Best washing machine brands for 2021
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.
Washing machine brands rated
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.
|Brand||Customer score||Average test score||% fault-free for six years||% fault-free after eight years||Estimated average lifespan|
- Table notes The customer score is based on a survey of 7,008 Which? members who own washing machines, conducted in September 2020. Where 'n/a' is reported there is not enough data. Table last updated on 9 December 2020.
- Customer satisfaction score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend.
- Average test score is based on results of models tested under the latest test programme and available to buy as of December 2020.
- Percentage fault-free after five years and estimated average lifespan in years is based on Which? members who told us how long they kept their previous appliance before they replaced it due to a fault.
Best vs worst washing machine brands
As you can see, there's a big difference between the best and worst washing machines, and the satisfaction score reported by customers.
How long will my washing machine last
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.
Verdict: washing machine brands in-depth
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.
- AEG/AEG Electrolux washing machines
- Beko washing machines
- Blomberg washing machines
- Bosch washing machines
- Hoover washing machines
- Hotpoint washing machines
- Indesit washing machines
- John Lewis washing machines
- LG washing machines
- Miele washing machines
- Neff washing machines
- Samsung washing machines
- Siemens washing machines
- Whirlpool washing machines
- Zanussi/Zanussi Electrolux washing machines
The three most common washing machine faults
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:
- Drum and drum bearings problems - 18%
- Electrical failures - 14%
- Water not emptying - 10%
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.
Washing machine repairs – do it yourself or call a professional?
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
Repairers’ advice More than half the repairers we surveyed would recommended getting a machine with this problem repaired professionally. ‘A professional will be able to find the root cause of the problem,’ said one repairer.
Cost of professional repair Around £50.
Our advice If you can drain the water out yourself, you should be able to get to the pump filter and remove the object. If you can’t, call a repairer.
Fault 2: A leak in the drum-bearing seal causing the machine to make a lot of noise while in use
Repairers’ advice Get it repaired professionally. Repairers described this as a larger and more involved job that requires skill and know-how. One said: ‘There’s no chance somebody without knowledge could do this.’
Cost of professional repair Around £70, although on some newer washing machines it could be significantly more.
Our advice You’ll need to call in the professional repairers for this.
Watch our video guides on how to deal with some common washing machine problems:
How we measure washing machine reliability
When calculating reliability, we categorise and take into account minor, major and catastrophic faults.
- Minor A fault that doesn't affect the product's performance significantly or that only occurs occasionally with minimal impact. This issue may be irritating or annoying, but it isn't frequently problematic and you can easily work around it. For example, a washing program failing to work once or twice.
- Major A fault that has a noticeable effect on performance. This fault affects how you use the product and can be problematic. For example, the motor or drive belt breaking.
- Catastrophic A fault that renders the product unusable, with the fault needing to be repaired or parts replaced before it can be used again. For example, the glass window cracking or smashing.
How we calculate the best and worst washing machine brands
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.
Head to our washing machine reviews
Know which washing machine brand you want? Use the links to go straight to our reviews and find your ideal model: