High-efficiency top-loading washers usually offer several advantages over front-loaders, including faster wash time. But not the Frigidaire Affinity HE top-loaders Consumer Reports just tested. They took almost two hours. That's twice as long as some standouts from our tests so when Frigidaire claims on its website, "Thoroughly soaked, thoroughly cleaned," we get what they mean.
"When laundry is washed for so long—110 to 115 minutes—it does come out clean but there was also wear and tear on the fabrics," says Emilio Gonzalez, the engineer who runs Consumer Reports' tests of laundry appliances. We tested the Frigidaire Affinity FAHE4044MW, $700, and the Frigidaire Affinity FAHE1011MW, $600, the first HE top-loaders from Frigidaire in our labs, using the normal cycle on the heavy soil setting. Both were excellent at cleaning, but weren't very good at extracting water so drying time and energy use increased. Having the longest wash times of the 67 top-loaders tested, along with unimpressive capacity, also helped put these two washers near the bottom of the Ratings.
As for their matching electric dryers, the Frigidaire Affinity FARE4044MW, $700, did a fine job drying and is relatively quiet. It scored very good overall. The Frigidaire Affinity FARE1011MW, $600, was only fair at drying, putting it near the bottom of the Ratings. It doesn't have a moisture sensor, one of the most important dryer features, and one that's been commonly available for a decade. Moisture sensors do better than thermostats at shutting off the dryer when laundry is dry. (The gas models are numbers FARG4044MW and FARG1011MW).
If you're shopping for a matching washer and dryer and want to spend $1,500 or less, see these impressive pairs. Bigger budget? Then look at our list of 10 matching washers and dryers that cleaned up in our tests. And for all the details on their performance and features see our full Ratings of washers and dryers.