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What Size Washing Machine To Buy

What Size Washing Machine To Buy

Love it or hate it, laundry day is a life chore few of us can ignore. Some people relish the satisfaction of getting all their laundry washed, dried and folded, while others dread the task.  Thankfully, we live in an age where technology and engineering have made laundry days much easier for everyone.

Washing machines are designed around one core purpose - convenience. Modern washing machines go beyond a simple clothes wash and now offer hygiene steams, stain solutions and smart technology controls too.  The right washing machine can make all the difference to your day, reducing your workload with quick and efficient wash cycles.

Every household’s washing machine requirements are different but the first consideration should always be the same.  When you are planning to buy a washing machine, first consider the size of the machine you will need.  Choose a machine that’s too small for your household’s laundry needs and you’ll spend more time doing extra loads of washing. Choose a machine that’s too big and you’ll waste energy washing half loads, and unintentionally drive up your utility bills.


10 Washing Machine Size Considerations


Choosing the right size of washing machine is crucial to ensure it fits in your space and meets your laundry needs. Here are some important size factors to consider before buying a washing machine.


  1. Physical Dimensions

    First measure the space where you plan to install your new washing machine. Note down the width, height, and depth and bring this with you to the store to check against machines you like. Measuring ahead of buying ensures your new washing machine will fit comfortably.  Also, consider the doorways and passages in your home that the washing machine needs to pass through during installation. Never assume a new appliance will fit through your front door. Always measure before you order.

  2. Load Capacity

    Typically measured in kilograms, washing machine load capacity indicates the amount of laundry a machine can handle in a single cycle. A larger load capacity is suitable for families with multiple members, while smaller capacities are sufficient for one or two people. At Irwins Megastore, our washing machines range from 6 kg to 18kg, offering a suitable solution for every household size.

  3. Drum Size

    The drum size of a washing machine affects how much laundry can fit in a single load. A larger drum, for example, can accommodate bigger items like blankets and pillows. Something to consider if you want to clean large items at home. However, a washing machine with a larger drum can require more space, something to take into account when viewing machines. 

  4. Door Opening Space

    Kitchens and laundry rooms come in all shapes and sizes so the available space is something to look at. Before buying your washing machine, look at the space in front and around where it will be placed. Check how much room there is for the washing machine door to open and if there are obstructions. Double check which way the door opens - left hinged or right hinged and if this suits your space. Getting a new appliance home only to realise the kitchen island prevents the door from opening fully is something to avoid.

  5.  Location

    Consider where you plan to place the washing machine. Will it be in a laundry room, kitchen, bathroom, or another area? Choose a machine that fits seamlessly into the available space and complements the room's design.
    If you are opting for a kitchen or laundry room based washing machine, consider an integrated washing machine. Integrated washing machines offer seamless design, as they're built to fit within cabinetry, enhancing aesthetics. They also save space and reduce noise by being hidden behind cabinet doors.
    Freestanding washing machines on the other hand provide flexibility in placement, easy installation, and accessibility for maintenance. They can be placed anywhere with proper connections.

  6.  Height and Accessibility

    Make sure the height of the washing machine's controls and display is comfortable for you to reach and operate. An appropriate height ensures easy access to controls and loading, enhancing your experience and convenience. For those with mobility issues, washing machine height is especially crucial for easy access to controls and loading.

  7.  Ventilation and Clearance

    Washing machines generate heat and moisture during operation. Always, ensure there's enough ventilation and clearance space around the machine. Ideally, there should be a window close by to help keep the space ventilated.

  8.  Installation

    Some washing machines require specific installation configurations, such as water and drainage connections. Ensure you have the necessary connections in your chosen location and the space to access them for machine maintenance.

  9.  Future Considerations

    Think about any potential changes in your household, such as additions to the family, which might affect your laundry needs. Choosing a slightly larger capacity might be beneficial in the long run.

  10.  Weight

    Consider the weight of the washing machine, especially if you need to move it for cleaning or relocation. Heavier machines might be more challenging to move.

How To Choose the Right Washing Machine Capacity


Wash frequency is another important factor to consider when deciding on the size of a new washing machine. Selecting the appropriate washing machine capacity ensures efficient laundry routines. Typically the size of the machine echoes the size of the household. However, this isn’t always the case. Small households with frequent laundry washes may prefer a larger capacity machine to reduce the number of loads needed for example.


Consider the following guidelines based on household sizes:


  • Singles/Couples:

Opt for a 6-8kg capacity for lighter loads and space-saving benefits. Ideal for minimal laundry needs.


  • Small Families (3-4 people):

Choose an 8-10kg capacity for versatile use. Accommodates regular clothing and linens.


  • Large Families (5+ people):

Opt for a 10-12kg capacity for handling larger loads, including bedding and family-sized laundry.


Remember, selecting a washing machine with a capacity that aligns with your household size ensures efficient water and energy use, saving time and resources in the long run.


How To Measure Your Space For A New Washing Machine


Width: Measure the width of the space where the machine will be placed. Ensure there's enough room for the machine's door to fully open.


Height: Measure from the floor to the top of the space. Consider if you want your machine to be flush with the countertops and if your machine choice has adjustable feet.


Depth: Measure the depth of the space. Account for space needed for connections and ventilation.


Clearances: Leave at least 2-3 inches of clearance on all sides for ventilation and easy installation.


Accurate measurements will ensure your new washing machine fits seamlessly, preventing any installation issues and maximising your laundry area's efficiency.


How To Optimise Your Washing Machine Load Utilisation


Get the most out of your washing machine with these four simple tips.


  1. Fill to 80%: Load clothes loosely to about 80% of the machine's capacity as overloading can affect cleaning and damage the machine.


  1. Balanced Loads: Distribute items evenly for balanced spinning. Avoid one heavy item that could cause imbalance.


  1. Don't Underload: Small loads waste water and energy. Combine laundry or use appropriate settings for smaller loads.


  1. Check Manufacturer's Guidelines: Follow the machine's manual for load recommendations specific to your model.


Efficient load utilisation ensures cleaner clothes, conserves resources, and prolongs machine life.


At Irwins Megastore we stock a large range of washing machines in all sizes. Drop by to our Cork or Waterford stores to find a machine you like or shop the range online. We list the dimensions, load capacity, drum size and all features with each washing machine online. Whether you shop online or instore, our expert customer service team will be on hand to offer advice and answer any questions. Shop with confidence, shop with Irwins Megastore.

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