The best freestanding washing machines for tackling everyday laundry loads

Designed for easy installation, freestanding washing machines offer large capacities, flexible wash cycles and even intelligent operation. Kitchens and appliance expert Hayley Gilbert reviews the best washers money can buy, including designs perfect for open-plan living

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Unless you are designing a new kitchen or utility room, buying a new washing machine tends to be what we call a ‘distress purchase’, in that we only really fork out for a new model when the old one gives up. So if your current washer is beyond repair, now’s the time to consider all the options before splashing out. 

Most of us replace an appliance on a like for like basis, so for those who already have a freestanding design, this is the easiest model to swap for. It also means you can take it with you if you move as well as show off any designer details such as touch screen controls, LCD panels and a snazzy finish.

What to consider when you choose a freestanding washing machine

Think about the type of laundry you wash on a regular basis – some models come with special programmes to tackle tough stains on sportswear, work gear and school uniforms, while short wash cycles are a great bonus for when you’re in a hurry. As well as the variety of programmes on offer, look at:

  • spin speeds
  • capacity in kilograms
  • standout features such as eco cycles and special cycles for woollens, delicates, duvets and anti-allergy options

Eco-wise, check the energy rating and water consumption as well as half loads, timer delay, sensor washing and auto detergent dispensing, which detects how dirty the clothes are and adjusts the programme and detergent accordingly for the most efficient wash. 

So if you’re on the hunt for a new freestanding washer, here’s our pick of the best that money can buy…

Samsung WW90J6410CX freestanding washing machine

(Image: © Samsung)

1. SAMSUNG WW90J6410CX FREESTANDING WASHING MACHINE

Cool look packed with special features

Specifications
Capacity: 9kg
Energy rating: A+++
Spin speed: 1400rpm
Finish: Graphite
Dimensions: H85cm x W60cm x D55cm
Reasons to buy
+Intensive stain removal+15 minute quick wash+Chemical-free drum sanitisation
Reasons to avoid
-Small items seem to get stuck at the bottom of the door-The music it plays at the end of the cycle can get annoying if you can’t work out how to turn it off-Too many programmes for some

This model is packed with special features at a great price. The high energy rating means running costs are low while a twin water supply means you’ll get a super speedy wash in just 60 minutes. It even has what Samsung calls ‘Bubble Soak technology’ to remove stubborn stains, making this a great choice for families. Users also loved the fact that you can wash large loads at low temperatures thanks to the ecobubble™ tech, which activates the detergent to quickly penetrate fabrics, even at 15˚C. 

Bosch WAYH8790GB freestanding washing machine with home connect

(Image: © Bosch)

2. BOSCH WAYH8790GB FREESTANDING WASHING MACHINE WITH HOME CONNECT

Control from your smart phone or tablet

Specifications
Capacity: 9kg
Energy rating: A+++
Spin speed: 1400rpm
Finish: White
Dimensions: H85cm x W60cm x D59cm
Reasons to buy
+App operation+AutoStain recognition+Memory programme
Reasons to avoid
-Hidden menu features can be hard to find at first-Needs a good wi-fi connection for the smart features-No customisable options

Spend a bit more and you get the latest in app control operation with this unassuming white washer that looks quite simple but is actually bursting with features. The smart connectivity allows you to turn the machine on from wherever you are, so it’s just freshly finished by the time you get in, and it also gives tutorials and tips, too, so you can gen up on your washing machine’s make-up while you’re on the move. Users have also been impressed by the AutoStain recognition technology, which targets 16 of the most common stains such as red wine and oil, so you don’t need to worry about a pre-wash or applying special detergents beforehand.

AEG L8FEC946R freestanding washing machine

(Image: © AEG)

3. AEG L8FEC946R FREESTANDING WASHING MACHINE

Ideal for open-plan kitchens

Specifications
Capacity: 9kg
Energy rating: A+++
Spin speed: 1400rpm
Finish: White
Dimensions: H85cm x W60cm x D63.5cm
Reasons to buy
+Steam refresh+Anti-allergy+20-minute programme
Reasons to avoid
-Quite pricey-Choosing the best programme options can be hard as there are so many-Touch sensitive controls need a push with wet hands

This model has been awarded the Quiet Mark, which means it has a low decibel rating (dB) with a quieter than normal cycle and spin that won’t overpower conversation in an open-plan scheme. Many users choose it for the ÖKOMix technology too, which cleans and cares for fabrics even in shorter cycles as the detergent and softener is mixed with water, dissolved and activated before it even enters the drum. Added benefits include a high energy rating, large capacity for bigger loads and anti-crease ProSteam® technology, which can add steam at the end of a wash cycle if you want it, reducing the need for ironing – a massive bonus for many.

Miele WDB038WPS freestanding washing machine with waterproofing

(Image: © Miele)

4. MIELE WDB038WPS FREESTANDING WASHING MACHINE WITH WATERPROOF PROTECTION

Stops flooding for peace of mind

Specifications
Capacity: 7kg
Energy rating: A+++
Spin speed: 1400rpm
Finish: White
Dimensions: H85cm x W59.6cm x D63.6cm
Reasons to buy
+Honeycomb drum+Delay start+Automatic load adjustment
Reasons to avoid
-Long wash programmes-No beep at the end of a cycle-Complicated instruction manual

A well-priced model for Miele, this smaller capacity washer features the brand’s honeycomb drum that protects clothes, resulting in softness and fewer creases. Users also raved about the safety guarantee against any damage resulting from a defect in the appliance. They also loved the AutoClean detergent drawer, as it’s self-cleaning with a special surface coating. This really is a washing machine that takes care of everything. Added features include Dark Wash, Delicate Wash, Hand Wash and a Wool option as well as sports programme, quick wash, half load and a snazzy digital display.

Siemens WM14W5H0GB freestanding washing machine

(Image: © Siemens)

5. SIEMENS WM14W5H0GB FREESTANDING WASHING MACHINE WITH HOME CONNECT

Brilliant stain removal

Specifications
Capacity: 9kg
Energy rating: A+++
Spin speed: 1400rpm
Finish: White
Dimensions: H84.8cm x W59.8cm x D59cm
Reasons to buy
+Enhanced stain removal+Built-in Wi-Fi+Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-Can be expensive-Wi-Fi control may not suit everyone -So quiet you don’t notice it’s on

Tech lovers can’t get enough of this machine’s Wi-Fi connectivity, which means you can control your laundry from wherever you are using the Home Connect app on your smartphone or tablet. Add to that the large capacity for big loads and excellent stain removal and this is a big hit with families. There are special programmes for Curtains, Shirts/Blouses and Mixed Fabrics as well as cycles for Hygiene, Handwash/Wool and a Textile guard re-proofing programme. For those who sometimes struggle with fancy control panels, the large display on this model is much easier to navigate.

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