Miele W3038 Washing Machine Review: Is It Worth the High Cost?

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Miele: Forever Better

I can’t believe I have only now gotten around to writing this review of my Miele W3038 washing machine.

Just to give you some background, laundry has always been my favorite chore, but when I moved in with my now husband our condo did not have a washer. It didn’t even have space for a washer, since the hookups were in a tiny closet in the bathroom where we kept all our household stuff! So we spent several years using a wash and fold service (you can read more about that here) till I finally got my Miele W3038 washer and T8023C dryer as a wedding gift.

That was a year and a half ago, and in that time I’ve really gotten a chance to test out the Miele W3038. I run on average 7-10 loads of laundry a week, and at this point have tested out every single setting the washer offers. I’ve also determined its strengths and weaknesses and have figured out the optimal settings for my daily needs. Read the rest of my Miele washing machine review to get the full details.

Table of Contents:

The Basics: Front Loaders vs Top Loaders

top loader vs front loader

First of all let’s get our basics out of the way: Miele makes Euro compact size front loading HE washing machines. This is the type of washer that is standard in Europe, but not quite as popular in the US, where till recently top loading washers were the norm.

I put together a quick comparison of the two types of washing machines in the table below. I personally have used front loaders my whole life and find the technology superior, but nothing is perfect – while more efficient (front loaders can use as much as 5 times less water per cycle compared to top loaders!), better at cleaning and gentler on fabrics, front loaders take much longer to wash a load, cost more upfront and can have mold/smell issues. A lot of people are happy with their top loaders and wouldn’t want to make the switch. It really all comes down to personal preference.

 Front LoaderTop Loader (not HE)
Washing methodTumbling action (gentler on clothes and better cleaning)Agitator "beats" clothes
Wash timeExtended Fast
HeaterBuilt-in on some models, allows for high wash temperaturesNone; water temperature will never be higher than tap hot
CostOn average more expensiveOn average less expensive
EfficiencyHigh: little water and energy usedLow: lots of water used
Stacking dryerYes, good for tight spaces and apartmentsNo
Spin speedVery high; extracts lots of water and decreases drying timeAverage
Prone to moldHighly if not maintained properlyLess prone

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A Word About Mold

mold Mold is unfortunately a real issue and part of the reason that HE front loaders are not as popular in the US as they are in Europe. People who are used to basically “no maintenance” top loaders don’t always find it easy to adjust to the care a front loader needs. On top of that, several manufacturers in the US had production issues that have led to class action lawsuits.

However, if you have a machine that is properly designed, mold can be prevented in just three easy steps:

  1. Always keep the washer door open (preferably wide open, but even slightly ajar is better than closed) and at the end of the day remove the detergent tray as well, allowing for as much air circulation as possible. Keeping the door closed is the #1 cause of mold, since it turns the washer into a perfect warm and damp environment with detergent and fabric softener residue to feed the mold spores.
  2. At least once a week run a hot/Sanitize wash with powder detergent and once a month run a Clean Machine cycle.
  3. At the end of the day wipe off the rubber boot/gasket.
Miele gasket

The rubber gasket of my 18 month Miele W3038 washer: no sign of mold

For me this is all part of normal routine – I do those things without even thinking, and a year and a half after buying my washer I have zero signs of mold. The rubber gasket on the Miele W3038 is also made of sturdy rubber and designed in such a way that there are no difficult to reach folds, minimizing the chances of anything growing there. It’s a much better design than I’ve seen on other machines.

Also, keep in mind proper detergent and fabric softener dosage – you want to make sure that you’re using just enough to get the clothes clean and soft, which is often much less than the manufacturers recommend. Leftover detergent and especially fabric softener residue is not good for any washer, but is especially harmful for front loaders.

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Miele W3038 Washer Overview

Miele offers only two residential washing machine options in the United States: the Miele W3038 and the Miele PW6065  Little Giant. The Little Giant requires a 220V connection and is able to heat water all the way up to 203F/95C, allowing for a true boil wash. The drum size is a little bigger – 6.5kg vs 5.5kg. It also gives a lot more flexibility with the programs, but that comes at a price – the Little Giant washer starts at $3745, while the Miele W3038 is $1999.

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The Miele W3038 plugs into a standard 110V plug, and has a built in water heater that can heat the water up to 160F/70C. It comes with 18 programmed wash settings (including Custom, which lets you select water temperature and spin speed). Like the Little Giant, it has Miele’s famous Honeycomb Drum which is very gentle on fabrics.

