Washing machines and associated problems with sizes

 Although some extra large capacity washing machines have bigger than normal dimensions the majority of standard UK front-loading washing machines are roughly 850mm high, and 595 to 600mm wide. They are designed to fit into a standard size kitchen width space of 600 mm (60 cm) which suits the majority of people, but some find they have smaller spaces which modern appliances won’t fit into. There are very few variations on washing machine size especially now they have much bigger drum capacities these days.


If you find a washing machine smaller than standard dimensions make sure you double check what drum capacity it is and the rest of the dimensions. Washing machines that are smaller than normal are often compact machines, and may have very small drum capacities (eg 3.5 Kg)

Washing machine width

The most common size problem seems to be where the washer is too wide to fit in the kitchen. The vast majority of front-loading washing machines are between 595mm and 600mm wide (59.5cm – 60cm) so if the space you want to fit it into is even a millimetre or so smaller it’s not going to fit. If you can’t create any extra width you will have problems as width is the one dimension that is adhered to by most manufacturers. They may vary in depth and height but seldom on width. There are very few washers with much smaller widths other than top loaders, or compact washing machines with very small drums.


Washing machine height is the dimension you can do most to reduce. If your only problem is that you can’t find a washing machine to fit under the worktop you can try searching on height using the height filters on my Compare washing machines between 60 – 80 cm. I’ve seen some quoting 800 mm (80 cm) high. If necessary you may also be able to reduce the height of most washers by using a washing machine height reduction kit supplied by many manufacturers, which involves removing the lid and replacing it with a flat one as well as sometimes removing the feet and fitting smaller studs. However, you shouldn’t just remove the lid yourself as there are some safety issues to bear in mind as discussed in the article.

Washing machine depths

Washing machines can vary a bit more on depth, but this is often much less critical because a washing machine that's deeper than average can still fit in the space, it will just stick out a bit more.

Beware of washing machine obstructing doors and drawers

Watch out for the depth of a washing machine if you have kitchen drawers, cupboard doors or even main doors opening across it. I recently installed a washing machine for my daughter and was reminded how we need to remember to take into account how modern washing machines (and matching tumble dryers) have a tendency to bulge out at the front, or have large doors that stick out quite a way.

Door-catches-on-washing -machine After installing the washing machine in my daughter’s kitchen my heart sank as I realised that their back door, which opens across it, was going to catch on the washing machine.

Fortunately I was able to force the washer back another few millimetres and the back door cleared the washing machine – literally by a millimetre! You couldn’t pass a credit card between them at the point where both doors almost touch.

The depth of a washing machine quoted by the manufacturer should in theory take into account the whole depth but does it include the way the front may bulge out as well as the door? If critical, double check.

compare washing machines with depth between 51 – 60 cm

Useful tip

Useful tip

Always check out the measurements of a new appliance when replacing an old one even if you currently have an old washing machine in there as they may be small but critical differences and modern washing machines are often wider and deeper than ever. Dimensions are usually available in the “specs”, product info, or “specifications” section describing the appliance being sold, either in the brochure or on a web page.

Finding a particularly small or slim washing machine is a tough task. There’s just not enough demand for such small machines so there are hardly any about. The sizes of appliances do vary occasionally though and sometimes you only need a few millimetres less so check out these links to find washing machines by size.

Compare white goods by size, colour, spin speed, drum size and many other filters

Be careful

Any appliance showing a fair bit smaller dimensions than normal is likely to have a smaller drum capacity so always check the drum capacity specs too.

If dimensions are critical do not rely on quoted specifications because mistakes are sometimes made. For example, during research for this article I searched for washing machines with a width of between 40 cm to 50 cm and found a couple of 6Kg capacity Beko machines at only 45 cm wide which I know is impossible. I checked other sources and found the width is actually 60 cm – it is the depth which is 45 cm. Double check at other sources, or with the manufacturer. If you order from the internet print out the specifications quoted so if they are wrong you have evidence it’s their fault.

In these tough times, wasting money is not an option. Do some research first. Which? have a genuine no-strings trial offer. For only £1 you get the following benefits -

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  1. avatarAnonymous says

    can you please help I am at my wits end need washing machine with height no more than 82cm,would you know of retailer in my area .

  2. avatar says

    All the help I have is put into this article. Have you tried the links on the right column where you can search for washing machines by width and height? Also, you can look into the height reduction kits many manufacturers have which I mention in the article.

  3. avatarHollywood says

    I have an Indesit WIL123 washer which is 83cm high under an 85cm high worktop. I wish to replace it but most machines are 85cm high. I have a vague recollection that the feet were removed to get under the worktop.
    Does this sound feasible and could this be done with a replacement?

  4. avatar says

    Yes removing the feet can reduce the height although only by a small amount. The best way to reduce height is to replace the lid with a flatter one. The feet are there for stability and to prevent damage to the floor so you’d need to judge whether that was ok or not. Some manufacturer’s height reduction kits did involve removing the feet but replacing them with thinner studs. If you removed the feet and the machine was placed on a carpet this could block any air vents (if fitted in the base) or if the base is open would block air getting underneath and could be a very bad idea.

