It may not be the funnest purchase, but it’s important to do your research when buying a new washing machine. Get one that’s not big enough to deal with your needs, or too loud for your living space and every wash will quickly go from a chore to an outright annoyance.
Here to help we’ve put more washing machines through their paces than we can count to help offer you clear buying advice about which are best.
Our pick of top washing machines includes models from major brands such as Hotpoint, Samsung and Whirlpool, with prices ranging from as little as £250 to above the £1000 mark.
We examine the washing performance and power of every washing machine we test, and we know what constitutes a good and bad cleaning result. We scrutinise all areas from the design, capacity and range of programmes. We’ll even tell you how good a machine is at tackling tougher stains, like red wine and oil.
This smart washing machine comes equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity and works with a companion app. There's even a voice assistant feature.
For more details on how we test, see below, then keep reading for our pick of the best washing machines on the market.
Related: Best tumble dryers
What’s the difference between a good and a bad washing machine?
We examine the washing performance and power use of every washing machine we test, but what’s the difference between the best washing machines and plain bad ones?
Here’s an example ‘test stain’ that we use in every washing machine we test. It features wine, blood, ketchup, coffee, fruit juice and oil – we put similar test strips in every machine we test and use a branded non-bio washing detergent.
This is what a test strip looks like after a standard cotton wash in one of our recommended washing machines. Almost all the stains are entirely removed with just a hint of oil, which is normal given we use a non-bio detergent.
Here’s the result from a less proficient machine that didn’t receive such a glowing review. The oil is almost untouched, while the wine (far left), coffee (middle) and fruit juice (second from right) are still clearly visible.
That’s a very poor result, but it’s important to know that there are cheap machines that wash well and do so efficiently. More expensive machines do typically wash better and have more features, but you don’t have to spend loads of money to get a good machine – some in our best washing machines cost less than £300.
NEED ONE TOMORROW?
We rate the Indesit My Time EWD 91482W 3.5/5. For those on a budget, this machine is a no brainer and available for next day delivery from ao.com.
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- 7kg load capacity
- A+++ energy efficiency
- 1400 spin speed
- Simple controls
- Honeycomb drum
- 20min quick wash
- Review Price: £649.99
The WDB020 is one of the most affordable washing machines in Miele’s appliance catalogue, with pricing starting at a reasonable £650. For your money you’ll get a A+++ energy rated 1400 spin machine with Miele’s innovative CapDosing system, which makes it an outright steal.
During our tests the WDB020 delivered great wash results and was wonderfully simple to use. This coupled with its stellar build quality and spectacularly good energy and water efficiency make it a great choice for small families on a budget. The 20 minute quick was is also a godsend if you find yourself needing to do an emergency wash.
Larger families may also want to look elsewhere, however as the WDB020 has a limited 7kg drum capacity. People in flats should also be aware it’s not the quietest machine around and could lead to some complaints from neighbours one floor below.
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- 8kg capacity and A++ energy rating
- 1,400rpm max spin speed
- “My Time” washes under an hour • Load weight sensing and delay start
- Review price: £249
The Indesit EWD 81482 is a budget machine that offers a relatively quiet spin, sensor load adjustment and a host of standard programs that take less than an hour to complete. While the drum is cramped for an 8kg machine, this affordable washer is great for doing sensible sized loads while keeping your energy bills trim.
In our tests, wash results were good for a model at this price point, and our test stain strip cleaned up relatively well, even using non-bio powder. A nice touch is the LED indicator on the right side of the fascia telling you what stage the wash cycle is at. It’s a neat and tidy machine that’s easy to operate, which makes it a no-brainer for those on a budget when you consider its overall washing performance and energy efficiency.
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- 8kg max load and A+++ rated
- 1,400rpm spin and 15 programmes
- Approx. £31 a year running cost
- Review price: £259
Good wash results, frugal electricity and water consumption with full loads, and sharp styling rarely come together on a washing machine at the Hisense WFH8014’s budget-busting price. The sub £300 machine uses sensor technology to determine the size of your load and adjusts water, energy and time for the most energy-efficient wash. What’s more, the big porthole door is right up there with current styling trends.
Day to day, the WFH8014 is a breeze to use – a feature busy families with big washing loads will appreciate. It performed incredibly well on our stain strip tests, and even comes with a rather old-school 95oC wash cycle, designed as an antibacterial wash for sterilising clothes and linens.
The real boon with this machine is its running cost. As long as you feed it a hefty load, it’ll bring big savings on electricity and water. Run lots of half loads, however, and even the machine’s Eco mode won’t save you. This is a washing machine for some serious heavy duty family use.
At the time of the review the Hisense WFH8014 was available for £259
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- 9kg capacity and A+++ minus 10% energy
- 1,600rpm maximum spin speed and sensor wash
- Approx. £66 a year running cost
- Review price: £520
The Hotpoint RSG964J is a solid, mid-priced machine with A+++ credentials and a good selection of programmes. It’s easy to use and delivers good cleaning results. It’s most energy efficient when dealing with larger loads, so you should think carefully about whether you’ll be able to use the RSG964J to the max before you buy.
