If you’ve ever looked for a new washing machine you’ll see there’s a vast array of brands available, with newer brands launching new products all the time. This makes it a tough decision.
To find the best top loading, fully automatic washing machine in India for you we subjected three of the best washing machines to weeks of testing, running them through numerous washing tests (including daily use, extreme stains, woollens, delicates, and even blankets). We even looked into the installation and service experience, and costs you’ll incur after you’ve decided to buy your machine.
Best fully automatic washing machine
Whirlpool 6.2 kg Fully Automatic Top Load Washing Machine (Stainwash Deep clean)
The Whirlpool washing machine was certainly a looker and it stood tall in the cleaning tests, usability tests and of course it was literally the tallest machine here. The Whirlpool machine with its top mounted control panel was easy to use and had little tricks, like a deep clean option, a detergent indicator, an easy to load/unload door. The machine perfectly cleaned almost all the stains in the cleaning tests we conducted which was brilliant.
Best fully automatic washing machine (Budget)
LG 6.2 kg Fully Automatic Top Load Washing Machine (T7208TDDLM)
The LG washing machine was the smallest of the pick and still it performed reasonably well. It wasn't lavishly equipped with programs like the whirlpool or had many useful tricks up its sleeve like the IFB, but it was a simple, well built machine which performed reasonably well in our cleaning tests. The price of the machine along with the brand value make it a good budget option amongst the three machines we tested.
Why trust us
We washed a total of 22 loads of clothes over the course of a week to find out which washing machine gave the best cleaning. We also soaked 12 bedsheets in sambar, tea, mud and ketchup and then washed them to see which washing machine gave the best clean. To simulate a real-world experience you’ll have in your day-to-day life, we used all the relevant washing programs such as your daily washing load, a quick wash, a delicate wash, and extreme soiling. We measured the running costs of each machine to understand the water and electricity use of each one and what this means for your bills. We even managed to get an idea of the service situation for each machine.
Here’s how we selected the machines we would ultimately test.
How we selected our top three
We spent hours researching all the products available on Amazon and Flipkart before shortlisting these three best washing machines. Starting from a list of 100 fully automatic top loading washing machines we took the most popular 18 washing machines.
We then removed any machines that were variations of the same product, such as the same model in a different size or colour, leaving us with six machines. For these six machines we listed out all the features and specifications we felt were important for extended daily use, so wash settings, drum material, warranty, power consumption, water type used, etc. From here we selected our top three contenders, selecting each on their combination of features, price, and brand reputation.
It was now time to get testing.
IFB 7 kg TL- SDW AQUA)
LG 6.2 kg (T7208TDDLM)
Whirlpool 6.2 kg (Stainwash deep clean)
How we tested
We tested each of the best top loading washing machines in three different ways.
First, we soaked 12 bedsheets in tea, sambar, mud and ketchup (this needed a small bucket of ketchup and a LOT of sambar). Then we threw four soaked sheets into each washing machine and washed them using the most thorough cleaning function to test the power of each washing machine. After washing we inspected to see how clean each sheet was.
Next, we stitched four strips of cloth together and soaked each in tea, tumeric, mud and ketcup. We created three strips like this and threw one in each washing machine along with a regular load. (This is a similar to process followed by BEE - the government rating agency) Our aim was to see if the washing machines could find the strip and wash it.
Stain Strips after Wash (Top to bottom: Unwashed, Whirlpool, LG, IFB)
Finally, we ran a variety of regular programs such as: a daily load, woollens, delicates to see which washing machine provided the best cleaning.
A washing machine is something you will be stuck with for the next ten years or more. You should buy from a company that services you well and on time. With that end in mind we grilled the customer care reps of each brand on maintenance, annual maintenance contracts, service and warranty related queries.
Apart from all this we also made sure to factor in our analysis on water and power consumption.
