Buy washing machine: you have to consider that
If you buy a new washing machine should make sure that it is not only quiet and water-saving, but also as energy-efficient as possible. Stiftung Warentest tests the current washing machine models every year and selects the test winner. The current top recommendation is the Miele WDB 330 WPS SpeedCare, the washing machine convinces in handling and maximum temperature. With its price of around 900 Euro but it is expensive, you can get good alternatives for 600 Euro. Recommended models from previous years are also still available. In our article we give you product details, test winner and everything else about washing machines.
The test was carried out by Stiftung Warentest and published in the 11 / 2019 released.
Stiftung Warentest has been testing washing machines for years and is currently listing 84 Models from current and past tests in an overview. They are mostly front loaders, occasionally also top loaders. The experts always check the washing result and subject the devices to a load test in continuous operation. Handling, environmental properties and protection against water damage are also assessed. Since the test methods are often modified, evaluations from different tests are not completely comparable with each other, but do give a good orientation. In summary, the experts have so far 59 – once the quality rating “good”, the grade “very good” was missing.
The current result: The latest test published by Stiftung Warentest in November 2019. The selection included 10 test devices, including two same design characteristics. The experts rated seven models with the rating “good”, one model with “satisfactory” and two identical devices with “sufficient”. The latter models also received the individual rating “Poor” in the category protection against water damage, the testers advise against buying. None of the machines washes “very well”.
You can read that in our article: First we present the top recommendations of the washing machines from the test and give you older alternatives and a washer-dryer recommendation. Then we explain the test methods of Stiftung Warentest, describe the general functioning of washing machines and name their types. In the purchase advice we give you further tips on the washing machine purchase and finally clarify any open questions.
Washing machine test winner 2020: Miele, AEG, Bosch, Siemens
These are the best washing machines 2020 according to Stiftung Warentest
1st place: Miele WDB 330 WPS SpeedCare
- Excellent Cleanliness of the laundry
- Reliable temperatures
- Comfortable operation
- Washing the laundry could be better
- washing time quite long
- Expensive to buy
The washing machine Miele WDB 330 WPS SpeedCare is the top recommendation from the latest test. This time it is the only test device with an overall grade of 1.6 (good). In previous years, other washing machines also achieved this rating, but the test procedure was changed slightly.
- washing (1.7)
In the test, Miele achieved a very high level of cleanliness in the laundry and spun it effectively. Only when washing the laundry is the result not entirely convincing, residues of the wash liquor remain. The model can score at the temperatures reached: The Miele is the only test device in the energy saving program 55 degrees and thus close to the chosen 60 degrees. The other washing machines in the test only manage under 50, sometimes even only under 40 Degree. The temperature is also correct in the normal program, but none of the test devices failed in this area anyway.
- Handling (1.7) & environmental properties (2.1)
The testers are satisfied with the handling of the Miele. Operation, loading and unloading work well and the displays on the device are helpful. The machine's environmental properties are also convincing, water and electricity consumption are normal and it does not make too much noise.
- Endurance test (1.0) & protection against water damage (1.2)
In the endurance test, Miele achieved a perfect result: Even after 1. 800 She washes perfectly. Protection against water damage is also excellent, the machine does not leak.
The Miele WDB 330 WPS SpeedCare offers strong performance but is also quite expensive. The washing machine with 7 kg capacity is currently available for around 900 Euro. The calculated operating costs for electricity and water over 10 years are quite cheap 480 Euro.
2nd place: AEG L6FB 64470
- Excellent cleanliness of the laundry
- Comfortable operation
- Long lifetime
- Low temperature in the savings program
- Laundry rinse could be better
- washing time quite long
The AEG L6FB 64470 did not achieve top ratings like the test winner, but nevertheless convinced the experts in most areas. The washing machine has an overall rating of 1.8 (good).
- Wash (1.9)
The AEG cleans the laundry perfectly and spins well. Similar to the test winner, not all residues of the wash liquor are washed out. Select the 60 – Degree saving program, the device only heats up to a maximum 47 degree, this is the “second best” value in the test, but still sobering. Also in the normal program 60 degree not reached, 55 degrees are sufficient here.
