Laundry Buying Guide: Choosing A Washing Machine 2022 – National Product Review – long 2:34
Life’s too short to spend it on doing laundry. No matter how large your family’s laundry load or how small your laundry space is, our Laundry Buying Guide has a solution for all your laundry needs with. Find out which washing machine or dryer is best suited to your needs so you can spend more time on the important things like time with family and friends.
How do I choose the right washing machine for my washing needs?
Selecting the right washing machine depends on a number of factors, for example; the number of people in your household, how often you do your washing, the types of garments you wash and if you need to target specific issues like allergies or your time-poor schedule. The space of your laundry is also important to consider if a top load or front load washing machine will suit you.
Which capacity type should I go for?
If you live in a single or coupled household of 1 to 2 people, a washing machine with 5-7kg capacity would suffice. If you’re a large family of 3-4 people, then a washing machine with a 7-9kg capacity will work wonders. If your household is home to over 5 people or perhaps you wash often with a bigger load, then a washing machine with a 10kg capacity and above is the perfect one for you.
What type of laundry functions should I look out for?
There are numerous laundry functions to help make washing and drying your laundry easier! Some of the popular functions include:
Quick Wash: washes your laundry load in a shorter amount of time, anywhere between 15 minutes to 40 minutes.
Eco Wash: wash effectively while reducing your energy and water consumption with an economical wash cycle.
Anti-Crease & Wrinkle: wash and reduce the need to iron with anti-crease and anti-wrinkle functions.
Auto Dosing: load your washing, fill the detergent dispenser and let the washing machine do the guess work. By using sensors, the washing machine can detect how much detergent the wash needs.
Delay Start: need the washing or drying to start at a particular time? Simply load your load, then set how many hours later you need the cycle to start and the machine will do so. Generally, delay start will let you load up to 24 hours ahead.
Add Items: whether you forgot an item or a sock fell from the load, washing machines that have a pause option or door pocket for adding items will be a lifesaver. Now you don’t have to wait for the next wash.
Smart Control: connected to the Wi-Fi, the washing machine or dryer can be monitored and controlled via an app on your smart device.
How do I choose the right dryer for my drying needs?
Finding the best dryer depends on a host of factors such as the drying capacity you require, your laundry’s space, the type of venting required, if any and other considerations such as if you need a quick drying option or drying to meet the needs of those with sensitive skin or allergies.
Can I have a washing machine and dryer in my apartment?
Depending on the size of your laundry, you could have your washing machine and dryer next to each other or they could be stacked if the height allows it, ensuring the controls are still within your reach. However, if you live in a smaller space like an apartment or a granny flat, a combined washer dryer combo will be ideal.
Quick Tip – Create zones in your laundry space that will make laundry day more efficient. Have a ‘dirty’ zone, a ‘clean’ zone and a workspace. Use labelled baskets and clever hooks that you can get at your local homewares store.
There are a wide variety of washing machines available, with the main difference being the access point – top loading or front loading. Below you will see the unique characteristics of both to see which best suits you.
More gentle on clothes
More energy and water efficient
Costs less to run
Wide variety of programs and functions
Higher spin speed to expel water
More compact, ideal for small spaces
These machines are ideal for smaller spaces and usually fit under a bench (height dependent). They also allow for a dryer to be stacked above if required.
They require minimum space at the front and side to open the door
Average wash time is shorter than front load washing machines
Light and easy to move
Better rinse performance
Easier to add clothes in once machine is operating
Easy to load. Just lift the lid and drop or push in the clothes
More energy and water is used when compared to front load washing machines
If installing a dryer above, leave enough space on top to open the washing machine’s lid
Most top loaders vary in size, so make sure you measure the width of the space you have to ensure it will fit.
At this point, you might have already decided on what type of washing machine will suit you: it’s either a Front or Top Load Washing Machine. As you shop around, it’s equally important to look at the different functions, efficiency ratings and other features you may need.
