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So, you know the basics about washers and dryers. You know your top-loading from your front-loading, and you’re up to date on what high-efficiency means. But what about the latest features in a washer or dryer?

Looking first to the outside of the machine, the simplest add-on is the front-loader pedestal, like the LG 29" Pedestal. This lifts the washer off the ground and so eliminates some of the constant crouching and bending required to load and unload from a front-loader machine. These days some even come with built-in drawers for organization! There are also models that come with a built-in sink, which is extremely convenient when your space isn’t large enough to accommodate a stand alone sink, but your often find yourself pretreating or hand-washing items.

Moving to the inside of the machine itself, a quality feature is that of the stainless steel drum, like the Samsung 6.0 Cu Ft FlexWash Washer, because unlike the previously widely-used porcelain or plastic tubs which can develop nicks and scratches and potentially cause rips and tears in your clothing, stainless steel drums can take a lot of damage from metal zippers, buttons, and rivets with no cause for concern.

There are also now options for a time-saving wash, which can trim up to 20 minutes off a normal wash cycle without sacrificing quality of the wash, noise-reducing technologies, automatic dispensers that hold months’ worth of detergent at a time, and washers equipped with multiple tubs for many loads at once.

For dryers, exciting features to be on the lookout for include moisture sensors, which shuts the machine off once your clothes are dry to prevent over drying and energy waste, extended tumble, which intermittently tumbles clothes to prevent wrinkles until you unload the dryer, and end-of-cycle signals that sound off a tune or string of beeps to alert you to the cycle finishing. The Samsung 7.5 Cu Ft FlexDry Gas Dryer even features a designated area to dry delicates.

Lastly, like many other appliances of today, washers and dryers both are now often equipped with WiFi and talk to your phone and other appliances both, such as the Whirlpool Smart Cabrio. There are apps that let you start, stop, and pause a cycle remotely, view the status of a cleaning cycle from your phone, and some will soon be connected to voice commands and the Amazon Alexa system, allowing for the control of your washer and dryer by simply saying the word!