Samsung QuickDrive WW80M645OPW (11)

Ask most people to name the one home appliance that they can’t live without, and it’s bound to be the washing machine. A staple part of our everyday lives, getting the best washing machine can make it easier, faster and cheaper to keep your clothes in their best shape.

As important as each washing machine is, the fact is that people only tend to change a model when their existing model breasks, which means that most people will only upgrade at a minimum of every five years or so. In that period, technology changes fast, so keeping up-to-date with what’s available can be hard, which is where we come in.

Thanks to our test lab, we actually review washing machines, using real stains and real clothes to help you work out which ones are the best.

Samsung WW9800T (WW90T986DSH)

A fast and powerful washing machine that can be controlled via an app

Samsung WW9800T hero

Pros:

  • Very efficient
  • Excellent stain removal
  • App gives extra features
  • AddWash lets you add washing after the cycle has started

Cons:

  • Quite expensive

Why we liked the Samsung WW9800T (WW90T986DSH)

Washing machines are often full of confusing icons and programmes, making it hard to work out which cycle you’re supposed to use. The Samsung WW9800T (WW90T986DSH) makes all of that easy, using an LCD screen to show, in English, the programme you’ve selected, and any overrides (temperature, spin speed and so on) that you’ve applied. Not only does this make this washing machine super easy to use, but it gives it a neater, more futuristic look.

As well as using the control panel, the washing machine can be connected to Samsung SmartThings, which gives you full remote control, plus additional wash programmes. SmartThings is, by far, the best remote control app available, extending beyond washing machines into full-blown home control, too.

This washing machine is an AddWash model, which means you can open the drawer on the front of the machine at any point in the cycle (after pausing) and add any items that you may have accidentally left out. Then, there’s auto dosing, which lets the washing machine take the perfect amount of detergent and fabric softner for each load from the reservoir that you top up.

Excellent stain removal, even at low temperatures, compared with incredibly low running costs, make this the best overall washing machine that we’ve tested.

Read the full review

  • Samsung WW9800T (WW90T986DSH) review

Samsung WW9800T (WW90T986DSH) Technical Specs

  • Drum size: 9kg
  • Size: 600 x 850 x 600 mm
  • Spin speed: 1600rpm
  • Rated efficiency: A
  • Special wash modes: AI, Eco 40-60, Wool, Hygiene steam

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2. LG V9 F4V909BTS

A highly-efficient and powerful washing machine

LG V9 F4V909BTS

Pros:

  • Low running costs
  • Adjusts settings to match soiling
  • Hygienic steam cleaning

Cons:

  • Better for medium-sized households

Why we liked the LG V9 F4V909BTS

It might be a touch more expensive than many washing machines but the LG V9 F4V909BTS is a high-quality washing machine that more than deserves its price. A+++ rated, this is one of the most efficient washing machines that we’ve tested, and we worked out that this is one of the cheapest machines to run, provided you use its full 9kg drum load. As well as being efficient, this machine’s direct drive drum means that it’s also one of the quietest that we’ve tested, too.

Wash performance, thankfully, lives up to the rest of this washing machine, and on our 30C and 40C tests, the LG V9 F4V909BTS scored almost perfectly, cleaning away our tough stains with ease. To top it all off, there’s an app for remote control, along with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant skills.

Fast to wash, ultra-effective in its cleaning and with some of the lowest running costs that we’ve seen, the LG V9 F4V909BTS is an excellent buy and our current favourite washing machine.

Read the full review

  • LG V9 F4V909BTS review

LG V9 F4V909BTS Technical Specs

  • Drum size: 9kg
  • Size: H85 x W60 x D56cm
  • Spin speed: 1400
  • Rated efficiency: A+++ -50% (old label)
  • Special wash modes: Duvet, Allergy Care, Turbo Wash 39/59, TurboWash 39, Sports Wear, Silent Wash, Speed14, Delicate, Wool (Hand/Wool), Intensive

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3. Hoover H-Wash 500 HWB 410AMC/1-80

Hoover H-Wash 500 HWB 410AMC/1-80 hero

Pros:

  • App adds extra programmes
  • Super-quiet
  • Decent stain removal, particularly at 40ºC

Cons:

  • A little slow
  • Wi-Fi mode has to be selected to use the app

Why we liked the Hoover H-Wash 500 HWB 410AMC/1-80

With the Hoover H-Wash 500 HWB 410AMC/1-80, the company has produced a great mid-range washing machine with some powerful features, including a smart app that gives you remote control over the washing machine. You have to put the machine into Wi-Fi mode to use all of the app’s features, but once you do, you get additional wash modes and a label scanner that can help you choose the right washing cycle: great for those more delicate items.

Using the app is sometimes easier than using the main control panel, which has icons rather than text labels, making it hard to see exactly which cycle you’ve selected. If you use the dial, you’ll probably need to have the manual close by for a while.

Fortunately, the wash performance more than makes up for any initial fiddliness. Although the Hoover H-Wash 500 HWB 410AMC/1-80 is a little slow, it’s very efficient (it has an A-rating under the new standard, which is the highest possible), and it has great stain removal, particularly at 40C.

All of these combine to make the Hoover H-Wash 500 HWB 410AMC/1-80 one of the best mid-range washing machines you can currently buy.

Read the full review

Hoover H-Wash 500 HWB 410AMC/1-80 review

Hoover H-Wash 500 HWB 410AMC/1-80 Technical Specs

  • Drum size: 10kg
  • Size: 850 x 600 x 580mm
  • Spin speed: 1400rpm
  • Rated efficiency: A
  • Special wash modes: Wool, Steam, 20C

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4. Whirlpool FreshCare FWG81496W

A well-priced washing machine packed with features

Whirlpool FreshCare FWG81496W

Pros:

  • Great cleaning performance
  • Simple to use
  • Efficient with half loads
  • Easy-to-read display
  • FreshCare+ works well

Cons:

  • Higher running costs than expected
  • So-so spin performance
  • Creasing on full loads
  • Not that quiet

Why we liked the Whirlpool FreshCare FWG81496W

The Whirlpool FreshCare FWG81496W isn’t a particularly exciting washing machine, but it’s well priced and gets the basics right: it washes very well, it’s easy to use and it will comfortably handle its maximum load.

While some of its features are a little questionable, but there are some neat options. FreshCare+ helps keep your clothes smelling nice after a wash cycle by gentle tumbling them and injecting steam. This works for up to six hours, and could be handy if you start a cycle and aren’t sure when you’ll be back to unload.

Wash performance was very good, although the FWG81496W had a tendancy to twist things into a creased mess, which could make ironing a bit of a chore. Overall, then, this a solid and reliable washing machine at a good price.

Read the full review

  • Whirlpool FreshCare FWG81496W review

Whirlpool FreshCare FWG81496W Technical Specs

  • Drum size: 8kg
  • Size: 595 x 850 x 645mm
  • Spin speed: 1400rpm
  • Rated efficiency: A+++
  • Special wash modes: FreshCare+, Big Items, Delicates, Baby

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5. Hisense WFGA90141VM

Powerful washing performance and some neat features from this mid-range washer

 

Hisense WFGA90141VM 30C dirty strip

Pros:

  • Simple to use
  • You can add washing part way through cycle
  • Powerful stain removal

Cons:

  • Relatively high running costs

Why we liked the Hisense WFGA90141VM

Although the Hisense WFGA90141VM has a solid mid-range price, it has some neat features that punch above its weight. First, provided the water hasn’t been filled beyond the bottom of the door, you can open it mid-cycle and add items; it’s enough to catch the odd sock or item that has dropped on the floor. Secondly, you can use the dosing feature to have the washing machine tell you how much detergent to use, although this only suggests the amount based on the weight of the washing and doesn’t auto-dispense detergent.

What’s really important about this machine is that it’s a quality cleaner, removing most of our stains in a 30C wash; only the tough red wine stain remained, but even this had mostly gone. Impressively, this machine washes quickly, too.

B rated, the Hisense WFGA90141VM is relatively expensive to run, and a way behind the most efficient washing machines in this list; however, the low initial price makes up for this. There are no smart features, but if you want a simple-to-use, effective and well-priced washing machine, this is the one for you.

