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Best Buy washer-dryers

by Matt Stevens

We only award our Best Buy logo to washer-dryers that have topped our independent tests by delivering perfect laundry loads every time.

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Washer-dryers have a bad reputation for reliability. To help you avoid grimy, soggy washing from machines that conk out after a couple of years, we test washer-dryers inside and out to ensure that only the models that are truly built to last earn our Best Buy recommendation. 

  • Washer-dryers can also be far from efficient to run, and annual running costs vary wildly. We calculate annual costs for both the washing and drying cycles of every model we test, helping you save money.
  • A brilliant washer-dryer offers the best combination of washing power, effective spinning, quick and even drying ability, lower running costs - and importantly, it lasts.
  • We wash and dry more than 1,000kg of cottons and synthetics every year - that's about the same weight as a Volkswagen Golf.
  • Our independent tests and expert advice will help you bypass a sub-standard machine to ensure you get clean, dry clothes every time.

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How we uncover the best washer-dryers

Washer-dryers have a tough job to do. They need to wash your clothes thoroughly, rinse them well and dry them too, all in the same machine. They offer space-saving convenience, but that can come at a cost both in how well they clean and dry, and in reliability.

We test every aspect of washer-dryers. Everything from thoroughness and speed of the wash and rinse, to how well it dries your clothes, to how much it will cost a typical household to run. We also measure how noisy the machines are so you'll know whether you'll be forced into another room just to carry on a conversation. 

In addition to our lab testing, we survey hundreds of Which? members every year about any problems they've had with their washer-dryers, to find out which brands are the most reliable. The reliability scores we calculate from this survey are especially important for washer-dryers as they have the lowest overall reliability score of all of the large appliances we review. The highest-scoring brand of washer-dryer has achieved a good score of 76%, while the least reliable brand scores just 30%.

We do all this and more to find machines that are worth your consideration - and identify which ones you should avoid.

  • Cotton wash. We place a cloth with chocolate, oil, blood and red wine marks in the drum, along with sheets and other items of clothing. After the wash we measure how much light is reflected off the cloth using a machine called a spectrophotometer, which measures the intensity of reflected light. The more light reflected, the better the machine is at removing stains.
  • Fastest and most-even drying. We measure how much time and energy it takes to dry a load, and rate machines based on their running costs.  We weigh individual items of clothing to work out how much water each contains before and after drying, and analyze the variation between the different items to see how evenly the load has dried.
  • Rinsing. To measure how well washer-dryers remove water during the rinsing cycle, we take freshly rinsed washing from the machine and spin it in a super-fast spin dryer. After the spin, we collect water from the clothes and measure how alkaline it is compared with tap water. Detergent is very alkaline, so the greater the increase, the poorer the machine is at rinsing.

Washer-dryer reviews you can trust

We test washer-dryers from the biggest and most popular brands - including Miele, Zanussi, Hotpoint, AEG and Bosch - to find the models you can trust.

Which? is independent - we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We don't take advertising and we buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first.

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