You can read more about Miele Laundry here and check out the full specs of the W3038 here. I don’t want to spend too much time on tech specs, since those are pretty easy to find via a google search. Instead, I’d like to focus on my actual experiences with the machine.

One more comment: Program Mode is not available on the W3038. On earlier models there was an option to get into the settings menu and adjust things like rinse water levels, but now that is no longer possible. A bit of a rant here is that Miele don’t seem to trust their US customers as much as their European ones – that’s most likely due to the nature of the US market and the “customer is always right” approach to customer service. European machines offer a lot more flexibility when it comes to settings, while in the US Miele limits those quite a bit, probably in an attempt to avoid any potential lawsuits.

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Performance

Miele W3038The number one reason why I love the machine so much is just how well it washes. I have a huge collection of detergents and I can honestly say that pretty much no matter what I use I get good to great results without any pretreating. I sort my laundry, throw the clothes in the washer, decide which detergent I’ll be using (not always easy) and clothes come out clean and fresh. Some of the milder detergents like Perwoll Black don’t always get the bottoms of colored socks clean (I wrote about that here), but if I really wanted to use that detergent for everyday loads I could easily adjust the length of the cycle and increase the temperature to get adequate results.

The water levels are very low (on most programs the water levels won’t reach the glass door – this can be quite shocking to those who are used to top loaders), but at the same time everything rinses out beautifully. It really is very gentle on fabrics – I have no issues with trusting my most delicate cashmere sweaters to the W3038 and I no longer hand wash anything. I even washed my wedding dress in it! The made in Germany build quality is fantastic – every little detail is polished to perfection, and it is incredibly quiet when running.

Another cool thing that not all front loaders allow is the opportunity to open the door mid-cycle and add clothes. However it won’t let you do this if water levels or temperature is too high, so you don’t flood the room or burn yourself.

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Strengths

  • Washing: this really is a fantastic washer that performs better than any other machine I’ve ever used. Also, while it does not have a separate soaking cycle, you can just turn the machine off mid-wash and it will not drain. The cycle will resume once you turn it back on again.
  • Built in heater: the W3038 offers the following temperature settings: No Heat (tap cold), Cold (86F/30C), Warm (104F/40C), Very Warm (122F/50C), Hot (140F/60C) and Sanitize (158F/70C). Believe it or not, but in a lot of US washers Warm is only around 80F/27C! I’m a firm believer that clean clothes require controlled heat, and the Miele definitely delivers that.
  • Cold fill, slowly heated prewash: also known as a “profile wash”. Most cycles have the option of adding “Heavy Soil”, which is a 30 minute prewash. For this prewash the machine fills with cold water and then the built-in heater slowly warms it up, making sure that no protein stains are set with hot water.
    You also have the option of starting a Custom or Wrinkle Free cycle on No Heat or Cold (no prewash) and after 5 minutes changing the temperature to Warm, Very Warm or Hot. That way the built-in heater will kick in and start heating the cold water to your desired temp, turning your main wash into a profile wash.
  • Custom cycle: my most used setting that lets you select the temperature and spin speed independently, as well as add any of the options: Heavy Soil (prewash), Sensitive (extra rinse), Extended (adds 10-30 minutes to most cycles).
  • Size: as a Euro compact machine with a 2 cu.ft. drum this washer can fit just about anywhere. We were able to rearrange things in our bathroom closet to fit the W3038 along with the matching T8023C dryer. The machines can be stacked with the purchase of a stacking kit, which is the setup that we have.
  • Efficiency: we pay a lot for electricity, and I was somewhat concerned that the washer and dryer would make our bills go sky high. But in spite of the fact that I rarely wash anything on No Heat or Cold, our bills have remained about the same. The washer uses on average less than 10 gallons of water per load (compare to top loaders that use 30-45+ gallons per cycle!).
  • Drum light: okay, this might be a silly one, but I LOVE the drum light. It’s a bright LED light that lights up when you open the door, meaning you’ll never lose a black sock in there. I even wish there was a light button to turn the light on during the cycle!
  • German quality: as I’ve mentioned earlier, the build quality is fantastic.
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Weaknesses

First of all I’d like to point out that I think the Miele W3038 is one of the best washers available in the US today. I really think that as long as you are comfortable with a front loader you will most likely love the machine as much as I do. But at the same time nothing is perfect, and when making purchasing decisions I actually always read the negative reviews first to be prepared. So here are the things that in my opinion Miele did not get right with the W3038:

