Best washing machine 2018: 9 laundry wranglers from £500 to £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: the AEG 9000 Series L9FEC966R

We'd never under-rate Miele, and its WKG 120 washing machine is fantastic, but AEG is out in front for the time being when it comes to premium but sub-£1000 washing machines.

Needless to say, all these machines are very good; 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 11 best washing machines

1. AEG 9000 Series L9FEC966R

The best washing machine

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…

2. Miele WKG 120

And your other other premium washing machine option is…

Reasons to buy
+Excellent selection of programmes+Steam removes wrinkles+Excellent 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 quality. 

Let's begin with the TwinDos and CapDosing automatic detergent dispensing features. Not sure how much detergent to use for a given wash or can't be arsed with faffing about with detergent liquid? This machine comes with two large detergent containers filled with Miele's proprietary detergent – you can purchase slightly different bottles that you can fill with your own brand, too. 

Simply open the bottom door and slide them in. Voila, you now not only have enough detergent installed for up to 30 washes but the machine will only use what it needs. Clever.

The Miele comes with a family- and fashion-lover-friendly 8kg drum and enough cycle programmes to meet any eventuality, from rendering white sheets like new, to gently 'hand washing' your delicates. It can even use steam during the wash to make clothing easier to iron. 

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.

3. Hotpoint Ultima S-Line RPD10477DD

Best value, family-sized washing machine

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. 

4. Bosch Serie 8 WAWH8660GB

Feature-packed and very good value laundro-bot

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.

5. LG 6 Motion FH6F9BDS2

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

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.

6. Bosch Serie 6 WAT28660GB

Bosch's more affordable line is also excellent

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 but 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 49dbs 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.

7. Siemens Avantgarde WM14U640GB

Premium model with features galore

Reasons to buy
+Fantastic features and cleaning+Another splendid auto-dosing system
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive

Like the Miele, Samsung and Bosch machines, this features an automatic detergent dosing system. Simply fill the special compartment with your preferred liquid and the machine's intelligent sensors detect the size of the load, the fabric type and - though this is difficult to comprehend, the degree of soiling. 

It then trundles off on its cycle, using the precise amount of detergent and water required for the load. Expect up to 20 washes from each top-up. It's in the same kind of price bracket as the LG, offering more finesse, but a smaller, 9Kg maximum load. Your choice…

8. Samsung AddWash WW12K8412OW/EU

Tech-head's app-controlled dream machine

Reasons to buy
+AddWash is potentially handy+Stylish and techy+Huge wash capacity
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-App-control usefulness is questionable

You know that moment when you stumble on a stray shirt that needs cleaning after you've set the washing machine off on its unstoppable course? Well there's no waiting for the cycle to complete with this Korean cracker; simply pull open the separate AddWash chute and bung it in – before it gets to the rinse sequence, obviously. 

Perhaps more useful, if less high-tech, is that the Samsung swallows up to 12 kgs of laundry at a time, but can also wash a small, 2kg load in 15 minutes flat. 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. 

The machine's Digital Inverter Motor also helps keep running costs down by being more energy efficient. To cap it all, the whole shebang can be operated using an Android or iOS app, and relay diagnostic info to it, as well.

9. Grundig GWN47430C

Affordable price but premium look and performance

Reasons to buy
+Stylishly designed in several colour options+Super value for money+Five year guarantee
Reasons to avoid
-Steel buttons = fingerprints galore

Grundig GWN47430C 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 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.

This A+++ rated machine looks decidedly snazzy in black, and the two-tone control panel is extremely classy. It also comes in white, if you're a traditionalist about these things, and a stainless steel finish. For what is, by the standards of this list, a budget choice, it's 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, and will sense the size of the load and choose the most efficient program for it. If you're trying to avoid the colour white – not easy – and you're on a bit of a budget, give this washer serious consideration.