Noise emission is the noise generated when a technical device is put into operation. Up to 50 decibels one speaks of low-noise devices, up to 80 decibels one still speaks of a normal noise perception.
Noise emission is the noise generated by the commissioning of a technical device. The lower the value, the quieter the appliance during the washing process.
Washing machine guide
Updated: 27.01.22 | author: dinah wuttke
A washing machine makes housework easier for you in a convenient way: it cleans your laundry automatically and in a short time. So you don’t have to wash every piece of laundry by hand and wring it out afterwards, as you did in the past. Thanks to this essential advantage, almost 95% of german households own a washing machine today. It is also one of the most used household appliances.
The first washing machine that is technically close to today’s models was presented by pastor jacob christian schaffer in 1766. This mechanical appliance was a breakthrough for home economics at the time, as it saved an enormous amount of time and energy. in 1906, alva fisher from chicago introduced the first electric washing machine. However, it took until the 1960s before it found its way into german households.
Today, washing machines can do much more than just clean clothes. Almost all of the new variants are equipped with sophisticated technology that often requires a intelligent washing enable and thereby increase comfort. In addition, energy efficiency has increased in recent years: the electricity and water consumption of the appliances has been significantly reduced, making the costs affordable.
Washing machines are available in a variety of designs: the appliances are available as front or top loader offered, each with different capacities and dimensions. The washing programs and functions with which the models are equipped vary.
Find out which model is right for you and what you should look out for when buying a washing machine in our buyer’s guide.
To help you choose a washing machine, we have compiled the most important information for you in the following guide: we name the different product types, explain the numerous washing programs and features, and inform you about the different efficiency classes.
When buying an ideal washing machine, consider the following points in particular:
- Household size and laundry volume, in addition to the space available, are decisive aspects for choosing the ideal product type.
Front loaders and top loaders differ significantly in terms of dimensions and capacity. A top loader, for example, is narrower, but can only clean smaller loads.
- High energy efficiency is one of the most important purchasing criteria.
Low energy and water consumption benefits both your household budget and the environment. This is why your washing machine should have the best possible energy efficiency class.
- Consider which washing programs you need on a regular basis.
In addition to the main wash programs, there are nowadays a large number of special wash programs. The number of different programs has an influence on the price of the machine. Before buying, consider whether you often have to wash many different materials or whether basic programs are already sufficient for your laundry.
- The features and functions of a washing machine are designed to meet different needs.
Many functions sound convincing, but are not always needed. Like the number of wash programs, the numerous features and functions of a washing machine affect the price of the appliance. However, sensors for intelligent washing can also reduce the consumption of resources. for households with children, you should attach importance to a child safety device.
Washing machine types
Basically, washing machines can be divided into front loaders and top loaders according to their design. Especially with regard to daily use, you should pay attention to an ideal filling capacity depending on the amount of laundry to be done.
a particularly compact alternative for single households is offered by so-called mini washing machines.
The type of product you choose depends not only on the amount of laundry you need to wash, but also on where you want to install the machine.
Usually comply with standardized dimensions and are suitable for a maximum load of up to 12 kg. They usually require a larger footprint than top loaders. On the other hand, they are characterized by their slim design. They have a lower capacity of up to 6 kg and are recommended for smaller households.
All washing machines are available in various designs or. With different claddings: as a rule, the units have a sturdy, mostly white plastic housing with individual stainless steel elements, some high-quality models are also completely clad in stainless steel. The washing drums are always made of stainless steel.
If you have limited space at home, but you need a dryer in addition to the classic washing machine? On our portal you will also find washer-dryers – these appliances can both wash and dry.
The most popular washing machines in germany are front loaders, which are characterized by the typical glass porthole on the front side are marked. The porthole serves as a door that you can easily open to put the laundry into the drum. The operation of these washing machines and the filling of the dosing chambers with detergent also take place on the front side.
Front loaders have a large capacitythey can wash a maximum load of 12 kg of laundry at once and are therefore suitable for large households with several people.
The machines with a capacity up to 8-9 kg have standard dimensions of 85x60x60 cm (height x width x depth). Front loaders with a higher capacity of up to 12 kg have larger special dimensions, which differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Due to their capacity, front loaders also require a comparatively large footprint.
Depending on the desired location, you can choose these units in different designs:
- stand-alone front loaders
a free-standing appliance can be installed and immediately put into operation wherever a water and power connection is available. The advantage of this design is that you can place small items such as laundry baskets and detergents on the surface of the appliance.
