Posted February 11, 2009 05:24 pm

A New Crush

I'm in love with my new washer and dryer.

A while back, I did some research on front loader washing machines. I got a lot of positive feedback about these new high efficiency machines. At that point, way back when, it was really just a pipe dream. My washer and dryer were both working just fine and while I knew I'd enjoy a larger machine (and probably could justify getting one) there were other items on my list of "stuff to do with my money," including going to Europe with my husband. Yes, those front loaders aren't cheap.

So a few weeks ago, my washing machine died. I'll spare you all the details (only because I wrote about it for my column, which I'll post here on Friday!) except that my dad and I really discussed at length whether it was time to actually just get a new one. My dad is one of those uber-handy fellows who can fix anything. And when he had looked into all the reasonable solutions for the washer -- and none were the problem -- he said he would recommend getting a new one. As much as it pained him, we had crossed the line into it costing more to fix the machine than it was really worth.

So after much research and a little luck, we bought the Whirlpool Cabrio Washer and the Bosch Nexxt Dryer.

We had been looking at each of these sets -- the Cabrio set and the Bosch, but of course hadn't planned on buying one of each. I wanted a matching set, just wasn't sure which one.

I liked the Cabrio because it is a top-loader machine with the large capacity of the front loaders. It doesn't have an agitator and is high efficiency. It's basically a front loader that you load on top. To me, best of both worlds. However, the price was $1,000 for the washer, which was a bit higher than I wanted to pay. When I saw it at the store (we shopped at Lowe's) it really sang to me -- just totally cool looking, but also I liked that I wouldn't have to "re-learn" my system, in terms of where I loaded the clothes (I know, pathetic creature of habit). And it's huge.

But I mainly had my eye on the Bosch pair. Bosch is just really heavy duty. I have a Bosch oven and a Bosch dishwasher and I just like the way they look and feel -- and they work well too. I have several friends who have the Bosch washer/dryer and they all said the same thing about it -- takes a while to wash, unless you set it on quick wash, and sometimes it's hard to get a mildew smell out of the washer. But the dryer was great, no problems. So I was all set to get this set.

We went to Lowe's one Saturday afternoon and there, right as we walked in, was a newly discounted Cabrio washer. It was under warranty but had been returned. So I loved it but wasn't planning on paying the still-high asking price. There was also a platinum-colored Bosch dryer which we loved. But it didn't have a washer with it, and I thought, we can't afford to wait for a special order washer. We were on Laundry Watch, Day Five. Dangerous territory.

So in the end we bought the Cabrio washer and the Bosch dryer. I didn't want an unmatched pair, but guess what? They sold them to us for $700. For the PAIR. Yes, that's $350 each. And when we got them home, they look great together because (for those who need this sort of thing in their life) the Cabrio has a strip of "platinum" that ties in with the Bosch perfectly.

I would recommend both. I love the top loader, and it handles at least three times the amount of laundry of my old machine. And the dryer works great.