Which washing machine brand should you choose? Here are 12 of the top brands available in the UK.
German-based company AEG was founded in Berlin over 100 years ago and was originally known as the German Electricity Company. The company has been bought and sold several times since being founded in 1883, and the appliance side of AEG is now owned by Electrolux.
AEG is placed in the upper-mid range of the market, with machines typically costing between £300 and £700.
The brand is extremely reliable, with AEG washing machines generally praised by customers for their excellent washing ability. Many recent models have a much higher drum capacity than washing machines made by other manufacturers, with some AEG machines able to hold up to 10kg washes.
AEG machines generally only come in white, although some models are available in silver.
AEG have introduced several innovative features to their washing machines, such as a steam function for freshening up a small 1.5kg load of dry clean-only items, and ÖKOMix technology. With ÖKOMix, the detergent is premixed with water then sprayed directly into the drum where it begins to work straight away (unlike most machines where the laundry, water and detergent are mixed together, and the detergent can take much longer to dissolve). This means clothes can be washed more gently and at a lower temperature, protecting garments and saving energy.
Beko is a Turkish based company and was founded in Istanbul, in 1967.
Beko is firmly placed as a budget brand, with most models typically costing between £200 and £300 – similar to brands such as Hotpoint and Indesit. It’s a very popular brand in the UK, with huge numbers of machines sold each year.
Many customers rate them highly for value for money, and despite the lower price Beko machines are generally reliable – however even though there are machines with special programs available, don’t expect many cutting-edge technological features from this budget brand.
One area where Beko does excel is choice of design – not only are there many models to choose from, but Beko produce machines in a much wider variety of colours than many other brands. For example, some models are not only available in the usual white and silver, but also in shades such as red, black and various greys.
Bosch and Siemens are the principal brands forming part of the German company BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, (or BSH Home Appliances), the largest manufacturer of home appliances in Europe, and their washing machines share many of the same parts and technologies.
The Siemens brand dates back to 1847 and Bosch was founded in Stuttgart in 1886. In 1967 Robert Bosch GmbH and Siemens AG set up BSH Hausgeräte GmbH as a joint venture, however in September 2014, Robert Bosch GmbH agreed to purchase Siemens’ 50% stake in the company.
Bosch and Siemens products are currently placed as upper mid-range in the washing machine market, however both brands offer premium models, which offer more advanced technology but at a high-end price.
Both brands are generally considered to be reliable, and offer innovative technological features such as remote operation via smartphone or tablet PC. Bosch and Siemens washing machines are sleek and modern in design; however most models are only available in white.
Hoover is one of the World’s best known appliance manufacturers, founded in Ohio, USA in 1908.
The Hoover Group quickly expanded into the UK and Europe and continued to grow until the 1980s. In 1995 Candy purchased Hoover European Appliances Group with exclusive rights to the Hoover brand in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
Hoover is considered a budget brand today, producing washing machines that are extremely affordable, but which don’t always rate highly on reliability tests and with consumers.
Some hoover models are available in black, as well as white or silver – and look quite stylish for a budget appliance. Hoover machines don’t offer as much as higher-end brands in the way of advanced technology, however top-of-the-range Hoover washers are starting to offer cutting-edge technology, such as remote control via an app (for a higher price).
Hotpoint was established in 1911 in Ontario, California. In 1920, it established Hotpoint Electric Appliance Company Limited in the United Kingdom, a joint venture with competitor General Electric. Recently, it was acquired by American appliance firm Whirlpool.
Hotpoint is an affordable budget brand, with an average price of around £300 for a washing machine. Hotpoint machines offer better reliability than many other budget-range machines; however washing performance is much poorer than machines from mid and high-range brands.
Unlike machines from some other budget brands, even the cheaper Hotpoint appliances often have useful features such as remaining-time displays and various high spin speeds. Some models also use premixing technology called Direct Injection, where detergent and water are premixed and sprayed directly into the wash, allowing washing temperatures to be reduced whilst laundry is still washed effectively.
Indesit was founded in Fabriano, Italy in 1975, and was recently bought by the American company Whirlpool, which also makes Hotpoint.
Indesit is a budget brand, with most machines costing less than £300; however top-of-the-range machines can cost a little more.
Indesit washing machines aren’t the most reliable appliances, even amongst budget brands, and they’re also not the best for removing dirt from clothes. They also don’t boast many features or cutting-edge technology. However, they are easy and simple to use, and offer several colour options including stylish black.
LG is based in Seoul, South Korea, and was founded around 70 years ago.
LG is placed in the upper-mid range of the market, with some machines starting at as little as £350 but with more advanced models with larger drum capacity costing around £700. LG washing machines offer good reliability for the price, second only to high-end brands such as Miele.
The direct driver motor rotates the washing machine’s drum directly rather than using belts, chains or gearboxes and is a design feature that has become associated with the LG brand, although this is not exclusive to LG. This feature can reduce the noise of the machine, and also increases the reliability with fewer parts to potentially fail.
German-based company Miele was formed 118 years ago in Herzeblock, and remains a family-owned business.
Miele is a high-end brand, with machines starting at £500 but with some models costing well over £1000.
Miele washing machines are generally considered the most reliable machines available on the market, and also offer five-year or even ten-year parts-and-labour warranties as standard. Miele test their machines for twenty years’ worth of use, and are expected to last twice as long as competitor’s models.
In addition to being one of the most reliable machines you can buy, Miele washing machines also offer leading-edge technology and unique features, for example a two-phase detergent dispensing system called TwinDos, designed to improve washing performance, and a patented honeycomb drum design to help protect your laundry.
Miele washing machines have a sleek and stylish design; however they are usually only available in white or silver.
Samsung are a multinational conglomerate formed around 80 years ago in Daegu, South Korea. Samsung are often more well-known for producing technology such as mobile phones, however they are a growing presence in the UK washing machine market.
Samsung washing machines are placed in the upper-mid range of the market, with models available for around £400, but some advanced machines may cost well over £1000.
These are generally reliable washing machines and perform well, with excellent washing capabilities.
Samsung washing machines are known for their advanced features and effective use of new technology, including their Ecobubble system which mixes detergent and water then injects air to create activated foam, which gets deeper into the fibres of clothing to clean more quickly and efficiently. Another useful new feature is the AddWash feature, a hatch in the door which allows you to add extra items halfway through a wash.
Smeg was formed in Italy in 1948, and remains a privately owned family company.
Smeg are a premium brand, well known for their stylish fridges but now producing a wide range of other appliances including washing machines.
Unsurprisingly for a company well-known for their beautifully designed appliances, Smeg produce sleek and attractive washing machines, which also offer excellent reliability and up-to-date features such as LED displays.
Their 50’s style free-standing washing machines copy the retro design of the famous Smeg fridges and have a completely different look to any other washing machines on the market. They’re also available in pretty and unusual colours such as cream, pastel blue and pink.
Formed in 1916 in Italy, Zanussi began to export products in 1946 and now produces a wide range of washing machines for the UK market.
Zanussi was originally a mid-range brand in the UK, however in recent years they have begun to produce more affordable machines in the low budget bracket, starting at as little as £200. Integrated models are available, but Zanussi are generally associated with freestanding machines.
They have good reliability record for lower priced washing machines, and are excellent at washing clothes. Zanussi don’t specialise in advanced washing technology, however they do offer plenty of features that make washing easier, particularly for large families and busy households, such as a large 10kg drum capacity, and generously sized doors to make loading and unloading laundry easier.
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