With so many washing machines battling for your attention, it pays to do your research. To help you pick the perfect washing machine for you, we've rounded up five models from big-name brands that impressed during our lab tests.
There's plenty of variety in our list of high-scoring models – we've included a brainy Samsung that can be operated directly from your smartphone, alongside a high-capacity LG model with a steam setting that doesn't just clean clothes but also sterilises bacteria and reduces allergens.
We like: Cleans very well, wash programs are fairly short
We don't like: Other models are more energy efficient
A freestanding washing machine from Bosch that should fit nicely in a medium-sized household – it has a 7kg cotton and 4kg mixed load capacity, plus the typical programs covering cotton, synthetic, delicate, wool, silk and dark washes. At less than £400, this could be worth considering if you don't want to spend on extra fancier features you may not use.
This washing machine has a handy SpeedPerfect button, which lets you reduce the duration of your program choice. That's a useful feature if you're limited on time and need your clothes ready to go.
The Bosch WAJ28008GB also has a digital display that shows the time left on your wash, as well as a 24-hour delay if you want the machine to finish the wash at a time that suits you.
We like: Rinses well, easy to use, quieter than many other washing machines
We don't like: Water use is high
If you're looking for a washing machine to tackle big piles of laundry, consider this bigger-than-average-capacity model from LG. We saw it deal with around 12kg of cottons, or 5.5kg if you're washing synthetics. You won't spot any buttons on the front of this model as they're tucked on the inside of the floor panel instead.
Glance at the digital display and you'll see how much time is remaining on your wash. You can also delay the end time by up to 19 hours, meaning you can make sure you're at home when the cycle finishes.
This washing machine is NFC-compatible, which means you can link it to your smartphone and download additional programs or access the manual. The app lets you monitor your wash remotely, so even if you've stepped out of the house you'll know how it's getting on. This LG also has a jet-spray turbo wash and a program to clean the drum.
We like: Great washing and spinning, very easy to use
We don't like: Uses more water than other machines
This washing machine from Bosch has been designed to live in a fitted kitchen, nestled underneath the countertop and behind the cabinet door. It has a 1,400rpm spin cycle to get your washing dry.
When we took a closer look at this washing machine in our test lab, we saw it has enough room inside for most homes. The control panel is extremely easy to use, as well, so you won't need to reach for the manual constantly to work out which button to press. The display shows wash-time remaining, spin speed, the stage the wash has reached and additional wash options such as an extra rinse.
You'll be pleased to hear that this isn't a particularly noisy washing machine. Although the volume goes up when it starts spinning, we've tested other washing machines that are far louder.
We like: AddWash door, good cleaning of cottons, easy to use
We don't like: Programs can be slow
Floating around the £500 mark, this Samsung washing machine has plenty of features for you to play around with. We particularly appreciated the AddWash door, which lets you add forgotten items to your wash even after the program has started.
By downloading the Samsung SmartThings app on your mobile, you can control this model from a distance. Plus, if you already own a SmartThings-compatible tumble-dryer, the two machines can communicate and you'll get drying program suggestions in the palm of your hand, based on the load that's just been washed.
We counted 22 washing programs in total, with notable extras including a steam wash, bubble-soak prewash and 15-minute quick program. You also get special settings for specific fabrics such as woollens, sportswear, towels or denims.
We like: Shifts stains effectively, rinses well
We don't like: Programs are lengthy, uses more electricity and water than alternatives
This Hotpoint model cleans exceptionally well, cementing its spot in our list of five impressive washing machines. It's a freestanding washing machine with a maximum capacity of 9kg on the cotton wash, and 4.5kg on the synthetics program.
There are plenty of programs to choose between. One of the more unique options is an anti-allergy setting that aims to clean away irritants such as pollen and dust mites. You also have a steam hygiene option and an anti-stain wash that targets dirt at 40ºC.
The digital display on this Hotpoint will tell you how much time is remaining on a wash. You can also delay the start time by up to 24 hours.
'If you need a new washing machine, it pays to invest in a good one – after all, taking care of our clothes means we can keep them for longer. Make sure you choose the right size of washing machine for your household’s needs, so you’re not spending money on a bulky machine with a drum size you’ll struggle to fill. As a general rule, the bigger the washing machine, the more it costs to run.
Our expert tests pinpoint the washing machines that are best at cleaning, most economical to run and have the least environmental impact. Head to our and look out for our Best Buy and Eco Buy labels.'
Christina Woodger, Which? washing machine expert
Referring to our expert reviews as you're shopping for a washing machine will ensure you're getting great value for money. Our selection of Best Buy washing machines score top marks for the features that matter the most – they perform brilliantly for overall cleaning, ease of use and rinsing efficiency.
When reviewing washing machines, we answer important questions including: