Best washing machine 2021: the top clothes washers for any budget

The best washing machines for cotton, man-made fibres, wool and other fabrics, from the most reliable brands

Man placing clothes inside front loading washing machine
(Image credit: Getty/monkeybusinessimages)

The best washing machine isn't just an appliance. It's a time saver, a miracle worker and at this time of year, more important than ever. Whether you're looking to clean muddy sports kit or protect your most delicate formal wear, the best washing machine will look after your clothes without sending your energy bills into orbit.

In this guide we'll help you make sense of the myriad models and confusing product names so that you can find the best washing machine for your kitchen or utility room no matter what your requirements or budget. We'll point out the features that really matter and the specifications you should focus on, and we'll also take a look at the energy rating and whether there are specific features that make a particular machine even more useful.

Everybody's different, and that means there's no such thing as the best washing machine for everyone: while every machine in our list is a brilliant one, what's ideal for you might not be ideal for somebody else. That's why we've covered such a breadth of models, sizes and prices. 

If you're thinking about other clothes-related products, check out our guide to the  best steam iron for well laundered clothing and the best tumble dryers to supplement your washing machine. And if you're looking not just for a washing machine but a washer dryer, our best washer dryers guide is right here.

Once you've picked out the perfect washing machine for your needs, it's time to get shopping and the best Black Friday deals have got you well covered there with crazy low prices that will have your bank balance revelling in early festive cheer. And with our live prices below always bringing the best deals to you as they drop, there's never been a better time to buy.  

How to buy the best washing machine

Our advice on buying a washing machine would be this: carefully weigh up your budget and needs. Families with more people in them will need a larger capacity drum and rapid spin speed, for instance.

In our experience, washing machines are one of those purchases where paying more really is worth it. Not only will the machine itself last longer but because pricier models tend to wash clothes both better and more gently, your garms should also look their best for longer.

• Pro tip: if your machine is making the room it's in a little steamy, try getting the best dehumidifier

These are our favourite, tech- and feature-laden washing machines. You can get a perfectly decent washing machine for 300 quid, but these are worth the extra. They're listed with our favourite first, then the other options in order of price, from high to low. Happy laundering, suds fans!

The best washing machines to buy, in order

AEG 9000 Series L9FEC966RT3 Awards 2021 winner badges

1. AEG 9000 Series L9FEC966R

The best washing machine overall

Specifications
Drum size: 9kg
Energy rating: A+++
Max Spin: 1,600rpm
Reasons to buy
+Great cleaning performance+Remarkable clothing-softening feature+Looks good (by washing machine standards)
Reasons to avoid
-Need to buy salt for softening feature

This cracking stand-alone washing machine has won numerous awards (including one of T3's very own) plus a plethora of five-star user reviews because, well, it’s splendid in every way.

The headline feature is the introduction of a salt dispenser. As used in your dishwasher, this softens the water, which means better cleaning results and softer clothes at the end. Obviously, it does mean you will have to keep buying salt for it, and if you live in a soft water area, you won't see any benefit. But for most of us it's a great innovation.

There are also improvements to the cleaning of delicates (it's Woolmark certified for sheep-based garments), and a steam-based programme to freshen clothes and return them for use without the need for ironing – although modern irons are so kick-ass, maybe that's not a positive any longer.

Obviously, it does all the basic stuff to a high standard as well, runs quietly and efficiently, and is rated A+++ for energy. Be sure to read our full five-star AEG 9000 Series L9FEC966R review.

Hisense WFQY1014EVJMT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Hisense)

2. Hisense WFQY1014EVJM

The best affordable washing machine

Specifications
Drum size: 10kg
Energy rating: B
Max Spin: 1,400rpm
Reasons to buy
+Plenty of capacity+Runs really quietly+Doesn't cost much
Reasons to avoid
-Missing a few fancier mode options

Well priced, spacious, easy to operate... there are a lot of reasons to choose the Hisense WFQY1014EVJM as your next washing machine, no matter what the needs of you and your family. It's no surprise to see this appliance earning rave reviews from satisfied customers on just about all the shopping sites that list it, and it's definitely one of the best washing machines we've seen at the cheaper end of the market.

The 10kg-capacity drum is able to handle the demands of a large family, and if there are little ones in the home you don't need to worry too much about them being disturbed – there's a whisper-quiet inverter motor installed here that will keep the decibels down to a maximum of 72dB when spinning.

And despite the low price, you've got plenty of options when it comes to this washing machine: consider the 15 minute quick spin for example, when you need your garments ready in a rush, or the allergy cycle that uses a higher temperature and an extra rinse to get rid of irritants. There's also a steam programme available here for a more intensive clean.

Bosch Serie 8 WAX32GH4GBT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Bosch)

3. Bosch Serie 8 WAX32GH4GB

The best washing machine for excellent cleaning performance

Specifications
Drum size: 10kg
Energy rating: C
Max Spin: 1,600rpm
Reasons to buy
+Smart stain removal+Quiet and efficient+Alexa voice support
Reasons to avoid
-A lot of options, which can be a bit confusing

Say hello to the Bosch Serie 8 WAX32GH4GB, an appliance that makes it into our list of the best washing machines for many reasons, including the top-notch cleaning performance that this unit offers (and that you would expect from Bosch): if the Serie 8 WAX32GH4GB can't get your clothes clean and fresh, then perhaps nothing can. It's expensive, sure, but in this case we think you get what you pay for.

