Realhomes.com home expert Dan Sung’s household consists of four sporty types, and two cats. The latter are being litter trained, and there’s a lot of mud. Why are we telling you this? Because Dan is our washing machine reviewer, and when he tests washing machines they have to be plumbed into Dan’s utility room and then cope with all the washing his busy household creates.
We think that when you’re buying the best washing machine online from the likes of Miele, Samsung or Hoover, it’s the at-home experience of using the machine you need to hear about, as well as the technical spec.
That’s not to say Dan’s testing of washing machines isn’t rigourous, just as laboratory tests are, of course. But on top of that he’s putting each model through its paces in a real home with real wash loads, just as you will.
So which washing machine should you buy this Boxing Day? Read on to find out – and to find out about the process we put them through to help you make the right buying decision. The links to the models recommended will take you to today's best price for them. For washing machine deals, go to our dedicated page.
1. Which washing machines do we rate?
Before we get into Dan's testing process, this is our list of the best washing machines you can buy at the moment. They're all great models, but we've highlighted what each one does particularly well:
- Best washing machine all-round: LG FH4G1BCS2
- Best washing machine under £500: Samsung WW90J6410CX (opens in new tab)
- Best integrated washing machine: Indesit Ecotime IWME147 (opens in new tab)
- Best quiet washing machine: AEG L8FEC946R (opens in new tab)
- Best washing machine for quick washes: Miele WCE320 Quick PowerWash (opens in new tab)
- Best budget washing machine: Indesit Innex BWE 101684XW (opens in new tab)
- Best washing machine for families: Siemens WM14W5H0GB
- Best washing machine for eco cycles: Samsung QuickDrive WW90M645OPO (opens in new tab)
- Best Hotpoint washing machine: Hotpoint WMAQF 641 P (opens in new tab)
2. How easy is it to get the washing machine set up?
Dan’s testing begins with installation of the machine because you may find yourself doing this job if it’s not included as a service by your supplier.
Washing machines are increasingly Wi-Fi enabled, so he also gives you the lowdown on the set-up process for all the smart washers he reviews. Once again, we’re talking the real life experience you’re going to have with the machine and its tech rather than the lab scenario of everything already being set up.
Once you’re ready to roll with the app, what can it do for you? Once again, because Dan’s actually put it through its paces in his own home he can let you know exactly how practical and sophisticated (or not) an individual smart washing machine is.
3. Has the washing machine got the programmes you want?
There are questions we all want answers to when we’re buying a washing machine. Will the spin ensure clothes are pretty dry when they come out of the drum? Is there a programme that means no ironing? Can the machine solve a I-need-it-today emergency? Dan’s real life reviewing ensures the washing machines are challenged with all the scenarios that come up in a busy home.
Also crucial are the range of cycles a machine offers. Will the washer actually cope with everything a family might want to chuck in there? Here, again, is where testing in a real home is invaluable. As the laundry basket fills with the whole family’s dirty stuff, whether the machine has a programme to cope is challenged.
And what about selecting the washing programmes and operating the machine in the first place? Dan’s in-a-real-home testing puts him in the same place you will be if you buy the machine – faced with an array of buttons or a touchscreen – and he gives you the inside story on exactly how simple or fiddly this is.
The washing machines that got top marks for its simple to understand and easy to use touchscreen? The Miele W1 range. Here’s Dan’s review. You can find them in the John Lewis sale (opens in new tab) today at a range of prices.
4. Which washing machines come out on top in Dan's latest reviews?
Of course, just like a lab-centred review, Dan’s tests bring you the technical details you need: capacity, spin speed, the noise level for both washing and spinning, the finish and so on. (And if you’re looking for a quiet machine, Dan rated the Grundig GWN59650CHB as very quiet: find out more in his review – this range is on sale at Currys sale (opens in new tab) right now). But he’ll also let you know if the model in question actually got his family’s washing clean at both hot and cold temperatures.
We all want to spend our money wisely, especially when we’re buying an appliance that’s going to see as much use as a washing machine, but how to check you’re getting maximum value? Dan’s reviews will put your mind at rest by comparing the machine on test to similar designs, so you can be sure you’re clicking on the right buy.
Find more of today's deals below: