Your Washing Machine Buying Guide – Everything You Need To Know!
Buying a washing machine might seem simple enough but there’s a lot of things you need to consider, it might not seem like it but washing machines come in many different types. They might look similar, in some cases, but there can be a lot of difference inside the machine.
You also need to consider other features like the total capacity of the washing machine, its speed, the energy rating, noise level and much more. So, don’t just buy the model you think looks best or the one that is on offer you need to put some serious thought into buying a washing machine.
It might sound like there’s a lot to take in but don’t worry our in-depth washing machine buying guide can help, below we’ve outlined everything you need to consider when buying a washing machine. So, read through and then take what you’ve learned to get the best washing machine possible.
The Style – Top-loaded and Front-loaded
The types and styles of washing machines are little confusing, in some cases the words are used interchangeably which can lead to more problems. But in the majority of cases, the style of washing machine refers to whether it is a front or top-loaded machine.
So, what does this mean exactly? A front-loaded washing machine is the style of machine most people in the UK will think off. There are different design approaches, but they will always have a large circular door at the front of the machine. They are generally smaller and more compact, more energy efficient on average, and they usually have more special features like steam cleaning.
However, they are usually noisier, their average wash time is longer, and they are usually more expensive. Top-loaded washing machines are very popular in the United States and while they are uncommon they are still available in the UK as well.
They are usually faster on average, less complicated and much quieter machines however they also have their downsides as well. They will usually feature less cleaning modes, are generally smaller than front-loaded machines and they may have more difficulty with stubborn stains.
The Types of Washing Machine – Integrated and Freestanding
So, we’ve looked at the styles of washing machines let’s take a look at the types instead. There’s some variation to this but in the majority of cases washing machines can be broken down into three separate types, let’s take a look at them in more detail.
Integrated washing machines are fitted into a room usually a kitchen and they are surrounded by a cupboard. They cannot be seen and will usually just look like another kitchen unit, they are very popular in modern households because they can blend in with your architecture.
However, integrated washing machines won’t spin as fast because they need to reduce their level of vibration to ensure they stay secure.
Probably the most simple and easy to install type of washing machine a freestanding unit is one that isn’t surrounded by anything. They can sometimes have lids at the top of them but in many cases, they will just stand alone as their name implies.
These kinds of washing machine aren’t seen as much these days but there are still some available, they are very similar to fully integrated models but as their name implies they aren’t fully integrated. Usually, the top of the washing machine won’t be covered while the rest will, like fully integrated models they are not designed to run as quickly as a freestanding model.
Combo Washers and Dryers
One other thing you might want to consider is a combo unit, this is a washing machine and a tumble dryer combined! It’s ideal if you don’t have a lot of space and while they can be a little more complicated and will be more expensive you are effectively getting two appliances in one. While they are useful appliances remember they can’t wash and dry clothes at the same time, which is something you could do with two separate machines.
This is going to be one of the main areas you need to think about when it comes to choosing a washing machine. After all, a washing machine could be the right type and style and have a great array of features but if its drum is too small it’s not going to be of much use is it?
That’s why you really need to think carefully about the capacity because you’ll need to ensure you can get all the laundry washed. Washing machine drums come in a wide range of different sizes from as small as 5KG to as large as 12KG. Remember the capacity of a washing machine is measured by the weight it can hold.
For the average household, a size around 7-8KG will usually be enough to comfortably manage your washing. You might be thinking that going bigger is always the best option just in case you need extra-space, right?
However, while this will ensure you’re covered it could easily lead to issues of underloading and a larger machine is an added expense as well. So, think carefully about what capacity you’ll need if you live alone or in a small house there’s usually no need to go big, but if you have a large family then the bigger machine the better.
The Spin Speed
You will likely be able to alter the spin speed on your washing machine, but different models will have different limits. Some washing machines will only be able to go 1200rpm while others may be able to as high as 1800rpm.
Higher spin speeds do mean faster drying times and less moisture but that doesn’t always mean they are going to be beneficial. If you’re washing more delicate clothing, then a lower spin speed will ensure your clothing isn’t damaged.
In older models of washing machine, you will need to ensure you don’t use higher speeds too much because it will risk damaging the belts inside the machine. If you have a more modern machine, then this will be less of a problem.
The Energy Rating
Using the energy rating as your guide will ensure you get a washing machine that is more environmentally friendly. However, it can be a little confusing because the majority of the energy ratings you’ll see will be A’s.
And an A is usually always a mark of high-performance right? While this is true it’s important that anyone buying a washing, machine knows the difference between the good and the not so good energy ratings. The three you need to know about are A, A+ and finally A++ while these are all generally good ratings the A++ rating is by far the best.
So, if you want to ensure you get the most energy efficient washing machine possible then look for the A++. This will ensure your washing machine gives off fewer emissions and a lower cost per wash, so, keep an eye out for the A++ rating.
This sounds like it will be incredibly important, doesn’t it? After all, a washing machine is all about its washing performance isn’t it? The washing performance on a washing machine is measured using a letter-graded system running from A to G.
