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One of the most frequently used white goods in our home, choosing the best washing machine for your household is a big decision, but don’t be fooled - you don’t have to spend a fortune to get your white’s white and school uniforms free from stains.
Whether you have a large family with a never-ending laundry pile or are looking for a budget-friendly washing machine with a high energy efficiency rating, you can find many high-quality washing machines under £500.
From freestanding to integrated, high-capacity drums or washing machines with quick cycles for when you’re short on time, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to. We've spent hours consulting our Mumsnet forums (with around 8 million unique users each month), collating tried and tested recommendations on the budget washing machines users rate and would happily recommend to others. We’ve also investigated the views of experts and consumer champions Which? Before scrutinising wider consumer reviews to learn more about the products on our shortlist.
Best budget washing machines
WTL104121W 10Kg Washing Machine
My Time EWD71453WUKN 7kg Washing Machine
F4V309WNE Washing Machine
Beko WTL104121W 10Kg Washing Machine
Super quick 14-minute cycle (2kg)
28-minute quick wash programme (full load)
Quiet inverter motor
The tub is made from recycled plastic bottles
24 different stain programmes
Some reviewers found it noisy at the start of the programme
No ability to add in missed items missed cycle
Price on writing: £299 | Spin speed: 1400rpm | Capacity: 10kg | Energy rating: B | Spin Performance: B | Number of programmes: 15 | Wool wash: No | Delicate wash: Yes | Hand wash: Yes | Energy consumption per cycle: 0.57 kWh | Water consumption per cycle: 49 litres
Tested by MNHQ: Read our in-depth Beko WTL104121W 10kg Washing Machine review
Taking our top spot and retailing at just a smidge under £300, the freestanding BEKO Recycled Tub makes a great sustainable choice, made from recycled plastic bottles to reduce its overall carbon footprint. With a substantial 10kg drum and large porthole door, this easy-load washing machine is well suited to families, with plenty of space for even more substantial laundry piles.
Endorsed by Allergy UK, we love the Anti Allergy programme that can help keep your washing free from pollen, cat and dog allergies as well as unwelcome bacteria and fungi.
While some of the 15 programmes can be a little on the long side, you can opt for quick cycles when you’re more limited on time, cleaning a full load of washing in just under half an hour. For smaller amounts of washing, the rapid wash cycle can clean loads of up to 2kg in just 14 minutes (ideal if you need a quick refresh of school uniform before the Monday morning madness).
Some reviewers found the cycles a little noisy at the beginning, but with a durable and hardwearing ProSmart inverter motor and 1400 spin, its overall running volumes come in at a very reasonable 76dB.
Water balance sensors that weigh your load to manage water consumption
Wool care cycle to protect delicate clothing
Quiet inverter motor
Smaller drum size means it is better suited to smaller families
Overall energy rating is not as good as similar washing machines
Price on writing: £249 | Spin speed: 1400rpm | Capacity: 7kg | Energy rating: D | Spin Performance: B | Number of programmes: 16 | Wool wash: Yes | Delicate wash: Yes | Hand wash: Yes | Energy consumption per annum: 198 Kwh | Water consumption per cycle: 46 litres
Another choice offering great value for money is the Indesit My Time 7kg washing machine. Coming in at less than £300, it is well suited to smaller families.
While it’s not the most energy-efficient choice on our list, it uses Water Balance Plus technology which can sense the weight of your clothes and adapt the amount of water accordingly, reducing water wastage and saving you money on your bills.
There are a huge 16 different programmes to choose from, including six faster programmes that take less than an hour from start to finish. We also love the Mix Coloured 40 cycle, which conveniently allows you to wash mixed-coloured garments in one load.
LG F4V309WNE Washing Machine
Large 9kg drum
Ability to add missed items mid-cycle
14-minute quick wash cycle
Quiet inverter Direct Drive motor
Large easy to read display
No spin-only option
Some wash cycles are very long
Price on writing: £399 | Spin speed: 1400 | Capacity: 9kg | Energy rating: B | Spin Performance: A | Number of programmes: 14 | Wool wash: Yes | Delicate wash: Yes | Hand wash: Yes | Energy consumption per cycle: 0.571 kWh | Water consumption per cycle: 50 litres
We know that time is precious for busy parents, so a quick wash cycle can be an absolute lifesaver when you need to wash a small load in a super fast time. With a 14-minute quick wash (based on a 2kg load), the LG F4V309WNE Washing Machine even has a Pause and Add Item feature, allowing you to add the individual sock that always tries to escape the wash pile, even after the cycle has started.
