The pile of laundry that builds up in a bedroom must eventually be tackled, and a decent washing machine can be the difference between time-saving and time-wasting. It’s the appliance Kiwis simply can’t do without (unless you prefer to wash your clothes by hand!). There would be no clean school uniforms, work shirts or bed sheets, so finding the best washing machine for your household’s needs is key. And if you’re looking for a new washing machine, you’ve come to the right place for guidance.
We all want clean shirts and soft and fluffy sheets, so what washing machine gets the job done best, according to Kiwis? Canstar Blue canvassed the opinions of New Zealanders across a range of categories, to measure and track their satisfaction. To decide which washing machine offers the best levels of customer satisfaction, each was rated across the following categories:
- Overall Satisfaction
- Performance and Reliability
- Value for money
- Quietness While Operating
- Ease of Use
Winning top spot and taking home Canstar Blue’s award for Most Satisfied Customers | Washing Machines is Samsung. It’s an incredibly well-deserved win, as Samsung scores solid 5-Star ratings across the board. Also highly commended is Bosch– which scores 5 Stars for Performance and Reliability, Quietness While Operating and Design, Ease of Use and Value for money.
What makes a good washing machine?
According to Canstar Blue’s survey respondents, it’s the Performance and Reliability of a washing machine that matters the most (34%). That’s understandable, considering the amount of use a machine gets during its lifetime in a home. The other main drivers of satisfaction are Value for Money (22%) and Ease of Use (16%).
Kiwis are eco-friendly washers
Of those surveyed by Canstar Blue, 30% say they use the eco setting on their washing machine to save water, and 19% say environmental issues guide their choice of washing machine. 20% use their washer at off-peak times to save on power bills. We’re a nation of time savers, too, with 30% of respondents saying they use a delicate cycle to avoid hand washing.
What kinds of washing machines are there?
Top loaders and front loaders are the two main types of washing machines. Your other option is a combination dryer and washing machine, but these are less common.
Top loader washing machines
Top loaders wash clothes in two ways:
An agitator: clothes are moved around by a central pole (agitator) in the middle of the drum.
An impeller: this whips up the water to move clothes using a propeller-like device at the bottom of the machine.
Top loader pros
- Lower buying price
- Faster wash cycles
- Larger capacity
- Can generally open the washer mid-cycle to add clothes
Top loader cons
- Can be tougher on your clothes
- Use more water
- Usually consume more energy on a warm/hot wash
Front loader washing machines
A front load washing machine works by tumbling your clothes: it picks clothes up and drops them into water in a circular motion. It doesn’t use an agitator or impeller, like a top load washing machine. Instead, it relies on gravity for its tumble action in the drum. This helps to reduce the amount of water used per load, as you don’t need clothes to be completely submerged in water.
Front loader pros
- More energy efficient
- Larger range of cycle options, like spin speeds and temp settings
- Quieter noise levels
- Minimal lint washing clothes
- Can put a dryer above and save space
Front loader cons
- You typically can’t stop a front loader when mid-cycle to add clothes
- Generally longer wash times and smaller capacity levels than top loaders
- Expect to pay higher prices compared to top loaders
What size/capacity should I get?
There are plenty of options when it comes to picking a washing machine. A key starting point is to match the size of a machine to the size of your family. Typically, a larger capacity machine costs more upfront. But it is more suited towards larger families, so will save time, energy and money in the long run.
The capacity of washing machines is measured in kilograms (i.e. the kg weight of your clothes). Front load washing machines come in a wide range of sizes, so it’s easy to find the perfect fit for your laundry. Front loaders can be quite small, around 5-6kg in capacity. But you’ll also find plenty of larger washers, around 10-11kg in capacity. For average families, 7kg machines are regarded as an accommodating size.
As a general rule:
- 1-2 people = <6kgs
- 3-4 people = 6-8kgs
- 5+ people = >8.5kgs
What additional features can I look for?
- Wool or delicate cycles, which mean your machine will automatically adjust temperature and spin cycles to perfectly wash your clothes
- Self-cleaning cycles that wash the drum at an extremely high temperature to kill bugs and mould
- Spin speeds between 400 to 1800. These give you more customised options for different materials. A quicker spin speed means more water is drained, so drying times are faster
- Delay functions allow you to wash clothes in time for you to get home
- Auto-balancing, which automatically adjusts the load to consistently wash and spin
- Wi-fi or apps. This gives you the freedom to start and stop your washing when it suits you
- Cold-only washing machines. These are more energy efficient as they heat the cold water as it comes into the washing machine, meaning you don’t have to use your own hot water supply. This saves power in the long run!
Check out Canstar’s full review of washing machines by hitting the button below!