Washing Machine Buyers Guide India

Before you buy any washing machine it is important to assess the utility, functionality and budget so that your need is well defined. More specifically you need to consider – the size of your laundry, frequency of usage, type of clothes, the available space, noise the machine makes etc to narrow your search. Energy and water saving is another important factor that impacts the total cost of ownership of the appliance.

This article discusses in detail on various aspects of buying a waching machine in India.

What are the Different Types of Washing Machines?

For home use, washing machines comes in 3 different types:

  • Semi automatic - Top Load
  • Fully automatic - Top Load (Agitators and Impellers)
  • Fully automatic - Front Load

Semi Automatic - Top Load

A semi-automatic washing machine contains two tubs, one for washing and the other for drying. Unlike a fully automatic washing machine, here after the washing cycle is complete you have to put the washed clothes in the drying tub for the drying cycle. This is more of an entry level washing machine. 

Semi automatic waching machine

Semi automatic machines require manual intervention in the controls. These are usually the twin tub machines. After the clothes are washed in one tub, they need to be transferred to the second tub for spinning. However, single tub semi-automatic machines are also available. They combine some of the features of automatic machines with the semi-automatic varieties.

Fully Automatic - Top Load

  • Agitators are devices which puts objects into motion, here clothes. They have a pole with fins that protrudes from the bottom of the drum and moves the clothes around. (see the image above)

Top load - Fully automatic - Agitator

  • Impellers have propellers at the bottom, which churns the water to move the clothes. An impeller is a low-profile rotating hub. The vanes of the impeller create turbulent currents in the wash water as the impeller rotates, these currents move the clothes through the water and clean them without the impeller making physical contact with the clothes.

Top load - Fully automatic - Impeller

Fully Automatic - Front Load

This washing machine looks like a clothes dryer, with a clear door at the front for placing clothes inside. It moves clothes around by rotating the drum, tumbling them in the same way a dryer does.

Fully automatic front loader

Comparison of Different Washing Machine Types

Semi Automatic
Top Loading Agitator
Top Loading Impeller
Front Loading
4-8 Kg
5.5-6 Kg
5.5-10 Kg
5-8 Kg
Wash Quality
Delicate Clothes
Wash Cycle
Hot Wash
Space Required
Easily Movable
Water Connection
Not required
Required with pressure


Semi automatic vs Fully Automatic:

Semi Automatic Washing MachineFully Automatic Washing Machine
You need to manually fill water, rinse, dry clothes Your intervention is not needed
Need to move clothes from washing compartment to drying. Every thing is automatic including wash, rinse, dry.
One can see some stains left on the cloth after wash No stains are left after the wash
Need to rub the clothes with scrub after wash No need to do any scrubing

What to Consider Before Buying Washing Machine?

Below are some of the common considerations that each of you make before deciding which washing machine type to chose.

If you have a small laundry room (or just a laundry corner):

Full-sized washers can be 24 to 30-plus inches wide (and some machines sport bulky, contoured fronts that add to the width), so start by grabbing your tape measure. Jot down the dimensions of your space, but also check that the washer will fit through the hallways and doorways on the way into the room. And consider other limiting factors, such as a washer door that will bang into the wall every time you open it. If you're faced with a super-narrow space, a front loader that stacks with the dryer may be your best bet.

If your laundry room isn't in the basement:

First, make sure the floor is properly reinforced for the weight of the machines. You may want a quieter model with features that reduce vibration and noise during the spin cycle so it's not disruptive to your daily life. And think about splurging for a "fashion" color, since it's likely your machine may be seen by guests more often than if it were hidden downstairs.

If you have a ton of wash to do:

The tub dimensions are most important, and can range from about 2.45 cubic feet up to 5.6 cubic feet. You'll find the largest capacity on a front loader or in a top loader without the central agitator. And consider bells and whistles like programmable settings (so older kids can help do their laundry with ease) or a pedestal that will save your back from endless stooping.

