Choosing a new washing machine
Whether you are moving house, upgrading or replacing a washing machine, it’s worth doing some research to make sure you’re getting a model that really suits your needs. See our simple guide below for our top tips.
The most important features of a washing machine, other than the aesthetic, are the spin speed, load capacity, energy efficiency and programmes.
It will be prudent to consider the amount of people in your household and how often you use your washing machine when selecting the right machine for you too.
The spin is the part of the cycle that comes at the end of the wash and removes excess water. The less water in the laundry at the end, the quicker it will take to dry.
Spin speed is measured in rpm – or revolutions per minute. Typical maximum spin speeds on washing machines are between 1000 – 1600rpm, and the spin speed may differ depending on the programme that you select.
For example, if you select a delicate wash, the spin speed may be around 600rpm, whereas on a cotton wash, where the material is more robust, the spin speed will be at the maximum.
The higher the spin speed, the more likely your laundry will come out with more creases, so if required, you may need to iron them more.
The spin speed in general is not taken into account when calculating the energy efficiency of a washing machine, so if you are buying a new appliance with energy efficiency in mind, it will not matter if you go for the highest or lowest spin speed.
The load capacity refers to the kg capacity of laundry that the washing machine can hold. It applies to the laundry when it is dry, not wet.
Typical maximum load capacities for washing machines are 5kg to 10kg.
Many washing machines now also have smaller load detection systems, so if you put in less laundry, it will reduce the water and energy used also.
The typical weight of items are as follows:
Laundry Type Weight
Double quilt cover
This is a guide and you must check your individual items before you wash them.
It is worth noting that a machine with a higher load capacity will use more water, and this will use more energy than a machine with a lower capacity.
An Energy Label Reform took place in March 2021. It completely refreshed the previous energy rating scale, which is now A – G, whereas previously it was A+++ – D.
This was because, owing to technological advances, most new products were sitting in the very top of the scale, and the lower end was largely redundant.
Even more energy efficient components are now present in many new models, including inverter motors and eco wash programmes. Whereas a previous model could have been A+++ on the old scale, it now may be a C. The energy efficiency of the product as such hasn’t gone down, it just sits differently on the new scale. Space has been left at the top of the scale for even more energy efficient products to be designed and introduced to the market.
The higher up the energy rating scale a washing machine is, the better it’s energy efficiency*. Look out for the arrow icon on our product page to see what the energy rating is, and easily download the energy label for more information too.
Look for features such as invertor motors, eco programmes and lower temperature programmes, plus features where you can add items to the drum after the wash has started, such as our Stop Add Go technology.
*this is tested on and applies to the washing machine running the eco programme only.
This feature is perfect for coordinating the end of a wash cycle with you getting back home or washing during the night (between 10pm and 5am) when the cost of energy is cheaper.
It also means you can make sure that your laundry isn’t left in the drum after the cycle has finished for a long period of time so it doesn’t start to smell and this also reduces creasing.
Since the Energy Label Reform in 2021, all washing machines now have an eco programme.
Although most of us have a favourite go to programme, it is worth checking out the other programmes a machine has to offer and consult the manual for more information on laundry and clothes that can go on certain cycles to make sure they are right for you.
Standard programmes can include Cotton, Wool, Synthetic, Mix, Delicate/ Handwash and Sports. Many machines also have a 15-minute quick wash and an intensive wash too, for laundry that needs a deeper clean.
Some programmes will run at different temperatures to others, and some have the option of changing the temperature, so you have the flexibility to choose.
Additional programmes include Allergy Care and Baby Care and for keeping your machine in tip top condition, a self clean or sterilisation option.
How many people are in your household?
It will make sense to consider how many people are in your household when choosing a washing machine and choose a drum capacity accordingly. For larger households a larger drum capacity, such as 9 – 10kg would work well, as you can fit more laundry in per cycle, meaning less loads and less energy used. For a smaller household, consider a 5 or 6kg capacity, and for medium households, a 7 or 8 kg.
How often do you wash your clothes?
With more focus on energy efficiency and supporting the environment, one consideration that can be made now is how often we wash our clothes. Washing our clothes less means that they can last longer and reduces the amount of energy we use, in turn helping us to save money. If you still like to wash your clothes after one or two wears and they are not marked or too dirty, then a freshen up on a 15 minute quick wash may be all they need.
What about a washer dryer?
Having two appliances in one is a great choice if you don’t have space for a separate tumble dryer or limited space for hanging out laundry to dry.
The drying capacity is generally less than the wash capacity, and you will see it displayed for example as 7kg/ 5kg (denoting wash/ dry).
The kg capacity refers to clothes when they are dry.
There will be separate programmes for washing and drying and combined also.
Tumble dryers have not been affected by the new Energy Label Reform yet, and still sit on the old energy rating scale.
They will require the normal maintenance that you would expect from a separate washing machine and tumble dryer.
As with all appliances, it is important to follow a regular maintenance regime to help promote the life span of the product and best performance.
It’s always good to check the guarantee of an appliance, in the unlikely event that anything should go wrong. Montpellier appliances all have a minimum 2 year parts and labour guarantee for that extra peace of mind.