The latest fast and cheap washing machines reviewed by Which?Plus our verdict on a top-loading washing machine

23 December 2014

panasonic-na-140-vz4-washing machine

The Panasonic-NA 140 VZ4 washing machine is incredibly quick - but can it clean?

Are you planning on kicking off 2015 with a brand new washing machine? In our latest washing machine group test we reviewed and rated 15 models including cheap washing machines priced less than £250 and a Panasonic machine that’s incredibly quick to clean. 

But three out of the 15 models on test proved so bad we've labelled them Don't Buys to avoid. Our washing machine reviews section reveals the new top and bottom-scoring models from brands including Bosch, Hotpoint, Panasonic, Indesit and Argos own-brand Bush.

To make sure you don’t start the new year with buyer’s remorse, go to our Best Buy washing machines and pick yourself a winner.

Super speedy Panasonic washing machine

A common gripe with washing machines is models that take too long to get through a cycle. Which? laundry expert Adrian Porter says: ‘On average, a 40˚C cotton wash takes over two and a half hours – and that’s on a standard 7kg capacity machine.

‘But the Panasonic washing machine we’ve just tested puts that time to shame. The 40˚C cotton program takes less than two hours to finish. What makes it even more surprising is that this machine has a 10kg capacity drum – so you’re getting a massive amount of clean laundry in barely any time.’

However, our tests show that some washing machines end up sacrificing cleaning and rinsing power to prioritise quicker programs. Is this Panasonic a massive crowd pleaser, or is it all speed and no cleaning? Read our review of the Panasonic NA 140 VZ4 to find out.

Top-loading Whirlpool washing machine


The Whirlpool AWE6761 is one of the rare top-loading machines in the UK

Almost all washing machines in the UK are front-loading models - but there is an alternative. 

Top-loading machines, as the name suggests, have a lid on top rather than a door on the front. That means getting your clothes into the drum is simply a case of dropping them in through the lid. Retrieving them can prove more difficult though, so if you're shopping for a top loader, make sure you can reach the bottom of the drum without straining.

Top loaders are also a different shape to conventional machines. Most front-loading washing machines are about 84cm high, 60cm wide and most are 55-65cm deep. In contrast, the Whirlpool top-loading machine we’ve tested is 90cm high, 40cm wide and 65cm deep.

Being a bit taller and much narrower, it could be just the machine for you if you're pushed for space in your home. Just remember not to try and put it under a work surface, as this makes the lid difficult to open.

But is a top loader any good at washing clothes? Find out by reading our review of the Whirlpool AWE6761 top-loading washing machine.

Washing machines on test

The full list of washing machines we've just tested is below. Prices are correct of 19 December - click the links for up-to-date prices and for our full reviews.

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