The Best washing machine in India
Whirlpool 6.2 kg Fully Automatic Top Load Washing Machine (Stainwash Deep Clean)
Winner of the washing & usage tests
Safely located control panel
Easy to remove and insert clothes in the drum
10 year warranty on motor
The buttons have a confusing layout
The rear cover is made of a styrofoam like material
The first thing you notice about the Whirlpool is its sleek, inky navy-blue exterior, which sets it apart from most other washing machines on the market. With a black-tinted frameless door, a pleasant slope on top, and top-mounted control panel, it's designed to stand out amongst the horde of white and grey machines that we see daily.
We loved how easy this machine was to use. Standing at 100cm tall it was the highest of the three we tested, making loading and washing very easy. Its drum is placed snugly against the opening and allowed clothes to be piled in easily. The control panel is safely out of reach of children and is protected from any water spillage. One feature we liked was once you’ve put in your laundry it tells you how many cups of detergent to use, a feature that’s particularly handy for new users. Overall the Whirlpool was very easy to use. Only the IFB came close.
But the Whirlpool is more than just a pretty appliance. It also has a lot of power behind it, as we found out in the washing tests.
The Whirlpool dominated all of our washing tests, completely removing ketchup and mud stains from our testing strips. It came in as the top performer in our bedsheet test - removing mud, ketchup and sambhar entirely, and lightening the tea stains enough that they no longer bothered us.
It has a total of 12 washing programs which will satisfy all your washing needs. There’s a very efficient default program for your daily needs needs, along with a few programs like Saree, Delicates, Wool that help to perfectly clean delicate clothes like sarees, baby clothes and woolen clothes respectively. The machine also comes with programs for extreme cleaning like Blanket for cleaning heavy bedsheets and the pièce de résistance is the stainwash program which also uses the extra deep clean program to help clean even the dirtiest of stained clothes.
Also present are manual programs like rinse only or spin by which you can reduce you washing time and perform only a rinse cycle or a fast spin/ dry cycle for your clothes.
In addition to the 12 main program there are also 4 extra programs for added functionality, for example the express wash program can be clubbed with some of the 12 programs and it will help reduce wash time, the deep clean program is for better cleaning, while the delay wash program will delay the wash time.
The water usage data for this washing machine wasn’t available on the their site, and the service centre couldn’t provide us with the information either. We estimate it to consume around 4400 litres per month if you use it everyday.
The annual maintenance contract will come to around Rs. 3655 per year after warranty. This is well worth it for the quality of wash and ease of use that you’re getting.
We found Whirlpool’s servicing and installation to be competent and top notch. The company sends out a technician to install your top loading washing machine for you for free—again, excellent for a new user. Many online reviews mentioned delays in installation, this will again vary with your location and the time of the year you order the product (Expect slower installation during festivals and online sales) so keep this in mind. For any post-purchasing issues however, there weren’t many complaints at all. Whirlpool assures a turnaround time of 24 hours once an issue is raised, while we can’t guarantee this we advocate checking with your local whirlpool centre before buying.
The only things we didn’t like about the Whirlpool was the confusing layout of the buttons on the control panel (which we found we got used to after just a few washes), and the low-quality back cover which appeared to be made of Styrofoam.
But the brilliant wash quality, regular two-year warranty, and 10-year warranty on the motor, more than make up for these slight faults.
At Rs. 18,999 the Whirlpool was one of the most expensive of our picks, but this price is more than justified. With the wealth of wash settings, the ergonomically-placed control panel, and fantastic, stain-free wash quality, the Whirlpool is a standout appliance that will make your home life easier.
Best budget washing machine in India
LG 6.2 kg Fully Automatic Top Load Washing Machine White (T7208TDDLM)
W x D x H: 54cm x 54cm x 85cm
Power Consumption: 360W
Drum Size: 7kg
Warranty: 2 years product + 10 years motor
Smallest machine in this test
Reasonably good cleaning
Has Air Dry option
Cheapest AMC costs
10 year warranty on motor
Control Panel gets in the way when putting & removing clothes in the drum
Doesn't have any unique features like drum light, or wheels or detergent quantity indicator etc.
