How long should your household appliances last?Our research reveals the most reliable brands

27 July 2016

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Make sure you invest in household appliances that will stand the test of time

A new survey claims that we have fairly low expectations about how long our household appliances will last.

The survey of 2,000 people, carried out by door and window manufacturer Origin, has found that the only kitchen appliances people rely on to keep going longer than 10 years are ovens and cookers. 

They expect other appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers and vacuums, to last for no more than eight years.

By consulting Which? reviews you can find out which brands are the most reliable, whether you're looking to buy a coffee machine, an iron, a tumble dryer or a fridge-freezer.

Which? reliability survey

Every year, Which? undertakes a huge reliability survey of household appliances across 26 categories. 

We ask thousands of people to tell us about their experiences with their household appliances. This means we can tell you which brands are most likely to break down, causing you stress and expense. And we can also reveal which brands you can rely on to remain trouble-free the longest.

Our latest survey pulled together unique data on over 12,000 products to produce our reliability and customer satisfaction ratings.

Best washing machine brands

Origin’s survey says that people expect their washing machine to last around eight years. That's about right, according to our reliability data - after eight years, three-quarters of washing machines will have remained fault-free.

However, there's a big difference between brands. Choose the worst brand and you'll have only 58% chance of your washing machine remaining trouble-free after eight years. But go for the best, and the 84% of machines will be fault-free after that time.

Which? home appliance reliability expert, Matthew Knight, says: 'The good news is that, based on our data, if you pick a reliable brand of appliance then there's a very good chance it will last longer than you expect. In some appliance categories there are more unreliable brands than reliable ones, so it's important you know the reliability record of the brand you are buying from before you make that purchase.'

A washing machine breakdown makes for a trying time, so go to our reliable washing machine brands guide to find out which are the brands you can count on. Or if you want to go straight to the best models we've tested, head to Best Buy washing machines.

Best dishwasher brands

Origin's research suggests that consumers also expect their dishwashers to last eight years. Our survey shows that, on average, three-quarters of dishwashers will be fault-free by this time.

But go for the best dishwasher brand and you’ll have a four in five chance of it remaining fault-free. With the poorest, your chances of this drop to just three in five.

Don’t risk having to go back to washing by hand – go to our reliable dishwasher brands guide to find the best brands, or browse through individual dishwasher reviews.

Best vacuum brands

Getting out of the kitchen, another product that is expected to survive eight years in Origin’s survey is the vacuum cleaner.

We’ve found very sizeable differences between the best and worst vacuum cleaner brands, especially when it comes to upright vacuums. After eight years, only four out of 10 models from the poorest brand will be working well, while more than eight out of 10 from the best brand will still be going strong.

And it’s a similar story with cylinder vacuums - 86% of the best brand's vacuums will still be working after eight years, while for the worst brand, that figure is just 56%.

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