Washing Machine Types and Styles
There are all sorts of washing machines nowadays, but only a handful of basic types. We explain them all, from front loading models to cold fill only. Choosing between them is generally pretty simple as some sorts are much more common than others – especially in the UK.
The most important decision to make is generally FREE STANDING VS INTEGRATED.
A freestanding washing machine is the most common type. It’s not connected to your kitchen units, which means it can be placed anywhere as long as it’s connected to a drain and electrical socket.
This freedom is handy if you don’t have much space in your kitchen or have a laundry room.
If you have a gap in your kitchen where your old washing machine went, you can easily slot this style into the space. However, you’ll need to make sure there’s plenty of space on all sides – these models aren’t fixed as securely in place as built-in versions, so vibrations can transfer into the surrounding unit.
As this style is the most common, it gives you the largest choice of drum capacities, spin speeds and colours.
This style gives you the largest choice of drum capacities, spin speeds and colours.
If you’re looking for a washing machine for a new built-in kitchen, go for an integrated model. Sometimes known as a built-in machine, this type is designed to go behind a cupboard door as part of a kitchen unit. Hiding the machine helps maintain the look and flow of the room.
The integrated design helps to reduce vibration noises as it’s fitted securely, plus the door helps to muffle any sound that’s produced. This style sometimes includes a lower spin speed to reduce overall movement and vibration. Integrated or built-in washing machines are hidden from view behind a cupboard door. This helps maintain the look and flow of the room. Fewer vibrations mean built-in models are often quieter.
Integrated machines can be more difficult to install and remove than freestanding models: the cupboard door has to be lined up correctly and drill holes made, plus the machine needs to be well levelled and secured into place properly. It’s possible to install a freestanding machine yourself, but you’ll probably want to ask your retailer about installation costs for this type of model.
If you move house frequently then a freestanding design may be more suitable as it’s easier to remove and transport.
Integrated or built-in washing machines are hidden from view behind a cupboard door. This helps maintain the look and flow of the room.
Fewer vibrations mean built-in models are often quieter.
The majority of washing machines in the UK are front loading, in that the door faces forward. This style has numerous benefits over American top-loading models.
These machines can be stacked with another machine or tumble dryer without blocking the doors. If you’re short on floor space or have a large family then this is a really helpful feature, although you may need a kit to ensure the machines are secure.
Research shows that front loaders give better cleaning results compared to a top-loader and are more energy efficient as they use less water in a wash cycle. Many front-loading machines have features that tailor the water level to the exact needs of the wash, so water isn’t wasted.
Front-loaders often have high spin speeds which extract more of the water from your laundry, so drying times are shorter. Some models also have a large capacity, which means you’ll do fewer washes and can easily fit in bulky items like towels, bed sheets or duvets.
These machines can be stacked to save space, although you may need some kit to ensure they’re secure.
Front-loaders often have high spin speeds which extract more of the water from your laundry, so drying times are shorter.
Nearly all washing machines in the UK are cold fill, which means they heat the water inside the machine rather than taking hot water in from your household boiler.
Cold fill machines are favoured by manufacturers are they are cheaper to make, which has in turn reduced prices.
The main draw of cold fill machines is their efficiency. Instead of taking in arge amounts of pre-heated water from a boiler, these machines only use the exact amount of water needed for a wash and heat it up within the drum.
This type of washing machine is easy to install and cheap to maintain.