A big drum, low running costs and super-quiet operation make the Whirlpool W8 W046WR UK stand out from the crowd. The appliance doesn’t include any smart features, although the mid-range price and decent performance during the Eco 40-60 wash cycle largely make up for this. Only the slightly disappointing 30ºC wash performance holds this model back from a higher score – but quality washes elsewhere and plenty of programmes ensure that this is a great 10kg washing machine for those who need to tackle sizeable loads.
- Large drum
- Very quiet
- Cleans well in Eco mode
- 30ºC wash performance isn’t so good
- UKRRP: £699
- CapacityWith its 10kg drum, the Whirpool W8 is ideal for larger families or those with bigger items to wash
Many manufacturers now include a series of smart controls on their washing machines, but the Whirlpool W8 W046WR UK is decidedly more standard. This doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of a look, though: low running costs, automatic dosing, exceptionally quiet operation and decent stain removal in the Eco mode set this machine apart.
While the 30ºC wash didn’t prove particularly effective on tougher stains, it’s fine for more lightly soiled items.
Design and Features
- Huge drum
- Lots of programmes
With its 10kg drum, the Whirlpool W8 W046WR UK is about as large a washing machine as they come. This means it offers plenty of room for larger families, or those who want to wash bigger items such as duvets.
Open that big porthole door and a bright light highlights the interior, making it far easier to loading your contents –and, crucially, will make it less likely that you’ll leave a sock behind when emptying.
Fitting in my test load, I found that everything went in easily, with plenty of additional room for more washing.
You’ll find the detergent drawer in the same place you’d find it on other machines, but here it has only two large compartments to take liquid detergent and fabric softener. This compartment holds enough liquid for several washes, and the Whirlpool W8 W046WR UK is capable of auto-dosing, much like the more expensive Samsung WW9800T.
This appliance doesn’t include any smart features, so everything is selected from the standard control panel. You’ll find pretty much every cycle you’d need, though, with special modes for Wool, a 20C wash, alongside speed modes for lightly soiled items with a wash taking 30- or 45-minutes, depending on the load size.
There’s also a More Cycles option, which lets you choose special washes for items such as jeans, shirts and cuddly toys. Such options would usually be found in a smart machine’s app.
One the LCD you can see the programme you’ve selected and the estimated cycle time. You can use the buttons to override the wash temperature, spin speed and to add steam into the mix; there’s also a Steam Refresh option for freshening up clothes before you wear them.
It’s all pretty straightforward and clear, so it’s very easy to get started with this washing machine.
- Stain removal at 30ºC wasn’t that good
- Results improve with the Eco 40-60 cycle
- Low running costs
To test washing machines, I put them through the same set of tests and wash cycles. I started with the Cotton cycle, with the washing machine set to 30ºC. From left to right, the test stain strip contains red wine, oil, ketchup, orange juice and gravy. As you can see from the results, the red wine and gravy stains were still visible, as were the oil and ketchup stains.
On this 30ºC wash, the machine used 0.474kWh of power and just 36.2 litres of water, which is super-efficient. My clothes came out 37.19% heavier than when they went it, as a result of water retention. This isn’t bad, and the 1400rpm spin cycle does a good job of getting the water out.
Moving to the Eco 40-60 wash, and stain removal was much better. While the tough red wine stain is still visible, the Whirlpool managed to tackle and remove the other stains. That’s very good overall performance.
Again, I found the Whirlpool W8 W046WR UK very efficient. On this cycle it used a similar amount of power, while water consumption jumped a little to 48.8 litres. Comparatively, that’s still good, and the extra water use clearly helped with stain removal. Water retention did increase slightly – my clothes were 39.67% heavier than when they went in.
To give a fair comparison between washing machines, I go for a level playing field and work our annual running costs assuming a full load. I first work out the average total washing done in the UK, assuming a 6kg load and 274 washes per year, which works out at 1644kg.
Since the Whirlpool W8 W046WR UK is a 10kg washing machine, it can cover this amount of washing in just 164.4 wash cycles per year; larger machines are best when used to their full capacity. Given the energy label figures, a wash cycle with this machine would cost £0.18, which amounts to a low running cost per year of £29.98.
That A-rated energy label has been well deserved, then; the cheaper 10kg Hoover H-Wash 500 comes in more expensive, with running costs of £37.33 per year.
I also found the Whirlpool W8 W046WR UK super-quiet in operation. Thanks to its direct-drive motor, I measured it at a very quiet 47.5dB on the normal part of the wash, and 54.9dB on spin. That’s exceptionally quiet – this washing machine proved no distraction.
Should you buy it?
If you want a big washing machine that offers low running costs, and is quiet, then this model ticks all the boxes.
Those looking for smart control, or a washing machine that offers better stain removal at lower temperatures, should consider a different model.
Although wash performance at 30ºC wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, the Eco 40-60 wash offered much better performance. Combined with the low running costs and very quiet running, the Whirlpool W8 W046WR UK is a great mid-range washing machine.
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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