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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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?
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
Washing Machine Capacity Guide
|Washing Machine Capacity Guide||Family Size||Capacity – General||Capacity – Regular Clothes||Capacity – Household Items|
|5 to 6.5Kg (Small)||Bachelor, Family of 2-4||20 T-shirts||2 shirts, 2 pairs of adult denim Jeans||2 small towels, 2 dish towels, 2 pillow covers, 1 bedsheet|
|6.5 to 7Kg (Medium)||Family of 4-6||35 T-shirts||3 shirts, 2 pairs of children’s jeans, 2 pairs of adult jeans||3 small towels, 3 dish towels, 2 pillow covers, 2 bedsheets|
|7 to 8Kg (Medium)||Family of 6-8||40 T-shirts||3 shirts, 3 pairs of adult jeans||4 small towels, 4 dishcloths, 3 pillowcases, 2-bed sheets|
|10 Kg (Large)||Family of 8+||50 T-shirts||4 shirts, 3 pairs of adult jeans||3 small towels, 4 dishcloths, 6 pillowcases, 3 bedsheets|
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.
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.
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.
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
Here is the list of the top washers and dryers brands in Uganda curated by our experts
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.
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
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
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.
GE is considered to be one of the most reliable brands on the market. With proper installation, level floors, and ideal water hardness conditions, you should be able to get up to 10 years of use out of a GE washer. GE is a very reliable brand. It offers energy-efficient washing machines, as well as smart machines that have WiFi capabilities
Miele washer and dryer models are some of the most reliable laundry cleaning appliances that stand out thanks to their robustness and longevity. Additionally, these washer and dryer sets are equipped with several commercial grade features for efficient and effective residential laundry care
Electrolux is a top brand in laundry care, providing some of the best-in-class cleaning and stain-removal capabilities for its washers and a state-of-the-art drying function for its dryers.
Indesit washing machines are practical and easy to use, thanks to programs that indicate the best settings for any type of laundry. Modern design and advanced technology in the assortment of washing machines produced by Indesit, with a line of models designed to ensure you have perfect laundry every day
Most Ariston washers carry the Energy Star rating which saves you money over the life or your washing machine. Ariston’s washer dryer combo opens new horizons and sets a new benchmarks for laundry appliances
Beko is one of the more affordable brands when it comes to washing machines. You won’t pay too much for most models but the brand’s outstanding performance, quality, and craftsmanship have made it a brand worth keeping an eye on. You’ll be able to find Beko washing machines in white, black or silver, which is handy for those concerned with matching their appliances to their kitchen or laundry room.
Hisense is clearly aiming to bust the myth that only premium washing machines can achieve really good energy efficiency. Good wash results, frugal electricity and water consumption with full loads, and sharp styling rarely come together on a washing machine at a budget-busting price and Hisense has models that offer close to just that.
What’s in store!
Hisense 13KG Automatic Top Load Washer | WTJA1302TUGX 1,650,000
Indesit 10KG Front Load Washing Machine | BWE 101484XUGX 3,390,000
Hisense 14 Kg Twin Tub Semi Automatic Washing Machine | WSBE141Product on sale
Hisense 12 Kg Twin Tub Semi Automatic Washing Machine | WSBE121Product on sale
Samsung 19Kg Top load Washer with Digital Inverter and Wobble Technology | WA19A8370GVProduct on sale
Samsung 16Kg Top load Washer with Digital Inverter and Wobble Technology | WA16T6260BYProduct on sale
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.