10 of the best washing machines for families – large loads, quick washes and good energy ratings

Based on the reviews of 600 parents and industry experts, we reveal the best washing machines for families based on performance, load size, quick washes and other key factors

MadeForMums reviews are independent and based on expertise and testing. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, but this never influences our product choices.
Washing machine MadeForMums buyers' guide

Buying a family washing machine is a big investment, with such a huge choice of brands and models offering different features at a range of prices. To help you make the right decision, we surveyed 933 family households about the washing machines they use on a day-to-day basis.

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We asked them which brand they owned, what they liked about their machine, what they looked for when choosing a new one, what features they needed and much more.

Building on feedback from our survey, we then spoke to two professional home appliance experts from AO.com and John Lewis to provide detailed advice on exactly what you should be looking for when choosing a new washing machine.

Following the below guide, we have a list of 10 suggested large capacity washing machines which range in price, size and type of machine. We have focused on models which offer features respondents from our survey identified as important to their families.

These were features such as a large drum capacity, good energy rating and quick wash cycle option. We also made selections based on advice from our AO.com and John Lewis experts so we could recommend a model to suit your family best. We have ensured the chosen machines below were highly rated by their previous buyers.

See our selection of the best washing machines for families

MadeForMums Buyer’s Guide: how to choose the best washing machine for your family

From our in-depth survey of nearly 1,000 households, we found that a large load size was one of the most important features families considered when buying a new washing machine. We also discovered that a quick wash cycle was a feature they especially valued.

Hotpoint, Beko and Bosch were the most commonly owned washing machines by those we spoke to. However, Samsung models were the most favoured by households who used them, with 82% of owners scoring Samsung appliances an overall rating of 9 or 10 out of 10.

What type of washing machine do I need?

There are lots of decisions to make when you’re buying a washing machine and the main initial choice is which type of machine you need.

Lauren Clark is AO.com’s Large Appliance Trading Director and an expert in washing machines.

“When choosing your new washing machine, there are a few things you should look out for. The first question is whether to choose freestanding or integrated for a more stream-lined look.”

Integrated vs. freestanding washing machines

An integrated washing machine refers to models which will be installed into your existing kitchen or home space, for instance one which will slot neatly under the counter-top and be hidden behind a cupboard door.

A freestanding washing machine is a model which can be set anywhere you have space for it, as a stand-alone item.

Combined washer-dryer

There is also the option of a combined washer-dryer, which does the jobs of both a washing machine and a tumble dryer in one appliance. If you already have a functioning tumble dryer or prefer not to use one, you’re unlikely to need a combined model. Washer-dryers are also available as both freestanding and standalone machines.

“If you’re short on space in the home, it may be worth considering a washer-dryer,” advises AO.com’s Lauren Clark. “[However], you need to remove some of your laundry prior to drying it, especially if [the machine] was filled very full.”

The reason for the removal is because a drying cycle needs more space in the drum to dry your clothes efficiently than a wash cycle, which can function when more full. This is something to look out for when choosing a washer-dryer as there will be 2 weight capacities listed, one for washing and another for drying.

Once you know which type of machine is for you, make sure you measure the space you want to fit it into, especially if you’re looking at purchasing an integrated appliance. Luckily, the main dimensions of a washing machines are usually standard across models.

Simon Bentley is a partner and Assistant Buyer of large electrical appliances at John Lewis.

“When choosing your machine, it’s important to know the depth of your space, particularly if the washing machine or dryer is in an enclosed space,” he advises. “Height and widths don’t change but occasionally customers will require a slimmer depth for a smaller living space.”

What size washing machine do I need?

Washing machine sizes usually refer to the size of the drum and therefore how much capacity there is available to fill up with a laundry load.

This capacity is discussed in kilogram weights. Generally, sizes range from a standard 7kg capacity up to a huge 14 kg sized drum. A drum at the higher end of the capacity scale could be useful if you have an especially big family or for washing big household items like duvets.

43% of families we surveyed told us that having a large enough drum capacity was one of the most important things they looked at when choosing a machine. This made load size the most sought-after feature in a washing machine for households we spoke to, especially for families with 4 or more children.

The most common drum size for parents we surveyed was either 8kg or 9 kg.

What size washing machine for a family of 4?

