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). This suits the majority of people. However, some people find they have smaller spaces available that 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.
Warning: When searching for non standard measurements
- If you find a washing machine smaller than standard dimensions and the size requirement is critical, make sure you double check what drum capacity it is and the rest of the dimensions. Washing machines that are much smaller than normal are usually compact machines. They may have very small drum capacities (eg 3.5 Kg)
- If a web site says a washing machine is the smaller size you are looking for – double check the stats on the specifications page. Bookmark or copy the page. Print it out. You can use this as evidence if it turns up and is bigger than the specifications said so you can reject it. I’ve seen several cases where quoted measurements were wrong
Washing machine width
The most common size problem seems to be where the washing machine is too wide to fit in the kitchen. The vast majority of front-loading washing machines are between 595 mm and 600 mm wide (59.5 cm – 60 cm). If the space you want it to fit 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. Width is the one dimension that is strongly adhered to by most manufacturers. They may vary in depth and height, but seldom on width. You cannot decrease the width of a washing machine and retain room for the main drum and leave space for it to move from side to side during spin. There are very few washers with much smaller widths than other brands. Only top loading washing machines, or rare compact washing machines with very small drums will be significantly less wide.
Washing machine height
Washing machine height is relatively uniform too but this 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. 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. This involves removing the lid and replacing it with a thin flat one. It also usually involves removing the feet and fitting smaller studs. However, you shouldn’t just remove the lid yourself. There are some safety issues to bear in mind as discussed in the reducing height of washing machine article.
Washing machine depth
Washing machines can vary a bit more on depth. This is often much less critical though 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.
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.
More on washing machine depth: Washing machine depth specifications
Compare washing machines by size, colour, spin speed, drum size and many other filters
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.