If you don't want to spend a lot:

A small budget doesn't necessarily mean a sacrifice in performance, but you'll likely get fewer fancy features. And don't be swayed by trendy colors: You'll save $100 to $200 if you opt for a white model. Traditional no-frill top loaders are the cheapest, but they use more energy to run. Use the Energy Guide estimates to factor in your energy costs over the 10-to-15-year life of the machine.

If you want to conserve water and electricity:

Front loaders use way less water than traditional top loaders, which have to fill up entirely for the wash and rinse cycles. Opt for an Energy Star model, which reduces electricity and water use by 20% and 35%, respectively, over non-rated models. And check out those Energy Guide labels as a basis for comparison from model to model. However, remember that your actual costs will vary, based on your usage and the utility costs in your area.

If you're always fighting tough stains:

In our tests, front loaders provided better cleaning results than top loaders. Look for a machine with a special stain-remover or presoaking cycles, or one with a steam feature. A "cool" temperature setting that mixes in a bit of hot water with the cold will help powdered detergent dissolve completely for better stain removal.

If you're particular about clothing care:

You'll prefer a front-loader or a top-loader without the agitator, which can cause clothing to tangle and is harder on fabric. Some higher-end models have nifty special cycles designed to clean specific materials, from denim to towels to comforters to hand-washables, and more. Also look for custom features like steam for better stain removal, adjustable spin speeds to reduce tangling, and sanitizing cycles to kill germs.

Key Features That You Should Look Out for in Washing Machine

  • Material of the drum/tub: The tub can be made of plastic, porcelain-enamel or stainless steel. The first two are cheaper. Plastic tubs are more durable than enamel ones, which can chip and rust. Stainless steel tubs are the best as they are the most durable and can withstand high spin speeds.
  • Temperature control: If the washer has an in-built heater, this feature will help adjust the temperature of the water. This can prove useful in winter. Besides, hot water cleans clothes better. Some of the machines have steam setting, which helps fight dirt and stains well.
  • Time delay & pre-soak: Time delay allows you to load the washing machine and start it later. This is useful if you want to avoid the noise at certain times. The pre-soak facility allows you to soak the clothes for a specified period, after which the wash cycle starts automatically.
  • Fuzzy logic: This feature automatically chooses the best washing conditions depending on the quantity of clothes. It detects the weight of the laundry and then determines how much water, detergent and time is required to clean the load. So, you don’t need to bother with any settings.
  • Spin Cycle: The spin cycle for drying is measured as revolutions per minute (rpm). The higher the rpm, the better it will dry your clothes. However, this will depend on the types of clothes. For delicate clothes, the spin cycle is 300-500 rpm, while for thicker items, such as jeans, it is about 1,000 rpm.

How to Decide Washing Machine Capacity

Washing machine capacity depends on the number of people are in your family. Washing machine capacity measured in kilograms, it's directly linked with weight of the clothes that you are planning to wash. Some clothes are lightweight but takes much space such as blanket, whereas some other clothes, height weight but takes little space like jeans. It is advisable that, fill the drum one of the third only so that clothes can move easily and gives better wash quality. For more information on how to decide washing machine size, refer our other popular post. 

Family sizeApproximate capacityNumber of clothes
Single person or couples 6kg
  • 2 shirts
  • 2 jeans
  • 1 bedsheet
  • 2 small towels
  • 2 pillowcases
Family of 3 members 7kg
  • 3 shirts
  • 3 jeans
  • 1 bedsheet
  • 2 small towels
  • 2 pillowcases
Family of 4 members 8kg
  • 4 shirts
  • 3 jeans
  • 1 bedsheet
  • 3 small towels
  • 3 pillowcases
Large family 10+kg
  • 3 shirts
  • 3 jeans
  • 2 bedsheet
  • 6 small towels
  • 6 pillowcases

In summary, there are many choices when it comes to buying a washing machine in India, but it really comes down to your laundry needs. Check the detailed criterias above and make a wise decision by yourself.