While the machine boasts Hotpoint’s Smart+ symbol, this doesn’t suggest smart home connectivity or fancy app control. It actually refers to built-in technologies including an anti-microbial seal around the door to reduce mould and musty odours, automatic load balancing, load sensing and Direct Injection of pre-mixed water and detergent to best penetrate fibres.
The RSG964J is a slick looker too, with a stylish, solid-looking door, control knob, bright orange LED display and a novel pivoting soap drawer. Fairly low running costs and easy operation mark out the Hotpoint RSG964J as a solid all-rounder at the price.
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- 9kg capacity and A+++ energy rated
- 1,400rpm spin and extra large door
- Approx. £25.80 a year running cost
- Review price:£449
Sharp’s re-entry into the UK home appliance market kicks-off in style with the well-specified, solid-performing and very efficient Sharp ES-GFD9144W3. Features such as a clothes-protecting Bubble Drum, Doublejet injection system and an ultra-speedy 12-minute quick-wash programme make this monster an incredibly appealing prospect for the price.
A semi-sensor machine, the ES-GFD9144W3 lets you input exactly how dirty your clothes are on a three-step scale before you wash, which progressively lengthens the programme duration. Operation can feel a little fiddly, what with the clunky traditional knob right next to a modern soft touch display. But if you bury your nose in the manual for long enough, you’ll soon find it easy to customise your washing cycle for anything from a gentle half load to a hefty bundle of mud-splattered sports clothes.
We were particularly impressed by the ES-GFD9144W3’s ability to spin water out of our washing, leaving just 2.3kg (32% of dry washing weight) behind after the final spin. That kind of spin performance is up there with some of the most expensive, top-spec machines on the market
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- A+++ energy rating
- 1400rpm max spin
- 8kg load capacity
- Ultra-quiet operation
- 15 wash programmes
- Review price: £399
The Sharp ES-GFD814QW3 boasts impressive features, wash results and low running costs for a washing machine at this price point – and it comes with the bonus promise of being the world’s quietest washing machine. In our tests, its motor was indeed super-quiet, but increased to a less librarian 55dB when the machine was emptying. Still, if you’re sick of shouting over your noisy machine, the Sharp’s more stealthy approach won’t fail to impress.
Stick to full loads and the machine will live up to its A+++ billing, making it an incredibly eco- and wallet-friendly appliance to run. Things are a little less straightforward when it comes to programmes, owing to the machine’s rather complicated LCD menu panel and a total of 22 stain options from which to choose. These include everything from blood, coffee and red wine to engine oil, fruit stains and grass.
Once you get a handle on the confusing controls and multi-layer menus, however, it’s a tough machine to beat for washing performance, making it worthy of a much higher price tag. If you’re on a mid-range budget with high-end dreams, the Sharp ES-GFD814QW3 will deliver the finely tuned features you’re after.
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- 9kg load capacity
- A+++ energy efficiency
- Full-load fast wash in 32 mins
- Hand Wash programme
- Inverter motor with 10-year guarantee
- Review price: £390
Solid and inspiring build quality, a wide selection of programmes and excellent cleaning performance make the Blomberg LWF29441W one of the best machines around at the £400 price. It’s A+++ rating puts its running costs nice and low for a machine that cleans so well, and the full-load fast wash is a winner, delivering a thorough clean in just over 30 minutes.
The machine boasts a 9kg capacity, but we reckon 7.5-8kg is about the maximum realistic capacity it can handle before you have to cram in clothes, which would affect wash performance. Still, that’s a decent-sized load, and the supremely effective Eco Cottons cycle makes up for any load size misgivings.
There’s a 16-strong programme list with a great range of cycles, including a super-fast 14-minute wash to freshen up lightly soiled loads. High-quality touches include an inlet hose with a built-in mechanical safety shut-off valve to stop flooding in the event of a failure, and a high-tech inverter motor with a 10-year guarantee. Few machines offer such good build quality and features for this price.
- 10kg capacity
- A+++ -40% energy rating
- 1600rpm spin speed
- Direct Injection
- Steam Hygiene function
- Review price £520
The Hotpoint Ultima S-Line RPD 10667 DD isn’t the most straightforward machine to use – you have to put in some effort to get the results you want – but it offers great potential through its useful features and low running costs. We’re rather taken with its appearance, particularly the neat, modern-looking fascia, chunky dial and orange display, as well as the bold and enormous smoke-tinted door.
Billed by Hotpoint as its greenest and most efficient washing machine ever, the Ultimate S-Line offers extras such as a Steam Hygiene intensive clean and Direct Injection stain removal. The latter feature pre-mixes water and detergent, activating biological powders before spraying the mix directly into the wash. There are 14 programmes in total, including a Woolmark-approved wool cycle for hand-wash items, a Bed & Bath cycle for towels and bedsheets, and a Baby and Anti-Allergy cycle.
Achieving the best wash results requires a specific combination of programmes and options, alongside keeping the load large but not excessive (about 7kg, in fact). Using the machine to its full potential takes some mastering, so we wouldn’t recommend this model to those after a plug-and-play solution. Get all that correct, however, and you have yourself a big-capacity machine that delivers on its impressive A+++ -40% energy promise.
