How to choose the best washing machine & tumble dryer for your laundry

November 30, 2023

Rain or shine, your home’s washing machine works hard. Whether you’re hot, cold, wet and muddy, most of us would agree there seems to be a never-ending pile of laundry to process. If you enjoy keeping fit, there’ll be gym kits and/or other workout clothes in the mix. Not to mention towels, bedding, table linens and anything your pet comes into close contact with.

The best washing machines and tumble dryers, however, deal effortlessly with anything and everything we throw into them. So, if your appliance is struggling to do what it’s supposed to with your laundry, it could be time for an upgrade. From affordable buys to smart investments, we have a model to suit you. Read on for Product Manager Luke’s expert recommendations.

Size matters

The first element to consider when researching the best washing machine is size. How big do you really need your appliance to be? The key criteria here is drum size, as that will decide how large each individual load can be.

Busy family households are likely to need a larger capacity (9kg) washing machine. But if you live alone, or are part of a couple, smaller models (6-7kg) should suffice.

However big (or small) your appliance, it’s important not to overload it. Depending on the cycle, there should always be enough room at the top of the drum to put your hand inside and ‘pat down’ your laundry.

Speedy spinning with the best washing machine

If you know you need an appliance that can deal with large loads, I’d recommend our WMI4001 9kg Fully Integrated Washing Machine. This extra-roomy model was designed to accommodate all the different washing needs of busy households. In addition to its size, at 1400rpm, its spin speed is high. This means it removes more water from each load, so you’ll find items should dry more quickly – always helpful when you’ve got a lot of washing to contend with.

The best washing machines also offer a range of different programmes and settings. Options for our WMI4001 include Prewashing, Speed washing, Hygiene+, Stain and Easy iron features.

There’s even a dedicated programme for silk fabrics, which incorporates a delicate drum rotation at temperatures that don’t exceed 30°C.

Energy efficiency

The UK’s cost of living crisis shows no signs of easing. Most of us know perfectly well how important it is to reduce our energy expenditure – not just because it’s better for the planet – but because it’s kinder on our pockets, too.

Energy-efficient appliances help to keep utility bills under control. That’s because the best washing machines use less water and less electricity. But how do you know what to look for? Choosing an appliance that offers a variety of different programmes, such as our WMI3001 7kg Integrated Electronic Washing Machine, should help.

This model’s compact drum size is ideal for smaller households. Its 15-minute Quick Wash programme will instantly use less water, which will be heated at a lower temperature too.

In fact, washing everything at a lower temperature will save you energy and money. This model has Rapid 45, 20°C and Eco (40-60°C) settings, all of which are excellent energy efficient options.

Energy labels explained

Energy labels aren’t what they used to be. So, if you’re relying on them to help you identify the best washing machines for your needs, you’ll need to be up-to-date with all the changes.

Today’s labels are designed to make it easier for customers to understand how energy efficient a model really is. Previously, due to advances in technology, the vast majority of appliances ended up being graded at the top end of the scale (between A++ and A+++). So, in March 2021, the energy label scale was recalibrated, resulting in a simpler A to G scale, with no + options.

A is now the most efficient product of its class. However, it’s important to understand that the new scale is much wider. So products that used to be A+++ energy class might now be a D or E. That doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t energy efficient. Subsequent changes made may even mean that current D or E appliances use less energy than a previous A+++ product.

That said, if you’re looking for a mid-sized, energy efficient option, I would recommend our WMI3006 8kg Integrated Electronic Washing Machine. Its performance credentials include a B energy label rating, a B noise class rating, and a B spin efficiency rating. Like our other models, it also offers a wide selection of programmes and settings, for optimal wash performance.

Let’s talk tumble dryers

No guide on the best washing machines would be complete without including a tumble dryer or two. I’m aware that they have a reputation for using a lot of electricity. But for households that have multiple loads of laundry to dry throughout the endless British winter, they are an invaluable addition to your kitchen appliance portfolio.

The solution is to choose an energy-efficient model with a heat pump like our TDI4001 7kg Fully Integrated Tumble Dryer. This advanced appliance incorporates a revolutionary drying technique that separates water from the warm air it generates, then pushes the air back into the drum. This method is gentle, requires less heat (and therefore less energy) to function, and helps to dry clothes faster.

A sensor monitors moisture and humidity levels, in order to finish programmes as soon as items are dry. In short, this tumble dryer uses 50% of the energy you would expect to be use in a conventional model.

The best of both worlds

Sometimes the best washing machines don’t just wash – they dry too. If your kitchen or utility room space is limited, look for a dual-function appliance like our WDI3301 Integrated Electronic Condenser Washer Dryer. This model offers a high-quality washing and drying performance for the best of both worlds.

It features 16 programmes, so you’re sure to find a function for all your different laundry needs. Tight on time? Choose the 15-minute fast wash, or the one-hour ‘wash and dry’ option. This versatile appliance is roomy too, with an 8kg washing capacity and 6kg for drying. Its extra-large 310mm diameter door even accommodates bulky items such as bedding.

Washing machine selection all sorted? Click here for more expert advice on how to choose the right refrigeration options