June 23, 2017

Laundry Trends Around the Globe

Washer and dryer manufacturers around the world all recognise  that the demands of the consumer drive their designs.  The latest trends are for energy efficiency, quietness and, especially in North America, size.

In Globalizing Laundry, David Simpson of Appliance Magazine writes:

Consumers are more aware that efficient models are less costly to operate, their awareness advanced by public information programs and rankings of washers’ energy and water efficiency.
Quietness is another important multinational design goal. More homes have laundry appliances sited close to living areas than in the past, and washer and dryer noise is less tolerated by consumers.

“The trend toward moving the laundry closer to the living areas of the home seems to be happening in all our markets,” observes Scott Davies, product manager at Fisher & Paykel. “Our customers want good-looking products that are quiet enough to use at night without waking the family.”

Despite these near-universal laundry appliance design trends, regional preferences add variety to the market. In North America, larger capacity is more important than elsewhere. Different regions and countries have preferences on top-loading versus front-loading washers. Manufacturers also continue to cater to specialty appliance needs with products like nontumble dryer cabinets, combination washer/dryers, and even top-load tumble dryers.

Other interesting coming offerings are steam drying, which would help fight wrinkles and Silver ions that are used in SilverCare washers from Samsung Electronics America. The ion system is designed to kill bacteria and clean without the potential clothes damage that can result from immersion in hot water and bleach.

So, while the drudgery of laundry will remain, we may be able to get through it faster with larger more energy efficient, quieter machines.