There are brilliant savings to be made on a new washing machine if you shop during Black Friday. But what do you need to think about to get the best washing machine for your household at the absolute best price? This guide is the answer. We’ll help you home in on the ideal model – and tell you how to secure it at the best price.
Want to see which washing machines are on offer right now? They’re on our Black Friday washing machine deals page.
1. Search the right washing machine size by loads and kgs
When you’re buying, you’ll find a drum capacity in kg quoted for each washing machine. This refers to the weight of dry washing the machine will fit in one load and applies to a standard cotton cycle. Be aware that other programmes won’t have as large a capacity.
The nub of the matter: overall, washing machines fall into three capacity categories. A drum capacity of 5kg or 6kg is small; 7kg or 8kg is medium; and 9kg and up is large.
What do the weights mean in actual washing (no, we don’t weigh our loads either)? Well, as a rough guide, a 7kg drum should cope with around up to 35 shirts in one wash load, according to Beko, a 5kg up to 25 of them, and a 12kg up to 60 shirts in one go. Our top washing machine is the 12kg capacity LG FH4G1BCS2, in case you're wondering.
Singles, couples and small families could be quite content with a small capacity machine, families fine with a medium, and big households might prefer a large capacity design. The latter’s also handy if you want to be able to put bulky items like duvets in a home machine.
Why wouldn’t you just buy the largest capacity machine out there? It’s better to put in the recommended load size for maximum washing efficiency, and you’ll probably pay more for a big capacity machine so it needs to be worth it. Our advice? Factor in how often you wash and how big the loads are as well as using the guidelines on household size.
2. Which programmes do you need?
Is the machine you’re looking at going to wash all the items you want it to? Look out for handwash cycles, wool, and delicate programmes as well as standard cotton and synthetic cycles, for example.
A quick wash programme can solve laundry emergencies, so think about whether your machine should have one of these – and how long it takes on the model you’re interested in. The Miele WCR 860 WPS tested by our expert Dan Sung offers a 3.5kg Express 20 wash, plus a full load cycle that takes just an hour.
An anti-allergy programme is a must-have for some households, or you might want to look out for those with cycles for babies’ items.
And if you like the idea of less time spent on ironing, programmes that cut down creasing will be right up your street.
3. What spin speed do you want the machine to have?
Spinning removes water from clothes at the end of the wash, and an effective one means less time when laundry is on the line or in the dryer. Bear in mind, though, that delicate clothes are better with lower spin speeds. You may pay more for a machine with a higher spin speed.
Real Homes reviewer Dan Sung found the Hoover AXI AWMPD610LH8R washing machine, which has a top spin speed of 1600rpm, a top performer.
4. How much noise does the washing machine make?
If your machine’s behind closed doors in a utility room, the noise it adds to your household will matter less. If it’s in the kitchen, it’s more of an issue. Home open plan? Then it really is crucial. Check out the noise level in dB for the wash and spin cycles, and go for a Quiet Mark labelled machine if you want the least disruptive option. Top rated for quietness in our guide to the best washing machines? The AEG L8FEC946R, which has a Quiet Mark award.
5. Do you want it to be smart?
If you opt for a smart Wi-Fi enabled washing machine, you could operate it via an app on your phone, and possibilities such as setting it to choose the best cycles, adjusting detergent, alerting you about maintenance, or installing new washing programmes, for example, are opened up.
You’ll find a huge range of prices in the smart machine category so, if you like the idea, you shouldn’t assume it’s going to be a budget buster. Our washing machine expert Dan Sung gave the Grundig GWN59650CHB smart washing machine a five-star rating after testing.
6. What’s the energy rating?
This could be A+++ at best to A, so it’s worth comparing the models on your shortlist to see which is most energy efficient. We like the Samsung QuickDrive WW90M645OPO, which is A+++ rated.
7. Need more ideas? Check our best washing machines buyer's guide
We've reviewed the best washing machines and our list includes our very favourites. You can use our guide to narrow your choice down further – it includes buys to suit every budget and household. Not found one you want on there? Move on to tip eight.
8. Bookmark retailers' Black Friday washing machine pages now
It's worth bookmarking retailers' pages now so that you can find what you're looking for. Some retailers will even allow you to fill your basket then retain its contents (which will adjust to the new prices) so that all you have to do is press 'pay now' when the Black Friday deal drops.
Best place to start? Our Black Friday washing machine deals page is updated with all the latest deals and will be showing all the best deals (at the best prices, thanks to our clever price comparison widget) over Black Friday weekend.