The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Washing Machine

As you’ll agree, a tonne of thought needs to go into choosing a washing machine for the home and family. You have to consider everything from your budget through to the number of loads you’ll be washing each week as well as safety features for the kids and pets.

If you’ve taken a look online for a washing machine, you’ll know that there are countless models to choose from, all with their own suite of features. There’s also a range of different ‘standard’ designs to choose from too, like front and top loaders, for example.

That said, in this article we’ll take a look at everything that goes into a washing machine and what you need to consider to get the best washing machine in Australia — without breaking the bank.

All that said, let’s take a look below at some essentials you need to know and how to choose the best washing machine.

How We Chose the Best

Right off the top, we’ll take a look at what went into our selection process and what we considered the must-have features that made a washing machine the best.

One of the key considerations was user-friendly design features. We wanted to place the usability at the top of our list, in that we believe it was vital for our readers to simply be able to start using their machines without going through a major learning curve.

On top of this usability, we also considered the standard designs and chose the models with a loader type that was most common. This was down to the fact we wanted to categorise our machine models by how easy it was to find washing liquid and other essentials for the machine.

To end our selection process we also considered added features, ease of use and the ability to thoroughly wash garments without issue.

That said, let’s take a look below at our comprehensive list of what you should consider when choosing the best washing machine, and why taking all of these aspects into consideration is essential to get you a machine that will last for years to come.

How to Choose the Best Washing Machine

Below we’ve outlined all of the essentials you absolutely must take into consideration when investing in a new washing machine. All of these aspects will ensure you’re getting a machine that’s long-lasting, easy to use and going to get you through your week’s laundry with ease.

Take a look below.

The Machine’s Capacity

Right off the top, you’ll want to consider how large your machine will need to be, based on your standard amount of laundry or the size of your family. A lot of machines do come in sizes all the way down to 5kg and sometimes even smaller, which is okay if you’re a single person household, however, if you have a partner and children, you’ll want to choose something that offers around 8kg up to 18kg if you wash a lot of sheets and other clothing items on a weekly basis.

We suggest the larger washers for the families that have four or more members, and the medium sized ones for single and couples. You’ll always want more machine capacity than not enough, so go a little bigger than what you think you’ll need.

To end, the machine you choose should have a large enough capacity to make your laundry days as simple as possible. If the capacity is too low to get everything done in one or two washes, then we suggest going up a size.

The Machine Material or Drum Material

One of the next big considerations is typically overlooked.

When you choose a washing machine you want the tub to be as strong as possible and also designed with your use case in mind. There are a few options out there that generally come in either stainless steel, plastic or enamel — all of which have their own perks.

The more affordable models will be plastic, of course, and these are generally a little weaker and more prone to damage and cracking after years of use. That in mind, if you’re looking for a durable machine that’s going to last for years to come, we certainly stand by the stainless and ceramic options.

When it comes to the drum material’s effect on your washing, it’s good to note that the drum quality will dictate the power of the machine. The plastic drums, for example, are only integrated into machines with rather powerless spin and wash cycles to prevent cracking and damage.

To end, enamel barrels or drums will also be more prone to corroding than stainless and plastic, so these models may not be the best choice for you.

The Laundry’s Storage Space and Machine Size

A consideration that’s rather a given is that you’ll need to factor in is the size of the area you’re storing the machine.

You don’t want to invest in something quite large, tall or wide only to find that it won’t fit in the laundry correctly. That in mind, we do suggest using a measuring tape or the iOS Augmented Reality ‘Measure’ app to measure the area in the bathroom’s washing machine alcove to ensure you’re getting something that fits the room.

It’s also a good idea to consider whether you’re going to be getting a front or top loader here too — as you’ll need to make sure that there’s space above or beside the machine for when it comes to actually opening it for the clothes.

To end, if you’re considering buying a dryer too, make sure there’s space above the machine to sit the dryer on top. If not, consider a two-in-one model.

The Wash Cycle Power

One huge consideration we beg you to keep in mind is the speed of the wash cycles.

We’ve all been on the wrong end of the countdown once in a while, waiting for our clothes to wash and dry in time for an event, and if you’re investing in a new machine today you can prevent this from happening ever again.

