UK White Goods: please recommend your kitchen appliances
July 5, 2017 6:42 AM   Subscribe

We're moving to a place with no white goods (fridge, freezer, dishwasher, washine machine) and want to buy new, energy-efficient ones that will last us for a while.

Could this be the most grown-up question I've asked here yet? Quite possibly.

We haven't even figured out our budget yet so please fling all recommendations at me, great and small. If you bought a thing (in the UK) that cleans stuff or keeps it really cold and you love it, speak now.
posted by greenish to Home & Garden (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Is there a UK version of It is a very good review site.
posted by k8t at 6:53 AM on July 5, 2017

No specific recommendations except to avoid Hotpoint/Indesit branded goods - we've had both a fridge and a washing machine fail on us just outside of the warranty period.

We've had decent experiences with Zanussi washers/driers.

The pricier end of AEG/Bosch have a good reputation, as do Miele, but that depends if you can really justify spending £1000+ on a washing machine.
posted by parm at 7:00 AM on July 5, 2017

Bosch washing machines seem to be very good on the whole; we've had our current one for 10 years and it's still running perfectly with daily use.

Our Miele vacuum cleaner looks like crap from being bashed around so much, but again, still working like new after 10 years.

Neither item was at the pricier end. I don't think the vac was more than £300, and the washing machine was under £500.
posted by pipeski at 7:05 AM on July 5, 2017

We inherited a Zanussi washing machine from the previous owners of a flat we bought (they just left it behind). It must have been a couple of years old at least, and it's still going strong ~5 years after we started using it. The only time it broke down was when a baby sock got stuck in part of the drum mechanism - the repair guy pulled it out and it went back to running smoothly. The guy also said Zanussis last for ages.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:06 AM on July 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

We're generally happy with our Bosch Clasixx Dishwasher (£345 when we purchased it in 2013.) It is quiet and energy efficient and does an excellent job of cleaning dishes.

On the other hand, it died after three years of use. It was out of warranty at that point, but Bosch replaced it for £114. Needless to say, I would prefer a dishwasher that would last -- but it seems like most appliances are semi-disposable nowadays, so I've started looking at replacing them every few years as part of the running cost.

More broadly, if you don't already subscribe to Which? Magazine, I would HIGHLY recommend it. I've found I've had the best luck when I stick with their Best Buys. (However, it's worth cross-referencing them against Which's reliability ratings -- Best Buys sometimes seem to be based on performance in over a limited-time test, which isn't always indicative of reliability.)
posted by yankeefog at 7:13 AM on July 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

Is there a UK equivalent of Consumer Reports?
posted by brujita at 7:20 AM on July 5, 2017

There is a UK version of Consumer Reports: Which? UK

There are no washers or dishwashers made with metal parts in Europe (and only one brand in the US.) Our strategy was therefore to get the lowest cost AAA energy rated appliances we could. We've replaced one washer, with a replacement we bought second hand. Fridge-freezer still going strong. Dishwasher still going strong. Dryer still going strong. Gas range still going strong. Oven grill coil needs to be replaced. It's been 10 years now.

Regrets about saving a big old bunch of money with this approach: zero.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:38 AM on July 5, 2017

A colleague who used to test domestic appliances in a former job swears to me that Bosch/Siemens (same manufacturer, different brands) products outlasted everything else they tested.

Bought a Siemens Fridge and washing machine when we bought our house 10 years ago, both still going strong, no issues.

Bought a Zanussi dishwasher when we bought the house. Had an engineer out to it at least three times in its lifetime, died in year 8. Bought a Bosch to replace it.
posted by Ness at 7:45 AM on July 5, 2017

You will curse the day you bought anything with a 'brushed aluminium' finish. so many fingerprints....
posted by sexyrobot at 7:54 AM on July 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Agree with the above reccs - anything Bosch or Miele has thus far been a great purchase, other things have been too variable to recommend wholeheartedly.
posted by Magnakai at 8:05 AM on July 5, 2017

To add to the Bosch/Miele anecdata: I bought a Bosch washing machine in 2008, it's still going strong and it has now been used not just by me but at least 5 tenants. I cannot remember ever needing to repair it. My father has had his Miele washing machine some 20+ years, to my knowledge never a problem. I now live in a flat where a Miele washing machine and drier were provided. No problems whatsoever with either so far.
posted by koahiatamadl at 9:42 AM on July 5, 2017

Another vote for Bosch (washing machine). I was particularly impressed with the out-of-warranty support. We needed an engineer, but it was fixed rate labour and a deep discount on parts.
posted by firesine at 9:48 AM on July 5, 2017

I just refurbished my flat in the last few months. I got a subscription to Which but also used Amazon reviews and reviews to narrow down the options. Ended up with a Bosch-only household (except the induction hob which is Whirpool). Happy to give you the exact model numbers of you wish for fridge/freezer, dishwasher, extractor, washing machine (no dryer) and hob. I bought most from ao.
posted by Parsnip at 12:10 PM on July 5, 2017

I bought a new fridge last year. I researched energy efficiency at length but then foolishly didn't realize, that a larger fridge will always use more energy than a smaller fridge, so even though I bought an "efficient" fridge, it was less efficient than a smaller, not-so-efficient one would have been! Doh!
posted by latkes at 1:01 PM on July 5, 2017

Bosch all the way for me. My Bosch washer and dryer are still going strong after 10 years; the dishwasher is only 7 years old but still faithfully washing.

You probably already know this but: You can prolong the lifetime of your appliances by treating them kindly. Clean your dishwasher's filter (gross but necessary) and make sure your plates don't have a lot of leftover food on them when they go in. My parents had a good dishwasher that had lasted a long while, but it died when grains of rice got caught in the spray arms.

Since you're in the UK, limescale is the enemy, so descale your washing machine regularly. I leave the door of mine open when not in use so it doesn't grow mold. Empty its filter regularly. Don't overload it, or the gradual metal fatigue caused by the extra weight will eventually tear the drum loose from its bearings. If you have a condenser dryer (as I do), empty the condenser after every wash.
posted by Pallas Athena at 1:24 PM on July 5, 2017

Another vote for Bosch/Siemens/Neff, from what my homeowning family have, and have had for a long time. And votes against Hotpoint/Indesit & Beko from experience as a renter. My parents also have a trouble free Panasonic washing machine (after a short-lived Hotpoint when they moved into where they are) which washes very nicely and is quiet.

Definitely what Pallas Athena said about limescale's important, given that I guess you're moving to the South West. I put these guys into every wash, and it means that I end up getting wearably clean clothes out of my crappy rental washing machines, and only have to run a cleaning cycle every few months.
posted by ambrosen at 3:38 PM on July 5, 2017

Not sure how well this advice maps to the UK, but I read this blog post recently: They used to last 50 years.

It's hard to know what appliances are actually good, because even once-trusted brands can quickly descend into poor quality junk.
posted by reeddavid at 5:26 PM on July 5, 2017

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