Buying a new appliance is expensive and everyone wants to get a good value for their money. Sometimes getting less can be more. According to Consumer Reports, some of the extra features offered on new washers and dishwashers are not needed and just add unnecessarily to the final cost.
Take new dishwasher cycles with names like “turbo zone” and “power scour.” For those, special nozzles are placed in the back of the dishwasher to take care of tough jobs.
Although those cycles do a good job, Consumer Reports testers say they are not essential.
“We find many dishwashers, using just the regular setting, do a great job cleaning our very tough challenge: baked-on brownie mix,” Consumer Reports tester Kim Kleman said.
You can also save by skipping the often-pricier stainless steel tubs and get a plastic tub in your dishwasher.
“People love the stainless steel look, but how many people are looking inside your dishwasher?” Kleman said. “The plastic tub should hold up just fine.”
Many washing-machine models come loaded with lots of extra features – such as cycles made specifically for bedding, active wear and sanitizing. Consumer Reports, though, says you should take a pass on those options.
“Stick with the regular heavy-duty, normal, delicate and white cycles. That’s all you really need,” Kleman said.
As for dryers, don’t be wowed by claims like extra-large capacity, super capacity and king-sized capacity.
“We find most dryers hold plenty, whether it says super capacity or not,” Kleman said.
Although matching washer-dryer sets look nice, they can cost more.
If you’re buying them at the same time, Consumer Reports recommends getting the best-performing, most efficient washer – one that extracts the most water from clothes.
Among dryers, get the one that has a moisture sensor.
Consumer Reports ranked its Best Buys among dishwashers, washers and dryers:
- Dishwasher: Sears’ Kenmore 1374 for $650.
- Washer: Frigidaire Gallery GLTF2940F for $650.
- Dryers: GE DBVH512EF[WW] for $650; GE DPSE810EG[WT] for $500.
Keep to this strategy: Don’t pay for features you don’t need.