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The best washing machines for modern homes

Is it time to buy a new washing machine? We can hear a collective groan. And we don’t just mean the sound of your old machine’s rusty drum trying hard to churn out one last spin cycle. We mean the groan that comes with having to buy any new appliance. We get it. It’s hard work, expensive, and hard to know if you’re buying the right thing. All washing machines look the same anyway.Don’t get yourself in a spin. We’re here to point you towards the very best washing machines available. We’ve put together a list with something for every washing need and every type of household. But first, here’s some helpful information to help you make an informed decision.

Freestanding vs integrated washing machines — which is best?

As always, it’s about what suits you best. But it’s safe to say that freestanding washing machines are the more popular and advanced models. Freestanding machines can be put anywhere in the house (at least, anywhere within reaching distance of a plug point and water supply/drain). The major plus points are that freestanding washing machines generally have bigger load capacities and are packed with more features — particularly WiFi-enabled smart features.

What smart features do washing machines offer?

Washing machines are among the many appliances that can be synced as part of your smart home (see also fridges, tumble driers, and TVs). In the simplest terms, a smart washing machine uses a WiFi connection to sync with a phone or device, allowing you to control certain functions via an app. Most manufacturers have their own dedicated apps for this purpose. Smart features include the ability to schedule cycles remotely from your phone (possibly even by voice command), keep track of washing progress, download new cycle programs, or troubleshoot maintenance issues. 

What is an integrated washing machine?

An integrated washing machine is designed to be part of a fitted kitchen — to be built actually into the kitchen units and sit behind a cupboard door, which is often attached to the machine itself. These machines are designed specifically for this, so they can’t be used as a freestanding device. They may be narrower, with a smaller plinth, to make it easier to fit within a cupboard unit. They can be slower than freestanding models, due to reduced vibrations (you don’t want the whole kitchen unit shaking) but also quieter. The major drawback is that you need to get it installed. Some retailers will install for a fee.It’s worth noting that integrated washing machines have fewer (if any) smart features. There are integrated models out there that do have smart features, but the top picks aren’t WiFi or app compatible.

Do top loading washing machines still exist?

They do, but you don’t find them often in the UK. They can be big machines that need a lot of space. They are often used for huge amounts of washing or for large laundry rooms. Due to a lack of up-to-date features, they don’t make this list. 

How much energy do washing machines use?

In this time of financial uncertainty and the cost of living crisis, the actual cost of running a washing machine is a legitimate concern. According to Heatable, based on the new energy cap price of 52p per kWh of electricity (which came into effect in October 2022), the average washing machine costs roughly £1.09 per hour. Overall costs will of course depend on how much laundry you do, and how regularly you put a load on.Still, some washing machines are more energy conscious than others. We’ve included each machine’s energy rating to help with your decision.

What is the best washing machine?

That’s a question only you can answer. Only you know how much laundry you do on a weekly basis, how many cycles you put on, or the kinds of garments that need special attention. Not to mention your lifestyle. For instance, are you the kind of person who’s always on the go and therefore needs to set schedules via your phone when you’re out and about or away from home? Either way, there’s something for you on this list.These are the best washing machines in 2022.

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