Look for machines that boast faster wash and dry cycles and you’ll be on your way to remedying this.

It’s good to note that a lot of machines do have built-in ‘Fast Wash’ features, though it’s also important to remember that these models are a lot louder than normal. If you have a laundry close to a child’s bedroom, for example, this may or may not influence your decision.

As a general rule of thumb, your top loader models will be a little slower than the front loaders, so if you’re looking for fast, clean and ready to go in no time, a front loader is for you.

Silent or Quiet Operation

Another consideration that goes hand in hand with the fast wash setting is the operation noise.

A lot of machines nowadays do have options for silent operation or at least night-wash modes that ensure the machine runs near-silently during the night. If this is something that interests you, or you’re looking to do your laundry primarily at night, then be sure to consider this.

These models of machines do often wash a lot slower when this feature is enabled, however, it is designed for use at night — so taking a little longer won’t matter too much.

To add, a silent or quiet wash setting is also key to having an event or watching a movie at home without interruption.

Mains Water Connections

When it comes to your laundry, there are some hardware features to consider too.

Almost all modern homes will have both a cold and a hot tap for the machine to hook up to, however, older homes won’t always have this.

If you’re looking for a new machine and only have a cold tap on offer in the laundry, be sure to triple check this on the machine. A lot of washers will simply not work without a hot and cold water inlet working in conjunction, so you’ll be stuck with a machine that simply doesn’t work until you exchange it with something else.

A lot of front loaders do have built-in heaters however, which means you might be able to get a machine that works with a cold-only inlet and leave the machine to do the warming on its own. Keep in mind that this might have an impact on your electricity bill though.

User-friendly Operation

As we mentioned at the start of the article, user-friendliness is paramount when it comes to a washing machine.

With a lot of machines today coming with upwards of 50 features, you want to make sure that all of these features are implemented in a way you can actually use. Models coming from Samsung, LG and Miele are fantastic at keeping their machine feature selections easy to use, though some smaller brands have trouble taking the complexity out.

That in mind, when you’re in store or shopping online, make sure to take a look at how these features are implemented and read up a little on how reviewers like these machines.

If you’re finding that a high-end or luxury model’s features are poorly implemented and there are just too many wash options to make use of, then you’re better off looking at something else. 

Child Safety Features

As you might already know, in years past, kids loved to hangout and hide in the washing machine when it came to games like hide and go seek. This, is a big no-no.

To combat this we highly suggest you invest in a model with a child lock or any other similar safety features that keep the machine locked when not in use, and also when it is in operation too. You’ll often be able to unlock the machine with just a few extra taps on the display, and it’s certainly worth having this feature to prevent injury or issues with the kids opening the door during a wash cycle.

To end, it’s also a good idea to have the door left open when you’re not using the machine which will prevent mildew and other bacteria from building up in the machine, and you’ll want to make sure that the kids can’t lock their siblings in the machine.

The Most Popular Types of Machines

As we outlined briefly above, there are a few different types of washing machines out there that offer different washing cycles and features.

You’ll always want to consider the type of the machine over the brand, and this is down to the fact that the features offered may or may not make your laundry day a lot harder or easier. If you’re someone who needs a machine that only partially washes clothes, and you’d rather take care of the drying or spin cycle on your own (with delicates for example) then you’ll be better off choosing semi-auto models.

On the other end of the spectrum, the full-automatic models are the set and forget machines to take care of the washing.

To end, there are the fully-automatic two-in-one models that take care of all washing and drying in one swoop, making it easier than ever to get a week’s worth of washing done.

That said, let’s have a look below at the popular types of washing machines and which models are best for you.

The Semi-Auto Washing Machines

These are the machines that will be your most affordable options, and they’re often the best washing machine for those who would like to get a little more hands-on with the laundry.

The design of these machines is rather old-school and you’ll find that they incorporate a dual-tub design, which means you’ll place your launder in the main barrel and have it washed, and when it comes to drying, you’ll move them to the second tub to do this part on your own.

Although these may seem a little counterintuitive and complicated to some, they are actually fantastic washing machines for those who would like to ensure they’re not damaging delicate clothing or knits with a harsh spin cycle.

