With the average washing machine lasting 7 years, the need to replace comes around pretty quickly. Regardless if it’s broken or you’re simply looking to upgrade, buying a new machine isn’t cheap and there are a LOT of features to think about.
Check out our TOP 5 factors to consider when buying a new machine below… but first, a quick word about freestanding or integrated…
Freestanding washing machines
A freestanding machine is a popular choice here in the UK. It does not hide away in a cupboard but sits loud and proud for all to see.
- Can go anywhere there is a drainage and power
- Huge variety of choice
- Cheaper, with more features for the same price as a basic integrated
- Larger drum size
- Easier to replace and can move house with you
- Remains visible, so may not suit the style of your kitchen
- Bigger dimensions mean it will stick out from your run of cupboards.
Built in washing machines
An integrated (built-in) machine fits between your kitchen cabinets, with a door on the front to blend in with the rest of your kitchen. (N.B. always check you have enough space for your waste water pipe when choosing this option).
- Fits in with your kitchen design (hidden behind a door)
- Doesn’t stick out beyond the line of your cupboards
- Makes less noise (because of the door).
- More expensive
- Smaller drum sizes
- Less choice
- Cupboard door may need fixing/replacing from shaking and moisture
- Will need proper fitting
- Can’t bring it with you if you move house.
So once you’ve chosen your type… what should you think about next?
TOP 5 points to consider when buying a new washing machine
1. Drum sizeThink long and hard about the size of your laundry loads or how often you are washing because this will influence what size drum you need.
For example, if your current machine has a small 6kg drum but you are running it many times a day… choose a 10kg or larger drum which will allow you to combine your loads into one.
The fewer times you need to run your machine - the more you will save in terms of money, energy and water… AND the longer your machine will last.
A 6kg drum will fit a single duvet, a 7-9kg drum will fit a double duvet and a 10kg+ drum will fit a king size duvet.
2. Spin speedThis is important. You want both high and low speeds.
High spin speeds remove more water from your laundry which means it dries faster - so there’s less hanging on the line and no need for help with the drying (i.e. you can ditch the tumble and save money!).
Low spin speeds are necessary for delicate fabric washes. Too fast a spin and you’ll damage sensitive fibres that require special care.
Opt for a machine with a good range of spin speeds and a maximum of between 1200 to 1600 RPM (revolutions per minute).
3. Energy consumption
The more electricity your machine uses, the higher your bills and carbon footprint. So less is definitely more!
Study the energy rating on each machine and this will tell you how efficient it is.
Ratings run from A (the most efficient) to G (the least efficient) so opt for a model that has a rating of C or above.
Washing machines can make a lot of noise, especially during a spin cycle so remember to check out the noise level numbers.
The higher the decibels (dB) the louder the noise. And tiny increases in the number has a BIG impact. If a machine is 60dB - don’t think 30dB is half as loud. 50dB is half as loud! So each increase is a LOT of extra noise.
If sound is an issue - look for machines with ‘quiet technology’ and vibration reduction. They have special brushless motors that make far less noise.
5. Cycles and settings
More cycles and settings may seem like a good thing but don’t get persuaded by options you don’t need and won’t use.
Make sure there’s an eco setting so you can use less water and energy (and save money).
If you need extra sanitization for health reasons - look out for a steam option.
And if you’ve got sensitive skin then extra rinse programs may well be useful.
And once you’ve chosen your new machine - head to our wash-o-meter and discover all the hidden costs of your laundry. You might be surprised how much you could save with just a few simple adjustments to your laundry routines!