Choosing the best washing machine: NZ buying guide

Time to upgrade your washing machine? Today's models clean better, are gentler on clothes and are more energy efficient.

Last updated: 4 March 2024

Struggling with laundry that doesn’t come out very clean? Maybe your whites get weird black streaks all over them? Or your favourite black jeans look peppered with lint after every wash. Whatever the problem, it’s time for an upgrade. Today's models clean better, are gentler on clothes and can save you from the laundry disappointments you’ve become accustomed to.

Just as your wardrobe reflects your style, your choice of washing machine should suit your laundry habits. Here are the four most popular types to choose from:

Front loader washing machines: the gentle giants

Front-loaders give a thorough clean without the roughness associated with traditional agitators. They’re perfect for delicate fabrics and garments that hold sentimental value or come with a dry-clean-only tag. 


  • Energy efficiency: Front loaders are designed to consume less water and electricity. 

  • Gentle on fabrics: The absence of an agitator means less wear and tear on clothes. This can extend the life of your garments, keeping them looking new for longer.

  • High spin speed: They often have higher spin speeds which can extract more water from clothes, reducing drying time and further saving energy.

  • Stackability: Their design often allows for stacking, which is great if you have limited laundry room space.


  • Cycle time: They typically take longer to run through a cycle compared to top loaders, which may not suit those who prefer a quick turnaround.

  • Bending over: Some people might find bending down to load and unload a front loader a bit strenuous, especially if they have back problems.

  • Mould/mildew: If not maintained properly, the seal around the door can become a breeding ground for mould and mildew due to leftover moisture.

See our range of front-loader washing machines.

Top loader washing machines: the speedy workhorses

Top loaders are the sprinters of the washing world, powering through piles of laundry faster than you can untangle a pair of gym shorts. With their straightforward, no-fuss approach, you can easily interrupt a cycle to toss in that stray sock or overlooked towel.


  • Speed: Top loaders typically run shorter cycles, meaning you can get more loads done in less time.

  • Convenience: The top-loading design allows for easy access, making it simpler to add clothes mid-cycle without water spilling out.

  • Reliability: These machines have been around for a long time and their simplicity means there's less that can go wrong mechanically.

  • No bending over: For those with back issues or who find bending painful, top loaders are a clear ergonomic choice.


  • Water Usage: They can use more water than their front-loading counterparts, which may impact your utility bills and environmental footprint.

  • Gentleness: The central agitator might be tough on clothes, potentially leading to more wear and tear over time.

  • Efficiency: While they use more water, they may not always clean as efficiently as front loaders, particularly for heavily soiled items.

Browse all top loader washing machines.

Washing machine and dryer combos

Living in snug quarters but still needing the full capabilities of a laundry setup? These all-in-one machines handle your washing and drying in one go, which means you won't need to allocate square footage for two separate appliances.


  • Space efficiency: The combo's single footprint is perfect for apartments, RVs, or homes where space is at a premium.

  • Convenience: Transitioning from washing to drying without transferring loads means laundry day becomes a much simpler task.

  • Installation: These units often require less setup, with no need for a separate vent (for ventless models).


  • Cycle time: Washing and drying in one machine can mean longer cycle times overall, especially if you need to dry a full wash load.

  • Load size: Generally, combos have a smaller capacity compared to standalone washers and dryers, so you may need to do laundry more frequently.

  • Efficiency: While they save space, combo units may use more energy and water than their separate counterparts over time.

Find the perfect washing machine and dryer combo.

Mini washing machines: the compact saviours

Studio apartment? Tiny house? Meet the mini washing machine. It's small but mighty, perfect for those solo socks or a baby's daily wardrobe changes.


  • Space-saving design: Mini washers are designed to tuck into tight spots, making them a boon for small living spaces.

  • Portability: Many models are lightweight and can be moved easily, which is perfect for renters or those on the move.

  • Efficiency: They're tailored for small loads, meaning less water and energy used per cycle, aligning with a more sustainable lifestyle.


  • Capacity: If you have a larger family or more substantial laundry needs, the smaller drum size could mean more frequent loads.

  • Features: While offering basic washing functions, they may lack some of the advanced settings found on larger machines.

  • Durability: Due to their size and build, they may not be as durable as full-sized models.

Browse mini washing machines.

Top washing machine brands in NZ

We've lined up the crème de la crème of washing machine brands known for their reliability, efficiency, and innovative features:

Fisher & Paykel

Renowned for innovation and efficiency, Fisher & Paykel washing machines are a staple in New Zealand homes. With smart technology like their Eco-Active wash, they balance delicate care for your clothes with robust cleaning power.

Shop Fisher & Paykel washing machines


Bosch offers a slice of German engineering in your laundry room, with washing machines that are sleek, efficient, and packed with features. Their models are designed for durability and precision, ensuring a thorough and gentle wash every time.

Find the perfect Bosch washing machine.


Offering a range of budget-friendly options, Haier washing machines are all about combining convenience with performance. With intuitive controls and reliable washing cycles, they're an excellent choice for the practical consumer.
Shop Haier washing machines.


Samsung brings a tech-forward approach to washing machines, with smart features that fit seamlessly into the connected home. Their units often come with touchscreens, app compatibility, and innovative designs that make laundry an almost futuristic experience.

Browse our range of Samsung washing machines.


LG washing machines are designed with the user in mind, featuring easy-to-use interfaces and advanced technologies like AI-powered wash cycles and steam cleaning for a hygienic wash.

See all our LG washing machine listings.


Electrolux washers are synonymous with quality and reliability. With a focus on eco-friendly washing and fabric care, Electrolux machines are a smart choice for those who value sustainability and garment longevity.

Shop Electrolux washing machines.


Miele stands at the apex of washing machine luxury, with high-end models that promise unparalleled fabric care, longevity, and efficiency. They're an investment in the care of your wardrobe and the environment.

Browse all Miele washing machines.

More than a spin cycle

Washing machines are the unsung heroes of the household, silently soldiering on against spills and smudges. They're not just about clean clothes; they're about giving you back time for life's pleasures. So as you hunt for your new laundry sidekick, remember to weigh your needs, space, and lifestyle. Happy hunting!

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Written by one of our Trade Me Marketplace experts - providing you with the latest information to help you shop smarter in New Zealand.