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The Best Washing Machine To Buy: Buyer’s Guide

Whirlpool 8kg Integrated Washing Machine

It’s no secret that a washing machine can be an expensive purchase. A good number of washing machines differ in terms of features, capacity and load and function. These also have unique features such as quick wash, wash programs, protective rat mesh, child lock, hot wash/temperature control, digital display and so on. Our experts guide us on front loaders, top loaders, key features, energy use and other essential info.

Types of washing machines

Fully-automatic or semi-automatic

Washing machines come in two variants – fully-automatic, which does everything for you at the touch of a button, and semi-automatic, which can come with two tubs. If you use a twin tub semi-automatic washing machine, this means you may need to move your clothes from one tub to the other during the washing process. These machines can also use less water and allow you to pause between cycles. However, if you’re after a convenient wash, a fully-automatic washing machine will do everything for you. Fully-automatic washing machines come in two types i.e. front loading or top loading.

1. Front loading washing machines

Clothes are loaded from the front side as its drum sits horizontally.

Positives
  • Gentler on clothes
  • More water-efficient
  • Comparatively better wash cycle
  • Use less detergent
  • More programs and higher temperature options
  • Cheaper to run
  • Higher spin speeds, which means faster drying (and cheaper if you use a clothes dryer)
  • Best for small spaces – you can fit most under a bench or put a dryer on or above it
Negatives
  • Longer wash cycles – over three hours in some cases
  • Difficult or impossible to retrieve keys, phones or other items left in pockets mid-cycle
  • Generally more expensive to buy
  • You often can’t add to the wash load after the cycle has started
  • Heavy to move
  • Some need special brackets if placed on a wooden floor
  • Tend to have louder spin cycles
  • Some may rinse poorly due to their low water usage

2. Top loading washing machines

Clothes are loaded from the top side as its tub sits vertically in the machine

Positives
  • Tend to be more reliable than front loaders
  • Smaller and faster washing cycle
  • Generally cost-effective because they are relatively simpler in design and construction
  • Lighter and easier to move
  • Easy to add clothes once a cycle has started
  • Easier to retrieve forgotten items like tissues, keys and phones from pockets mid-cycle
  • Generally better rinse performance
Negatives
  • Rough on clothes
  • Use more water than front loaders
  • Use more energy when washing in warm water
  • Use more washing detergent
  • Cost more to run

What should I look for in a washing machine?

1. Capacity

Do you have a big family? The size of your household and projected laundry loads play a big part in your washing machine requirement. You can get a variety of washing machine sizes, for example, a washing machine with a capacity of 6-7kg should be ideal for a family of four. If there are fewer people in your house, then you may want a smaller machine, and if you’re a bigger family than opt for a larger machine

2. Your space

How much space do you have? If you only have a tight or narrow space in which to install your washing machine, that may factor in your decision when it comes to picking the right machine. For fully-automatic washing machines, a top load machine may be narrower than a front load one, for example.

3. Price

The price of the washing machine is a deciding factor when it comes to finding the right washing machine. Depending on your budget, how much you can pay may also skew you towards certain machines. You can see more about the price ranges in our washing machine buying guide.

4. Cycle time

Top loaders are generally faster than front loaders, partly because front loaders use less water. If you prefer a front loader, look for one with a “fast wash” cycle – but this may not be suitable for very full or heavily soiled loads, no matter how much of a hurry you are in to get the washing on the line. You should also factor in drying time. With a higher spin speed, front loaders extract more water so your drying time can be shorter, saving you money if you also use a dryer.

5. Noise

As a general rule, front loaders are louder and higher pitched than top loaders due to their faster spin speed. If your laundry is close to your living area this can be a big deal, so consider this in your decision

6. Hot and/or cold water connections

Some machines need both hot and cold water to operate correctly, or may need a special connector or a sealing cap for the hot water inlet if you want to connect it to cold water only

7. Child locks

If you live in a house filled with curious children, you may want to buy a washing machine that comes with child lock functions. This can either be on the door or a program that can’t be changed once the machine is going.

8. Features

Various features, like speeds and settings, depend on what you’re looking for in a machine. For some, having too many features can make things confusing. Possible features include fast cycles, specific cycles catering to whites, woolens or delicates. Some ultra-modern machines even have sensors that do things automatically so you don’t have to worry about getting the right program in gear.

Other common features include Auto-sensing water level Delicates, or “Hand wash” programs, Fast wash, Out-of-balance correction, Anti-crease, Selectable spin speed, Extra rinse, Internal water heater, Favorite program, Wi-Fi connectivity, Lint filter

9. Energy / Eco-friendly

Having an economical washing machine is not just good for the environment, but can also help you with the bills. While the cost of the washing machine may initially be higher, you may end up saving on the bills as they can save power or water in the long run, so the long term running costs of the washing machine are much lower than for a washer that’s not eco-friendly.

A good washing machine should be able to;

  • Get your clothes the cleanest
  • Rinse detergents most thoroughly
  • Offer high water and energy efficiency
  • Being gentle on your clothes
  • Offer both hot and cold connections, and
  • Wash the fastest

Some of the most reliable washing machines brands

LG 9KG Top Loader Washing Machine

Here is the list of the top washers and dryers brands in Uganda curated by our experts

  1. WHIRLPOOL

    Whirlpool 8kg Integrated Washing Machine

    Whirlpool is one of the most reliable washing machine brand on the market. While their machines are aesthetically minimalist, the Whirlpool machines can last up to 25 years. Whirlpool dryers are similarly built and can last just as long.

  2. SAMSUNG

    Samsung 6Kg Front Load Washing Machine

    Samsung washing machines are generally quite feature-rich, with a lot of extra programs and functions to choose from. Samsung washing machines are packed with nifty and smart features, designed to make doing the laundry easier for busy households, but also more

  3. LG

    LG 10KG Front Loader Commercial Dryer

    The LG is the best all-around washing machine for many people. LG makes some of the most reliable high-efficiency (HE) washers. LG’s line of washing machines offer innovative features including varied capacities and sizes

  4. BOSCH

    6kg Front Load Washing Machine, Serie | 2, WAB2026SKE

    Bosch machines generally have quality construction, high energy and water efficiency as well as many Bosch branded features. The average user rating for the washer is better than average for any type of washer or dryer.

  5. INDESIT

    Indesit washing machines are of great quality

  6. HISENSE

    Hisense Automatic Top Load Washing Machine

    Hisense offers excellent quality washers and dryers at great prices

What’s in store!

Q&A

Which brand of washing machines is best?

Whirlpool, LG, and Samsung are the most reliable brands of washers in Uganda. Bosch and Panasonic also follow in the same category.

How long should a washing machine last?

Washing machines, on average, last around 10 years, according to Consumer Reports

Are washer dryer combos better?

Although technology is rapidly improving, it is in most cases better to have a seperate washer and dryer as combos tend to be slow. On the other hand, it is cheaper to buy a washer dryer combo than buying two seperate machines.