If you're searching for a cheap washing machine, it's definitely a buyers market in 2018.
Not only are prices getting lower, but the latest washers are super-efficient so you'll make savings on running costs, too.
Here are 5 wallet-friendly washers you can rely on:
How Much Is A Cheap Washing Machine?
Washing machines vary greatly in price, from just under £200 to over £1,500.
For our purposes, we have defined “Cheap” as being around £300, and in a couple of cases - quite a bit lower!
You might be pushed to find a stainless steel washing machine for under £350, but they're are one or two you can find (more with special offers during sale season!).
The important thing to realise is that the more expensive ones have quite a few features that you might never use or just don't need. For example, you're looking for a washer that's compatible with your iphone then these aren't the models for you!
However, when you look at product specifications of the models we have chosen, you'll find they don't vary that much from ones costing 2-times and 3-times the price.
You can still get a quiet washer, with low-energy consumption and features like quick wash, delay timers and child locks.
The Features To Look Out For
Providing you do your research, you won't have to sacrifice some important features in order to get a great deal on a new washing machine.
Here are some features to look out for
Programs & Settings
The main difference between a £200 washer and n £1,800 one is the latter will have more bells and whistles (or songs in the case of some machines!).
Before purchasing your new washing machine, you need to think about what your typical load looks like.
“Sports Settings” are great at getting mud and sweat out of clothes, and you'll also find other settings for woollen clothes and to prevent allergies.
For me personally, I couldn't do without a child lock. When my little one accompanies me into the utility room she loves to play with the buttons and knobs, and I don't have to worry about re-programming the settings.
A self-cleaning program also helps keep your washer hygienic and prevents detergent residue from getting on your clothes.
Have a look at the list of programs and if you can do without them, it's sure to lower the price.
Nobody wants to wait ages for a cycle to finish, and finding a washer with a 15-minute quick wash cycle is really a bonus.
Still, you need to check out the maximum load for the quick wash setting. Some models set a reduced weight limit which is great for a few items (or if you have a baby!) but not if you want to do a weekly wash.
24-Hour Delayed Timer
A delayed timer is a great feature as it allows you to start a cycle for when you're sleeping or out of the house.
I always prefer a 24-hour timer as it keeps things nice and simple, plus if you're away overnight you can set it to finish for when you get back.
Even if you're not forking out more than £500 for a new machine, you can still expect to have one with an A+++ rating.
An important feature to look out for is how much water is left after the wash cycle. This is important as if a lot of water is left it'll take you longer to dry and you'll consume a lot more energy if you're using a tumble dryer.
Also check how much water the washer consumes over a year as a lot of focus is placed on the cost of electricity, but water is also not free and a valuable resource!
(Be sure to also check out our page on Energy-Saving Washers here)
Nobody wants a washing machine that drowns out their TV and sounds like an airplane is taking off in the kitchen!
Fortunately, the latest models have become a lot quieter. Even with a budget washer you should be expecting one to make about 75 db during the high-speed cycle and 55 db during the regular cycle.
To give you an idea of how loud this really is, 80 db is twice as loud as 70 db, and sounds like a large orchestra. The UK Health & Safety Executive classifies it as an “Action Level” and has to make ear protection abailable for employees.
70 db by contrast sounds about the same as a vacuum cleaner or conversation in a restaurant.
Will A Cheaper Model Be Big Enough?
The sizes of washing machines vary from 5kg to 13kg. As you would expect, the selling price and the running costs will vary with the size.
If you're like me, you'd rather get all your dirty washing done in one guy rather than loads of little washes. So finding getting the capacity right is very important.
As a rule of thumb, 1kg refers to the dry weight of your laundry load.
1kg = (1 Shirt + 1 Jeans) or 5 Shirts or 2 Towels.
The following graphic should help:
It's also important to note that the stated capacity is usually for the standard cotton settings.
If you're washing wools or other delicates, then this will be greatly reduced.
Also, many of the "Quick Wash" programs will only allow a fraction (usually around 25%) of the maximum load.
How About Spin Speed?
When comparing washing machine prices, you will notice that 1600 and 1400 r.p.m spin speeds cost more than the 1200 r.p.m models. But how much does it really affect performance?
Depending on the model, you might find that the faster the drum spins, the more noise created and energy used, which is my view is counter-productive.
The important thing to check is how much water is left on the clothes after the cycle is finished.
Technically, a faster spin speed should remove more water, but a lot of clothes that aren't cottons can't be washed at 1600 r.pm and a slightly longer spin-cycle could find a 1200 r.p.m machine achieving the same end result.
The Best Cheap
Washing Machines - Reviewed!
If you have a larger family and prefer a brand you can trust, the Hotpoint WMAOD944P might just be the standard to judge all budget washing machines by.
At 9kgs it's perfect for a family of five, and a lot of people online are saying it's super-easy to use and the quietest washing machine they've ever owned.
Surprisingly for it's low price, this model is A+++ rated and it has a lot of features you'd expect in higher-end washers.
There's a 15-minute quick wash, but this is limited to a 1.5kg load. Still, this will really please teenagers who want their favourite shirt and jeans washed quickly.
Unlike a lot of budget washers, this hotpoint model has a self-cleaning function that's recommended for every 40 cycles. This will help prevent detergent from building up and extend the life of the machine.
Another stand-out features of this model is the “My Cycle” pre-set that remembers previous settings. This might help in getting your kids to do their own washing for a change!
