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1 October 2020

Most reliable washing machine brands

Which washing machines are the most reliable? Discover the washing machine brands that last the longest and those most likely to break.
Woman washing clothes
Matt Stevens

We survey thousands of washing machine owners to find out which brands are most prone to breakdowns and developing faults. Drum bearing problems, blocked filters and machines not emptying are some of the most common faults owners experience with washing machines. 

You’re much less likely to fall victim to these problems if you choose a washing machine brand with a five-star reliability rating. Use the table below to see the reliability scores given to each brand based on how they behave in the homes of real owners. The higher the score, the more likely you are to have a fault-free experience. 

Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive reliability ratings in the table below. If you’re not a member, join Which? to get instant access. 

Once you’ve discovered the best brand for you, head to our washing machine reviews to compare models

Which washing machine brands are the most reliable?
Which washing machine brands are the most reliable?
Brand Reliability score
Member content 93%
Member content 92%
Member content 90%
Member content 89%
Member content 89%
Member content 88%
Member content 87%
Member content 86%
Member content 85%
Member content 85%
Member content 83%
Member content 82%
Member content 76%

Table notes All ratings based on responses to a Which? member survey of 4,073 washing machine owners in October 2019 and use feedback on members' experiences of the brand that they own. 

The scores show how each brand's reliability compares to other washing machine brands. Table last updated December 2019. 

How long will my washing machine last?

On average, a washing machine will last more than 10 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.

Which washing machine brand stays fault-free longest?

You've told us that when you buy a washing machine, you expect it to last for 11 years before developing a fault. But our table below shows those washing machine brands that stay fault-free the longest.

How washing machines brands compare

You've told us that you expect a washing machine to last for 11 years without developing a fault. In our reliability survey, we've collected data for machines up to 10 years old. For one reliable brand, nine out of 10 of its machines will be fault-free for eight years. But for one brand, fewer than seven in 10 of its machines will be without faults over the same period.

Washing machines in general are about as reliable as laundry stablemates tumble dryers, and are more reliable than washer-dryers. Their 88% average reliability record means that often you'll be able to trust your washing machine to not let you down. But as our table above shows, there are brands that are noticeably less reliable.

Our Which? reliability scores are based on the proportion of appliances from each brand that encountered problems, and faults are weighted so more serious problems account for more of the score. Star ratings show a brand's reliability when compared with others in that category. 

Common washing machine problems

More than 4,000 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 your machines have caused you over the years, including leaky doors, wobbly machines and smelly detergent drawers.

The most common washing machine problems are:

  • Drum and drum bearings problems 11%
  • Electrical failures 8%
  • Water not emptying 8%

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, to see if this fixes your problem.

Video guides: how to fix your washing machine

Our video guides show you how to deal with some common washing machine problems such as fixing your washing machine's detergent drawer and  how to clean a smelly washing machine.

If the noises your washing machine makes are causing you concern, watch our videos on how to fix a loud washing machine or how to deal with strange sounds from your machine

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 required 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.

Washing machine reviews you can trust

A washing machine may look the business in the shop or online, but how do you know how well it will wash your clothes when you get it home? 

When we test washing machines, we wash three full loads of cottons and three more loads of synthetics to form our opinion of whether it's worth buying or you'd be better off leaving it in the shop. And we run more than 50 ease-of-use assessments to find out whether it will be a joy to live with or a nightmare on washday.

Which? is independent - we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. 

We don’t take advertising and we buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes. 

Now find and compare the best models for you with our full list of washing machines reviews.

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