A washing machine’s capacity is measured in the kilograms of washing that can be washed per wash. They generally vary between 4.5kg to 10kg, with some boasting 12kg capacity. Small capacity washing machines will suit a small household whereas larger capacity washing machines are perfect for bigger and busier families.
The part of the machine that works the hardest is the drum, so the material used and the quality greatly impacts the price and longevity of your washing machine. Tough material, such as Stainless Steel is more durable and longer lasting. Budget models include plastic or ceramic drums which are less durable. Additionally, pay attention to the type of drive the machine has (direct or belt). A machine with a direct drive system has less moving parts which essentially last longer, so you get more value out of your washing machine.
Whether you’re washing a load while the kids are still sleeping or if the laundry’s built into the apartment living area, you’d want to make sure your washing is done effectively and quietly. Keep an eye out for noise levels, rated in Decibels (dBA), with a higher dBA rating indicating a higher noise level. Additionally, reduce noise and vibration with vibration dampers which can be installed under the washing machine.
The part of the machine the works the hardest is the drum and the material used and the build quality greatly impacts the price. The hardier the material, such as stainless steel, the more durable and longer lasting your machine will be. Less expensive models include plastic or ceramic drums which may be less durable. Additionally, pay attention to the type of drive the machine has (direct or indirect). A machine with a direct drive system has less moving parts will essentially last longer, so you’re getting more value out of your washer.
A majority of washing machines come equipped with child-locks and door lock which is useful if you have kids in your household. Moreover, the auto-balance correction feature in top load washing machines is fantastic as it automatically detects and redistributes the load that’s not in balance.
Measured with ‘stars’, an energy rating will give you an indication of how energy efficient your washing machine is. A higher rating means the washing machine uses less energy, which is better for the environment and your wallet.
WELS Rating (Water Usage Rating)
Similar to Energy ratings, the WELS star rating system lets you know if your washing machine is water efficient or not. The higher the star rating, the more efficient the washing machine is, saving water, the environment and reducing your bills.
Most functions available will help you wash your laundry in the most efficient way. Below are some handy functions to keep an eye out for:
If you’ve got delicate items, like silk garments or woollen jumpers that need hand washing, you can utilise the gentle or hand washing functionalities on your washing machine, saving you time and effort.
Need something washed quickly? Wash smaller loads or lightly soiled items with a quick wash that gives you flexibility with efficient results. Many quick wash cycles vary between 15 to 40 minutes.
Wash effectively while reducing your energy and water consumption with an economical wash cycle.
Washing with added steam helps remove allergens and bacteria while deeply cleaning your garments. Steam may also reduce creases and wrinkles.
What better way to save time ironing than to simply press a button to ensure your clothes have less wrinkles when they’re done. This is great for when you’re in a rush and ironing isn’t an option.
This feature automatically detects various aspects of the load, including size, amount of soiling and helps manage how much detergent, water, washing and spinning is needed. This feature is also great for the environment as you use less water and energy for your load.
Whether you forgot an item or a sock fell from the load, washing machines that have a pause option or door pocket for adding items will be a lifesaver. Now you no longer have to wait for the next wash to wash that forgotten item.
If you know your household’s laundry require specific care, keep an eye out for targeted laundry functions. Some of these may include a refresh option or anti-allergy cycle that will help remove allergens and germs, pet hair removal that will eliminate pet hair on garments and Woolmark® Blue accreditation which means it’s gentle on woollens items.
Whilst washing machines can’t yet load the drum itself, many washing machines now feature smart remote access, letting you start, pause and monitor your laundry from an app on your smart device. This is ideal for when you need to check your washing when you’re out.
In Australia, we are lucky enough to often have perfect drying conditions and the clothes line as a trusty companion. However, sometimes weather, time or just plain space is not on our side and a dryer is an essential part of our laundry set up.
Dryers are categorised into three types:
A vent runs from the dryer to the outside where it dispels the moist hot air. Traditionally, these are the cheapest to purchase but have the highest running costs. They’re suitable for areas that can be vented.
