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Cheap vs pricey washing machines: Is it worth paying more?

At Which?, price has no bearing on how we rate a washing machine – but that doesn’t mean that we’re oblivious to it, either. Sometimes you see two washing machines priced so wildly differently you can’t help but take note. Our latest reviews include a Miele washing machine machine for more than GBP1,400, and a Beko for just GBP250.

Should you splash out or save for the best washing results? Our washing machine reviews[1] will help you make the most sensible decision. Read on to compare what you get for your money from a washing machine priced at the top of the market versus one for a fraction of the price.

Miele WKF 322 – GBP1,430

Miele has a reputation for putting out slick machines priced a little higher than average.

The price of the Miele WKF 322 is undeniably some way above that, though. In fact, the average price of a Best Buy washing machine[2] is roughly half the GBP1,400 you’ll be paying for this one. So, what do you get for all that extra outlay?

  • Cotton capacity: 9kg
  • Synthetics capacity: 4kg
  • Max spin speed: 1,600rpm
  • Energy label: A+++
  • Number of programmed cycles: 12
  • Wash temperatures: Cold, 20?C, 30?C, 40?C, 50?C, 60?C, 75?C, 90?C
  • Quick wash program maximum capacity: 3.5kg
  • Intensive program: Yes
  • Length of guarantee: 24 months

Outside of its vital statistics, at first there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot to elevate the WKF 322 above from the rest.

Its glass and mirrored-silver door is eye-catching, but other than that you’re still looking at a large, white block of plastic. There’s a digital display, but most of the controls are handled the old-fashioned way, with tactile buttons and a rotating dial. It has the ability to select the correct program for your load by stain type, which is an interesting feature – pick from three types of stain (eg ‘red wine’ or ‘grass’) and it will work out the rest for you.

The ‘Express 20’ quick-wash program takes 20 minutes to complete, which is fairly standard, but the 3.5kg maximum load size for that quick wash is quite generous. Similarly, the 12 built-in programs aren’t overwhelming, although there should still be one for every scenario you could envisage, including modes for duvets and sportswear. As for how well it actually washes your laundry, and how long it takes to do it?

Find out by reading our full Miele MKF 322 washing machine review[3].

Beko WTG741M1W – GBP250

Beko is most popular washing machine brand on Which.co.uk*, so a model as tantalisingly low-priced as the Beko WTG741M1W is sure to draw attention. Given that it’s even cheaper than the average price of a Don’t Buy, can this affordable unit possibly offer enough to compete?

  • Cotton capacity: 7kg
  • Synthetics capacity: 3kg
  • Max spin speed: 1,400rpm
  • Energy label: A+++
  • Number of programmed cycles: 15
  • Wash temperatures: Cold, 20?C, 30?C, 40?C, 60?C, 90?C
  • Quick wash program maximum capacity: 2kg
  • Intensive program: No
  • Length of guarantee: 12 months

Let’s start with what you don’t get with the Beko WTG741M1W compared with the Miele: there’s a smaller drum, which means 2kg less per cottons wash, 0.5kg less per synthetics wash or 1.5kg less per quick wash, the maximum spin speed is slower, there are fewer temperatures to choose from, there’s no intensive wash program, and the guarantee is just one year, rather than two. However, the reduction in drum size means that the WTG741M1W is 10cm shallower than the Miele, meaning that it can fit more snugly in smaller homes, plus there are more pre-programmed cycles, for those who want the most intricate level of control over their wash.

As for the range of temperatures, the chances of you needing to wash at anything at exactly 50?C or 75?C is pretty slim. And even though the quick-wash capacity is slightly less than the Miele’s, it’s finished in 14 minutes, rather than 20. Unless you’re serious about your laundry, will any of these downsides really put you off buying this machine?

If you’re tempted, make sure you find out whether it cleans clothes as well as the specs suggest, by reading our full Beko WTG741M1W review[4].

Mid-priced washing machines

For those of you who believe the answer lies within moderation rather than in the extremes, we’ve tested plenty of mid-priced machines, too. The LG F4J7JY2W[5] costs GBP760 and intrigues with its wi-fi connectivity. LG’s ‘Smart ThinQ’ technology allows you to use your smartphone to communicate with the washing machine, letting you control the cycle, diagnose problems, and even download additional programs.

The Hoover DXOA 68LW3/1-80[6] offers a similar feature in a machine that costs a fair bit less – just GBP280, in fact. It has NFC (near-field communication), which means that if you have an Android smartphone with NYC can give it a tap to connect the two devices together. However, we’re struggling to see how it’s of much use, given that you have to practically be stood next to the machine to use it.

