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Washing Machine Buying Guide

What is the Best Washing Machine to Buy

Washing machines are essential home appliances, but buying the right one for your household can be tricky. The market is full of washing machines with advanced features and new innovations, making it hard to know which one is right for you.

A high-quality washing machine will last you a long time, so it’s important to choose wisely. If you’re wondering which washing machine is the best for you, we’ve put together this washing machine buying guide to help you find a washing machine that not only works to your needs but saves you money in the long run!

How to Buy a Washing Machine

There are a few things to consider when buying a washing machine. For instance, you should ask yourself: is it energy efficient? What size capacity do you need? Are front loader washing machines better than top loaders?

When shopping for your new washing machine, keep in mind that all models have their advantages and disadvantages. To find the right washing machine for you, read our tips and tricks on what to look for and consider.

Types of Washing Machines

The first step is narrowing down which type of washing machine you’re after, whether it’s a front loader, top loader or washer dryer. What you decide should depend on your budget, the size of your space, your physical mobility and your washing preference. If you’re wondering which washing machine is the best, we’ll break down the pros and cons of each.

Top Loader 

Top loader washing machines have been a staple in Australian households for decades. Generally, top loading washing machines are cheaper to buy, are more lightweight and wash faster than front-loaders. They’re also ideal for washing larger items like quilts. On the flip side, top loaders use more water and can be harsher on clothes.

Some top loaders come with a central agitator, which can cause tangling or twisting for certain types of clothing. This makes them not ideal for delicate fabrics. However, many modern top loading machines feature an impeller mechanism which can help prevent this.

Advantages

  • Affordable
  • Easy to load
  • Faster wash cycles

Disadvantages

  • Higher water and energy consumption
  • Less cleaning efficiency
  • Potential for tangling
  • Not stackable
  • Agitator limitations

Shop top loaders here.

Front Loader 

Front loaders cost a little more than top loaders, but they generally perform better and use less water and energy. They are gentler on clothes due to their tumbling action, which reduces wear and tear over time.

Front loaders are also stackable, which is useful for smaller spaces.

Advantages

  • Energy and water efficient
  • Efficient cleaning performance
  • Space-saving and stackable
  • Gentler on clothes
  • Better spin speeds

Disadvantages

  • Higher initial costs
  • Bending for loading and unloading
  • Potential odour issues if not regularly cleaned

Shop front loaders here.

Washer Dryers

Washer dryers combine the functionality of a washing machine and a dryer in one appliance, saving you a heap of space. They’re convenient but do come with a few drawbacks.

Washer dryers often have a small capacity for drying compared to clothes dryers dedicated to only drying, and cycle times are usually longer than using separate machines.

Washer dryers are ideal for small spaces and are a great choice if you’re looking for convenience.

Advantages

  • Two-in-one design
  • Space saving
  • Convenient
  • Suitable for small spaces

Disadvantages

  • Limited capacity
  • Longer cycle times
  • Potentially less efficient
  • Higher repair and maintenance costs

Shop washer dryers here.

What to Consider When Buying a Washing Machine

Buying a washing machine is a significant investment, and it’s important to choose one suitable for you. From the size to the drum material, we’ll run through key factors to consider when buying a washing machine.

Capacity

If you’re asking yourself, ‘what size washing machine do I need?’, we’ve got you covered. When choosing the size of your washing machine, consider the size of the household and the amount of laundry you do on a regular basis. Washing machines are available in various capacities, from around 5kg to over 18kg. Larger machines are great for big households and washing bulky items, like quilts and other bedding–but a large washing machine is not a necessity. Most of us only wash approximately a full laundry basket at a time, which is around 3.5kg. If you want to be sure, weigh your next load of washing to figure out what capacity you need.

Cycle Time

Generally, top loaders offer faster wash cycles than top loaders. If you prefer front loaders, look for a model with a ‘quick wash’ program.

Laundry Space

The size of your laundry is an important consideration. If you’re looking to save space, a front loader may be a good option for you. You can stack your dryer or keep your laundry essentials on top of your front loader.

Energy Efficiency

Look for a washing machine with a high energy rating to save money in the long run. When shopping for washing machines, make sure to look at the Energy Rating level–the higher the number, the better. The label also provides an estimate of the annual energy consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh) based on average usage patterns.

Generally, front loading machines are known to consume less energy and water compared to top loaders.

Water Efficiency

Make sure to check the water efficiency rating on the washing machine. This rating is based on the water consumption per kilogram of laundry and provides an estimate of the annual water consumption in litres based on average usage patterns. Washing machines with a higher rating use less water and are therefore more water-efficient.

Tub or Drum Material

Before you purchase your new washing machine, make sure to consider the material of the tub or drum.

The tub or drum refers to the part of the machine where your clothes are loaded into and washed. Commonly materials include:

  • Stainless Steel is durable, rust-resistant and can withstand high temperatures and harsh chemicals. It is also less likely to chip or crack compared to other materials like plastic and porcelain-coated steel. Washing machines with stainless steel drums tend to be more pricey, but they also last longer and wash efficiently.
  • Porcelain-Coated Steel is durable, scratch-resistant, affordable and can withstand high temperatures. On the other hand, it is prone to chipping and cracking over time, which can affect your machine’s performance.
  • Plastic tends to be less expensive and lighter in weight. It’s resistant to rust and can withstand high temperatures, but prone to cracking and breaking compared to steel. Plastic drums are commonly used in smaller washing machines.
  • Ceramics is a newer material used for washing machines. It’s scratch-resistant, durable, and offers efficient washing performance. However, washing machines with ceramic drums tend to be more expensive compared to other materials.

Spin Speed

When looking for a washing machine to buy, go for a higher spin speed. This means the washing machine will extract more water from your clothes, reducing drying time overall. Look for a machine with a spin speed of at least 1000 RPM.

Wash Programs and Features

Look for washing machines with wash programs and features that allow you to customise the wash cycle. Common programs include normal, delicate, heavy-duty, quick wash, eco and more. Look for additional features such as adjustable spin speed, temperature control, steam cleaning, pet hair removal and allergy programs, depending on your needs.

Choosing a setting based on your load of laundry can help you save energy, water and time, and also protect delicate clothes from damage.

Noise and Vibration

If you need to keep noise to a minimum, look for machines equipped with noise reduction technology and vibration control.

Durability 

Before buying your new washing machine, research the brand’s reputation for durability and reliability. Read customer reviews and check the warranty to make sure you’re protected.

The Bottom Line

By carefully considering your needs, comparing different models, and considering important factors, you can find a washing machine that suits you and will last for years to come. With the right washing machine, you can enjoy cleaner clothes and lower costs in the long run!

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