Whirlpool has just announced a new range of washing machines with the beautifully grandiose title of 'SupremeSilence'. Their trick is that they have a special washing cycle called 'Extra Silence', in which Whirlpool says the noise won't exceed 60dB for the whole cycle.
Most of the best washing machines these days are fairly quiet during the washing part of a cycle, hitting the mid-50dB mark – this is around the volume level of gentle conversation. But it's when you get to the spin at the end that the noise spikes, with most hitting well over 70dB. And thing with volume levels is that the measurements aren't linear – 70dB is twice as loud as 60dB. So if you have an open-plan living room and kitchen, suddenly easy conversation or low TV levels are drowned out.
That's why I'm really interested in the fact that the SupremeSilence promises not to exceed 60dB during the whole 'Extra Silence' cycle, keeping it from overwhelming the room.
Of course, the question is whether the changes to make it run so quietly would affect the wash quality, but that's not the only washing cycle available of course, so you always run more seriously when you need to. And actually, the range still largely lives up to its name even when it's going louder – Whirlpool rates the 10kg W8 W046WR model as hitting 71dB, which is among the lowest spin volumes around.
Thank 10kg model is full of other smart-sounding tech with great names too. The ZenMotor drum is what makes it quiet, while a WaterSave system sprays your clothes with a nozzle to dampen them before washing starts, promising to save up to 59% of water. Meanwhile, the 6TH SENSE technology monitors the size of load and the wash programme to save up to 45% of energy and 50% of water. At this point, I'm starting to question whether this machine needs any water at all.
I really like the steam functions built into this model, which can be used to kill bacteria and make sure both the machine and your clothes stay smelling fresh, but there's also a Steam Refresh option, which just blasts your clothes quickly to clear bacteria, leaving them ready to wear again without a full wash.
You also get AutoDose for your detergent, which stores a big well (enough for up to 26 washes), and then dispenses just enough per wash, based on the weight and cycle type, keeping it easy.
As well as the 10kg model, there's a 9kg model: the W8 W946WR.