Using AI technology to detect the contents, this budget washing machine can also tailor the wash cycle depending on the softness of the fabric, ensuring your clothes are protected during the wash cycle. The downside? We wish there was a spin-only cycle to help clothes come out extra dry and some of the standard wash times can take a significant amount of time.
Huge 10kg drum
Excellent energy and water consumption ratings
Auto-adjust sensors to reduce water and energy wastage
14-minute refresh and 30-minute quick wash
Time remaining display
A 1600 rinse would have been welcome when the load is full
No ability to add items mid cycle
Price on writing: £399 | Spin speed: 1400 | Capacity: 10kg | Energy rating: A | Spin Performance: B | Number of programmes: 11 | Wool wash: Yes | Delicate wash: Yes | Hand wash: No | Energy consumption per cycle: 0.512 Kwh | Water consumption per cycle: 53 litres
If you’re a large family or seem to forever have your washing machine running, it may be time to invest in a larger capacity machine. The Zanussi ZWF142F1DG 10kg Washing Machine could be the perfect solution, with a substantial 10kg drum that is capable of washing even larger and heavier items like duvets and bed linen with ease.
Using Auto Adjust sensors, the Zanussi can adjust the energy and water consumption to match the contents, meaning it can also run smaller loads with peace of mind. As well as delicate and wool cycles to protect precious fibres, there is also a choice of quick cycles to choose from when you’re pressed for time, including a 30-minute quick wash, 60-minute easy wash and a super fast 14 minute refresh - ideal for freshening up clothes you’ve had in storage when the seasons change.
Read next: The best dehumidifiers for your home
15 minute quick wash (2kg load)
Innovative Eco Bubble Technology
Bubble soak for more stubborn stains
Quiet digital inverter motor
Finish melodies can be annoying (but can be turned off)
No option to add once cycle has started
Price on writing: £419 | Spin speed: 1400 | Capacity: 8kg | Energy rating: B | Spin Performance: B | Number of programmes: 14 | Wool wash: Yes | Delicate wash: Yes | Hand wash: No | Energy consumption per cycle: 0.55 kWh | Water consumption per cycle: 48 litres
The Samsung Eco Bubble range is frequently praised within the Mumsnet forums for offering superior cleaning. Combining air, water and detergent to create bubbles, the Eco Bubble technology allows your clothes to clean at lower temperatures, saving you energy (and money) in the process.
With a medium-sized 8kg drum, it offers ample space for small to medium households, with a quiet inverter motor that won’t disrupt your children’s bedtime if you prefer to tackle your laundry in the evenings.
There is a wide range of programmes to choose from including a rapid 15-minute quick was for smaller loads. We also love the Hygiene Steam mode which can help remove pollen or dust mites from your clothes and the Bubble Soak technology, which helps loosen more ingrained dirt and stains with an extra soak in detergent.
Beko RecycledTub WTIK76151F
Integrated design blends seamlessly into modern kitchens
Sustainable choice made for recycled plastic bottles
28 minute quick cycle for (full load)
Quiet inverter motor
Small washload clean in just 14 minutes
No ability to add in missed items mid cycle
Smaller drum size
Price on writing: £369 | Spin speed: 1600 | Capacity: 7kg | Energy rating: C | Spin Performance: A | Number of programmes: 15 | Wool wash: Yes | Delicate wash: Yes | Hand wash: Yes | Energy consumption per cycle: 0.590kWh | Water consumption per cycle: 41 litres
While the choice of integrated washing machines is far smaller than freestanding designs, the Beko RecycledTub WTIK76151F won't disappoint. Very similar to our top pick from the same brand but with a smaller drum size, this Beko integrated machine fits discreetly behind your cupboard doors, meaning you can conveniently forget about the washing pile building up while you juggle the rest of your day.
With a number of quick cycles to easily fit around your lifestyle, it can clean full loads in just under half an hour or smaller 2kg loads in just 14 minutes. The 1600 spin cycle is pretty rapid too, removing excess moisture from your clothes that can help reduce drying time.
The ProSmart inverter motor is built to last, with quiet running speeds that won’t be disruptive if positioned inside your main kitchen space. We love the time remaining display, although you will of course have to open the door to see it.