- Handling (2.2) & environmental properties (2.3)
Control, display and accessibility are not as excellent at AEG as at the test winner, but still good , Water and electricity consumption fit, but the operating noise is somewhat louder.
- Endurance test (1.0) & protection against water damage (1.7)
The endurance test copes with the AEG washing machine just as flawlessly as the test winner. The protection against water damage is not perfect, but good, the testers found no shortcomings worth mentioning.
The AEG L6FB 64470 has a maximum filling quantity of 7 kilos. The calculated operating costs over 10 Years are higher than for Test winner, at around 560 Euro. You pay significantly less for the machine itself: round 520 Euro. This is not the best value for money in the test, but good.
3rd place: Siemens WM 14 N 270
- Excellent cleanliness of the laundry
- laundry rinsed well
- Comfortable operation
- lousy temperature in the savings program
- High running costs
- washing time quite long
The Siemens WM 14 N 270 is identical to the Bosch WAN regardless of the name 28270, you will get the same machine with rating 1, 8 (good). The Siemens model is better available.
- To wash (1.9)
The Siemens offers an excellent cleanliness of the laundry and a good spin program, in contrast to the other two top models, the laundry is also thoroughly rinsed. One drawback, however, is the electricity saving program: Instead of the required 60) the Siemens only heats to measly 35 degree that is “poor”. In the normal program, the 60 Degree reached without problems.
- Handling (2.1) & environmental properties (2.4)
The handling of the Siemens machine is similarly good as that of the AEG model, the residual run display even rate the testers a little better. There are hardly any differences in the environmental properties either. Water and electricity consumption are good, the operating noise of the machine is tolerable.
- Endurance test (1.2) & protection against water damage (1.2)
The endurance test with over 1. 800 Siemens passes through washing cycles without any problems, according to simulated 10 years of operation, everything is still fine. The protection against water damage fits.
With a Price from around 490 Euro is the Siemens WM 14 N 270 (and also the Bosch WAN 28270) even cheaper than the AEG machine with the same rating. At 6 kilos, however, the capacity is somewhat lower. And the calculated operating costs over 10 Years are the highest in the test: round 615 Euro. If you add the acquisition and operating costs, AEG and Siemens are on the same level.
The best washing machines from past tests
Stiftung Warentest conducts the Washing machine test annually. The well-rated models from previous tests are mostly still available. The test results cannot be compared exactly because the experts refine the test criteria on a regular basis, but overall the overall grades remain reliable. The grade 1.6 (good) was given in the test from the year 2018 the models Siemens WM 14G491 (identical in construction: Bosch WAG 28491) for round 630 Euro and Miele WKF 311 WPS SpeedCare for around 1. 100 Euro. In the year 2017 the experts selected the Siemens WM 14 W 570 (identical in construction: Bosch WAW 28570) for round 630 Euro to test you with an overall grade of 1.6 (good).
The best washer-dryer combination machines
If you have no place in the apartment to dry clothes and do not want to set up two machines, i.e. washing machine and dryer, then a combination device may be worthwhile: the washer dryer does both tasks. In addition to saving space, comfort is a big advantage. As a rule, the washer dryer is even cheaper to buy than if you buy the washer and dryer separately. However, there are also disadvantages: If the laundry is to be dried in a single cabinet, you may only fill the drum halfway. It takes a long time to dry half the load, at least five and a half hours. The laundry is then ready for the closet right away, but for a larger mountain of laundry you may need several passes.
Stiftung Warentest also tested the washer dryer. The test winner was the Siemens WD 14 U 540 (identical in construction: Bosch WDU 28540) for round 980 Euro. The washer dryer model offers an effective cleaning of laundry comparable to that of a pure washing machine and also dries excellently. Washer dryers are generally not very economical when it comes to water and electricity consumption.
How much do I have to spend on a good washing machine?
