Are there any downsides to Miele washing machines?

Pros-and-cons Their cost is the main disadvantage for most people. A higher quality washing machine needs more financial investment to purchase. They cost a lot more up front but they are supposed to be cheaper over the long run by lasting longer and breaking down less.

However, although a Miele should be far less likely to need repairs, repairs are relatively expensive. Major parts can be very expensive indeed. If buying a Miele try to find one with a long guarantee. Typically they are guaranteed for 2, 5 or 10 years.

Repairs & Servicing

Authorised-Dealers Like all premium brands Miele have a protective attitude towards their appliances and image. They strongly believe that only themselves and their dealers should repair their appliances to ensure the high standard of service they deserve. This is pretty normal amongst all niche high quality products, but it means there are very few independent washing machine repairers who repair them.

There is a small percentage of independent repairers who may be willing to have a look at one depending on the fault. But most independents do not repair Miele appliances. They don’t have the computer laptop and diagnostic software, or access to technical information so they might be unable to diagnose or even calibrate the machine.

You will need to use Miele engineers or dealers for repairs

I used to take great issue with this. I still think it can be counter productive in various ways, not least by causing Miele repairs to be more expensive due to lack of competition. But Miele do make a uniquely exceptional quality washing machine compared to the rest. In today’s economic climate in particular this is extremely brave – and thank goodness someone still does.

Most manufacturers make massive compromises on the quality of their appliances in order to sell to the masses. Miele aren’t immune from the necessity to keep costs under control, and the inevitable compromises that can dictate. But they generally plough a solitary path down the “forever better” ethos. Like all high quality niche manufacturers they have to adopt certain ways of surviving and maintaining their brand image.

It has to be said also that most appliance manufacturers are now making their appliances more unrepairable by design, or by ludicrous spare parts prices, and by restricting technical information to independent repairers. So across the board appliances have become substantially less repairable than in the past. A counter point to this is that they are also generally very much cheaper to buy in real terms.

However, some of Miele spare parts can seem insanely expensive. A good example is I just bought a new Miele oven and we wanted an extra wire shelf. Miele wanted to charge £90 for it. I could buy an entire (albeit inferior quality) oven for just £119. I ended up buying a Neff wire shelf for just £23 which was more than good enough.

Longer guarantees

My advice would be that if investing in a Miele washing machine, you need to be prepared to use Miele engineers or dealers for any future repairs. It’s little different to how if you bought a Mercedes car you would expect servicing costs to be higher than for a Fiat. Most people shouldn’t encounter any serious breakdowns though, and Miele quality still can’t be beaten.

Extended Warranties The minimum guarantee on a Miele appliance is 2 years, but many models have 5 year guarantees and some are guaranteed for 10 years. I have a Miele W3740 washing machine. I hasn’t given any trouble at all in over 11 years and still sounds like new to me. I would expect most people’s experience to be similar. Even high quality appliances can still break down, but if you buy a Miele model with a long guarantee you can get extra piece of mind.

Designed for equivalent of 20 years life

Miele have long since advertised their washing machines as designed to last 20 years. In relatively recent years they’ve had to amend it to, “tested for the equivalent of 20 years’ use”. They currently word it as follows –

During these tests appliances have to wash for 10,000 hours. This involves running approximately 5000 wash programmes. In terms of daily laundry this equates to about 5 programmes per week with an average run time of 2 hours for 20 years.  ”

That should cover the majority of people. Though clearly if you use the washing machine 7 days a week that will equate to less than 20 years. Anyone washing more than 7 times a week could use up the 20 year lifespan several years short. Miele engineers can tell how many wash cycles their washing machines have done by plugging in their laptops. Ultimately their designed for slogan does not guarantee it will last 20 years.

It only says they design and test them to last 20 years running 5 days a week for 2 hours at a time. This is still however, massively better than any other washing machine. There’s no reason one shouldn’t last at least 10 – 15 years even under very heavy use. If so, I would still be satisfied that was good value for money.

Unsurprisingly not too many retailers sell Miele appliances, and some only stock a small selection. This is partially because most retailers follow the same path as manufacturers in that they just want to sell appliances in vast quantities – which you can’t do with Miele.

