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The recent energy bill price hike, which has seen many households' annual bill rise by an average of £698, has left many of us taking a closer look at the appliances in our homes to check their efficiency.
When buying a new washing machine in the past, its energy usage probably wasn't the first thing you thought about. From load size to whether it'll clean your kid's dirty football boots, its energy usage was somewhere in the middle of our must-haves.
However, in 2022, that's likely to have changed, as we all look for small wins to reduce our energy usage.
On a scale of A to G our home appliances are all rated on how energy-efficient they are; A being the most efficient, which can save you money in the long run.
Why we rate it
When it comes to washing machines, we often have to compromise performance for care, or vice versa, but not with this top-rated AEG freestanding washing machine, which for starters, has a 9kg load capacity (about 45 shirts per wash).
It has a 1600rpm spin speed and features ProSense technology that automatically weighs each load to provide a tailored cycle, ensuring it dries clothes quickly and efficiently, saving you time, energy and money.
At £849 (Was £999) it's not the cheapest on the market, but with an A energy rating, we like to think of it as a long-term investment.
As well as all the usual cycles, this machine has steam-clean functionality, which reduces creases by up to a third (great for those who hate ironing) and has a special wool cycle, so it definitely gives attention to all garments you may be throwing in it.
Most of all, though, it has the Quiet Mark stamp of approval. Its spin cycle is 75db, to compare, a human voice is 60db and an alarm clock is 80db.
Let's talk a bit more about energy ratings, since they've become really rather important.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, "Appliances are tested for how much energy they use during typical use. This gives them a rating on a scale of A to G, with A being the most efficient product of its class, and G being the least efficient."
The rating is often an indication of how much the appliance will take to cost. Energy Saving Trust use the example that a G-rated 265-litre fridge freezer could cost around £80 a year to run, whereas a larger 424-litre fridge freezer with a better F rating could cost around £90 a year to run.
In fact, choosing an A-rated washing machine over a D-rated one could save you around £130, so it's a smart upgrade if you want to try and reduce your bills in the long run.
The washing machine also features a timer delay function, which allows you to set what time your wash goes on. Not only does this mean you don't have to worry about popping out and leaving your load damp in the washing machine for hours, but you can schedule it to take advantage of off-peak electricity rates.
What the reviews say
With just under 100 five star reviews, it's definitely racking up praise from customers admitting while it's slightly more expensive, it has been worth the extra money.
"A solid machine with plenty of features but also incredibly quiet. It is super efficient, using much less detergent than my older AEG model. A great buy, worth the extra money!"
"Finally a machine that works! I absolutely love this washing machine. It is a quiet workhorse in my busy household and washes superbly well. I've left it a couple of years before reviewing just to really make sure it is fabulous and it absolutely is."
"The machine is so quiet that even forget it is on... clothes come out soft and loose. Not glued to each other or twisted. Amazing machine!"
"Expensive but worth it, excellent product also very quiet when in operation."
"Overall this is the best washer we have ever had, well worth paying for quality this time."
Buy it: AEG 9000 L9FEC966R Freestanding Washing Machine, 9kg Load, 1600rpm Spin | £849 (Was £999) from John Lewis & Partners
3 other A-rated washing machines we recommend
1.Samsung Series 5+ Freestanding Washing Machine | £519 from John Lewis John Lewis & Partners
With innovative features such as ecobubble and Smart Control+ designed to make washing faster, it's also a little quieter than its AEG competition at 72db and at a fraction of the price.
2.Hoover H-Wash 300 H3WS 69TAMCBE-80 Freestanding Washing Machine | £399 from John Lewis John Lewis & Partners
There's a lot to love about this washing machine, not least the price. While it's not the quietest machine on the market, it does have 14 wash programmes and a steam clean, making ironing a thing of the past.
3. John Lewis & Partners JLWM1509 Freestanding Washing Machine | £599 from John Lewis & Partners
This £599 washing machine has a lot going for it. With pre-ironing options, an automatic load sensor to determine which setting suits the load best and even an anti-allergy wash, this quiet, well-priced washing machine is a good pick.