Washing Machine Buyer's Guide

Washing Machine Buyer's Guide

If you’re looking for a new or ex-display freestanding or integrated washing machine, make sure you read our guide first. Whether you live alone and need a machine capable of doing smaller loads, or need a washing machine that can handle daily family loads whilst also being economical with water and electricity, this guide can help you choose the right appliance for your needs.


Popular washing machine brands

The most popular washing machine brands are Hotpoint, Candy, Whirlpool, Hoover, Beko, Indesit, Samsung, Zanussi, Bosch, White Knight and LG. Each of these brands are well known for cleaning tough stains at low temperatures, which is both energy-efficient and cost-efficient.


What drum size do I need?

The weight in kilos (kg) of dry clothes that a washing machine can hold determines the size of its drum. The typical sizes of washing machine drums range from 6 kg to 12kg. This is the maximum amount of laundry it can handle. Overloading the drum can cause drainage problems and long-term damage.

  • 5kg - 6kg is suitable for singles and couples
  • 7kg - 8kg is suitable for small families
  • 9kg - 10kg is suitable for families
  • 11kg - 12kg is suitable for larger families

There's nothing more frustrating than your newly purchased machine arriving and you don't have enough space. It's important to measure up the space beforehand to make sure the washing machine isn't going to be too wide for the intended space. Such as too tall to fit under a countertop or depth and sticks out at the front. Then you should need to deal with the hassle of having it returned. It might be a good idea to pay for installation, then if it is too big you can send it back with the delivery driver.


Freestanding washing machines

Freestanding washing machines are nearly almost the most popular choice. A freestanding machine isn’t built into your cupboards but is flexible enough to be used in different locations. The standard freestanding washing machines dimensions are manufactured to fit under kitchen worktops with common dimensions.

Freestanding washing machines take up less space and can be placed anywhere in the home. A freestanding washing machine may be placed in a utility room, in a laundry closet, in the kitchen, in a dedicated space between the kitchen and the garage, in a conservatory, or in a pantry. 


Semi-integrated washing machines

Integrated washing machines tend to be discreet. They nicely fit within a kitchen cupboard space, between your cabinets. These machines are designed to be installed within a kitchen unit and hidden behind a door that matches your other cupboards. Although they can be more expensive than the freestanding options and are generally quieter, integrated options can also be smaller. Ex-display integrated washing machines can often be purchased alongside a ex-display kitchen set.



A washer-dryer is a washing machine with tumble drying settings built-in. Washer-dryers are a great solution if you are looking for a machine that can do everything, these two-in-one washing and drying machines can be a great choice.


Washing machine wash settings and programmes

Working out what the programmes on your washing machine can do is a great way to get the most out of your appliance and avoid damage to clothes. For this reason, it’s good to know which materials need which kind of wash and what those symbols on your labels mean.

  • Wool – Requires only the gentlest wash but plenty of water
  • Synthetics – Requires a simple, gentle action
  • Delicates – Requires a slightly gentler programme than synthetics
  • Cottons – Requires the most energy with warmer water and a longer spin


Spin speeds and cycles

Washing machine, washer dryer and tumble dryer speeds range from 1000 to 1600 rpm (revolutions per minute). The faster washing spin speed, the more water that is extracted from the wash load, meaning less drying time is required. The faster the drying spin speed, the more moisture that is extracted from your clothes in a shorter amount of time; leaving them dryer after a shorter cycle. It is worth knowing that, the higher the number of spins, then the drier your clothes will be, at the end of the spin cycle.


How much electricity does a washing machine use?

The work out how much electricity a washing machine will use, it depends on the energy rating of the washing machine. An highly A+++ rated washing machine can save up to 30% more energy than an A rated machine. The average washing machine will cost around £50 per year to run. The higher the energy efficiency rating the greater the savings. Washing machine running costs can vary depending on how much laundry you load, the wash setting you choose, the time of day (daytime is peak rate and evenings is off-peak rate) and the energy rating of your washing machine. When you are evaluating the energy rating score, the more stars mean greater efficiency, they tend to be slighty more expensive to purchase. The lower scoring appliances will be less espensive to purchase, but will use more electricity within their lifetime. Tip* purchase a energy monitoring plug to work out the average energy comsumption.

  • A+  equals to 10% greater efficiency
  • A++ equals to 20% greater efficiency
  • A+++ equals to 30% greater efficiency

Washing machines under £300

The average cost that you should expect to pay though is around £300 for a good quality machine with reliable and consistently good buyer satisfaction ratings. Beko and Hotpoint washing machines are great value for money. You can get a good, reliable choice of a washing machine that is energy efficient, and great for any household. Both Hotpoint and Beko has a variety of 8kg and 10kg drum sizes, with varying spin-cycle speeds for under £300.

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