Best washing machine 2019: The top clothes cleaners
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There’s no way that you can live without a washing machine: it really is an essential part of modern living. Choosing the best washing machine isn’t as easy as you think: do you need certain special cleaning modes? What about a large drum? How well does a machine actually clean? These and other questions ensure that the choice is more complicated than you thin, which is where we come in.
We’ve reviewed washing machines at every budget from every major manufacturer. Our tests are the best you can find, as we actually get machines in, test them with real clothes and real stains, so that we can tell you which ones are best. Out of everything that we’ve reviewed, there are two washing machines that stand out.
For the ultimate performance and convenience, the Samsung QuickDrive WW6800 (WW80M6450PW) comes highly recommended. Cleverly, it allows you to pause a cycle mid-wash, to open a small drawer and drop in that sock you may have missed. For those on a tight budget, the Indesit MyTime EWD 81482 is a great choice, costing less than £300, yet managing to clean effectively.
How we pick the best washing machines
The only way to recommend washing machines is to test them thoroughly. We put every single machine through the same in-depth tests, which allows us to accurately compare models.
We’ve picked a range of washing machines, from a basic model that costs £249, running up to a far more feature-packed appliance at £899.
For each machine, we measure the power and water usage, which lets us accurately work out running costs and efficiency. It’s our wash tests that make our reviews stand out, giving you the confidence to buy a machine that has the cleaning power you need.
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Here’s an example ‘test stain’ strip that is placed in every washing machine we test. It features wine, blood, ketchup, coffee, fruit juice and oil – it will be placed inside every machine we test, and washed using a branded non-bio detergent.
This is what a test strip looks like after a standard cotton wash in one of our recommended washing machines. Almost all the stains are entirely removed. There’s just a hint of oil remaining, which is normal given we use a non-bio detergent.
Here’s the result from a less proficient machine, one that didn’t receive such a glowing review. The oil is almost untouched, while the wine (far left), coffee (middle) and fruit juice (second from right) are still clearly visible.
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That’s a poor result, but it’s important to know that there are cheap machines that wash well and do so efficiently. More expensive machines do typically wash better and have more features, but you don’t have to spend lots of money to get a machine that will do the job well. Some models in our list of best washing machines cost less than £300.
1. Samsung QuickDrive WW6800 (WW80M6450PW)
Incredibly low running costs, fast wash action and the ability to add washing mid-cycle make this machine stand out. Samsung QuickDrive WW80M645OPW£724.00 View Deal £345.00 View at eBay About our deals
- Excellent wash results
- Speedy washing
- Effective spin
- Brilliant AddWash door
- Low running costs
- Very, very quiet
- Variable finish time
- Two-rinse default
The Samsung QuickDrive WW6800 (WW80M6450PW) is the pinnacle of washing machine technology. QuickDrive is built in, promising fast washes with great performance. We can safely say that this washing machine washes clothes faster than its competitors, and does a brilliant job of getting stains out of clothes: on the cotton programme, we estimated saving around an hour of washing time. This makes it easier to forgive the optimistic display, which always shows a very optimistic end time for loads, and inevitably ends up increasing the run time as the machine starts running.
As with previous Samsung washing machines, this model has AddWash, so you can use the small door to add extra items (the odd missed sock or two) to the machine mid-wash. That’s more useful than you might think and saves those momements of frustration.
Throw in low running costs, app-based control and very quiet operation and the Samsung QuickDrive WW6800 (WW80M6450PW) is the ultimate washing machine.
2. Indesit MyTime EWD 81482
A great washing machine for those on a tight budget. Indesit EWD 81482£239.00 View Deal About our deals
- Speedy programmes
- Easy to use
- Fairly quiet spin
- Decent stain removal
- Good value
- Poor spin results
- Small porthole
- Cramped drum
- Poor half load eco
- Knobs can be slippy
The Indesit EWD 81482 is a budget machine that offers a relatively quiet spin, sensor load adjustment and a host of standard programs that take less than an hour to complete. While the drum is cramped for an 8kg machine, this affordable washer is great for doing sensibly sized loads while keeping your energy bills trim.
In our tests, wash results were good for a model at this price point, and our test stain strip cleaned up relatively well, even using non-bio powder. A nice touch is the LED indicator on the right side of the fascia, which tells you what stage the wash cycle the machine is at.
It’s a neat and tidy appliance that’s easy to operate, which makes it a no-brainer for those on a budget when you consider its overall washing performance and energy efficiency.
3. Blomberg LWF29441W
A great-price washing machine with tonnes of features. Blomberg LWF29441W£369.99 3 left View Deal £369.99 View at eBay About our deals
- Super-low running costs on Eco
- Excellent programme selection
- Very quiet wash and spin
- Inspiring build quality
- Top-spec inverter motor
- Not 9kg real-world capacity
- Average spin efficiency
- Non-Eco cycles are costly
Solid and inspiring build quality, a wide selection of programmes and excellent cleaning performance make the Blomberg LWF29441W one of the best machines around at the £400 price. It’s A+++ rating puts its running costs nice and low for a machine that cleans so well, and the full-load fast wash is a winner, delivering a thorough clean in just over 30 minutes.
The machine boasts a 9kg capacity, but we reckon 7.5-8kg is about the maximum realistic capacity it can handle before you have to cram in clothes, which would impact wash performance. Still, that’s a decent-sized load, and the supremely effective Eco Cottons cycle makes up for any load size misgivings.
There’s a 16-strong programme list with a great range of cycles, including a super-fast 14-minute wash to freshen up lightly soiled loads. High-quality touches include an inlet hose with a built-in mechanical safety shut-off valve to stop flooding in the event of a failure, and a high-tech inverter motor with a 10-year guarantee. Few machines offer such good build quality and features for this price.
4. Miele WDB020
The innovative CapDosing system and great build quality make this machine a winner.
- Exceptionally easy to use
- Great wash results
- Potentially amazing efficiency
- Very low water consumption
- Choice of innovative Caps
- Limited 7kg drum size
- Half loads not as efficient
- Eco cycle not the most eco
- Only average spin efficiency
- No caps supplied
The WDB020 is one of the most affordable washing machines in Miele’s appliance catalogue, with pricing starting at a reasonable £650. For your money, you get an A+++ energy rated 1400-spin machine with Miele’s innovative CapDosing system, which makes it an outright steal.
In tests, the WDB020 delivered great wash results and was wonderfully simple to use. This coupled with its stellar build quality and spectacularly good energy and water efficiency make it a great choice for small families on a budget. The 20-minute quick wash is also a godsend if you find yourself needing to do an emergency wash.
Larger families may want to look elsewhere, however – the WDB020 has a limited 7kg drum capacity. People in flats should also be aware it isn’t the quietest machine around and could lead to some complaints from neighbours one floor below.