As with anything that has any relation to technology in the modern world, the washing machine now offers you choices that a few years ago would not have been conceivable. In fact the modern day washing machine now offers services and options that almost sound too advanced!
However with all this option of course comes confusion. What is the best type of washing machine for me? What do I need it to be able to do? What are my concerns regarding energy usage? Well, although they're not yet customisable like a car, you can generally get a machine specific to your needs and wishes.
So what choices do I have and what do they mean?
There are 2 main types of washing machines, front loading machines (which also include integrated machines) and top loading machines. The top loader is really meant for when space is an issue. They are generally narrower and of course are more accessible that front loaders.
Front loaders however generally offer a greater range of options and of course the ability to deal with larger, family sized loads.
With full size front loading machines, you really can choose the size relevant to you. A small loader would be considered at about 4kg, this is enough for someone living alone. However sizes now go up to (and likely beyond) 11kg! So there shouldn't be any problem in matching your needs.
Fortunately this is something that is easy to distinguish. In these conscientious times, energy efficiency has become a real selling point for domestic machines. All machines now are graded from A - G (with A being the most energy efficient), for both efficiency and performance:
Spin speeds have increased over the years, making washes faster and leading to more powerful machines. The speeds are based on revolutions per minute (rpm) and generally start around 800rpm going all the way up to 1600rpm. Of course more energy is used at the higher speeds. The average speed is generally seen to be at 1200rpm.
Washing machine noise is also something that has improved. New technology means that you no longer have to listen to what sounds like an aeroplane taking off in your house! Look for machines for around 70db or below to enjoy a quiet wash!
There has been a considerable amount of new technology creeping up in the laundry appliance field. From steam based technology, which looks to remove allergens from clothes while also working at a far greater speed, making it an energy efficient way to give you clothes a refresh.
Machines now also have load sensor technology which adjusts the wash cycle or water used depending on the load size, so all you have to do is put your clothes in and let the machine choose the most efficient way to wash.
Of course there are many other features that machines offer, such as ‘easy iron’ settings etc, and you need to make a decision of which would be the best washing machine for you based on your needs. One thing for sure is that you're going to need to make time to read that owner’s manual. . . !