Best washing machine: 2019's top buys for every budget and every household

Find the best washing machine to suit your budget and your laundry needs in our easy-to-follow, jargon-free, honest review guide

Best washing machine: Hoover washing machine lifestyle pic review
(Image credit: Hoover)

Shopping for the best washing machine this autumn? With all the wet weather we're likely to get over the coming weeks, you'll no doubt be doing lots more washing than usual, which is why a good quality washing machine is a smart investment. Not only will it get the job done well, it'll make laundry day just that bit more energy efficient, too.

To speed up the decision-making process – particularly since washing machines are often bought in distress to replace a broken model – we've reviewed some of the best models available on the market, significantly narrowing down the overwhelming number of options available to you. We've covered everything from eco efficiency to the variety of spin cycles, so it's well worth a read before investing in a washing machine. 

If you're looking to make a saving, you might want to take a look at our pick of the best washing machine deals, too. 

Finally, we have included a load of extra information at the end of the article if you want to learn more about how to buy the best washing machine.

What is the best washing machine?

Washing machine news flash!

Want a washing machine that means you don't have to do any ironing? We recently reported on Beko's new SteamCure function, which softens laundry and reduces creases. This function also means dirt is easier to remove, so you won't need to use so much detergent or wash at such high temperatures. Win win. Find out more at Beko.

We rate the LG FH4G1BCS2 Freestanding Washing Machine as the best washing machine. It's smart, does a wash load fast and is relatively eco-friendly.

We also really like the Samsung WW90J6410CX Freestanding Machine. For an affordable model, it's packed full of special features designed to ease the process of doing laundry, including 'Bubble Soak Technology,' which removes stubborn stains with no extra effort from you.

In a hurry? These are our top picks and retailers. All the models are freestanding except the integrated model. Keep scrolling for the full list and washing machine mini reviews:

  • Best washing machine 2019: LG FH4G1BCS2 
  • Best washing machine under £500: Samsung WW90J6410CX
  • Best integrated washing machine: Indesit Ecotime IWME147 
  • Best smart washing machine: Bosch WAYH8790GB 
  • Best quiet washing machine: AEG L8FEC946R 
  • Best washing machine for quick washes: Miele WCE320 Quick PowerWash 
  • Best budget washing machine: Indesit Innex BWE 101684XW 
  • Best washing machine for families: Siemens WM14W5H0GB 
  • Best washing machine for eco cycles: Samsung QuickDrive WW90M645OPO 
  • Best Hotpoint washing machine: Hotpoint WMAQF 641 P

The best washing machines you can buy right now

the best washing machine: LG FH4G1BCS2

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

1. LG FH4G1BCS2 Freestanding Washing Machine

The best washing machine: faster, more powerful washes with app control

Specifications
Capacity: 12kg
Noise level: 52dB washing / 71dB spinning
Energy rating: A+++
Spin speed: 1400rpm
Finish: White
Dimensions: H85cm x W60cm x D64cm
Reasons to buy
+Huge wash load capacity+Can be controlled from your smartphone+Reduced water consumption+Stylish design
Reasons to avoid
-More expensive model
LG washing machines: 5 of the best models and deals

Not sure if this is the LG model for you? Read our review of LG washing machines where we pick 5 of the best models and deals – so you can make an informed choice.

Our top rated washing machine, the LG FH4G1BCS2 offers a faster, more powerful wash in a shorter amount of time, and using less energy. Plus, it can be controlled from your smartphone, which makes the laundry process significantly easier. Yes, it's pretty expensive for the average budget, but don't worry, the rest on our list are more realistic. 

Large capacity and efficiency

Designed with families, heavy clothing and bedding, and those who often leave washes until they're long-overdue, in mind, this machine offers a generous 12kg load capacity, without taking up additional space in your kitchen. In other words, it has almost twice the load capacity of some of our other models, but despite the load size, does a really good job of cleaning it. Plus, it comes with the most efficient A+++ energy rating for peace of mind.

Smart technology

Smart washing machines are a bit of a thing now - and it's something we've looked into to find out whether the features are worthwhile in terms of the added cost. How does this one's work? You can manage your washing machine cycles, water and electricity consumption from your smartphone, thanks to Smart ThinQ™. This innovative smart technology not only enables you to avoid returning home to a machine full of damp smelling clothing, but can also troubleshoot any minor issues before they become a bigger problem. The latter, for us, is the biggest plus: after all, however smart your washing machine is, you'll still have to load and unload it.

