Hi Carla - thanks for the welcome! The washer I am considering is by LG - here is a link to a place on their website where they explain the benefits of steam cleaning laundry for allergy sufferers. http://us.lge.com/laundry/#allergiene I believe the other big appliance mfr'ers are making steam models as well, not just LG.
The washing machines with LG's "Allergiene" cycle are the only clothes washers to have been certified "allergy and asthma friendly" by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) so I assume the benefits are real...? I am going to go ahead and buy it. I am not sure if and how I will be able to report back on its effectiveness since I'm only mildly to moderately allergic to most things, and taking medication daily - so I may not even notice a difference. Long term I am hoping this will keep my family healthy - we will see! It's about a $300 upgrade as compared to washers without, so not a huge risk given the fact we'll probably keep the machine 10+ years.