If you’re in the market for a new washing machine, two brands you’re likely considering are GE and Whirlpool. As leaders in home appliances, both companies offer a wide selection of washers with innovative features and technologies.
But which brand makes the most reliable washing machines? This comprehensive review will compare GE and Whirlpool washers across key factors like durability, performance, features, warranties, and cost. Read on to find out which washer brand is the best choice for long-lasting quality and value in your home.
Outline of GE vs Whirlpool Washer Comparison
This in-depth guide covers all aspects of GE and Whirlpool’s washer offerings. Use the headings below to jump to specific sections:
- Overview of GE and Whirlpool
- Major Washer Lines
- Durability and Longevity
- Performance and Features
- Cycles, Settings and Controls
- Energy Efficiency
- Noise Levels
- Prices and Value
- Customer Satisfaction and Reviews
- Availability of Parts and Repairs
- Top Washer Picks
- The Verdict: Which Brand is More Reliable?
Overview of GE and Whirlpool
GE and Whirlpool are two of the biggest appliance manufacturers in the US. Both companies offer a full suite of washers and have been in the appliance business for over 100 years. Here’s a brief overview of their history and reputations:
- Founded in 1892, one of the oldest appliance brands
- Manufactures a wide range of home and kitchen appliances
- Known for quality and innovation in product technology
- 25+ washer models available across top- and basic-load configurations
- Budget-friendly to premium price points
- US-based company headquartered in Boston, MA
- Founded in 1911, also 100+ years in appliance business
- Largest appliance maker in the world
- Owns Maytag, KitchenAid, Amana brands
- 30+ washers covering top- and front-load models
- Budget to high-end models available
- US-based company headquartered in Benton Harbor, MI
Now that we’ve covered the basics on these two washing machine giants, let’s compare their washer offerings across the key factors shoppers care about most.
Major Washer Lines of GE and Whirlpool
GE and Whirlpool produce dozens of washing machines across different product lines. Here are the major washer types and series manufactured by each brand:
- Top-load – GE offers a range of basic to advanced top-load washers under model names like GE, GE Profile, Cafe, Diamond. Most are agitator-style, some with impellers.
- Front-load – GE-branded front-load washers along with higher-end GE Profile front-load models. Feature steam wash and WiFi connectivity.
- Portable – Small, compact washers under 1 cubic ft capacity for tight spaces
- Top-load – Wide range of top-loaders under Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana brands. Impeller and agitator machines available.
- Front-load – Front-load washers made under Whirlpool and Maytag labels. Steam cycles offered.
- Portable – Compact, apartment-size washers labeled under Inglis brand.
This table compares the key model lines and features for each brand’s washers:
| Washer Type | GE Models | Whirlpool Models |
| Top-Load Agitator | GE, GE Profile, Cafe, Diamond | Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana |
| Top-Load Impeller | GE | Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana |
| Front-Load | GE, GE Profile | Whirlpool, Maytag |
| Portable Washers | GE | Inglis |
Now let’s compare the reliability and durability of these major washer lines.
Durability and Longevity
The most important factor for any major appliance purchase is durability. You want a washer that will last for years of regular use without breaking down. Here’s how GE and Whirlpool stack up on longevity:
- GE washers – Have a reputation for reliability and longevity. Top-loads average ~14 years, front-loads ~11 years. Solid performance record.
- Whirlpool washers – Mixed reviews on longevity. Some models last 10+ years, others may only last 5. More variability.
Digging deeper on specific washer lines:
- GE top-loads – Known for their durability, with average lifespans over 15 years. Low repair rates. Diamond series rated very reliable.
- Whirlpool top-loads – Mixed durability for Whirlpool brand, better longevity from Maytag/Amana models. Some last 10-15 years, others prone to early failure.
- GE front-loads – Very low repair rates, with average lifespans of 10-13 years. Known for reliability.
- Whirlpool front-loads – More prone to problems like leaking compared to GE. Average life expectancy around 9 years.
