A washing machine next to a washing basket

Everything you need to know before you buy a new washing machine

Published 13th December 2022
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Choosing the right washing machine is an important decision; with so many options available, it can be difficult to pick the right one. This guide will help you understand the different types of washing machines, what features to look for, and how to choose a washing machine that meets your needs.

A pile of laundry next to an open washing machine.

Types of washing machines

The type of washing machine you choose will depend on your budget and lifestyle. There are four main types: front-loading and top-loading washing machines, as well as integrated washing machines and washer-dryers. 

Front-loading washing machines

Front-loading washing machines are the most popular type, as they offer superior energy efficiency, use less water, and usually have larger capacity drums for bigger loads of laundry.

They are also quieter than top-loading machines. However, they can be more expensive than other types of washing machines and require more bending over to load and unload laundry. Popular brands include Beko washing machines, Hoover washing machines and Hotpoint washing machines.

Top-loading washing machines

Top-loading washing machines are the traditional type and are usually less expensive than front-loaders. They also take up less space in your home as they don't need a separate dryer unit. Top-loaders tend to use more water than front-loaders, but many models now come with eco settings to help conserve water. Top-loaders may be better suited for those with mobility issues who can't reach down into a front loader drum.

Integrated washing machines

Integrated washing machines are built into kitchen units or cabinets, making them ideal for those with limited space in their homes. They offer all the same features as other types of washing machines but are designed to fit into existing kitchen units or cabinets for a neat finish. Integrated models tend to be more expensive than other types of washing machines but provide a seamless look for your kitchen or laundry room.

Washer dryers

A washer-dryer is a two-in-one laundry appliance that combines a washing machine and a tumble dryer into one unit. It can be used to both wash and dry clothes in a single process. Washer-dryers are typically more energy efficient than separate washers and dryers and take up less space.

They also offer more customizable settings, allowing users to select different spin speeds, water levels, and temperature settings. Washer-dryers are ideal for those who don't have enough space for a separate washer and dryer or who want to save time and energy on laundry day.

Features to look for

When choosing a washing machine, there are several features you should consider before making a purchase: 

Energy efficiency rating

Look for a model with an A+++ rating as this indicates superior energy efficiency compared to other models on the market. This will help you save money on your energy bills in the long run as well as being kinder to the environment. 

Spin speed

The higher the spin speed of a washing machine, the faster it will dry clothes after the wash cycle has finished. Most modern machines have a spin speed of between 1000rpm - 1600rpm so look out for one with at least 1400rpm if you want faster drying times.

Drying your clothes indoors? Check our clothes airer hacks blog to save time and money!

Capacity

Capacity is an important factor when choosing a washing machine as it determines how much laundry you can do in one cycle - larger capacity drums allow you to wash more items at once which helps save time when doing laundry day after day.

Most standard models have capacities between 6-8kg which is suitable for most families but if you have bigger loads or larger family members you may want to look for models with higher capacities, like 9-12kg+ . 

Programmes

Look out for programmes such as quick washes and anti-crease cycles which can help save time when doing laundry day after day - some models even come with special programmes specifically designed for delicate items such as silk or cashmere garments! 

Wash options

Look out for options such as hand wash or wool wash which can help ensure delicate items get washed correctly without causing any damage or shrinkage - this is especially useful if you have expensive or delicate items in your wardrobe that need special attention when being washed!

Noise levels

Noise levels vary from model to model so if noise is an issue in your home then look out for models that have quieter motors or those that feature sound insulation technology. Some models even come with built-in sensors that automatically adjust spin speeds depending on how much noise is being produced so this is definitely something worth looking out for!  

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