The best washing machines - according to Mumsnetters
It's not the most glamorous purchase you'll make this year (or even this week) and, to top it all, it's not cheap. But getting the right washing machine for you and your family is important, so it's worth taking the time to do a little bit of research and think about your needs – everything from safety to efficiency. Choose wisely and that seemingly bottomless laundry pile will start to look a little more manageable.
Things to consider before choosing a washing machine
- Freestanding or integrated?
A freestanding washing machine is one that you just plug in and use (as long as it's connected to a drain, of course). These are the most common washing machines, so when you're looking for a new one you'll have more choice. One drawback is that they often vibrate more than an integrated machine (one which is connected to kitchen units), and they also often have a lower spin speed which reduces overall movement, vibration and sound. On the other hand, integrated machines are quite a bit trickier to install and remove.
- What capacity washing machine should I buy?
Washing machines tend to range from 5kg to 13kg capacity. It's not always the case, but very often the larger capacity washers will take up a bit more room – makes sense, right? This means you'll have to check what fits the space where you plan to keep it, but you also need to consider drum size, as this varies between machines. Another couple of things to bear in mind are how many washes a week you usually do, and what kinds of loads you wash. Most families can comfortably get by on an 7-8 kg drum washing machine, although larger-capacity machines let you wash more at once, saving time. Larger machines also often include special programmes for bulky items, such as curtains and duvets.
Most washing machine manufacturers – at the least the ones you should consider buying from – are conscious of environmental issues. Many have added features in recent years to cut down on the amount of electricity and water their machines use. You can even get automatic dosing features that ensure you use the correct amount of detergent, so there's no waste. This is all good for your wallet and for the environment.
Thud, bang, clank, rattle, (disconcerting silence)… The range of sounds you can get from a poor – or poorly set up – washing machine is astonishing. Some vibrate so much they can make pictures fall from your walls (and your neighbours' walls) . But there are plenty of good models that don't cause these problems and, with their smooth shusshing sound, can even add to the ambience of your home and (crosses fingers) might just help a baby get off to sleep. When shopping, check the average volume of the machine’s wash and spin cycles, which is measured in decibels (dB). Anything below 50 dB is pretty quiet. Models with new technology, like brushless or inverter motors, and anti-vibration systems, should be quietest.
Children are drawn to washing machines, fact. While watching a wash go round and round can be more interesting (apparently) than Bing, children have also been known to try to open machines mid-wash which can be dangerous, messy or, at the least, inconvenient. Little ones also have a habit of climbing into front-loading washing machines. You can stop all that by putting child locks on your machine and lots of machines come with safety features – overflow and leak prevention – to prevent accidents or floods.
LG F4J5TN3W 8Kg Washing Machine with 1400 rpm, £369
This LG washing machine has an average-sized 8kg drum capacity, measures 56 × 60 × 85cm, and weighs 63kg. It’s really energy efficient and gets top marks with with an A+++ energy rating, plus it doesn't make too much noise. With 14 wash programmes to choose from and a maximum spin speed of 1400rpm, this washer will actually help you take care of your clothes – so you can wave goodbye to futile attempts to stretch out sweaters that have shrunk.
“I have an 8kg LG, and it's the best machine I've ever had. The direct drive makes it really quiet – so there's no jumping about on a high-spin cycle. I think I spent about £325 on mine, and it has been good as gold over the last four or five years.”Buy it now from AO.com
Related: In the market for a new tumble dryer as well? We've got some Mumnsetter-favourites.
Hotpoint WMBF844P Washing Machine 8 Kilogram Polar White, £279
This Hotpoint washing machine comes in an attractive white finish and also boasts the top energy efficiency rating – meaning it works at minimal consumption without compromising on the quality of the wash. Measuring 59.5 × 60.5 × 85cm, it has 8kg drum capacity and the maximum spin speed is 1400rpm. The variable temperature and spin control means the machine is fully adjustable, while the anti-allergy cycle is ideal for sensitive skin and noses. The wool mark platinum care will also keep your woolies in great condition.
“Mine's an 8kg Hotpoint, and I paid £240 for it. It's awesome, as it's really quiet and does a great job.”Buy it now from Amazon
Zanussi ZWF01483WR LINDO300 10kg Washing Machine, £319
With 10kg capacity, 1400 rpm and an XXL drum, this washing machine from Zanussi is ideal for large families or those who simply like the idea of getting lots of washing done in one go. It even has an XXL door, which opens at a 175 degree angle, making loading and unloading easier, and a flexidose drawer, so the machine puts in the right amount of detergent for you. The child lock ensures the wash cycle won’t be tampered with by little ones and anti-flood protection reduces the risk of accidents. It has an A+++ energy rating, so will help you save energy as well as time.
