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Energy-efficient washing machines

By Jade Harding

Discover the washing machines that wash clothes well while keeping energy costs low.

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All washing machines heat the water and spin the drum - but not all of them need the same amount of energy to do it.

Buy one of the most expensive-to-run models and you could find yourself paying up to £100 a year to wash your clothes. Opt for an energy-efficient washing machine and that number drops to just £20. 

Our washing machine reviews will tell you which model will have you spending more money, including the purchase price and energy costs. 

Alternatively, head straight to our best washing machines

How much does a washing machine cost to use? 

A washing machine can cost anything from a little over £20 a year to run to more than £100. It really does depend on the model, how much you use it, the amount of clothes you put in and the programmes you choose. 

Our energy calculations are based on each washing machine being used four times a week to wash an 80%-full load of cottons - because that's the wash people most commonly use. 

It's also important to remember that the cost of a washing machine or how much energy it uses doesn't have a direct correlation with how well it washes clothes. You could be only paying £30 a year to run it, but your clothes might never get a thorough clean. While a pricier model at the shop might result in higher energy bills at home.  

Give yourself the best chance of of finding a great model that also keeps running costs low by reading our washing machine reviews.

What does the energy rating mean on a washing machine? 

The energy label you see in the shop or online will give you an indication of where the washing machine sits in terms of energy use, but it doesn’t give you the full picture.

Label ratings start at G (the least efficient) and go up to A+++ (the most efficient). But what does that actually mean for your wallet? Our reviews go one step further and show how much each machine costs to run per year.  

We also fill the washing machines to 80% of their capacity, because that’s how most people load their machines. And unlike the energy label, which is largely based around washing clothes at 60°C with some data taken from a 40°C wash, we base our energy running costs solely on the 40°C cottons wash, because that’s what people most commonly use.

Top five energy-efficient washing machines 

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Top five energy-efficient washing machines


This washing machine is one of the most energy-efficient models we've tested, adding just £39 per year to your bills. The price tag is ideal if you're on a budget and it can clean effectively. A great all-rounder.


This washing machine can hold around 8kg of washing and spins at 1,400rpm. For those in a hurry, it comes with three quick-wash programs, the fastest of which will finish your washing in just 15 minutes. And it only costs £28 per year to run! But did it banish stubborn stains in the test lab?


Costing nearly £1000 to buy and just £36 per year to run, this washing machine is pricey but energy efficient. It comes with an extra large drum, perfect if you like to do big loads of laundry and is wi-fi enabled. But how well can it clean your clothes? Find out if it's worth splashing out on.


This washing machine has an A+++ energy label and a huge 10kg-capacity drum that can take 32 shirts in one go. But it has some issues you should explore before you buy by reading our full review.


Our energy calculations show that this washing machine costs just £28 per year to run - making it one of the cheapest we've tested. It also has 15 programs to choose from, so your entire laundry basket should be a covered. Find out how well it washes in our full review.

Washing machine energy-saving tips 

  • Wash clothes at lower temperatures It will help to reduce the cost of doing the laundry. Turning the dial down from 60°C to 40°C cuts your washing costs by about a third.
  • Wash at night If you’re on an Economy 7 or an Economy 10 electricity tariff and your washing machine has a timer, you can save money on your washing by setting your machine to run at night.

This kind of energy tariff won’t be right for everyone – they can save money for you if you have electric storage heaters, for example – but don’t switch to this kind of time-of-use tariff just to cut the cost of washing your clothes.

Still not found what you're looking for? Here's our round-up of the top five washing machines for 2020


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