Top five cheap washing machines for 2020
By Matt Stevens
Bag a bargain Best Buy washing machine with our top pick of the cheapest on test.
We've found great cheap washing machines from £200 upwards from Beko, Bosch and Zanussi.
The best washing machines at this cheaper price point also tend to be older models. But if you're looking for cheap-as-chips and you don't mind a washing machine that's been around for the last few years, they still do a great job of washing, spinning and rinsing. You can see our top five in the table below.
If you're looking for a newer model that's got all the latest bells and whistles, you'll need to splash out £350+ for the latest cheap washing machines that are great at cleaning. You can find these models listed in our round-up of Best Buy washing machines.
Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you're not yet a member, you can get access by joining Which?.
Top five best cheap washing machines
This Best Buy washing machine does an outstanding job of cleaning clothes, whether on the cottons or synthetics cycles. The spin cycle is effective at removing water from laundry, and you’ll find this washing machine simple to use. It’s worth bearing in mind that the cottons cycle is quite slow and inefficient with energy use, though – which might be key considerations for you.
This Best Buy washing machine is brilliant at cleaning clothes, and has an affordable price tag. The spin cycle may be noisy, but it does a good job of removing water from clothes. You’ll find this washing machine easy to use, too – so it’s one to consider.
This machine is a fantastic cleaner, scoring top marks for both cotton and synthetic loads. It’s also a good rinser and spin dries well, although does take a little longer than some machines. But if you don’t mind waiting around, this is a great-value model.
Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct of May 2018.
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And here's three washing machines to avoid
While the best washing machines we've tested will have your clothes clean in record time, Don't Buy washing machines will try and fail to remove tough stains. Without enlisting the help of our expert reviews, you run the risk of buying a washing machine that lets you down whether you're running a cotton wash or a synthetic wash.
Below, we've rounded up a trio of Don't Buy washing machines that aren't worth your hard-earned cash.
Don't Buy washing machines
Unfortunately, the price is the only impressive thing about this washing machine. It doesn’t wash well, rinses very badly, and the lengthy programs mean you’ll be kept waiting longer than usual for your clothes. We were so unimpressed that we've made it a Don't Buy.
Sadly this washing machine isn't the bargain it first appears; not only does it struggle to get clothes clean and bright, but it doesn't rinse well either, leaving plenty of soap behind in the fibres. Add the fact that it's noisier than most and it's clear why we've made this washing machine is a Don't Buy.
Cheap washing machine reviews
Even the cheapest washing machines cost upwards of around £150, and if you're paying a sizeable sum for a new one, we think you deserve the best cleaning power that won't let you down.
That's why we put each machine we review through at least a month's worth of rigorous testing to find out how well they tackle tough stains, how thoroughly they rinse clothes to remove detergent and how good they are at cleaning clothes on the most commonly used programs. We even check how noisy they are, and how efficient they are at using water and energy.
But it's worth bearing in mind that if you're going for a cheap washing machine, you should be prepared for fewer functions and programs. You're also unlikely to find the biggest drum sizes in cheap machines so may need to pay more if you've got a big family or need to wash large loads.
Our rigorous lab tests have revealed many cheap machines that are very poor. Make sure you avoid these by checking out the Don't Buy washing machines.
Washing machines you can trust
Tough testing isn't all we do. We think it's important that you can rely on your washing machine to not let you down – that's why we ensure all of our Best Buys come from brands that are proven to be reliable.
We survey thousands of washing machine owners year after year to find out how pleased they are with their machines, and if they've had any faults or issues. Careful analysis of the results means that we can give each washing machine brand a unique reliability rating. We'll only make a washing machine a Best Buy if it tops our tests and gets a good reliability rating, or comes with a free five-year parts and labour warranty.
You can find out how the bestselling brands compare by heading to our guide to the best washing machine brands.