All you’ll need to do for this to work is take care of the water and laundry liquid process along with the dryer and ‘spinning’ and you’re all set. In some cases, you’ll also find that these machines don’t come with an auto-drain feature either, so you’ll have to manually take care of this too.

To end, for the older users, this machine type will be a little difficult to make use of in that there’s a lot of ‘elbow grease’ required to get it all to work, though it’s the best washing machine type for those who want an affordable and are manual experience.

The Full Auto Washing Machines

The machine that you’ve likely already got in your laundry, is the fully automatic washing machine and these are the most effortless of all the machines out there.

These are, of course, the more expensive of the two, though when it comes to not having to do anything at all on laundry day other than load the machine and press start, there’s nothing that comes close.

As you’d expect, just about everything happens in the one barrel and if you’ve chosen a wash and dryer combo, everything from washing and drying happens here too — with absolutely no intervention from you at all.

The water is taken care of as well, as is the warmness or coolness level of the water and the washing liquid is slowly added to your clothing from the dispenser so there’s a steady flow of laundry liquid preventing over-sudsing and other issues.

In all, this is the easiest machine type on the list – though it will use a little more power and water than the semi-auto models. If this is an issue, or you live in a location with a poor power source, such as solar and batteries for example, this might not be the option for you.

The Front and Top Loaders

Where things get a little more tricky is in choosing between a top and front loader.

If you’re new to the washing machine world, both of these options seem just as good as one another, and in a sense, they are. However, a lot of manufacturers have departed from the top loader design and begun to focus all their energy and feature offerings into their front loader models.

That being said, there are a few perks between the two and we’ll take a look at these below.

The Top Load Machines

As is outlined in the name, the top loader machines are designed with a lid on the top of the machine and a vertically standing barrel. You’ll open the lid and drop your clothes in the top of the machine and leave it to do its thing.

Where this becomes a perk is in that it’s a little easier to get your clothes in the machine when standing and just throwing them all in the machine.

There aren’t too many other features that come from a top loader other than this convenience, and that being said, if you’re an older person or simply don’t want to deal with bending down to a front loader, this might be a model for you.

For non-laundry related perks, you can usually find these types of machines priced a whole lot more affordably than the front loaders. These are designed in a way that’s a little less intuitive with regards to feature set, so a lot of manufacturers price them a lot lower.

There’s also the perk of using a little less power and being able to open the lid at any time without worrying about the machine pouring water all over the floor. You can simply add some new clothes to the machine as you please.

The Front Load Machines

We would argue that these machines are the ultimate in the washing machine world and are certainly our top pick when it comes to choosing a washing machine that offers ease of use, style and convenience in the home.

As we mentioned, the front loaders are where a lot of manufacturers are focusing their feature efforts, which means you can find a tonne more features here when compared to front loaders, and that’s excellent news for those who are already interested in a front loader.

One thing to keep in mind is that because of these features and extra engineering, front loaders are a little more costly.

When it comes to use, the front loaders have a drum that’s designed to sit horizontally inside the machine and that will mean you’re left to fill the machine from the side. You will need to kneel down a little to do this.

That in mind, front loaders can simply fill a little of the barrel with water and get a good wash with far less water than the top loaders – which have to fill up almost the entire drum. That said, if you’re looking to save water, a front loader is for you.

It’s also good to note that front loaders can be a lot more delicate by design, which means you’re getting the security that your fragile clothes are able to be washed without the risk of damaging or tearing them.

A few minor cons do exist in the much-loved front loader however, and that is the fact you can’t add clothes when the wash has started and you’ll also always be expected to kneel down to the loader.

All in all, the front loaders are our top choice and the best of the best when it comes to machines, and they’re also more feature-packed than just about anything else out there.

Washing Machine Features to Consider

As we move into the 2020s, more and more advanced technologies are making their way into our washing machines as simple standard features. We highly suggest you take these on board and consider them when buying a new washing machine this year.

A few of the best washing machine features to consider are outlined below.

Automatic Weight Distribution Correction

If you’ve been washing your own clothes for years, you’ll know how much of a pain it is to hear that awful error tone and have to go and correct your clothes in the washing machine.

