Laundry packet standard doesn’t go far enough

Laundry packet standard doesn’t go far enough

The convenience of laundry detergent packets has a dangerous downside: Tens of thousands of children have been exposed to the colorful, bite-sized packages since their introduction in 2012, leading to hundreds of hospital visits for injuries that include seizures, vomiting, and respiratory arrest. ASTM International, the non-profit standards-setting organization, is developing a voluntary standard designed to make the packets safer. Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, joined other consumer groups this week in casting a negative vote … (read more)

Higher thread count doesn’t guarantee better sheets

Higher thread count doesn’t guarantee better sheets

A mantra at Consumer Reports is that high-priced products aren’t necessarily higher performing. The same can be said of sheets with high thread counts. Despite the notion that more is better, in our past sheet tests we confirmed that a higher thread count doesn’t guarantee better sheets. To uncover the truth behind this misleading marketing gotcha, we talked to our experts.

Thread count is the number of vertical and horizontal threads per square inch. Not long ago, sheets typically had thread counts … (read more)

A bargain dishwasher doesn’t master the basics in our tests

A bargain dishwasher doesn’t master the basics in our tests

Anyone shopping for a dishwasher these days knows they typically don’t come cheap. The 90 tested models in our Ratings sell at an average price of more than $ 950. True, some brands aim for value rather than dazzling performance, and a few such models might still perform decently. But pay too little, and you may be in for a big disappointment. That’s the lesson of the Frigidaire FBD2400KS, at $ 310 almost the least expensive model we’ve tested.

(read more)

Samsung’s laundry duo has an app but it doesn’t sort socks

Samsung’s laundry duo has an app but it doesn’t sort socks

Our latest tests turned up another dazzling couple, a matching washer and dryer from Samsung that performed so well they made our recommended list. The Samsung WF457ARGS[GR] front-loading washer and the electric dryer, DV457EVGS[GR], both $ 1,550, are like most new couples—full of promise and swagger. Samsung claims you can control these appliances from your smart phone with its free app. Consumer Reports put these claims to the test.

The claims. No more running back to check … (read more)