  5. avatarCarey says

    The space for our washing machine is in the corner of the kitchen and has a cupboard door, which opens in front of it. The kitchen fitters made the space almost perfectly for the machine that we had. Now our machine is dead and I’m having loads of trouble trying to replace it. The space is slightly less than the standard 600mm (only by 2 or 3 mm) and the depth must be less than 590mm. Our dead machine is an Indesit IWDC 6143 (595mm wide x 535mm deep). I would rather not buy another Indesit as we’ve had loads of problems with them but I cannot find anything else that fits. any suggestions?

  6. avatar says

    The only thing you can do is trawl through all the washing machines specs. Sadly you can’t always trust the specs 100% though, I’ve seen errors before although if you bought one and it was different to the measurements advertised you would at least be entitled to return it.

  7. avataredward says

    Hi. I want fit a washer under worktop in the corner of kitchen. but it will stop me acessing the drawer from above. Any alternatives to the standard drawer?

  8. avatarDr Robert Parker says

    can you help,
    I need a condenser tumbledryer no WIDER than 50cm or 19 or 20inchs


  9. avatarMrs M says

    I need a second opinion please! I’m looking for a new washer and the one I have my eye on is 645mm deep (according to the Coop) or 615mm deep(according to Currys!) I have a space 730mm deep, measuring from back wall to edge, but includes the waste pipe work running across the bottom of the wall. Do you think this will fit in ok? It is right behind the back door, which has to be able to open fully to accommodate a wheelchair. Your thoughts would be appreciated, my head is spinning! thank you.

  10. avatar says

    Hello Mrs M. That’s why I advise in my article that we can’t trust the specs given on web sites. I’ve seen lots of mistakes. The depth of a standard worktop should be 600 mm and washing machines don’t usually stick out too much over that but things like plumbing can stop them pushing back flush against the wall, and bulging doors or control panels and knobs can also add to the problem as shown in one of my photos. Manufacturers usually design so they don’t stick out too much over 600 mm worktop even with plumbing behind the machine which is extremely common.

    However, they can stick out a few inches or so but it does sound like you have plenty of depth if you get 730 mm. If it’s the longer measurement of 645 it still sounds like there’s room for plumbing. Ultimately if you order online you can send it back within 14 days with no reason needed as long as you haven’t used it.

  11. avatarShifa says

    I have been looking for a fairly decent washing machine with the depth no larger than 550mm I thought I found one when I bought the Samsung Eco bubble but just to reiterate what has already been said not all sizes shown are the actual sizes The machine was more realistically a 600mm x 600mm and not the 600 x 550 stated . ! I had the inconvenience of returning the machine hence the search starts again
    Smaller machines with big loads seem to be quite noisy according to the reviews I have read has anyone had any success in finding a decent machine with.out Compromising on the load size?

  12. avatarJaz says

    hi i have just been told that my kitchen work top base is 80cm high but i cant find any machines at that height, they are about 84-85cm. Any suggestion? is there a kitchen work base that low (80cm). do you know of any washing machine or fridge with that height? help please

  13. avatar says

    Hello Jaz. You may have to look at built-in appliances. As far as I know all freestanding washing machines are roughly the same height. There’s nothing in it for the manufacturer to make a washing machine smaller than the standard kitchen unit size. They have to cram enough in as it is without making them smaller, especially now they have much larger drum capacities.

  14. avatarjesse says

    I require a washing machine which is between 55 – 58 cm width does anyone out there know were I can purchase

    As 99% of washing machines are 60cm width plus…… help please I am struggling to find one ?

  15. avatar says

    That’s the problem Jesse. These days with all the extra large drum capacities they can’t afford to cut the size down or they just can’t fit parts in. There are no machines with reduced width other than potentially a few millimetres other than compact machines (which are very rare and only have very small drums) or top loading washing machines.

  16. avatarjesse says


    Thanks for the quick feedback much appreciated I will have to maybe remove a redundant pipe in a storage cupboard to make space for a washing machine which I did not want to touch the storage cupboard is next to the bathroom so basically will need to check first if pipe is okay to remove then drill a hole through the storage wall ground level through to bathroom wall and connect outlet pipe under the bath and out to the front wall

    Andy thanks again

  17. avatar says

    No Peter, not that I know of. Width is the one measurement that is fairly consistent. If they reduced the width to 500 mm they just wouldn’t be able to fit the parts inside it. The only washing machines that are significantly thinner than normal that I’ve ever seen are top loaders, or compact washing machines which are a very small niche market with very small drum capacities such as just 3 or 4Kg (the average is now 6 or 7Kg). Most of the compact washing machines don’t last long before becoming obsolete because they just isn’t enough demand.

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