In the market for a new washing machine? Before just running off to a big box store to check out the deals on the newest slice-and-dice, feature-packed washers, get a load of what Consumer Reports and Amazon customers have to say about Speed Queen products. If efficiency, durability, and reliability matter most in your search for your next washer, you might decide to join the cult, reports Time.
Speed Queen makes industrial appliances for laundromats, apartment building, and hospitals — where they get a ton of use. As a result, the home models, stripped of fancier features found in some other brands but built with metal tubs and transmissions and a choice of manual or electronic controls, stand up to the heaviest family use.
Speed Queen spokesman Randy Radtke told Time that the washers’ mechanical control models attract buyers. Their buyers appreciate that Speed Queen appliances don’t have lots of parts. “People just like that built-to-last mechanical control,” Radtke said. “We’re seeing that people gravitate to our brand of late after going through one or two sets of laundry equipment.”
According to Radtke, the reason Speed Queen home washing machine sales are increasing is precisely because people are frustrated by the experiences they are having with other brands. He told Time that millennials, in particular, will pay more for better quality household appliances.
Buying quality costs more, though. Speed Queen doesn’t sell its washers and dryers in big box stores, but you can buy them on Amazon, where the Speed Queen AWN432 with mechanical controls is listed at just under $900.
Radtke attributes the higher prices to materials and engineering. “You’re paying for metal instead of plastic. We could build a cheaper machine, but you’re buying a metal product with a metal tub, metal transmission and a lot of engineering behind it.”
He also says that customers find it’s worth paying for quality because Speed Queen washers are tested for 25 years. Fast wash cycle times and heavy-duty spin cycles also cut energy use, the latter because clothes need less dryer time.