Washing Machine Capacity Guide

Choosing the right washing machine for your home is not as straightforward as it may seem, as picking the wrong size can bring certain disadvantages. Get one that is too small to handle your washing loads and you will be wasting time and energy running multiple cycles. Choose one too big on the other hand and again, you will be wasting the increased energy and water usage that they bring.

This is why it is important to understand the different sizes of washing machines and also the size and type of washing that you will be asking it to do on a regular basis.

Washing Machine Capacity Guide

Understanding Washing Machine Capacities

We apologise if this might seem a little self-explanatory to some of you but when you see a washing machine listed as 5kg or any other weight, that is its total load weight it can handle and not the weight of the machine itself.

This is the optimum weight of fabric that the washing machine can clean efficiently. You might be able to fit more weight than that into the drum but it may take additional power, water and time for the machine to clean it.

Washing Machine Capacity Chart

  • Drum size 5 to 6 kg: For single-person or couple households
  • Drum size 7 to 8 kg: For a small family of 3 people
  • Drum size 9 to 10 kg: For a larger family of 4 people
  • Drum size 11 to 12kg: Best for very large households.

That Weight is for Dry Clothes

Another common question that gets asked is whether that weight capacity is for dry or wet fabrics. As you will know, wet clothes weigh a lot more than dry clothes so it is an understandable question to have.

The answer is that this is for dry clothes, which is a good thing as it means you will be able to get more in than if they were wet. Those clothes will get wet during the washing process and will weigh more but the washing machine will still be able to handle those clothes once wet.

How to Know the Weight of a Load

Now most of us will not carry weighing scales around, so it can be difficult to know just how many clothes you are going to be able to fit into a 5kg load for example. Understanding this will also help you to decide on the washing machine and its capacity that you are thinking of buying.

Well, one quick way to do it would be to find some scales and weigh an average laundry load for your household. If it is more than 5kg, you may need a bigger washing machine.

Alternatively, there is a rule of thumb that 1kg equates to about 1 pair of jeans and 5 shirts. So, if you can kind of guesstimate from that, it might be enough as a guide.

Take Larger Items Into Consideration

When you are considering the weight capacity you would prefer for your washing machine, it is important to note that if you plan on washing larger items, you may need to increase your planned capacity.

Curtains, bed sheets and duvets all weigh a lot more so you will probably want more than a 5kg washing capacity. Weigh your larger items for yourself to judge whether you will need to get an increased washing capacity when you buy your next washing machine.