Best washing machine 2018: 10 laundry wranglers from under £500 to over £1500

Excise the scuzz from your clothing with the best washing machines you can buy

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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 one is The Daddy of All Laundry Machines? 

Answer: AEG 9000 Series L9FEC966R

We'd never under-rate Miele, and its WKH122 WPS is fantastic, but it's also more expensive and less innovative, leaving AEG out in front when it comes to premium (but in this case, sub-£1000) washing machines. Needless to say, all these machines are very good, though; that's why we chose them. 

How to buy a washing machine

Our advice on buying a washing machine would be this: carefully weigh up your budget and needs. Families will need a large capacity drum and rapid spin speed for instance. Then, once you've done that, go and buy a Miele. They're just the best.

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.

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!

Here are our 10 best washing machines

1. AEG 9000 Series L9FEC966R

The best washing machine

Specifications
Drum size: 9kg
Energy rating: A+++
Max Spin: 1,600rpm
Reasons to buy
+Great cleaning performance+Remarkable clothing-softening feature+Even looks quite good, by washing machine standards
Reasons to avoid
-You will have to keep buying salt for it

This was the recent recipient of "Product of the Year", no less. Okay, lots of things win Product of the Year awards; they should really "Lots of Different Products of the Year" awards, really. But the AEG 9000 Series L9FEC966R has also won five-star reviews galore, because it's splendid.

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. All for under a grand, you lucky launderers…

Miele WKH122 WPS

2. Miele WKH122 WPS

And your other other premium washing machine option is…

Specifications
Drum size: 9kg
Energy rating: A+++
Max Spin: 1,600rpm
Reasons to buy
+Excellent selection of programmes+Handy auto-dosing system
Reasons to avoid
-Yes, it is a tad pricey

Miele’s domestic appliances consistently top the reliability ratings charts of Which? magazine and this mid-range model is a case in point. Here, your hard-earned wedge buys you a feature-packed machine of exceptional long-lasting quality.

Let’s begin with the TwinDos and CapDosing automatic detergent and conditioner dispensing features. Not sure how much detergent or fabric softener to use for a given wash? This machine comes with two large containers filled with Miele’s proprietary detergent and softener – simply open the top and bottom doors and slide them in. Voila, you now not only have enough detergent and softener installed for up to 30 washes, but the machine will only use what it needs. And no problem if you want to do it the old fashioned way, because the machine also features a conventional dispenser tray.

If you’re on an economy drive (you will be after forking out this kind of dosh), consider using the new PowerWash 2.0 feature, which uses minimal water and energy while still performing a grand job. And if you’re in a hurry, select the quick Express 20 cycle and follow it up with a 1,600rpm spin that’s fast enough to shift the Earth off its axis.

The Miele comes with a family- and fashion-lover-friendly 9kg drum and enough cycle programmes to meet any eventuality, from rendering white sheets like new, to gently ‘hand washing’ your delicates.

However, what really sets this machine apart from its competitors is the silence during operation. Really, you might find yourself checking the wash a few times just to be sure it's still working. A smart bells-and-whistles model for the discerning, well-heeled laundry fiend.

Hotpoint Ultima S-Line RPD10477DD

3. Hotpoint Ultima S-Line RPD10477DD

Best value, family-sized washing machine

Specifications
Drum size: 10kg
Energy rating: A+++
Max Spin: 1,400rpm
Reasons to buy
+Massive capacity+10 year parts warranty+Excellent for people with allergies
Reasons to avoid
-A noisy brute

You’ve got to hand it to Hotpoint: it's engineered a standard washing machine with a huge, 10kg drum, and is selling it for well under £500.

Hotpoint’s big-family machine delivers an excellent A+++ energy rating. You get 16 different programmes, anti-allergy washing, Hoover’s Eco Rain system, Woolmark Platinum care, steam and direct injection technology and a 10-year parts warranty if you register within 28 days. We’d recommend you do: if you’re buying for the huge capacity, you’re likely to run your washing machine hard. 

