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 way above anyone else in build quality and sophistication. They aren’t necessarily the best washing machine for everyone though, 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. We have to expect that if a washing machine is built to a higher standard, the parts will cost more to make. In theory though a quality appliance can often 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 11 years and it’s never broken down once. It still looks and sounds like new and I honestly expect it to last many more years.
Looking for cheaper recommendations?
Sadly it’s very difficult to recommend any other brands at the moment. After Miele they all tend to be very much the same inside with all parts looking so similar it’s impossible to see any real difference in either design or build quality. The main differences are how the company operates, how long the manufacturer guarantees their new appliances for, how good their after-sales department is dealing with faults under warranty and how easy they are to buy spares for and get technical information and repairs once out of guarantee. As an appliance engineer I take being able to repair an appliance very seriously.
These days none of the manufacturers are producing appliances I would personally recommend but the best of the bunch after Miele to me are Electrolux | Zanussi | AEG (All owned by the same company). These brands still have undesirable issues such as welded drums, and can (like all the rest) be too expensive to repair far too young, but realistically the choices are limited. So if I was buying a new appliance and wasn’t getting a Miele I would most likely go for an AEG or Electrolux followed by Zanussi (John Lewis brand washing machines are currently made by Zanussi and have 3 year warranties).
In my experience, and according to reports on my forums and comments on articles, the brown goods manufacturers such as LG, Panasonic, Samsung make decent machines similar to their competition. They tend to have more features, and longer guarantees. However, they tend to rely on third party companies to do their aftersales. I’ve seen a lot of complaints about aftersales service. Personally I would prefer to buy from a manufacturer that has their own network of engineers.
Finally I wouldn’t buy any brand of appliance that does not make their own appliances. There are quite a few cases of brands like Kenwood, Bush, Russel Hobs, or brands you’ve never heard of before. Many of these appliances are “badged” appliances. They have them made by someone else who puts their branding on them. In my opinion this is a terrible way of producing appliances. Many big retailers also have their own brand appliances. With one notable exception (John Lewis) these appliances tend to be much more difficult to get repaired in the future. It’s often difficult to find out who actually made it and often it’s much harder to buy spare parts down the line when they’ve stopped making them.
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.