- Built-in front loader
you can install this model in bathroom or kitchen cabinets and even hide it completely behind cabinet doors.
- Under-counter front-loader
you can integrate an under-counter front-loader into a kitchen unit by installing it under the worktop. This requires the installation of a substructure sheet.
Through the porthole, the so-called door inspection glass, you can see the watch the washing process at any time. For example, you can see when water enters the drum. This is helpful, because you usually can not add laundry during the washing process, once the water has run in.
The price of front loaders in private households varies depending on the equipment and efficiency between 180 € and 5.000 €, while a commercial machine can cost up to.000 € can cost.
On our portal you will find a wide range of front loaders. Here you can compare the prices and features of the appliances and then order your desired model quickly and easily online. The biggest advantage: the appliance is then delivered directly to your home and you save yourself the time-consuming transport.
- Large capacity
- Also available as an under-counter or built-in appliance
- Storage option on the front loader
- Washing process can be observed
- Require large footprint – especially in width
- it is usually not possible to add laundry during the washing process
The characteristic feature of top loaders is the filling the washing drum from the top. The controls and detergent dispensing chambers are also located on the top of the machine.
Top loaders are also characterized by their slim design from. Thanks to the standard size of 87x40x62 cm (height x width x depth) they fit even in small niches. In contrast to front loaders, top loaders cannot be underbuilt and do not offer any parking space on their surface.
However, this type of washing machine has a less capacity than a front loader – it usually washes a maximum of 6 kg of laundry at a time and is therefore more suitable for smaller households or. Laundry quantities.
A significant advantage of the top loader is the back-friendly operation. Users need to bend down only slightly to load or unload their laundry. In addition, you can usually stop the washing process on top-loaders in order to load some more laundry.
Depending on the equipment and efficiency class, top loaders cost between 140 € and 1.700 €.
Use our price comparison and find online your ideal top loader.
- Back-friendly loading
- Also suitable for small spaces
- pausing the washing process and topping up is usually possible
- Not submountable
- Low capacity
- No parking on the surface
Efficiency is an important purchase criterion. This determines the running costs for electricity and water as well as the washing and spinning efficiency of the appliance.
Therefore, when buying a washing machine, pay attention to the following product specifications:
On the EU energy label, which must be affixed to every electronic device since 2011, provides essential information about the washing machine model such as manufacturer’s name, capacity and its efficiency. This can help you compare different models.
Energy efficiency class
Especially with frequently used household appliances such as washing machines, you should definitely pay attention to the energy efficiency – because it is the decisive factor for running costs.
The running costs for a washing machine are made up of electricity and water costs. As the prices of electricity and water have risen steadily in recent years, these are increasingly burdening households. However, models with a high energy efficiency class can help you save money effectively in the long term.
The energy efficiency class gives information about how much the washing machine consumes in energy per year. This is a comparative value based on the consumption of the machine for 100 washes per year in the eco wash program.
From march 2021 the scale of energy efficiency classes extends from A to G. The plus classes A+, A++ and A+++ have been removed so that the ratings can be better assessed in a comparison. The various measurement methods are more stringent and uniform from this point onwards. there may be changes to the previously valid label with regard to information on the energy consumption of the devices.
Compare the figures for actual electricity consumption in kwh (kilowatt hours) and water consumption per wash cycle to get a rough guide to your device.
Washing machines with automatic programs wash economically and conserve resources. By means of sensors inside the appliance, the ideal water consumption and an optimal washing time are determined for each wash cycle in accordance with the prevailing load utilization.
the annual electricity consumption of washing machines may differ slightly despite the same energy efficiency class and capacity, resulting in different electricity costs. You should therefore always take a look at the EU energy label, in addition to the energy efficiency class, the actual power consumption in kwh (kilowatt per hour) per year is specified. Ideally, choose a model that has the lowest possible kwh value.
Washing machines with a capacity of 6-8 kg, for example, are considered very energy-efficient with the following values for electricity consumption:
Electricity consumption per year
The actual electricity consumption of a washing machine varies between the individual washing programs. For example, a 60°C wash with a full load consumes more electricity than a 40°C wash with a partial load. For example, your washing machine will consume more electricity per year than the label indicates if you wash frequently at 60°C and full load.
In addition to the energy efficiency class and power consumption of a washing machine, the EU energy label also indicates its average energy consumption water consumption per wash cycle indicated. This can vary greatly depending on the manufacturer. Comparing the different machines, it quickly becomes clear how serious the differences between individual manufacturers and their models can be.
The washing efficiency class is no longer indicated on the EU energy label. However, you will usually find the information on washing efficiency in the product data sheets of the respective washing machine.
