There’s 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 has found that Australian consumers spend an average of $893 on front loader washing machines and $696 on new top load washers. With typical prices ranging from around $500 to more than $6,000 for the top of the line models, it seems there are quite a few Aussies opting for cheaper models. After all, they just wash clothes right?! What’s the difference between a cheap and expensive washing machine?
Let’s face it, washing machines aren’t exactly ‘sexy’ and you’re probably more tempted to spend your money elsewhere. So, is it worth buying a cheap washing machine? In this article, we review some of the cheapest washing machines in Australia, highlighting some of the strengths and downfalls that a cheap washing machine can bring.
Cheap Washing Machines
Generally, top loaders tend to be cheaper than front loaders when it comes to their initial purchase price. However, top loaders tend to be less energy-efficient, which in turn could equate to higher electricity bills in the long-run. Some of the cheapest washing machines can be found from brands such as:
- Euro Appliances
- Fisher & Paykel
Cheap washing machines compared in this report
|Model||RRP||Energy Rating||Water Efficiency (WELS) Rating|
|ALDI (STR-TLW70) 7kg Top Load Washing Machine||$349||2||3.5|
|ALDI (STR-FLW75) 7.5kg Front Load Washing Machine||$379||3.5||4|
|Euromaid (HTL55 5.5kg) Top Load Washing Machine||$550||1.5||3|
|Euromaid (WM5PRO) 5kg Front Load Washing Machine||$599||2.5||3.5|
|Esatto (ETL6) 6kg Top Load Washing Machine||$599||1.5||3|
|Esatto (EFLW6 6kg) Front Load Washing Machine||$609||2.5||4|
|Simpson (SWT6541) 6.5kg Top Load Washing Machine||$639||2.5||3.5|
|Haier (HWF75AW1) 7.5kg Front Load Washing Machine||$649||3.5||4.5|
Source: Appliances Online and respective retailers, May 2019
Cheapest Front Load Washing Machines
The cheapest top loaders are generally small in capacity and retail for around $600, but can be found for less than this at sales time.
ALDI (STR-FLW75) 7.5kg Front Load Washing Machine
The German grocery giant has quite a few budget-friendly appliances up its sleeve including this 7.5kg front loader for under $400. Despite the low price tag, it comes equipped with a number of features including an LED display to show the cycle settings, a child lock for safety, plus 16 different wash programs. It also has a delay start function, allowing you to make use of off-peak electricity times and an intelligent memory feature to save your most frequent wash settings. It’s backed by a three-year in home warranty for peace of mind.
- Energy efficiency rating: 3.5 stars (consuming 380kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 4 stars (consuming 77L/cycle)
- RRP: $379
Euromaid (WM5PRO) 5kg Front Load Washing Machine
A cheap front loader with a 5kg capacity is the Euromaid WM5PRO. It has a couple of handy features that may convince you to part ways with your money. It features a smart delay function to better suit your lifestyle, with auxiliary functions and other options also available. There are 15 programs in total, including cold washing and quick washing. It has a 1200RPM spin speed.
- Energy efficiency rating: 2.5 stars (consuming 375kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 3.5 stars (consuming 60L/cycle)
- RRP: $599
Esatto (EFLW6) 6kg Front Load Washing Machine
Users may benefit from the 1kg larger capacity than some other low-cost competitors, but generally speaking with Esatto you get much the same type of deal as with other brands. However, this model features 16 wash programs all controlled from a single knob and an LED display. It’s a cold water-only model, features time delay, a pause function and a time remaining display. It features a 1000RPM spin speed.
- Energy efficiency rating: 2.5 stars (consuming 322kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 4 stars (consuming 61L/cycle)
- RRP: $609
Haier (HWF75AW1) 7.5kg Front Load Washing Machine
Haier packs in everything you would expect from a washing machine as well as additional load capacity. It features 16 different wash programs to choose from, all operated on one dial. It also boasts a long lasting anti-bacterial treated door seal and detergent dispenser. In addition, you’ll find a wave drum design stated to provide a gentle wash and a 1200RPM spin speed. It features a delay end as well as a speed up wash option, ideal for busy households.
- Energy efficiency rating: 3.5 stars (consuming 334kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 4.5-star (consuming 63L/cycle)
- RRP: $649
Cheapest Top Load Washing Machines
Some familiar faces dominate the rankings for the cheapest top loaders – ALDI, Euromaid and Esatto. It’s a similar story to the cheapest front loaders in that if you want to spend around $600, you’re generally stuck with a small capacity machine with limited features.
ALDI (STR-TLW70) 7kg Top Load Washing Machine
ALDI offers a 7kg top load washing machine for $349. The design features a stainless steel inner tub and a child lock for safety. It also comes with a 24 hour delay start timer, allowing you to set a later start time so that your load is done when you get home from work or you might simply like to make use of the off-peak electricity times overnight. It’s equipped with six wash programs including normal, cotton, heavy duty, blanket, quick and delicate.
