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Don't Buy washer-dryers

by Matt Stevens

We reveal the washer dryers that don't wash clothes properly, those that can't dry clothes effectively and the machines that struggle with both basic laundry tasks.

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Washer-dryers aren’t cheap – you'll pay a premium for the convenience of two products in one. So, make sure you don’t waste your money buying the wrong machine. 

Our expert and unbiased tests help you to avoid the washer-dryer duds that are rubbish at washing and drying and identify the Best Buy washer-dryers that do a great job for your budget.

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What makes a Don't Buy washer-dryer

Washer-dryers exist to both wash and dry clothes. But we’ve seen many machines that struggle to either wash or dry properly and some machines that are just poor at both tasks.

Don’t Buy washer-dryers are usually let down by under-powered, slow and ineffective clothes drying. So, if you’re often in a hurry for your clothes to dry, you won’t want a one of these in your home. We’ve also found a selection of terrible washer-dryers that really struggle to remove stains from clothes when washing them, too.

What does a Best Buy washer-dryer look like?

Far from being a compromise purchase, a good washer-dryer will wash clothes brilliantly and will do a good job of drying them thoroughly and quickly too.

The washing results can be every bit as good as the best washing machines we’ve tested. And the drying results – while not drying as much at once as the best tumble dryers we've seen – aren’t bad either.

With a huge range of prices available for washer-dryers, you might think it worthwhile to take a punt on a cheap and cheerful looking machine.

But our tests have shown that, while there are some great value washer-dryers out there, you really need to look beyond just the price tag to distinguish the machine you take home with you from the one you leave in the shop.

Unique washer-dryer testing by Which?

Which? has reviewed the latest washer-dryers from brands including AEG, Beko, Bosch, Hotpoint, Indesit, John Lewis, LG, Miele, Samsung and Zanussi.

Our expert assessments are based on six decades of product testing know-how. We examine the features of each of the washer-dryers we test and we then test them for how well they wash and dry clothes, how easy they are to use, how much noise they make and how much energy each one uses to wash and dry clothes.

  • We find out how well washer-dryers clean clothes by placing cloths with dried on stains into the drum. After washing, we measure how much of the stain is removed by measuring how much light is reflected off the cloths. The more reflected light, the more of the stain that’s been removed.
  • We record how long it takes the washer-dryers to dry clothes and measure how dry they are at the end of the cycle. We do this by weighing the clothes before they are washed and then again at the end of drying. The best machines will leave clothes perfectly dried, the worst will leave clothes still wet.
  • We measure how much energy each machine uses when washing and drying and we present this on money terms so you can easily see the difference between the cheapest and the most expensive washer-dryers to run.

If we find that a washer-dryer is bad enough to be a Don’t Buy, you can be sure that it’s one to avoid. No matter how attractive the price may be, it won’t do a good job in your home and is best left in the shop.

Find out which washer-dryers are Don’t Buys and which are Best Buys by joining Which? today.

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