Cheap washing machines: What’s available?

There is a big difference between the cheapest and most expensive washing machines on the market – and buying a new one presents something of a financial dilemma.

Canstar Blue research found that Australian consumers spend an average of $628 on front loader washing machines and $600 on top loaders. With typical prices ranging from a little under $500 to more than $3,000 for the top of the line models, it seems the majority of us are opting for cheap washing machines.

This could be because we simply want to spend our money on something – dare we say – more exciting, but there could also be a perception that all washing machines are pretty much the same. As long as they clean your clothes properly, what more do you want, right?

So is it worth buying a cheap washing machine? There are some things to consider before deciding, including energy efficiency, because generally the cheaper models will cost you more through your electricity bills.

But if you have your heart set on a cheap appliance (and something more exciting), we’ve listed some of the best, cheapest washing machines available on the market, currently listed on Appliances Online. We have looked at six front loader models and worked out how much they will cost you, first to buy, but then it terms of your power bills over the next 10 years.

We came up with these figures using the base assumption that the average Australian household runs their washing machine 14 times a week (twice a day). If you run your washing machine more than 14 times a week, your annual running costs will be higher than the costs in this article. Also note that these figures are based on 14 warm washes a week, so if even a few of your washes are cold ones, you’ll use less electricity.

Keep in mind that these calculations don’t include the cost of water used – this will be an additional cost on top of the purchase and electricity costs. One more thing to note is that for our calculations, we used a base electricity cost of $0.29/kWh. Electricity rates can, and almost certainly will vary by area, so keep this in mind as well.

Samsung WW75J4213IW 7.5kg

With a 4 star energy rating and 4.5 star water rating, this Samsung washing machine is incredibly efficient for a model in its price-range. It has a 7.5kg capacity and 12 different wash cycles, including an easy-iron option and cotton or wool options, making it a solid choice for a large family with varying washing requirements.

  • Purchase price – $517
  • Energy consumption – 260kWh
  • Energy used each year – 520kWh
  • Annual running cost – $149
  • Running cost over 10 years – $1,492
  • Total cost of ownership over 10 years ­– $2,009

Simpson SWF12743 7kg

Suited to larger households, this washing machine comes with features such as a time delay function and a quick wash option. Coupled with a lockable door, this washing machine is perfect for families. It has a 3.5 star energy rating and a 4 star water rating, making it relatively efficient for its price.

  • Purchase price – $539
  • Energy consumption – 305kWh
  • Energy used each year – 610kWh
  • Annual running cost – $175
  • Running cost over 10 years – $1,751
  • Total cost of ownership over 10 years – $2,290

LG WD1200D 7kg

Coming with a raft of smart features like auto balance, auto sense loading, a child lock, and self-diagnosis technology, this washing machine from LG is packed with value for the price it comes at. It’s relatively efficient, with a 3.5 star energy rating and a 4 star water rating, and it uses 70L of water per wash.

  • Purchase price $567
  • Energy consumption – 345kWh
  • Energy used each year – 690kWh
  • Annual running cost – $198
  • Running cost over 10 years – $1,980
  • Total cost of ownership over 10 years – $2,540

Bosch WAE22466AU 7kg

With 4 stars for both water and energy efficiency, this Bosch washing machine is incredibly efficient for its price. It comes with 15 different wash programs, including cotton, wool, delicates, and quick washes. It also comes with safety features including anti-flood protection, a child lock, and a lockable door. It also has auto balance and time delay functions.

  • Purchase price – $702
  • Energy consumption – 265kWh
  • Energy used each year – 530kWh
  • Annual running cost – $152
  • Running cost over 10 years – $1,521
  • Total cost of ownership over 10 years – $2,223

Fisher & Paykel WH7560J1 7.5kg

This Fisher & Paykel model is absolutely packed with features, boasting anti-flood protection, a lockable door, auto-balance, auto-load sensing, an error diagnostic display, and time delay. It comes with nine different wash programs, and has 4 and 4.5 stars for energy and water efficiency respectively, making it one of the more efficient models on this list.

  • Purchase price – $729
  • Energy consumption – 285kWh
  • Energy used each year – 570kWh
  • Annual running cost – $163.59
  • Running cost over 10 years – $1,636
  • Total cost of ownership over 10 years – $2,365

Electrolux EWF14742 7kg

Equipped with a silent inverter motor, this Electrolux washing machine is incredibly quiet, making it ideal for households with babies. It’s also incredibly efficient, with a 4 star energy rating and a 4.5 star water rating. It comes with 11 different wash programs, including programs for delicates, wool, and quick washes. It also has a child lock and a lockable door, doubling down on its child-friendliness.

  • Purchase price – $749
  • Energy consumption – 285kWh
  • Energy used each year – 570kWh
  • Annual running cost – $164
  • Running cost over 10 years – $1,636
  • Total cost of ownership over 10 years – $2,385

Which washing machine brands are rated highest?

These washing machines cover a wide range of price points and while they vary in efficiency and running costs, there’s most likely something in there to suit any budget, big or small. A good way to find a point of difference between washing machines is to find out which brands are rated highest by consumers. You can do that by checking out our customer satisfaction ratings for both front loader washing machines and top loaders.

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