HISENSE 3 Series WFQA8014EVJM 8 kg 1400
Excellent energy rating
15 minute quick wash (1.5kg)
Pause and add feature
Unique snowflake drum protects fabrics
Large LED display
Some wash cycles are incredibly long
Price on writing: £299 | Spin speed: 1400 | Capacity: 8kg | Energy rating: A | Spin Performance: B | Number of programmes: 15 | Wool wash: Yes | Delicate wash: No (however does have a baby steam cycle) | Hand wash: Yes | Energy consumption per cycle: 0.47 kWh/kg | Water consumption per cycle: 45 litres
If, like many families, you’re keeping a close eye on your energy bills this winter, an energy efficient washing machine may be high up on your wishlist. The HISENSE 3 Series WFQA8014EVJM 8 kg 1400 has an impressive A energy rating, with a quiet inverter motor that uses less energy and less water than other leading brands.
The 9kg drum is well suited to larger households, with a convenient fifteen minute quick wash for smaller loads and even the ability to add missed items mid cycle. Thanks to the unique snowflake drum, your fabrics will be protected wash after wash to keep them looking their best.
There are 15 programmes to choose from and while some are incredibly long, you can easily tailor the cycles to your contents. We love the PureSteam mode which releases steam during the cycle to 99.9% of bacteria - ideal for those with allergies.
Read next: Best moisture absorbers to keep damp at bay
Bosch Series 4 WAN28282GB Washing Machine
A Mumsnet trusted brand consistently recommended in forums
15 minute quick wash (2kg load)
Convenient reload function to add items mid cycle
10 year parts warranty
Quiet running volume
You may prefer a larger capacity machine for the price
Price on writing: £429 | Spin speed: 1400 | Capacity: 8kg | Energy rating: C | Spin Performance: B | Number of programmes: 18 | Wool wash: Yes | Delicate wash: Yes | Hand wash: No | Energy consumption per cycle: 0.617 kWh | Water consumption per cycle: 47 litres
While it’s one of the more expensive washing machines on our list, Bosch is a brand that gets recommended time and time again in the Mumsnet forums, praised for their reliability and excellent warranties.
Along with the huge choice of programmes (18 in fact), the Bosch Series 4 WAN28282GB comes with a 15 minute quick wash cycle (for loads weighing up to 2kg) and a handy reload function, allowing you to add in missed items quickly even once the cycle has started. We also love the Anti Allergen programme, helping remove bacteria during the cycle that could trigger eczema and asthma flare ups.
With Active Water Plus technology, this washing machine ensures the correct amount of water is used for every wash, while the EcoSIlence Drive and anti vibration drum means you can even run it late at night without disturbing the peace.
Beko WDIK754421 Integrated 7Kg / 5Kg Washer Dryer
Ideal for those more limited on space
5kg drying capacity
Can wash a full load in 28 minutes
Quiet for open plan kitchens
Washer dryers tend to clean less well overall than stand alone machines
Not very energy efficient
Price on writing: £499 | Spin speed: | Capacity: 7kg/5kg | Energy rating: D | Spin Performance: B | Number of programmes: 15 | Wool wash: Yes | Delicate wash: Yes | Hand wash: Unspecified | Energy consumption per cycle: 0.590kWh (wash only), 2.641kWh (wash and dry) | Water consumption per cycle: 41 litres
If you’re limited on space and don’t have the room for a washing machine and tumble dryer, a washer dryer could be a great solution. As a 2-in-1 machine, they’re often a little more expensive than a stand alone washing machine, however this Beko choice still comes in with some change from £500.
With a 8kg washing capacity, and ability to dry a 5kg load, this washer dryer is well suited for families. It’s not the most energy efficient, so we wouldn't recommend washing entire loads regularly, however for freshening up bedsheets or refluffling towels, it’s a convenient choice.
There are 15 wash programmes to choose from, including a quick wash option of just 28 minutes for a full 8kg load. It’s also super quiet too, making it a practical choice for open plan kitchens and living spaces.
What to consider when buying a budget washing machine
When buying a budget washing machine, we would always recommend checking out real life recommendations first - the Mumsnet forums are a great place to start. While budget washing machines may not have some of the smart technology or enhanced features of their more expensive counterparts, here are some of the things to consider when making your choice.
Drum size - What size washing machine do you need? A smaller 7kg drum may be sufficient for smaller households who do less frequent cycles, however if you are a large family with multiple children and are regularly washing up after football club, dance class and trips to the gym, a more significant 10kg capacity may be the most energy efficient choice.
Reload feature - While not all budget washing machines will include this option, the ability to add an item after the cycle has started can be incredibly useful.
