Top five washer-dryers for 2021
We review washer-dryers on everything from how thoroughly they'll clean your clothes and how evenly they'll dry them, to how much it will cost to run.
To help you narrow down what you need, we've rounded up the best washer-dryers so you can choose one depending on what's important to you, whether it be having a large-capacity machine for a big family or a cheap model that won't break the bank.
Last updated: January 2021
At Which?, our reviews are based on weeks of rigorous lab testing. We look at every aspect of each washer-dryer, from how well it cleans to how much energy it uses.
We splatter cotton clothes with tough stains, such as chocolate, oil, blood and red wine, and run both the cottons and synthetics programs. We then measure to see how much light bounces off the fabric – the more, the better the machine has moved the stains. The best washer-dryers do a brilliant job of shifting stains, while with the worst machines, stains will be still visible after the wash.
We also check to see how much detergent each machine has removed in the rinsing cycle. We collect any water left and measure how alkaline it is – the higher the reading, the more detergent has been left.
The best washer-dryers
To be a Best Buy, washer-dryers must dry clothes as well as they clean them. After the washer-dryer has dried the loads, we measure how much water is left in the whole wash, and individual items, so we can see how well and evenly it's done it. Some leave laundry with overly crisp and soggy patches.
An excellent washer-dryer is pretty much useless if it's a total pain to use. That's why we rate how easy it is to do everything with the machine, from using the detergent dispenser to loading and unloading the washing. In addition, we mark down washer-dryers that are annoyingly noisy.
If you've bought a good value machine, the last thing you want is to discover it'll cost a fortune to run. We measure the electricity and water each machine uses so that we can tell you how much each will cost to run a year. We've found models costing less than £75 a year, and others that'll set you back more than £160.
On top of all of this, we also survey hundreds of Which? members to find out how reliable each washer-dryer brand is – the highest scored 76%, and the worst just 30%. We add this to the total test score, so you know that a Best Buy washer-dryer should last for years to come.