Washing machines buying guide

A washing machine is a serious investment. After all, you ideally want it not only to thoroughly wash your clothes, but to last a good few years as well. To help you choose the right washing machine to suit your needs and pocket, we've created this guide so that you can quickly pick out the finer points you need to know.

Sizes and styles

The type of washing machine you need will largely depend how much space you have, and whereabouts it will be kept. The following sizes and styles are available:

  • Front load: fits handily under worktops and is easily accessible. This is the most popular style of washing machine.
  • Top loading: has a larger drum capacity but needs more space, such as a utility room or garage.
  • Integrated: can be concealed neatly behind a cupboard door.
  • Washer-dryers: is a good space saver, but you can’t wash and dry loads at the same time, which you can with a separate washer and dryer.

Key factors

  • Drum Capacity: The bigger the drum, the more clothes you can place in a single wash.
  • Spin Cycle: The faster the spin speeds, the drier your clothes will come out.
  • Energy Rating: Washing machines are rated on a scale of A+++ to G .

Washing programmes and features

The programmes you’ll usually find cover cottons, synthetics, delicate and woollens. But more advanced machines have extra options like hand washing for wools and silks, pre-wash for heavily soiled items, short wash, rinse hold, and half load for more economical washing. Temperatures and spin speed may also be adjustable, giving you even more flexibility.

Drum capacity

The maximum load washing machines can handle varies from 5 kg to 12 kg. The capacity you need will depend on how many people in your household.

Based on the average of 4 washes per week, we recommend the following.

Capacity Family Size
5-6 kg 1- 2
7-8 kg 3- 4
9 - 10 4- 5
11 + kg 5 +

A drum capacity of 6-8 kg can wash approximately 8 outfits, including 2 pairs of adult's jeans, 1 pair of children's jeans, 3 shirts, 2 bed sheets, 2 pillowcases, 3 tea towels and 3 small towels. A minimum 9kg drum size is recommended for a king size duvet.

Energy efficiency and consumption

It’s well worth considering the energy rating of your new washing machine. More efficient models can save you money and help the environment, as they consume less water and energy. Machines are rated on a scale of A+++ to G according to their energy efficiency. A+++ appliances (Link to A+++ Machines) are most efficient and therefore cheaper to run, while G-rated appliances are the least efficient. All models are tested for energy consumption based on a standard 60°C cotton cycle, measured in kWh per cycle.

Take a look at the table below to see how much money you could save:

Energy rating Energy consumption kWh/cycle Cost per wash Cost per year
A+++ 1.1 Units 15 pence £ 56
A 1.52 Units 23 pence £ 87
B 1.67 Units 26 pence £ 98

The annual running costs are based on a single wash each day.

Washing performance

Washing machines are also rated 'A-G' for their washing performance. A-rated appliances give you the cleanest results, while G-rated machines produce the least fresh washing.

Spin performance

Spin speed is measured in RPM (revolutions per minute) with options varying from 1000 RPM to 1600 RPM.

The faster the spin speeds, the more water will be extracted from the wash load, so the less drying time it will need. Each 200rpm increase in spin speed means a 10 minute reduction in tumble drying time, and lower overall costs. Spin drying performance is also measured on a scale of A-G, with A-rated appliances producing the driest results.

Noisiness

When thinking about where your washing machine will be kept, you might like to consider the noise levels of your new appliance. We find that washing machines usually vary from 45dB to 80dB (decibels).

Here’s how that compares with a few other household appliances.

Capacity Delivery Cost
Household Appliances Noise Levels
Computer 35 dB
Refrigerator 45 dB
Microwave 55 dB
Tumble Dryers 65 dB
Telephone Ring 75 dB
Hoovers 85 dB
Lawn Cutters 95 dB

Additional features to think about

  • Digital display- Useful for showing the time left on your wash, along with advanced program features.
  • Touch panels- Giving you full control over your washing machine at the touch of your fingertips.
  • Half load- Quicker and more efficient when you only have a few items to wash.

  • Detects load- Will automatically work out the optimal wash for your washing load.
  • Extra rinse- After the wash, go for an extra rinse spin option to make your clothes wrinkle-free and that bit drier.
  • Quick wash- Give your clothes a little refresh with a quick wash, typically under 30 minutes.

  • Delayed start - Set your machine to start during the evening to save power consumption, or run while you’re out of the house.

Installation

You can choose the most appropriate installation option when you checkout. Our team of experts can install your new machine, recycle your old one, and remove the packaging all in one go.

You’ll find more information and pricing here

  • Front load: If you are fitting the machine yourself, we’d recommend that you refer to the instructions included.

  • Recommended Machines

    We know buying a washing machine from a wide range is not easy and especially for first time buyers. To point you in the right direction, you can see our best selling products below. Just remember the Key Factors (link to key factors) to make sure you get the best product for your individual needs.

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