When it comes to durability and longevity, GE washers come out ahead, especially GE top-load models. Whirlpool washers show more variability in lifespan depending on model line.
Performance and Features
Along with durability, cleaning performance and features are top priorities for shoppers. Here’s how the brands compare:
- Wash performance – GE and Whirlpool both offer decent wash performance across price points. Higher-end models clean better than basic machines. Overall wash abilities are comparable.
- Spin performance – GE tends to edge out Whirlpool in spinning and water removal, especially on the high end. This leads to faster dry times.
- Soil/stain removal – No significant difference. Both brands provide good stain cleaning with pre-treat cycles and steam options on higher price point washers.
- Features – Whirlpool offers more innovative features on its high-end washers, like Load & Go dispensers and auto-fill. GE focuses more on fundamentals.
GE and Whirlpool deliver similar wash performance. For spinning and advanced features, Whirlpool wins out, but GE takes the cake for focusing on durability and fundamentals. Call this one a tie.
Cycles, Settings and Controls
Having the right cycles and programmability makes washing simple and effective. Here are some key comparisons:
- Basic cycles – Both offer all essential cycles: normal, heavy, delicate, whites, etc. Wide range of options.
- Specialty cycles – Whirlpool has more specialty cycles like Athletic Gear. GE prides itself on laundry basics.
- Customization – Whirlpool machines allow for more customization of settings like soil level and spin speed.
- Controls – GE focuses on knobs and mechanical dials. Whirlpool offers more digital touchpads and smart controls.
- Smart features – Whirlpool wins on smart features and connectivity. It partners with Maytag and Amana for app control. GE is rolling out WiFi on some models.
For customization and smart controls, Whirlpool is ahead of GE. But GE’s classic mechanical controls appeal to many consumers. Overall Whirlpool takes this category.
Having adequate tub capacity for your household is essential. Let’s look at how GE and Whirlpool measure up:
- Top-load capacity – Both offer top-loaders from 3.5 to 5.5 cubic feet. Larger capacities like 6.5 cu ft available from GE. Even larger models from Whirlpool.
- Front-load capacity – Range from 4.2 to 6 cu ft for both brands. Whirlpool has a few larger front-loaders up to 7 cubic feet.
- Portable capacity – GE offers 1 cu ft models. Whirlpool’s Inglis washers go down to 1.6 cu ft.
- Compact models – Whirlpool has more compact 18-inch width top- and front-loaders. GE’s selection is limited.
Whirlpool takes the win for offering larger tub capacities, especially among extra-large top-loads and compact models. GE still provides adequate sizing for most households.
Energy efficiency is another key consideration, both for utility savings and environmental impact:
- Efficiency ratings – All GE and Whirlpool washers meet the latest Energy Star standards. They offer models across the energy rating spectrum.
- High-efficiency top-loads – These use less water and energy. Both brands make them, with options at all price points.
- Most efficient models – Whirlpool offers some of the most efficient top-loads using as little as 3 gallons per cycle. Some GE models compete here too.
- Front-loads – Both brands’ front-loaders are very efficient, using just 15-30 gallons per 8-10 pound load.
It’s close, but Whirlpool wins out for offering more high-efficiency top-loader options and the lowest water usage amounts. Still, both are good brands for eco-friendly washers.
Operating at a reasonable noise level is a key consideration for any washer. Here’s how the brands compare:
- Average noise ratings – Both brands earn noise ratings of around 68-72 decibels for top-load washers. That’s fairly average.
- Front-load noise – GE front-loaders tend to be a bit quieter at ~65 dB. Whirlpool front-load models operate a little louder.
- Vibration controls – GE offers better vibration reduction, keeping noise down. Some Whirlpool models prone to some vibration noise.
- Audible cycles – GE models provide audible end-of-cycle chimes. Helpful feature Whirlpool washers lack.
Thanks to lower noise ratings for front-load washers and better vibration reduction, GE takes the win for quieter washing machines overall.