Although not as fancy in design, the LG is extremely easy to use, with a solid build quality and sturdy feel. On the plus side, it does have flat soft touch buttons on the control panel. The top section is covered with a tempered glass so you can put baskets on it without worrying about it breaking.
Its features were basic too, with six main washing settings, four extra manual programs, and a tub cleaning option. The control panel provided only the basic settings, with no flashy extras like detergent quantity notification.
Smaller in size than the other two shortlisted candidates, it doesn’t quite match up to the cleaning power of the Whirlpool or the IFB. It didn’t entirely remove all the mud or ketchup stains in our washing tests, with tea and turmeric stains remaining in pale shades too. But you have to keep in mind that these were extreme tests we put it through. In the regular tests, and in everyday washing tests it cleaned clothes well, leaving them fresh and comfortable.
Despite lacking the features and stain-removing power of our other two machines, the LG has an everyday option called Fuzzy Mode, which provides a thorough clean for your daily loads. There’s also a quick wash option that came out as the fastest of all our tests, which is a bonus for those not wanting to spend much time on their laundry.
The LG’s drying quality is where it shone, with an Air Dry option that provides a much dryer load at the end of the wash.
You can expect your LG to use approximately 4860 litres of water per month if you use it everyday on full load (this works upto around Rs. 140 per month).
The LG also had the lowest annual maintenance contract, and you can expect to pay only around Rs. 3,000 over a three-year period. This is almost 67% cheaper than the Whirpool and IFB!
One thing we weren’t too fond of was the placement of the control panel. While the buttons are easy to use, the placement is a bit awkward, and it can get in the way when putting clothes in or removing them.
But with a standard two-year warranty and a 10-year warranty on the motor, the LG is set to stand the test of time.
So while it didn’t provide the stain-removal power of the other two top contenders, the LG is a fantastic daily-use machine, leaving your everyday clothes clean and fresh. Combined with its small footprint, compact dimensions, cheap service, and the most economical price of just Rs. 16,499, the LG washing machine is our top pick for the best budget washing machine.
Space taken by each of our picks
Will this size be enough for my home?
A 6-7kg washing machine is sufficient for families of around three or four members. Machines of this size can adequately take a 4-5kg laundry load, which for a 6.2kg model looks something like this:
- 3 x shirts
- 3 pairs of trousers (Jeans take more space)
- 2 single cotton bedsheets
A 7kg washing machine can take an extra article or two of clothing, on top of this.
Which type of washing machine is best for you?
Semi-automatic machines are the most affordable type you’ll find, and feature two separate compartments, one for washing and one for drying. Having these two compartments means you have to manually shift your laundry from one drum to the other, and the presence of a second drum makes them bigger than an automatic washer.
The main reason why semi-automatic machines are preferred is because they use less water, but they are more inconvenient to use (when compared to automatic machines) because of the separate wash and dry compartments. Hence we suggest these washing machines if your budget is strictly below 10k.
Top loading automatic
Top loading automatic machines feature a single upright drum that’s used for both washing and drying. Top loaders take up less space than semi-automatic machines and are more expensive, but you’ll find them cheaper than front-loading machines.
What’s good about top loaders is that they use less electricity than a front loader, and can be stopped mid-cycle if you need to add in more clothes. It’s easier to add and remove clothes from the drum, too.
The Top loading automatic machines fall in between the semi-automatic and front loading machines in terms of price. While they are far more convenient to use than semi-automatic machines, they do use a lot of water, around 4000 litres per month (around Rs. 100 per month) if you use the machine daily at full load, which is a huge waste of money. They’re also much louder, which can be a problem in small apartments.
Front-loading machines work in much the same way as top loaders, but with their drum being rotated 90 degrees to the front. This gives them a lower water usage and much quieter operation, and generally provide a better, more gentler cleaning.
We have already established that automatic machines are better to use but the top load especially uses a lot of water, hence people suggest front load machines as they use 1/3rd the water of top loaders, but an issue with front loaders is that they use almost 3 times the electricity as compared to an automatic top loader and they are also more expensive than the other two types of machines.