There's also a 24 hour delay setting and Hotpoint's patented “Anti-Stain” technology, which is claimed to remove 20 of the most stubborn stains in one wash.
To learn more about that, check out this short video:
Given it's low price, the number of features and that it's from a brand you can trust, the Hotpoint WMAOD944P is our choice the best budget washing machine of 2018.
At just 73db during the high-spin cycle, quite a few people have wondered if they've even switched it on. Compare this to the WMAOD944P's 83 db and you can see paying a lot less doesn't mean your hearing will be adversely affected!
True, this model does have a lower 1200 R.P.M spin speed. However, it doesn't seem to have affected performance that much.
For example, after spinning, 56% of water is left remaining, compared to 53% with Hotpoint's budget model. The running costs are equally similar with the Beko's average energy consumption stated as 216 kw per year against Hotpoint's 196.
As well as a lower spin speed, you're not going to find any high-end features on this washer such as smart-phone pairing or bubble tech.
Still, there is an all-important child lock, a self clean program and it does have the ability to take half-loads, which again is something the Hotpoint model doesn't do. It also does half-loads with a reduced water level, so you needn't worry about wasting energy, either.
You might be wondering how difficult it is to get spares given that this brand is not as well known as say Whirlpool, Hotpoint or Candy. Fear not, there is an official UK based website for spares with next day delivery, too!
If you're looking for a bargain family washing machine, be prepared for the Indesit My Time EWE91482W to exceed your expectations.
Priced well towards the lower-end of the budget market, this washer has the looks and features you'd expect in a model costing twice the price.
When you have a larger family, getting a lot of washing done quickly is a priority. As is dealing with the different kinds of clothes like school uniforms, work wear and sports kits with grass stains.
You'll be pleased to know that this model has 16 diferrent washing program such as sports (including being able to wash trainers!), baby clothes, and even duvets.
As the door is extra-wide and the drum takes 9kg of dry clothes, you won't have a problem squeezing everything in , either.
There is also a quick-wash feature which is great for school clothes, though at 20 minutes it is slightly slower than many washers that take 15-minutes.
Still, you can get all your whites done in just 59 minutes which is great if you're in a hurry to go out.
The EWE91482W regularly gets plaudits for being very easy to use and program. The main reason for this is the large LCD display which counts down the time remaining.
At just 50 dbs during the main-cycle, this Indesit model is also the quietest on our list of cheap washers.
You do need to be aware that although the stated speed is 1400 r.p.m, only a couple of programs actually use this speed with the majority spinning at around 1000. This means there is a lot of water left after the wash and will lengthen your drying time.
This washer is also rated “A++”, and uses an estimated annual consumption of 246 Kw/h, which is 50 kw/h more than the Hotpoint Model we reviewed above.
Still, something people really love about Indesit is their reliability. The manufacturer offers a 10-tear guarantee on parts which just shows you how much they believe in their product.
Don't need a hulking great washing machine? Looking for something small, yet powerful enough to get clothes clean quickly? Check out the HiSense U Series.
This slimline washing machine is ideal for small spaces as it's only 59.5cm wide and 46 cm deep. Shallow enough to keep out the way in a kitchen cupboard.
Sure, it's only got a 6kg drum, but this makes it an ideal size for smaller households.
While Hisense have saved on the load capacity, they have maxed out on some of the key features.
It uses “360 degree Smart Wash Technology” which weighs your washing and then adjusts the amount of water and power used for maximum efficiency. This really helps lower the average power consumption to just 172 kwh.
If you're looking for a machine to wash baby clothes or for an elderly relative, then you will love the 95-degree antibacterial wash.
Washing clothes at 60-degrees or more kills 100% of dust mites and prevents the spread of norovirus (the vomiting bug) in winter.
Speaking as a parent who child was sick for three days with this, (and my husband and I caught it too but it was as severe) this is a big selling point for this particular machine.
As you'd expect on a smaller machine, there is also a 15-minute fast wash. You do need to be aware the stated 6kg is only for cotton washes.
If you're washing woolen or delicate items, this reduces to only 2kg or 2.5kg. So this is definitely not for larger families!
Zanussi Lindo300 ZWF01483WR
If you're searching for a heavy duty washing machine that is both economical and energy-efficient, take a look at the Zanussi Lindo 300.
At 10kg it's ideal for larger families and if you're upgrading from a smaller washer, you'll love how it can handle even your biggest duvets.
The Lindo300 is A+++ rated, but it beats the Beko and Hotpoint models on this list in the retained-water stakes.
It's 1400 spins speed removes 47% of the water used. This makes this model the most efficient on our list and you'll spend less time and money drying your clothes.
The Lindo 300 also features Zanussi's “Inverter Motor” which has replaced the brushes that most washers use with frictionless magnets.
This reduces the normal-cycle to an ear-friendly 54 db which is 4 db quieter than the Beko WTG921B2W and the same level as the Hotpoint WMAOD944P .
Another innovative feature from Zanussi is their “Aquafall” tech which intelligently mixes detergent with water and then sprinkles it from the top of the drum. This results in evenly washed clothes and no annoying clumps of powder.
Unfortunately, the Zanussi Lindo 300 is last on our list for a reason.
There isn't a 15-minute quick wash which larger families love when kids need things in a hurry. Although there is a 30 minute program at 30 degrees with a limited load capacity.
The washer itself is also a bit bulky. It's 66 cm in depth, which is 10% bigger than the standard 60 cm for comparable washers of this size. This may be a factor if space is at a premium.