Best forFamilies looking for an energy-efficient, large-capacity washing machine that can do two separate loads at the same time
Top BenefitsLarge capacity, cleans laundry very effectively, SideKick pedestal washer lets you wash a second smaller load simultaneously
ConsiderationsLonger-than-average washing time, app has some limitations
Bottom lineThe LG 5.2 cu. ft. Ultra Large Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Front Load Washer has room for large double loads and offers all the cycles and settings you could want. And when paired with the compatible SideKick Pedestal Washer, you can do two different loads of laundry at the same time. From the Speed Wash cycle when you’re in a rush, to the Bedding and Allergiene cycles (plus a Steam option) when you need a workhorse, this app-connected washing machine has your laundry needs covered.
Between your kids’ messy clothes and your delicates that need a gentle touch, being able to wash two loads of laundry at once can be a real plus. So we tested the LG WM3700HVA 5.2 cu. ft. Ultra Large Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Front Load Washer paired with the WD100CV SideKick Pedestal Washer, and found that this system is up to the task of cleaning all your laundry—from duvets and heavily soiled kids' clothes to workwear and those hand-wash items you wouldn’t normally dare toss in the machine. While the washing times run longer than average, you can double up loads and the cleaning performance is impressive. Plus, we really appreciate that the front-load washer and pedestal washer both have child locks.
The LG front-load washer we tested comes with 10 cycle settings built in: Normal, Heavy Duty, Permanent Press, Bright Whites, Delicates, Towels, Bedding, Sanitary, Allergiene and Speed Wash. Plus you can download additional wash settings through the LG SmartThinQ app (more on the app below). You can also adjust water temperature and spin speed, but it's worth noting that not all options are available for all cycles, and some cycles have locked-in settings that can’t be adjusted. Additional options include Pre Wash, Steam, Cold Wash and Extra Rinse. With so many options, our editors and testers found there was a bit of a learning curve to finding the right settings for a given load of laundry—but once you know what to do, it's super simple.
Some of the LG WM3700HVA's cycles are ones that families can really benefit from. If you have a baby, the Sanitary cycle and Steam option are designed to deep clean and sanitize even the grossest of messes—a real bonus when you're dealing with poop and spit-up on the regular. Meanwhile, if your kids have asthma or environmental allergies to things like dust and pet dander, you’ll appreciate that this washer is certified Asthma & Allergy Friendly by the Asthma Society of Canada.
Both parent testers and editors were fans of this front-load washer’s large capacity. The LG WM3700HVA can handle a queen size duvet, no problem, and you can get a lot of your kids’ clothes washed in one fell swoop. The one caveat is the wash time adjusts based on the size of load and the soil level you select. Each cycle starts by tumbling and shifting the load so sensors can determine how long it should run. In our tests, the wash time for a typical large load (eight pounds of mixed laundry) with a normal soil setting was 58 minutes, and the same load with a heavy soil setting took 90 minutes. Meanwhile, one of our parent testers did a double load of kids clothing on the normal cycle, and it clocked in at about two hours—surprisingly lengthy for one load of laundry, but when you consider she’d normally split this into two loads, the total washing time isn’t much longer than usual (and bonus: you won’t have to pause your latest Netflix binge to throw in a second load).
For those times when you’re in a rush, you can get away with washing a small load of items on the Speed Wash cycle—we recommend upping the wash time to a reasonable 25 minutes by setting the soil level to heavy.
The SideKick Pedestal Washer is a small top-load washer with five cycles—Normal, Intimates, Hand Wash, Active Wear and Rinse + Spin. You can turn the warm water option on or off (the default varies by cycle), or add an extra rinse. The washing times range from 39 to 47 minutes (Rinse + Spin is only 13 minutes). It's worth noting that the controls are activated with a light touch, but don’t worry—it won’t start while the drawer is open.
While this washer's cycles run longer than the average washing machine, our parent testers noted that kids’ clothes soiled with dirt, vomit, urine and food cleaned well and smelled fresh following washing (we only used a fragrance-free detergent for testing to ensure perfumes weren't masking odours). In fact, one mom washed a jacket with ground-in dirt from a playground that has mulch for ground cover, and while she said the jacket normally never looks clean after washing, the LG WM3700HVA washer removed nearly all the dirt, with only a few faint stains remaining around high-stress points (e.g., pockets).
In our lab, editors washed swatches of various types of materials—including 100% cotton, stretch dark-wash denim, flannel, polyester and lace—in a mixed eight-pound load of darks and colours on a Normal cycle, with settings adjusted to hot water, heavy soil level and high spin speed. After washing the swatches four times (air drying in between), we found that there was only the slightest fading on the flannel and stretch denim, and the wool felted—which was to be expected in a hot-water wash. All other materials looked new.
The SideKick also impressed our editors and testers. Our editors washed cashmere sweaters on the hand wash cycle and lace bras on intimates. Items were cleaned well, and one of our editors even noted that her sweater’s shape improved after washing it in the SideKick. Parents also found it did a good job cleaning delicate clothing and intimates, and one mom commented that it would be great for washing nursing bras.