- Energy efficiency rating: 2 stars (consuming 580kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 3.5 stars (consuming 86L/cycle)
- RRP: $349
Euromaid (HTL55) 5.5kg Top Load Washing Machine
Despite what the name may suggest, Euromaid is an Australian brand focused on budget-friendly appliances. The HTL55 washing machine features quite a small capacity – just 5.5kg. Households of more than two people may want something larger – say 8kg or more – to get their washing duties done. It has eight washing programs with a heavy duty function along with time delay and a pause button. It also features an LED display control panel with a remaining time indicator and a clear lid so you can see how your cycle is going. It also features a 750RPM spin speed.
- Energy efficiency rating: 1.5 stars (consuming 565kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 3 stars (consuming 81L/cycle)
- RRP: $550
Esatto (ETL6) 6kg Top Load Washing Machine
With a slightly larger capacity than the Euromaid, 6kg is still quite small relative to other washing machines, and would generally be suitable for a single or a couple. Once again larger households may find value in buying a larger washing machine. The Esatto features six washing programs, including a quick wash function. It also has an anti-crease function which is handy for those on the go… or those with pesky business shirts. Its controls are button-based and it features a 700RPM spin speed.
- Energy efficiency rating: 1.5 stars (consuming 544kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 3 stars (consuming 86L/cycle)
- RRP: $599
Simpson (SWT6541) 6.5kg Top Load Washing Machine
Simpson is another established brand somewhat catering to the budget end of the price spectrum. Once again you’ll find that if you want the cheapest washing machines, you’ll have to put up with a smaller capacity – in this case, 6.5kg. The Simpson model features 11 wash programs, as well as time delay, a pause button and a time remaining display. The control panel is accessible even if the lid is up. It also features Simpson’s agitator wash action and a durable lid stated to withstand a basket full of wet towels. It runs on both hot and cold water inlets.
- Energy efficiency rating: 2.5 stars (consuming 440kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 3.5 stars (consuming 79L/cycle)
- RRP: $639
Aside from the washing machines we mentioned above, you might be looking for the cheapest model from a brand that isn’t necessarily considered budget friendly. If this is the case, here’s what other major brands have on offer in regards to their cheapest washers.
|Model||RRP||Energy Rating||Water Efficiency (WELS) Rating|
|LG (WTG6520) 6.5kg Top Load Washing Machine||$639||2.5||3|
|Samsung (WW75J54E0IW) 7.5kg BubbleWash Front Load Washing Machine with Steam||$679||4||4.5|
|Fisher & Paykel (MW513) QuickSmart 5.5kg Top Load Washing Machine||$699||1.5||3|
|Fisher & Paykel (WH7560J3) 7.5kg QuickSmart Front Load Washing Machine||$899||4||4.5|
|Samsung (WA85N6750BV) 8.5Kg Activ DualWash Top Load Washing Machine||$949||2||4|
|Bosch (WAK24162AU) 7kg Serie 4 Front Load Washing Machine||$999||4||4|
|LG (WD1408NCW) 8kg Front Load Washing Machine||$1,149||4||4.5|
|Miele (WDB030) 7kg Front Load Washing Machine||$1,599||4||4|
Source: Appliances Online and respective retailers, May 2019
Cheapest Bosch Washing Machine
Bosch (WAK24162AU) 7kg Serie 4 Front Load Washing Machine
Bosch only offers front load washing machines within its range, one of which is this 7kg washer. It features an automatic load sensor, claimed to measure the precise amount of water for each load, and in turn help reduce water and electricity costs. The VarioDrum is boasted to provide a gentler wash, protecting delicates and fine textiles, according to the brand. With 13 different wash programs available, including a handwash and a quick wash, there’s not a lot that this unit can’t clean.
- Energy efficiency rating: 4 stars (consuming 264kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 4 stars (consuming 72L/cycle)
- RRP: $999
Cheapest Fisher & Paykel Washing Machines
Fisher & Paykel (WH7560J3) 7.5kg QuickSmart Front Load Washing Machine
This 7.5kg QuickSmart front load washing machine from Fisher and Paykel features a number of programs. This unit is boasted for its SmartDrive motor to provide quieter and more durable washing compared to its predecessors. There are nine different washing programs to choose from including a quick wash for when you’re in a rush.
- Energy efficiency rating: 4 stars (consuming 283kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 4.5 stars (consuming 64L/cycle)
- RRP: $899
Fisher & Paykel (MW513) QuickSmart 5.5kg Top Load Washing Machine
For a top load option, this 5.5kg washer is more suited for smaller households and apartment living. The control panel is said to be easy to navigate with four different wash programs to choose from. It also features the SmartDrive motor and an auto-lint disposal system, for easy maintenance. Its agitator has flexible fins to reduce tangling and ensure gentle care, according to the brand.
- Energy efficiency rating: 1.5 stars (consuming 499kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 3 stars (consuming 77L/cycle)
- RRP: $699
Cheapest LG Washing Machines
LG (WD1408NCW) 8kg Front Load Washing Machine
In its front load range, LG offers this 8kg washing machine. The unit is boasted for LG’s True Steam feature stated to help clean clothes on a microscopic level for effective stain removal. Its Smart THINQ technology allows you to start your washer and troubleshoot problems via your smartphone. The addition of an add-item function, lets you add any forgotten items after the cycle has begun.