Why IFB wasn’t selected
Much like the Whirlpool, the IFB washing machine was brilliantly designed, with attention paid to its sleek design, ergonomics, and ease of use. Things like a drum light and scroll knob on the control panel, and wheels on the bottom to make it easier to move, show an attention to detail that put it on par with the Whirlpool.
It performed admirably in all its washing tests, leaving only the slightest of mud stains after the stain strip test, and leaving nothing but a light smudge of ketchup and mud in the blanket test.
Sadly, the IFB is a classic case of a great product that suffers from poor service. While we had a pleasant experience with our product installation with the IFB service person being well informed, punctual and helpful, the same is not true all the time. IFB machines had a lot of poor reviews online in regards to after-sales service, with complaints about delays in repair and replacement, cost of accessories, and poor experiences with their technician. The annual maintenance contract was the highest of the lot too, at Rs. 4,500 per year.
This poor service performance could be due to IFB’s dependence on company service centres, of which there are simply not enough to serve a country the size of India. Performance of the brand is just as important as performance of the machine, which is why we didn’t choose the IFB as our top pick.
A note on Water Usage & Electricity Usage
Water and Electricity are daily running costs that you will incur if you buy a washing machine, to help you understand how much of an increase in costs you can expect we have done a few calculations to help you understand the water usage & electricity usage of the washing machines.
Data from the LG & IFB manual suggests they use 65 litres & 54 litres respectively per cycle for a full load condition. Now if we consider a single wash, we see each machine uses 195 litres & 163 litres per wash. If you consider a daily use of full load for six days a week the monthly water usage is 4680 & 3912 litres for the LG & IFB respectively.
This gives us a monthly bill of around Rs.140 for the LG and around Rs.120 for the IFB. Since we didn't have any info the whirlpool machine we assume it to be around the same as the two at approximately 4400-4500 litres.
Coming to electricity usage, the LG consumes 325 W per hour while the IFB & Whirlpool consume 360W per hour. If we shall again consider a daily use of full load (90 minutes) for six days a week.
We get a monthly usage of 11.7 units & 12.9 units per month, which gives us a monthly bill of Rs.73 for the LG & Rs. 81 for the IFB/ Whirlpool at a slab rate of Rs.6.25 per unit (200 unit slab)
While a Rs.3.25 per unit slab (30 units slab) will give us a bill of Rs.38 for LG & Rs. 42 for the IFB/ Whirlpool. Unfortunately, it is not mandatory for top loading washing machines to obtain a BEE star rating. This would have helped us more accurately investigate our products.
A note on Installation
Once you’ve placed your order, delivery and installation of your machine is undertaken by the company, usually for free, where they send a service technician to your house within 24 hours of delivery.
Whirlpool and IFB sent their own technician, who were punctual, professional, and extremely knowledgeable about their product.
LG has partnered with Flipkart’s Jeeves service to undertake their installation work. Despite being a contractor, the maintenance professional sent to us was still just as knowledgeable. Jeeves claims to be available in 19,000 zip codes.
All three technicians arrived in under 24 hours for the installation.
After sales Service
Some digging around online divulged that some customers were unhappy with their servicing experiences. LG’s few complaints centred around installation delays, whereas Whirlpool were slated with slow delivery service, and occasionally delivering the wrong colour. IFB were far worse, with reviews stating customers had to go through multiple service centres, face installation delays, and deal with poorly-trained installation staff.
Washing machines are an appliance that we really couldn’t live without, and they make our lives so much easier—and cleaner.
After in-depth testing of our three shortlisted machines, we landed on the Whirlpool washing machine as our best pick. With its sleek and stylish design it stands out from your usual suspects, and provides deep fabric penetration to remove all but the hardest of stains. You can trust it to look after your delicates while washing, and clean heavy items like blankets fuss-free. With a comfortable, ergonomic design, the Whirlpool is a powerful, efficient device that will make your day easier, and take the chore out of doing your laundry.
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