Best 10 Washing Machines
As Of March 2021
A washing machine is kinda like the unsung hero of every household. It’s stuck on a corner of your bathroom or laundry room, does all the dirty work (literally), & once you use it, you can't imagine your life without one!
Getting a washing machine is a big investment & sometimes it’s hard to know which model will best handle your laundry. Not to worry, as here we have a list of the absolute best washing machines for you to choose from!
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How To Choose The Best Washing Machine
Household appliances are constantly evolving over the last few decades. We got new kids in the block like microwaves and dryers (or even newer like air fryers and bread makers), while others - clocks, radios, or landline telephones, to name a few, are slowly going away. But none of this applies to our beloved washing machines. They have become an absolute staple of every place called home. In other words, as long as we're wearing clothes, we'll probably never ditch our washer.
Figuring out which is the best washing machine for you can be really tricky. If you're on the hunt for a washing machine for your home, you need to start your buying journey by asking yourself some questions:
- How much space do I have to put my new washing machine?
- How much laundry do I generally have every day?
- Do I care more about washing speed or quality?
- How many clothes of mine are considered sensitive and should be treated lightly?
- Do I care about energy and water efficiency?
- How much money am I willing to spend on my new washing machine?
These things may sound obvious, but many of us are obsessing about finding the "best washer" and end up forgetting their own needs and desires. There are washing machines for every taste and wallet, so narrowing the field is the first step we need to take.
Front-Load Vs Top-Load Washing Machine
Perhaps the most obvious feature of every washing machine is whether it's a front or a top-loader. Every washing machine that you'll see, will fall into one of these categories. Front-loaders open from the front, while top-loaders open from the top. But besides that, each type comes with its own pros and cons.
You Want To Buy A Front-Loader If:
- You don't have much vertical space available for your washing machine. A front-loading machine is the go-to-option for small spaces.
- You care about the environment (and your electricity bills). Front-loaders generally consume less energy and are more eco friendly. They also use substantially less water than top-loaders.
- You have a lot of linens. As a rule of thumb, front-loaders are better at handling them than top-loaders.
- You really care about absolutely removing stains. Almost every controlled test proves that front-loaders remove a tad more soils from fabric than top-loaders.
You Want To Buy A Top-Loader If:
- You don't have money to burn. Top-loading washing machines are cheaper, plus they require less expensive cleaning products to operate.
- You don't want to bend every time to load and unload clothes. A top-loader is, by definition easier to load. If you have back pain problems, this might be more important than it looks at first glance.
- You want to be able to do basic maintenance by yourself. A top-loader motor is easily accessible, while front-load washers have to be treated by trained technicians.
After understanding the differences between all the washing machine types, you need to look at every model’s unique features. Like capacity, washing speed, and price, some of them are obvious, while others are more sophisticated and special. Let's take a deep dive into everything that comes to play, in order for you to pick the perfect washing machine.
1. Size - Capacity
The standard dimensions for a typical washer are roughly 50 to 70cm wide and 50 to 80cm deep. Measure your space in order to have at least some open space in front of your washer (if we're talking about a front-loader) so that you can load and unload it simply. As for the washer's height, top-load washers demand more vertical space than front-loaders. With a front-loader, you can even choose to stack it together with your dryer to save space (always stack the dryer above the washer as it weighs less). Unless you go with a 2-in-1 combo that is a washer/dryer machine.
After figuring out your washer's external dimensions, you need to think about its capacity. As you've probably seen on our list, we value a unit's capacity a lot, so we included it on every model's title. A washer's capacity is measured in kg. The majority of the best washing machines (excluding portable/compact washers) have a drum size of about 7 to 8kg, which is usually enough to handle your typical everyday laundry. But if you have a big household and you want your machine to be able to wash large loads of clothes consistently, aim for a washer close to 10kg.
A top-loader's capacity varies more than that of a front-loading machine, and models with an agitator are generally smaller because the agitator naturally occupies some of the space inside the washing drum.