- Energy efficiency rating: 4 stars (consuming 326kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 4.5 stars (consuming 68L/cycle)
- RRP: $1,149
LG (WTG6520) 6.5kg Top Load Washing Machine
LG’s 6.5kg top load washing machine has the capacity more suited for small to medium-sized households. There are seven different wash programs including a quick wash and pre-wash cotton cycle. It doesn’t feature an agitator, giving you more space inside the tub to fit larger items such as sheets and blankets. It has a delay start feature to plan your weekly schedule, plus a child lock for safety. Similarly, to LG’s front loader mentioned above, this unit also comes equipped with the Smart Diagnosis technology, allowing you to troubleshoot any issues via your smartphone. Its inverter direct drive motor system is stated to provide a durable motor backed by a 10 year warranty.
- Energy efficiency rating: 2.5 stars (consuming 445kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 3 stars (consuming 95L/cycle)
- RRP: $639
Cheapest Miele Washing Machine
Miele (WDB030) 7kg Front Load Washing Machine
Another brand that solely focuses on front loaders is Miele. Its cheapest washer is this 7kg WDB030 model, featuring Miele’s Honeycomb Drum for gentle garment care, a Profi-Eco motor stated to provide a quiet and economical wash, plus 12 washing programs. With the delay start function, you can start the washer at a time that suits you. It’s also boasted for convenient use with its DirectSensor controls.
- Energy efficiency rating: 4 stars (consuming 236kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 4 stars (consuming 63L/cycle)
- RRP: $1,599
Cheapest Samsung Washing Machines
Samsung (WW75J54E0IW) 7.5kg BubbleWash Front Load with Steam
If you’re looking for a low-cost front loader from Samsung, the 7.5kg BubbleWash Washing Machine with Steam is among the most affordable options available by the brand. One of the main selling points of this unit is claimed to be its ability to clean clothing on a microscopic level, removing bacteria for added peace of mind thanks to Samsung’s Steam Cycles. For an even deeper clean, Bubble Wash and BubbleSoak functions are also available. It’s equipped with a quick wash for when you’re in a rush and its Smart Check function allows you to troubleshoot your washer problems via a smartphone.
- Energy efficiency rating: 4 stars (consuming 293kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 4.5 stars (consuming 65L/cycle)
- RRP: $679
Samsung (WA85N6750BV) 8.5Kg Activ DualWash Top Load Washing Machine
Samsung’s slightly larger 8.5kg Activ DualWash top loader might be suitable for medium-sized family households, equipped with a number of convenient wash functions. One of its stand out design features is the conveniently placed LED control panel that you don’t have to bend or stretch to reach. Its Active DualWash includes a built-in sink and a water jet, allowing you to pre-treat stains or hand-wash delicate items before they are machine-washed. It also features Samsung’s Magic Filters claimed to gather lint from your washed clothing, which is handy for pet owners, plus it has the Smart Check feature to monitor errors and offer troubleshooting solutions in real time.
- Energy efficiency rating: 2 stars (consuming 750kWh/yr)
- Water efficiency rating: 4 stars (consuming 87L/cycle)
- RRP: $949
Is a cheap washing machine a good move?
It’s quite evident that the cheaper models tend to use quite a large amount of electricity every year. This is especially the case with top loaders. You’ll also have to consider that many of these models have small capacities and will probably need to be run more frequently than a larger washing machine. This means that you’ll need to look past the cheap purchase prices and instead consider the ongoing costs.
Using two of the models above – the Euromaid top loader (565kWh) and Euromaid front loader (375kWh) – as examples, it’s quite evident that their relatively high electricity consumption could add up in the long run.
- Average length of ownership for a top loader in our survey was just over 9 years
- Average length of ownership for a front loader in our survey was almost 8 years
When you consider the total approximate energy consumption over these time periods, the Euromaid top loader would use 5085kWh, and for the Midea front loader it would be 3000kWh.
- Using the metric of 33c/kWh, which is quite a modest figure, the top loader would cost around $1,677 to run over 9 years, while the front loader would cost $990 over almost 8 years.
Keep in mind the fact that electricity prices are probably going to rise in these time frames, and you’re looking at ongoing costs eclipsing the purchase prices by quite a margin. Water consumption is less of a consideration because water by the gigalitre is quite cheap – especially in metro areas. However, if you own your own home or you’re renting your house out to someone, it might pay to keep track of water usage to make sure it’s not wildly abnormal. Keep in mind that front loaders generally use significantly less water than top loaders, so if you’re mindful about water then it could pay to go for a front loader model.
All of this begs the question: Is it better to spend more on a more efficient appliance? More efficient washing machines usually command a higher price tag, and it could take several years to recoup your costs by way of reduced energy bills.
Given the lengthy times of ownership displayed above, customers stand a good chance of making back their money, however it may just not be enough to justify spending $1,000 or more upfront. What you can’t put a price tag on is the increased features and usability some more expensive models afford. In any case, you’ll have to weigh up for yourself whether a cheap washing machine is truly ‘cheap’.
Picture credits: Serghei Starus/shutterstock.com