Freestanding washing machines are the most popular option among buyers because they are easier to fit and maintain than integrated appliances. Consequently, there are a lot to choose from. Quite frankly, there are so many options that it can be difficult to even know where to start.
In this article we’ll show you what to look for in a freestanding washing machine and suggest our Top 5 highest rated machines.
Washing Machine Buyers Guide: What To Look For
When you start to shop around for washing machines you can find yourself overwhelmed with options. To make it worse, many specific functions are given different proprietary names by different brands or machine; they largely do the same job but the jargon can be confusing.
To make this simpler, here are the five things you really need to understand before making your purchase.
Energy efficiency has improved so much over the past few years that you are very unlikely to see any machines with a rating lower than A; most will have ratings ranging from A+ to A+++. More energy efficient machines mean lower electricity bills for you, though in reality, this often adds up to just a few pence per wash. The National Energy Foundation estimates that the most efficient machines result in savings of between £10-15 a year so, while it is worth being aware of, it is probably not the most important factor in your decision.
The capacity of a washing machine is measured in kg and gives you an idea of the amount of clothing that the drum can accommodate. Household machines range from 5kg to 12kg, though come in somewhere between 6kg and 9kg.
It’s worth noting here that bigger is not always better! A half-full machine is inefficient so if you regularly wash smaller loads or split your washing by category then a large drum will be overkill. On the other hand, if you have a large family or prefer to batch wash everything once or twice a week, a large drum will enable you to clean a lot of items at once.
High spin speeds help to remove excess moisture from clothes. This can be useful as it reduces drying time. However, the top speed spins are only suitable for some kinds of clothing and will not be used for delicate items so if you own a lot of delicate items (or choose gentle settings for your washes) then spin speeds will not benefit you.
Some washing machines have 20+ different wash cycles, with a hefty price tag to match. If you like to have options, the ability to choose the best setting for every type of wash is a definite bonus. In reality, many people use only a fraction of the complicated wash options available on their machines. If you are in the latter group then the number of options is less important than what they actually do.
Many of the most well-known brands are happy to stand behind their machines with a guarantee of quality. Shops sometimes offer their own extended cover in the form of insurance. A decent warranty can give you peace of mind as you know essential repairs are covered so make sure you check the small print when buying.
Top 5 Freestanding Washing Machines
Now that you know what you are looking for, let’s take a look at our Top 5 freestanding washing machines.
#1 BOSCH Serie 2 WAB28161GB (6 kg 1400 rpm)
Capacity: 6 kg
Energy Rating: A+++
Spin Speed: 1400 rpm
Hot Wash:4 hrs 30 mins
Medium Wash:4 hrs 30 mins
Quick Wash: 1 hour with SpeedPerfect
Delay Start: Yes
Dimensions: H 85cm x W 60cm x D 55cm
Our number one washing machine is from Bosch; a trusted manufacturer whose name is synonymous with quality. It has a 6kg capacity drum: more than enough for couples or small families. The spin speed is an impressive 1400 rpmand the energy rating isA+++.
8 different wash programs (including settings for Delicates and Woollens) cover nearly all of your laundry needs without over-complicating things. The settings are controlled with large buttons and a simple dial and a digital display shows you how much time is left on your wash program. However, the features which really set this machine apart from the others on this list are Bosch’s SpeedPerfect and ActiveWater.
The ActiveWatersetting automatically adjusts the amount of water needed for the wash cycle of every individual load. It saves water every time you run it, using only the amount needed to wash the load you put in the machine.
SpeedPerfectis an energy and time saving function which you can activate with several types of wash. It reduces the wash time significantly, meaning that you can get a full load of laundry washed in less than an hour. It’s the perfect solution if you have limited time on a weekend morning to complete several loads of lightly soiled washing.
#2 SAMSUNG Ecobubble WW90J5456FX (9 kg 1400 rpm)
This smart grey washing machine comes in second on our Top 5 list. Its 9kg capacity makes a good choice for large households and the 1400 rpm spin speed is also at the higher end of the average. A quick wash setting allows you to clean small loads of up to 1kg in 15 minutes.
The Samsung Ecobubble machine makes use of strong magnets to run its energy efficient and very quietDigital Inverter Motor. Among its other clever features are a unique drum, designed to prevent snagging, and powerful water jets to fully clean out the detergent drawer. The ecobubble technology referred to in the name mixes air with the water to create bubbles which are said to remove dirt more easily.
There really isn’t anything negative to say about this machine; it’s an excellent all-rounder which washes well, with a good variety of programs. It also plays a catchy little tune to signal the end of a wash! What more could you ask for?
#3 ZANUSSI ZWF81441W Washing Machine
The third spot on our list is filled by Zanussi: another reliable brand which has long since become a household name. It’s 8kg capacity, 1400 rpm spin speed and A+++ energy rating all add up to a pretty decent machine. A 30 minute washing program is available for light loads of up to 3kg, and a QuickWash option reduces regular cycles by up to 50%. The latter is especially useful as some of the pre-programmed settings are very, very long.
The ‘special feature’ of this machine is Zanussi’s AquaFall system, which helps to distribute detergent evenly and ensures that is all washed out before the cycle ends. Overall, this is a really good solid machine: it’s got a good selection of settings and washes well, with no fuss or problems. And, at under £300, it is really good value.
#4 LOGIK L914WM18 (9 kg 1400 rpm)
This LOGIK machine is another large capacity washer, with a 9kg drum which makes it perfect for big items or weekly loads. It has 16 wash programs, including Baby Care, Sports, Eco 60, and Delicates, so you get a lot of flexibility to choose the best setting for each kind of item. There is also the option to set a favourite so you can return to your preferred settings quickly and easily.
A 1400 rpm spin means less drying time and the quick wash setting is just 15 minutes for 2 kgso you can get more done in less time. With this highest possible energy rating (A+++), this machine is a good budget option for families. It even has a child lock to prevent younger family members from getting too involved in ‘helping’ with the laundry!
#5 LG FH4U2JCN2 Smart (10 kg 1400 rpm)
The final freestanding washing machine in our Top 5 is also the most expensive on the list, coming in at just under £450. However, this LG machine does live up to the price tag; it has all the basic features and several very clever added extras which make it worth consideration.
The first of these is TurboWash: a feature which cuts the time of a regular wash cycle to just 59 minutes. With an energy rating of A+++ and a 14 minute quick wash option, this machine is definitely eco-friendly (and easy on the bills). If you accidentally drop something on the way to the machine you can Pause and Addthe extra item even after the cycle has started, saving you an extra wash later.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of this futuristic machine is its smart phone compatibility. You can control it remotely from an app, monitor energy usage, and even add specialised cycles.
The drum capacity is a whopping 10kg, making this the largest machine on our list. It will even accommodate double and king size duvets, and is ideal for large and bulky wash loads. In short, this is the ideal machine for large and busy families who have plenty of washing and limited time.
Can’t make your mind up? It’s a tough one… but our article on who makes the best washing machines should help you out!