If you’re thinking about a new washing machine and don’t know what to look for, this article covers the five most important things to think about.
Everything here might not be relevant to you, so we’ve listed them in order of importance.
While it’s not the most interesting thing to think about, you need to make sure that your new washing machine will fit into the space that your old one left.
Luckily, all washing machines are designed to fit into a standard 60 cm kitchen unit space. However, just make sure you measure the depth behind it, as you might need a slim-depth unit if your pipes stick out or your worktops are shallow.
You can get washing machines with capacities from 5 kg to over 10 kg - the higher the number, the more you can wash at once.
Families will need a washer with a capacity of over 8 kg to deal with all the clothes, towels, and bedding they get through. You can get machines with over 10 kg capacity for the busiest households.
If you live alone, 6 kg will be fine, although a slightly larger capacity lets you wash more at once to reduce energy and water use.
Every large kitchen appliance has an energy rating. Modern washing machines are pretty efficient, so most have an A to A+++ rating.
If you use your washer a lot, the most efficient rated machines can save you a decent amount on your annual electricity and water bill. If you don’t use it so much, don’t worry too much about energy rating and focus on some of the other things instead.
Washing machines run at around 70 dB at their loudest, which is around the same volume as vacuum cleaner during normal use. They aren’t this loud for the whole load - usually just during the final spin cycle.
However, if you want a quieter washer, some are designed to not exceed 50 dB and are ideal if you live with some who works unsociable hours or wash clothes while young children sleep.
A few companies have released washing machines with some great new technology that gets clothes cleaner while reducing wear and energy consumption.
Samsung EcoBubble adds bubbles into the water to remove dirt and stains without the need for damaging detergents or excessive heat. Their AddWash models are great for busy households thanks to the door on the front of the drum that lets you drop forgotten clothes into the wash without having to stop/start the cycle.
Siemens’ IQ range lets you control your washer from your smartphone, so you can switch it on as you leave work and arrive home to clean washing that just needs drying. It also gives you much greater control over the cycle as you can set timing and programs using the app rather than from a few buttons on the front.
LG Centum washing machines have a unique motor-driven drum that runs much quieter than other models. They also have a steam clean option that removes dirt and bacteria without detergent – great for sensitive skin or babies.