Looking for a new washing machine? There's a big old market out there packed with appliances all promising to make your laundry whiter than white. But which ones are easy to use, reliable and actually live up to their claims to leave you with consistently clean clothes? We put together this list of the best eight washing machines currently on the market that are definitely worth considering.
Price: £699 | Load 9kg | Size: H 850 x W 600 x D 600 | Energy efficiency: A+++
Samsung WW7000 (WW90H7410EW/EU)
The South Korean manufacturer has really pushed the boat out with this highly attractive machine. For starters, its double-hinged front door is like a portal to another universe; it’s huge and it opens wide. But that’s not the only reason you’ll like it. Ecobubble is a method of washing unique to Samsung.
Basically, before the main washing cycle starts, the machine’s bubble generator (no kids, it’s not a toy) produces a waft of tiny bubbles that dissolve and activate the detergent. This method apparently washes the clothing more effectively, even at 15ËC, and is great at dislodging stubborn stains. And who are we to disagree? It’s a whisper-quiet machine, too, though only if it has been installed on a level plane.
The WW7000 also connects to a smartphone app for troubleshooting problems without having to hunt down the manual. And that surely makes it one of the techiest laundry appliances in the washroom.
2. Miele WDA100
Price: £699 | Load: 7kg | Size: H 850 x W 595 x D 610 | Energy efficiency: A++
You pay a lot more for a Miele-branded appliance but what price is peace of mind? After all, you often hear of Miele appliances running trouble-free for over 12 years. This 7kg unit pulls no punches.
It’s A++ rated for a start so it shouldn’t cost the earth to run but it’s Miele’s patented honeycomb drum that fascinates most. This soft-to-the-touch hexagonal-sculptured structure produces a thin film of water as it spins so that clothing slips and slides over the drum without actually making much contact.
This in turn ensures that even your most delicate fabrics avoid pilling or bobbling (those annoying small balls of fluff that make woollens look so unsightly). Its 1400 rpm spin cycle, meanwhile, makes sure the entire wash load is perfectly ready for a trip to the tumble dryer. Like some other machines, the WDA100 also features automatic load recognition. Top choice.
Price: £669 | Load: 9kg | Size: H 845 x W 600 x D 590 | Energy efficiency: A+++
You can’t really go wrong with a Bosch washer. This 9kg monster is just the ticket for a large family with muddy kids, two dogs and an incontinent cat. It comes with a commendable energy rating (A+++) and several compelling features, most notably a slice of tech that Bosch calls i-DOS. This detergent-saving feature detects the size, weight, fabric type and even the degree of dirt in the load and then selects the most appropriate program.
Combine that with Bosch’s ActiveWater Plus (a feature that uses sensors to measure the exact quantity of water required for the most economical wash) and you have one of the most environment friendly washing machines on the market. It’s easy to use, too. Simply click open the door, lob in some clothes, whack in a bit of detergent and dial in a programme. Bish, bash, Bosch. Job done.
Price: £499 | Load: 8kg | Size: H 848 x W 589 x D 550 | Energy efficiency: A+++
Siemens iQ300 (WM14Q391GB)
Siemens’ iQ300 uses a frictionless iQdrive motor that’s guaranteed for 10 years and that’s a good thing because you’re likely to load this 8kg machine to the hilt on a regular basis.
That said, even smaller wash loads are a cinch with this appliance. If you don’t fancy the Speed Perfect or Eco Perfect programs (they save 65% time and use 50% less energy, respectively) try dialling in the Rapid 15 option.
Yes, that’s just 15 minutes of washing time; perfect for small quantities of lightly soiled outerwear, underwear and sports clothing. Another cool feature is the Textile Guard system that utilises Nikwax Tech Wash to apply a waterproof treatment to breathable, water-resistant fabrics.
The iQ300 also has a built-in anti-vibration mechanism but, as ever, it’s always advisable to make sure your washing machine is absolutely level when installed, otherwise in spin mode it’ll shake, rattle and roll all the way out of the utility room.
Price: £800 | Load: 10kg | Size: H 850 x W 600 x D 610 | Energy efficiency: A+++
LG 6 Motion (F14U1JBS2)
This iF Design award-winning touch control machine comes with a generous 10kg drum (the largest on test) and a raft of practical features. The LG’s TurboWash setting, for instance, is just the thing for the family on a deadline.
Using its built-in water jet feature, the machine performs a fast-forward wash in just 59 minutes; a full 36 minutes quicker than the normal setting. TrueSteam is another particular that will appeal to those with allergies since it apparently eliminates 99.8% of all allergens.
And if you hate wearing scratchy jumpers or have a baby with sensitive skin on board, you’ll love the steam softener. This option uses pure steam to lift and soften even the most coarse fabrics. The LG uses an Inverter Direct Drive motor which is quiet, economical and, theoretically, very reliable (the motor comes with a 10-year guarantee).
It also powers a variety of different drum motions depending on the wash program selected. LG calls it 6 Motion presumably because it’s comprised of, er, six motions.
Price: £798 | Load: 7kg | Size: H 850 x W 600 x D 610 | Energy efficiency: A+
If you already have Smeg’s ’50s retro fridge, its flueless landscape fire, toaster, mixer and kettle, you may as well go the whole hog and install the similarly-designed washing machine too.
This 7kg washer has a large door attached with, it must be said, a convenient recess on the inside to keep the manual should you ever be flummoxed by any of the controls. Pull open the door and it exposes the machine’s control panel and 300mm port hole.
It’s a neat and tidy system alright, but you will need to install the machine in an open space to ensure that the main door can be easily opened. The Smeg comes with the usual gamut of programs including, rather handily, a speed wash option that takes just 15 minutes to complete.
It also handles mixed loads and delicate fabrics, and even washes denim jeans without fading them. As this machine is only rated A+, the delay timer is a useful way to take advantage of off-peak energy rates. The Smeg is available in pastel blue, pink, black and cream. Fabola.
Price: £399 | Load: 8kg | Size: H 850 x W 600 x D 550 | Energy efficiency: A+++
John Lewis JLWM1413 Slim Depth
If you’re on a tight budget, consider this John Lewis-branded option. Its A+++ energy rated so it won’t cost much to run and you can save even more by using the delay timer to take advantage of cheaper night tariffs.
It doesn’t have the fastest spin speed in the business but 1400rpm is usually more than enough for most items without turning them into a jumbled mess. The excellent 20-minute programme is a bonus for those in a rush; it’s the perfect setting for undies, shirts and lightly soiled sportswear.
The machine’s a mite slimmer in depth too (around 50mm) which is handy for users with a protruding pipe or a skirting board in the way. And it comes with a three-year guarantee which is a very good thing indeed.
Price: £299 | Load: 7kg | Size: H 850 x W 600 x D 576 | Energy efficiency: A+++
Zanussi Lindo100 (ZWF71463W)
During the mid 1980s, Italian manufacturer Zanussi was widely considered one of the most prestigious appliance brands. It’s lost ground to the likes of Bosch, Miele and Samsung over the decades but remains a worthwhile budget brand.
Given that this machine is A+++ energy rated, the first setting you’re greeted with on turning it on is an everyday function that washes for 30 minutes at 30ËC, though naturally you have a further 20 other programmes at your fingertips.
PowerJet tech ensures the detergent dispenser isn’t clogged up with half-dissolved powders (a common event with many washing machines) while the AquaFall water spray system makes certain that the detergent is distributed evenly. If you have a large family of rugby players you may find its 7kg load capacity isn’t enough, in which case we’d suggest one of Zanussi’s 8kg models.