Some washing machines are available for less than £200, while others stretch well over the £1,000 mark. Here we break down how much you can get for your budget, plus when you can save money.
The bad news is Which? testing shows that you’re more likely to end up with a dud Don’t Buy than a Best Buy if you spend less than £250.
But the good news is there are diamonds in the rubble. The cheapest Best Buys are available for around £200.
If you’re living in a part of the UK that’s in lockdown, you won’t be able to shop in-store for a washing machine, but many online retailers are still offering delivery. Just make sure both you and the installer wear a face mask and remain socially distant.
See our pick of the top five best washing machines or read on to find out how to find the best for your budget this Black Friday.
A higher budget gives you more Best Buys…
The more you spend, the more choice of Best Buys you get.
If your budget is over £600, you can choose between 62 different Best Buys, ranging from big to small, freestanding and integrated.
But don’t feel like you have to fork out to get a great washing machine – we’ve found a number of outstanding cleaners for £250 and less.
…but doesn’t guarantee high quality
Don’t be fooled into thinking only cheap washing machines will disappoint on laundry day.
The most expensive Don’t Buy we’ve found in our tests is £619 – a costly mistake to make.
Our testing found that it isn’t up to the task of shifting stains left by mud or food.
The final spin is also terribly loud – not what you want when cooped up inside over winter.
Head to all our washing machine reviews to find whether the one you’re eyeing up online is any good.
‘I have less than £250 to spend on a washing machine this Black Friday’
The above pie chart shows the percentage of washing machines £250 and less that are Best Buys and Don’t Buys.
Picking at random you’re more likely to land on an abysmal Don’t Buy than a bargain Best Buy.
The cheapest Best Buy we’ve found is just £210. It’s pretty back-to-basics, with nothing in the way of fancy extra features (not even a time-remaining display), but it still wows by cleaning, rinsing and spinning very thoroughly.
Check out our list of the top five best cheap washing machines.
‘I can spend up to £400 on a washing machine’
Between £250 and £400 makes up the majority of mashing machines on the market.
It’s also where you’ll see the entry-level models for popular brands such as Bosch and Samsung.
Spending £250 or more also unlocks the world of smart washing machines for you, with the cheapest, the Hoover DXOA 68LW3/1-80 just £260 at the moment.
‘I can stretch to £600’
Above £400, most washing machines are good enough to be Best Buys, however quite a few are still Don’t Buys.
At this mid-range price, you will see more and more of each brand’s unique features.
Some Samsung models, such as the Samsung WW90T554DAW (£519), have the AddWash feature. This little flap in the door lets you slip small items into the wash halfway through – for when you find a stray sock on the floor after pressing the on button.
The Hoover AWMPD610LHO8-80 (£419) also has automatic detergent dispensing. This means you fill up tanks in the washing machine with liquid detergent and fabric softener and then let it take all the guesswork out. With each wash it will weigh the load and use the suitable amount of detergent to match the size of the load and type of fabric.
Is it worth paying a premium?
More than £600 is the territory of the top-of-the-range models from brands such as AEG and Miele.
Some Miele washing machines cost well over £1,000, with the Miele WCR860 WPS currently available for around £1,600.
Most of these are Best Buys, as you should expect, but many claim the extra cost pays off in the long run thanks to lower energy running costs and strong reliability, meaning they are less likely to develop a fault.
Our tests and consumer surveys have shown that this is somewhat true. But you can still get an efficient and long-lasting washing machine for less. The cheapest Eco Buy is just £329.
Find out more about our new Which? Eco Buy recommendation