Performance is, for most of us, the king of all washer's features. We want our washing machine to remove the worst stains consistently and without harming our clothes in the process. As we've seen already, front-loading machines have a slight edge on performance, compared to their top-loading counterparts. If you feel unsure about the washing quality of a certain model, look for reviews and tests online, that rate its ability to remove certain stains. We value cleaning performance a lot, and this is reflected in our top picks for the best washing machines of the year. Lastly, you can read customer reviews on various sites to find out if a washing machine is worthy.
Note: Some machines have something called a "heavy-duty" cycle, which is a mode designed to fight the worst stains you can imagine.
A washing machine's speed is tightly connected to its performance rating. You won't care if a washer completely removes stains if its standard cycle time is 10 hours long. Shorter wash times are very important and can make your life easier in the long run, especially if you intend to use your washer more than once per day. Some washers have fast speed wash (others call it turbo wash) options that will clean your clothes in less than 20 minutes. Keep in mind though, that these cycles will sacrifice some level of performance in many cases to achieve that.
Note: A washer's speed shouldn't be confused with the spin speed of the machine. When talking about speed, we measure our washer’s time to clean our laundry and complete the wash cycle. Spin speed is how fast the drum spins during the cycle. The two numbers, of course, are correlated but aren't equal!
4. Energy And Water Consumption
Everyone is obsessed with energy efficiency nowadays, and rightfully so. A washing machine’s efficiency is measured based on 2 factors: energy (electricity) and water consumption. A high-efficiency washer may come at an above-average price but will save money from your bills in the long run. Check if a washer is Energy Star certified, with A+++ being the most efficient, which equals the lowest energy consumption. These washers use about 25% less energy and 33% less water than regular washers. Over the product’s lifetime, energy-efficient models can save you up to 269 pounds in energy costs.
Finally, some washing machines use high-efficiency detergents, too so that you can save money on that also.
5. Automatic Dispenser
Speaking of detergent, the best washing machines in the market have a feature called automatic dispenser. This will dispense detergent, fabric softener, or bleach at just the right time during the wash cycle. An automatic detergent dispenser has double benefits for you. Firstly, you get rid of the chore of dropping the detergent or fabric softener by yourself. And secondly, you can be sure that the dispenser will drop just the right amount every time and protect your clothes and linens (the same thing can't be said if you're doing it manually).
6. Water Temperature Controls
Traditional washing machines will adjust the drum’s water temperature by mixing proportionate amounts of hot and cold water each time. This actually means that a "hot" wash is hotter in the summer, for example, because the average water temperature rises at that time. A washer with an automatic water temperature control will pre-adjust the water to the selected setting/wash cycle’s optimal temperature. This feature may sound trivial but can improve both the efficiency of a washer and reduce your clothes’ wear and tear inside the machine.
7. Extra Rinse Cycle
An extra rinse cycle is the opposite of a pre-wash. It's a cycle at the end of your washing machine cycle to ensure that as much dirt and detergent is rinsed out as possible. This can come real handy if your hands are sensitive to the detergent residue and you're using a front-loader, which typically uses less water for a standard wash cycle.
8. Wi-Fi Connectivity And Smart Features
We're living in the 21st century, and everything is connected to the internet. Even washing machines can now connect to your wifi and have useful smart features. Brands like Samsung, LG, and GE offer their own apps that let you start, stop, or pause a wash cycle remotely or simply watch the progress of your laundry in real-time. Even better, you can have a notification on your phone to alert you that the cycle is over and that it's time to unload it. Pretty cool, huh?
Voice controls are a thing too. Some models are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant so basically you can say "Hey Google, start the washer!" It should be noted though, that most apps are pretty limited to this day and most of them have a long way to go. But they do offer us a glimpse of the future of washing machines, which will be fully integrated into our smart homes!