There’s one big downside to that big drum, and it’s noise: while the motor itself is Hotpoint’s Super Silent variation, the official figures list the noise level at 76db. This is not a machine you’ll want to chat near when it’s hitting the full spin cycle and if you don’t position it perfectly it’ll be noisier still. Despite all that, the 1,400rpm spin performance only scores a 'B' rating. 

Bosch Serie 8 WAWH8660GB

4. Bosch Serie 8 WAWH8660GB

Feature-packed and very good value laundro-bot

Specifications
Drum size: 9kg
Energy rating: A+++
Max Spin: 1,4000rpm
Reasons to buy
+Premium features at a lower price+Energy efficient, excellent cleaning
Reasons to avoid
-Yawnsome looks

In many respects Bosch is the Audi of white goods: it's expensive compared to some – and the top-end machines get really expensive – but what it makes is superbly engineered and lasts for ages. 

The A+++ rated Serie 8 uses two energy-saving methods: ActiveWater Plus, which uses a sensor to control the amount of water according to the fabric type and quantity, and the i-DOS detergent saver system, which is rather like Miele's TwinDos. It measures the exact quantity of detergent required for a given load, so long as you remember to periodically open a small hatch, fill up the liquid reservoir with your preferred brand. A single top-up will last for around 20 washes. 

The Serie 8 also boasts app control, a 9kg drum and quiet running. So in short, it has all the same features as its slightly more expensive rivals. Bosch stuff is always good; being underpaid journos who can't always afford Miele, we love it.

LG 6 Motion FH6F9BDS2

5. LG 6 Motion FH6F9BDS2

Best techy washing machine, and a 12-kilo-load-taking brute

Specifications
Drum size: 12kg
Energy rating: A+++
Max Spin: 1,600rpm
Reasons to buy
+Huge load capacity+Umpteen cleaning options
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive, of course

LG's model has a baffling quantity of features, but all Laundry Man needs to know is that its drum holds a massive 12kg of soiled rugby gear, it uses steam to remove 99.9% of allergens, the Turbo Wash function blitzes a wash load in just 49 minutes, it has six different washing motions, and it has a big control knob with lots of handy words written around it, like Sports Wear, Dark Wash and Duvet. 

Oh, and you can operate it remotely using your Android phone and LG's SmartThinQ appliance connectivity system. But that's not all. 

The LG's real pièce de résistance is its unique Centrum suspension system, which uses shock absorbers to soak up vibrations during heavy wash loads and spinning. And that means no more bits of plaster falling from the ceiling.

Bosch Serie 6 WAT28660GB

6. Bosch Serie 6 WAT28660GB

Bosch's more affordable line is also excellent

Specifications
Drum size: 8kg
Energy rating: A+++
Max Spin: 1,400rpm
Reasons to buy
+Great engineering for the price+A+++ energy rating
Reasons to avoid
-Even duller looking than the Serie 8 models

We’ve already praised the Serie 8 range, but you can spend less and still get some of that fine, fine Bosch engineering. The Serie 6 range is a touch cheaper and has a smaller drum, but it retains the same superb A+++ energy efficiency and wash performance as its slightly smarter big bro’.

This particular model is an excellent all-rounder: it can take loads of up to 8kg and although the 1,400rpm spin speed isn't the best on paper, it does a superb job of getting the water out of even the biggest loads, but without getting too noisy: at 49dB it’s one of the quieter washing machines you can buy. 

While there are plenty of washing options, the controls are straightforward, and the all-important option to pause the wash to chuck in a spare sock is present.

As ever with white goods, prices vary wildly on this model but our trusty price widgets should help you ferret out the best bargains; right now it’s John Lewis with its near half-price reduction. Go forth and snap one up.

Siemens IQ300 WM14N201GB

7. Siemens IQ300 WM14N201GB

A fine mid-priced Teutonic offering

Specifications
Drum size: 8kg
Energy rating: A+++
Max Spin: 1,400rpm
Reasons to buy
+Brushless motor+Great washing options
Reasons to avoid
-Main wash program is l-o-n-g…

Siemens’ iQ300 uses a brushless (ie 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. Mind, its main wash sequence does take up to two and a half hours to complete so perhaps opt for a quicker programme.

