Drum bearing problems, electrical failures and machines not emptying are some of the most common washing machine faults, according to our annual survey of owners.
Buying from the best washing machine brands means you’ll be far less likely to fall victim to these problems. That’s why in our unique survey, we’ve asked more than 7,000 Which? members to tell us if they’re happy with their washing machine, or if its plagued with problems.
We’ve got data on some of the biggest washing machine manufacturers including Bosch, Hotpoint, Samsung and Whirlpool, and have calculated a customer score and estimated lifespan for each, so you know which brands to choose and which to steer clear of.
The table below summarises this year’s reliability results. Brands are ranked by their customer score, which relates to whether their customers would recommend it.
Only logged-in Which? members can view which brands are the most and least reliable, and which our members are most satisfied with, in the table below. If you're not yet a member, to get instant access.
Average test score
Proportion replaced in 10 years
Estimated average lifespan
UPDATE 19/04/2021: we previously published an error, saying the estimated lifetime of Samsung washing machines was 20.6 years. The correct estimated lifetime is 14.6 years.
As you can see, there's a big difference between the best and worst washing machines, and the satisfaction score reported by customers.
On average, a washing machine will last more than 15 years. This is based on the experiences of Which? members who told us how long they kept their previous appliance, before they replaced it due to a fault. As you can see from the graph below, there’s a big difference between how long the best and the worst brands last.
We've pulled together our reliability data, customer insight and their average performance in our independent washing machine tests to give you an in-depth look at each brand. Read on for our verdict on whether it's a brand worth buying.
More than 7,000 Which? members have told us about the reliability track record of the washing machines in their homes. And you've let us in on the problems and niggles that yours have caused over the years, including leaky doors, wobbly machines and smelly detergent drawers.
The most common washing machine problems are:
Some washing machine problems relate to the selected wash programs failing and sadly, there's little you can do as an owner to fix this. Once the circuitry in your machine stops working properly, you'll need to call in a professional to take a look.
Other issues include problems relating to how well machines spin your clothes. Some of these issues might be borne out of your machine being faulty and needing to be repaired. But in some cases, spin problems can be to do with how full or empty your machine is.
Most machines are set to not spin if they have what's described in the trade as an uneven load. This could be one sweater set to wash on a program with a high spin speed or, equally, because of an overly full drum.
Try washing with a load size as described in the manual to suit the wash program and see if this fixes your problem.
We surveyed 106 appliance repairers and asked them what advice they would give for fixing two of the most common faults with washing machines:
Fault 1: Coins or other objects causing a blockage, so that the machine isn’t draining
Fault 2: A leak in the drum-bearing seal causing the machine to make a lot of noise while in use
Watch our video guides on how to deal with some common washing machine problems:
We've collated all of our washing machine test results to bring you an at-a-glance guide to the best and worst washing machine brands. We’ve also added our unique customer scores, taken straight from our latest survey of thousands of washing machine owners, so you can get a clear picture of how the different brands compare.
We work out our washing machine scores by asking owners about the problems they have faced since buying their machines. The greater the number of problems and the more severe the problems, the lower the score for the brand. We base our scores on products up to 10 years old.
The Which? customer score is based on how satisfied owners are with their machines and whether they would recommend the brand to a friend.
Know which washing machine brand you want? Use the links to go straight to our reviews and find your ideal model: