Are cheap washing machines any good?Three new Best Buy models uncovered by latest test
11 May 2014
Our latest washing machine group test pitted cheap washing machines from the likes of Bush up against a top-price machine from Miele. Out of the 10 models on test, three were crowned Best Buys - but was it the cheaper or pricier models that emerged victorious?
Enter your local branch of Currys or John Lewis and you'll be confronted with washing machines ranging from less than £200 all the way up to £1000+. You won't be able to tell in the shop which is a budget buy too far or which models are overpriced, which is why we independently test washing machines' ability to wash, rinse and spin away everyday stains from you laundry.
Cheap washing machines
Our test included budget buys from Bush. The Bush A128QW (£200) and Bush A129QW (£220) are cheap but basic machines from Argos with larger-than-average capacities, which should make them attractive to families that produce lots of laundry each week.
Which? tests of hundreds of washing machines have traditionally shown that while there are rare gems at the cheaper end of the market, there are also a lot of duds.
Which? appliances expert Katie Benson says: 'Based on what we typically see in our lab tests, it's generally worth stretching your budget to at least £250. For this price you can get your hands on a non-Best Buy washing machine that’ll deliver your laundry reasonably clean and well rinsed.
'But washing machine technology is getting better all the time, so we're continually on the look out for new bargain Best Buys in the Which? test lab.'
Find out whether these Bush washing machines buck the trend by reading our and washing machine reviews.
Which washing machine?
Alongside the budget Bush machines, we tested several other mid-price models from big brands including Grundig, Miele and Samsung.
One model in particular stood out for Katie Benson: ‘One machine delivers phenomenal cleaning results, shifting tough stains with ease. This is followed up by a good rinse and a fantastic spin, so if you’re looking for a model that won’t be intimidated by muddy sports kits or Bolognese-spattered shirts, Which? members should log in to find out which make the Best Buy grade.’
Eye-catching washing machine features
Some of the models on test have features that help them stand out from the crowd.
Miele WMF 120
The Miele WMF 120 is at the high-end of the washing machines market with its wallet-busting £1,199 price tag. One feature that sets it apart from lower-priced models is its CapDos system of detergent capsules that are specifically designed for use in Miele washing machines. The machine also comes with a five-year warranty and Miele says it will clean 10% better than previous models.
Like other Samsung Ecobubble washing machines we have tested, the Samsung WF70F5E0W4W has Smart Check technology which works with a smartphone app to troubleshoot minor issues without having to call out an engineer. It's 'Ecobubble' name comes from Samsung's homegrown energy-saving technology which is designed to give the same wash results at 15°C as at 40°C, saving 70% of the energy.
As well as having a distinctive look, the washing machine comes with a five-year warranty on parts and labour for extra peace of mind.
Washing machines on test
The complete list of models we've just tested is below – click the links to read our full reviews:
- CDA CI371 – integrated, £639
- Grundig GWN48430CW - £500
- John Lewis JLWM1412 - £369
- John Lewis JLWM1606 - £549
- Miele WMF 120 - £1199
- Russell Hobbs RH1250RTG - £307
- Samsung WF70F5E0W4W Ecobubble - £399
- Zanussi ZWHB7160P – £339.