9 best washing machines for 2021

24 March 2021

woman using washing machine

Behind every happy household is a workhorse of a washing machine that’s holding it all together, so finding the right one for you is essential. Take a look at our pick of the best washing machines for 2021.

Getting the right washing machine for your household is so important, and it's worth taking the time to do a little bit of research and consider exactly what features are essential to you.

With so much choice, it can be an overwhelming decision to make, so we’ve done some research for you to help make the wonderful world of washers a bit more straightforward.

You may have a large family that generates the laundry of a small army so it’s worth considering a washing machine with a larger drum size to get through bigger piles with each wash.

Or you may want to focus more on energy efficiency and cost, in which case we’ve found some great options for you. The most important thing is that you choose wisely and make that seemingly bottomless pile of dirty laundry look a little more manageable.

Here are the best washing machines to buy in 2021.

1. Best overall washing machine: Samsung 9kg Freestanding Washing Machine with AddWash

1. Best overall washing machine: Samsung 9kg Freestanding Washing Machine with AddWash

Here at Mumsnet, we are big fans of Samsung AddWash washing machines, which let you add anything you might have forgotten once the wash has started – a nifty little trick that you’ll soon wonder how you ever lived without.

Samsung’s 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 – which is good for the environment and for your bank balance.

The icing on the cake, however, is Samsung's mobile app, turning your smartphone into the remote control for your washing machine so that you can control it from afar, which we’re sure you’ll agree is a special feature indeed.

Key specs

  • Drum size: 9kg
  • Energy efficiency: A (new A-G scale)
  • Max spin speed: 1400rpm

2. Best budget washing machine: Indesit MyTime 7kg Freestanding Washing Machine

2. Best budget washing machine: Indesit MyTime 7kg Freestanding Washing Machine

If you’re looking for a reliable washing machine with useful features, but without the eye-watering price tag, then this superb offering from Indesit will fit the bill.

The MyTime washing machine comes with 16 wash settings, covering everything from trainers to baby clothes, and also has a useful delay start mechanism so you can time your loads to suit you.

It doesn’t have a huge drum, so if you have a larger family you may want to look elsewhere, but if that’s not an issue for you then you’ll be hard pushed to find a better budget-friendly option.

Key specs

  • Drum size: 7kg
  • Energy efficiency: B (new A-G scale)
  • Max spin speed: 1400rpm

3. Best family washing machine: John Lewis & Partners 8kg Freestanding Washing Machine

3. Best family washing machine: John Lewis & Partners 8kg Freestanding Washing Machine

Coming in at a close second to the Samsung AddWash is this impressive washing machine from John Lewis & Partners’ own range of household appliances.

Thanks to its 14-minute QuickWash function, this machine is ideal for last-minute washing such as Sunday evening emergency school uniform loads.

Plus, the smart Auto Sensing feature adapts the programme to suit the size of the load giving you the perfect, tailored wash.

Other handy features include a delayed start, reduced time function, variable temperature control and a digital display.

Key specs

  • Drum size: 8kg
  • Energy efficiency: D (new A-G scale)
  • Max spin speed: 1400rpm

4. Best innovative washing machine: Bosch Serie 6 9kg Freestanding Washing Machine

4. Best innovative washing machine: Bosch Serie 6 9kg Freestanding Washing Machine

This popular washing machine from renowned appliance specialists Bosch comes absolutely jam-packed with functions that’ll make your life and laundry that little bit simpler.

Bosch's revolutionary brushless motor achieves maximum power with minimum energy loss making it quieter, faster and more energy efficient than most washers, while the VarioPerfect technology allows you to choose between saving time or saving energy.

So if you’re in a hurry, select SpeedPerfect and wash a full load of laundry in just one hour, or opt for EcoPerfect to conserve energy.

We particularly love the Allergy+ feature which battles against allergens that irritate sensitive skin by prolonging the maximum wash temperature, increasing the water level and adding an extra rinse.

