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9.4

Miele W1 WWH860 Compact Washer Review

Miele W1 helps you do laundry right, and do it in style

Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

In a busy household, everyone should pitch in on every chore, right? Mom, Dad, and the kids need take turns on the dishes, vacuuming the floors, and, of course, doing laundry. But it only takes one white shirt turned pink or a shrunken sweater to realize that not everyone is a laundry expert. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a washer that catered to both the laundry micromanagers and and the set-it-and-forget-it folks? Well, we found one: the Miele W1 WWH860 (available at Abt.com for $1,999.00).

This compact 24-inch-wide washer lets everyone do laundry their way. It has unparalleled adjustability, but it's also ideal for one-touch operation. That's thanks to TwinDos, a feature that lets you add large cartridges of liquid laundry detergent and oxygen bleach once a month.

Obviously Miele is not a budget brand. It focuses on premium-market expectations—namely style and performance—and does it better than almost anyone. The TwinDos system only uses proprietary Miele-brand detergents, which you can bet will cost more than Tide. If you're not price-sensitive, however, you'll continue to use it because it works well and it's extremely convenient.

Compact washers also don't offer the huge capacities that large families may want, but they make sense for a lot of smaller households. If you want great compact washer with a little bit of European flair, the Miele W1 checks all the boxes.

Comparison
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan
The Miele W1 washer (left) is a compact 33.5" H x 23.5" W x 25" D. Noticeably smaller than traditionally-sized front-loader (right).

Worry-free laundry

Laundry can be confusing. Just take a look at all those symbols on the care tag for your fancy blouse or jacket. However, if you're willing to buy into the Miele cleaning system, the Miele W1 has three features that take all the guess workout: TwinDos, CapDos, and a honeycomb drum.

TwinDos— For general laundry, Miele sports automatic detergent and oxygen bleach dispensers called TwinDos. You can adjust how much detergent and bleach the washer uses, but our testing found that the default settings work as well or better than their store-bought counterparts. On the default settings, each cartridge will last about three months. Be aware that in order to use the TwinDos feature, you have to use the Miele-branded detergent and bleach. If you don't mind putting your detergent in manually each time, you can use whatever brand of detergent and bleach you like.

Miele is currently running a promotion in which you get six free months worth of TwinDos when you purchase a new W1 washer.

TwinDos
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan
The TwinDos feature comprises of two cartridges: one for detergent and one for oxi bleach.

CapDos—CapDos are Miele-branded detergent pods that are designed for a specific type of fabric. These are for those "Can I wash this?" moments. Currently, Miele offers CapDos for wool, sportswear, silk, and outerwear (coats). Since these fabrics tend to have very specific and finicky wash instructions, Miele is trying to eliminate some of the guesswork. Unlike TwinDos, CapDos pods are one-time use only.

CapDos
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan
CapDos are detergent pods that are specialized for certain types of fabrics.

Honeycomb drum—Miele has a patent on the honeycomb design in its washer drums. The design allows for a scrubbing action that won't fray clothing. Our wear tests showed that the W1 is indeed gentler on clothing. Also of note, LED lights illuminate the 2.26-cu.-ft. interior. It's little things like this that give it the touch of luxury that Miele is known for.

Honeycomb
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan
Miele's patented honeycomb-textured drum allows for a scrubbing action that doesn't fray clothing.

For those of us who know what we're doing

In our lab, we use a very simple formula: Clean laundry = Heat + Mechanical Action + Detergents. The 860 gives you the ability to adjust all three to get the clean you want.

Cycles
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan
The 860 has plenty of cycles, including a 170°F Sanitize cycle.

With an internal water heater, the 860 can produce temperatures of up to 170°F. Getting water that hot is not an easy feat for most washers, and it'll allow you to deal with grease stains and cloth diapers without complaint. However, you can also get tap cold washes for delicate items.

Action Control
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan
You can set the pre-wash and soak durations, which is very rare in the washer world.

Having 21 included cycles might sound like a messy situation, but it also means you can get the agitation level you want. Cycles like QuickIntense Wash can be set to RPMs of 0, 600, 800, 1200, and 1600. For the majority of other cycles, you can set it to Gentle mode, which reduces agitation, but keeps everything else. You can also increase the length of the soak and pre-wash, which is rare in the world of washing machines.

Dosing
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan
You can control how much detergent each TwinDos usage costs you.

We've already mentioned about how you can adjust the amount TwinDos dispenses. However, it's important to note just how fine the adjustments can be. For instance, if you pretreat your clothes, you can then use less detergent during the wash cycle to avoid over-soaping (which otherwise leaves your clothes with a dingy feel).

What's the value here?

The Miele W1 WWH860 is the compact washer par excellence. It has the stain removal power of a washer twice its size. If you live in a tiny home or want a washer that can fit in a closet, you won't find one that provides the same amount of power or options, no matter how much money you pay.

While other brands have auto-dispensing options, the TwinDos is probably the best implementation we've seen. It does mean you have buy into Miele's product lineup, which can become pricey. However, what you're really paying for is piece of mind that your laundry is getting the correct amount of soap for the optimum clean. If you're mistrustful of computers and algorithms handling your clothes, you can also customize your cycles to your heart's content.

There are other compact washers out there that cost way less. Some offer more space or an easier user experience, but none compare to the Miele W1 WWH860's versatility and cleaning prowess.

Editor's note: The Miele W1 washers we tested for this review experienced some non-hazardous electrical issues. After thorough testing, we're happy to recommend the W1 washer. However, if you experience any issues or have questions, you should contact Miele directly.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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