If you’re not fussed with using the speedPerfect cycle (it reduces the washing time by 65%), there are other speedy options, including Rapid 60 and Rapid 15 (both perfect for freshening up lightly soiled shirts, Ts and underwear in a thrice). This machine will also remind you to clean the drum every month or so using a specific cycle that ramps up the water temperature inside to annihilate the surfeit of smelly slime and mildew that lurks unseen around the door seal and other interior hideaways.

The iQ300 also has the same built-in anti-vibration mechanism as featured on some Bosch machines (that’s because Siemens is owned by Bosch) but, as ever, it’s always advisable to make sure your machine is absolutely level and on a firm surface or during the spin cycle it’ll make an unholy racket and cause the floorboards to shake.

Grundig GWN47430C

8. Grundig GWN47430C

Affordable price but premium look and performance

Specifications
Drum size: 7kg
Energy rating: A+++
Max Spin: 1,400rpm
Reasons to buy
+Stylishly designed in several colour options+Super value for money+Five year guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-Steel buttons = fingerprints galore

Grundig isn’t a name one usually associates with domestic appliances – it only started making white goods in 2013 - and this is quite cheap compared to some of the other machines we've recommended. But we’ve got to hand it to the brand, which is German-born, Turkish-owned – it’s part of the same group as Beko, owned by the really quite excellently-named Arcelik and KOÇ Holding.

For what is, by the standards of this list, a budget choice, the A+++ rated Gundig is an impressive start, and wash performance is equally as good for the money.

Its 7kg capacity is on the smaller side but fine for a couple and a sprog. It’s Woolmark Silver approved, too, and will sense the size of the load and choose the most efficient program for it. If you’re on a modest budget, give this washer some serious consideration.

Beko WTG1041B2

9. Beko WTG1041B2

Great budget option from Turkey

Specifications
Drum size: 10kg
Energy rating: A+++
Max Spin: 1,400rpm
Reasons to buy
+Large 10kg drum+Inverter motor with 10 year guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-At this price reliability could be a factor

This cheap and surprisingly cheerful Turkish model boasts a huge 10kg drum capacity replete with large 34cm portal, an energy-efficient inverter motor that’s guaranteed for 10 years and an A+++ energy rating.

It also features a decent set of eight wash cycles – including duvet and hand wash – and an especially speedy program that’ll remove the muck off a 2kg load in just 14 minutes. The Daily Quick programme, meanwhile, tackles a full 10kg load in a very respectable 28 minutes.

Figure in the 1,400rpm spin speed and the easy-to-use turn-dial interface and you have one very capable and keenly-priced machine that’s perfect for large families on a tight budget.

Samsung 16KG Addwash WF16J6500EV/EU

10. Samsung 16KG Addwash WF16J6500EV/EU

Oversized machine with enormous capacity

Specifications
Drum size: 16kg
Energy rating: A++
Max Spin: 1,200rpm
Reasons to buy
+Humongous 16kg drum+Add laundry on the go
Reasons to avoid
-Very dear-Larger than average-Not widely available

Here’s a left-field washer for enormous families, guesthouse owners, sports team managers, religious cults and anyone who needs to wash tons of laundry at a time. New to the Samsung range, this behemoth comes with a gargantuan 16kg drum – almost double the average washing machine capacity a few years ago. Consequently, you’ll need at least 70cm of space to install it (all other machines measure 60cm in width).

Samsung likes to create new words for its proprietary inventions and ‘ecobubble’ is as good a word as any to describe a system that uses airy bubbles to help dissolve detergents more effectively and help wash clothes at lower temperatures. ‘AddWash’ is another: if you stumble on a stray shirt that needs cleaning after you’ve already set the machine off on its course, simply pull open the chute and bung it in – before it gets to the rinse sequence, obviously. 

This specialised Samsung isn’t as widely available as other models (incidentally, there’s a great deal going for Costco members) but it’s definitely worth consideration if you’re after a machine that can handle massive volumes of laundry and clean it all in record time.