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.

What type of washing machine?

First of all consider where you're putting your machine as there are a number of options and sizes including:

  • Front load: is good for fitting under worktops and easily accessible.
  • Top loading: have a larger drum capacity but need more space such as in a utility room or garage.
  • Integrated: can be concealed neatly behind a cupboard door.
  • Washer-dryers: are good space savers but you lose the option of simultaneous washing and drying.

Washing programmes and features

The common programmes are for cottons, synthetics, delicates and woollens. More sophisticated machines will have extra options such as hand washing for wools and silks, pre-wash for heavily soiled items, short wash, half load for economical washing and rinse hold. Temperatures and spin speed may also be adjustable giving you more flexible washing options.


Drum capacities vary greatly so think about your washing needs.

Energy efficiency

Washing machines are rated on a scale of A++ to G according to their energy efficiency. A++ appliances are most efficient and therefore cheaper to run, while G rated appliances are least efficient. The best machines achieve a first class 'A' rating for actual washing performance, in addition to 'A' energy rating for the least amount of electricity and water consumed; which is also better for the environment.

Energy consumption

All washing machines are tested for energy consumption based on a standard 60°C cotton cycle, measured in kWh per cycle. The level of energy consumption will however vary depending on how the appliance is used and where it is located.

Washing performance

Washing machines are also rated 'A-G' for their washing performance. 'A' rated appliances achieve the cleanest results and 'G' the dirtiest.

Spin performance

Spin speed is measured in RPM (revolutions per minute). The faster the spin speed, the more water will be extracted from the wash load and the less drying the washing will need. Each 200rpm increase in spin speed represents a 10 minute reduction in tumble drying time, resulting in lower overall costs. Spin drying performance is also measured on a scale of A rated appliances achieving the driest results, and G the wettest. If you use a tumble drier, choosing a washing machine with A-rated spin, instead of one with a G-rated spin, will halve your tumble drying costs. Tumble drying clothes usually uses more energy than washing them.

Typical annual consumption

This is an estimation of the amount of water and energy consumption over the course of a year based on an average four person household.


Before installing the washing machine, remove the delivery straps, they're usually at the back of the machine. The machine may need to be levelled by rotating the feet underneath to adjust the height.

If you are fitting the machine yourself, we advise that you refer to the instructions included. We recommend that the plumbing's made easily accessible, in case of emergency. Take care not to squash or twist the hose as the machine is pushed back into place.

Tesco will install some washing machines for a small additional charge; check our delivery options for more information.

Take Home Today

If you need your new washing machine quicker than our standard delivery times, look out for selected items with the “Take Home Today” logo. These items are available in selected stores for same day collection. Simply contact the store to check that the item is in-stock and then collect.

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