Are Washing Machines All The Same Size (in the UK)?

If you have a limited amount of space in your home and you’re looking to buy a washing machine, you might be considering a small machine to save space. If that’s the case, just how small is the smallest washing machine available in the UK? We did some research into this and here are our findings.

Do Washing Machines Come In A Standard Size?

It turns out, there isn’t necessarily a standard size for washing machines, but there does seem to be a standard space in kitchens for them to fit into. Which is 60x60x85cm so that’s 60cm wide, 60cm deep and 85cm high. It seems the majority of washing machines are designed and built to fit into these measurements.

Almost all freestanding washing machines are 85cm high and between 59 to 60cm wide. There are a number of variations in depth but height and width are fairly standard amongst all manufacturers.

Why Are Nearly All Washing Machines The Same Height And Width?

To create an appliance that’s large enough to hold all of the average sized family’s washing, the dimensions needed are likely to be as big as possible whilst still being reasonable enough to fit into a standard sized kitchen without looking too out of place. Plus with the introduction of extra large drums, which need to be fitted into this fairly standardised space there’s not much scope for smaller sized machines.

It would be almost impossible to design a washing machine smaller than the standard size and still include all of the standard features available in the current range of appliances.

Is It Possible To Lower The Height Of A Washing Machine?

Although the majority of washing machines are all 85cm high (with the odd exception of 84cm), it is possible to make them fit into smaller height workspaces. Many manufacturers offer a “height reduction kit”, which basically involves removing the lid of the machine, and replacing it with a much thinner one.

This can reduce the height of the machine by around 20mm. Which is usually enough to fit under a kitchen worktop with room to spare. It also often involves removing the feet and replacing them with smaller studs as well. 

Don’t just remove the existing lid of your washing machine and leave it open as you will;

  • Increase the amount of noise the machine makes
  • Allow any water or other fluids that get spilled onto the worktop above to enter the machine to cause damage to electrical components
  • Make it possible for small hands to get into the working area of the appliance
  • Increase the risk of fire as the lack of a lid allows more oxygen into the machine in the event of it catching fire
Washing Machine

What About Depth?

The depth of the washing machine is the one area where it is possible to find some variation. There are a number of washing machines currently on the market that are less than the standard 60cm depth. These seem to range between 46 to 50cms in depth with a drum capacity of 6 to 8kg. The problem with this is, it’s often not the depth of the machine that’s the issue, it’s the width or in some cases the height.

Having said that, always allow an extra 7cm at least to accommodate all piping etc that will invariably have been left out of the measurements. Also, many washing machines bow outwards at the front, if your room is exceptionally narrow this might be an issue.

Slimline Washing Machines

Some retailers advertise “slimline” washing machines which would imply a machine with a narrower width. However, what can be misleading is when retailers refer to “slimline” washing machines, they’re actually referring to the depth and not the width. And in most cases the depth, or how far the machine sticks out is not really such an issue.

If the machine sits slightly proud of the surrounding units it doesn’t affect the way the machine operates and it usually doesn’t detract from the room space too much. Just take care if there is an inward opening door in the vicinity of the site the machine is going to be placed (allow room for the sweep of the door).

Are Washing Machine Dimensions Correct?

If you do find the size of washing machine that will fit into your kitchen with any retailer, always check with the manufacturer that the dimensions are correct. It’s always possible that they may have inadvertently quoted the wrong figures. There’s no point asking the retailer as in many cases they will have just quoted the specs from the manufacturers literature. 

Another thing you need to check is the drum size, as many washing machines of smaller than standard dimensions often come with smaller than average drum sizes too. There’s no point getting a machine to fit your workspace only to find it’s too small for your average wash loads.

Integrated Washing Machines

When it comes to integrated washing machines (washing machines that are integrated into cupboard units) they fall into the standard size range of 82x60x54-56cm. That’s 82cm high, 60cm wide and between 54 to 56cm deep.

With integrated washing machines, you’ll need to check that there is adequate space behind the machine for piping etc and that they will actually fit behind the cupboard door.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all washing machines standard size?

Washing machines do tend to be standard sizes when it comes to height (85cm) and width (60cm) but the depth can vary depending on the size of the drum.

Are all built in washing machines the same size?

Built-in or integrated washing machines are all generally the same standardised size of 82x60x54 to 56cm. That’s 82cm high, 60cm wide and between 54 to 56cm deep.

Can you fit a freestanding washing machine in an integrated space?

You can usually fit a freestanding washing machine in an integrated space but you will need to be sure it will fit. Most washing machines are of a standard size when it comes to the height and the width, it’s just the depth that differs. Integrated machines tend to have less depth than freestanding machines.

How much space do you need to leave behind a washing machine?

You will need to leave a gap of at least 7cm between the back of the machine and the wall, to accommodate any pipes etc.

Does the depth of the washing machine include hoses?

In the majority of cases, the depth of the washing machine does not include hoses. These will need to be accommodated which is why you should allow at least an extra 7cm for hoses etc.

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