Need to know
- Low performance washing machines can cost you over time.
- Brand is no indicator of performance, we've found big variations between models.
- It pays to do your research before jumping on a discounted machine.
Making a big new purchase can be exciting, but most of us don't really enjoy handing over a hefty chunk of cash for a humdrum appliance like a washing machine. While you may be planning to simply grab a heavily discounted model in the End of Financial Year sales and hope for the best, it's worth doing your research first.
We've tested plenty of expensive washers that won't do a good job at cleaning your clothes, and cheap machines that are so inefficient that they actually end up costing a fortune.
These three low-scoring top loaders will leave you saddled with high running costs and low performance according to our expert testers.
This $999 machine is excellent at rinsing but not much else, receiving an overall score of 57%. It is the lowest rated model for dirt removal, scoring just 52% and it also performs poorly for spin efficiency, meaning your clothes will take longer to dry after a wash.
To make matters worse, this poor performance comes at a high running cost and you'll also find this machine uses a lot more water than other models.
Speed Queen AWNA62
Not only does this machine have a relatively high ticket price of $2495, it will also end up costing you a lot more over time, with a 10-year running cost of approximately $1469 (more than twice as much as many of our recommended models).
In return for your hard earned cash, you'll get a good rinse cycle, but below-average dirt removal and a notable lack of wash options and features, with no fast wash or woollens wash setting and no auto-sense water level, delay timer or time remaining display.
With an overall score of 59%, this Speed Queen doesn't justify its high price tag.
Fisher & Paykel WA7060G2
Even if you get a bargain on this $849 Fisher & Paykel, you'll end up paying plenty more in electricity and water bills, as the estimated 10-year running costs are around $1295 and water efficiency is very poor.
You may even find yourself having to restock your wardrobe more frequently, as this machine scored just 43% for gentleness, meaning clothes will fray and wear out quicker.
Dirt removal and spin efficiency are also average, contributing to an overall score of just 60%.
Washing machine buying tips
CHOICE resident washing machine expert Ashley Iredale says you should avoid making impulse purchases on an important appliance like a washing machine – no matter how much of a discount is on offer.
"Don't be tempted by discounts on more expensive, feature-rich machines if you're not going to use those features," he says.
He also advises looking for deals with free delivery and avoiding poor quality extended warranties: "they can eat up any End of Financial Year sale savings and aren't worth the paper they're printed on."
For more top tips, visit our washing machine buying guide.