Speed & noise level

This machine will spin your clothes at 1400 rpm, with a noise level of 71dB on a spin and 52dB during a wash – a pretty average noise level, all things considered – but not as quiet as a washing machine you might want to have in an open plan space, such as our third choice, the Indesit.

Reduced water consumption

Thanks to its use of steam particles, which penetrate fabrics more effectively than water droplets to wash your clothes, this machine requires a reduced rate of water consumption in order to function effectively. In addition to positive environmental impacts, this can also be helpful in reducing bills as wash times can be reduced to as little as 49 minutes.

This technology, when used in conjunction with the specialised Turbowash setting, can reduce energy consumption by up to 15 per cent and water consumption by up to 40 per cent. We approve.

Additional features

LG’s TrueSteam technology is also great for allergy sufferers and those with sensitive skin. There’s also a function called 'Pause & Add Items', which will release the door within three seconds, so you can add to the wash through the main door. Odd sock on the floor, sorted.

Shop more washing machines at John Lewis & Partners

Best washing machine Samsung WW90J6410CX freestanding washing machine example of the best washing machines

2. Samsung WW90J6410CX Freestanding Washing Machine

The best washing machine under £500: cool look packed with special features

Specifications
Capacity: 9kg
Noise level: 53dB washing / 74dB spinning
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
Samsung washing machines: 5 of the best models and deals

Not sure if this is the Samsung model for you? Read our review of Samsung washing machines where we pick 5 of the best models and deals – so you can make an informed choice.

Considering it's so affordable, this Samsung WW90J6410CX is packed with special features designed to make laundry easier and more efficient. 

Low running costs + good wash results

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, which is perfect for busy families. This works by quickly filling the drum with water, while the Speedy Spray features cuts down on the time the rinse cycles. Want a faster wash? There's an effective 15 minute quick wash, too.

This machine has what Samsung calls ‘Bubble Soak technology’ to remove stubborn stains, another reason it's a great choice for families. How does it work? Clothes are soaked in bubbles thoroughly, loosening and removing stains really effectively. You can even wash large loads at low temperatures using the ecobubble™ tech, which activates the detergent to quickly penetrate fabrics, even at 15˚C. 

Speed and noise level

This machine will spin your clothes at 1400 rpm, with a noise level of 74dB on a spin and 53dB during a wash – a tad louder than our first pick, but not so as you'd notice.

Gentle on delicates

Another great feature is the machine's Diamond Drum's with its ‘soft curl’ design; this means it has smooth, diamond-shaped ridges inside that will clean clothes effectively but (and this is important) gently. The drum's small exit holes for water mean clothes don't get trapped (no more inexplicably lost socks, either).

Easy to maintain

Ease of maintenance and cleaning aren't something we usually consider when we buy a washing machine, but why not? This machine's Drum Clean technology means it will stay fresh without the use of harsh chemicals, and if it does need cleaning, it will tell you (see our guide to cleaning washing machines for more on that).

And, if something does go wrong with the washing machine, the Smart Check feature will automatically detect and diagnose the problem – and you can use the Samsung app to trouble-shoot, and maybe even save yourself the inconvenience and cost of an engineer's call out.

Best washing machine: Indesit Ecotime IWME147 integrated washing machine example of the best washing machines

(Image credit: Indesit)

3. Indesit Ecotime IWME147 Integrated Washing Machine

Best integrated washing machine

Specifications
Capacity: 7kg
Noise level: 42dB washing / 66dB spinning
Energy rating: A+
Spin speed: 1400rpm
Finish: White
Dimensions: H82cm x W59.5cm x D54.5cm
Reasons to buy
+Quiet to use+16 programmes+Timer delay
Reasons to avoid
-No timer to tell you how long is left

Our pick of the best integrated washing machines, this Indesit Ecotime IWME147 has both silent technology, making it ideal for open-plan kitchen-diners, and the super-efficient Time 4 You set of cycles, so washing needn't take longer than it needs. 

Wash cycles to suit your load (and schedule)

With a decent energy rating and high spin speed, this is a good value model with a variety of specialist programmes such as Silk and Curtains, Shoes, Wool and an easy iron option. There's also a special Sports Cycle for your kit; this cycle is gentle with the natural properties of fabrics such as Gortex, so even after a thorough wash your shorts, t-shirts, socks and jackets won't distort in he wash. 

These specialist cycles aside, though, it's the efficient wash cycles for clothes that are seriously dirty, of mixed colours, in nylon and which need a daily refresh that catch our eye. In other words, you can set your wash to suit your load, without worrying too much about whether you've got the temperatures and spin speeds right.

