Electrolux EFLS627UTT review: The very best front-load washing machine around
Electrolux's Editors' Choice award-winning $1,349 EFLS627UTT is my number one pick if you're looking for a front-load washing machine.
It does an exceptional job at removing stains, the best of any washer we've tested. It also retains all of the stuff I liked about Electrolux's last-gen 600-series front-loader, the EFLS617SIW. It has an attractive overall design, largely due to a display layout that makes use of the entire panel. I particularly like that the control knob doubles as a digital screen, telling you how much time is left on a cycle.
The EFLS627UTT has a slightly smaller capacity than some of its competitors and fewer cleaning cycles. It doesn't come with any smart home connectivity features, either. But this Electrolux washer more than makes up for it with its top-notch performance, ease-of-use and detergent pod dispenser -- something I haven't seen before.
It's a pricey machine, for sure, but it's well worth it.
Note: At $1,349, you're paying a premium for the EFLS627UTT's dark gray finish, but you can get the exact same appliance in white for $1,199 (model number EFLS627UIW).
How does the EFLS627UTT stack up?
Check out the chart below, comparing the EFLS627UTT to Electrolux's own EFLS617SIW and the Samsung WF45M5500AZ:
Comparing washing machines
|Electrolux EFLS627UTT||Electrolux EFLS617SIW||Samsung WF45M5500AZ|
|Color finish||Titanium; (white for $1,199)||White; (titanium for $1,199)||Azure blue and platinum; (white for $899)|
|Capacity||4.4 cubic feet||4.4 cubic feet||4.5 cubic feet|
|# of cycles||9||9||10|
|Energy consumption||85 kWh/year||85 kWh/year||105 kWh/year|
|Dimensions (width, height, depth)||27 x 38 x 31.5 inches||27 x 38 x 31.5 inches||27 x 38.7 x 33.8 inches|
The EFLS627UTT is nearly identical to the last-generation EFLS617SIW when it comes to basic specs. It shares the same 4.4-cubic-foot capacity, cleaning cycles, estimated yearly energy usage and dimensions. The only obvious difference at a glance is the 627's gray finish. Of course, the 617 also comes in gray, but we tested the white SIW model.
Peek inside the detergent drawer, though, and you'll find a complete redesign. Not only did Electrolux add a dedicated dispenser for detergent pods, the appliance maker also changed the shape of the other existing dispensers to better accommodate pouring liquid soaps, bleaches and fabric softeners.
Making space for detergent pods (don't eat them, by the way) in the dispenser is a clever response to their growing popularity, but Electrolux had another reason -- SmartBoost. SmartBoost is the name of a feature Electrolux introduced with its EFLS617SIW washer and it involves mixing the water and the laundry detergent together before they ever reach the main wash compartment.
Standard practice for pods (before the EFLS627UTT, that is) included chucking one or two into the washer drum, so there was no opportunity for premixing pod detergent and the water -- SmartBoost likely improves pod detergent performance, too (we don't test washers using pod detergent, though, so we can't confirm this).
Since both the EFLS617SIW and the newer EFLS627UTT got excellent performance scores (as you'll see in the next section), there is likely something to Electrolux's SmartBoost feature, however gimmicky it sounds.
We judge a washer's performance using the normal cycle with a normal soil level, a hot water temperature and a high spin speed. Read more about our test methodology here. Within those parameters, we run three identical cycles with new stain strips and mechanical action strips each time.
Stain strips are pre-packaged, pre-soiled pieces of fabric we buy specifically for washer testing. Each stain strip has five sections, and each section is soiled with a different stain -- sebum (skin oil), carbon (mineral oil), pig's blood, cocoa (chocolate and milk) and aged red wine. After a cleaning cycle, we calculate how much of the original stain is left over. The lower the number, the better the score.
Electrolux's EFLS627UTT had only 36 percent of its original stains remaining. Most washers we've reviewed scored somewhere in the 46-48-percent range. The worst washer we've ever tested, Speed Queen's TR7, had 71 percent of its original stains remaining. Electrolux's older EFLS617SIW had 40 percent of its stains left over, on average, and the Samsung WF45M5500AZ had 44 percent of its stains remaining. Those are both very good scores, but the EFLS627UTT's score blows them away.
Mechanical action strips are thin squares of fabric with five holes pre-punched in the middle in the shape of an X. After going through a normal wash cycle, some threads inside each of the five holes begin to fray. We count the number of attached, frayed threads that measure at or over 2 millimeters long on each piece of fabric. The higher the number, the tougher that washer's normal cycle is on clothes.
We don't weigh this score as heavily as stain removal, since every washer we've tested also comes with a delicate cycle. That said, the EFLS627UTT had the highest wear and tear count to date -- 333 attached, frayed threads measured at or over 2 millimeters long. The Electrolux EFLS617SIW had a 295-count and Samsung's WF45M5500AZ had a 294-count. There is often a correlation between the stain removal score and the wear and tear score -- the better a washer removes stains, the tougher it is on clothes. That isn't always the case, but it's certainly true for the EFLS627UTT.
This wear and tear result isn't a deal breaker, unless you plan to wash delicate clothes using the normal cycle.
Buy it. Seriously, if you're looking for a front-load washer, the $1,349 EFLS627UTT (or white $1,199 EFLS627UIW) is an excellent choice. It removes stains better than any model we've tested, its well-designed display looks great and contributes strongly to its user-friendliness. The EFLS627UTT has a detergent pod dispenser, too, the first of its kind. Add in its premium dark gray finish, steam function and 15-minute "Fast Wash" cycle and you end up with a well-rounded washing machine that delivers in every category.