However, due to relatively recent laws a washing machine must have an A energy rating, this means unless you’re buying an older washing machine you’re always likely to see the A energy rating on it. This is good news for you but if you are buying an older model of washing machine make sure you keep a lookout for the grading.
Wash Programs/ Functions
A washing machine is a remarkably deceptive device it might look simple, you put the clothes in and then it washes them, but they can do much more than just that! Today’s washing machines offer a wide range of wash programs and features.
Some of these you might need while others might remain forever unused but it’s highly likely you’ll find many of them useful. Unfortunately, outside some of the main ones like temperature settings many people don’t really realise what many of these extra programs and features do.
But that’s where we can help, below we’ve listed some of the main features and functions you should look out for.
This handy function allows you to delay the start and end time of a wash cycle, so you can ensure your washing isn’t left wet in your machine for too long. It’s a valuable tool for people who are out of their home a lot.
This is a valuable feature that helps get rid of tough stubborn stains and it also helps reduce creasing in clothes. It can also help get rid of unsavoury odours from clothes that are already clean, saving them a trip through the wash.
This one is pretty self-explanatory isn’t it. A quick wash cycle is perfect for lightly stained items and small loads. The time can vary from model to model but it’s usually around 15 – 20 minutes.
This wash mode is designed for cotton clothing and will usually provide a gentler wash as well.
The wash mode of choice for synthetic fabrics, if you’re unsure what counts as synthetic make sure you check the label before putting it through a wash cycle.
This wash mode is perfect for those small delicate materials and fragile pieces of clothing. Again, make sure you check the label first and it’s always a good idea not to load too many clothes into a fragile wash.
Clothes come in a wide-range of colours and this is the wash mode you’ll want to choose if you want them to look their best. Blacks, blues, reds, greens and more can usually be safely washed in this mode.
Ideal for clothes that are two contrasting colours, however, to avoid any colour running make sure you check the label.
This will change the settings on your washing machine to make it more energy efficient, this extra efficiency will come with some drawbacks though because your wash cycles will take longer.
This wash mode is perfect for gym goers, it will clean odours away and get rid of tough stains.
Bed & Bath
Bedding and bathing goods like towels can be a bit of a nightmare to wash, they are usually very thick and large items, so this wash mode may take a little longer to finish, but it will get those items cleaned.
This mode is designed to help reduce irritation for allergy sufferers and can be beneficial for allergies of all kinds including pet hair, dust, and pollen.
Spin & Drain
The spin and drain function is perfect if your washing still comes out very wet, this can happen for a wide range of reasons. So, if your washing is still very damp after a wash cycle put it through a spin and drain cycle.
Rinse & Spin
This setting is similar to the above but it’s a good way to get clothes that may still be slightly stained an extra-rinse.
The pre-wash function is a great way to give your clothes an extra soak before the main wash, this can help break down stubborn stains and will help ensure they are fully cleaned during the main wash cycle.
Washing machines can alter their temperature for different results, certain materials can be washed more thoroughly in hot or cold water.
The childproof lock will ensure children won’t be able to accidentally open your washing machine or alter the settings once a wash is being processed.
This is a new feature that’s exclusive to new Samsung models and it lets you add items you forget to a wash even if it’s already started!
You’re only going to find this feature on new smart washing machines and it allows you to control your washing machine remotely! You can do it all with an app on your phone and monitor your settings, see how much time is left and much more.
The Noise Level
The sound of a washing machine is many things to many different people, some find it soothing while others can find it very annoying. However, despite what you might have heard not all washing machines make the same noise.
Some can be pretty quiet while others can be a lot louder. In general, most washing machines will have an average noise level between 40-80 dB. Top-loaded washing machines are in general quieter as well, but there are still many quiet front-loaded models.
All washing machines, if they’re brought brand new will be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty this is usually for between one and two years as standard. However, you may be able to get that warranty extended, while no one wants to think about their washing machine breaking down it’s always a good idea to consider the warranty when buying one.
Another important area you need to consider when buying a washing machine is the machine’s installation. Sometimes the installation will be covered by the price and trust me you’ll know if they’re offering a free installation because it will be used as one of the main selling points.
Some suppliers will also offer installation, but this will be added to your bill, while some suppliers may not offer it all. While installing the average washing machine is easier than you likely think, you’ll have the instructions to refer to as well, if you’re not confident that you can manage it then you can hire a plumber or technician to do it.
So What Is The Best Washing Machine For Me?
So, we’ve reached the end of our guide and there’s a lot for you to take in I know but let’s see if we can help you answer the question you’ll find above? What really is the best washing machine for your needs?
Is it the washing machine that offers the most wash modes? The washing machine that is the quietest? Or is it the washing machine that can be fully-installed and hidden away in your kitchen? Well, the answer is it’s all that and more!
The best washing machine is the one that is right for you and the one that meets your own personal and unique requirements. So, take your time and don’t rush to make a decision, list everything you want your washing machine to have and then start searching for a machine that meets those requirements.
We hope you find our comprehensive washing machine buying guide extremely helpful. If you need any further help and advice, please contact our Repair Aid customer service team and we will be happy to assist you.
Here are some helpful tips from Repair Aid: