Thinking of buying (or upgrading) your washing machine? Follow this useful buying guide to make the right choice
Does the very thought of a washing machine prompt a deep sigh of relief? No more scrubbing and squeezing, no more washing bars! However, once you’ve decided to buy a washing machine, choosing which one to buy can open up a Pandora’s box of indecision and uncertainty. Here’s a systematic guide on how to choose a washing machine that suits your needs.
How much work?
A semi-automatic washing machine comes with two separate tubs—one for washing and the other for drying. It requires less water, washes clothes faster and can function even without a tap connection. What’s more is that you have the liberty to add or remove clothes during the wash cycle itself! On the other hand, the automatic style has a single tub that takes care of all the work but requires a good rush of water from a tap. They are more compact and feature functions such as an in-built heating system.
What to consider: If you are fine with constantly having to shift the clothes from one tub to another, turning the tap on and off at the right moment and twiddling some knobs every now and then, a semi-automatic machine like the Panasonic NA-W65B2RRB 6.5 kg Semi Automatic Top Loading Washing Machine or the LG P8539R3SM 7.5 kg Semi Automatic Top Loading Washing Machine is for you. If you want the appliance to do everything at the push of a button (or maybe two), it’s better to go for the automatic version like the Onida WO60TSPLN1 5.8 kg Fully Automatic Top Loading Washing Machine or the IFB Eva Aqua VX 5.5 kg Fully Automatic Front Loading Washing Machine. Just load the clothes, choose your wash mode settings and get back to your book while the appliance does its job, and a good one at that!
Where is the entry point?
Top-loading washing machines such as the Videocon Typhoon Plus WM VS60B11-DM 6 kg Semi Automatic Top Loading Washing Machine or the Samsung WA80E5XEC 6 kg Fully Automatic Top Loading Washing Machine have a lid on the top for putting the clothes in the vertical tub. They are easy on the back as you can stand straight while doing whatever is required. Front-loading washing machines have a horizontal drum with a door in the front, which you need to bend to use. They use the tumbling action and longer wash cycles to better clean the clothes, and are much heavier but come with a digital display of programmable settings to suit the type of clothes. These machines, such as the Bosch WAK20160IN 7 kg Fully Automatic Front Loading Washing Machine, also claim to use less water and energy.
What to consider: Will you compromise a bit on the wash quality for ergonomics or are you fine with bending over each time you load and unload your totally stain-free laundry? Top-loading options are offered with both semi-automatic and automatic functionality while the front-loading ones come only in the automatic variant.
How much can it take?
Every semi-automatic or automatic washing machine comes with a specific load capacity that dictates the amount of clothes it can wash per cycle. This generally ranges from 5-6 kg to 8 kg or even more.
What to consider: A family of two can manage very well with a small-sized machine like the Samsung WA80E5XEC 6 kg Fully Automatic Top Loading Washing Machine while a joint family that churns out a ton of clothes everyday will definitely require something like the Whirlpool ACE 8.2 SUPER SOAK 8.2 kg Semi Automatic Top Loading Washing Machine. If a small family restricts its laundry day to once or twice a week, it’s better to opt for more load capacity.
What can I afford?
Budget plays a starring role in your choice as always. Semi-automatic washing machines are basic entry-level models and therefore easiest on the pocket. The top-of-the-line front-loading automatic ones are packed with additional features and settings that make them the most expensive of the lot. The price tags vary depending on the functionality, capacity and so on. Take the LG F14A8RDS29 9/6 kg Fully Automatic Front Loading Washer Dryer for instance. Choosing the right vendor with the best offers can make a huge difference on the final bill.
What to consider: Plan your finances and make the most prudent decision accordingly. Weigh in the maintenance costs too—higher for the automatic options. Keep in mind that a washing machine is a long-term investment that eases household tasks. Just calculate how much you will save on the bai or laundry service!
Don’t overlook the bells and whistles
Many washing machines come packed with extra features such as pre-soaking cycles, temperature settings, adjustable spin speeds, quick wash, delay wash, child lock, rat mesh and much more. Many have options to suit delicate fabrics and higher dirt levels too. The LG F1296WDL23 6.5 kg Fully Automatic Front Loading Washing Machine is equipped with 6 motion direct drive and inverter direct drive technology while the simpler Godrej WT 620 CFS 6.2 kg Fully Automatic Top Loading Washing Machine also boasts of 3 wash programs and fuzzy logic!
What to consider: Many fancy and intuitive controls can sound quite tempting and seem like a must-have. Keep a clear head and evaluate your needs—while a rat mesh or minimal vibration is required in your house, do you really need a child lock when your kids are all grown up now and does it justify the extra price?
Now that you know what to look for, what’s it going to be?