Spin speed - the faster the spin speed (measured in RPM or rotations per minute), the less water will be left in your clothes when you take it out the machine. If you don’t have a tumble dryer, the 1600 spin cycles may be the best choice for your needs.
Noise - If you have an open-plan living space or plan to run your washing at night, then you may want to consider the noise levels (measured in decibels dB). Machines with inverted or brushless motors tend to run more quietly.
Range of cycles - Most modern washing machines offer a large number of cycles, including everything from delicates and wools (to protect more precious fibres) or anti allergen cycles (useful for those with skin conditions like eczema). You should consider the cycles that are most important for your family's needs and wardrobe contents. A hand wash cycle can also be useful for washing a smaller number of delicate items.
Quick wash - It’s worth considering the length of the cycles. With energy efficiency high on everyone’s agenda, some programmes can come with a fairly significant lead time. For convenience, you should consider whether there are speedy cycles for when you need to wash clothes in a hurry. Some budget washing machines offer quick cycles of just 15 minutes for reduced load sizes, but 30-60 minutes is ideal for day to day use.
Energy efficiency rating - We’re all very conscious of our energy bills at the moment, so it’s worth checking the energy rating of a washing machine before making your choice. Some budget washing machines come with sensors that can automatically adjust the cycle or the amount of water used depending on the contents, reducing water wastage and costing you less in energy bills as a result.
Freestanding or integrated? - In most cases, a freestanding washing machine makes the obvious choice,, as long as it's connected to a drain, however. If you want a machine that blends seamlessly into your kitchen, it’s worth looking at integrated washing machines too.
What energy rating should my washing machine be?
We’re all concerned about the energy efficiency of our household appliances at the moment and for washing machines, energy efficiency includes not only how much energy they use, but the amount of water and cost to run too.
The energy scale runs from A - G, with the A being the most energy efficient. The new 'A' rating is quite hard to achieve, so many good machines will still have an energy rating of 'B' and 'C'.
It’s worth mentioning that some retailers are still showing the old grading system, so you may see some when shopping that still refer to A++ and A+++ ratings.
What size drum do I need on my budget washing machine?
The right drum size for you will depend upon your family’s needs. For smaller families, a 7-8kg washing machine may be sufficient, although you may find you need to run your machine more regularly as a result. For larger households or those who amass more washing during the week, a more significant 9 or even 10kg capacity may be the most efficient and effective way to tackle your laundry pile.
What is the best budget washing machine to buy?
The Beko WTL104121W 10Kg Washing Machine is our pick of the best budget washing machine you can buy today. With a range of programmes including convenient quick wash cycles, it offers a substantial 9kg capacity, has a good energy rating and a quiet inverter motor - all at under £300.
How we chose our recommendations
Recommendations from real Mumsnet users
There is always lots of discussion within the Mumsnet forums about washing and laundry, with many users sharing their hints and tips on both the best tools and washing machines for the job.
First, we sought out the trusted opinions of Mumsnet users, to get their feedback on the budget washing machines that they rate, recommend and use in their own homes.
We also looked out for any negative reviews, where Mumsetters highlighted products that they felt were poor quality, inefficient or underperformed.
Next up, we considered reviews and feedback from trusted industry experts. We want to be confident that the products we recommend are fit for purpose, so we looked out for award-winning products or those that were well regarded in the marketplace, including those recommended by laundry experts and consumer champions such as Which?.
Authentic consumer reviews
Finally, to bring you our definitive list of the best budget washing machines on the market, we thoroughly investigated genuine, in-depth customer reviews on retailer sites such as Amazon, Currys, AO.com, and John Lewis to get wider consumer experiences regarding the products on our shortlist.
About the author
Lucy Cotterill is a Mum and Content Writer at Mumsnet, specialising in baby/child and lifestyle product reviews and round-ups. Having written product reviews on her own blog Real Mum Reviews since 2012, Lucy loves to research and explore the pros and cons of products, scrutinising reviews and consumer feedback to help people make confident purchases.
Originally from a HR background with a degree in Business Studies, Lucy developed a real passion for blogging and writing when her children were young, going on to write for several online publications including US parenting site Pregistry and the Evening Standard. When she’s not manically tapping the keys of her laptop, Lucy loves nothing more than to cosy up with her Kindle and enjoy the latest thriller, or compete in Nintendo Switch rallies with her daughters aged six and 10.
Why you should trust us
We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.
Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.