Timer delay

This washing machine's timer delay allows you to set the wash at a time that suits you, while LED programme progress indicators keep you informed of the cycle’s progress. Always useful if you're poised to go out.

Speed and noise level

This machine will spin your clothes at 1400 rpm, with a noise level of 66dB on a spin and 42dB during a wash – noticeably quieter than our first two picks, which is what you'd hope for in an integrated machine that's intended for an open plan kitchen.

Extra handy features

Users also appreciate the overflow device, which gives peace of mind if you’re doing a cycle overnight. Another added benefit is a child lock – a must-have if you've got a toddler hanging around that open-plan kitchen...

Decided an integrated option might be what you're looking for? Browse our pick of the best integrated washing machines for a sleek, seamless look. Then, shop more integrated washing machines at Very

Best washing machine: Bosch WAYH8790GB freestanding washing machine with home connect example of the best washing machines

(Image credit: Bosch)

4. Bosch WAYH8790GB Freestanding Washing Machine

Best smart washing machine: control your wash from your smart phone or tablet

Specifications
Capacity: 9kg
Noise level: 52dB washing / 74dB spinning
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

Looking for a smart washing machine? This Bosch WAYH8790GB  is where to start. 

Smart features

If you're open to spending a little more money on a washing machine, you'll benefit from the latest in app control operation, and while this unassuming white washer looks relatively simple, it is actually awash (it's okay, you can smirk) with features.

Smart connectivity (called Home Connect) allows you to turn the machine on from wherever you are, meaning you can programme washing to be freshly finished by the time you get home, while the option to make the most of tutorials and tips seeks to make the process of doing laundry that bit easier. 

Stain technology

Users have also been impressed by the AutoStain recognition technology, which targets 16 of the most common stains such as red wine, makeup and oil, so you don’t need to worry about a pre-wash or applying special detergents to tackle tough stains.

Speed and noise level

This machine will spin your clothes at 1400 rpm, and, while Bosch has worked hard at reducing the amount of noise made by the WAYH8790GB, it has a noise level of 74dB on a spin and 52dB during a wash that's comparable with our other freestanding models.

Varied wash cycles

This washing machine has a large touch screen LED display to easily select one of the 11 special programmes on offer, including Dark Wash, Curtains, Shirts, Sportswear, Super Quick 15, Allergy +, Night Wash, Wool and Delicates. 

LED communication

The LED display also allows you to check the status of your wash and keep track of your water and energy consumption. There's even a reminder function for when the drum needs cleaning. 

Shop more washing machines on AO

Find more tips on removing red wine stains in our cleaning guide.

Best washing machine: AEG L8FEC946R freestanding washing machine example of the best washing machines

(Image credit: AEG)

5. AEG L8FEC946R Freestanding Washing Machine

Best quiet washing machine for open-plan kitchens

Specifications
Capacity: 9kg
Noise level: 47dB washing / 73dB spinning
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
AEG washing machines: 5 of the best models and deals

Not sure if this is the AEG model for you? Read our review of AEG washing machines where we pick 5 of the best models and deals – so you can make an informed choice.

Awarded the Quiet Mark, the large capacity AEG L8FEC946R is rated low decibel, making it a great option if you live in a small apartment and want to minimise disturbance to your neighbours, or are tired of your washing machine overpowering conversation in an open plan scheme.

Eco-friendly, speedy cycles + good wash results

Another reason for the popularity of this washing machine model is its use of ÖKOMix technology, which ensures that fabric is cleaned and cared for in shorter cycles but ensuring that detergent, fabric softener and water are dissolved and activated before entering the drum.

On top of all this, the AEG L8FEC946R freestanding washing machine boasts a high energy rating (A+++), while the Eco TimeSave also saves you time. The programme lets you select ECO and TimeSave options at the same time, meaning an energy efficient wash that’s quick, too.

The machine's ProSense technology weighs each load automatically to give you a cycle tailored to your wash. Its sensors help adjust washing time, too, so that you never use a longer cycle than needed.

Anti-crease
Advanced AEG ProSteam® technology, which can add steam at the end of a wash cycle if you want it, reduces wrinkles by up to a third, and with it the need for ironing.

Gentle on clothes
This is another washing machine with a drum designed to be gentle on your clothes. The ProTex drum reduces fabric distortion, so clothes keep their shape, even during spin cycles.

SoftPlus also ensures the fabric softener reaches every part of your wash, which helps protect fibres.