From there it offers the same features as the LG machine, We’ve also just reviewed two popular washing machines from Bush, the Bush WMDF814W[7] and the Bush WMDF914W[8]. You may not be aware of it, but Bush is actually an Argos own-brand, used for all sorts of products from washing machines to DVD players.

As that might lead you to expect, both machines are very cheap (less than GBP300 each) – but you’ll have to read their reviews[9] to find out if they are worth buying. Just in time for Christmas, or if you’re already planning your shopping list for the January sales, we’ve also just reviewed more new models from Hoover[10], Beko[11] and Miele[12], as well as a mid-priced machine from Chinese brand Haier, the Haier HW80-B1636[13]. As a name you may or may not recognise, Haier is actually responsible for all the washing machines you see branded Fisher & Paykel[14] and Hotpoint[15], too.

*Number of visits to Beko washing machines and brand pages for month to 7 December 2017.

References

  1. ^ washing machine reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Best Buy washing machine (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ Miele MKF 322 washing machine review (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ Beko WTG741M1W review (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ LG F4J7JY2W (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ Hoover DXOA 68LW3/1-80 (www.which.co.uk)
  7. ^ Bush WMDF814W (www.which.co.uk)
  8. ^ Bush WMDF914W (www.which.co.uk)
  9. ^ reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  10. ^ Hoover (www.which.co.uk)
  11. ^ Beko (www.which.co.uk)
  12. ^ Miele (www.which.co.uk)
  13. ^ Haier HW80-B1636 (www.which.co.uk)
  14. ^ Fisher & Paykel (www.which.co.uk)
  15. ^ Hotpoint (www.which.co.uk)

Smeg launches Dolce & Gabbana kettles and toasters

Smeg has launched the first wave of products from its Dolce & Gabbana-designed ‘Sicily Is My Love’ collection, including brightly painted kettles and toasters. The kettle, toaster and citrus juicer will be available in Harrods from today. They cost nearly ?400 each though, so if you want to get your hands on one you’ll need to dig deep.

This is the second time Smeg has teamed up with fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana for its ‘Made in Italy’ collections. The products celebrate the Italian heritage of both brands using traditional Sicilian motifs and the landscapes of Southern Italy as decoration. Find out more about the collection below, and check our reviews of Smeg kettles[1] and Smeg toasters[2] to see how they fare in our tough tests against cheaper rivals.

New Smeg Dolce & Gabbana products

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Smeg D&G TSF01 toaster, ?399.95

There are both two and four-slice toasters in the Smeg Dolce & Gabbana range, but you can only buy the two-slice version for now.

It features whimsical images of birds and sailing boats on a vibrant red background. The four-slice toaster, which has a different design, won’t be released until 2018.

Both toasters have six browning levels and cancel, defrost, reheat and bagel functions. They are also available in a range of plain colours, as part of Smeg’s Classic range, with prices starting from ?100.

We’ve tested both options, so check our toaster reviews[3] to see how these models compare, and whether you’ll get perfect toast with your ?400 toaster.

Smeg D&G KLF11 Kettle, ?399.95

This designer kettle is decorated with an intricate floral design with additional citrus fruit motifs. Like the toaster, it’s available to buy today for just under ?400 from Harrods. Of course, you’re paying for the design, rather than any fancy features, so don’t expect any extra such as multiple temperature options here.

If you like the look of the Smeg kettle, but can’t stomach the price – the older Smeg KLF01 kettle[4] costs around ?100 and is available in cream, mint, steel, black, light blue, pink and red. We’re testing the Classic version of KLF11 kettle at the moment, and will have results up in the next week, so it’s worth holding out and checking on our kettle reviews[5] to make sure this kettle is up to scratch before you splash out.

Smeg D&G Citrus Juicer, ?399.95

If you want your freshly-squeezed orange juice delivered in the most extravagant way possible, this is the juicer for you. It’s adorned with Sicilian landscapes and, appropriately, citrus fruits, on a bright red background.

We don’t currently test citrus presses, but we’ve found Best Buy fruit and veg juicers, some of which include citrus press attachments, from as little as ?40. If you’re just looking to get good juice fast, check out our juicer reviews[6].

The full range of Smeg Dolce & Gabbana gadgets

There’s no word yet on how much the rest of the D&G appliances will cost when they eventually hit shelves in 2018, but they are likely to be more expensive than the kettle, toaster and citrus juicer as the plain colour versions are. Find out more about the rest of the range below to see if it’s time to start saving up for your dream gadget.

Smeg D&G ECF01 coffee machine

Decorated with a traditional Sicilian symbol – the cart of Catania – and surrounded by a Baroque floral print, the D&G coffee machine is certainly a stylish route to your morning pick-me-up.

