Hotpoint H8 W946WB UK GentlePower Review
A simple control panel and great choice of wash programmes make the Hotpoint H8 W946WB UK an excellent choice for looking after your clothes. Automatic detergent and fabric softener increase the ease of use further. Running costs are good, too, and this appliance is super-quiet in operation – but stain removal could be better, particularly at 30ºC.
- Plenty of wash programmes
- Low running costs
- Wash performance at 30ºC could be better
- UKRRP: £617
- CapacityA 9kg drum is big enough for large items such as duvets or more substantial loads
Ask most people what they want from a washing machine, and ease of use is likely to near the top of the list. The Hotpoint H8 W946WB UK aims to deliver on that front with automatic dosing, measuring out just the right amount of washing detergent and fabric softener for each load, so you don’t have to guess.
Stylish and with a decent capacity, the Hotpoint H8 W946WB UK ticks a lot of boxes, but some rivals offer cheaper running costs while others are capable of better stain removal at low temperatures.
Design and Features
- Stylish front panel
- Automatic dosing
- Lots of programmes
With its black and silver trim, this mid-range washing machine looks a lot neater than many. Fortunately, the Hotpoint H8 W946WB UK’s attractive looks don’t come at the expense of ease of use.
There are no smart features on this washing machine, so everything is selectable through the front dial. This covers all of your regular washing cycles, plus there are a few extras, too, including a 45-minute wash for lightly soiled clothes and which supports the full 9kg load, and a 20-minute Steam Refresh to give garments a new lease of life.
Move to the More Cycles menu and you can use the LCD to opt for some special programmes, including pet stuff, duvets and cuddly toys.
Once you’ve chosen your programme, you can use the control to override programme defaults, including spin speed, wash temperature and to add Steam Hygiene, to kill bacteria. There’s also a Settings menu that lets you adjust the wash cycle with options including decreasing total time with the Rapid option, adjusting the rinse type, adding easy iron and a steam finish.
The display shows the estimated time for a wash cycle, although this will be adjusted during the wash based on the size of the load.
Rather than having to add the correct amount of detergent yourself, the Hotpoint H8 W946WB UK has an automatic dosing system, as available on the Whirlpool W8 W046WR UK (made by the same parent company). This system lets you fill up the fabric softener and detergent reservoirs with liquid, or powdered detergent if you prefer.
By default, the washing machine takes 25ml of washing liquid per load, although you should read the manual and check the recommended levels on the rear of your detergent packaging, upping the dosage if required: 35ml and 45ml options are also available.
The machine uses Hotpoint’s GentlePower technology, which gently sprays water and detergent onto your clothes “like a waterfall”.
Turn on the Hotpoint H8 W946WB UK and the drum’s light goes on, making it easier to load and, importantly, unload without missing any items.
The porthole door is a little smaller on this machine than some rivals, so it can be a bit of a squeeze to get in a full load.
- Good running costs
- Stain removal is better at 40ºC
To test the Hotpoint H8 W946WB UK, I put it through my standard tests. First, I started with the Cotton 30ºC wash, using the default detergent load. Here, I found that with my standard wash load, the Hotpoint H8 W946WB UK used 0.565kWh of power and a very efficient 31.6 litres of water.
Spin efficiency wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, with my clothes gaining an additional 40.98% of weight through water retention. I look for 35% or lower in general.
Testing stain removal, I added a strip comprising stains from (left to right) red wine, oil, ketchup, orange juice and gravy. Removing the strip once the wash was complete, the red wine and gravy stains were clearly visible. Due to the way that the clothes folded in the wash, the stain strip had become tangled, so the ketchup stain left clear particles behind.
Moving on to the Eco 40-60 wash, the Hotpoint H8 W946WB UK dropped energy use to 0.52kWh, while water usage went up slightly to a still very efficient 38.6 litres. At the end of the wash, my clothes gained 38.6% in weight through water retention – that’s better, but still some degree away from the best washing machines.
Stain removal here was better, too. The red wine and gravy stains were still very visible, but the remaining stains were gone from the test strip.
Using the energy label, I can work out annual running costs on a level playing field to compare results from all washing machines. In the UK, the average number of washes is 274 per year; at 6kg per wash, this is a total of 1644kg of washing.
Assuming that a washing machine is used to its full capacity each time, this means that the Hotpoint H8 W946WB UK could complete that amount of washing in 182.67 washes. Given it costs 18p per cycle, this results in a yearly running cost of £32.73, justifying its A-rating for efficiency.
The Hotpoint H8 W946WB UK’s direct drive motor also means this appliance is relatively quiet, running at 50.9dB during the regular part of the cycle and hitting only 62.9dB on the spin cycle. That’s quiet enough to not be annoying if you’re in the same room as this washing machine, and near the best performance of any others I’ve tested.
Should you buy it?
If smart features aren’t a must, with you priortising lots of programmes and decent running costs instead, this Hotpoint washing machine could be just the appliance for you.
If you’re looking for lower running costs, greater capacity or smart features, then consider from a range of alternatives instead.
Wash performance and stain removal, particularly at 30ºC, could be better; but the Hotpoint H8 W946WB UK offers decent running costs and a simple control panel. It’s only fair to compare it to the main competition. The similar Whirlpool W8 W046WR UK delivers lower running costs thanks to its larger drum, so is a better buy overall. If your pockets are deeper, then the AEG L9FEB969C comes with smart features and delivers better stain removal, but is a tad more expensive to run. If you’re after something else entirely, check out my guide to the best washing machines.
How we test
Unlike other sites, we test every washing machine we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
We test compatibility with the main smart systems (HomeKit, Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, IFTTT and more) to see how easy each machine is to remote control. Smart washing machines only.
We test each machine with the same stains to see which ones are best at cleaning.
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