You can get a good washing machine that, in addition to reliable washing performance, has a long service life and no risk of water damage, for under 400 Euro. In case of doubt, the cheapest washing machines do not offer the most effective cleaning. You should not go even lower in price, because in the low-cost segment, processing is often spared and after a while, defects can occur. You get rock solid devices from around 500 Euro. In terms of performance, these models often hardly differ from competitors that are twice as expensive.
Of course, the different prices also have to do with the capacity. You usually also pay less for devices with little laundry in the drum. You get compact machines for 3 kg loads, standard devices in 6 kg size and models that can also handle 8 kg on a big wash day. In the latest test run, Stiftung Warentest was limited to washing machines with a maximum load of 7 kilograms. In the past, 8- and 9-kilo models were often tested, for which you pay on average between 50 and 100 Euro more.
Washing machines in the test: How is Stiftung Warentest rated?
As the most important evaluation criterion of the washing machine, the experts test the results when washing themselves. For this purpose, differently soiled household laundry is washed in specified quantities with the selected program settings. Then the cleanliness of the laundry is checked, as well as how well it was rinsed and spun. The program duration and the maximum temperatures reached also play a role here. The washing processes are repeated several times. The evaluation of the result flows to 40 percent in the overall judgment.
The endurance test simulates the use of the washing machine via 10 Years. For this, a total of 1. 840 times washed and the experts assess whether errors occur. The handling is assessed on the basis of various details such as simple operation, convenient filling and emptying and the comprehensibility of the instructions for use. The tested environmental properties include electricity and water consumption as well as operating noise. Last but not least, the testers also take a close look at the safety precautions that ensure protection against water damage. Stiftung Warentest also calculates the operating costs for from the electricity and water price and the corresponding consumption of the machine. years, i.e. the average lifespan of the device.
How does a washing machine work?
With the help of mechanical washing machines, the laborious housework of laundry by hand in the onset of industrialization was made considerably easier in the middle of the 20. Century then fully automatic washing machines with electric drive went into mass production. The basic technical structure has changed little since then: the washing machine draws power from the house electricity, takes in fresh water via a connection and discharges waste water via a separate connection. Dirty laundry is put into a perforated drum, powder detergent is usually put in a slot, liquid detergent directly with the laundry. The washing process has several phases: the main wash cleans the textiles, the rinse removes washing liquor from the laundry and spinning in the rotary drum drains it at the end.
The cleaning program can be adapted to the laundry: sensitive textiles, wool clothing, colored laundry or bed sheets need different temperatures and drum rotations. Stubborn dirt can be dealt with with pre-wash and intensive wash. There are also short and economy programs available, whereby the water and electricity consumption of the machines is constantly being improved anyway. Only devices with good energy efficiency may be sold in Europe.
What types of washing machines are there?
- Front loader
The most common form of washing machine has the opening at the front, you load the drum from the front through the porthole-like door. The detergent dispenser is pulled out from the front and the buttons and displays are also on the front. This means that the machines can be stacked or integrated into the kitchen unit as an under or built-in unit. You can find models with a large capacity under the front loaders, up to 12 Kilograms, but normal are 6-8 kilos.
- top loading
Compact washing machines open and fill from above. The controls are also on the top of the device. The top loaders are much narrower than front loaders and are ideal if you have little space available. The top loader selection is significantly smaller.
Have If you have a washing machine and a tumble dryer, you can run them in parallel and quickly make large laundry mountains ready for closets. If you have too little space for two devices, you can choose a washer-dryer. This is practical because you only have to press start and get clean, dry laundry at the end. However, this takes between five and over seven hours and the drum may only be filled with half a load.
What should I watch out for when buying a washing machine?
- clarify question of space
Front loader or top loader? Front loaders – if they can be built under – can be easily integrated into a kitchen unit: They usually offer space for a dryer at the top, but require space to the front. The smaller top loader fits better in small bathrooms. You can fill it in a way that is gentle on your back and usually even with forgotten items of laundry after the program has started. And then there are the front loaders with reduced depth (round 44 instead of 60 centimeters) – these space savers are usually somewhat more expensive than standard machines, but have their own advantages.