“Mine's a Zanussi Lindo 300. It's the best washing machine I've ever had. I mainly use the synthetics setting which is one hour and runs a full spin which means the clothes come out nearly dry. It says it's only a 1400 spin but I honestly can't tell any difference from my old machine which was 1600. It's also very quiet.”
“Mine's only six months old but so far so good. Lots of different programmes, including a super-quick fast wash, an allergy cycle (which I have, admittedly, never used) and a 1400 spin. It's pretty quiet.”
“We've had a Zanussi for 11 years and have never had a problem with it. It has a timer so you can delay the start if you want washing to end when you get up. Brilliant.”Buy it now from Amazon
Samsung AddWash, £399
Samsung's AddWash washing machine is pretty flash. The 'ecobubble technology' mixes air, water and detergent to create bubbles that penetrate your clothes faster, meaning you can wash at cooler temperatures and get the same level of clean – good for the environment and your bank balance. The crème de la crème, however, is the little door to add anything you might have forgotten once the wash has started. It's the kind of lovely touch you didn't realise you needed until someone came along and invented it. It has an A+++ energy rating, an RPM of 1400 and a capacity of 8kg.
“I have the Samsung 9kg Ecobubble with AddWash. I'm absolutely in love with it. Of all the machines I have had this is by far the best.”
“I love our Samsung Ecobubble – we got the washer-dryer but there's a washing machine only one too.”
“I really like my Samsung AddWash, it has a little door to add extras after the wash has started.”Buy it now from Amazon
Related: For yet more time-saving household appliances, take a look at our list of the best slow cookers.
Bosch Varioperfect, £369
Bosch washing machines with VarioPerfect technology offer up two ways to get laundry perfectly clean every time: choose the SpeedPerfect setting when you're in a hurry to wash a full load in an hour, or when you have time to spare (a nice thought, at least), and want to wash more economically, there's the EcoPerfect option. Whichever you use, you’ll have beautifully clean laundry every single load. On top of this, it’s quiet, energy efficient and, although it has a slightly lower spin speed of 1200rpm and capacity of 7kg, it boasts an impressive 15 programmes.
“I've got a Bosch VarioPerfect and it's superb. It's the best I've ever had by far.”
“It's Bosch for me. The spin cycle gets the washing much drier than our previous washing machines, and I was told that it's because they have more holes per square inch in the drum. No idea if it's true or not, but it made sense to me.”Buy it now from Amazon
Hoover DXOA510C3 1500rpm Washing Machine 10kg, £316
Another one for larger families who get through a lot of washing – this one has 10kg capacity, squeezed into its pretty standard 54 × 60 × 85cm frame. The touch screen controls are quick and intuitive, and it has a handy delay-start system, which allows you to schedule it to get going whenever suits you. Its Advanced Kilo Mode, meanwhile, weighs your laundry, adapting water, energy consumption and time of washing with precision. It has the top rating for energy efficiency, too.
“I have a recently-acquired Hoover 10kg, which is brilliant.”Buy it now from Amazon
John Lewis & Partners washing machine, from £399
Now here's an interesting one: a company with a reputation (on Mumsnet and beyond) for quality, reliability and durability manufactures its own range of washing machines. They actually make six (including an integrated option) but we'll concentrate on this mid-price range, 1400pm, 8kg load model, which has A+++ energy rating. Thanks to its Rapid 14 programme, which can wash 15 shirts in under 15 minutes (should you ever need to), it's ideal for last-minute loads. Plus, the smart Auto Sensing feature adapts the programme to suit the size of the load for the perfect, tailored wash. Other impressive features include a delay start, reduce time function, variable temperature control and a digital display.
“John Lewis own brand! They've been excellent, plus they give an extra year guarantee on their own products.”Buy it now
Miele W1 Speedcare, £899
With an 8kg drum, this is another energy-efficient machine for medium-sized households. One of the features that sets it apart, and accounts for its price, is the intelligent CapDosing system that uses specially designed detergent capsules – fabric softener or booster depending on what your clothes need – and releases them at the ideal moment during a cycle. There's also a Quick PowerWash function which can clean a half load in 59 minutes. The manufacturers have gone to great lengths to make sure it’s durable – testing this model for the equivalent of 20 years’ use, so you can rest assured that it’s definitely built to last.
“It's fabulous. There's a huge variety of programmes (including allergy wash, waterproofing and duvets). It also has its own cartridge detergents which work out less expensive per wash than previous brands and means you're not faffing around with putting washing powder in. You can also buy special individual pods for stains, outdoor clothing, silks, waterproofing etc. It wasn't cheap but it's been brilliant. My son has eczema (I bought it for the allergy wash) and it's definitely helped.”
“DH re-waterproofed some outdoor clothing with this machine and it was great.”Buy it now
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