Find the best washing machines with our review

We review and compare washing machines (member content) in lab conditions, so you can find the best machine at the right price.

If you’re not sure what to look for, read our washing machine buying guide or check out the most reliable brands (member content).

Here’s a short video of setting up a new machine in our labs, the LG twin load that can do two loads of laundry at once:

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Fresh update on our washing machines review (member content).

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We’ve calculated Australia’s top washing machine brand for performance, reliability and customer satisfaction.

Find out who scored the best (member content):

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These washing machines were the most water efficient in our tests:

These three washing machine models performed poorly in our lab test.

Avoid these top-loading washing machines if you want to conserve water:


If you’ve got big piles of laundry to deal with, here’s what to consider when buying a washing machine:


Here’s an update on three washing machines we think are best avoided:


An update on washing machines to avoid:


Some doozies in that lot, 199 and 163 litres of water for a couple of washers in that lot per wash…yep I agree just “perfect” (very sarcastically perfect that is) for our very dry continent and for our water bills.


Although your point is well intended guzzling washing machines are noise in the equation across the population where there are reticulated water supplies.

Our water bills in Melbourne are dominated by fixed charges making the ‘water use’ and ‘sewerage’ components about 25% of the bill. We could use far more water and it would remain a minor component of the bill. We pay for infrastructure but the water is apparently not so important as demonstrated by the billing algorithm - at least until the dams go down and desal plants are built (I am happy for the desal plant as a practical matter).

Our modest component for water is still significantly more than the water miners (bottlers) pay, eg nil or close enough per litre, drought and flood independent while they lower the water tables and the communities have to truck water in…


Not for Renters and owners here in our area where every kilolitre is billed, and if you go over the allowed limit (cheaper rate) then you step into the excess water charges (much higher rate) + the ever present Bulk Water rate:

Tiered Consumption Charges Per kilolitre
Tier 1 Consumption (up to 74kL per quarter3) $0.768
Tier 2 Consumption (in excess of 74kL per quarter3) $1.609
Water consumption is charged per kilolitre (1kL = 1,000 litres) and is based on your water meter reading.
State Government Bulk Water Per kilolitre
This charge covers the cost incurred by Queensland Urban Utilities of buying treated water from the Queensland Government. It is applied based on how much water you use. $2.915

Add to that in water restriction times the 140 litre per person daily allowance, the machines each use are more than 1 extra person per household for that use. The 140 litres obviously incorporate an amount for washing but such level of usage per wash I don’t think was ever envisaged in that allowance.

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Cheaper than mine at face value, unless you add the use charge to the bulk charge to get your cost?

Step 1 (0-440 litres per day) $2.6446
Step 2 (441-880 litres per day) $3.1787
Step 3 (881 or more litres per day) $4.7277

At about 250 litres per day for the household of 2, the charge for use is small compared to our fixed/service charges :frowning: It should be the other way to get everyone to be more water conscious, should it not?

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That’s the way it works Bulk + use plus fixed charges…

I just imagine with say a newborn or infirm in the house an almost daily wash or even just 3 or 4 over a week…with the worst performer at 199 litres that is a huge 600, 800, or near enough for 7 days 1,400 litres per week. Sure small change per week but added up over the lifetime of the machine I am sure it is a much more substantial cost.

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To quote CHOICE …

Disadvantages of a top loader

  • Don’t wash as well – top loaders tend to score lower for soil removal in our tests.

Well, I beg to differ. We bought our first front loader and after a year have been extremely disappointed, not just with the brand, but with the concept and design of front loaders.

Our machine is a SIEMENS IQ700.
I will keep this story short … on numerous occasions we have found standard cotton handkerchiefs that we placed into the machine in a standard folded condition along with other loose clothes, were to be still fully folded after a very lengthy wash cycle.
To put it bluntly, if a user had previously blown solids from their nose into the handkerchief or deposited other solids into it and folded it back into it’s original folded state, then it is highly unlikely to have been adequately washed by the front loader machine. :bomb:

There are numerous other performance reasons for not wanting a front loader again.

