Gadgets for humans

There are many reasons not to buy this laundry folding machine, but you only need one

“Did you know that the typical person spends 750 days of their life doing laundry, of which 375 days is folding!”

That’s how the pitch started out for FoldiMate, a laundry folding machine that promises to do one of your least favorite chores and make time for the more important things in life. Sounds great, right? I thought so, too – until I saw the promotional video.

Let’s start with how it works: FoldiMate is not a machine you dump piles of clothes into and expect neatly-folded stacks to emerge. It’s not a machine that sorts your clothes by type – shirt, pants, sweaters – or even by color. In fact, it doesn’t even fold towels, socks, underwear, or any of those apparently irregular shapes.


To use the FoldiMate, you have to clip each individual shirt onto the machine one by one then send it in for the robot inside to fold and dewrinkle with steam. Notice that’s “dewrinkle,” not iron. It’ll also optionally “perfume” the shirt, in case your laundry detergent wasn’t enough.

Based on the video, the tray gets full at about 10 to 15 shirts, then it’s back to clipping again. FoldiMate says the machine is not as loud as your washer or dryer, but about the noisiness of a large printer.

tray full

Still want one? Okay fine, you do you, but wait until you hear the price: the company is taking emails to be alerted for pre-orders in 2017, and is expected to retail between $700 to $850. $850 for a laundry folding friend? I like my robot friends, but not that much.

So, good luck FoldiMate. I’ll stick to folding my own laundry – it’s the zen-est thing I get to do after a day on the internet – but please let us know when you have a device that we can dump the whole laundry bag in, walk away for 10 minutes, and return to a Uniqlo showroom.

Published June 2, 2016 — 13:44 UTC

on Foldimate