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Top five washing machines for 2018

By Jade Harding

We reveal the top-scoring Best Buy washing machines from our Which? reviews to suit your family and budget - and the models to avoid.  

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The best washing machines clean clothes fantastically on the commonly used programs, are easy to use and won’t cost a fortune to run. The worst we’ve tested are noisy, guzzle energy and don’t even do a good job at cleaning your clothes.

But with a dizzying array of choices and price points, choosing the best washing machine for you can take forever, especially if you need to replace yours in a hurry.

If you haven’t got time to weigh up the pros and cons of every model available, we’ve pulled out our top five Best Buy washing machines from our tests in the table below. And we’ve also revealed the models that you’re better off avoiding.

Find the best washing machine

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by joining Which?.

Cheapest Best Buy washing machine

Lowest price (in stock) £229.00
Which? score 70%
Reviewed Nov 2017
Overall cleaning:
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 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.

Top-scoring Best Buy washing machine

Lowest price (in stock) £529.00
Which? score 82%
Reviewed Jun 2015
Overall cleaning:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Spinning:
5 out of 55 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

We first reviewed this washing machine back in 2015, but it’s still is an outstanding model and our top-scoring Best Buy, outperforming all newer models we’ve tested. It flew through all of our tough washing tests; it's great for cottons and synthetics, it’s good at rinsing detergent out, and it’s exceptionally good at spinning.

Best washing machine for medium-sized households

Typical price £999.00
Which? score 81%
Reviewed Mar 2018
Overall cleaning:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Spinning:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Energy use:
3 out of 53 out of 5
Max spin speed (rpm):
Member exclusive
Energy label:
Member exclusive
Cotton capacity (kg):
Member exclusive

This machine is one of the best we’ve ever tested. It’s pricey, but also a spectacular cleaner - and a clear Best Buy. Its spin dry is excellent, leaving clothes much drier than most machines do, plus it’s really easy to use.

Best washing machine for large households

Lowest price (in stock) £1,199.00
Which? score 77%
Reviewed Oct 2016
Overall cleaning:
5 out of 55 out of 5
Spinning:
5 out of 55 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

We were very impressed with this washing machine. We tested it a few years ago now, back in 2016. But it gets clothes really clean, works quietly and, despite having a host of hi-tech features, is easy to program and use. With so much going for it, it thoroughly deserves its Best Buy status.

Best built-in washing machine

Lowest price (in stock) £709.00
Which? score 82%
Reviewed May 2017
Overall cleaning:
5 out of 55 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 is an absolutely outstanding built-in washing machine, It does a sensational job of removing stains from clothes and is a worthy Best Buy.

Not found the product for you yet? Compare all our washing machine reviews.

And here’s three to avoid

Not all machines are a whizz at washing. We’ve found models that struggle with everyday stains and leave detergent on your laundry. These are just some of the washing machines we recommend steering clear of:

Three washing machines to avoid

Typical price £200.00
Which? score 27%
Reviewed May 2017

This washing machine is cheap as chips but it didn’t even do a mediocre job of cleaning the cotton laundry we tasked it with in our test. And the rinse failed to get out most of the laundry detergent we used. In fact, this machine was so bad that we have made it a Don't Buy.

Lowest price (in stock) £219.97
Which? score 26%
Reviewed Oct 2017

This machine doesn’t wash your laundry very well at all and therefore it has to be a Don't Buy. It may be reasonably priced, but if it can’t do its core job well then we can’t recommend it. It’s really noisy, too.

Typical price £230.00
Which? score 25%
Reviewed Jan 2018

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.

How to choose the best washing machine for you

Here are some key features to consider when picking your washing machine:

Type

Freestanding machines are the most common. They can be placed anywhere as long as they can be connected to a drain and a plug and normally fit into a standard size kitchen width space of 60cm.

Integrated washing machines are for built-in kitchens and are designed to sit behind a unit door.

Be sure to check the space you have before choosing your machine.

Drum size

Washing machine drum sizes range from 5kg to 12kg and are based on the number of kilos of dry clothing you can fit in.

Most medium-sized households will find a 7kg capacity machine suits their needs but if you prefer to wash larger loads then a bigger drum might be better.

Cost

The price of a washing machine varies widely from £200 to over £,1000. Spending more tends to mean more wash cycle options, smarter features and a quieter machine.

However, we’ve also found some quality models that clean well for under £350, too.

If you’re not fussed about seeing the machine in store then buy online - you could save yourself up to £100.

Features

Washing machines have lots of helpful features these days - although they might not always come cheap. Make sure anything you’re paying extra for will be useful in the long run.

  • Delay starts
  • Numerous wash programs and spin speeds
  • Time-remaining display
  • Machines that can be remotely controlled via an app
  • Child locks
  • Anti-allergy cycles

If you’re still not sure what you need, our expert buying guide will help.

Why Which? washing machine reviews are better

We put each model through at least a month of rigorous laboratory tests to see how well they wash and spin clothes; challenging each machine to clean a range of stains, including tough-to-shift blood, grease, ink, milk, oil and rust.

We check how noisy each machine is when running and if any traces of detergent are left on the laundry at the end of the cycle.

Our reviews then calculate how much each machine costs to run by measuring water and energy usage, temperature gauges and length of programmes.

But we don’t stop there. We also insist that all Best Buys come from a brand that we’ve found to be reliable – or have a five-year warranty. And that involves us talking to thousands of washing machine owners every year and gathering feedback about the issues they've had with their machines.

You can see how the major brands stack up by going to our guide to the best washing machine brands.

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