Spin efficiency class
also pay attention to the spin action of the washing machine. The spin program does important preliminary work for drying: the better the laundry is spun, i.e. the less residual moisture it still contains, the faster and more efficient the drying process it can be dried more energy-efficiently afterwards. Electricity savings are particularly noticeable if you also use a tumble dryer.
The following table gives you an overview of the different spin efficiency classes:
Spin efficiency class
Since most washing machines are divided into classes A and B, you should also pay attention to the specification of the maximum spin speed. As a rule of thumb: the more revolutions per minute, the better the spinning effect and the less the laundry has to dry afterwards.
Most appliances today achieve between 1.200 and 1.400 rpm (revolutions per minute), but there are also some models with over 1.600 rpm. However, too high a spin speed can also have the disadvantage that the laundry is subjected to more stress.
With many machines, you can halve the number of revolutions of the spin cycle at the touch of a button. This is especially recommended for fine laundry, even if it increases the effort required for drying.
On the EU energy label you will also find information about the maximum noise level of the washing machine during spinning and washing, on the one hand as a decibel value and on the other hand on the basis of classification in a scale from A to D. A stands for quiet, D for loud. New models produce a maximum noise level of between 68 and 80 db (decibels). To keep noise pollution to a minimum, we recommend choosing a machine with a low noise level.
70 db corresponds to the noise level of a lawn mower, 80 db to that of a jackhammer.
The number of available washing programs of a machine is more or less extensive, depending on the respective manufacturer and model. All programs wash your laundry in 3 consecutive steps:
Many machines have numerous washing programs that make washing easier and are designed for special materials. The basic differences between individual programs are mainly in water temperature, water consumption and washing time.
To give you an overview of the most common program options, we distinguish between them below:
The more special and versatile your wardrobe is, the more flexible your washing machine should be.
Make sure that the main wash programs are supplemented in a sensible way, based on your individual needs and the care required for your garments.
Main wash programs
As a rule, every washing machine is equipped with the following main washing programs, which cover most common requirements:
- Cooking and color washing
in the color and boil wash program, laundry can be washed up to 95 °C and spun at maximum speed. this program is suitable for hygienic cleaning of durable materials. High degrees are recommended for white laundry such as bed linen or towels. coloreds should be washed at slightly lower temperatures to preserve their colors. The program washes effectively when you fill the drum completely.
- Easy care laundry
the wash program is suitable for easy-care, i.e. non-sensitive laundry. The washing machine should only be half-filled with laundry. The water level reaches half of the drum.
- delicates / silk
this program is recommended for delicate fabrics: the spin speed is reduced and the water level is increased. For this program, you may only put a small amount of laundry in the laundry drum.
- Wool / hand wash
with this wash program you may also wash only a few items at a time. A lot of water is used in relation to the laundry, only minimal spinning takes place, and the water is heated to a maximum of 30 °C.
- Mixed laundry
this program allows you to wash easy-care clothes together with delicate ones. So you do not have to separate the laundry in advance. Here, the temperature is automatically regulated to 40 °C, so that even the more sensitive fibers are sufficiently protected.
- Eco mode
eco mode usually increases washing time while using less water and electricity. The clothes are soaked in the lye for a longer period of time – as a result, the washing effect is just as good as that of a standard wash.
- Short wash
in the fast wash program, the machine washes hardly soiled items in a very short time – usually in 15 minutes. This program is useful for the first wash of newly purchased items or garments that have only been worn once.
Special washing programs
In addition to the main wash programs, many washing machines offer a number of special options for specific laundry items or for efficient washing. The choice varies from supplier to supplier.
The following special washing programs have been established:
- Shirts / business
this function spins only at a low speed so that the shirts are only minimally wrinkled and can be ironed more easily afterwards. In addition, the outerwear is washed gently.
jeans and jeanswear are washed gently so that the color is preserved.
- Night program
with this program selection, the rinse cycle is minimized and the spin cycle is reduced for lower noise levels. It is often also marked "extra quiet".
functional clothing and impregnated items are treated gently in this program. some washing machines with this program can add an impregnating agent during the wash cycle.
this is a wash program for people with sensitive skin and for allergy sufferers: detergent residues and lint are completely removed by an extra rinse cycle.
herewith you can manually select an additional rinse cycle to the wash cycle. This way, residues of the detergent and lint can be completely removed, as with the sensitive program.
- Gentle spinners
choose this option, for example, after washing wool or. After hand washing. This allows you to spin the dripping wet laundry gently at a lower speed.
