If you want to know which brand available in the UK has the best washing machines it’s Miele (Miele awarded best domestic appliance brand again). They are so far above anyone else they are outstanding. However, they aren't necessarily the best washing machine for everyone, there are pros and cons to buying expensive, quality washing machines. Read my overview about them here Miele build quality review.
A look at the best washing machines
If cost is not a problem though I don’t think you can better a Miele washing machine for build quality and sophistication. Many models come with a 5 or even 10 year warranty.
It's not necessarily as simple as picking the best quality. Another important consideration should be how easy it is to get it repaired in the future. Washing machines tend to be the most likely household product to need repairs. Therefore how expensive these repairs may be, and how easy it is to buy spare parts or get technical information, should also be an important consideration.
Unfortunately, spare parts for the higher quality washing machines such as Miele are a lot more expensive than a Hoover or Hotpoint and sometimes remarkably expensive. To an extent this could be partially because they think they can get away with higher prices because the washing machine costs so much to replace, but we have to expect that if a washing machine is built to a higher standard, the parts will cost more to make. Some of these parts can be extremely expensive, and many question how fair the spares prices are. In theory though a quality appliance can often sometimes run a very long time without breaking down. My own washing machine is a Miele W3740, which we’ve run virtually every day for the last 7 years and it’s never broken down once.
Are there any other alternative brand of high quality washing machines?
One potential new rival to Miele is the ISE 10 washing machine (See ISE10 Video)
In my opinion it's not quite as well made as a Miele but it isn't too far off, and still a leap ahead of the best of the rest. The main advantage of the ISE 10 (1607W) over Miele without doubt is the fact that repairs, spares and technical assistance should be much more forthcoming and considerably cheaper.
The people behind the ISE are engineers and have a unique no profit on spares policy designed to make their washing machines much more repairable in the future. It should be very reliable but you shouldn’t have any trouble carrying out any DIY repairs or getting a local engineer to repair it in the future. Spare parts at a reasonable price and good quality technical information and support combined with better quality build make the ISE10 a recommended buy (Which now also awarded it a Best Buy award).
Choice is extremely limited because it’s just one model, in white, but the ISE10 is designed to offer features useful to most households and comes with a 10 year warranty. Even if used in a semi commercial setting they will still give it a 3 year commercial warranty. As you would expect though, it's also an “expensive” washing machine. The ISE10 (current model 1607W) combines extra build quality and extra repairability to make a great all round purchase.
Quote from ISE:
"Longer life span for less environmental damage. This machine is simply outstanding in terms of build quality and performance and is engineered from the outset to maximise the life of the machine. This is done by using higher quality components that are designed to last in excess of 8000 cycles, or over 20 years normal domestic use and by wherever possible, using steel and metal instead of plastic".
Looking for cheaper recommendations?
If these prices are too much you might look at some of the "normal" washing machines across in the right column-
More research into best washing machines
If you take advantage of the Which? £1 offer you get a lot more than you’d expect including full access to all their latest washer and appliance reviews.
(This is an updated article, first published on Washerhelp.co.uk circa 2003)