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
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 reducing height of washing machine 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.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.
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.
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 filtersAny 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.