When it comes to doing the laundry, your washing machine will need to have the clothes evenly distributed, so you’ll have to make sure that everything is as even as possible when you’re loading the machine — though this isn’t always possible.

Washing machines now have the ability to monitor the weight and location of your clothes inside the barrel and use auto-adjustment technology to change the balance of the barrel and move your clothes around inside of it. This works to redistribute your clothes and keep things from stopping mid-way with an error tone.

This is an excellent feature for those who truly want to set and forget their washing and simply move on with the day.

Intelligent Garment Detection

One other incredible feature slowly becoming mainstream is the use of intelligence in the washing machine to detect garment types and wash these based upon what their delicateness requirements are.

These machines will take the washing mode into their own hands and use their knowledge of your clothing types to control washing time, the washing intensity as well as the amount of detergent and water needed to get a good wash, and a safe experience for these clothes.

In short, these machines work as your perfect partner in the laundry to keep your clothes clean and also free from rips and tears.

Fast Wash Settings

Another integral feature that a good majority of washing machines do have is the fast wash feature, which we’re going to say is an essential to have.

You don’t want to be stuck sitting for hours for a load of washing to finish when you have an event to get to, or if there’s a clothing item in the machine that you’re wearing to said event!

That in mind, there are machines that offer quick wash features that can wash all of your clothes within a 30 to 45 minutes time frame and have them just as clean and fresh as they would if they were in a full cycle wash.

Adaptable and Customisable Spin Speeds

In line with fast-wash features, the spin speeds are also a good feature to look for.

If you’re choosing a machine that gives you the chance to reduce the amount of water used per-wash, you’ll also find that the spin speeds don’t have to be as hectic.

That in mind, most washing machines do have spin speeds that you can adjust on your own, and this is great for reducing the time spent waiting for the machine to finish and to also keep on top of your delicates that may not be strong enough to have a 1400RPM spin in the machine.

That in mind, if you want to increase your spin speed and decrease drying time, you’ll also be able to do this with adjustable spin speeds too. No one likes waiting for soaking clothes to dry on the clothes line, so having the ability to dry them further in the machine is a major perk.

Double Rinse Features

As we’re sure you’ll agree, sometimes washing detergents can be incredibly potent and don’t leave your garments after a wash cycle.

This is where your extra rinse and double rinse features come in handy. You’ll be able to rely on your washing machine to rinse your clothes a few times before it moves on to the spin cycle you can be sure that there’s not too much of that detergent smell leftover.

It’s also good to keep in mind that this feature is ideal for those who might have sensitivities to the detergent. You won’t have any issue getting all of the detergent and its residue out of the clothing with a double or triple rinse.

That said, it’ll be simpler than ever to keep your skin free from irritation with a double rinse feature.

Wash-start Delay Options

If you’re a parent, you’ll know that dirt and mud stains can be almost impossible to get out in the wash — and that’s where a start delay comes in handy.

You’ll be able to load your machine and detergent and choose a delay time that works best for you, and you’ll see the clothes simply sitting, soaking in the machine for up to an hour or sometimes longer before the machine starts washing.

This is key to getting stains and other marks out of clothing and it requires quite literally no extra work at all.

We suggest spraying these clothes with stain remover before throwing them in the machine and letting it sit idle for an hour or so and you’re not going to see any stains in your clothes or the little one’s clothes again.

Built-in Water Heaters

As we mentioned above, this is a great perk for those without a hot and cold tap in the laundry, though there are a few other key perks that come from this.

If you’re looking for a machine that has the ability to tightly control how warm the water is in the machine, for garment protection and reducing the risk of shrinking clothing, then the built in heater is a must-have feature for you.

On top of this, it’s also an essential for those homes which don’t have a hot water tap in the laundry. You won’t have to worry about being stuck on an all-cold wash here and that’s a great perk you can’t afford to miss out on.

Keep in mind that a lot of our clothes do need different temperatures to be washed correctly, and with a built-in water heater you can wash delicates and activewear effectively, without worrying about damaging the fabrics. 

Automatic Water Filters

In line with a lot of the other automation you’ll find in modern washing machines, automatic filtration is also a must-have feature for us.

