Washing Machine Buying Guide

Buying a new washing machine can be a minefield; there are so many different makes and models on the market with various features, drum sizes/load capacities, spin speeds and more.  Our straight forward buying guide will run through the key information to look out for when selecting your new washer.

The key features to consider:

  • Drum Size / Load Capacity
  • Spin Speed
  • Wash Programmes / Extra Features
  • Energy Rating
  • Reliability / Longevity


Drum Size / Load Capacity

Drum capacity varies from 5kg right up to 13kg with 7kg or 8kg being the ‘norm’ in 2019.  You should pick your drum size largely on the amount of people who use the washing machine and the size of your loads.  Although most washing machines are a standard 850mm high and 600mm wide, some of the large drum capacity models are very deep (over 600mm deep) whilst some specialist models don’t conform to the ‘standard’ dimensions.  Anything above a 9kg drum capacity means you should check the size before ordering.

Spin Speed

Spin speeds vary from 1000rpm, right up to 1600rpm with 1200 or 1400 being the ‘norm’ in 2019.  The higher the spin speed, the dryer your clothes will come out of the washing machine.

There are a couple of factors to consider here;

  • Your washing machine will only spin at maximum spin speed on some programmes, such as cotton washes
  • Clothes spun at 1400rpm on a 6kg drum will come out at a similar dampness to those spun at 1200rpm in a 8kg drum

If you don’t have a seperate dryer, then it’s probably advisable to go for a minimum of 1200 max spin speed, with 1400 being adaquate for most.

Wash Programmes

Some people will require specific wash programmes on their washing machine yet many others will be happy with the standard programmes that most new machines offer. As standard there is normally cottons, synthetics and dedicates wash programmes which will be suitable for most washes; with the added benefit that a lot of machines allow you to further reduce the temperature or spin speed – but double check if this is important to you.

Energy Ratings
Check what the energy rating of your new appliance is; the higher the energy rating the less water and energy you’ll use during each wash. Look for washing machines with at least A+ rating; some are A++ or higher.

Reliability / Longevity Reliable of your new washing machine is one of the most important factors yet most reviews won’t help you choose a reliable machine. Many customers leave positive reviews for products after using them for a week, a month or even 6 months. It is rare to see a review from a customer 5 years down the line when a true reflection of the appliance would likely be seen. At Garretts, as we operate our own field service team we are well placed to inform our customers of what are the most reliable models for each budget. If budget is of no concern, I’d be suggesting a new Miele washing machine to most of our customers; however, most of us want value – whether that value is from £200 or £1000 we still want value from our purchase. There are some common washing machine faults our engineers come across on a regular basis but it’s the bearing failures, drum or motor issues that we want to avoid as these repairs are extremely costly and will likely end in a replacement appliance. Common washing machine repairs such as replacing motor brushes are less of an issue – these parts naturally wear over time and we find that some of the more reliable Bosch machines require replacement brushes but in doing so go on to last for years more. If you’d like some help in choosing a new washing machine, get in touch via live chat, email or phone and we’d be happy to help.

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