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What size washing machine should I buy?

washing machines

Buying a new washing machine doesn’t have to be daunting, yes you do have a lot of choice but that’s a good thing (maybe not for a sustainability point of view!).  You should be able to find a washing machine that suits then needs of you and your family.

measure twice, buy once

Before you can decide on what size of washing machine you are going to buy you need to decide on the space that’s going to house your new washing machine First step will be to measure the space and ensure you have enough room for the machine you want to buy.

Do you need to couple your washing machine with a clothes dryer?  If you can live without you’ll not only save yourself money on the upfront cost of the machine you’ll also save on your energy bills, that could be another $200 in your pocket each year!

stacked washing machine

However busy lives mean we need things done yesterday and as such if you require the use of a tumble dryer ensure you work out if you’ll be stacking them or having them side by side.  You’ll need to take this into account in your measurements.  Remember measure twice, buy once!

energy efficient washing machines

What does it mean when it says 5Kg/8Kg/10Kg washing machine?  This doesn’t refer to the actual weight of the machine, in fact this figure represents the weight of the washing that the machine can wash in order to keep the load to maximum efficiency, this means it won’t waste energy or water when washing this is type of laundry load.

People ask us all the time if the weight of the drum is in relation to a wet load or a dry load, it’s a dry load.  You wouldn’t wet your washing prior to putting it in the washing machine so it wouldn’t reference a wet load weight to wash.

Tumble dryers refer to wet loads in their weight as it’s a wet load you put in them.


You can weigh your washing in a number of ways, anything from holding the laundry basket while standing on scales or wrapping it in a sheet and using your luggage scales. It’s too difficult to give you an estimate of what would constitute 5Kg as every load is different and every family ranges in size and age, best to measure yourself for your own peace of mind.

Now you know what size of space you have to work with, you need to work out what size of drum for your top load or front load washing machine. Here is a rough guide from the SESM website on what size you need per family member;

Drum Size Family Size
5Kg 1 – 2
5Kg – 8Kg 3 – 4
8Kg + 4 +


It’s important you don’t buy a machine that’s too small, you’ll just over work it shortening its life span and burning through more electricity, the opposite will also cost you, if you buy a machine that’s 2 big, you’ll end up washing half loads wasting water and energy.  Think about how you and your family will use the machine then go from there.

wash clothes efficiently

One final thing before you commit to the size of your new washing machine, consider what bulky things you need to wash, such as blankets or quilts, if you have a bed wetter in the family you might need to regularly wash quits and sheets, or a toddler with sticky fingers might require your curtains to get a regular wash, or if you’re a teenager or a young adult you’ll also need to wash your sheets regularly…  If you opt for a smaller size drum always consider if these items will fit into your washing machine comfortably.

If you’re still undecided you can check out our buying guide to help you narrow down your search, alternatively we are here to help either comment below or drop one of our team and email and we would be happy to help!

Happy Shopping!

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Julie Moore is Co-founder & Director of Save Energy Save Money, Australia’s first energy and price comparison website. With over 10 years’ experience in the corporate world Julie ensures Save Energy Save Money provides you with the energy information you need to make informed decisions. Helping to contribute to a more sustainable Australia.

One thought on “What size washing machine should I buy?

  1. John smith

    Washing is one of the most common and one of the most important parts of the house, its demand is further increasing at a rapid rate. While buying a new washing machine, a user should have to look for some points. Capacity of the washing is also very important, the tips shared above for determining the capacity of the washing machine are very good. I recently bought the new washing machine and I followed the same procedure and it worked for me, thanks for sharing this important information with us.


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