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Laundry Room

Get a Load of This! Sarah’s Choice – for Laundry Machines

April 14, 2023

You’ve been asking, here’s the answer. It took some time and research but I finally settled on my choice for a new washer and dryer.  It wasn’t an easy decision to make because it’s not like you can bring them home to test them and I knew a lot of you would be looking for my review and endorsement!  Washers and dryers are a huge investment for a family and I did not take this responsibility lightly. I crowd sourced your recommendations on Instagram, and over and over Huebsch (known as Speed Queen in the USA) was the top recommendation. PLUS, growing up, in one of the many houses we lived in, we had a Speed Queen Washer and Dryer and my Mom still talks about them with longing and lust! Thanks for your patience while we put this together, I wanted to have a couple months use in my back pocket before I wrote this post. 

If you have followed me for any length of time, you know I am Team: Top Loader. We see so many smelly front loaders, or front loaders that suspiciously break down 2 weeks after their warranty runs out.  Front loaders tend to trap moisture, grow mold and they’re a pain in the ass to clean. I love top loaders because of their functionality and how simple they are to clean. I looked for quality and efficiency over fancy touch screens and a futuristic look. Generally, I am not a fan of anything digital that also has to coexist with water. (Next on my hit list: Dishwashers, but that’s a post for another day.) 

I wanted a simple, classic design, with not a lot of bells and whistles; something that will stand the test of time. I will say this time and time again: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But… One thing that is super important to mention before we get started is that High Efficiency (HE) laundry machines are federally regulated. There are minimum energy performance standards that washers and dryers have to meet to pass code and these standards are ever changing. You know what else must happen when the standards change? The Laundry detergent. It needs to be reformulated to work in cold water and with less water each time the regulations (USA) (Canada) are changed. So as much as I would love an old washing machine from my childhood, we have Earth’s future to think about. 

After living with my inherited front load washer for the last year, a frustration of mine was that many times, even with the smallest load, the machine did not fully get my clothes wet. That means they were not cleaned and I would end up doing two loads of laundry to get the job done. I used twice the amount of detergent, energy, time and water. I am no scientist but I feel like this defeats the entire purpose of HE machines. Having a machine where I can manually choose the water level based on how big my load is was a top decision maker for me. 

Must haves: 

  • Top loader washer and electric dryer
  • Affordable price point
  • Manual load size options 
  • Agitator in the washer drum
  • Basic functions. Fancy features not required.
  • High Efficiency
  • Non locking lid (try as I might, this was not possible to find. But alas, I can’t win them all) 

When you buy through our links, we may earn a small commission. 

Drum Roll Please…



Huebsch TR5104WN Top Load Washer

Huebsch DR5102WE Dryer


Speed Queen TR5003WN Top Load Washer  

Speed Queen DR5003WE Dryer

My two concerns about purchasing these units were: 

  1. Not having a non locking lid. I love the old school top loaders ability to open up the lid and toss in a forgotten sock… but I CAN pause the load and open the lid, so that technically is a problem solved. 
  2. A lot of you were concerned about the size of the machine at 3.2 Cubic Feet, when your average front loader is 4.2-4.5 cubic feet. Well to this I say: You should read my laundry book because ramming a machine chalk full of clothes does not always equal cleanliness. I have washed a duvet, a ruggable and huge bath sheets (not all at the same time) in the top loader without a worry. The load sizes are impressive and respectable.

Here’s why I picked this washer and dryer:

  1. Being able to choose the level of water I want to wash in. Many machines are autofill only and use minimal water so your clothes may not actually be getting wet. This machine has both the Auto-Fill function or the option to choose your water level. 
  2. Cleaning power: Y’all these things can clean. My whites have never been whiter. 
  3. There are turn dials. This may be considered old school but I  love this feature so much more than a  push button display. The less digital, the less that can go wrong.
  4. Each load can be set to a custom cycle which helps to extend the life of your clothes and the machines. There is a Heavy Duty, Normal/Eco cycle, Perm Press, Delicate, Hand Wash and Spin Only cycle. I have used all of these; I love the Handwash Cycle for sweaters, haven’t had a snag yet. 
  5. The dryer door is reversible. So you can change the laundry room layout or move to a different home and the door can swing either way to fit your space. Genius.  
  6. The dryer has a steam function. The high temperature steam cycle kills 99% of bacteria, and ensures your clothes come out with zero wrinkles. I love this feature in a dryer. 
  7. They are Energy Star certified for efficiency, which means they use less water and less energy. You’ll save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
  8. Ultra quiet. You can run these babies at any time of the day or night and not disturb your household.
  9. The dryer works on a timer or a sensor, dealers’ choice!

Since bringing these appliances home, I have been absolutely delighted with my decision. 

Of course we will see how they stand the test of time, but Huebsch claims their machines are reliable for 25 years  in an average home. This is a game changer. The price point of these machines are on the medium to higher end, but one of the most repeated DM’s I received from the #cleaningarmy was that their Huebsch/Speed Queens are still running like the day you bought them, after 25 plus years. After having to replace my inherited machines in my new home at only 6 years old: this matters. I definitely recommend them to anyone looking for new laundry machines.

For a list of our favorite products, click here.

-Sarah McAllister

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