The warranty coverage provides peace of mind on repairs. Here’s the warranty picture for both brands:
- Parts warranties – 1-year parts coverage on both brands for most models. Higher-end lines get 2-5 years part protection.
- Labor warranties – Same 1 year labor on both. Extended coverage for some premium models.
- Warranty support – GE tends to have better support service. Whirlpool warranty claims can be difficult, long waits.
- Coverage limitations – Many exclusions like wear parts. GE provides more coverage overall, fewer limitations.
Fairly even matchup. But GE gets the edge for better service response and more comprehensive coverage that’s easier to claim.
Prices and Value
Of course price plays a major role in any appliance purchase. Let’s look at value:
- Price range – Both brands offer washers from under $500 to over $1,500. Broad range of price points represented.
- Budget washers – Whirlpool has lowest cost at under $400. GE’s entry-level around $450. Comparable features.
- Luxury models – Whirlpool wins on ultra-premium designs at $1,700+. GE tops out around $1,500.
- Features-to-price ratio – GE considered a better value, providing solid performance and reliability at each price bracket.
Whirlpool has greater range from ultra-low to luxury prices. But GE provides better bang for your buck across the spectrum, winning on overall value.
Customer Satisfaction and Reviews
Customer experiences reveal how happy buyers are with their purchases. Here are key comparisons:
- Consumer Reports ratings – GE earns 65-85 for top- and front-loaders. Whirlpool gets 55-80 range for reliability and satisfaction.
- Online reviews – Both get mixed reviews. GE averages 4 stars. Whirlpool owners report more quality problems.
- Service satisfaction – GE beats Whirlpool in service satisfaction. Whirlpool service considered poor by many reviewers.
- Complaints – GE has fewer serious complaints. Whirlpool has higher complaint rates for leaks, breakdowns after a few years.
Based on higher consumer ratings and fewer quality and service complaints, GE provides better ownership satisfaction.
Availability of Parts and Repairs
The longer a brand supplies replacement parts and service, the better. Here is how they compare:
- Parts availability – As major brands, both have wide parts selection available. GE parts supply remains more consistent.
- Service availability – Independent service more readily available for both brands. GE quality of service is better overall.
- Out-of-warranty repairs – Can be costly for complex control board fixes. GE models tend to be easier for DIY repairs.
- Supply chain issues – Pandemic-related delays are still ongoing. GE seems to have been less impacted.
GE maintains a good supply of parts and consistent tech service. This gives it the edge in parts and repair availability.
Top Washer Picks
Based on this comprehensive comparison, here are our top picks from each brand:
Best GE Washers
- Top Pick Overall: GE GTW685BSLWS top-load washer ($749) – Reliable, durable, good cleaning.
- Best Budget GE: GE GTW330ASKWW top-load ($479) – Solid performance and longevity for the price.
- Best GE Front-Load: GE GFW450SPKMDG ($983) – Huge 5.0 cu. ft. capacity, efficient washing.
Best Whirlpool Washers
- Top Pick Overall: Whirlpool WTW8127LC top-load ($799) – Great cleaning and smart features.
- Best Budget Whirlpool: Whirlpool WTW4855HW top-load ($529) – Traditional triple agitator design still going strong.
- Best Whirlpool Front-Load: Maytag MHW8630HW ($1,119) – Excellent cleaning, advanced fabric care cycles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is GE or Whirlpool better for top-load washers?
A: GE is considered more reliable and durable for traditional top-load washing machines. Longevity is a key reason to choose GE over Whirlpool if buying a top-loader.
Q: Which has better high-efficiency top-load washers?
A: Whirlpool offers the most high-efficiency top-loader options that use very little water, like 3-4 gallons per cycle. But GE also provides efficient impeller-style HE top-load washers.
Q: Is there a big difference between GE and Whirlpool front-load washers?