As if that's not enough, the machine's wool programme has been accredited with Woolmark certification, meaning it's as gentle as a handwash. 

Speed and noise level

This machine will spin your clothes at 1400 rpm, and although it has been awarded the Quiet Mark, and is our third quietest washing machine, it has a noise level of 73dB on a spin and 47dB during a wash – that's not that far off the levels of the other freestanding models.

Delay start
The delay start is a handy feature that allows you to set the wash cycle's start time. Not smart phone, controlled, perhaps, but the next best thing. 

Useful extras

It's always worth checking a washing machine's door size: the bigger it is, the easier loading and unloading is. Good news here, its size is generous. There's a handy child lock, too. 

Looking for more quiet washing machines perfect for an open-plan kitchen-diner, you'll find our pick of the best in our specialist guide.

Browse the full range of washing machines available from Appliances Direct

Best washing machine: miele washing machine example of the best washing machines

(Image credit: John Lewis)

6. Miele WCE320 Quick PowerWash Freestanding Washing Machine

Best washing machine for quick washes: a pricey model but worth the investment

Specifications
Capacity: 8kg
Noise level: 48dB washing / 72dB spinning
Energy rating: A+++
Spin speed: 1400rpm
Finish: White
Dimensions: H85cm x W59.6cm x D64.3cm
Reasons to buy
+Generous capacity+Honeycomb drum+Automatic load adjustment
Reasons to avoid
-Long wash programmes-No child lock-Complicated instruction manual
Compare Miele's best washing machines

Sold on a Miele washing machine but not sure this one's the best for your wash load? We've reviewed the best Miele models and compared them so that you can buy with confidence – plus our selection features the best deals, too.

As well as an outstanding A+++ energy efficiency rating, generous capacity and impressive spin speed, the WCE320 QuickPowerWash  from the superb German design, quality and workmanship you would expect from a Miele appliance.

Smart detergent dosing

This washing machine has an intelligent automatic dispensing system, which can work out exactly how much detergent your load needs; it can even adapt to whites or coloureds. Why is this a plus? Well, other than saving you the worry of under- or overdosing your laundry, this will actually ensure your clothes retain their original colours for as long s possible. 

Smart features

Like with the Samsung model above, there's an app for the remote control of this washing machine; you can use it to start the wash, check its progress, get washing advice and even order detergent.

Gentle drum action

It also features a SoftSteam Honeycomb drum that causes garments to glide on a thin film of water, preventing piling or laddering. We like that the drum is lit up by an LED light when you open the door, so that black sock never lingers unseen at the back. 

Specialist programmes

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 a Sports programme, quick wash, half load.

Speed and noise level

Like our other machines, this one will spin your clothes at 1400 rpm, and runs at 48dB during washing and 72dB during spinning, just very slightly louder than the AEG model above. 

Easy cleaning

Reviewers love the AutoClean detergent drawer, as it’s self-cleaning with a special surface coating. 

Find more high quality washing machines available from Amazon

Best washing machine: INDESIT INNEX BWE 101684X W FREESTANDING WASHING MACHINE example of the best washing machines

(Image credit: Indesit)

7. Indesit Innex BWE 101684XW Freestanding Washing Machine

Best budget washing machine: a quiet, freestanding solution with digital display for ease of use

Specifications
Capacity: 10kg
Noise level: 56dB washing / 78dB spinning
Energy rating: A+++
Spin speed: 1600rpm
Finish: White
Dimensions: H85cm x W59.5cm x D60.5cm
Reasons to buy
+Large drum for bigger loads+Dedicated programmes+Great stain removal
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn’t look very high-tech-Some of the cycles are too long

When you want something that’s easy to use for family-sized loads, the Indesit Innex BWE 101684XW is ideal, with a large, 10kg capacity load, powerful 1600rpm spin cycle and a variety of useful programmes.

Easy operation

Those with limited time on their hands love the ‘one touch’ operation. This Push & Wash programme only allows you to set the machine on a 30°C cycle that can tackle cleaning and stain removal in just 45 minutes, with no need to pre-treat or scrub. 

Delayed start

As with some of the other models in our list, you can delay the programme for up to 24 hours; simple load the washing, add the detergent, set the programme, and the machine will start at the chosen time.

Speed and noise level

This Indesit spins your clothes at up to 1600 rpm – the fastest spin speed yet on our list and something to take note of if that's important to you. As for noise levels, it sits at the higher end, at 76dB on a spin and 56dB during a wash.