“For a family of 4 we’d suggest a 9KG [drum capacity],” says Simon Bentley of John Lewis. “A 9KG could comfortably wash one double duvet or 7 pairs of trousers and 7 t-shirts in one load.”

Simon’s suggestion refers to a normal washing machine. It’s worth bearing in mind that the capacity for a combined washer-dryer will be different depending on whether it’s on a wash or dry cycle, as the drying function needs more space and therefore a less full drum.

In this case, Simon recommends looking for a machine with a 9kg wash capacity and a 6kg drying capacity for a family of 4.

What is the best washing machine for a large family?

“For bigger families a larger load option is advised and 10kg – 12kg machines can easily wash heavy items such as duvets, curtains and towels in one big load; ideal for those with a busy family lifestyle,” advises AO.com’s washing machine expert, Lauren Clark.

In our survey, only 5% of households had extra-large machine drum capacities (10kg to 14kg) and we found that big families didn’t necessarily own a large machine. Some 70% of the families with a 10kg to 14kg machine had only 1 or 2 children, meaning a larger size drum may be more down to lifestyle and personal choice.

For instance, you may choose a large capacity to wash heavy items or if you prefer to do big loads less frequently. It’s worth bearing in mind that a machine drum should be filled around to around 80% as a maximum level. Under-filling a machine will waste water and energy, therefore also wasting more in overall running costs if you don’t use the full capacity frequently.

Other factors to consider if you have a big family are features like an eco-wash option. Although the cycle can take longer, eco washes use less energy which should save money in the long run. The same applies for a quick wash option, which was one of the most popular features mentioned by our survey respondents.

Quick or fast wash settings provide shorter cycles which will save time and are ideal for smaller loads, or clothes which don’t require deep cleaning or stain-removal.

What does the washing machine spin speed “rpm” mean?

“Spin speed refers to how many times your washing machine’s drum spins per minute,” explains John Lewis’ Simon Bentley. “A faster spin speed will remove more water from your clothes, meaning they’ll dry quicker.”

The higher the “rpm” number, the faster the machine will spin. For instance, a machine labelled “1600 rpm” will spin faster than a “1400 rpm” model.

How much does a washing machine cost to run?

“Have a look at the energy ratings,” advises Large Appliance Trading Director, Lauren Clark. “Energy efficient washing machines use less water and electricity, saving money in the long run and helping to care for the planet.”

Just under a third of families we spoke to identified the energy rating of a washing machine as being one of the three most important factors they looked for when choosing a model.

Energy ratings are ranked alphabetically, with A being the top of the scale, meaning they consume the least energy during a cycle.

“A+++ washing machines are the most efficient on the market,” explains Simon Bentley from John Lewis. “Look out for models with an A rating or above for less power consumption.”

The cost of running a washing machine will vary hugely depending on how often you use it, the size of the machine and, of course, its energy efficiency

“The annual energy cost for one of our A+++ machines (based on 220 washes at 15.40p/unit) is £25.56. Of course, there’s also the cost of the water and your detergent to consider,” explains AO.com’s Lauren Clark.

For a combined washer-dryer, this will be slightly higher than a washing machine alone.

“The energy cost for one of our A rated machines (based on 200 wash/dry cycles at 15.40p/unit) is £31.72,” she adds.

How long do washing machines last?

The length of time you can expect your machine to last can vary greatly.

“It depends on so many things such as how often it’s used and how well it’s cared for – don’t forget to do a monthly cleaning cycle!” explains expert Lauren Clark.

Checking reviews of previous models can help you determine how other users have found the quality of that machine and it’s worth making sure you’re aware of the warranty offered by the manufacturer. A longer warranty should mean your machine is expected to have a longer life and will be covered if it doesn’t live up to that promise.

“Depending on the model, a new machine could be protected for anything from 1 year, all the way up to 10 years,” says Lauren.

How do you know when it’s time to replace a washing machine?

If your washing machine isn’t working, contact the manufacturer to see if they can fix it, especially if it is still within its warranty.

“Your washing machine may still be functioning, but you may feel that your clothes aren’t coming out as clean as they should be or that the cycles are taking too long for your family’s requirements,” says Lauren Clark of AO.com. In this case, she advises looking into replacing the machine if it’s not able to be repaired.

10 of the best washing machines for families

We’ve put together a list of a range of products below, chosen based on buyer reviews and those which offer features the 933 family households we surveyed told us were important to them.