As you’ll know, dirty clothes can sometimes leave a tonne of grime and even lint in the washing machine’s barrel after you’ve finished washing them and this will be redistributed back into the clothes you wash in the next cycle.

A lot of older machines did feature a rather archaic barrel wrap filter that stopped larger particles, however, full-fledged filters are now making an appearance and we’re standing by these as the most ideal feature for you and your machine.

These filters will capture and hold on to this debris and move them to a small canister for you to replace and wash out after every few loads. 

Crease Protection and Wrinkle Removal

Depending on whether you’re getting a two-in-one machine, these machines can offer wrinkle removal and crease protection features that take out a lot of the work when it comes to drying out and ironing your clothes.

These features will essentially give your clothes the chances to rinse and ‘hold’ as they are spun dry which gives your garments the ability to sit and rinse and then spin without any major creases or wrinkles appearing.

That in mind, in a lot of cases you won’t need to iron your clothing at all after they’ve finished washing, though this cycle can sometimes take a little longer than the standard option.

A Few of Our Best Washing Machines

With all of the above said, it can still be essentially impossible to know which washing machine to choose.

We did our best to outline all of the essential features you need to consider in a washing machine, however, a lot of models come with all of these features and more — so we’ve outlined a few of the best washing machines in Australia below to help you choose a little easier.

Let’s take a look at the best washing machines on the market today.

The 8KG Front Loader from Bosch — WAW28460AU

At the top of our list is the Bosch Front Loader that comes with all of the wash settings we mentioned above, a fantastic build quality and plenty of other added features that make getting the laundry done as effortless as possible.

This model is, of course a Bosch, and that means you’re getting quality from the outset.

The maximum capacity is 8KG which makes it an ideal model for families looking to get their weekly washing done in just one or two loads. Keep in mind that there are a tonne of perks here for families too, which means you’re finding a silent operation option in this machine, great for those times you need to wash the clothes during nap times.

Our favourite feature of the Bosch is the machine’s energy efficiency and the 14 washing options coming into play here. That in mind, you’re doing your washing, using as little power as possible and finding a spin RPM of 1,400 which means getting clothes as dry as possible before you switch to the dryer as easily as possible.

In all, this is our top choice washing machine for families of four to five.

Top Features

An 8KG Barrel Capacity

Weight Sensing Features

A 5-star Energy Rating

An Eco Mode

Delay Start and Finish Settings

A 1,400RPM Spin Speed

Quiet Settings

Up to 14 Wash Settings

The 8.5KG Front Loader by Fisher and Paykel — WH8560P2

A little larger than the Bosch above, this washer is a front loader that has a tonne of features and 13 washing settings.

This is our favourite machine for those who need just a little extra barrel space for those times when the washing has built up a little too much, or when it’s time to wash the whole family’s clothes.

You’ll find that this machine is also an energy saver, which means you’re going a little lighter on your energy use and saving power while washing each week.

Like most machines, there’s a spin cycle speed of up to 1,400 to choose from, which means keeping the clothes as dry as possible before hanging them out is as easy as touching the custom spin button.

There’s also a delayed start option here too, which makes soaking and getting a hold of those stains a lot easier than on most other models. To end, there’s also a 2-year warranty for the machine, which means you’re going to be covered should anything go wrong early in the washing machine’s life.

Top Features

An 8.5KG Capacity

A 4-star Energy Certification

Spin Cycle up to 1,400RPM

Delayed Start Options

A 2-year Warranty

Up to 13 Wash Settings

The 8.5KG BubbleWash Steam Front Loader by Samsung — WW85J54E0IW

Coming from Samsung, this machine is one of the most well-designed and intuitive washing machines on the market today and comes with an ideal 14 wash settings and plenty of barrel space with a supported load of up to 8.5KG.

You’ll find that this machine is by far the easiest to use, even with all of the features, and reviewers online have touted just how easy it is to make use of all the settings when you need them.

There’s a fast wash setting here as well as child lock features and energy ratings putting the machine at 4.5 stars for both electricity and water, so you’re saving on your energy bills when compared to older, less efficient washing machines.

A built-in smartphone integration app is also included here which means you’re even able to check in on what the washing machine is doing when you’re out and about and away from the house.

