Top Washing Machines in 2019
Washing machines are an essential appliance in pretty much every Western home. The days of scrubbing with a washboard and bar of soap are long behind us, with almost every home having a washing machine of some description.
However, there are so many different types of washing machines and features out there that it can be a minefield trying to choose the very best one for you and your family. Fear not though, before you go to look at the very best washing machines, we look at some of the latest features and specifications.
This may sound totally obvious, but buying a washing machine that can’t fit in the space designated for it is not particularly helpful! Measure the area carefully, paying close attention to the width and height before you do anything else. You may want to leave a small gap either side to accommodate the vibration from the machine. As well as making sure it fits into a gap, you also need to check how far it extends out, particularly if you have a narrow galley kitchen – you need to be able to open the door fully. Ideally, to save on valuable space and prevent years of bumped hips, you want a machine that sits flush with your counters and other kitchen fittings. If you do have limited space, you may want to consider a top loading option. These type of machine is much more common in our American friends’ laundry rooms than over here but can be a good option if you have an issue with space.
The drum size refers to the weight of dry clothing that will fit in the machine – remember, wet clothing is a lot heavier!
This is entirely dependent on the laundry needs of you and your family. If there are only two of you, the chances of you needing a drum capacity of 10kg are slim. However, a family of six would quite possibly need the biggest capacity, which in the UK, is generally 12kg. Of course, you do not need to weigh your washing load before you put it in the machine – a general rule of thumb is if it looks full, it probably is! Clothes need space to move around in the machine, so if it is too crammed, clothes won’t be washed as effectively.
For the past few years, all washing machines have had to have an energy rating of A or higher, up to a maximum A+++. These letters correspond to a number called the Energy Efficiency Index (EEI). This measures the amount of electricity used by the machine every year, including any energy used when it is switched off or in standby modes. An A+++ washing machine should be the most efficient to run, in terms of using the least amount of water and the least amount of electric, but that does not necessarily mean it is the best at washing clothes. This is where you need to decide what is more important to you – it’s energy efficiency or its clothes washing effectiveness.
Most washing machines will offer a standard range of programs – cotton, wool, other delicate settings, mixed fabrics and synthetics, and a quick wash option, and there is usually an option for an extra spin or rinse. Some machines have settings for grubby sports clothes, baby clothes, etc., which can be useful. Most modern ones will also give you the option to change the temperature of the wash, from cool 30 washes to hot 90 washes.
If you find it difficult to fill the machine when you put a wash on, you may want to look for one with a half-load or eco setting, which automatically adjusts the amount of water that it uses. Be aware though that despite being labelled as eco-friendly, it may not give you as much flexibility with spin speed or temperature. Sometimes, it is much more economically and environmentally friendly to adjust your settings according to the wash load manually.
- Integrated or Freestanding
This wholly depends on your kitchen design. If you have a beautifully fitted kitchen, you quite possibly have or will want an integrated washing machine, hidden away in the cupboard. Otherwise, you will probably want a freestanding machine, as they can be moved and inspected much more easily. The one benefit to an integrated model is that they have a lot less vibration and are therefore less noisy than their freestanding counterparts.
Hopefully, these points will help you in choosing the best washing machines for you and your family.