The most common brand owned by those we surveyed was Hotpoint, followed by Beko and then Bosch. Many households also had Samsung and Indesit machines.

Last year Whirlpool issued a mass recall on certain models of their Indesit and Hotpoint washing machines. From our survey, we found that factors such as trust relating to a specific brand were some of the most important factors considered when choosing a washing machine.

We also found that households owning Indesit and Hotpoint machines were less likely to rate their machines scores of 9 or 10 out of 10 than other brands we have included (34% of Indesit owners and 44% of Hotpoint owners). Although only certain models have been affected by the Whirlpool recall, for the above reasons we have decided to exclude these brands from our suggested list below.

Free-standing washing machines

Samsung Ecobubble WW80J5555FC, £399

Best for value high performance
Load Size: 8kg | Spin Speed: 1400 rpm | Energy rating: A+++

Pros:

  • Popular “ecobubble” technology
  • 5 year warranty
  • Quick wash option

Cons:

  • Regular wash cycle is quite long (3 hours)

From our survey of 933 family households, we found that 82% of Samsung washing machine owners would give their appliance an overall rating of either 9 or 10 out of 10.

Samsung’s “ecobubble” technology was mentioned several times as a favourite feature by respondents who made comments such as, “the ecobubble [feature] is energy friendly and washes well” and “ecobubble technology completely rinses suds off clothes.” This addition has made the washing machines top sellers at big name appliance retailers.

Lauren Clark is AO.com’s Large Appliance Trading Director and an expert in washing machines.

“The Samsung ecobubble 8Kg is a popular choice due to its bubble soak option, which bathes clothes in soapy bubbles and gives a great wash performance at lower temperatures,” explains Lauren. “[This] helps to protect clothes and save energy. It also comes with a 5 year warranty.”

This model should have enough drum capacity for a family of 4 and has a quick wash option. It has the highest energy rating of A+++, meaning it will be efficient to run. The washing machine also averages 4.8 stars out of 5 through reviews from 669 previous buyers on AO.com.

Available from: AO, Samsung, Amazon, Currys PC World

Miele W1 WSR863WPS, £898

Best for high-end overall performance

Load Size: 9kg | Spin Speed: 1400 rpm | Energy rating: A+++

Pros:

  • Well-tested for durability
  • Controllable from an app

Cons:

  • Pricier than other brands

Miele are a higher end brand and their washing machines range from around £700 up to almost £2,500. Although less households in our survey owned Miele machines than other brands (16 families) 100% of those who had one rated it either 9 or 10 out of 10 overall.

Common praise for the washing machine brand was around quality and reliability, with comments such as, “good quality, washes very well,” and “super reliable. Have had it more than 15 years with no problems.”

For the top-spec brand, this Miele model is one of the more reasonably priced and has lots of useful features. The company test its machines for the equivalent of 20 years’ use to ensure they’re up to the constant demands of busy family life. The washing machine connects to an app, so you can control the cycle from your smartphone and it’s also got the highest energy efficiency rating of A+++.

Available from: AO.com

LG TrueSteam FH4G1BCS2, £1,199

Best for big loads

Load Size: 12kg | Spin Speed: 1400rpm | Energy rating: A+++

Pros:

  • Huge 12kg load capacity
  • “TrueSteam” and “TurboWash” features

Cons:

  • High-cost

This LG machine is pricey, but a portion of that is down to the huge load capacity of 12kg. The model offers plenty of drum space for large families or for washing heavy items such as duvets. It’s also got the highest energy efficiency rating of A+++ so it should save money in the long run compared to less efficient machines.

From our survey, we found that the majority (62%) of families who owned LG washing machines would give them an overall rating of 9 or 10 out of 10.

This model also boasts lots of handy features like the trademarked “TrueSteam” technology which is reportedly more hygienic and leaves clothes less wrinkled and free of allergens. The “TurboWash” feature, on the other hand, claims to give clothes a deeper wash with the use of a jet spray.

One reviewer of this washing machine said, “This is the first time I’ve bought an LG washing machine [and] I can honestly say I’m not disappointed. Large drum capacity, excellent quiet spin. Clothes cleaner than my previous machine. Would highly recommend this product. I know it’s more expensive than other washing machines on the market but you pay for quality.”

