Energy-saving appliances: Energy-efficient washing machines

Washing Machine being loaded

Washing a full load saves energy and cuts your bills

There's no point hunting for a cheap washing machine if it’s going to cost you the earth to run. The annual running costs of the washing machines we’ve tested vary from £12 to £53 - see our table below for the ones that will leave you with the lowest energy bills.

Which? currently has reviews of more than 500 washing machines online. We rate each one for energy efficiency and also provide an estimate on how much it will add to your energy bill each year - information you won't find in the shops.

Best Buy washing machines will remove the stains that others leave behind. However, they don't always have the lowest running costs on the market, as cutting back on energy and water usage can have a detrimental effect on cleaning power.

Top energy-saving washing machines

Occasionally a machine comes along that achieves that perfect balance of low energy use and stain-busting. If a Best Buy machine also falls wins four stars or more for energy use, then it's awarded Energy Saver status.

To find these Energy Saver washing machines, you can compare features and prices by viewing all our washing machine reviews and using the filters on the left of the screen.

The table below reveals some of the most energy-efficient washing machines we’ve tested. Which? members can log in to reveal our recommendations. If you're new to Which?, you can sign up for an instant £1 trial to unlock the table and gain access to all of our independent product reviews and expert buying advice.

Energy-efficient washing machines
What it
looks like
Washing machine make and modelCapacityAnnual running costsScoreBest Buy?

Subscriber only content12kg£4477%

This massive washing machine has a drum that's almost double the size of the average model - perfect if you have a large family. It cleans brilliantly too, leaving both cottons and synthetics dazzlingly clean.

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Subscriber only content8kg£2272%

Our testers were really impressed by how effective this machine's spin is, extracting most of the water from the clothes when the cycle's finished. It's also one of the best we've tested for getting stains out of synthetic materials.

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Subscriber only content8kg£2972%

You can buy this machine for less than £400, so it really is kind to your bank balance. But its solid cleaning performance - especially on synthetics - means that it's a Best Buy too.

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Subscriber only content8kg£2972%

This machine is a great all-rounder - it cleans well, spins excellently and its 'Eco Silence Drive' makes it relatively quiet. Considering you can find it for less than £500, this could make a great bargain option for your home.

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Subscriber only content8kg£2871%

If you've got a lot of polyester clothes in your washing basket, you'll love this machine - it cleans synthetics superbly. It's really easy to use as well, with the controls being clearly set out. 

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Washing machine energy labels

In 2014, the EU introduced a new labelling scheme for washing machines. All machines are now rated A, A+, A++ or A+++ (the most efficient rating). Find out more in our EU energy labels guide

Washing machine capacity

If you have a big family, you may be tempted by a bigger washing machine. Machines that can wash around 7kg at once are the standard size, but washer capacities now stretch up to 12kg - a whopping 39 shirts compared to the average 22-23. However, this could be much bigger than you actually need.

Bigger machines usually cost more to run, but can still be energy efficient for their size. Our energy efficiency star ratings look at energy use per kilogram of laundry, so you can compare ratings across all model sizes.

Washing machine energy efficiency tips

  • Wash a full load: 40ºC cotton washes are designed to take a full drum’s worth of laundry, so always try to wash the maximum amount in each load to get the most value from the water and energy you’re using.
  • Switch to 20ºC-30ºC on everyday loads: Washing at 20ºC instead of 40ºC can save you significant sums every year. Cleaning results for our Best Buy laundry detergents designed for low temperatures during a 20ºC program were good, and helped reduce running costs by an average 66% per wash.
  • Think before you do a hot wash: Which? research found that not all washing machines reached the desired temperature on hot programs - and sometimes it isn't necessary anyway.

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