A: In terms of wash performance, not much difference. But GE front-loaders tend to have longer lifespans and quieter operation, while using similar water amounts as Whirlpool.
Q: Which brand has smarter washing machine technology?
A: Whirlpool is ahead when it comes to smart features and connectivity. Many Whirlpool models can be controlled and monitored via smartphone app. GE is starting to add this tech to some washers.
Q: Which warrants are better – GE or Whirlpool?
A: The warranties are fairly comparable on length of coverage for parts and labor. But GE provides better support and is more willing to cover certain repairs, giving it the edge.
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Q: Which brand of washers is more affordable?
A: Whirlpool offers some lower-priced basic models under $400. But GE provides better value at all price points based on reliability, performance, and features.
The Verdict: Which Brand is More Reliable?
When choosing between GE and Whirlpool washing machines, GE comes out on top as the more reliable brand overall.
Key advantages of GE washers:
- Proven durability and longevity across washer types
- Excellent cleaning with focus on fundamentals
- Solid value at all price points
- Quieter operation and vibration control
- Better satisfaction and fewer quality complaints
- More comprehensive warranty coverage
Whirlpool does have strengths in energy efficiency and smart technology features. But GE wins for rock-solid reliability and being the most dependable choice.
While both GE and Whirlpool make quality washers, the extensive research shows that GE is the most reliable washing machine brand. GE washers consistently deliver outstanding performance and long-lasting service.
Continued Comparison of GE and Whirlpool Washers
While the previous sections provided a comprehensive overview of how GE and Whirlpool washing machines compare on key factors, there are some additional details worth covering as you evaluate which brand to choose.
Additional Washing Machine Features
GE and Whirlpool offer some unique features and innovations that set their washers apart:
- GE – Features like SmartDispense automatic detergent dosing, UltraFresh Vent System with OdorBlock, and Microban antimicrobial technology on some models.
- Whirlpool – Exclusive features like Load & Go bulk dispenser, Presoak setting, and FanFresh venting system. Whirlpool focuses more on specialty cycles.
- Smart capabilities – Whirlpool has added more smart features like app control, voice activation, and AI technology. GE just recently started adding connected capabilities.
- Materials – Both use stainless steel, porcelain, and plastic. GE has shifted to using more plastic. Some Whirlpool models still use sturdier metal parts.
- Colors – Whirlpool traditionally offers more color options. But GE is expanding color choices in lines like the GE Profile series.
While Whirlpool touts more tech-advanced features, GE SmartDispense and antimicrobial abilities have appeal. Smart controls are convenient but not always necessary.
Service Network and Support
The quality of the service network can impact long-term satisfaction if repairs are needed:
- Authorized servicers – Both have authorized service networks, but GE is generally easier to get service appointments. Whirlpool repairs can take longer.
- Technician competence – On average, GE technicians tend to be more knowledgeable and able to accurately diagnose problems. This results in fewer repeat service visits.
- Parts availability – As noted previously, GE’s supply chain seems less disrupted recently resulting in better parts access.
- Self-repair resources – GE provides more video tutorials and troubleshooting help for DIY repairs. Whirlpool’s guidance is more limited.
GE’s service edge is small but meaningful when it comes to avoiding delays and getting qualified technicians.
Here are some additional tips as you evaluate washers:
- Try to inspect machines locally and compare key features in person before buying.
- Look up specific model reliability ratings and reviews. Quality can vary within brands.
- Measure your space carefully and choose a compact washer if need be.
- Pick the right capacity for your household size and laundry loads.
- Make sure the controls and settings meet your preferences.
- Compare warranties – longer and more coverage is better.
Our Final Analysis
After this comprehensive brand comparison looking at both big picture reliability factors and detailed product differences, GE remains the winner when choosing the most dependable washing machine. Whirlpool makes some excellent washers with cutting-edge features, but GE still excels at the core performance and durability that consumers value most in a washer. Focusing on long-term reliability helps make GE washers a wise investment that will provide years of trouble-free operation.