The humble washing is the unsung hero among home appliances. Always willing to do the dirty work (or, dirty laundry)! It might not seem the most exciting appliance, but they’re incredibly convenient compared to making a trip to the laundromat every time you need to wash your clothes. And in our humid climate, it’s important to keep our clothes fresh, clean and free of stains and sweat!

Buying a washing machine can be a surprisingly difficult decision. From different features to different family laundry requirements, there are a few factors to consider. So, we’ve created a useful buyer’s guide to the best washing machines in Malaysia to help you make the right choice. Read on below!

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A BUYER’S GUIDE TO WASHING MACHINES IN MALAYSIA

Whether you’re simply replacing an old unit or buying a new model for a new home, it’s important to be aware of what to look for in your new washing machine. We’ll guide you through the different types of washing machine available, a few features to look out for, what capacity you should consider for your family, and pick a few favourite models that you can find - and price compare - right here on our website.

Front load vs. top load: what type of washing machine is right for me?

There are three standard types of washing machine available on the market in Malaysia: front load, top load agitator, and top load impeller. Before we get to specific models, let’s run through the key differences, pros and cons of each type.

Front Load

As you might expect, you put your clothes into a front load washing machine through a door at the front of the unit. It’s fully automatic, and uses less energy and water than its top-loading cousin, so a front loading washing machine is easier on the environment as well as your electricity bill. A typically larger capacity than top loading washing machines also means you do fewer loads of laundry in the long run. Front loading machines can also handle bulkier items - like bedding, blankets and even sleeping bags - without compromising cleaning performance. They are quieter and gentler on clothes than the top loading variety.

Front loaders tend to have far more program options and built-in features than top loaders, with some modern models boasting control panels that look like something out of a spaceship. But don’t worry about pressing the wrong button and shrinking all of your clothes - just select the mode that’s right for you, and hit ‘start’. The technology will take care of the rest. And when it comes to saving space in your home, there is one major benefit to a front loading washing machine: you can stack a dryer on top of it. Perfect for smaller apartments or utility rooms! Lastly, the spin cycle in these machines is much faster than a top loading version, so you get a head start on the drying process.

This all might sound like the perfect sales pitch - why consider a top loading washing machine when there are so many benefits to the front loading type? What could go wrong?

If you’re in the market for a new model, all these features and technology don’t come cheap - front loading machines are generally more expensive upfront. They could work out cheaper over time, with fewer loads, energy and water being used, but you might not start to see those savings for a while. Using less water in the cycle is great for the environment but not always great for getting extra tough stains out. That said, certain features and washing modes can help with that. Because of the front-loading design however, even using less water doesn’t always mean it drains properly, which can cause odours. The biggest drawback of front loading vs top loading washing machines is the length of the spin cycle, which is much longer in the front-loading version. That said, front loading machines will have a ‘quick wash’ mode, perfect if you just need to give something a good rinse rather than a deep clean.

Top Load Agitator

The original, the traditional, and still surprisingly common even sixty years after they were invented: the top load agitator model offers an affordable alternative to all the funky new front-loading kids on the block.

Clothes are loaded in from the top, and the ‘agitator’ refers to the central rod which moves the clothes around inside the machine. With shorter wash and spin cycles than front loading washing machines, top load agitators are good if you regularly have multiple loads of laundry to do in a day. The most convenient feature (we think) of a top loading washing machine is that you can usually stop the cycle halfway through to throw in any laundry that you’ve left behind (we’re looking at you, socks). Try the same with front loading machines and you’ll either a) fail or b) flood the floor. Although, hey, that’s one way to wash socks too ...

The top-loading mechanism is also generally easier to work with in terms of getting clothes in and out. Top loading agitators generally do a satisfying, if unspectacular job. You won’t find many complicated settings or flashing LED lights on this type of washing machine.

However, there are several drawbacks. Top loaders use far more water and power than front loading machines, which will come at a cost. And it’s not just on your energy bill; the ‘agitator’ itself isn’t exactly the most delicate way of washing clothes. Top loading washing machines also struggle with larger or bulkier items. And of course, they aren’t stackable, so not the best option if you’re trying to save space.

Top Load Impeller

Also known as high efficiency washing machines, the top load impeller is a newer type of appliance. It uses a rotor, rather than a rod, to create the spin cycle motion. Several modern top load impeller models have similar features to their front loading counterparts, including built-in load sensors that can precisely measure the amount of water and power needed for the perfect washing cycle.

In some ways, top load impellers offer the best benefits of both types of washing machine. They can handle the capacity of a front load with a shorter spin cycle, and the impeller feature is gentler on clothes than an agitator. They’re reasonably priced, and some models offer “deep fill” mode, so you can fit in bulkier items more easily.

However, even an upgraded top load model doesn’t save this design from the drawback of not being stackable, so top load impellers aren’t brilliant space savers. They are also known for being particularly noisy, which is definitely worth considering if you’re working from home. Wash cycles also tend to be longer than traditional top loading washing machines.

Things to think about when buying a washing machine

There might be more to consider here than you realise. What does your lifestyle currently look like? And how might that change in a few years when you may have a (bigger) family? Washing machines are built to last a good few years, after all.

Where am I putting this washing machine?

Probably the most important question to answer before you even look at a fancy new model. Front loaders are great because they are stackable, so you can double up on your appliance-to-floor-space ratio by putting a drying machine on top of it. However, if you’re in a really narrow space, can you load clothes comfortably from the front? Top load washing machines are the better option here. And regardless of type or model, always remember to leave approximately 15cm empty space behind the unit for hosing and ventilation.

Am I always in a rush?

