The Internet is crawling with cat videos but it's a video of a Canadian brown bear that's lumbering up YouTube's most-watched list. It's a clever way to get viewers—more than 13 million so far—to watch an ad for a washing machine. Samsung, which has a knack for viral videos, has done it again with its EcoBubble washer. Consumer Reports hasn't tested this particular washer yet but other Samsung models top our reviews of both front- and top-loading washing machines.
In the video, called "Huge Bear Surprises Crew," a film crew is seen setting up Samsung's EcoBubble washer on a frozen lake in British Columbia to show how it creates bubbles to clean clothes using very cold water. As a bear approaches, the crew scatters then watches as the animal strips to its boxers and throws its coat in the front loader. As the washer turns, the bear reads, dances and juggles. The spot opens and closes with a real Canadian brown bear while an actor plays the central role. But there'll be no spoilers here on how it ends.
After watching the video, we can't wait to get the EcoBubble into our test labs but so far it's sold only in Europe. We're hoping to get one this spring and have our own fun. And we'll share the results when we do. In the meantime, we already have five Samsung front-loaders and four Samsung top-loaders on our list of top washing machine picks.
Our top front-loader, the Samsung WF457ARGS[GR], $1,550, has excellent wash performance and superb water- and energy efficiency, but its normal wash time of 100 minutes was among the longest of our standout models. It comes with a free smartphone app that gives you remote control of the washer and its matching dryer, the electric Samsung DV457EVGS[GR] or gas Samsung DV457GVGS[GR]. The dryers also made our recommended list.
For about half as much you can buy our top top-loader, the Samsung WA422PRHD[WR], $800. A CR Best Buy, this high-efficiency top-loader delivers excellent wash performance. It has a large capacity and uses less water and extracts more of it, cutting dryer time. Normal wash time is 75 minutes and it operates relatively quietly. The $750 matching electric dyer, the Samsung DV422EWHD[WR], isn't a top pick, but did a superb job drying our laundry and is relatively quiet. The gas dryer is Samsung DV422GWHD[WR].
—Mary H.J. Farrell