- Estimate filling quantity
single or family household ? Work clothes and sports gear? You should assess the regularly occurring laundry mountain before buying. A capacity of three kilograms is enough for single people. Households with two or three people should choose a 5 kg machine. With the usual drum size of six to eight kilograms, a four to five-person household can manage, eight kilograms and more are actually only necessary for six or more people. If the small size is sufficient, then the narrow front loader can practically s one that usually has a five-kilo drum. A large drum is not always useful, especially if you use the many different washing programs and wash in smaller portions.
- Perfect spin
The higher the tours, the drier the laundry gets in the drum – but also more wrinkled. The revolutions per minute are a question of the wardrobe and whether you have a dryer. Sufficient for delicate textiles 800 Rpm. With towels it is allowed to have at least 1. 200 RPM. If you then put your laundry in the dryer, you should make sure that the washing machine is at least 1. 400 rpm offers. This saves electricity because the washing machine uses less energy to spin than the dryer to heat it up. In short: The machine should offer at least two tour settings when spinning and set it to 1. 200 U bring / min.
- Water consumption in sight
With a drum size up to The water consumption should be around five kilograms per normal wash cycle and with normal filling 39 liters. If the capacity is eight kilograms, 60 liters good average. When comparing, you should always convert the water consumption to liters per wash and kilogram. Most appliances have an energy saving button or an eco wash program. This saves water, but extends the washing time. Extras such as aqua sensors determine the weight of the laundry in the drum and automatically adjust the water supply accordingly – this makes sense if you only fill the drum halfway.
- Read label correctly
The EU energy label shows whether the washing machine is one of the economical models or whether it is an energy eater with unpleasant follow-up costs is. The differences in power consumption are no longer serious, because since the year 2013 Only washing machines with at least the energy label A + may be put on the market in Germany. However, you should consider washing machines with A ++ and A +++ labeling when purchasing new equipment. How the energy efficiency class is calculated, read below.
- Consider noise pollution
If you want a particularly quiet washing machine, which can be useful especially in apartment buildings, you should set a guideline when spinning about 70 Pay attention to decibels (db). It's about as loud as standing one meter next to a vacuum cleaner. There are also washing machines with a night program. Here the machine washes with less noise, but longer.
- These functions are required
In addition to the choice of program according to temperature and textile type (cook, colored, delicates or wool and easy care), a water protection system or a water safety device (Aquastop), a short program, a pause and an Eco button are part of the mandatory program good washing machine. The latter saves you cash, as the machine soaks the laundry longer, but does not heat up as high, which is the biggest energy factor in washing machines. Other austerity programs cut the amount of water in half – good for half-full drums. A rinse hold is useful if you cannot hang up the laundry right after washing. Because with this function the laundry remains in the last rinse water, the rest of the program is only continued by pressing a button.
- These extras are gratifying
Comfortable, but not absolutely necessary, is a remaining run indicator that tells you how long the washing machine is still running. This display is often inaccurate. An advisory tone reminds you to take the laundry out of the drum. The pre-selected time should be interesting for professionals: Depending on the model, you can set when the washing process should start or the laundry should be finished. Extras such as a load sensor, which measures the weight of the laundry, plus the often recommended dosage, which then appears on the display, ensure optimal washing results. Automatic dosing is very rare, but helpful, which takes care of the dosing itself. These are available, for example, from Siemens machines under the term i-Dos.
- Link smart machines
Some washing machines are also WLAN-compatible. With an associated app, the machine sends error messages to the smartphone, the program selection and the timer can also be set via smartphone – or you can start the washing machine remotely. A network connection is not really necessary, but it is useful for some users and for smart home systems.
- Weigh expensive special programs
There are more and more special programs in modern washing machines. However, an additional charge is usually required for these. Lingerie, outdoor, jeans or blouse program – do you really need these extras? And especially so often that the additional costs are really worth it? Usually the normal gentle programs are enough, or you can put your garment in the laundry straight away. Even the interior lighting of the washing machine is rather frills in sufficiently bright rooms.
