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Home & garden.

Updated: 17 May 2022

Choosing a Which? Eco Buy

From washing machines to kettles, Eco Buys are the products that will have a proven lower impact on the environment
Aaron West

Buying sustainably isn't easy. It's difficult to sort the truth from the fiction to find what will really make a difference and what's just greenwashing.

That's where choosing an Eco Buy can help. They're based on independent lab testing and aren't influenced by brands, so you know the results are impartial and based on facts.

Our Which? Eco Buy recommendations highlight the products that will have the smallest environmental impact out of all the models we’ve tested in their category.

But Eco Buys have to be more than just green. They have to have scored well in our standard tests, so you can be sure that they'll also be great at their job.

Read on to find how we test for Eco Buys and which product categories currently have them. We'll be adding to these all the time.

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What is an Eco Buy?

Eco Buy logo

We test for Eco Buys in the same way we do for Best Buys.

We buy every product we test so our recommendations can’t be swayed by third parties, and we use the same consistent tests for each particular type of product. You can trust our product reviews because they’re based on our independent test results.

To earn our Eco Buy recommendation, a product must have a lower impact on the environment than alternative models. This can be proved in a number of ways, from being very energy efficient and therefore saving electricity with every usage, to being easily repairable. We also consider whether the product is from a brand with a proven reliabilty record, meaning it's more likely to last a long time.

But no one wants to buy green just to be disappointed by the product, so Eco Buys must also excel in our regular testing, whether that means boiling water quickly or washing clothes thoroughly.

Find details of all of our Eco Buy recommendations below.

Eco Buy built-in ovens

We measure energy consumption using a special standardised test that simulates roasting a whole chicken. We take into account the energy each oven uses to heat up to temperature and stay there for the time needed.

Electric ovens tend to cost £50-60 a year to run. But the most and least efficient can vary by a lot more.

To find out which ovens are the most reliable, we survey owners annually to find out which brands are the most fault-prone.

Eco Buy ovens are the most energy-efficient models we've unearthed in our tests. They all come from brands that have a decent reliability record. They also score highly in our cooking tests.

To find a more sustainable oven, visit our oven reviews and filter on Eco Buys.

Eco Buy dishwashers

A large part of a dishwasher's environmental impact comes from using it, day-in and day-out. When replacing a faulty model, buying one that is efficient is a great way of reducing that impact, and saving you money along the way.

That's why we've started recommending Eco Buy dishwashers.

These are models that perform well in our cleaning tests while also being energy and water efficient and long-lasting. Buying an Eco Buy could save you on your energy costs.

To find the cheapest-to-run and most sustainable models, read our dishwasher reviews and filter for Eco Buys.

Eco Buy fridge-freezers

A fridge freezer is one of the most energy-hungry appliances in your home, so it's no surprise that buying an efficient one will reduce your environmental impact and and save you money.

But not all energy-efficient fridge freezers are good chillers, and some develop faults more quickly than average. That's why we've started recommending Eco Buy fridge freezers. These are the ones we've singled out as balancing good chilling and freezing performance with energy efficiency and great reliability.

To find the most sustainable models, go to our fridge freezer reviews and use the filter for Eco Buys.

Eco Buy fridges

Just like with fridge-freezers, when replacing a faulty model, buying one that’s energy efficient is a great way of reducing your environmental impact and saving you money on your energy bill.

Eco Buy fridges are carefully chosen for balancing good chilling performance with top-tier energy efficiency and brand reliability.

Find the greenest models with our fridge reviews and filter for Eco Buys.

Eco Buy headphones

If you find you’re throwing away your headphones too often, it's worth considering a pair that's built to last.

Eco Buy headphones have superb performance – so you’ll want to keep using them again and again – and also offer ways to help them last longer. For example, some pairs will offer battery replacement schemes so you don't have to throw them out if the battery fails. Others will offer a range of replacement parts so you don’t need to buy a whole new pair in the event of damage.

They must also be made by a brand with a proven track record for long-lasting products you can rely on (based on feedback from surveying headphone owners) and rated by our lab experts as being as durable and built to last.

To make sure your next headphones last as long as you need them to, go to our headphone reviews and filter for Eco Buys.

Eco Buy kettles

You can make a big difference by opting for a kettle that will last you a long time before it needs to be replaced, boils quickly and efficiently and has a low minimum fill level. 

This means you don't need to waste energy boiling water you may not end up using, which is better for the planet and your pocket.

Eco Buys are chosen because they're excellent performers and are energy efficient. We also prioritise kettles from brands that perform well in our product experience surveys, which means they're likely to last longer.

To find the most sustainable models, head to our kettle reviews and use the Eco Buys filter. 

Eco Buy tumble dryers

The most sustainable way of drying your clothes is always going to be hanging them on a washing line or on a static airer. But some tumble dryers are much more sustainable than others and will reduce the impact drying clothes in a machine has on the environment.

If your tumble dryer is beyond repair, choose an Eco Buy replacement. They are among the most energy efficient we’ve tested, will do a good job of drying clothes and also be long-lasting.

Head to our tumble dryer reviews to see all Eco Buys.

Eco Buy washer-dryers

Washer-dryers hit your energy bills with a one-two punch of washing and drying.

While tumble dryers have become more energy efficient recently due to heat pump technology, washer-dryers still lag behind. 

Even the most efficient washer-dryer still uses more energy than most heat-pump tumble dryers, so the most environmentally friendly choice is to buy a separate washer and dryer.

But if that's not an option, our Eco Buys can help you find the best for the planet and your bills.

An Eco Buy washer-dryer cleans well and dries quickly while keeping energy and water use as low as possible to still do this. A washer-dryer also can’t be an Eco Buy if our survey shows that the brand is below average for reliability.

Go to our washer-dryer reviews to find Eco Buys.

Eco Buy washing machines

A lot of a washing machine's environmental impact will come from using it, day-in and day-out, through the energy and water it uses. Buying one that is efficient with both is a great way of reducing your impact and save you money along the way.

Unfortunately, our testing shows that washing machines that do their job well typically cost more and use more energy, while those that are very efficient can have lacklustre results for your laundry.

That’s where our Eco Buys come in. These are the washing machines that clean well without being wasteful of either energy or water. 

Read our washing machine reviews and filter for Eco Buys.