Top Five High Efficiency Washing Machine Choices, Early 2010 Edition

by Owner on March 29, 2010

In the market for a new high efficiency washing machine? Maybe the Obama cash-for-appliances credit to encourage energy efficiency is tempting you into the store, especially if your current clothes washer is broken or not working properly.

If so, you obviously want to look for an Energy Star rated machine (if you live in the US). But there’s lots of energy efficient washers on the market, so which one should you choose?

The two things the Energy Star program looks at for washing machine efficiency involve complex formulas that are called a “modified energy factor” (MEF) and “water factor” (WF) which measure energy and water efficiency respectively.

I know this all sounds complicated and you can find more details on the website, but suffice to say that these are objective measures of energy and water usage. You want a high MEF and a low WF.

The Energy Star standard is MEF greater than or equal to 1.8, and WF less than or equal to 7.5. In January 2011 the standards get stricter, with MEF greater than or equal to 2, and WF less than or equal to 6.

Going purely based off of the MEF and WF scores as listed on the Energy Star website, here are the top five for washing machine efficiency (first three are a tie):

1) LG LSWF388H**, with a MEF of 3 and WF of 3.24, is the top-rated high efficiency washing machine. It is 4.17 cubic feet, making it a larger clothes washer, and consumes just 108 kilowatt hours per year.

2) LG WM3875H***, MEF 3, WF 3.24, 4.17 cubic feet, 108 KwH/year.

3) LG WM3885H***, MEF 3, WF 3.24, 4.17 cubic feet, 108 KwH/year.

4) Samsung WF330***, MEF 2.91, WF 3.1, 3.69 cubic feet, 107 KwH/year.

5) Samsung WF350***, MEF 2.9, WF 3.1, 3.69 cubic feet, 107 KwH/year.

(Two runners up for 5th place were the Kenmore 410**90* and 421**90*, which had the same MEF but consumed slightly more water, 3.43 WF. On the other hand they were also larger, being 3.87 cubic feet.)

The * symbol stands for minor model variations.

You may notice the most efficient clothes washers tend to be front-loading varieties instead of top-loading. That’s on purpose, since front-loading washers use gravity to help move the clothes around.

I couldn’t find some of these models on the manufacturers’ web pages, but did find them on the list of several states’ cash-for-appliances programs. So they should be available, perhaps at your local store.

Are you in the market for a high efficiency washing machine? If so, what model did you choose and why?

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Ross Jordan April 9, 2010 at 6:24 am

For what its worth, _none_ of these models are yet available (as of April 2010), though I understand they should be out later this year.


Joe Barrios April 9, 2010 at 9:04 am

That would explain why I couldn’t yet find them on retailer websites!


laurie April 16, 2010 at 10:57 pm

I found the samsung 330 at my local lowes but it is not on thier website.


Angela April 18, 2010 at 7:22 pm

I was ready to purchase Samsung’s WF328AAW @ Best Buy today but they only had the floor models of the W&D left and, acc. to BB, this model has been discontinued.
They just got the WF330′s and haven’t unpacked them yet. They’re larger than the 328′s.
I’ve done a lot of research on FL’s and TL’s and settled on Samsung because it’s top of the line, consistently rated high, has SilverCare and everything that I’m looking for in a washer at this time.
Same as Laurie – I couldn’t find the WF330′s on Samsung’s, Best Buy’s or Sears’ websites.


Sharon, Georgia July 8, 2010 at 12:59 am

Angela… the WF330 doesn’t have Silver Care, it has PURE care which is something completely different.


Howard from Broward April 20, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Just bought the Samsung WF 330 this afternoon from Best Buy. Expecting delivery early next week. Stay tuned…


Phil June 2, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Just Bought a WF330 at Sears. With all the sales and incentives I wil be paying ~$480. Couldn’t resist, especially since my old washer died! TDB how good it is, but I bought it based on what I’ve read…


Sharon, Georgia July 8, 2010 at 12:57 am

How the heck did you get it for $480 ?? Did you get the Breakwater Blue ones that were advertised for $507.99 ?? Lowe’s would not price match the blue ones because they were $400 cheaper EACH at Best Buy but Best Buy didn’t have the blue in stock.. only the white and they were $539.99. I bought the dryer at Best Buy and the washer at Sears for $504.49 after the price match and 5% discount for charging on your Sears card.


Angela April 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I purchased the WF330 on Monday. Delivers tomorrow.


Dave T in Cincinnati April 21, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Hey I just bought the Samsung WF330 today too! It is not listed anywhere — so i bought this sight unseen!

delivery is saturday.


Angela April 22, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Best Buy has the spec’s for the WF330 on their website but no pic’s yet. I bought the W/D in store so I’ve seen them. Waiting for delivery now.


allie April 24, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Sears has the WF330 on their site and available in store. Bought the W/D set last since they were the same price as the wf219 (dryer was out of stock), and offers more features and slightly larger size for the money. Waiting for delivery.


Sharon, Georgia July 8, 2010 at 12:53 am

The capacity you have listed for the Samsung WF330 is incorrect. This is a SUPER capacity washer which is 4.3 CF… not 3.69. It is LARGER than the LG.


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