A washing machine is one of the most important appliances in the home, and there is such a wide range available it is worthwhile to consider what features you need before you buy. Our 5-point checklist will help.
1. Drum Capacity
The capacity of a washing machine is a simple but important consideration. The bigger the drum size, the more washing you can do at once. Drum size is based on the number of kilograms of dry clothes you can fit into the washing machine drum. As a guide, 1kg is roughly a full outfit including a pair of trousers, a top, underwear, and socks. A washing machine with a large capacity will allow you to wash less frequently, therefore cutting down on energy bills and environmental impact. Drum size can range from 5kg to 12kg. But remember bigger is not always better as washing machines work best when full, but not overloaded, so it is best to get a machine with a drum you will not struggle to fill. To help you figure out what drum size suits you, we have included the following general guide that recommends capacity sizes based on the number of people in a household:
- Single person: less than 4.4kg
- Couple without children: 5kg - 5.4kg
- Family with 2 children: 5.5kg – 5.9kg
- Family with 3-4 Children: 6kg +
2. Spin Speed
The washing machine's spin speed can range from 1000 to 1800 revolutions per minute (rpm). The faster the spin, the more moisture is extracted from the washed clothes, therefore requiring less time to dry. Lower spin speeds are required for more delicate clothing and can also help reduce creasing. In general, most machines will auto-select the spin speed depending on the programme used, some machines will also have a variable spin speed function you can select yourself.
3. Energy Rating
Washing machines are rated to let people know the energy efficiency of an appliance. The energy rating goes from A down to G (A being the most efficient),depending on the machine's electricity consumption and water usage. The lower the water and energy consumption, the more you will save on your bills. Aim to buy a washing machine with A to A+++ rating as this will help you save water and money!
4. Programmable Wash Cycles
Washing machines feature several programme options to help you get the best results from your wash. These programmes can range from a ‘quick wash’ with a 15-minute wash time to a 40-minute wash for heavily soiled items. Here are a few more useful programmes to look for:
- Economy wash: this programme uses less water, electricity and detergent for minimal running costs.
- Hand wash: this programme is used for delicate garments that need washing at a lower temperature and gentler action.
- Wool wash: this is a gentle programme for washing woollens.
- Sports wash cycle: this programme is ideal for getting sportswear clean and fresh.
5. Special Features
Washing machines are becoming more advanced with each model that is released and will have incorporated features to make washing laundry easier and more efficient. Here are some useful features that will help make laundry day easier.
- Time delay: this allows you to delay the start of the wash time. This is handy if you want the washing to be ready when you get up in the morning, taking advantage of ‘off peak’ hours or ready for when you get home from work.
- Pre-wash: this is ideal for more soiled items that may need to be pre-treated before washing.
- Time remaining display: this will show you how long is left till the end of the wash.
- Variable temperature control: this will allow you to set the temperature an item is washed.
- Automatic lock function: this prevents the door from opening during a wash, ideal if you have kids!
- Fussy logic: this technology monitors a wash and automatically makes adjustments for a high-performance cleaning.
Now you know what to look for in a washing machine, head down to your nearest Topline store to see a wide range of washing machines.