Energy efficiency

This washing machine has a Water Balance Plus function, which adapts the amount of water the machine uses according to the cycle’s need. This means minimal wastage and lower energy bills.

Specialist cycles

This washing machine features 14 wash cycles for everything from hardwearing denims to delicates, but there are special cycles, too, for Shoes, Sport, Wool and Delicates. The Innex feature also gives your laundry a wash that deep cleans and restores dull fibres. There's variable spin speed for less creasing, too.

Find more washing machines at Currys PC World

Best washing machine: Siemens WM14W5H0GB freestanding washing machine example of the best washing machines

(Image credit: Siemens)

8. Siemens WM14W5H0GB freestanding washing machine with Home Connect

Best washing machine for families: brilliant stain removal

Specifications
Capacity: 9kg
Noise level: 47dB washing / 71dB spinning
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 the Siemens WM14W5H0GB'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. 

Enhanced stain removal
Let's talk more about the stain removal. The machine has been designed to systematically remove the most stubborn of stains. More than that, it can tell them apart, so you can be pretty confident in the effectiveness of each wash.

Specialist wash cycles

Like the other washing machines in our list, this model has a great range of specialist wash cycles, including Dark Wash, Curtains, Shirts/blouses, Mixed fabrics, Rapid 15 minute quick wash, Handwash/wool, Delicates, Hygiene and a Textile guard re-proofing programme. 

Speed and noise level

This washing machine spins at up to 1400 rpm. As for noise levels, it sits at the quieter end of the scale, at 71dB on a spin and 47dB during a wash.

Energy efficiency
Like some of our other top picks, this model has an A+++ energy rating, but at 30 per cent more efficient than standard washing machines of the same energy rating, it's one of the most efficient models on the market. Good news if you're looking to be environmentally friendly and save money on energy bills.

Ease of use
We like this washing machine's large display; it shows all relevant information at a glance, so you know where you are in the wash cycle, what the temperature and spin speed is. There's also the 24-hour end-time delay, which we've come to expect for modern washing machines, too. Plus, this machine has a drum clean reminder.

Browse more washing machines available from Very

what is a smart washing machine: Samsung washing machine

(Image credit: the best smart washing machine: what is a smart washing machine: Hoover AXI AWMPD610LH8R)

9. Samsung QuickDrive WW90M645OPO

Best washing machine for eco cycles

Specifications
Capacity: 9kg
Noise level: 49dB washing / 73dB spinning
Energy rating: A+++
Spin speed: 1400rpm
Finish: Grey/graphite
Dimensions: H85cm x W60cm x D60cm
Reasons to buy
+Speedy but thorough wash cycles+Smart functionality+Eco wash cycles
Reasons to avoid
-Colour won't be for everyone
Compare the best Samsung washing machine models

Want to buy a Samsung washing machine but not sure this one's the best for your home? We've reviewed the best Samsung models and compared them so that you can buy with confidence – our selection features the best deals, too.

Samsung does some pretty huge drums for the largest families, but 9kg is likely to be enough for most, and this Samsung QuickDrive WW90M645OPO comes with an A+++ rating for keeping energy costs as low as possible. 

Speed and noise level

It spins at 1400rpm, with a maximum noise level of 73dB. That is about the same level as a vacuum cleaner on max power, but it runs much quieter (49dB) while washing. 

Reduced washing times

This washing machine features Samsung’s QuickDrive technology, which reduces washing time by up to 50 per cent. How does it work? Well, the drum has a 'pulsator' that's designed to quicken water flow to cover the whole drum. This forces detergent deeper into fabrics, meaning a more thorough wash done faster.

Ecobubble technology
You might have heard of this: this machine mixes air, water and detergent in a way that creates bubbles that penetrate fabrics faster, so you can wash at cooler temperatures (saving energy and money), while still achieving great results.

Add as you go

It also comes with its AddWash feature, allowing you to add items to the wash through a small door in the drum once the wash has started. Handy.

Smart control

Smart controls here allow you to control your wash from your smartphone, as well as identify any issues and troubleshoot them from your phone.

hotpoint washing machines:HOTPOINT Aquarius WMAQF641P

(Image credit: Currys PC World)

10. Hotpoint WMAQF 641 P freestanding washing machine

The best Hotpoint washing machine: tackle tough stains with ease

Specifications
Capacity: 6kg
Noise: 60dB washing / 83dB spinning
Energy rating: A+
Spin speed: 1400rpm
Finish: White
Dimensions: H85 x W59.5 x D52.2cm
Reasons to buy
+Empty List
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List
Compare the best Hotpoint washing machine models

Heart set on a Hotpoint washing machine but not sure this one's the best for your kitchen? We've reviewed the best Hotpoint models and compared them so that you can buy with confidence – our selection features the best deals, too.

