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6 rip-off Don't Buy home appliances to avoid

We round up products that could leave you with instant regrets
Leaking washing machine

Nobody likes getting ripped off when making an important purchase. Best case scenario, you’re left with a terrible product you dread using; in the worst cases, you have to fork out for a replacement.

Over the past 12 months, we’ve uncovered a range of Don’t Buy products you should avoid, from both popular and lesser-known brands. Some simply weren’t up to scratch in our performance tests; others failed our rigorous safety assessments and could put lives at risk.

To help you dodge the rip-offs, we share some of the worst offenders and recommend safe, well-rounded alternatives to buy instead.

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Don't Buys we've found in the last 12 months

These are just a few of the Don't Buy products our lab testing has uncovered in recent months.

Hisense 32A4GTUK television, £159

It’s rare to find a 32-inch TV that does well in our tests, and this HD Hisense is no exception. The cold, unnatural colours might be ideal if you exclusively watch documentaries about the Arctic Circle, but otherwise you’ll be left longing for more warmth and vibrancy. It’s also too hard to make out what’s going on in dark scenes and the sound is so dire, you’ll actually be able to hear the TV’s chassis reverberating with the effort.

Read our full HISENSE 32A4GTUK review.

Buy instead: For better quality, size up to the 4K 43-inch LG 43UP81006LA (£339). It’s a pleasure to watch and impressed us with its balanced bass and high tones.  

Bush BFSLSAE9W dishwasher, £250

This Bush dishwasher might be cheaper than most, but it’s so bad at cleaning that you might as well throw your money down the drain. Despite the eco program being frugal with both water and energy, using it is pointless as the poor results mean you’ll have to wash a few dishes by hand again anyway.

Add in the fact that it’s hard to load and flimsily made and you’ve got yourself a dishwasher that’s among the worst we’ve tested recently.

Read our full Bush BFSLSAE9W review

Buy instead: Try the Amica ADF450WH (£269) instead. It's an excellent value slimline models that blasts away everyday dirt and grime with ease. 

Shark Wandvac WV361UK cordless vacuum cleaner, £159

Shark Wandvac WV361UK cordless vacuum cleaner

You’re going to struggle to create any magic with this cordless hoover, particularly if your home has mostly carpeted floors. It only lifted a quarter of the dust from the carpet in our tests and it’s dreadful at dealing with pet hair.

It’s poor on its lowest power setting, too, removing a paltry 7% of dust from floorboards, so you’ll have to crank it up to full tilt. We also discovered an irritating design flaw that allows debris to fall into the vacuum’s inner workings when you empty the dust container.

Read our full Shark Wandvac WV361UK review

Buy instead: The Tineco A10 Hero (£179) is an excellent alternative. It’s brilliant at cleaning all floor types and is easy to use, too.

Digoo DG-SA01 smoke alarm, £9

If there’s one appliance in your home that you need to be able to rely on in an emergency, it’s your smoke alarm. This one, however, should be avoided at all costs as it poses a clear and present danger.

We tested it with fires fuelled by cotton, plastics, solvents and wood. In each case, this unresponsive and unreliable model often failed to sense the danger and sound in the presence of smoke, which could potentially put everyone in your property at serious risk. Don’t be tempted by the low prices you might see it for online. 

We’re currently testing interlinked battery-powered smoke alarms for homes in Scotland. We’ll publish the reviews online for our members soon.

Read our full Digoo DG-SA01 review.

Buy instead: Go for the FireAngel ST-622 battery-powered standalone alarm (£26) instead.

Haier HW90-B14959S8U1 washing machine, £480

This substandard Haier combines poor stain removal with excessive water use and short wash programs. You can’t rely on it for tough laundry jobs such as removing stains, as it struggles to lift even everyday dirt.

Read our full HAIER HW90-B14959S8U1 review.

Buy instead: The Samsung WW90T554DAW (£479) is a much better bet and will get your clothes spotless.

Salter Cosmos EK4383 blender, £39

This Salter blender is a complete waste of kitchen cupboard space. It creates an excruciating racket during use and is terrible at the simple job of smoothie making. It’s one of the least user-friendly models we’ve ever come across, too.

Read our full Salter Cosmos EK4383 review.

Buy instead: Try the Tefal Blendforce BL420840 (£35) for a better experience all round.

To find out more about the products Which? tests, visit Which? Home & Garden.

What is a Which? Don't Buy?

We don't just highlight the best products in a category. Unlike other magazines and websites that provide product reviews, Which? also names and shames the worst products as Don't Buys.

We're able to make Don't Buy warnings based on our robust, lab-based product testing and our complete independence. At best a Don't Buy product will prove a waste of money - at worst it could be a threat to your family's safety, as our tests of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and child car seats have all shown.

Don't Buy logos are typically given to products with an overall test score of less than 40% or 45%, but may also be awarded when serious health and safety issues are detected by our tests.

If you're not a member, join Which? to gain instant access to all our product reviews.

Prices quoted were correct when the August 2022 issue of Which? magazine went to press. Prices may change.