Although we’ve reviewed what we consider to be some of the top performing models on the market, we’ve listed some of the most important attributes of these particular appliances just in case you’d like to do your own product research.
We all want to save energy. Conversing energy is important – both for the environment and your wallet. Happily, many appliances now have intelligent in-built systems that automatically adjust energy, water and even detergent usage, making saving those pennies a little bit easier.
They are much more energy efficient now than they used to be. If you’re in the market for a new efficient washer dryer, you should try to aim for A-rated and above. In fact, you can even buy models with sensor drying, which means they will automatically deactivate the machine when your clothes are dried – every little helps.
Modern models come with a range of different wash functions to fit the items you might need to clean, from cotton and synthetics to delicates, wool and silk. It’s a good idea to look out for ‘quick wash’ and ‘gentle wash’ functions – these will be very useful for your delicate items and for washing small loads swiftly. With a ‘quick wash and dry’ mode, you can theoretically have your washing cycle complete in just 45 minutes – although we would advise not to expect bone-dry clothes in this time.
Ah, the age-old question of size. Does it matter? Does it not? Well, it depends how much washing you have. The bigger the drum, the more washing you will be able to fit into it. How terribly predictable.
To give some context, 1 kg of drum capacity will hold about an outfit’s worth of clothes. It’s important to remember that their washing capacity is always higher than their drying capacity. So, if you’re setting it to wash and dry, you should go by the drying capacity and not overload it. Look out for appliances that will do the wash and dry cycles all in one go, so you don’t need to set the machine manually.
Faster spin = faster drying. The faster the spin, the quicker your clothes will dry, as more water is extracted. That means that on a faster spin, you can reduce the overall drying time of your laundry.
Spin speed is measured in revolutions per second, or ‘rpm’ and it usually ranges between 1000 and 1600. If being able to get your clothes dried super quickly is important to you, opt for a machine that offers a fast spin speed, around 1400 rpm or above.
We all know how annoying it can be to live with a noisy washing machine. If you need to put a wash on overnight or live in shared housing where you could disturb others, it is a good idea to look for a machine that operates at less than 50 dBA, which is around the same level of noise as a fridge. This is not always possible, so also look out for machines that have ‘brushless’ motors and sound insulation panels.
Freestanding vs. Integrated
A freestanding machine looks a lot like a typical washing machine appliance. They come with a wider choice of colours and capacities than an integrated equivalent, and they will be on show rather than hidden away.
By contrast, an integrated variant is one that is built into your kitchen or laundry room, often with a big external door that closes over the front, so it blends in with the rest of the room and is only seen when you open the cupboard to use it.