How do you live without a washing machine? Simply put, you can’t. So, choosing the right one is no small task. Thankfully, our handy buying guide will help you choose between freestanding or integrated, and help you pick out which features or wash programmes you’re after.
Did you know? Washing machines and washer dryers are all standard heights and widths, the only measurement that varies is the depth with the size of the drum.
Do you want your washing machine or washer dryer front and centre, or do you want it neatly hidden away? Choosing the right fit will make sure it complements your kitchen or utility room perfectly.
A freestanding washing machine sits on its own, stacked or under the counter. You can place a freestanding machine anywhere there’s a connection, which means they’re great if you move house as you can just disconnect and go.
Integrated washing machines hide under your kitchen counters behind a cabinet door. They’re a great choice if you like that modern, clean look, or if you only want to see the washing machine when you have to do the laundry.
Washer dryers are a washing machine and a tumble dryer all in one, and you can get them either freestanding or integrated. They’re the perfect space saving choice, ideal for that studio apartment.
Washing machines are a standard height and width. It’s only the depth that changes depending on size of the drum.
A washing machine’s energy rating will tell you how energy efficient the model is. Ratings range from A – G, and a more efficient appliance means you’ll save more money on your energy bills. Look out for a washing machine with an energy rating of C or above, these will be some of the most energy efficient models on the market.
Spin speed refers to how many times your washing machine’s drum spins per minute. A faster spin speed will remove more water from your clothes, meaning they’ll dry quicker. You should only use a fast spin speed for synthetics and cottons, wool and delicates will need more special care.
The perfect setting for when you need to do a spot of last-minute laundry. Quick wash programmes typically tend to be 30 minutes; however, some models can wash a load in as little as 15 minutes. It’s good to know that these functions should only be used for small loads or slightly dirty items.
Washing machines can be loud, couple that with an open planned kitchen and that movie night might not be so fun. So, you’ll want to look out for a model with a quiet mark, they have special brushless motors that hardly make a peep. Check them out here.
Fuzzy logic uses clever sensors to automatically work out the weight of the wash load. With this info it will then adjust the settings used for the best, most efficient and time saving results.
Take the guess work out of laundry with Autodosing technology. It works out just the right amount of detergent based on your wash load and then automatically releases at the perfect time. This means you’ll use less detergent and get the best results.
Some washing machines use the power of steam to take care of your clothes. The hot temperatures from the steam gets rid of bacteria and freshens up your clothes. Plus, it helps stop creases, so you’ll have less ironing to do after.
Laundry from the sofa? Yeah, you heard that right. Washing machines with smart features will let you hook up your appliance to your smartphone or tablet via your WiFi and an easy to use app. This means you can check progress, adjust settings and start a wash programme all from the palm of your hand.
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From auto-dosing washing machines to models that use steam to clean your clothes, here are some of features we love.
Thinking of investing in a super-quiet washing machine? This guide covers everything you need to know.
This guide covers all you need to know about Auto Dosing, helping you choose the right model for you
This guide covers everything you need to know about washing machines with large capacities.
Learn more about Hotpoint’s brilliant ActiveCare technology
When choosing your new washing machine or washer dryer, there are a few things you should look out for. First is the fit type, do you want freestanding or integrated? They you’ll need to think about drum size and how many people you’ll be washing for. Then you’ll want to consider what programmes and features you want from standard wash settings and quick washes to more niche features, such as fuzzy logic and auto-dosing.
Most washing machines tend to have the same height and width, it’s just the depth that changes because of the different drum sizes available. Typically, the standard depth is around 60cm, the same as the average kitchen counter.
This will vary between models. Look out for a washing machine’s energy rating, this tells you how energy efficient it will be. Energy ratings range for A – G with A rated washing machines being the most economical models on the market. Sometimes a washing machines energy rating may only apply when using eco programmes, which tend to wash your clothes at a lower temperature and will take longer to complete.
The plus symbol on an energy rating means 10% more efficiency, so an A+ rated model is 10% more energy efficient than an A rated model. This means an A-40% rated model is one of the most efficient models on the market, as it’s 10% more economical than an A+++ model.
This can vary depending on the size of your model and how energy efficient it is, but on average washing machines tend to use around 50 litres of water per wash.
This can vary between models and manufacturers, but most tend to last between 15 to 30 minutes.
All the washing machines and washer dryers we have on offer are from respected and reliable manufacturers and are sold with a 1 to 10 year warranty. For extra peace of mind, take a look at our AO care package which covers you in the event of a breakdown or offers you a replacement appliance if it can't be fixed.
Look for washing machines with inverter motors. Unlike normal motors, these models use frictionless magnets instead of noisy brushes to power the machine - perfect for open plan living. They also make your washing machine more energy efficient and last longer than normal motors.
This can vary between model and manufacturer but quick wash cycles tend to be around 15 to 30 minutes long. The quickest wash cycle available is 14 minutes long. (Hoover). Take a look at our range of washing machines with quick wash here.
Take a look at our selection of great washing machines under £200.
Look for a washing machine with at least a 10kg drum size. You might also want to consider other factors such as spin speed which will make short work of your laundry load. Shop large capacity washing machines here.
Steam washing machines use a combination of water and steam to clean your clothes effectively. Look for additional features like sensors which analyse fabrics and adjust the settings to match your laundry needs.
Hand wash cycles work at low temperatures and are much more gentle in the agitation part of the cycle. They help to protect delicate fabrics like wool and silk.
Front loading washing machines tend to be better than top loading models as they give your clothes a more thorough clean, they’re more energy efficient and they usually have more wash programmes.
Direct drive washing machines use a motor to spin the drum instead of belts, chains or gearboxes. They’re more energy efficient, quieter and will last longer than standard models.
Rinse hold stops the machine from completing the programme when you're not around. It holds your laundry in water so that it doesn't crease.