The equipment is decisive for the most comfortable and simple operation as well as its safe function. If the individual features match your individual performance requirements, your washing machine can be an optimal labor saver.
The different components of a washing machine can be classified as follows:
The following basic equipment elements simplify the control of the washing machine and ensure reliable operation of the appliance:
- Audible signal
acoustic signals are a practical extra: as soon as a washing program is finished, you are immediately informed of this by a corresponding acoustic signal. Most of the time, the signal is also sent when there are errors or malfunctions.
a display shows information on the washing program, for example. depending on the model, more or less information may be displayed on it.
- Dosing chambers
before the wash cycle, fill detergent and fabric softener into the correspondingly labeled dispensing chambers. They are located in a small drawer on the front of the washing machine. It is advisable to leave it open to dry after washing and to clean it regularly to prevent the formation of mold and unpleasant odors.
- Operating elements
with a rotary control or via a button bar, you can select from the available washing programs and start the washing process.
- Error code display
new washing machines are often equipped with a fault diagnosis system. an error code is shown on the display in the form of digits or symbols. The error tables in the user manual contain detailed descriptions and solutions for the respective code.
- Lint filter
a lint filter catches foreign bodies and lint during washing, which can otherwise block the pump. It is usually located on the front side at the bottom behind a flap. To prevent clogging of the sieve, the sieve should be cleaned under running water at regular intervals.
- Program display
this will give you a quick overview of which station of the washing process the laundry is currently going through by means of an indicator on the display.
- Residual run indicator
this information refers to the washing time: the remaining time indicator shows in hours and minutes the remaining time until the end of the washing cycle.
Under the heading "functions" you will find practical extras that you can select at the touch of a button on some washing machine models. In addition to the above-mentioned equipment elements, these make it easier for you to operate your washing machine.
the issue of safety is very important for the purchase of all electronic devices. New machines have various safety standards that protect against damage.
We have summarized the most important safety features for you below:
When buying your washing machine, you can also look out for various safety certificates:
The CE mark indicates that all requirements for health, safety and environmental protection have been met. the voluntary "GS" (tested safety) mark also confirms that the washing machine complies with the requirements of the european directives concerning the protection of the health and safety of persons. The VDE seal is awarded by the Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (VDE). V. Awarded when the washing machine has been successfully tested to certain standards and norms.
Water protection system
It is important to have a water protection system that prevents water damage in the living space in the event of a defect or malfunction of the washing machine.
You are liable for water damage if the machine is left running unattended and water leaks during this time. The insurance will only cover the damage if you were absent for less than 3 hours.
In case of gross negligence, however, you will have to bear the costs yourself. This occurs, for example, if you start the washing machine in the morning, come back in the evening and the machine has run down in the meantime.
Your washing machine may be equipped with the following water protection systems:
- Simple water protection (aqua stop)
this water guard is an inlet hose that catches any water that may leak out in its double hose wall. The outer protective sheath of the hose is filled with a substance that swells strongly on contact with water. An aqua-stop hose can usually be retrofitted if it is not included in the scope of delivery of your washing machine. Nowadays, however, almost all new machines have this hose as an equipment element.
- Multiple water protection (MWS)
models with MWS offer even more protection. They have an electrically controlled inlet valve with a safety level switch, which interrupts the water inlet in the event of a defect, and an integrated overflow protection system. The water intake into the washing machine is constantly controlled by sensors. When the water level reaches a certain level, the feed is stopped and the water is pumped out first. In addition, a model with MWS has a feed hose with increased pressure resistance.
- Multiple water protection plus (MWS+)
washing machines with an MWS+ have a double-walled inlet hose (aqua stop) with a mechanical safety valve at the screw connection to the water tap instead of the single inlet hose.
- Full water protection (VWS)
Some manufacturers also call the VWS a watercontrol or waterproof system. Washing machines with this protection system have an integrated overflow protection and a double-walled aqua-stop hose with 2 magnetic closures in the valve, so that in the event of a defect in one of the closures, the other can take hold. In addition, machines with a VWS have moisture sensors in their floor pan. This is used to constantly check whether there are defects not only in the feed hose, but also in the device itself. As soon as water enters the bottom tub due to a leak or other defect, the sensors transmit a signal and the machine’s electronics stop the water supply by activating the aqua-stop valve. Some high-quality systems detect malfunctions even when the machine is switched off, so that it is not possible to start the washing process in the first place.
Child safety lock
in a household with a family, a washing machine with child safety lock is an advantage. This function prevents running programs from being interrupted or the machine from being started without further ado.