Read the full review

  • Hisense WFGA90141VM review

Hisense WFGA90141VM Technical Specs

  • Drum size: 9kg
  • Size: 600 x 850 x 610mm
  • Spin speed: 1400rpm
  • Rated efficiency: B
  • Special wash modes: Wool/Handwash, Power Wash 59′, Steam Refresh, Shirts, Allergy Shirts

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6. Bosch Serie 6 WAT286H0GB

An excellent machine for powering through washing

 

Bosch Serie 6 WAT286H0GB

Pros:

  • Interior drum light
  • Easy to use
  • Can add forgotten items mid-wash

Cons:

  • Autodosing not suitable for concentrated detergent
  • Stain-removal better on mixed load

Why we liked the Bosch Serie 6 WAT286H0GB

If you’re after a washing machine that makes it quick and simple to power through multiple loads of washing, the Bosch Serie 6 WAT286H0GB is a great choice. With its door that opens 171-degrees, the 9kg drum is easy to access and, importantly, load, even for larger items.

Then, there’s Bosch’s i-Dos system, which lets you load the machine with a load of detergent and fabric, with the washing machine choosing the right amount to use for each one. This lets you load and go withing a couple of minutes, making it a great choice for those that regularly wash. There’s also an app that helps you choose programmes and gives you the option to remote start a wash.

As with many modern washing machines, the Bosch Serie 6 WAT286H0GB is A+++ rated, making it very efficient, although a little off the pace of our top choice on this list. Washing performance was generally good at 30C, although a few stains were left behind, improving on our 40C wash. For homes where multiple loads are often pushed through a machine, this is a great and convenient choice.

Read the full review

  • Bosch Serie 6 WAT286H0GB review

Bosch Serie 6 WAT286H0GB Technical Specs

  • Drum size: 9kg,
  • Size: H84.8 x W59.8 x D59cm
  • Spin speed: 1400 rpm
  • Rated efficiency: A+++
  • Special wash modes: Down Wear, Shirts, Mixed Load, Automatic, Allergy +, Super Quick 15/30, Drum clean with reminder, rinse/spin/drain, Wool/Handwash, Delicate/Silk programme

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Best Washing Machine Round Up

  1. Best overall washing machine: Samsung WW9800T
  2. Best washing machine for low running costs: LG V9 F4V909BTS
  3. Best mid-range smart washing machine: Hoover H-Wash 500
  4. Best budget washing machine: Whirlpool FreshCare FWG81496W
  5. Best mid-range washing machine: Hisense WFGA90141VM
  6. Best washing machine for convenience: Bosch Serie 6 WAT286H0GB

How to buy the right washing machine for you

What size drum do you need?

Washing machines have different drum sizes. These are measured in kg, and tell you the maximum weight of dry washing that you can put in. The bigger the number, the larger the drum and the more washing that you can do in one load. Larger drum sizes are also useful if you want to wash more generously sized items, such as duvets. Typically, most households will find that a minimum of a 6kg drum will do for weekly washing; go for 8kg or larger if you have a lot of washing.

What spin speed do you need?

Spin speeds, measured in revolutions per minute (rpm), tell you how fast the drum spins. The faster a drum spins, the more water can be expelled from your clothes, leaving them drier when the cycle is complete. This cuts down the time that your clothes have to be hung up for, and can reduce the time needed in a tumble drier. Budget machines tend to spin slower. If you want the best performance, look for a machine rated at 1400rpm or 1600rpm.

What are efficiency ratings?

All electrical appliances have an energy certificate that tells you how efficient they are, with A+++ at the top and A at the bottom. The more efficient the machine, the lower the running costs. We work out the running costs of each machine, based on typical usage, so you can compare total running costs.

What wash modes do you need?

All washing machines will give you basic wash modes for cottons and synthetics, plus half load or eco options. If you want to clean a wider variety of clothes, look for the wash modes to match. Woolmark certification is essential if you want to wash woollen items; a silk wash is useful; and a handwash mode can save the drudgery of washing delicate items.

What temperature should I wash at?

All washing machines have a variety of temperature settings from which to choose. Our reviews demonstrate how well each mode performs, but there are some general tips:

  • Washing at the cold setting (20ºC or below) is great for lightly soiled items and reduces running costs.
  • Most normal clothing can be cleaned at 30ºC or 40ºC. A higher 60ºC wash is useful for very soiled items or to reduce bacteria, such as on towels or underwear.
  • Some machines even have a 90ºC wash, which you shouldn’t need very often, but could be handy to run as an empty cycle to keep the inside of your machine in tip-top, bacteria-free condition.

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