We will never buy another.

TOP LOADERS FOREVER ! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


We have found the same thing with our front loader, but had the same issue with our top loader which didn’t have a centre spindle. For this I am grateful, because the old machine and the new one are more gentle on our washing. I have learnt to give everything a shake out before putting it into the machine, that way the problem is avoided.

The other thing I have found with our new front loader is that it uses significantly less detergent than the top loader used to.


Hi @JWS, welcome to the community.

We’ve used both front and several different top loaders over the past 10 years.

The basis of the Choice reviews are cold water wash results.

It’s understandable that for a family washing nearly every day the cost of the water used, of heating hot water and the laundry powder soon add up.

The cold water wash preference may be less relevant for those with solar HWS or PV with a shifted to daytime reheat setting.

With a few exceptions we wash in warm and for some loads hot water. Hot is something less than 55C from an instantaneous gas HW 15m distant. Our current washer is a small 5.5kg top loader. We have no complaints about the results or time taken to put a load through. We use Earth Choice powder which is not from the top of the Choice test list, but is septic friendly and economical using approx half the recommended measure. Cold water washes we have tried are not as effective with the same powder.

With two adults in the house we use approx 100l of water per day per person (based on dipping the leaky concrete tank). Our bottled gas costs around $3/kg delivered while we use 8-10kg per month for all HW cooktop and oven.

When the time arises the top loader will be replaced with a front loader on a solid pedestal. That’s a different discussion.

We could also use less or zero gas. Although in the overall picture annual consumption of approx 100kg Is modest compared with the approx 2,500l of petrol and diesel we use between two each year.


Hi @JWS, welcome to the community.

We have been long term top loader washing machine users (still have one out in the shed), but recently have bought a top load commercial washing machine to wash business linen etc. I agree with some of your observations, but offer the following advice:

  • take care not to overfill the front load washing machine. The washing action is from clothes dropping from the top to the bottom of the drum when it rotates. If the washing machine is very full with clothes, this dropping can’t occur making the washing machine less effective in cleaning the clothes. (note: overfilling a top loading machine also can cause problems such as clothes damage from those clothes pushed up against the agitator as well the clothes not turning from the agitator action).
  • anything folded can come our of the wash folded. We have noticed that this occurs a lot more than our top lad washing machine and as a result ensure that all items are unfolded, socks are not crunched up and sleaves/pant legs are not rolled up. This ensures that every surface of that being washed is loose and can be cleaned through the front load washing machine washing action. The detergent within the soaking wash is then used for the top load wash. If we need to soak clothing, this needs to be done in a bucket or laundry tub…with new detergent being added at the time of the front load wash.
  • soaking of clothes is not possible in a front load washing machine. We used to full the washing machine and allow dirtier clothes (e.g. work clothes, kids clothes, nappies etc) than normal to sit in the machine with water and detergent overnight. This assisted in removal of hard to remove dirt/stains.

My LG has a ‘pre wash’ that is essentially a soak cycle although not nearly as effective a soak as an overnighter. It wets the clothes with detergent, lets them sit, tumbles, lets them sit, and so on. It is akin to a delicate or wool cycle before the main cycle starts.

Different manufacturers have different names for options, and different implementations for the same named option so what one can do is make and model specific.

Mine also has a rinse+hold that can be used as a soaker. It requires manual intervention and compared to soaking is ‘busy’ but it also serves the purpose. It is not intended to have detergent since it rinses then stops pending a button getting pressed but it is possible to interrupt mid cycle and add detergents. The downside is it just sits there and the water (and detergent) will gravitate to the bottom over time.


Our commercial front load LG washing machine doesn’t have such function. It doesn’t have many bells and whistle functions as it is there to do one job - wash. We only have four functions, Hot Wash, Warm Wash, Cold Wash and Delicates.