Designer Appliances Blog

Speed Queen Washer Dryer Review: No-Frills & Built to Last

If you don't mind the no-frills design, Speed Queen washer dryers provide best in class performance and longevity

If you’ve been wondering whether there are any US-based companies still manufacturing top-quality appliances in 2017, you’re certainly not alone. At times it seems like every major, dependable brand name in the appliance market comes out of Europe or elsewhere. But there is one manufacturer still pumping out dependable, high-end American ingenuity. Meet Speed Queen, a Wisconsin-based appliance company with a dedication to their craft and a loyal following of devout users who have been swearing by their reliable designs since 1908.

Top 3 Reasons to Invest in a Speed Queen Washer Dryer

Since being added to the Designer Appliances product lineup, Speed Queen has garnered an incredibly positive response among our customers. Based on these customer reviews and intel gathered from speaking to members of the Speed Queen organization, their cult popularity seems to come down to three primary factors.

1) Durability

Speed Queen machines are hardy, there’s just no getting around it. The company’s official estimate stands at 10,400 wash cycles before the average machine will give out. How many years does that equate to? Roughly 25. We’re talking two and a half decades of dependable, consistent use. It’s extremely common to find customers who flock to Speed Queen after finding that their modern, flashy machine petered out after a disappointingly short lifespan. Not so with Speed Queen, who have made it their duty to create long-lasting machines for over a century.

2) Ability to Handle Heavy Loads

Another mythic element of the Speed Queen reputation is their ability to handle full, heavy loads. This is the washer which you can fill nearly to bursting with soaking towels and dense blankets without a worry in the world. Most standard residential washing machines struggle when it comes to heavy loads with unbalanced mass, either performing a poor wash or refusing to complete the cycle altogether. Speed Queen’s ultra-sturdy steel structure and wash tub (also known as the drum) are designed to handle absolutely anything you throw at them. Don’t believe it? Consider that Designer Appliances often ships Speed Queen washers and dryers to horse stables for cleaning huge horse blankets, or even commercial operations for uniforms and large sets of dirty loads. And yes, it can easily manage your king size bedding.

3) Warranty

Speed Queen is so confident in the effectiveness and durability of their machines that they back them up with one of the most robust and far-reaching warranties in the business. That includes a three-year warranty on all mechanical control models and a five-year warranty on electrical control models. The warranty covers all parts and in-home labor, and every single product comes with a standard 15-year warranty on the transmission system plus a lifetime warranty for the outer tub and stainless steel wash tub. Beyond that unique and unparalleled warranty, Speed Queens have a reputation amongst local repair shops and contractors for being supremely easy and straightforward to repair.

Where Can I Buy Speed Queen?

All this talk of Speed Queen’s superior quality and dependability raises the question—why aren’t their machines found in every big box store in the country? For the answer, consider this quote from the company’s official corporate statement:

“Our dealers are American-owned, independent, local companies, just like we are. If you value a truly customized, personal shopping experience, supporting your local economy and first class customer service, visit your locally-owned appliance dealer. We promise it will bring you back to the days where quality was uncompromised and your opinions were not only valued, they ignited change.”

This is why American-owned, independent stores and websites, such as our own store Designer Appliances, are often the place to go to find Speed Queen appliances. It speaks to their dedication to supporting homegrown and independently owned businesses beyond just serving their bottom line.

Speed Queen vs. the Competition

In addition to the three reasons we gave for investing in Speed Queen appliances, they also boast a laundry list (excuse the pun) of quality features. Here are just a few.

Mechanical Controls

Most Speed Queen users love the departure from fancy electronic controls, which they view as potential liabilities that offer more opportunities for shorts and issues.

Variable Water Levels

Speed Queen washers adjust water levels based on the load size, allowing for customizable energy saving and wash effectiveness.

Eco Cycle

The Eco Cycle function uses less water than other cycles, designed to save energy and the environment in equal measure.

Additional Custom Cycles

All of the cycle types you could ever want come standard on Speed Queens—Handwash/Delicate, Soak & PreWash, Extra Rinse, and more.

Drawbacks of Speed Queen

While Speed Queens are durable, dependable and heavy-duty machines, they do come with their potential drawbacks. These include their rather old-fashioned looks—while many manufacturers have moved into the age of stainless steel and ultra-modern designs, Speed Queen is certainly not going to win any beauty contests.

Another potential negative is that water usage tends to run high with Speed Queens as opposed to other high-end machines. That being said, they still operate well within compliance of Department of Energy guidelines.

Drum volume also tends to be slightly smaller in Speed Queens than in those of flashier products, though large volume drums built into flimsy machines don’t add much by way of load capacity. What good is a large drum if it can’t be filled to capacity? That’s why Speed Queen devices are built to handle up to 20% more load than machines with larger drums.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a reliable, consistent ability to clean large washer loads without fuss or frills, then Speed Queen is right for you. They may not be swoon-worthy visually, and they don’t boast the 100s of program types (which many users and sellers contest are mostly the same anyway) which are available on other machines. But your Speed Queen will become a durable, unstoppable and long-lasting member of your appliance family that’s guaranteed to never let you down.


Most Popular Speed Queen Models
  • Speed Queen AWN432SP (also known as AWN432SP113TW04) 26" Top Load Washer - Mechanical Knobs
  • Speed Queen AWNE82SP (also known as AWNE82SP113TW01) 26" Top Load Washer - Ductile Touchpad Controls
  • Speed Queen AFN50RSP (also known as AFN50RSP113TW01) 26" Front Load Washer - Mechanical Knobs


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About John Carey
Monmouth County, NJ Website
I am the co-founder of Designer Appliances. My mission with our blog is to empower our customers to make educated decisions about the appliances they choose for their homes.