A washing machine is an essential item that often comes at a luxury price, but here are the best budget-friendly offerings
You don’t need to spend thousands on a top-notch appliance, as our roundup of the best cheap washing machines demonstrates, with some models costing under £300.
A budget price doesn’t mean settling for poor performance. Although more expensive washing machines can offer better cleaning performance, they also include lots of fancy features such as Wi-Fi connectivity and auto dosing that aren’t exactly essential.
By forgoing some of these extra features and stripping it back to what’s important, you can still get a good machine at a wallet-friendly price. And as bonkers as it sounds, sometimes knocking a few quid off the price is even as simple as opting for a white machine over a silver or black one.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve scoured the internet to find the best washing machines for under £450, including large-capacity and high-spin-speed models.
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How to choose the best cheap washing machine for you
What size drum do I need?
As drum sizes are specified in kilograms, it can be tricky to work out which size is right for you. For bigger households, or those with young children, it’s often worth choosing the biggest within your budget: 9kg is a good size for families. A 6kg or 7kg drum can feel cramped, even for a couple, but for those who prefer to wash lots of smaller loads on a quick-wash cycle, it will suffice. If you want to wash chunkier items such as duvets, it’s worth investing in a machine with a large drum.
Is a faster spin speed better?
Yes: the higher the figure given for spin speed, the more water will be removed from the clothes during this part of the cycle. No matter whether you’re air-drying or tumble-drying your laundry, it will take less time to dry if spun at higher speeds. But watch out, some cycles – such as quick-wash programmes – operate at a reduced spin speed to complete the wash in the fastest time possible, meaning clothes come out much wetter. In this instance, you may need to run a separate spin cycle to remove more water from the load and avoid lengthy drying times.
What features can I get on a budget machine?
At the very lowest end of the price range, most washing machines offer only the essential wash programmes and features. It’s possible to get extras without going above £400, so if special wash cycles such as duvet, anti-allergy or even steam programmes are important to you, you will be pleased to know these features aren’t out of reach. Likewise, large-capacity models with a high spin speed are also available as you head above £250. Budget models, however, aren’t packed with as many sensors as their expensive counterparts and, while you won’t get a machine with auto dosing, there are some cheaper models offering Wi-Fi connectivity now.
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The best cheap washing machines to buy in 2023
1. Beko WTL82051W: The best large-capacity washing machine under £300
Price: £259 | Buy now from AO While an 8kg drum size isn’t the largest on the market, it’s ideal for a medium-size family and this model comes at a very affordable price. It’s highly praised by users online who are impressed by the quality of this machine as well as the value for money.
The biggest drawback is that wash temperatures aren’t variable (you can’t manually adjust the temperature of a cycle), but there’s a good range of presets that will cover most people’s needs. These include energy-saving 20˚C washes as well as 60˚C and 90˚C cotton programmes for a bacteria-busting hygienic clean of loads such as cloth nappies or towels. You will have to spend a little more if you want the best possible spin speed, though.
Key specs – Drum size: 8kg; Max spin speed: 1,200rpm; Rated efficiency: C; Wool wash: No; Delicate wash: Yes; Hand wash: Yes
2. Candy HCU14102DBBE: The best black washing machine under £350
Price: £329 | Buy now from AO White appliances are always the cheapest, but if a white washing machine will stick out like a sore thumb in your kitchen, this black model from Candy is a great option.
It’s got an impressively roomy 10kg drum, so is great for tackling larger loads. Users particularly love the capacity, which is rare in this price bracket, and they also note that the 1,400rpm spin is effective at removing most of the water from loads.
It’s not the most intuitive model to use and the wash programmes are displayed in symbols that will have you reaching for the manual for the first few uses. But once you’ve got to grips with it, you will enjoy the benefits of all the technology on board, including weight sensors, stain sensors and app connectivity.
Key specs – Drum size: 10kg; Max spin speed: 1,400rpm; Rated efficiency: E; Wool wash: Yes; Delicate wash: Yes; Hand wash: Yes
3. Hisense WFQY1014EVJMT: Best silver washing machine
Price: £329 | Buy now from AO
Although its RRP is just over £400, this sleek and streamlined machine regularly retails for well below that price. The spacious 10kg capacity is perfect for bigger families and the steam programmes designed to kill off germs are perfect for baby clothes. It also comes in white if silver doesn’t suit, but we think it looks pretty swish in the silver finish.
The motor features inverter technology to make it quieter and reduce wear and tear so it should last longer. All in all there are 15 wash cycles to choose from, including a fast 15-minute option as well as eco-wash cycles. And with a B energy rating, it’s the least power-hungry machine on this list, so well worth considering if like everyone else, you want to reduce your energy bills.
Users praise this machine for its roomy capacity, low energy consumption and for being quiet in use. It’s a washing machine that’ll tick most people’s boxes.
Key specs – Drum size: 10kg; Max spin speed: 1,400rpm; Rated efficiency: B; Wool wash: Yes; Delicate wash: Yes 20 degree; Hand wash: No
4. Bosch WAN28081GB: The best Bosch washing machine under £450
Price: £429 | Buy now from AOBosch machines are a firm favourite and regularly make it into our best washing machine roundups. These top-performing models can be pricey, but it is possible to grab a Bosch washing machine for less than £450. You won’t get a large capacity model, though: this Serie 4 model only has a 7kg drum, making it best suited to couples or smaller families.
The 15-minute quick wash will please those who are short of time, while the SpeedPerfect option can be used with almost any programme to reduce the wash time by up to 65%. Reload allows you to open the door mid-cycle, which is ideal for dropped socks or forgotten tops. The ecoSilence drive motor lives up to its name too, with users regularly commenting on how quiet this machine is.
Key specs – Drum size: 7kg; Max spin speed: 1,400rpm; Rated efficiency: D; Wool wash: Yes; Delicate Wash: Yes; Hand wash: No