Energy-saving appliances Eco-friendly washing machines
There is no point bargain hunting for a cheap washing machine if it’s going to cost you the earth to run. The washing machines we’ve tested have annual running costs that vary from £12 to £47 - a difference that will add up over the years.
Which? currently has reviews of more than 200 washing machines. We rate each one for energy efficiency and separately provide an estimate on how much they will add to your energy bill, information you’re not going to find in the shops.
Best Buy washing machines will remove the stains that others leave behind – but they don't always have the lowest running costs on the market, as cutting back on energy and water usage can have a detrimental affect on cleaning power.
Top energy-saving washing machines
But occasionally a machine comes along that gets that perfect balance of energy use and stain busting. These Best Buy machines that also fall into the top 20% for most frugal energy use are awarded Energy Saver status. Currently only 2% of the machines we’ve rated and reviewed have achieved this accolade.
To find these Energy Saver washing machines, you can use our washing machine compare features and prices tool and click the ‘Energy Saver’ tick box at the top to filter out the rest.
The table below shoes some of our Energy Saver washing machines. Which? members can log in to reveal our recommendations. But if you're new to Which?, you can sign up for an instant trial for £1 to unlock the table and gain access to all of our independent product reviews and expert buying advice..
|Energy-saving washing machines|
|Model||Capacity||Why we rate it|
Washing machine running costs
We provide the running cost of every washing machine we’ve tested in the ‘full specification’ tab of our washing machine reviews.
But if you just want to contrast and compare washing machines by energy use, you can use our washing machine energy costs calculator tool.
The tool makes it easy to compare different machines and shows that, in some cases, an energy-efficient expensive washing machine will cost you less to own in the long run than a cheap, energy-guzzling washer.
To make it easier for consumers to compare different models and see which are the most energy efficient, EU energy labels now include A+++, A++ and A+ ratings, on top of the traditional A-G rating scale.
These new ratings are for machines that are even more efficient than A-rated models, which used to be the most efficient on sale. In today’s market, it's rare to see a washing machine with anything less than a ‘B’ for energy efficiency.
You may see washing machine with ‘A+++++’ ratings. But this is not recognised by the EU labelling scheme and can be considered marketing.
Find out more in our guide to washing machine energy labels.
Washing machine capacity
If you have a big family, you may want a bigger washing machine that can tackle lots of washing at once. Machines that can wash up to 7kg at once are still the standard, but washer capacities now stretch all the way up to 12kg.
You’ll have to make sure you fill it, though. We found that the average Which? member washes 4.5kg at once, a load suited to the average 7kg machine with space to spare for the occasional bigger load. Don’t know how much washing you’re doing at once? Our washing machine features explained page provides examples.
Bigger machines tend to cost more to run because of their large drums. But that's not to say they're not energy efficient for their size. Our energy-efficiency rating actually looks at their energy use per kg of laundry, so our star ratings are applicable across all our washing machines, regardless of size. However,don't assume that a large-capacity washing will definitely cost you more. We’ve found large energy-efficient models that are cheaper to run than inefficient smaller models.
So when you're in the shop, how can you tell which machines will keep your bills low and which will run up costs? You can’t. But our independent washing machine reviews can. For top tips on how to use your washing machine in the most efficient way, check out our eco washing machine video.