Our top rated Hotpoint washing machine, the Hotpoint WMAQF 641 P Freestanding Washing Machine removes stains with ease and efficiency. If you’re looking for a machine that won’t have you spending the earth but will cope successfully with stains and dirt, this machine should be on your shortlist. Here's everything you need to know about it:

Speed and noise level

It spins at 1400rpm, with a maximum spin noise level of 83dB (not our quietest buy). It runs much quieter (60dB) while washing – but note, that's still not that quiet compared to some of our other picks. Something to consider if it's lined up for an open-plan room. 

Time-saving features

This machine promises to save time. The Anti-Stain Technology is designed to remove 20 everyday stains without pre-soaking or scrubbing, and there’s also a feature that reduces cycle duration by up to 50 per cent. 

Allergy-friendly

If you or your household’s members have an allergy, you’ll like the special cycle to remove allergens such as pollen, pet dander and dust, which has been given the Allergy UK seal of approval. 

Space saving

This machine is only 52.2cm deep, so could be a brilliant space-saving choice for a small kitchen.

Who will it suit?

We like the anti-allergy programme, and it offers all the other cycles you might need as part of its repertoire. It doesn’t have a huge capacity, but it could suit couples and small families to a tee.

How does it rate? 

On the Hotpoint site, this machine’s buyers award it eight out of 10 overall. Ease of use, build quality and value for money score the highest. Those who bought this model from AO.com gave an average score of 4.6 out of five. Here, users acclaimed its ease of use, the generous door size that makes access good, and the compact dimensions of the machine.

How to buy the best washing machine

How often will a washing machine need replacing?

A washing machine will usually last around 10 years. If yours is older than eight years old and is showing signs of wear or poor performance, first book a service and ensure you maintain it well with cleaning (use our guide to cleaning a washing machine to find out how). If poor performance persists, think about replacing it.

Freestanding or integrated washing machine?

Freestanding washing machines are best for utility rooms or unfitted kitchens. They also make sense if you are renting and will be taking the appliance with you. Integrated washing machines are hidden behind cupboard doors and offer a streamlined look. Most washing machines are around 60cm wide but there are slim options for a small kitchen.

Special wash cycles

The most important thing to consider when buying a washing machine is the type of laundry you wash on a regular basis. Some washing machines come with special programmes to tackle pet hair, tough stains on sportswear, work gear and school uniforms, while washing machines with short wash cycles are a great bonus for when you’re in a hurry. It's worth taking time to consider which of these settings will make laundry easier. We recommend considering a machine with advanced stain removal if you find yourself spending a lot of time pre-treating and even post-treating stains.

The basics

As well as the variety of programmes on offer, look at features like spin speeds, capacity in kilograms and standout features such as eco cycles and special cycles for woollens, delicates, duvets and anti-allergy options. 

Load size is down to the size of the drum. If you're washing for a large family, a 9kg washing machine will suit; 8kg will do for an average family; 6kg to 7kg is big enough for single people or couples.

Quiet mark washing machines are a good option if you are designing an open-plan kitchen diner and living space or perhaps live in a small home and want quiet appliances. Look out for washing machines with a sound level of around 48dB during washing and 72dB during spinning. Our quietest machine by some way is the Indesit Ecotime IWME147 integrated washing machine; the quietest freestanding model on our list is the Siemens WM14W5H0GB freestanding washing machine with Home Connect.

Eco ratings

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. Pick a machine that has anything from an A to A+++ rating as this is based on both spin efficiency and wash performance.

Smart washing machines

Some of the best washing machines come with WiFi connectivity so that you can operate them from your phone. Far from a gimmicky feature, this addition is perfect if you're tired of coming home to a washing machine full of damp smelling clothes and can be a lifesaver in the instance that your washing machine starts leaking.

Plus, selected models can do everything from ordering more detergent to selecting the amount of washing liquid, and water, each cycle needs. This means you'll reduce your water and energy consumption – and with that your annual bills.

Our top rated washing machine is a smart model, but if you're looking for more options we'd recommend heading over to our specialist guide: what is a smart washing machine and do I need one?

If you want more tips on how to buy a washing machine online then keep scrolling up... If, after reading our top recommendations, you think your preferences are a little more specific, you can browse our specialist buying guides:

Looking for more laundry and utility advice?