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Top five cheap washing machines for 2018

By Matt Stevens

Bag a bargain Best Buy washing machine with our top pick of the cheapest on test.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

We've tested and rated hundreds of washing machines, and our independent test scores and reliability ratings mean that we can help take the guesswork out of choosing and set you on the fast track straight to the best models that won't break the bank. 

And because no one wants to spend more than they have to on a washing machine, we've rounded up the top five cheapest Best Buy washing machines from our tests in the table below. Some are older models but they do a fantastic job for a great price.

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

Lowest price (in stock) £249.90
Which? score 76%
Reviewed Oct 2014
Washing cottons:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Spinning:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Max spin speed (rpm):
Member exclusive
Energy label:
Member exclusive
Cotton capacity (kg):
Member exclusive

This large-capacity washer might have notched up its top score for cleaning a few years ago, but it still outshines newer washing machines on performance and price. It's easy to use, and the spin is brilliant at removing water from clothes.

Lowest price (in stock) £359.00
Which? score 73%
Reviewed May 2017
Washing cottons:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Spinning:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Ease of use:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Max spin speed (rpm):
Member exclusive
Energy label:
Member exclusive
Cotton capacity (kg):
Member exclusive

This washing machine does a good job at the washing basics - cleaning, rinsing and spinning. If you're looking for a reasonably priced machine that will produce load after load of clean laundry, then you may have found the right one for you.

Lowest price (in stock) £389.00
Which? score 72%
Reviewed Nov 2016
Washing cottons:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Spinning:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Ease of use:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Max spin speed (rpm):
Member exclusive
Energy label:
Member exclusive
Cotton capacity (kg):
Member exclusive

As a freestanding washing machine worthy of Best Buy status, this model is packed with features, including a function that allows you to add clothes mid wash. It also arrives with a 7kg load capacity and technology that the brand claims will give you a quieter wash that's more energy efficient.

Lowest price (in stock) £229.00
Which? score 70%
Reviewed Nov 2017
Washing cottons:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Spinning:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Ease of use:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Max spin speed (rpm):
Member exclusive
Energy label:
Member exclusive
Cotton capacity (kg):
Member exclusive

This washing machine is a great pick for buyers on a budget. It's a 7kg, front-loading model with 15 different pre-programmed cycles, scoring top marks for cleaning performance. Although it's somewhat slow for a 7kg machine (a cotton wash can take more than three hours), the pros outweigh the cons - this is a cheap washing machine with exceptional cleaning power.

Lowest price (in stock) £284.00
Which? score 70%
Reviewed May 2015
Washing cottons:
4 out of 54 out of 5
Spinning:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Ease of use:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Max spin speed (rpm):
Member exclusive
Energy label:
Member exclusive
Cotton capacity (kg):
Member exclusive

This might be an oldie, but with good cleaning results and hassle-free operation, it's still an excellent washing machine for the price, beating newer models and making it a great choice if you’re on a budget.

Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct of May 2018.

Not found what you're looking for? Compare all the rest of our washing machine reviews.  

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

Typical price £604.00
Which? score 39%
Reviewed Feb 2018

If you're looking for a washing machine packed with tech, this model, complete with a 12kg drum, might be on your radar. But despite clever features including touch controls and a smartphone app that lets you control it remotely, this washing machine simply doesn't wash well - it struggles to remove dirt and stains. It's a clear Don't Buy.

Lowest price (in stock) £209.97
Which? score 26%
Reviewed Oct 2017

This washing machine is remarkably bad at washing, so expect to see pesky stains in full view when you retrieve your clothes from the 7kg drum. It's painfully noisy, too - you'll have to crank the volume on your kitchen radio up to high if you want to attempt to enjoy music while this machine is running a wash.

Typical price £220.00
Which? score 25%
Reviewed Jan 2018

This frontloading washing machine may have a tempting price tag, but it's slow and ineffective. It fails to impress when it comes to washing, and lengthy programs mean you'll be waiting around for clean clothes longer than you'd like. Rinsing isn't good enough, either, leaving detergent in clothing fibres that could cause issues for people with sensitive skin. Steer clear.

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.

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