Laundry Folding Machines Go Viral On TikTok, But Are They Worth The Money?

Although folding your clothes post-laundry is necessary to keep wrinkles at bay, it's no one's idea of a good time. This mind-numbing activity can be especially daunting if you have a full load of clothes to go through. But short of unceremoniously dumping your freshly laundered clothes into the wardrobe, there's little you can do to get out of this task. Or so you think. TikTok is going gaga over laundry folding machines, given the ease with which they neatly fold t-shirts like a laundry pro.

The promise of never having to fold your articles manually might have you squealing in delight, but it isn't as simple as dumping the clothes into the machine and leaving the folding to it. You'll have to feed the items one by one to the machine and wait for a few seconds to allow it to swallow the cloth, fold it, and present it to you. This raises the question, are laundry folding machines worth the price tag? To answer the question, we did some recon, went through expert articles on the Internet, read customer reviews, and checked out Foldimate's website to understand how these machines work.

How do laundry folding machines work?

In the case of Foldimate, the leading laundry folding machine, you'll have to clip the garment to the dedicated holders to ensure the hem doesn't ball up. This means you introduce shirts to the plate by the collar or clip the linens flat to the surface. After that, the item will go through a rail, and the machine's "articulated arm technology" will fold it within a few seconds and stack it in the bottom drawer for you to collect when you're ready.

Besides t-shirts and pants, Foldimate can handle full-sized towels and sheets. You also have the option to steam your clothes to remove wrinkles, provided you fill the water tank in advance. Moreover, if you add scented capsules to the machine, they'll come out smelling wonderful, too. 

The machine that was Foldimate's biggest competitor, Laundroid, employed AI neural networks to detect, categorize, and fold clothes just so. Although the prototype eliminated all human interference, it required hours to fold a load of laundry (5 to 10 minutes for a t-shirt) and was priced at about $16,000. However, despite having a sizable investment capital of $90 million and being backed by Panasonic and Daiwa House (a Japanese housing development company), Laundroid owed $20 million in debt and filed for bankruptcy in 2019.

Are laundry folding machines worth the money?

You can bring home a Foldimate machine for about €500 (or approximately $550). There's no denying that the machine looks impressive in action, and the thought of not having to fold your laundry is sublime. However, its biggest drawback is you'll have to feed it clothes manually and continuously empty the bottom drawer since it can't hold more than 20 to 30 folded clothes at once. So you'll still need to stand by the machine till all the garments are folded. That being said, you might be able to get through the chore during a quick commercial break since the brand boasts the ability to tackle a load of laundry within two minutes.

Another con is that the machine isn't built for small items like baby clothes and socks. So if you have a young child, you'll be on your own when it comes to folding huge stacks of baby clothes. You also need to determine if you have enough space in your laundry room to accommodate the machine, which is 49.2 inches long, 27.6 inches deep, and 23.6 inches wide. Even though laundry folding machines are going viral on TikTok and are ideal for laundromats or retail stores dealing with innumerable garments, you need to determine if they're worth the time and money commitment before ordering one.