Key specs

  • Drum size: 9kg
  • Energy efficiency: A (new A-G scale)
  • Max spin speed: 1400rpm

5. Best quiet washing machine: Bosch Serie 2 7kg Freestanding Washing Machine

5. Best quiet washing machine: Bosch Serie 2 7kg Freestanding Washing Machine

If your kitchen and living space is open plan, or you prefer to put your washing machine on at night, then this particular model from Bosch comes highly recommended.

It’s extra quiet thanks to an EcoSilence Drive motor, which uses frictionless magnets instead of noisy brushes. This also makes it longer lasting, but it still comes with a 10 year warranty just in case disaster strikes.

We also like the integrated ActiveWater™ technology which adjusts water, energy and time for each load to be kinder to the environment.

Key specs

  • Drum size: 7kg
  • Energy efficiency: D (new A-G scale)
  • Max spin speed: 1200rpm

6. Best eco-friendly washing machine: AEG ProSense 8kg Freestanding Washing Machine

6. Best eco-friendly washing machine: AEG ProSense 8kg Freestanding Washing Machine

Whether you’re doing a quarter load or a full 8kg, this AEG Washing Machine also uses technology in the form of sensors to assess every wash and automatically adjust time, water and energy consumption for each cycle to prevent water and energy wastage.

Use the timer carefully to take advantage of night energy tariffs for even more saving, and if you make your purchase via Curry’s then this environmentally responsible washing machine is sold as part of their Go Greener range of products, which means you qualify for free delivery and recycling of your old machine too.

Key specs

  • Drum size: 8kg
  • Energy efficiency: A (new A-G scale)
  • Max spin speed: 1400rpm

Price: £499.99

Buy now from Currys PC World

7. Best 10kg capacity washing machine: AEG ProSense 10kg Freestanding Washing Machine

7. Best 10kg capacity washing machine: AEG ProSense 10kg Freestanding Washing Machine

If you’re blessed with more than the average number of mucky kids to deal with, then a washing machine with a larger drum is an absolute gamechanger.

Allowing you to wash almost 50% more washing per load, this large capacity washing machine from AEG will make short work of your laundry pile week in, week out.

The clever ProSense system uses sensors to assess every wash and automatically adjusts time, water and energy consumption for each cycle to prevent wastage.

Key specs

  • Drum size: 10kg
  • Energy efficiency: A (new A-G scale)
  • Max spin speed: 1400rpm

8. Best 12kg capacity washing machine: Haier 12kg Washing Machine

8. Best 12kg capacity washing machine: Haier 12kg Washing Machine

For extra-large households, even a 10kg drum may not suffice, so if your laundry is reaching almost industrial levels then this super-sized 12kg capacity washing machine from Haier can handle vast loads of washing in one go.

Not only is it capable of more than the average sized pile of laundry, but it also features some handy functions too, like an added boost of steam during certain cycles.

When steam combines with water, the temperature inside the drum rises – causing the fibers in your clothes to relax. This means that they can absorb more water and detergent, resulting in a deeper clean and more effective stain removal. Pretty clever!

And thanks to the innovative motor, this model is super quiet to run meaning it’s ideal for open plan living.

Key specs

  • Drum size: 12kg
  • Energy efficiency: A (new A-G scale)
  • Max spin speed: 1400rpm

Price: £698.98

Buy now from Appliances Direct

9. Best integrated washing machine: Hotpoint 7kg Integrated Washing Machine

9. Best integrated washing machine: Hotpoint 7kg Integrated Washing Machine

If your kitchen or utility room has its appliances built-in, then replacing something like a washing machine can be more of a hassle.

Not only do you need to make sure to measure up carefully before making any purchase, but also ensure that your appliance is compatible with the space available.

We’ve had a closer look at the range of integrated washing machines on the market and found this model from Hotpoint to be one of the best you can buy.

