Canstar Blue’s 2021 front load washing machine review has seen Fisher & Paykel, Haier, Electrolux, Bosch, Miele, LG, Simpson and Samsung compared on their performance and reliability, additional functionality, quietness while operating, design, value for money and overall satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
No matter how many times a week you do your laundry, your washing machine plays an integral role in keeping your family home moving. It’s the appliance that many of us simply can’t do without (unless you prefer to wash your clothes by hand!). There would be no clean school uniforms, work shirts or bed sheets, so finding the right washing machine for your household’s needs is important. Whether you’re looking for the cheapest washing machine available, or one with all the bells and whistles, you’ve come to the right place for guidance!
This year, Canstar Blue surveyed more than 1,130 Australian households to find out what they think about the front loader(s) they purchased and used in the last five years. Respondents scored brands on performance and reliability, quietness while operating, additional functionality, design, value for money and overall satisfaction. Manufacturers that received at least 30 responses are compared in the latest ratings. Washing machines aren’t the easiest appliance to replace, so it really does pay to do your research, and finding out what other consumers just like yourself think about all the major brands is a great place to start.
Fisher & Paykel was certainly no ‘sud’ in our latest review, cleaning up with five-star reviews in several research categories ─ including overall satisfaction.
Here are the best front load washing machines in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s 2021 review:
Our latest review proved there are loads to love about Fisher & Paykel, with the brand ending Miele’s six-year reign at the top of our ratings. Fisher & Paykel scored the only five-star review for overall satisfaction and top marks for performance and reliability, additional functionality and quietness while operating. Most other brands featured picked up four stars, while Samsung landed on three stars for overall satisfaction.
However, Miele still rated best for design and was the only brand to receive full marks for that category. It also got five stars for performance & reliability and quietness while operating, and additional functionality, alongside Samsung. Haier additionally took the lead for value for money.
To help you decide which brand may be the best fit for your needs and budget, here is a guide to the brands in our latest review and what they currently have to offer Aussie households.
Fisher & Paykel is one of the leading appliance manufacturers across the globe and has come a long way since first setting up shop in New Zealand in the 1930s. It sells several front loaders in capacities typically ranging from 8kg to 11kg, with a couple of washing machines available for less than $1,000. The most expensive model retails for $1,549 and provides a 10kg capacity and four-star ratings for water and energy efficiency.
The range can generally be broken into four collections – Series 3, Series 5, Series 7 and Series 9. Standout features include ActiveIntelligence, which automatically adjusts the wash time and amount of detergent dispensed to match the level of soiling in each load. There’s also the 20-minute Steam Refresh Cycle, which is designed to minimise creasing as well as remove odours from lightly worn clothes (or garments that smell a little musty from being stored in the closet for a long time) without having to run a full wash cycle.
Fisher & Paykel’s front load washing machine range includes (but is not limited to):
Fisher & Paykel washed up best with five-star review reviews for performance and reliability, quietness while operating, additional functionality and overall satisfaction. It also achieved four stars for value for money and design.
Haier is one of the most popular appliance brands around the globe, partly thanks to its extensive range spanning across dishwashers, microwaves, fridges, freezers and more. In the laundry space, however, Haier offers a moderately small selection of both top and front-loading washing machines for single-person households to large families, with load capacities ranging from 6kg to 12kg. Prices for Haier’s higher-end models don’t exceed the $1,500 mark (excluding TwinTasker models), although the range is limited.
The brand offers Direct Motion washers that use direct drive motor technology, eliminating the drive belt in traditional washing machines to allow the motor to directly drive the drum. This is said to effectively reduce the vibration from the machine and help reduce energy consumption. Haier also peddles a ‘TwinTasker’ machine with independent wash cycles, to wash each load separately or at the same time! Haier’s front loaders usually start from just under $660 and go up to $1,499.
A few models available include:
Haier was rated the best bang for buck with five stars for value for money. It also scored four stars for performance and reliability, quietness and overall satisfaction, plus three stars for design and extra functionality.
Electrolux is a Swedish brand, with a focus on innovative laundry appliances. Most of its front loader washing machines skew to the middle-end of the capacity spectrum, ranging from 7.5kg to 10kg. Electrolux front loaders are fairly efficient, with many of its models featuring a 4.5-star water efficiency (WELS) rating and at least a four-star rating for energy consumption. Its 10kg model (EWF1041ZDWA), for example, uses just 86L per cycle. Some features include an Add Clothes function, Vapour Refresh to minimise wrinkling, and an EcoInverter claimed to help you use less electricity by apparently up to 50%. Certain Electrolux washing machines also come with a Woolmark Certified Woollen cycle, specifically created for handwash-only items, although these functions vary between models.
Many models feature more than 10 washing programs – including quick washes – and with the ability to save your favourite program. Electrolux front loaders start at the retail price tag of $999 and max out at $1,899 for the 10kg washer.
Electrolux’s front load washing machine range includes:
Electrolux scored four stars for all research categories including design, performance and reliability, additional functionality, quietness, value for money and overalls satisfaction.
Bosch is another high-end German manufacturer, well-known for making feature-rich front loaders and numerous other household appliances. Some of its front loaders are still made in Germany, with many models boasting WELS water efficiency ratings of four stars or higher. Some use as little as around 60L of water per cycle, which is around half the consumption of some top loaders.
The Bosch range includes the brand’s ‘iDOS’ water and detergent saver, which automatically senses the exact amount of detergent and water the machine needs for each load. The drum detects the load weight, fabric type, and degree of soiling, and adjusts the levels accordingly. Most Bosch models cost well over $1,000, with the full range sitting between $899 and $2,099. Sizes include 7.5kg models as well as 8kg, 9kg, and 10kg.
Bosch’s front load washing machine range includes (but is not limited to):
Bosch rated a smooth four stars across the board including for design, performance reliability, quietness, additional functionality, value for money and overall satisfaction.
Miele is known as a high-end appliance brand, but evidently, consumers look at more than just price alone. The German manufacturer also claims it still produces many of its appliances in Europe. Many Miele washing machines feature the TwinDos automatic detergent dispensing system, said to help save up to 30% of detergent compared to manual dispensing, and improve wash results. Miele’s washers also come with SingleWash, allowing households to clean lighter loads of 1kg, plus a PowerWash program to wash small loads with less water and energy. The range additionally uses a honeycomb drum to ensure gentle garment care, according to the brand.
Miele has various front loader models on offer, with prices set as low as $1,299 and as high as almost $4,500. Their high energy-efficiency ratings, however, should help to get some of that back in the form of reduced power bills over time. Sizes include 7kg, 8kg and 9kg models, but no extra-large options are available. However, for the average household, 7-8kg should suffice.
Front load washing machines available from Miele include:
Miele impressed consumers with five stars for design, performance and reliability, additional functionality and quietness. It got four stars for overall satisfaction and three stars for value for money.
South Korean electronics giant, LG boasts a fairly large range of front load washing machines. Models range between 7kg and 16kg in load capacity, so you’re likely to find one for every household size. Some standout functions include TurboClean, which apparently cuts rinse cycles by up to 30 minutes and water usage by up to 45%. There’s also TrueSteam to remove tough stains by using ultra-high temperatures to convert water into steam. Most LG washing machines additionally feature AI DD, which measures the weight of each load and softness of the fabrics to determine what it believes would be the best fitting ‘washing motions’ to ensure a thorough and gentle clean.
LG washing machines usually retail from $779 for a 7.5kg model and go up to just under $2,300 for a 16kg unit. You can also invest in the new LG WashTower, which includes a washer and dryer ‘stack’ for $5,999. Unlike other washer dryers, this tower includes two separate machines.
LG’s front load washing machine range includes:
LG was rated four stars in the majority of research categories, including performance and reliability, extra features, design, value for money and overall satisfaction. The only exception was quietness while operating, where it got three stars.
Simpson is reputed in the Australian market for ‘keeping it simple’ with a simple range of washers and dryers boasted for their reliability and efficiency. Simpson washing top and front-loading washing machines typically come with a 10-year parts warranty. The brand’s ‘EZI Set’ front loader range is claimed to have been designed to help busy families take the fuss out of doing the laundry. Simpson has been around for about 150 years, but its range hasn’t evolved much beyond its small, original offering. Some common features include an auto water level sensor, ‘pause and add’ button, Quick Wash and a liquid or powder detergent drawer.
Simpson’s range includes (at the time of writing) only two front-loading models:
Simpson achieved four stars for performance and reliability, value for money and overall satisfaction. It got three stars everywhere else, including for quietness, extra features and design.
South Korean tech and appliance giant Samsung offers various front loader washing machines with sleek appearances and different finish types to suit any laundry room. Perhaps you’re into the black appliance trend – well, Samsung has you covered in that department. Capacities are on the large side, with many models exceeding 10kg. There is also a massive 16kg model (pictured).