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- 10kg load and A+++ minus 60% energy rating
- 1,400rpm spin and super-quiet
- Approx. £58 a year running cost
- Review price: £550
The kitchen is a noisy enough place without the infernal rumbling of a washing machine. But worry no more, because the Whirlpool FSCR10432 is here to restore domestic peace and tranquility. Part of the brand’s top-spec Supreme Care series, it packs in sensor load detection, water-jet washing, a gentle wave-motion drum, and a tumbling cycle once the wash is complete to keep it from stagnating. And its most important feature of all? Silence.
This feat is down to a new traction motor system. In our regular cycle tests, the FSCR10432 hummed gently along at an average of 44-45dB, peaking at 48db at faster spins. If there’s anything going on in your kitchen much nosier than someone reading a Sunday paper, you simply won’t hear this machine. Peace at last.
Along with its stealthy silence, the FSCR10432 packs in a whopping 18 programmes and a respectable wash. You probably do need to leverage all of these programmes to make the most of this machine’s performance. After being left disappointed by the machine’s main wash stain results, we had to turn to the Intensive and Bio Stain options.
At the time of the review the Whirlpool FSCR10432 was available for £550
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- 9kg capacity
- A+++ energy efficiency
- 1600 max spin
- ProDose auto-dosing
- 16 programmes
- Review price: £699
The smart Grundig GWN59650CW sits near to the top of the company’s range of washing machines, and as such, offers stacks of features, including an A+++ energy rating and maximum 1600rpm spin.
We’re most taken with its automatic ProDose technology, which detects the material type, the load and how dirty the clothes are, adding in just the right amount of detergent and softener, so none goes to waste. Clever stuff.
It’s also packed with programmes – 14, in fact (plus two drum-cleaning options). Within these you’ll get a lot of ability to customise the wash, so you can tweak temperature, spin speed and soil level, as well as add an extra rinse, set timers and select favourite programmes.
Its cleaning is pretty impressive, seeing away most of our test stains on a cool wash. To get the rest, activate its special stain-removing modes and bump up the temperature and we reckon they might disappear entirely.
As far as costs, it’s really cheap to run, and we didn’t notice any drop in performance between standard and eco modes (though you will have to wait longer for the latter).
Elsewhere it ticks the boxes for spin efficiency, plus it runs quietly too. Its touch-sensitive controls can be a bit hit and miss but you get the hang of them with time.
It’s not the cheapest, but there’s a lot to love here for the money. A solid buy.
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- 8kg maximum load with A+++ energy rating
- 1400rpm spin and Samsung’s AddWash feature
- Approx. £33 a year running cost
- Review price: £699
If you think you’re immune to getting giddy over a washing machine, think again. With Samsung’s brand new AddWash feature and app-based Smart Control, the Samsung AddWash WW80K6414QW has more bells and whistles than any washing machines to have ever graced our testing room.
So what’s AddWash, and why should you be excited about it? Simple yet genius, the AddWash feature lets you pause the washing cycle, open a small drawer built into the door and add small items like socks and undies that you might have dropped on your way to load the machine. Brilliant.
Speaking of pausing, the WW80K6414QW’s Smart Control feature is just as exciting. With an app on your phone, you can start, stop and pause a cycle any time, and even get notifications when your load is done. Beats the machine shouting at you from the kitchen.
Along with a nigh-on unbeatable estimated yearly running cost of just £33, a solid array of programmes and great washing performance, this makes the WW80K6414QW our favourite washing machine right now.
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- 12kg capacity
- A+++ -60% energy efficiency
- 1400rpm spin speed
- 6th Sense load sensing
- Super-quiet wash
- Review price: £899
One washing machines that received a rare five-star rating in our tests, the Whirlpool Supreme Care FSCR12441 is a top performer and a dream to use. Plus, it delivers on its A+++ energy rating to offer some of the lowest running costs we’ve ever seen. With its huge 12kg capacity and whisper-quiet 50dB-ish noise level, that sadly means it comes at a big price, but we’re confident that the budget stretch is worth it.
So what does a £900 washing machine do that others can’t? For starters, it has Whirlpool’s 6th Sense load and turbidity (dirtiness)-sensing technology, which will automatically dose the load with exactly the right amount of detergent and conditioner to limit waste. There’s also a 6th Sense app, giving you the power to control the machine from your phone, along with wash-selection and alerts. Perhaps most innovative is the app’s ability to synchronise the FSCR12441 washer with the HSCX10441 dryer, which is pretty neat.
That big budget also buys you simplicity: the Supreme Care FSCR1244 is incredibly easy to set up and navigate, with a crisp LCD panel spelling out exactly what you’ve selected alongside direct symbol buttons for each wash programme. There are eight everyday programmes alongside a further eight special cycles. The level of detail displayed on the panel is superb, including graphs to denote how frugal (or not) your selected options are. Put simply, it’s one of, if not the best sub-£1000 washing machine we’ve ever tested.