Miele W1 WWH860 Compact Washer Review
Miele W1 helps you do laundry right, and do it in style
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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 AppliancesConnection 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 is best used with 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.
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. The TwinDos feature works best when you use the Miele-branded detergent and bleach in perpetuity, but if you'd rather not spend the extra money on the Miele detergent, you can fill up the reusable detergent bottles with any HE detergent once the Miele detergent runs out. This option isn't recommended by Miele (and therefore, we don't recommend it), though, and doing so may cause issues further down the line if you ever need to use the warranty to get the machine repaired. Additionally, the Miele W1 is set up to dispense a certain amount of Miele detergent in a given cycle; for other HE detergents, you may need to play around in the settings to get the right amount of HE detergent dispensed in each cycle. If you'd rather skip the TwinDos system altogether, you can put whatever brand of HE detergent and bleach you like into the detergent dispenser.
Miele is currently running a promotion in which you get six free months worth of TwinDos when you purchase a new W1 washer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.