Miele build quality review

I have another article looking at the build quality of Miele washing machines

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9 thoughts on “Are there any downsides to Miele washing machines?”

  1. The drum bearing broke on our Miele washing machine 2 years before the 10-year guarantee ran out. The engineer told us we only did 1,005 washes, mostly on Express cycle and no hot washes. We were careful never to overload it. I think the engineer could tell from his diagnostic laptop. So he offered us half price off a new washing machine, based on their list price, which was a few hundred pounds more expensive than John Lewis. Alternatively, we could get it repaired and the new part would carry a 10-yr guarantee. After much deliberation (at half price it was still very expensive) we decided to get a new Miele. Our confidence in the brand is slightly dented but fingers crossed, this new machine will last longer than 1000 washes!

  2. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Yes it’s a shame that the bearing went, they are massive drum bearings compared to the other manufacturers. If it was still under guarantee though I’d have had it repaired. However, I can see how the offer of a new one at half price would be tempting as it’s not likely to come again. It was a pretty good offer. My own Miele washing machine must be at least 12 years old and it still sounds like a new one. I expect it to last up to another 10 years. If it did break down though, and was going to be very expensive to repair I would have to consider whether to buy a new one or not. I hope you are happy with your new one.

  3. Francine Clarke

    I recently switched from Miele to Hotpoint because it was a lot cheaper to run, but I remember when I first bought the Miele one that it was very hard to find one that wasn’t online (I like to see the product before I buy!)

    I would say a major downside of the Miele is the price, which is one of the first points that you made. It’s incredibly difficult to jusitfy that cost to someone if the only benefit is that it will last for a long time. The Hotpoint one I bought to replace it hotpoint ultima is energy efficient so I’ll see a return on the investment in my energy bills.

    Do you think I’ve made the right decision?

  4. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    To be honest Francine I’d say the chances are a Mile would work out cheaper in the long run because it should last at least twice as long if not 3 times as long. But you have to invest the money upfront by paying twice as much.

  5. My miele washing machine has broken down the engineer said suspension on drum snapped and short circuited the I will need both fixed..could anyone tell me roughtly how much it’s going to cost. I’m in a delma as to keep or buy a new machine..

  6. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hi Jan. Not sure why engineer would tell you what has gone wrong and what needs replacing but no price? It depends on exactly how much it will cost, and how old it is.

  7. Hi Jan – we’ve just been quoted £297 for a new board for our 11 year old machine and unsure if we should replace or buy another Miele or Bosch or get fixed. But that price should give you a clue what to expect for some of it. I asked engineer to check bearings and drum, luckily good, and he said a drum replacement would be £1000! Absolutely crazy. Of course it’s out of warranty. Check to see if yours still has one?

  8. Stella Fordham

    When will somebody give results on the quality of the clothes and bedding that are washed. The trend of using less water and the ruff tumble action of the items in the machines causes pilling and massive creasing. I personally feel no consideration
    is given to the increased electricity used in 2021 washing machines.
    Regards Stella. Please comment would be appreciated.

  9. Andy Trigg (Whitegoodshelp)

    Hello Stella. Some people do seem to have a problem with excessive filling and shedding of fibres though many modern clothes have quite restrictive wash labels that need to be carefully read and understood and adhered to otherwise damage to the clothes can occur. Some T-shirts say do not spin, I’ve even got a T-shirt on this morning which for some bizarre reason the wash label says do not use fabric softener. I’ve no idea why, and need to look into this. It also many of the wash labels say to wash only with similarly coloured items. I think the problem you describe may well at least be partially due to washing items on wash cycles and circumstances that the wash labels warn against. Also, many people wash items that should be washed on a gentle cycle, or a cycle with the one line underneath indicating gentle action on a normal wash cycle with a normal wash action instead.

    Unfortunately, adhering to the ridiculous wash labels is very difficult these days. Most people never even look at the wash labels and could be forgiven for assuming you can just wash them on 40 degree cottons wash like we have washed most things for decades.

    Having said all that, it is possible that modern washing machines may be contributing to the problem but I think all the afore mentioned should be ruled out first.

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