The original version of this machine, available in the classic Smeg range of colours, is available now. So, if you can’t bear to wait until next year then you can get brewing today, with prices starting from ?280. Check our review of the Smeg ECF01 coffee machine[7] to get our expert verdict on its coffee-making skills.

Smeg D&G SMF01 Stand Mixer

A brightly coloured stand mixer can be a real statement piece in your kitchen, and this Smeg D&G version is probably the boldest statement of all.

It’s covered in bold multi-coloured patterns and floral details, and has a generous 4.8-litre capacity which should be plenty for everyday baking tasks. It’s likely to be pricey, though not necessarily significantly more than the latest KitchenAid mixers. Check our stand mixer reviews[8] to find the most stylish options for your budget that also guarantee a good bake.

Smeg D&G BLF01 Blender

The designs on the Dolce & Gabbana edition of Smeg’s jug blender are an ode to the history of Italy, featuring images of temples, archaeological sites and landscapes.

The 800W blender has four speed settings and a 1.5-litre plastic jug. You can buy it now in the standard Smeg colours, including cream, mint, steel, black, light blue, pink and red. Prices start from ?149.

If you’d rather leave the art to your walls and just want a blender that makes brilliant smoothies, check our list of Best Buy blenders[9] to see which ones made the cut.

Smeg D&G SJF01 Slow Juicer

In 2018 you’ll also be able to get your hands on the D&G version of Smeg’s slow juicer. Its a masticating model, which means that it crushes fruit and veg gradually, squashing the juice out, rather than blitzing ingredients with a fast-spinning blade that flings the juice out, as centrifugal juicers do. This method is claimed to result in better quality juice, and more of it, although we haven’t always found that to be the case in our juicing tests.

For more advice see our guide to slow vs fast juicers[10]. The original version costs around ?449, so we’d expect the D&G version to cost significantly more. We’re currently testing this juicer, but for now you can get our first impressions in our Smeg SJF01 slow juicer first look review[11] and watch a video of this juicer in action.

Which? verdict on Smeg D&G appliances

There is no denying the unique style of this collection as well as the care and attention that has gone into creating the designs, but with a price tag of upwards of ?400 you’d be wise to check that the function and specifications are up to scratch before you buy.

If you want to jazz up your kitchen with some stylish gadgets, but don’t want to spend a small fortune, we’ve uncovered some brilliant cheap Best Buy kettles[12] and Best Buy toasters[13] in our tests, in a variety of patterns, styles and colours that will ensure your home looks great and your breakfast is cooked perfectly.

More designer appliances: Smeg D&G fridges

Smeg and Dolce and Gabbana first collaborated on a collection of 100 hand-painted fridges in 2016, which went on sale for an eye-watering ?30,000 each. Dolce & Gabbana worked with Sicilian artists including Salvatore Sapienza to create the detailed designs that, like the ‘Sicily Is My Love’ collection, were inspired by Italian traditions, colours and landscapes. Few people are willing to spend ?30,000 on a fridge, but you might be tempted by Smeg’s trademark retro-look fridges.

We’ve put these models through our rigorous lab tests to bring you impartial advice on whether they are a good buy.

Check our Smeg fridge reviews[14] to get our verdict.

References

  1. ^ Smeg kettles (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ Smeg toasters (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ toaster reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ Smeg KLF01 kettle (www.which.co.uk)
  5. ^ kettle reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  6. ^ juicer reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  7. ^ Smeg ECF01 coffee machine (www.which.co.uk)
  8. ^ stand mixer reviews (www.which.co.uk)
  9. ^ Best Buy blenders (www.which.co.uk)
  10. ^ guide to slow vs fast juicers (www.which.co.uk)
  11. ^ Smeg SJF01 slow juicer first look review (www.which.co.uk)
  12. ^ Best Buy kettles (preview.internal.which.co.uk)
  13. ^ Best Buy toasters (preview.internal.which.co.uk)
  14. ^ Smeg fridge reviews (www.which.co.uk)

Russell Hobbs Canterbury Kettle 20610, 1.7 L, 3000 W – Brushed Stainless Steel Silver – Reviews

The 20610 Canterbury Brushed Kettle is stylish and beautifully finished and will coordinate with any toaster or kitchen. The polished kettle will boast a high 3kw rapid boil that comes with a concealed element which is easy to clean. It comes with a generous 1.7L capacity meaning you can boil as much or as little as you need, using the handy side water guage on the handle. For an easy filling, there is a push button lid and the on/off switch will illuminate red when it is in use. For a neat and tidy kitchen, the cord storage is a feature of the base. To prolong the life of your kettle, there is a removable washable filter in the spout.

  • Brushed stainless steel kettle with plastic accents
  • 1.7 L capacity
  • 360 degree base with integrated cord storage
  • Side water gauge
  • Push button lid

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