The features you need to know when choosing a washing machine.
Front or top load: Front loading washing machines are the most common, but there are times when a top-fed machine is preferred, for example when you’ve run out of space. But bear in mind that you won’t be able to store a tumble dryer on top of a top-fed washing machine.
Washing capacity: The higher the washing capacity, the more laundry you can put into the machine. The laundry capacity is measured in kilograms and for a family of four people, between five and nine kilograms is a normal capacity. If you want to wash more clothes, but less often, you’ll probably need a washing machine with a greater washing capacity.
Energy usage: Within the EU, all washing machines must be labelled with the energy class that tells you how energy-efficient the machine is. A is the best energy class in the EU, but the washing machine manufacturers have agreed on even tougher criteria. According to the industry agreement, A +++ is the best energy class.
Noise level: A noisy washing machine can be a nuisance when watching films or having guests around. The noise level is measured in decibels and the lower the better. Bear in mind that the noise level is often measured separately for the spin function. The washing machine can thus be quiet during washing, but noisy when spinning.
Washing and centrifugal effect: All washing machines sold in the EU are labelled with washing and centrifugal effect. Both are measured in letters, where A is the best. The centrifugal effect is especially important to keep an eye on if you want to save money in the long run, as dryer laundry requires less time in the dryer or drying cabinet.
Features: Modern washing machines have a variety of features that you will probably rarely use. Child lock, option to delay start and fast program can be three such functions. Many of the new washing machines are equipped with technology that measures how much laundry you put in, and adjusts water and detergent accordingly. Others have a built-in steam function to prevent creases. Determine what's important to you and keep an eye out for those features when selecting.
Warranty: Be sure to get a generous warranty. Several manufacturers offer a 10-year motor warranty. Some manufacturers offer warranty only on the more expensive models.