Washing Machine Buying Guide

Washing Machine Buying Guide

Washing Machine
Buying Guide

Everything you Need to Know

Everything you Need to Know

Everything you
Need to Know

Kitchens may be the heart of the home, but laundries are the engine room. Choosing the right washing machine can help keep the household running and get clean clothes back in drawers and cupboards faster. By making sure you’ve got the right type, size, features and energy rating, you’ll not only simplify this household chore, but save money, too.

Types Of Washing Machines

When deciding which type of washing machine is best for you, the first thing to consider is where your machine is going to go. You’ll need to make sure you have adequate space to open the door and load your machine, and decide whether your dryer will be placed next to it, stacked on top of it or wall-mounted above it. Once you’ve worked this out, you can start looking at the different benefits of each type of washing machine.

Front Loader

A front load washing machine has a door on the front and can be placed under benchtops. As the internal drum spins, it tumbles your clothes around and uses the natural force of gravity to drop them into water, to be washed.

“Front loaders use less water than top loaders and are more energy-efficient,” says Peter Simic, The Good Guys Buyer – Laundry. . Although they generally take longer than top loaders, you can find models with quick-wash options for lightly soiled items. Due to the washing process, they are gentler on clothes and also allow you to fit more inside the otherwise empty drum.

Because most front loaders heat water internally, they only need to be connected to a cold tap. The internal heater also allows higher washing temperatures and only heats the amount of water needed for each wash. Front loaders also have higher spin speeds than top loaders, allowing your clothes to dry faster.

Top Loader

A top load washing machine has a lid on top that hinges open to allow you to drop your clothes inside. An agitator or impeller inside the drum is used to move the clothes around in the water to wash them.

“Top loaders are faster than front loaders as the clothes are immersed in water during the whole wash cycle,” says Peter Simic. They need to be connected to a hot and cold tap for warm washes, which can be beneficial if you use solar hot water.

Although clothes can get tangled around the agitator or impeller, one of the benefits of top loaders is you can quickly add a forgotten item to the load or throw one in that’s been soaking for the spin cycle. The machine will simply pause and restart once the lid is closed again.

Dual Load Washer

A dual load washer can help cut down your overall time spent doing laundry. These front loader machines come with an additional mini washer at the bottom of the unit, allowing you to wash a small load in cold water at the same time as your main load.

“As they are taller in size, you’ll need to make sure you have enough space to accommodate it in your laundry,” says Peter Simic. On the upside, dual load washers raise the main drum and door higher off the ground, making it easier to reach inside for those who don’t want to be bending down too far on a regular basis.

Auto Dosing Washer

Are you guilty of adding a full scoop or lid of detergent to your wash, regardless of how big the load is? If so, an auto dosing washing machine can keep your detergent usage in moderation.

Auto dosing washers are front loaders that allow you to fill a reservoir with laundry detergent. The automatic dosing system then dispenses the precise amount of detergent for your wash. Not only does this save you effort by not having to add detergent to every load of clothes you put on, it also stops you from adding too much detergent to your wash and potentially damaging your machine.

Washer Dryer Combo

Get your clothes clean and dry with minimal fuss with a two-in-one washer-dryer combo. These front loaders ingeniously wash your clothes first, then dry them, all in the one machine.

Even if you usually hang your clothes on the line and only use the dryer mode occasionally, a washer-dryer combo is a great space-saving idea for smaller sized laundries.

Woman and child hugging

Size Guide

Make sure your new washing machine will fit in the space available in your laundry. It should also be an appropriate size for the number of people in your household.

Product Size

Most washing machines are 650mm deep to match your benchtops. The height will depend on the type of machine. “Standard front loaders are designed to fit under your bench, while taller dual washers will need to be placed either next to your bench or in a custom-built cabinet,” says Peter Simic.

Top loaders also need to be placed next to your bench with enough room above it to open the lid. Before making your final choice, measure up your space and make sure there’s enough room to fully open the door, above or in front, and load your machine.

Internal Capacity

The number of kilograms associated with washing machines refers to the amount of dry clothes the internal drum can hold and wash. Most machines range from 6kg to 9kg. For singles or couples, a 6kg machine will do the trick. If there are three or four of you, you’ll want a 8kg load machine. Bigger families will need a 9kg-plus washer to handle all those school uniforms.

The best way, however, to work out what size machine you need is to weigh a full load of laundry. Step on your scales with an empty basket first, then with a basket full of your biggest load of dry, dirty clothes. The difference will tell you how big your machine should be. While it might be tempting to go even bigger, remember a larger machine will likely use more energy and increase your running costs.

"A Wi-Fi enabled washing machine allows you to download an app to start or control your washing machine from anywhere. It can also tell you when a load has finished, when clothes have been left in the machine for too long, or if your machine needs a service."

Features To Look For

Handy features can help you make your final decision when it comes to buying a new washing machine.

Smart Features

A Wi-Fi enabled washing machine allows you to download an app to start or control your washing machine from anywhere. It can also tell you when a load has finished, when clothes have been left in the machine for too long, or if your machine needs a service.

Materials

Always check what the washing machine drum is made from. “While plastic and porcelain is cheaper, a stainless-steel drum is more durable and will last longer,” says Peter Simic.

Also look out for adjustable feet on your washing machine, as these can help balance your machine on uneven floors.

Wash Programs

Certain programs make doing your laundry a lot easier. They also help take care of your clothes and take the guesswork out of temperature and time settings.

  • Auto program – Determines how much washing is in the drum and sets the time accordingly
  • Quick wash – Gets lightly soiled items in and out of your machine fast.
  • Delicates – A cold and gentle wash with a low spin speed.
  • Sports wash – A shorter wash with a high spin speed suitable for active wear.
  • Steam refresh – Perfect for clothing that has been stored or only lightly worn.
  • Wool – Protects soft woollen garments with a gentle cycle at a lower temperature.
  • Eco Wash – Uses a lower temperature for everyday items to save energy.
  • Add item – Allows you to pause and add forgotten items to front loaders at any time.

Water And Energy Efficiency

Not only is saving water and energy good for the environment, it’s also good for your bank balance.

Compare water rating labels to know which machine uses the least amount of water to get your clothes sparkling clean. The more stars, the better.

Likewise, the more stars a machine gets for its energy rating, the less power it uses. It also lowers your electricity bill. Be sure to compare machines of the same size, as smaller machines generally use less energy than larger machines.

Price Range

Top loaders start at $395 and go up to $1499. Front loaders cost between $398 and $2499, while an auto dosing machine will set you back between $1049 and $4499. A washer-dryer combo ranges from $988 to $5999.

A washing machine is the centrepiece of every laundry. For a huge range of clothes washers from the best brands, including Samsung, Fisher & Paykel, LG, Simpson, Bosch, Asko and more, visit us in-store or online.

Videos About Washing Machines We Think You'll Find Helpful

Buying Guide Video

How to select the best washing machine.

Fisher & Paykel Front Load Washer

Concierge Member Tim Reviews the Fisher & Paykel 8.5kg Front Load Washer.

Bosch Front Load Washer

Concierge Member Jimmy Reviews the Bosch 8kg Front Load Washer.

Top Sellers