Samsung is one of the few brands to boast pause-cycle functions to add in more clothes – Samsung calls it ‘AddWash’. With large capacities and AddWash features, Samsung’s motto is ‘less loads – more life’, and with some models featuring cycle times of as short as 15 minutes, it’s easy to see why. Samsung’s front loaders average around 4-4.5 stars for water efficiency ratings and five stars for energy efficiency. Samsung washers can usually be found for anywhere between $800 and $2,000.
Samsung’s front load washing machine range includes (but is not limited to):
Samsung impressed on additional functionality, earning itself a five-star review. It also achieved a respectable four stars for value for money and design, before rounding up the results on three stars for quietness while operating, performance & reliability and overall satisfaction.
Aside from the brands featured in our 2021 washing machine ratings, there are some other leading names in the world of front load washing machines that may be worth a look into. Such brands include:
While these brands didn’t garner enough survey responses to be included in our ratings, they may still have plenty to offer. Some brands come relatively cheap, while others are feature-rich, with intelligent detergent dispensers, load sensors and high energy and water efficiency ratings.
A front load washing machine works by tumbling your clothes – it picks clothes up and drops them into the water in a circular motion. It doesn’t use an agitator or impeller as a top load washing machine would. Instead, it relies on gravity for its tumble action in the drum. This helps to reduce the amount of water used per load as you don’t need clothes to be completely submerged in water. You can still expect a gentle wash despite its tumble action.
One of the main benefits of front loaders is that they are typically more energy and water-efficient than top loaders. With higher star ratings in these areas, you could be saving money on electricity and water bills over time. In addition, you typically have a larger range of cycle options, temperature settings and spin speeds. These units are also boasted for quiet noise levels and create minimal lint from washing clothes. You can also use the top surface as a workbench or stick a dryer on top to save on floor space.
Depending on the model, one of the main differentiating factors between front and top loaders is that you typically can’t stop a front loader mid-cycle to add in clothes you may have missed. They also have generally longer wash times and smaller capacity levels than top loaders. However, there are plenty of new front load models that cater to large households in the laundry department. In addition, expect to pay higher prices upfront compared to top loaders.
There are plenty of pros and cons to buying a front load washing machine, but in general they may be more suited to small households or those living in a small to average-sized home. However, there are also options for larger households, with some brands boasting 10kg load capacities and up. If space is at a premium at your place, you could feasibly stack your front loader on top of – or below – your clothes dryer. You can’t do that with a top loader washing machine. Below we list some specific factors to think about before buying a front loader.
The capacity of a washing machine is measured in kilograms and refers to the maximum weight of wet laundry a front loader can wash in a single load. Front load washing machines come in a wide range of sizes, so it’s easy to find the perfect fit for your laundry room. Front loaders can be quite small – around 5-6kg in capacity – but you’ll also find plenty of larger washers around 10-11kg in capacity with 7kg units being considered to be an accommodating size for many Aussies. Electrolux, LG and Samsung are some of the biggest names to offer large front loaders, while most major brands have small models. You can find some front loaders that can hold up to 19kg at a time!
But when it comes to capacity, bigger is not always better. Unless you like using more electricity and water than you need to, it’s important to pick the right size washer for your family’s needs. The table below gives a general idea of what size you’ll need. As you’d expect, the bigger the washing machine, the higher the purchase price in general.
|Washing Machine Capacity||Household Size|
|5.5kg – 8kg||3-4 people|
Source: Appliances Online
In addition to various fancy features, the price of washing machines is largely dictated by their water and energy-efficiency ratings. The higher the rating, the more efficient the washer will be, and the more you’ll stand to save in ongoing energy costs. However, the most energy-efficient front load washing machines come with higher price tags, so you’ll need to consider whether or not the extra upfront cost is worth it.
You’ll generally find more interesting features with front loader washing machines than their top load cousins. In addition to the obligatory range of various delayed start and cycle times, here are a few more functions to expect:
There are lots of things to consider when buying a new washing machine, but perhaps for many, it will come down to the budget and how much you’re willing to spend on one of these bad boys. On average, consumers spend $773 on new front loaders, our latest survey found.
You can have a washing machine with all the most expensive features, but that’s no use if you’re not going to use them. In addition to this year’s star ratings, our research also identified the key factors consumers believed to be the most important when purchasing their new front loader:
Our survey revealed that households tend to keep the same washing machine for nine years before replacing it, proving that buying a new washer is certainly a long-term investment that requires some serious thought. If you’re preparing to splash the cash on a new front load washing machine, we hope our ratings report has been helpful.
