don’t have to wash your comforters at the laundromat.

Functions and Features

There are tons of functions and features to choose from. Think carefully about which ones you really want, and don’t assume that more functions automatically make for a better washer. For example, a super-hot sanitary cycle is invaluable for things like sheets and towels, while a super gentle cycle is good if you have a lot of delicate clothes that would otherwise need to be hand washed.

Steam washers claim to be highly effective at removing stains, but if you rarely stain your clothing, you can probably skip this option. Your best bet is to look at the features the machine offers, and make sure that you aren’t paying extra for features you will never use.

Price

Obviously, you need a machine that fits in your budget. But keep in mind that, as a general rule, you get what you pay for. If you skimp and buy a rock bottom-priced machine, you will probably be getting rock bottom level cleaning.

If you are on a budget, make a list of the features you really need and which features you can live without. This will give you a good starting point from which to find savings.

HE or Not HE?

HE stands for High Efficiency, and it is a type of machine that uses a lot less water. HE machines can save you money on your water bill, and they are definitely better for the environment, especially if you live in an area that is prone to droughts.

The main drawback of HE machines is that they use less water. If you have very dirty clothes (like, if you have kids who play outside), you will be using the heavy duty cycle a lot. Another drawback of HE machines is that the wash cycles often take longer.

how to choose a washing machine 2016

Top Load or Front Load Washer?

Top load washers tend to use a lot more water than front load washers and in doing so have been reported by many users to get clothes cleaner than front load washers. On the other hand, front load washers tend to be extremely efficient with water, and are more easily accessible than top loaders.

Shopping for a new washer isn’t easy. If you love your machine, consider repair. Repair is often a much more affordable option and keeps trash out of the landfill.