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Miele W1 WMB120 review

Miele WMB120 hero shot
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £950
inc VAT

Exceptionally well made, easy to use and excellent cleaning performance all make the Miele W1 WMB120 a top washing machine


Drum size: 8kg, Spin speed: 1,600rpm, Rated efficiency: A+++, Wool wash: Yes, Silk Wash: Yes, Hand Wash: Yes

Buy the Miele W1 WMB120 now from John Lewis


Water and electricity usage

To test how efficient washing machines are, I use the same 3kg load of washing on each machine. This gives us an even playing field for comparisons, regardless of drum size, and lets me see the effect that various settings have, such as increasing the temperature.

For this machine I started with a 30C Cotton wash, which used 30L water and use 0.43kW of power, giving a reasonable running cost of 15p per cycle. Upping to 40C, power consumption jumped a little to 0.62kW, although water usage was still very good at 32.5L. This gave me a running cost for this cycle of 19p, which is still competitive, although I have seen machines a few pence cheaper to run. If you’ve got lightly soiled garments, there’s a 20C wash mode, which used just 21.9L of water and only 0.35kW of power, giving a running cost of just 11p per cycle.

As these tests don’t fill the machine to capacity, I also used information from the EU energy label. Using these figures, I can work out average yearly running costs. The full information is in my how we test washing machines article, but the figures use the UK average wash size, taking into account full loads. In other words, an 8kg machine would require fewer cycles to clean the same amount of clothes as a 6kg machine.

Using these tests, I got running costs of £25.42 for low-use, £38.14 for medium use and £50.85 for high-use families. There are some cheaper machines, by a few pounds, but this A+++ rated washing machine still performs well.

Wash performance

While running costs are certainly important, it’s a washing machine’s ability to actually clean clothes and remove stains that’s really important. To test this, I use specially formulated stain strips, impregnated with common laundry stains to see how well a machine actually cleans. At 30C and 40C, I found very similar performance, with even stain removal across the board. Dropping down to 20C, the blood removal was very good, although slightly more of the red wine stain was left. Again, stain removal was very even, with no creases or patches of concentrated stain left. The clothes came out relatively dry, too, thanks to the high 1,600rpm spin speed. On average, my set of clothes retained almost 900g of water, which is impressively low.

I washed clothes using standard detergent, but the WMB120 also supports Miele’s CapDosing system. You simply fit the capsules of specially formulated detergents, fabric conditioners and additives, such as for wool care, into the drawer and then clip the lid down. It’s a neat system and could prove useful if you’ve got a lot of garments that need special care.

Miele WMB120 dose cap


You can get cheaper washing machines and there are some that are a little more efficient, but getting efficiency and amazing build quality is hard, and the WMB120 is exceptionally well built. Throw in the excellent 10-year warranty and incredibly simple controls, and this washing machine is the ideal choice for anyone that wants a solid and reliable machine with excellent cleaning results.

Miele WMB120

Buy the Miele W1 WMB120 now from John Lewis

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Drum size8kg
Spin speed1,600rpm
Rated efficiencyA+++
Dimensions (HxWxD)850x596x643mm
Wash modes
Auto half loadYes
Delicate washYes
Wool washYes
Silk WashYes
Hand WashYes
Quick washYes
Reduced creasingYes
Super rinseYes
Time remaining indicatorYes
Annual water consumption9,900L
Annual electricity consumption176kW

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