Washing machines: 6 of the best for active families

From muddy sports kit to large loads, invest in the best for you and your household

White kitchen with washing machine and tumble dryer under black granite top on wooden floor

(Image credit: TBC)

We don't do the laundry for fun, but we use our washing machines so often that it makes sense to invest in the best. There has never been a wider choice of programmes and functions, including models with exceptional energy efficiency that also use as little water as possible. Country Homes & Interiors provide insight into how to choose...

Hoover washing machine with colourful washing inside

(Image credit: Hoover)

Best for... large loads

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This multi-programme model can handle an average family's weekly wash in one
go, and is also ideal for washing curtains and duvets.

Empty Panasonic washing machine with digital display, turning knob and 3 buttons

(Image credit: Panasonic)

Best for... outdoor clothes

An exceptional all-rounder with a cycle for waterproofs. Sensors monitor the weight and movement of the load in the drum and adjust the cycle.

Empty Grundig washing machine with knob and digital display

(Image credit: Grundig)

Best for... fast results

Superb value, this Allergy UK approved design's features include sensors, and it can wash a full 8kg load at 40°C in only 40 minutes.

Beige retro Smeg washing machine with silver handle

(Image credit: Smeg)

Best for... retro looks

With its 1950s curves and stylish door panel, this model offers an extra quiet night-time cycle and is available in Pink, Black and Pastel blue.

Empty Miele washing machine with digital display and knob

(Image credit: Miele)

Best for... sports kit

Rugby gear or gardening trousers are no problem for this model with powerful stain removing, plus steam injection to make ironing easier.

Empty AEG washing machine with digital display, knob and buttons

(Image credit: AEG)

Best for... efficiency

This may be the most eco-friendly model currently available, but it still washes brilliantly, including delicate knitwear, even cashmere.

Looking to buy? Country Homes & Interiors share three pieces of advice to consider before making your final decision...

Choose the capacity to suit your household. If you want to wash fewer times a week or launder duvets and curtains, go from 6kg for a small family up to 8kg for a larger crowd. New models can handle 10, 11 or even 12kg loads.

Saving energy is easier now that the A+++ rating is available across the price range. All new models have a 20°C cycle, which is comparable to a 40°C wash.

In addition to the basic programmes, a baby clothes mode is practical for new parents, while a Woolmark-approved wash keeps knits in shape. Advanced machines have sensors to monitor every stage of the wash cycle and adjust water and detergent accordingly.

Looking for more ideas? Find them on Country Homes & Interiors' home page.