The $1,399 Maytag MVWB955FC washing machine is huge. Where most top-loaders clock in around the 5-cubic-foot capacity mark, this model has 6.2 cubic feet of internal space -- that's big enough to fit more than 40 t-shirts of varying sizes. (I even managed to fit in there, although it was quite uncomfortable and, obviously, not something you should try at home.)
In addition to being, well, ginormous, this washer has a see-through lid so you can check on your laundry midcycle, LED lights inside so you can see more easily when you're loading and unloading clothes, a steam setting and a custom "My cycle" option. Unfortunately, its normal cycle is only average at removing stains.
Assuming Maytag's MVWB955FC (and its corresponding dryer) will fit in your laundry room, this washer will make cleaning clothes a little less of a chore. But you should definitely take a look at Kenmore's $1,530 Elite 31633 too -- it has the same specs as the MVWB955FC and significantly better performance. The 31633 is also currently on sale at Sears for $1,150.
We know this thing holds a lot of clothes -- but what else can it do? The chart below gives an overview of the MVWB955FC's basic specs compared to Whirlpool's $1,399 WTW8700EC Smart Cabrio, Kenmore's Elite 31633 and LG's $1,150 WT1801HVA:
|Maytag MVWB955FC||Whirlpool WTW8700EC||Kenmore Elite 31633||LG WT1801HVA|
|Color finish||Metallic slate, white (for $1,299)||Chrome shadow||Metallic, white (for $1,420)||Graphite steel, white (for $1,050)|
|Capacity||6.2 cubic feet||5.3 cubic feet||6.2 cubic feet||4.9 cubic feet|
|# of cycles||10||10||10||12|
|Energy consumption||240 kWh/year||196 kWh/year||290 kWh/year||135 kWh/year|
|17.4 gallons||15.6 gallons||15 gallons|
|Dimensions (width, height, depth)||29.5 x 43.4 x 30 inches||27.5 x 42.3 x 28 inches||29.5 x 43.5 x 30 inches||27 x 40.2 x 28.4 inches|
|App||No||Yes, Android and iPhone||No||Yes, Android and iPhone|
While this Maytag doesn't have an Android and iPhone app -- or any smart home integrations -- the MVWB955FC's specs are competitive with other washers in its price range. Make sure to measure your laundry area before you buy, though. Like the 6.2-cubic-foot Kenmore 31633, the MVWB955FC has slightly bigger dimensions than your standard top-load washing machine. Because of this washer's size, Maytag was able to put the detergent, bleach and fabric softener dispensers around the tub, rather than in a flimsy drawer hidden in the back.
I like the brushed aluminum look of this washer's display panel, which also happens to be fingerprint-resistant. The digital time readout also seamlessly integrates into the display; you don't notice it until you turn on the washer. It is a little small, but still easy to read from a distance and at different angles.
The LED indicators on the temperature, soil and spin speed settings are also completely integrated into the display. You won't be able to see that there's a setting between the "Cold" and "Warm" temperature until you click through the options.
To review washers, we run two main tests: how well a washer's normal cycle removes stains and how gentle (or tough) that normal cycle is on clothes.
For the stain removal test, we run fabric strips stained with skin oil (sebum), cocoa, red wine and other difficult-to-clean substances through a wash cycle. The MVWB955FC did alright here; 49 percent of its original stains remained. Here's how it did by stain:
Kenmore's 31633 did better than the Maytag with 41 percent stains remaining. Whirlpool's WTW8700EC trailed slightly behind the Kenmore with 45 percent stains remaining and LG's WT1801HVA lagged far behind with 52 percent stains remaining overall.
For the gentleness test, we run fabric squares through a cleaning cycle. Afterwards, we count the number of frayed threads measure at or over 2 millimeters long. The higher the number, the tougher the washer's normal cycle is on clothes. This Maytag was quite gentle on clothes, with 208 frayed threads. Kenmore's 31633 had 251; Whirlpool's WTW8700EC had 185; and LG's WT1801HVA had 243.
Maytag's MVWB955FC top-load washing machine has a lot going for it. But since $1,399 is a lot to spend on a single laundry appliance that's only average at removing stains, your buying decision should start with this question: "Do I really need a 6.2-cubic-foot washer?"
If you have a large family or you're a chronic laundry procrastinator, this Maytag washer will work fine. If you don't fit into either of those categories -- or simply don't have the space to accommodate a massive washer -- you should look elsewhere. The top-performing, equally-massive Kenmore Elite 31633 is a better bet overall, though.