Top Features

An 8.5KG Capacity

Smartphone App Integration

A 4.5-star Water Efficiency Rating

Up to 14 Wash Options

2-year Warranty

An Eco-friendly Mode

2-year Warranty

The 8.5KG Fisher & Paykel Top Loader — WA8560G1

Coming away from the front loaders now, the Fisher Paykel WA8560G1 is the top loader that packs a tonne of features and is the closest rival to the front loaders that we could find.

You’re getting a spin speed of up to 1,000RPM here, which is quite high for a top loader, and plenty of wash options for a tonne of different garment materials. Whether you’re looking to wash wool, cotton, delicates or activewear correctly, there’s a wash setting here for you.

We’re glad to say that unlike most top loaders, this model does come with a sturdy and durable design, so you can rely on it for a while before you see any signs of wear and tear, or minor cosmetic damage.

There’s six wash options here, which isn’t as great as the 14 you’ll find on most front loaders, though there’s not too much to worry about unless you need a rather niche and specific wash setting.

Top Features

An 8.5KG Capacity

The Spin Rate of 1,000RPM

Up to 6 Wash Options

A 3.5 Star Water Rating

Delayed Start Features for Soaking

The 7KG CARSON Top Load Machine — HAPWSHCSNAT7G

When it comes to investing in a top loader machine for a larger family, the Carson HAPWSHCSNAT7G might be the winner for you.

There’s up to 11 wash cycle options here along with delayed start features for soaking and a quality design that’s going to last for years to come.

We’re happy to say that this works as a set-and-forget machine and you’re able to do your washing for yourself or the whole family and not need to worry about man handling the garments or making too many changes to the cycle as the washing happens.

There’s plenty of reviewers online touting just how well this machine cleans their clothes, and with a few intelligent features like auto-stop, it’s a safe model for those with children that are just a little too inquisitive for their own good.

You’re also getting a unique air-dry option here, which allows you to spin dry the clothes as much as possible before it’s time to hang them up outside.

There are a few great energy and water saving features and integrations here too, so reducing your power and water bills is easy on this washing machine.

To end, the control panel has been designed in a way that’s ultra intuitive and you’re going to be more than capable of getting a good wash out of this machine without trying to decipher all of the great features and modes.

Top Features

A 7KG Capacity

Up to 11 Wash Options

Delayed Start Features

A Lint Filter

Fuzz Control

Child-lock for Safety

Air Drying Features

An Intelligent Washing Mode

Intuitive Control Panel Setup

The 5KG Devanti Mini Portable Washing Machine

Our honourable mention comes in the form of the Devanti portable machine.

This is the top washing machine we’d suggest for those who either need something ultra-compact or to take with them when travelling. It’s small enough and power efficient enough to run on an RV’s main power source and you’re still getting a great 5KG barrel and tonne of washing features that keep all of your clothes nice and clean while you’re on the road.

Keep in mind that with a washing machine on-hand, you won’t need to have as many clothes with you when you travel, making packing up all of the clothes a lot easier.

There’s an ultra-fast 15-minute wash cycle here for those times you need to get clothes washed as fast as possible to catch the last of the sun for drying.

To end, the machine is one of the lightest weight models out there and we’re confident in recommending it to our readers who travel a tonne, or need something ultra small.

Top Features

A 5KG Capacity

Ultra-portable Design

Lower Power Usage

A Fast 15-minute Wash Option

An Old-school Knob Interface

Near-silent Operation

A Simple Cleanup Design

A Removable Filter

Easy Loading Through the Lid

Conclusion

With all of those pointers, tips and washing machines listed above, we’re sure it will be easier than ever to decipher all of the marketing jargon and range of features you’ll see on washing machines all across the web.

Whether you’re in store or just browsing from home, always keep the above points in mind when buying a new washing machine. You’ll want to select something that works well for your garments, your family and has features that work best for what you need the machine to do.

If you’re looking for a model that washes fast, saves water, has an intelligent weight distribution feature or just about anything else, we’re sure you’ll find it in one of the machines we listed above.

With all that being said, happy shopping for your new washing machine! And be sure to check back on our website for more information on the best washing machines in Australia and how to pick the ones that suit your needs most!

Leave a comment