This dryer essentially recycles the air by passing the moist, hot air from the clothes through a heat exchange, extracting the water and sending the hot dry air back through the clothes. The collected water will have to be emptied or drained. Suitable for a well-ventilated room to prevent condensation.
Similar to the Condenser dryer, Heat Pump dryers use heated air to dry your clothes with warm damp air cooled and removed as water. These dryers are more expensive however their costs are balanced with the low energy usage. Ideal for apartments as no venting is required and no hot air or moisture is created from the machine.
When selecting the dryer for your needs, you should consider the following:
Like washing machines, dryers use kilograms when to referring to the capacity or the size of the load. It’s not necessary to match the capacity to your washing machine if you will be using alternative drying methods as well. It’s important to note that the capacity refers to the weight of dry clothes, not those that are wet from the washer.
Features & Functions
There are plenty of drying features and functions to make your drying easier. Some useful ones to look out for are auto programs, sensor technology, reverse tumbling which minimises tangling, anti-crease and a drying rack which are good for shoes and delicates.
Type of Installation
Make sure your dryer is installed as stated in the instructions. This includes adequate ventilation either through ducting, air vents and/or an exhaust fan. Also make sure you clean the filter regularly in between loads.
If you plan to mount your dryer on the wall, you need to consider access for both the dryer and your washer. Some manufacturers sell stacking kits, so you can place your dryer directly on top of the washer.
Dryers use a lot of energy to dry your clothes and it’s worth getting a dryer that boasts efficient energy usage. Choose ‘eco’ drying cycles or ‘quick’ functions that means less drying time and opt for dryers with high energy ratings to reduce your carbon footprint.
Quick Tip – Always follow the labels on clothes before placing them in the dryer to get the best results.
Washer Dryer Combos are the ultimate space saver and can be the perfect solution for households with minimal space. They are essentially a front-loading washing machine with an in-built dryer and the total capacity is usually less than a conventional washing machine or dryer.
Washer Dryer Combos may cost as much as buying a washing machine and dryer as two separate units, so their ultimate benefit is for those in smaller homes. Another advantage is that you don’t have to move your clothes between units and at the end of the whole cycle, your clothes will be washed and dried. The length of the wash including drying time, is usually quite longer than a traditional wash to dryer, because it takes time for the drum to dry out for the dryer to function.
When you’re shopping around for a Washer Dryer Combo, below are some of the considerations you should take into account:
Washer Dryer Combos come with varied capacity levels, generally with a larger washing capacity and a smaller dryer capacity. Most Washer Dryer Combos feature a 7kg Washer/4kg Dryer capacity which is ideal for smaller households. Meanwhile, the larger Washer Dryer Combos of up 13kg Washer/7kg Dryer are perfect for larger families or if you’re washing loads of clothes, bed linen and uniforms.
Quick Wash & Dry
Have your clothes washed and dried in a shorter amount of time with quick wash and dry cycles. Some Washer Dryer Combos feature quick washing and drying of lighter loads in the space of under an hour. This is perfect for last minute washing or for lightly soiled items.
If you know your household’s laundry requires specific care, keep an eye out for targeted laundry functions. Some of these functions may include a refresh option or anti-allergy cycle that will help remove allergens and germs, pet hair removal that will eliminate pet hair on garments and Woolmark® Blue accreditation which means it’s gentle on woollens items.
Start, monitor and adjust your washing and dryer progress with smart control. Once the Wi-Fi enabled Washer Dryer Combo is connected, you can check on your laundry via an app on your smartphone or smart device.
Water & Energy Efficiency
If reducing your environmental footprint is top of your mind, look for Washer Dryer Combos that boast high water and energy ratings. If you don’t intend to use the drying function often, a higher water and energy rating (for your washing) will be a good compromise on a lower energy rating (for the dryer).
Top load or front load, a vented or heat pump dryer, or maybe a washer dryer combo? Whatever your laundry requirements, confidently view, compare and find the best appliance for your home. To help with your buying journey, click on the link below to see current laundry models, read consumer reviews and find them at your local retailer!