Customers rate this device for its cleaning power, which we put down to the innovative Anti-Stain Quick technology – a shortened cycle that works alongside the ActiveMousse system to remove 40 stains in just 45 minutes.

Key specs

  • Drum size: 7kg
  • Energy efficiency: A (new A-G scale)
  • Max spin speed: 1400rpm

What should I look for when buying a washing machine?

As with any large household appliance you need to weigh up your requirements with your budget.

Aside from cost, the main considerations for most people when buying a washing machine are the size of the drum (and therefore the amount of washing that can be done in each load), the energy efficiency of the machine and the noise it makes.

Drum size

When it comes to drum size, consider how many washes a week you usually do, and what kinds of loads you wash.

Most families can comfortably get by on an 7kg to 8kg drum washing machine, although larger-capacity machines let you wash more at once, saving time. Larger machines often include special programmes for bulky items, such as curtains and duvets.

Energy efficiency

When it comes to energy efficiency, most manufacturers nowadays are conscious of environmental issues. Many have added features in recent years to cut down on the amount of electricity and water their washing machines use.

There’s a universally used scale which rates washing machines on their energy efficiency. This scale was revised in March 2021 and rates appliances from A to G – A being the most energy efficient.

Noise

If your living space is open plan or you want to run your washing machine at night, then noise levels will be an important factor in choosing a machine.

Make sure to check the average volume of both the machine’s wash and spin cycles, which is measured in decibels (dB). Anything below 50dB will be quiet enough.

Models with new technology, like brushless or inverter motors and anti-vibration systems, should be the quietest.

Maximum spin speed

The higher the spin RPM (rotations per minute) on a washing machine the faster the drum turns and the drier the clothes are at the end of the cycle.

The drier the clothes come out of the machine, the faster they dry on the line or in the tumble dryer. Most washing machines have an RPM of either 1200 or 1400.

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. An integrated machine – one that connects to your kitchen unit – can be trickier to install and remove. 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, and they also often have a lower spin speed which reduces overall movement, vibration and sound.

Safety

While all washing machines will follow the same safety directive, there are additional safety features that might be helpful to you, particularly if you have children in your household.

Watching a wash go round and round can be more interesting (apparently) than Bing and children have been known to try to open machines mid-wash which can be dangerous, messy or, at the very 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.

Are expensive washing machines worth it?

Washing machines start at around £200 and can cost as much as £1,000, so it can be difficult to ascertain what represents good value for money.

A larger, quieter, or more energy efficient washing machine may not necessarily cost more than a machine that doesn’t score quite so highly on those features.

As with any appliance, what’s important is to recognise that different brands build their products to different quality standards. A top-of-the-range washing machine from a cheaper brand may cost the same as an entry level washing machine from another, more expensive, brand.

Compare the basic entry model of each brand of washing machine you’re interested in. So if you see a £580 washing machine, but that brand sells a basic model at just £290, you should know that the £580 washing machine is likely to be built to the same build quality as the £290 washing machine, with the rest of your money going on additional features.

You need to decide which features matter the most to you and then weigh these up with your budget. By researching our list of recommended washing machines we have done some of this work for you, focusing on certain categories to help you differentiate between appliances.

How long should a washing machine last?

How long your washing machine lasts will depend on how often you use it. Most people consider that a large household appliance should last at least five years, but nearer to eight or 10.

However, if you’re doing several loads of washing every day, then your washing machine will not last as long as it might for another household.

Consider the length of the warranty on a washing machine and take this into account if you expect to use the machine more than average.

What is the best washing machine to buy?

Having researched washing machines from several of the main manufacturers and retailers, the best washing machine to buy right now is the Samsung 9kg Freestanding Washing Machine with AddWash.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which washing machines discerning Mumsnet users had bought for their homes.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which washing machines had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customers reviews said about them.

Having collated all that information, we picked the washing machines we thought would make the best buys in several interest categories.

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