How to choose a washing machine

Washing machine deals
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to upgrading your washer, knowing how to choose a washing machine can make all the difference to ensure you're getting the best model for your home. 

There's a lot to consider these days, with the best top load washer or best front load washer offering plenty of cycle options and smart features. But with all the new models, it can make the buying decision more nuanced, making it difficult to find the perfect washer.  

We’ll walk you through the seven most important factors to consider when buying the best washing machine, plus expert advice on how to find the best deals for the right products.

How to choose a washing machine

LG washer

(Image credit: LG)

1. Research

Ensure you choose a washing machine that fits the bill for you and your family’s needs, and make it your mission to find a deal that closely resembles your chosen product. At Top Ten Reviews, we’ve got the latest reviews on all the best washing machines, from super-quiet models to large-capacity washers, so you can be sure you’re buying a quality product. 

When it comes to big sale events like Black Friday and Prime Day (often the best time of year to invest in a new washer), Matthew Glynn, Product Marketing Manager for Hisense UK, has sound advice for eager purchasers. 

“Ahead of Black Friday, we’d suggest doing some initial research on models and look into what key features you’d like to have on your washing machine, for example, a quick wash feature, an eco-mode, or larger capacity,” says Glynn. “When it comes to purchasing on Black Friday, stick to the budget you’ve set out, and by using your research, you’ll find the best model you can for the price you want to spend.”

Matthew Gylnn, Product Marketing Manager for Hisense UK
Matthew Glynn

Matthew Glynn is Hisense's Product Marketing Manager for white goods and appliances. Matthew has worked in a product development/management role for over 10 years and has previously worked across marketing and R&D functions with FMCG and CE. Matt focuses on the consumer arm of products at Hisense, focusing on white goods, with a passion for the products and ensuring consumers have the best experience. 

2. Washing machine type

You may fancy a change from your old freestanding washing machine and want an integrated or semi-integrated washer for a more streamlined look. Or you may prefer a top-loading option or a washer-dryer combo. 

Whatever you decide to plump for, ensure you have space for it in your home. Measure the area, ensure there is enough height and width for your chosen model, and check that your new washer will fit into your available space. Don’t forget to consider how the door will open, whether you’ll need to pay extra to have it fitted or whether you’ll be able to fit it yourself. 

3. Capacity

You may be tempted to go for a larger capacity washing machine, especially if you find a great deal. A large washing machine has many benefits for busy households. The extra capacity allows you to wash more clothes in one load, saving time, water, energy, and money. You can clear the laundry basket faster and take care of bulky items like blankets easily. Your clothes get cleaner with more room to soak and spin properly. 

One cubic foot of capacity per household member is a good rule of thumb. Standard washers are around 3-5 cubic feet, while larger families may need 5-6 cubic feet of space.

However, large washers take up more space, and you may need a bigger dryer to keep up with all that washing. You’ll also need to ensure your new appliance fits in your laundry room or kitchen. Bigger isn't always better if you usually wash small loads more frequently, so consider your household needs and washing habits before making your final decision. 

4. Noise level

Quieter washing machines usually operate under 75 decibels, allowing you to run laundry anytime without disturbing others. They’re great for households with varied schedules, babies, or home offices. The quiet operation comes from efficient motors that also use less energy, saving you money. 

However, quiet washers often cost more upfront because of the expensive anti-vibration technology that goes into them. You’ll also need to ensure it's installed properly, with enough clearance around the appliance to maximize its noise reduction features. 

So, while a smooth operation is great, it may not be as important as you think. You could get a better deal if you focus on other key features, such as a number of wash cycles, self-cleaning function, or child locks. 

White washing machine with bottles of detergent on the floor next to it.

(Image credit: Getty)

5. Energy efficiency

Going for the best washing machine deal may be tempting without considering whether a more expensive, energy-efficient washer can save you more money in the long term. However, this is an essential part of your research. Not only are energy-efficient washers better for the environment, but they will save you money on your energy and water bills.

‘“The better the energy rating on a washing machine, the more money you’ll save in the long run,” says Glynn. “You can also use specific programs on the machine, such as Eco Wash, as this combines low temperature and energy consumption best. If your machine has a large capacity, you’ll also save on energy by doing fewer loads of washing. I’d recommend this, particularly for larger households.”

When you’re doing your research, look for models that feature the Energy Star label, as these will cost less to run. Check how much energy the washer consumes, measured in kWh per load. Once you’ve worked out how many loads you do each week throughout the year, you’ll have a total kWh consumption. Multiply that by the cost per kWh from your utility bill, and you’ll have your electricity consumption. 

Next, check the water consumption per load of your preferred washer, multiply it by how many loads you’ll expect to do over a year, and then multiply that figure by the cost per gallon or cubic meter of water from your utility bill. 

Adding these two figures together and comparing them across washing machines can give you a great idea of how much more cash you could save, making a higher upfront cost more palatable. 

6. Washing habits 

You may be lusting after the latest washing machine that features dozens of washing cycles, but be honest - how many of them are you likely to use? Sure, having a delicate cycle is important, as is a heavy soil option or a wool care cycle. A speedy cycle will also get its fair share of use. But is it important to you to have a sportswear cycle or an allergy removal cycle if you’re never going to use it?

It’s worth sitting down and thinking about your current laundry habits and working out what’s important to have and what’s not. Opting for a machine with fewer cycles could suit you and your family just fine and shave a little off that upfront cost, too. 

7. Read user reviews 

Read as many user reviews of washing machines as you can before purchasing. Reviews are crucial because they offer real-world insights into performance, reliability, ease of use, efficiency, and common problems. They provide information on issues such as noise levels and customer support experiences. You’ll get an accurate reflection of overall customer satisfaction, too.  

Avoid relying on individual opinions and look at the consensus across multiple reviews, as this will give you a more reliable picture of what to expect from your product. 

Now you’re armed with the best advice on what to look for in a new washing machine. You’ll be able to find the best deals. Happy shopping!

8. Quality of deals

When the holiday sale season hits, there are always heaps of discounts and deals - particularly among all the best Black Friday deals. Retailers routinely drop their biggest and best deals on the last weekend in November, and customers can get fantastic bargains on home appliances, technology, and more.

To make sure you're finding the best Black Friday washing machine deals, it’s essential to research price trends. Some retailers inflate prices of appliances before Black Friday to make consumers think they’re getting a better deal.  

You can use price comparison sites like Honey and CamelCamelCamel to check price history and compare with other retailers. It can be a great way to find out whether the deal is as good as it looks.

Joanne Lewsley
Customer Advisor, Vacuums, Cleaning and Air Quality

Joanne Lewsley is a UK-based freelance writer and editor, covering health and lifestyle news and features. She creates evidence-based health and parenting content and has worked with some of the world’s best-known brands and websites, including BabyCentre UK and Medical News Today. 


You can read more of Joanne's work and get in touch via her website: https://www.joannelewsley.co.uk/