Most reliable washing machine brands

Washing machines

Most reliable washing machine brands

by Matt Stevens

We've surveyed thousands of washing machine owners to find out which brands you can rely on, and which need to be avoided.

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Most and least reliable washing machine brands

When your washing machine breaks, it's not just a mild annoyance - it's a big disruption.

So when you buy a new washing machine, you need to be sure that it's going to last. To help you find out what the most reliable brands of washing machine are, we survey thousands of Which? members every year and quiz them about any problems they've had with their appliances at home. We use that feedback to create reliability ratings for each washing machine brand.

The table below contains reliability ratings for 11 major brands of washing machine, including AEG, Bosch, Hoover, Hotpoint, Indesit, John Lewis, LG, Miele, Siemens, Whirlpool and Zanussi along with value for money ratings. 

We only award our Best Buy washing machine recommendation to models that pair high test scores with a decent reliability rating or a free five-year parts and labour warranty. In our latest reliability survey, three out of the 11 major washing brands earned reliability ratings too low to enable their high-scoring models to win our Best Buy recommendation.

Which? members can find out which are the best and worst washing machine brands by logging in to unlock the table below. If you're not already a member, you can start a trial subscription for £1 and get instant access to the table and all of our online reviews.
Washing machine brands rated for reliability
Washing machine brands rated for reliability
BrandValue for moneyReliability ratingReliability score

Table notes
All ratings based on responses to a Which? member survey of 1,850 washing machine owners in September 2015
Sample sizes Miele 212, John Lewis 76, LG 45, Bosch 711, Siemens 58, AEG 69, Indesit 63, Zanussi 136, Hoover 41, Hotpoint 204, Whirlpool 38


Member Content

Once you've discovered the best brand, go straight to our in-depth washing machine reviews to find your next model.

How washing machines brands compare

Washing machines as a group are fairly reliable, getting 81% overall. That's much higher than washer-dryers (69%), which have had a reputation for being a bit problematic, but lower than tumble dryers (88%) - the most reliable type of laundry appliance.

90%The top score achieved by one of the washing machine brands in our reliability survey.

The brand that came at the bottom of this year's survey only managed a reliability rating of 67%. As a result, we'll not make any of its high scoring washing machines Best Buys, unless they come with a free five-year warranty. Two other brands were also found to have low reliability scores, and the same rules apply: no high-scoring models can be Best Buys without a free five-year warranty.

This year, we asked owners the extent to which the machine that they own represents value for money and we assign a rating to each brand based on the views of those who own them. We found it isn't always the cheapest or the best that are considered the best value for money by consumers.

Washing machine reliability scores are calculated by the proportion of a brand's machines that have faults, against those from the same brand that don't. The faults are weighted so that more serious problems have a greater effect on the score. The resulting star rating shows a brand’s reliability when compared to others in that category. So that newer or older models don't influence the score unfairly, we adjust scores to account for age.

Common washing machine problems

We surveyed more than 2,000 of you about the most common faults and problems with washing machines, such as odd smells coming from the drum, unusually noisy machines and damage to clothing. You've also reported serious faults that stop you using your washing machine, such as broken motors.

The most common washing machine problems are:

  • Balance/wobble of machine 11%
  • Bad smell 10%
  • Mould 8%

To solve these problems, watch our video guides showing you how to deal with the most likely causes:

We also have video guides about washing machines that make strange noises, and what to to do if you have problems with the detergent drawer.

Washing machine repairs

We've investigated what to do about some of the trickier problems you might encounter with your washing machine, surveying 106 appliance repairers about what advice they'd give for fixing faults with washing machines and other home appliances. 

Coins or other foreign objects causing a blockage, so that the machine isn’t draining

Cost of professional repair Around £50.

Repairers’ advice: more than half the repairers we surveyed would recommended getting a machine with this problem repaired professionally. ‘A professional will be able to find the root cause of the problem’, said one repairer. 

Our advice: if you can drain the water out yourself, you should be able to get to the pump filter and remove the object. If you can’t, call a repairer.

A leak in the drum-bearing seal causing the machine to make a lot of noise while in use

Repairers’ advice Get it repaired professionally. Repairers described this as a larger and more involved job that required skill and know-how. One said: ‘There’s no chance somebody without knowledge could do this.’

Cost of professional repair Around £70 – although on some newer washing machines it could be significantly more.

Our advice You’ll need to call in the professional repairers for this. 

Washing machine reviews you can trust

Nobody goes to the same lengths that we do when testing washing machines. We assess how washing machines deal with tough stains, such as ink, olive oil, milk and blood, to reveal which machines are the best at cleaning. We wash more than 1,750kg of laundry every year in our quest to uncover the best machines, making our laundry basket heavier than a car.

Which? is independent - as 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 time and avoid costly mistakes.