Available from: AO.com, Currys PC World,

Samsung QuickDrive WW80M645OPM, £619

Best for handy features

Load Size: 8kg | Spin Speed: 1400rpm | Energy rating: A+++

Pros:

  • Popular “ecobubble” technology
  • Separate wash drawer
  • Controllable from an app

Cons:

  • More expensive than similar Samsung model

4.9 out of 5 stars on AO.com out of 70 reviews.

Samsung benefits from high brand satisfaction from the households we surveyed (82% rating their washing machines 9 or 10 out of 10 overall) and this model also has the popular “ecobubble” technology. This feature deep-cleans clothes using soap suds, meaning you should be able to get those muddy knees sorted in a normal wash.

This is one of Samsung’s mid-range models in terms of pricing for the brand and benefits from a 5-year warranty. We included this option as it has a separate wash door which allows you to add extra items in once the wash has started, without interrupting the cycle. This is especially handy in busy family households where there’s always something else to chuck in at the last minute.

The washing machine also connects to an app on your smart phone which allows you to update your wash cycle on the school run. This feature was something a previous buyer particularly appreciated; “The matching phone app is also quite cool – it recommends which wash settings to use based on the items you want to wash. You can also pause or delay the machine from your phone, if you are going to be late getting home.”

Available from: Amazon, John Lewis, AO.com

John Lewis & Partners JLWM1417, £419

Best for easy timing

Load Size: 8kg | Spin Speed: 1400rpm | Energy rating: A+++

Pros:

  • Fast washing cycles
  • Time display feature

Cons:

  • Lower kg capacity for quick washes

Although not as many families we surveyed had John Lewis washing machines, they generally scored well and there were no specific dislikes reported about the appliances.

This model has a top-rated energy efficiency (A+++) for a reasonable price and averages 4.7 out of 5 stars in 304 reviews on the John Lewis website. Previous buyers had plenty of positive comments to add about the machine’s usability and special functions, such as a fast wash option.

“Synthetic programme only takes 52 minutes using this feature. Drum capacity is good, holds an abundant amount of clothes and I managed to wash a 4.5 tog double duvet in machine. 14 minute programme is ideal for lightly soiled clothes.

“Time display feature allows you to see how long programme has still to run. It washes, rinses and spins clothes efficiently. Overall very happy with this washing machine and I would recommend it to others,” said one buyer.

Available from: John Lewis

Integrated washing machines

Beko WIR76540F1, £319

Best budget integrated option

Load Size: 7kg | Spin Speed: 1600rpm | Energy rating: A+++

Pros:

  • Fast spin speed
  • Top energy efficiency
  • Great price

Cons:

  • Smaller load capacity

Beko were the second most commonly owned machines out of the 933 families we spoke to and over half rated them at least 9 out of 10 stars overall. This brand offer lower-priced appliances for the same high-energy efficiency as pricier makes.

This is a 7kg model which is useful if you don’t have quite as big a family and it has a faster 1600rpm spin speed to help get clothes dryer more quickly. The machine is widely available and scores 4.6 out of 5 stars in reviews on AO.com (150 customers) and 9.2 out of 10 at Currys PC World (54 reviews).

Common praise from other buyers was that the machine is quiet, the fast spin works well and there is a good range of washing programmes to choose from which allow the speed and temperature settings to be adjusted to whatever you need.

Available from: Amazon, AO.com, Currys PC World

Bosch Serie 6 WIW28300GB, £679

Best for a quiet cycle

Load Size: 8kg | Spin Speed: 1400rpm | Energy rating: A+++

Pros:

  • “EcoSilence” quiet feature
  • Fits well into integrated cupboards

Cons:

  • No quick wash feature

Bosch was the third most commonly owned washing machine make out of households we surveyed and one of the highest rated overall, with 69% of owners rating their model at least 9 out of 10 overall.

The brand also seemed to be one of the most recognisable, with families commenting positively on Bosch as a make. The owner of a Bosch Classix said of the brand, “Good reliable name, decent wash with options. Trust the brand, easy to operate, good make,” while another who had the Bosch WAK28260GB model commented, “Bosch is a brand that I trust when it come to white goods, and it so for the price it seemed like it should be a good buy. It also had good reviews.”

This particular model has a special “ecoSilence drive” feature which is supposed to make the machine more energy efficient (it is top rated at A+++) while being extremely quiet. Previous buyers appeared to agree and the model averaged 4.8 out of 5 stars on AO.com with 184 reviews.