With a 10kg capacity and a 1,600rpm maximum spin speed, the unit ticks the right boxes in terms of both capacity and performance. It's actually smart enough to spot and remove 16 of the most common stains – including chocolate, red wine and grass – adjusting the temperature, drum movement and soaking time accordingly. It's a really welcome feature on a washing machine that's got plenty of them.

The Bosch Serie 8 WAX32GH4GB also features what's called a 4D Wash System, which measures out water and detergent efficiently to make sure you get spotless results every time. Besides being efficient it's also quiet, and you can even operate this particular model using a smartphone app or via Alexa voice commands.

Indesit My Time EWD81483WUKN

(Image credit: Indesit)

4. Indesit My Time EWD81483WUKN

The best cheap washing machine

Specifications
Drum size: 8kg
Energy rating: D
Max Spin: 1,400rpm
Reasons to buy
+Excellent price+Good cleaning options
Reasons to avoid
-More basic than pricier machines

The first selling point that attracts you towards the Indesit My Time EWD81483WUKN is likely to be the low, low price – this is an excellent product to pick if you're looking to spend as little money as possible on your next washing machine. The affordability of this appliance doesn't mean that you're going to miss out in terms of cleaning quality though, and the 8kg capacity is going to be enough to keep most families happy.

There are six cycles to pick from if you need to clean your clothes in less than an hour – two for mixed fabrics, two for cottons, one for synthetics and one 20 minute express option – and they're all designed to use water and energy as efficiently as possible. Variable temperature support means that you can get great results every time, customised to suit the washing load.

The Indesit My Time EWD81483WUKN also includes a wool programme for taking care of those jumpers and scarves, without damaging them with high temperatures. Of course the washing machine isn't going to be able to cope with the models that cost four times as much in terms of the extra bells and whistles that you get with it, but this is still a very competent and very impressive appliance – one that gives you a whole lot of bang for your buck.

LG TurboWash 360 F4V909BTSET3 Approved badge

(Image credit: LG)

5. LG TurboWash 360 F4V909BTSE

The best washing machine for efficiency and ultra-low running costs

Specifications
Drum size: 9kg
Energy rating: A
Max Spin: 1,400rpm
Reasons to buy
+Low running costs+Smart AI features+Add items during a wash
Reasons to avoid
-Only 1,400rpm spin

We're not sure if it's actually possible to fall in love with a washing machine, but the LG TurboWash 360 F4V909BTSE definitely has us wondering: from its sleek, dark looks to its energy efficiency, this is an appliance that we like a lot – and we think that if you're going to install it in your home then you're going to like it a lot as well. In fact there are so many features here it's difficult to know where to start.

There's smartphone app control for example, so you can keep an eye on washing cycles from wherever you happen to be, and you get a wide choice of washing modes to pick from as well: from the TurboWash 360 that uses a multidirectional jet of water, to the quick wash function that gets through 5kg of garments in a mere 39 minutes for you. You're able to add items to the load while washing as well.

What we perhaps like most about the LG TurboWash 360 F4V909BTSE, though, is its excellent energy efficiency: using some cutting edge technology and a sprinkling of artificial intelligence, the washing machine can detect the weight of your washing load and the softness of the included fabric, adjusting the cycle settings accordingly. There's no cleverer washing machine out there.

AEG 7000 SERIES L7FEE865RT3 Approved badge

6. AEG 7000 SERIES L7FEE865R

Best mid-range washing machine

Specifications
Drum size: 8kg
Energy rating: A+++
Max Spin: 1,600rpm
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic performer for the price +Easy to use +Ultra quiet +Steam function
Reasons to avoid
-Domineering level sensors

If you can’t quite stretch the budget to the award-winning AEG 9000 Series above, then definitely consider this slightly lower spec option, which washes clothing almost as efficiently and just as quietly. In fact the only differences between this cracking model and the more expensive 9000 Series is that its drum is a kilogram smaller, it uses a bit more water per annum (10,999 litres vs the 9000’s 10,499 litres) and it consumes roughly twice the energy per wash cycle and spin (0.68kW vs 0.32kW). However, much of this is down to the 9000’s innovative water-softening feature which allows you to wash at much lower temperatures. 

The sensor-stuffed 7000 Series comes with an amazingly simple and clearly readable touchscreen interface that is a joy to use. Simply select your preferred program using the large dial, then move over to the Audi-like dashboard on the right to adjust the washing duration, the temperature of the wash and the spin speed. It also has a steam option which can be selected to run automatically towards the end of the cycle or on its own to freshen up a creased pre-worn shirt.

This writer was so encouraged by the multitude of glowing user reviews that he actually bought one. I’m glad to report it hasn’t missed a beat in two years of regular use – it comes with a five year guarantee – and is gobsmackingly quiet. Moreover, it truly trounces the admittedly older Miele it was replacing in almost all disciplines, from wash quality to spin speed