9. Noise And Vibration
During my childhood, I remember being afraid of our washing machine, due to the sheer noise it produced during the wash cycle. Times have changed, but even to this day, you need to check how noisy a washing machine is before committing to it. Washing machines generate noise and vibrate because of the drum’s constant tumbling and spinning and the clothes inside.
All modern front-load washing machines have shock absorbers used to dampen the spin cycle movement. If you really want to find a quiet machine, try to locate the noise level for both the wash and the spin cycle (measured in dB) in the product specifications. The lower this number is, the quieter the machine will be.
10. Design And Style
While no one expects a washing machine to be the focal point of a house design, it won't harm if a washer is stylish and well designed. Some washers combine great functionalities with impeccable design. Always think of where your washing machine will be located inside the house. If you're going to place it in the basement, it's probably not worth spending more bucks in order to get a stylish model.
11. Hygiene/Anti-Allergy Cycle
Some mid or high-end models have a hygiene cycle that is designed to remove allergens from your clothes precisely. They typically achieve it by keeping the drum’s temperature at extremely high levels or using a steam function if available. If you or someone in your family is allergy-prone, this hot-water cycle that sanitises fabrics may be exactly what you need.
12. Adding Clothes Mid-Cycle
If you are one of these people who continuously forget things, or have a busy schedule and do the laundry in a hurry every day, a machine that lets you add clothes mid-cycle is a great option for you. Of course, this feature isn't necessary for top-loaders, as you can easily open them whenever you want. Front-loaders are a different story. In most cases, the door of a front-loading washer will lock as soon as the drum’s water level is higher than the door drum opening. This leaves no opportunity for you to add that sock that fell out of the basket when you were loading the washer.
Fortunately, some models have the option that makes it possible to add any missed clothing - or even extra detergent and fabric softener - at any point during the washing cycle. You only need to push a "pause" button, which will automatically open this extra door.
13. Drum Material
There are two main options when talking about a washing machine’s drum material: plastic and stainless steel. Plastic is the traditional material which of course is more pocket-friendly. Most of the top-loading washers have plastic drums until today. The most significant advantage of having a plastic drum is that it is easy to clean and does not get corroded by water.
A stainless steel drum is a more fancy option that may raise a model's price a bit. It's an upgrade compared to a plastic drum because it can be a lot more gentle with fabrics.
This one is obvious, but as you would do with any appliance, check your washer's warranty before buying it. Most well-known manufacturers offer a 2-year warranty. If we take into account that a typical washing machine will last at least 10-12 years, this is a reasonable warranty period. Be extra cautious if you come across a model with no warranty, as this is generally a little bit suspicious about its condition.
How much should i spend on a washing machine?
After considering all of the above, we get to the million-dollar question: How much should you spend on your new washer? Having a small budget shouldn't necessarily mean that you are sacrificing a lot in terms of performance, but you'll have to say goodbye to some of the fanciest features. Whatever the case, please consider the electricity cost of your washer over a period of 10-12 years to make the best choice according to your budget.
There are affordable models with fewer fancy features that can cost about 200-300pounds. They can be a great addition to your first home and last you for years. Even if you have small kids you can find good affordable washing machines with large enough load capacity to come in handy to your daily needs.
If you aim for Wifi connectivity and all the modern life features, you’ll need to spend a little extra. But if it is a splurge you can afford, go for it! It is so cool to control your washing machine while you are running outside for chores. These machines can cost anywhere from 350 to 650 pounds, but they are well worth it!
Always keep in mind…
Now that you have all the information about which one is the best washing machine, you can feel confident about choosing one. Consider where you will place it, your laundry needs and of course your budget. Take your time to explore your options as the washing machine is a home appliance that will be part of your family for years.
Ready now? Hope this comprehensive guide is all you need to help you decide. Our list has the best of the best to save time, energy and the frustration of searching for the ideal one! Pick yours now, and upgrade your laundry room for the next years!