- Is a combination washer-dryer worth it?
The washer dryer combines washing machine and condensation dryer in an interesting way. However, only if you do not wash more than half a drum of laundry. Dryers need a larger drum volume than a washing machine for the same amount of laundry. As a rule, a washer-dryer combination does not produce more than half a drum load per drying process. If you load the drum fully, you have to start two drying processes. This means that a washer dryer only makes sense if you wash very little or have no space to dry clothes.
- Clarify usability
If the washing machine is not easy to use for you, even the best functions are useless. The following points should therefore be on your checklist: How easy are the buttons to use? Do I understand what is on the control panel even without a manual – especially for functions that I rarely use? Can the lint filter be easily reached, opened, cleaned and closed? And is the drum opening large enough to comfortably put even large textiles such as curtains or bed linen into the machine? There are machines with particularly large hatches for this. If there is no expert test of the desired washing machine, it is also worth reading through the customer reviews in online shops. Problems with handling are discussed there in case of doubt.
- Finally the brand check
From AEG to whirlpool: There is no shortage of washing machine manufacturers. At this point we do not give you a blanket judgment, but we recommend a comprehensive comparison. Caution should be exercised with little-known brands from online mail order. These usually cost less, but disillusionment can quickly arise with regard to support and spare parts. However, you should not immediately shelve an attractive offer from an unknown brand. There may be a well-known company behind the washing machine model. In addition, there are now some traditional brand names that no longer have their own manufacturer. Some devices are sold under several names due to the advertising effect. Although they are structurally identical, they are differently expensive.
At what temperature are bacteria and spores removed?
bacteria in the laundry can be removed quite well. For this, a temperature of 30 Degree. Only the short program is not recommended, the laundry has to swim in the detergent solution long enough for pests to be combated effectively. However, higher temperatures are recommended for the removal of fungal spores, because they are more resistant than bacteria and can trigger infections. Dirk Bockmühl, professor of hygiene and microbiology at the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences in Kleven, told Stiftung Warentest that he recommends that “for hygienically critical laundry the 60 – Normal program with a detergent containing bleach to use “.
This is how the energy efficiency class is calculated
The energy efficiency class (EU -Energy label) of washing machines is based on the electricity consumption of the cotton washing program with 40 degrees (partial load) and 60 degrees (full and partial loading). The EU takes as a basis for calculation 220 Washes per year. This value only takes into account the power consumption. In addition, the label also provides information about water consumption. Here the testers also refer not only to a single wash cycle, but to 220 washing cycles per year. Since a normal 6-kilo machine is no more than 50 liters per wash at 60 degrees should be consumed here would be 11. 000 liters the upper limit.
The most important questions about washing machines at a glance
Which is the best washing machine?
The best washing machine in the test is the Miele WDB 330 WPS SpeedCare, for their strong performance you need around 900 Euro pay. The alternatives are cheaper AEG L6FB 64470 or Siemens WM 14 N 270 for around the 500 Euro. The running costs for electricity and water are added.
Which sizes for Washing machines are there?
The Standard size for front loading washing machines is a width of 60 centimeters, a height of 85 centimeters and a depth of 57 to 69 centimeters. They are also suitable as built-in devices. Compact top loaders are only 40 to 45 centimeters wide and 60 Centimeters deep. This is space-saving.
How long is the life of a washing machine?
The statutory warranty obligation is two years and Very few manufacturers give a longer guarantee. In the case of washing machines, however, a service life of 10 Years. This is how long the functionality and water resistance of the device should be maintained.
How large is the load in a washing machine?
The washing machines fluctuate in capacity. Compact devices start with a maximum filling quantity of 3 kilos, that's enough for singles. The normal size of the drum holds 6 to 7 kg, for families machines for 8 kg laundry and more are worthwhile. Up to 12 Kilos are possible.