If you’re lucky enough to live in a big house with a utility room you probably couldn’t care less how much noise your washing machine makes. If, however, your living space is a little more ‘compact’ then this could be a serious concern for you. If you have an open plan kitchen and living room, for example, you need to know that your new washing machine isn’t going to disturb the peace to the point where you think it would just be easier to take a walk to the launderette.
There has even been research that suggests that the noise level of household appliances can make us sick (just in case you weren’t worried enough already).
The good news is that, with the ongoing development in appliance technology, there are now plenty of options available which are specially designed to run quietly, even on a spin cycle.
All new machines are issued with ‘noise level’ data as part of their product description. Normally this will take the form of 2 separate noise level stats, one for wash and one for spin (like the example shown below from ao.com). Washing machines are at their noisiest on the spin cycle as the motor is running at maximum capacity to deliver the 1200 – 1400 (some even go as high as 1800) revolutions per minute needed to extract as much water as possible from the freshly-washed clothes.
The numbers you’ll see will be stated in decibels (dB) which is the unit of measurement for sound. As a general guide 40 dB is about equivalent to a the level of a whisper. 50 dB would be similar to the level of a conversation and is roughly the level that a fridge runs at (you’ll probably have noticed that they tend to make a humming sound when they operate). You can find a helpful list to compare various appliances etc here.
As a general rule washing machine spin cycles range from about 60 dB to 80 dB. If you find a machine at 60 dB that really is about as good as you can get. One thing to bear in mind is that if you’re looking at the budget end of the market the cheaper machines tend to be noisier than more expensive models. There are some fantastic cheap models on the market but they tend to pack in a huge amount of features for a relatively small amount of money and sound proofing features are a bridge too far.
If noise level is an issue for you this is definitely something you’ll want to take into account when choosing a new machine. Follow the link below to see a list of the models we’ve reviewed which could fit the bill.