Carefully consider the different features and flexibility that a front load washing machine offers. Even if typical wash cycles are longer than a top loading model, modern front loading machines will have various settings, including ‘quick wash’, to take advantage of.

What clothes am I washing?

One proper wash cycle should always be enough to keep clothes clean and stain-free, but we know how gym clothes can get after a few sweaty sessions … and in our tropical climate, we definitely sweat more into our shirts and blouses on a daily basis. So, look out for models which come with advanced cleaning features. This could be a special spin cycle, or even a steam cleaning function, which helps keep clothes wrinkle-free and odour-free.

How much laundry am I doing?

Different families have different laundry requirements, which can change quite drastically over time. Carefully consider the capacity of your new washing machine to get the most value for money. It might seem easier to get a smaller model because it’s cheaper, but if you’re regularly doing laundry for a large family, you’ll spend more money in the long run doing more loads. As a general guideline:

  • 5-6kgs will suit a single-person household or a couple
  • 6-7kgs is fine for a family of 3
  • 7-8kgs will work nicely for a family of 4-5
  • 8kgs+ is best for families of 5+

Bonus family consideration: a child-lock door feature!

What is my budget?

An obvious question, but not always an obvious answer. As we’ve seen, different types of washing machine use different amounts of water and power, so the cheapest upfront might not be the cheapest in the longer run.

Our favourite washing machines in Malaysia

We know what types of washing machine to consider and why, and we know which questions we need to ask ourselves before we make the decision. Next: which specific model is best? We’ve rounded up a few options to suit all needs and budgets.

Best Top Loading Washing Machine - Panasonic NA-FS16V7SRT

A top load washing machine with all the fancy features you’d expect in the latest front loading model, this impressive Panasonic top loader ticks a lot of boxes. It comes with all sorts of special settings, such as StainMaster+ to tackle the toughest stains and ActiveFoam System to lift and remove the deepest dirt from fibres. The Inverter - Intelligent Power Control Technology - precisely controls washing speed for maximum performance. ECONAVI technology detects the load amount and water temperature and adjusts the cleaning operation to save energy, time and water. The Easy Wide Opening and rear control panel make loading laundry a pleasure, not a chore. The impeller - or, Active Wave Pulsator with 8 wings - creates a powerful flow that gives clothes a thoroughly good clean. The 16kg capacity will handle massive loads with minimum fuss. Overall, a really impressive top load washing machine. It is more expensive than other top loading models, but with all these advanced features, it’s hardly surprising. It looks great, too.

Best High-End Front Loading Washing Machine - ELECTROLUX EWW1141AEWA Washer Dryer

So many intelligent features, the first cycle will be finished by the time you’ve finished figuring them out. This washing machine even has a Wi-Fi connection. Seriously. You can connect to the ElectroLux Life App and get intuitive guidance on cleaning your clothes. Other washing machines detect water levels - this one detects dirt. SensorWash™ technology scans for dirt levels and adjusts the cycle duration to ensure you get the perfect wash every time. An improved rinsing performance significantly reduces detergent stains, so your little black dress or smart white shirt stays residue-free for much longer. UltraMix™ technology dissolves and activates detergent to improve colour retention in your clothes even on colder wash settings. The VapourCare function finishes off the wash cycle with a gentle spray of vapour to remove germs and allergens. The Vapour Refresh cycle refreshes clothes and reduces wrinkles. Oh, and there’s a drying function built in, so really, you’re getting two appliances in one. SensiCare even detects temperature and humidity to help preserve your clothes by protecting them from over-drying. We said that some front load washing machines looked like something out of a spaceship - and I think this model has more technology on board than the Starship Enterprise. It’s pricey, but then again, of course it is.

Best Value & Affordable Top Loading Washing Machine - TOSHIBA 10KG AW-H1100GM

The best budget-friendly option on this list, the Toshiba AW-H1100GM still comes with a few decent features. There are five different modes, an auto-tub drying function which helps to eliminate odours in the drum, and a decent dying mode which you don’t usually find on top loading models. There’s a twin water injection system for more powerful washing, and a ‘Hybrid Screw Pulsator’ which creates a waterfall effect to tackle the really tough stains. Other useful features include Zero Standby Power and a child-proof lid lock. It’s certainly not the most aesthetic model on the market, but it’s a good value washing machine overall.

Best Affordable Front Loading Washing Machine - Toshiba TWD-BJ120M4M Front Load Washer Dryer

Another excellent front loading washer-dryer combination, the Toshiba TWD-BJ120M4M is a great option for those who want great features at good value. This washing machine offers a 15-minute cycle called GREATWAVES™, an innovative touch which combines Flush Wave and Cold Wash modes to offer a colour-saving and energy-efficient wash. It’s very user-friendly, with lots of thoughtful design touches such as the simple cycle selection, and offers a Drum Clean program to remove bacteria, allergens and mould.

Conclusion

From spin cycles to stackable designs to special features, there really is a lot to think about when it comes to washing machines. It’s definitely worth doing your research, and considering how your domestic needs might change over the lifetime of your machine. We hope this article has helped you get a little closer to the right decision, and there’s one factor we can definitely help with - budget! We’ve done the hard work of comparing all the prices for you, and you’ll find the best deals on the best washing machines in Malaysia right here.

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Jacob Weber

iPrice Tech Writer

Jacob spent a couple of years in corporate life in London before swapping his suit and tie for shorts and sandals in Malaysia, joining an advertising agency as a Copywriter and never looking back. Now a freelance Editor, content writer and “creative generalist”, he’s covered all kinds of topics from travel to technology. When not at the keyboard, you might find him in the kitchen, where he’s still trying to master scrambled eggs.
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