The LG WM3700HVA pairs to LG's SmartThinQ app, allowing the user to control the washer, get notifications, run diagnostics and more. (Note: The SideKick can’t be operated remotely through the app, though LG does offer in-app troubleshooting for it.) SmartThinQ will send you a notification when a wash starts and when a cycle finishes, which our testers felt would be quite helpful, especially for those in multi-level homes. A feature in the app will also let you know when it’s time to run the Tub Clean cycle.
Pairing the app to the LG WM3700HVA is pretty simple, and once it’s set up, you can start a cycle remotely, set a start time in hourly intervals for a delayed wash, and check the remaining wash time for a cycle that’s running. You can also download several additional cycles to the washing machine, including baby clothes, swimwear, gym clothes and delicate dresses, to name a few, but you can only download one at a time. It’s worth noting that if you haven’t adjusted settings directly on the machine before activating the remote wash, you can’t make optional adjustments to the standard cycles in the app—meaning you can’t adjust temperature, soil level and spin speed remotely before you start the wash.
Thanks to the pedestal, the front-load washer sits well above the ground, with the door roughly at waist level, so there’s a lot less bending or squatting needed to load the washer. (The matching dryer sits at the same height if you opt for the pedestal drawer, so transferring clothes from washer to dryer is very easy.) Both our editors and parent testers found the door height quite comfortable.
The control panel is just below eye level for shorter people, which is plenty comfortable. Depending on the direction of lighting in your laundry room, you may find that glare makes it a little challenging to read the digital display, but you can place your hand above the numbers to make it easier to see. Dispensing laundry detergent and other products is also pretty simple, but dispensers are located in the top left corner of the machine (at the same level as controls), so people who are shorter than five-foot-two may find it a bit awkward to see all the labels.
The SideKick top-load washer is essentially a pull-out drawer with a hinged top that locks. It’s easy to drop in a few items, pour detergent overtop, push the drawer closed and start the wash. The controls are inside the drawer at the front, but you can make all your selections and press start before closing the drawer—the cycle won’t start until the drawer is closed securely.
Every washing machine is going to make some noise and vibrate a bit, but you don’t want it to be loud enough to wake kids or vibrate so much that anything on the top ends up on the floor. The LG front-load washer and SideKick performed well in our noise and vibration tests. Most washing machines produce sounds from 40 to 80 decibels (dB) when running. The LG washer is fairly quiet, with the front-load washer ranging 54-62 dB during washing, 70.1 dB on rinse and 67.0 dB on spin. The SideKick is quieter during the wash and rinse, but gets a bit noisy when it's spinning, maxing out at about 69 dB—still well below the loudest of washers. (For context, 70 dB is roughly equivalent to a vacuum cleaner and is considered a base of comparison, with 60 dB half as loud, and 80 dB twice as loud.) To see if the vibration would be enough to scoot anything off the machine, our editors placed a loonie atop the washer and traced its edges. After a normal cycle, the loonie hadn’t budged.
The LG Ultra Large Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Front Load Washer is Energy Star Qualified and meets the requirements for Energy Star Most Efficient 2018—meaning it's among the most efficient and innovative Energy Star Qualified products. EnerGuide rates its energy consumption at 105 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, which is in the mid-range for front-load washing machines. The SideKick, meanwhile, has very impressive EnerGuide numbers: Among top-load compact washers, it's nearly the most efficient, using an estimated 60 kWh per year. Bottom line: While this machine offers loads of capacity for your family's laundry, it won't come at a cost to your budget or the environment.
One of the other eco-friendly things about this washer is it adjusts water use based on the load, helping to reduce water waste. For larger loads, sensors will only add more water if the machine detects that the clothes aren't saturated enough to get them properly cleaned.
When you’re buying a big-ticket item like an appliance, the warranty is often a big part of the decision. The LGWM3700HVA and WD100CV both come with a one-year parts and labour warranty and a 10-year warranty on the motor, and the drum is under warranty for three years in the front-load washer and five years in the SideKick.
Both the Ultra Large Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Front Load Washer and SideKick Pedestal Washer feature a Tub Clean cycle, which uses water jets and intense heat to sterilize and keep the tub fresh and odour-free. LG recommends running Tub Clean monthly on both washers. You can use bleach and descaler (if you have hard water in your area) on the Sidekick, and bleach, descaler, drum cleaner, powdered cleaner or cleaning tablets in the main front-load washer.
One part of the washing machine that people often forget to clean is the detergent dispenser. You might think that the detergent running through keeps it clean, but with warm moisture and little light, it’s a breeding ground for mould (seriously—take out the drawer of your washing machine and look at the underside). The good news: The detergent dispenser drawer slides out without much effort, and it’s super simple to remove the various compartments for a quick wash in the sink.
If you’re looking for a washing machine that will let you do very large loads and can also take all the work out of hand-wash clothing, you’ll want to take a look at the LG WM3700HVA Ultra Large Smart Wi-Fi Enabled Front Load Washer with WD100CV SideKick Pedestal Washer. Most of our parent testers would happily recommend this system to other families who have the space for side-by-side laundry machines. While washing times can run a bit long, this washer gets the job done very well. Plus, its smart features and compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant make it a great option for busy parents who want to be able to get a jump on laundry from anywhere.
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