A standard safety feature is the door lock – it prevents the washing machine from being opened during operation and water from leaking out.
an unbalance check is important so that the drum of your washing machine continues to run smoothly even at high spin speeds. The electronic system of the washing machine attempts to compensate for the forces generated by the spin cycle, either by means of speed deviations or level sensors. This means that the machine remains stable in place even at high speeds and does not vibrate as strongly.
New washing machines usually offer you the possibility to choose from a variety of additional functions at the push of a button.
These can optimally complement the machine’s equipment elements and washing programs:
- Automatic shutdown system
some machines switch off automatically after a certain time after completion of the washing process. This saves energy.
- Anti-spot system
with this function you can choose between different types of stains on the display of the washing machine. The machine then automatically ensures that the stains are properly treated with the optimum washing temperature, soaking time and ideal rotation rhythm of the washing drum. You can usually combine the antifleck system with all main and also some special wash programs.
- Automatic program selection
washing machines with automatic program selection use sensors to detect the type of laundry and the degree of soiling and suggest the appropriate washing program immediately.
- Load detection
sensors determine the weight of the laundry and show it on the display. With a load detection system, you can make sure that you do not overload the washing machine or that it is not overloaded. you can see whether the amount of laundry corresponds to the manufacturer’s recommendations for optimum washing results.
- Steam function
with the steam function, also known as steam technology, hot steam is fed into the washing drum via nozzles in addition to water. On the one hand, the very hot steam kills mites and bacteria that may not always be completely eliminated at low wash temperatures. On the other hand, this also smoothes the laundry somewhat, which reduces the subsequent ironing effort. However, this function can slightly increase the power and water consumption of the washing machine.
- Dosage recommendation
here, too, the weight and degree of soiling of the laundry is determined by means of the sensors and a dosage recommendation for the detergent is shown accordingly on the display. how to prevent over- or under-dosing of detergent and save water and energy by avoiding additional rinses due to increased foaming.
- Automatic metering system
with the automatic dosing system, you can wash your laundry even more innovatively: the machine automatically doses the detergent and fabric softener so that the laundry is washed in the optimum quantity.
- Fuzzy logic
the so-called fuzzy logic is an extended functionality of the well-known load detection and the automatic program selection. The washing machine uses innovative sensor technology to determine not only the respective load quantity, but also the type of laundry and therefore optimally adjusts the washing process. In addition to the ideal washing program, the spin speed and the washing time are also automatically controlled.
- Crease protection
when this function is activated, the laundry is spun at a low speed so that it wrinkles less, thus reducing the need for ironing. In addition, according to some manufacturers, the water is pumped out more evenly and gently during washing.
- Memory function
this function makes it easy for you to save preferred wash programs and settings and quickly recall them at the touch of a button.
- Automatic dosing system
most new washing machines are equipped with an automatic volume control. sensors detect the amount of laundry and adjust water consumption and washing time accordingly.
- refill function
up to a certain water level in the wash drum of a front loader, you can use this function to unlock the door, pause the wash program and add a forgotten item of clothing at the push of a button. After you have closed the door and pressed the start button again, the washing machine continues with the washing process.
- foam detection
overdosing the detergent can lead to increased foam formation. By means of foam detection or. foam regulation the washing machine detects the excess foam and additional rinsing cycles take place.
- spinning speed regulation
most washing machines today offer the option of manually reducing or increasing the spin speed at the touch of a button.
- Rinse stop
if you cannot or do not want to empty your washing machine immediately after the end of the wash cycle, you can activate the rinse stop function. This keeps the laundry in the last rinse water until you continue the wash cycle. So the laundry does not crease and smell when it is left in the washing drum for a longer period of time.
- Start and end time preselection
the start time preselection allows you to set the time when your machine starts the wash. This function is just as practical as the end time preselection, with which you determine when the laundry should be finished. For example, you can run the machine overnight or while you are at work.
- Animal hair removal
with this setting, often found under the name pet hair removal, you can easily have almost all pet hair removed from your clothing, which is especially beneficial for pet owners. According to the manufacturer, this function provides an additional rinse cycle to better rinse away the hair.
after the last spin cycle, the drum is heated slightly to loosen and smooth the laundry
Every additional function also has an impact on the price. therefore, before buying, consider which function is indispensable for you or superfluous for your needs.
Frequently asked questions
What you always wanted to know about the use of washing machines, we have summarized here for you. Our FAQ collections are based on the knowledge needs of other washing machine buyers.
Get important answers to the following topics in our FAQ section