One reviewer was particularly impressed with the practicality of this integrated washing machine, “It has a large door making it easier to put bed sheets and towels into the machine. One other thing that is a great improvement over some other machines is the position of the detergent drawer.

“Set in about 25mm from the edge of the machine instead of being at the edge like some others, there are no lost knuckles on the kitchen cupboard door when opening or closing the drawer.”

Available from: AO.com, Currys PC World, John Lewis

Neff W544BX0GB, £749

Best high-end integrated option

Load Size: 8kg | Spin Speed: 1400rpm | Energy rating: A+++

Pros:

  • Extra handy features
  • “EcoSilence” quiet programme
  • Projected timer

Cons:

  • Pricier than other models

Neff is a higher end washing machine brand offering a variety of integrated model options which not all brands do. Although only 3 households we spoke to had a Neff washing machine, one family rated it 9 out of 10 overall and the other 2 rated their models 10 out of 10.

This Neff model has an 8kg load which is perfect for families and it has the highest energy efficiency rating (A+++). There are lots of handy features offering speedy cycles, a stain removal option, child lock and an “EcoSilence” program which promises to be quieter than ever – especially useful for open-plan living spaces or smaller homes where you might have light sleepers nearby.

There’s also a light which projects the time remaining on the cycle onto the ground, which was popular with the 41 previous buyers on the John Lewis website, who rated it an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

“I am so glad I decided to buy this washing machine as it is outstanding. Incredibly quiet. You literally do not know when it’s on. Washes beautifully. I love the floor projection showing your cycle and time left. All in all, am very happy and can highly recommend,” commented one reviewer.

Available from: John Lewis, Currys PC World, Amazon

Combined washer-dryers

Hoover Dynamic Next WDXOA496C (freestanding), £399

Best for value all-in-one

Load Size: 9kg (wash) / 6kg (dry) | Spin Speed: 1400rpm | Energy rating: A

Pros:

  • Great value
  • High-tech features
  • Controllable from an app

Cons:

  • Less highly-rated brand than others

From our survey, we found that the majority of families who owned Hoover washing machines would rate them 9 or 10 out of 10 overall (55%). If you’re looking for a combined washer-dryer which is also free-standing, AO.com’s home appliance expert Lauren Clark recommends this model in particular, also by Hoover.

“The Hoover Dynamic Next Washer Dryer is one of our highest-rated appliances and features some of the latest technology. Thanks to the KG Mode, you can wash and dry more efficiently as it uses clever sensors to weigh the load and automatically adjust settings, so you only ever use the perfect amount of time and energy,” says Lauren

This model also offers the a 9kg wash capacity and 6kg drying capacity which is the recommended sizing for a family of 4, according to John Lewis’ Assistant Buyer of Large Electricals, Simon Bentley.

As well as being space-saving, this machine would save money compared to buying a separate dryer and is reasonably priced even compared to stand-alone washing machines. The machine also connects to a smartphone app so you can pause or restart your washing cycle from the school run.

Available from: AO.com, Amazon, Currys PC World

Bosch Serie 6 WDU28560GB (integrated), £846

Best for high-tech features

Load Size: 10kg (wash) / 6kg (dry) | Spin Speed: 1400rpm | Energy rating: A

Pros:

  • “EcoSilence” quiet programme
  • Automatically stops when load is dry

Cons:

  • High-tech control not easy for everyone to grasp

Bosch was one of the most common brands owned by families we surveyed and was generally well-regarded by those who had one.

This Bosch model offers a high capacity wash cycle for large families in an integrated design, so it should slot discreetly into your kitchen.

This appliance benefits from the brand’s extra quiet and efficient “EcoSilence Drive” and has clever sensors which monitor moisture levels in your load so it will automatically finish once your clothes are dry.

One reviewer of the machine was impressed but mentioned it’s quite high-tech to control, which could take some getting used to.

“The huge drum is ideal for family-sized loads and the machine is very, very quiet compared to other washer dryers – ideal for open plan or dining kitchens…The touch sensitive control panel is complex to get to grips with and the manual is not 100% helpful so it may not be suitable for some older users,” said the buyer.

Available from: AO.com, John Lewis, Currys PC World, Amazon

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