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.
Photo Credits: Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock.com, Zivica Kerkez/Shutterstock.com, Corepics VOF/Shutterstock.
*Prices are taken from retailer websites and Appliances Online, correct as of August 2021.
Here is a full list of washing machine brands available to buy in Australia:
There are plenty of retailers that sell washing machines either in-store or online. These include:
Each brand offers a number of models within its range. We’ve taken a comparative model from each brand in regards to capacity to help you compare price, plus each model’s energy and water efficiency ratings:
|Model||RRP||Energy Rating||Water Efficiency (WELS) Rating|
|Simpson Ezi Set 7kg Front Load Washing Machine (SWF7025EQWA)||$849*||3.5 stars||4.5 stars|
|LG 8kg Front Load Washing Machine (WV7-1208V)||$1,139*||4.5 stars||4 stars|
|Bosch Serie 4 7.5kg Front Load Washing Machine (WAN22120AU)||$899*||4 stars||4.5 stars|
|Fisher & Paykel 8kg Front Loader Washing Machine (WH8060J3)||$899*||4 stars||4.5 stars|
|Haier 8.5kg Front Load Washing Machine (HWF85DW1)||$939*||4 stars||4.5 stars|
|Electrolux 8kg Front Load Washing Machine (EWF8024CDWA)||$1,199*||4 stars||4 stars|
|Samsung 8.5kg QuickDrive Front Load Smart Washer (WW85T984DSH)||$1,299*||4.5 stars||4.5 stars|
|Miele 8kg Front Load Washing Machine (WWD120)||$1,699*||4.5 stars||4.5 stars|
Source: Respective retailers and Appliances Online, August 2021.
Top load washing machines have a vertically aligned drum where clothes are loaded and unloaded via the door on top of the unit. Clothes are generally moved by an agitator or impeller. However, newer models are designed without an agitator to reduce tangling and instead use an alternative impeller system to move clothes.
With top loaders, you can expect much faster cycle times compared to front loaders. Top loaders typically run cycles in 15-30 minutes, whereas front loaders usually take up to an hour. This is because the load is constantly immersed in water, unlike in a front loader. However, newer top loaders now also boast quick wash cycles.
Top Loaders are also said to respond better when fabric softener is added. In addition, all top loaders allow you to pause and add clothes mid-cycle whereas this feature is limited in front loaders.
There are also several disadvantages to front loaders that are to be noted. One downfall is that they can create significant amounts of lint due to the friction of clothes during the wash. They also use considerably more water and detergent as well as generate more noise than front loaders.
Front loaders may have an edge on top loaders from an energy and water consumption perspective, but it’s also important to look at the initial purchase price. Front loaders and generally more expensive than top loaders of similar capacity. However, the higher upfront cost of the washer may in fact negate the savings you’re making on your water and power bills in the long run. On Appliances Online, top loaders cost between $350 and $2,900 while the price for a front loader ranges from $400 to $6,000, which is a significant difference.
Canstar Blue more than surveyed 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used a front loader washing machine in the last five years – in this case, 1,132 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
Here are the previous winners of Canstar Blue’s front load washing machine ratings:
Appliances - June 9th
Canstar Blue looks at the highest rated appliance brands and picks out some potential bargains this end of financial year sales time.– Read more
Bathroom Cleaners - August 17th
How much laundry powder should you use for a load of washing? Canstar Blue measures up your options, to help you get the best washing results.– Read more
^By clicking on a shop online, compare now, buy online, more details, go to site or check latest prices button, you may leave Canstar Blue and be taken to a referral partner to compare. Canstar Blue may be paid for this referral. You agree that Canstar Blue’s terms and conditions apply to this referral. If you click on a brand that is not a referral partner, you will be taken to a brand page on Canstar Blue.
Canstar Blue may earn a fee for referrals from its website tables, and from sponsorship of certain products. Fees payable by product providers for referrals and sponsorship may vary between providers. Generally, sponsorship fees are payable in addition to referral fees. Sponsored products are clearly disclosed as such on website pages. They may appear in a number of areas of the website such as in comparison tables, on hub pages and in articles. Sponsored products may be displayed in a fixed position in a table, regardless of the product's rating, price or other attributes. The table position of a Sponsored product does not indicate any ranking or rating by Canstar. The table position of a Sponsored product does not change when a consumer changes the sort order of the table. For more information please see How Are We Funded.
*Prices correct as of publication date.