Finding a smaller, or slimmer washing machine is very difficult. If you need one that’s just a millimetre or so smaller, you may be able to find one. But if you require one much smaller than that, you may find it impossible. This article gives explanations, tips, and workarounds that may help.
Is there a standard washing machine size?
There isn’t a standard size, but there is a standard kitchen space for them to fit into, which is 60 cm wide, 60 cm deep and at least 85 cm high. Therefore, the vast majority of washing machines are around this size, and differ from these measurements by only a millimetre or so – especially height and width.
Most washing machines are 85 cm high, between 59 and 60 cm wide, but vary more in depth (explained later).
Washing machine sizes vary – but not by much
It’s important to realise that washing machine manufacturers need their washing machines to be as large as possible, especially in order to accommodate modern extra-large drum capacities.
Making a washing machine smaller than normal will compromise the ability to fit everything inside. There’s nothing in it for them to make one several mm less wide, or tall.
Can you buy a slimline washing machine?
Over the years, there have been several “slimline” washing machines that were quite a lot smaller. Some were about 15 cm less wide. But they had much smaller drum capacities, and not suited for families at all. Some were only 3Kg drums.
These extra slim or compact washing machines also presumably never sell in enough quantities to make them viable, as they tend to get discontinued after a few years.
If you are desperate, you can try searching online for “slimline washing machine” or “compact washing machine”. However, although you will get results, you may find it frustrating that these don’t lead to what you are looking for.
The majority that I can currently find are only slimmer in depth, and not in width. If this is what you need then that’s fine, but it is width that causes most people problems. The depth only dictates how far a washing machine sticks out. Be sure to look at the drum capacity and double check the dimensions of anything that comes up.
Washing Machine width
The most common size problem seems to washing machine width, where a washing machine is too wide to fit into the space under a kitchen worktop. In the UK we have many small kitchens. So compromises are often made on the space.
There are very few washers with much smaller widths than other brands. Top loading washing machines, or rare compact washing machines with very small drums, will be significantly less wide. But they are unsuitable for most people. Plus, a top loader can’t have a worktop above it.
In my random check of 33 examples of different washing machine sizes and dimensions 32 were between 59 and 60 cm wide. Only one was less wide at 52 cm. However, I didn’t double-check if it was a mistake or not.
Quoted measurements can be wrong. If you find one significantly different – make sure it isn’t a mistake. Check with the manufacturer.
If such a mistake came from the manufacturer, it will be wrong everywhere.
Note that there may be other washing machines with smaller widths that I didn’t come across.
You need to remember that it’s unlikely you will find a normal washing machine that is several millimetres less wide. If desperate, you will need to search online.
Washing machine height
Washing machine height is the same on virtually all washing machines. Out of the 33 washing machines I checked, only 3 were less than 85 cm high, and that was only by 1 mm.
However, there is a potential workaround to this…
Lowering a washing machine height
Many manufacturers make what’s called a height reduction kit. This involves removing the lid and replacing it with a very thin, flat one. This alone can reduce the height of a washing machine by 20 mm or so.
This is usually more than enough to let it fit under a lower than normal kitchen worktop. It also typically 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 my reducing height of washing machine article.
Washing machine depth
There is more variation in depth than any other dimension. Sometimes several millimetres. But ironically, this is often the least critical measurement. A washing machine that’s deeper than average can usually still fit in the space. It will just stick out a bit more, and this is not always a problem.
The following photo shows how a washing machine may be a bit too deep, but it rarely prevents one from being fitted.
Beware of washing machine depth
There are some potential pitfalls to having a washing machine that is too deep. Watch out for the depth of a washing machine if you have kitchen drawers, cupboard doors, or even main doors opening across it.
You must 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.
I recently installed a new washing machine for my daughter, and was reminded about this issue.
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.
I managed to push it back far enough for the door to just clear – the following photo highlights this issue extremely well…
Tips for finding smaller washing machine
Comparison sites usually let you filter results by height, width, and depth. So use them, but do not explicitly trust the measurements quoted on websites. If a web site says a washing machine is the smaller size you are looking for – double-check the stats on the specifications page. Check it on multiple websites.
If mission-critical, and it seems a lot different to the rest, then check with the manufacturer. 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!
If you do find a washing machine smaller than standard dimensions and the size requirement is critical, make sure you double-check what drum capacity it is. Reduced dimensions often means reduced drum size. Some might be the size you need but have very small drum capacities (eg 3.5 Kg)
Always check out the measurements of a new appliance when replacing an old one. Even if you currently have a washing machine in there that fits. There could 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.
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.
More on washing machine depth
If a washing machine measurement states that it is 60 cm deep, does this mean that all the piping and electrical wiring at the back will fit under a worktop of 60 cm depth? — do washing machine depth specifications include pipes & hoses?
Washing machine sizes comparison
I’ve published a table of different washing machine measurements (not models or brands) that I found when checking 33 random washing machines.
Anyone looking for a smaller than normal washing machine should find it useful to at least see how the average washing machine varies in size – or not. Check out the 33 examples of washing machine sizes and dimensions.
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