  • Manual: let me just say it, the Miele W3038 manual is frustrating. My main issue with it is that it does not give a good enough overview of the cycles. It doesn’t tell you vital things like what the agitation type and water levels are, it doesn’t show you the actual spin speeds, and it even doesn’t give you the temperatures in Fahrenheit! Also it doesn’t mention very important things like that the built-in heater does not engage on certain cycles (Normal, Delicates, Silk).
  • Preset programs: There are a lot of good preprogrammed cycles on the W3038, and a Custom cycle if you want to have more control than the preset settings offer. However, I don’t understand why some options are disabled for certain settings. For example Express is a quick 30 minute wash that would be perfect for cleaning microfiber cloths and mop attachments if only I could either extend it by 15 minutes or add a 15 minute prewash. But both of those options are disabled for Express, as is Sensitive (extra rinse). In a perfect world I’d have the presets plus a way to set time, temperature and spin speed independently – hey, some days you just really need that 30 minute Hot wash with a prewash and extra rinse!
  • No option to adjust settings after first 5 minutes of the cycle: this is something I would have loved to have as well. Right now you can change your mind on water temperature or Extended/Sensitive/Heavy Soil only in the first 5-6 minutes of the cycle. After that the machine locks up. But sometimes halfway through the wash you realize that you should add a bit more time or an extra rinse. It would really be great to have that flexibility.
  • Capacity: this is not an issue for me personally, but it might be for some. The washer is small, and while some people have reported successfully washing Queen duvets in there I personally would not risk anything over a Twin. If you frequently need to wash large, bulky items this is not the washer for you.
  • Price: there’s no doubt that this is a very expensive appliance. On top of that, Miele USA’s customer service isn’t exactly stellar and the washer comes with only a 1 year warranty. For the price you’d expect better terms. I personally have purchased the extended 5 year warranty for both washer and dryer just to be on the safe side.

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Preferred Settings

So this is a fun one. With so many settings that aren’t always intuitive (Beach Towels cycle, anyone?) it took me a while to experiment with all of the settings and figure out which to use for daily loads. There’s even a Miele Cheat Sheet out there that can guide you! But here are my top 5 types of loads and the settings I use for them:

  • Whites (mostly cotton and cotton blend): Extra White or Wrinkle Free (WF has higher water levels and is a little shorter, so I use that for less dirty loads) – Hot – Heavy Soil – Sensitive – High Spin
  • Colors: Custom or Wrinkle Free – Very Warm – Heavy Soil – Sensitive – High Spin
  • Blacks: Custom or Wrinkle Free – Warm – Heavy Soil – Sensitive – High Spin
  • Bed sheets: Wrinkle Free – Very Warm – Heavy Soil – Sensitive – High Spin
  • Towels: Normal or Custom – Very Warm – Sensitive – Max Spin
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With an HE front loader you should only use low foaming HE-compatible detergents, since you want as few suds as possible in your machine and all the other benefits of the specialized formula. We have medium hard water, and I’ve found that I can usually use about 1/2-2/3 of the recommended dose of detergent and only about 1/4 of the lowest recommended dosage of fabric softener. Detergent and fabric softener residue can over time harm the machine, so you really want to play around with just how little you need. As a bonus, you’ll save some money  since you’ll be buying much less laundry supplies! (Unless you’re like me and have a bit of a problem.)

Here are my detergent favorites:

  • For whites: Persil Megaperls Universal is the staple that I keep coming back to. Leaves clothes a little stiff, but does an amazing job of keeping whites white. I also really like Persil Megaperls Sensitive for when I don’t want to deal with the stiffness.
  • For colors and darks: Ariel Actilift Color powder – I bought this while vacationing in Europe and have no idea what I’ll do when it runs out. This detergent for colors leaves clothes much softer than any of the others I’ve tried. Surprisingly enough I did not like the Ariel for whites at all!
  • For towels and bedding: Ariel Actilift Sensitive liquid – unlike the Persil Sensitive liquid and powder the Ariel does not contain OBAs and has a very light pleasant scent. I prefer liquids for my sheets and towels to keep them nice and soft.
  • For delicates: Vaska liquid detergent (have to be careful since it can suds like crazy unless you’re using the Woolens cycle with minimal agitation) and Ecover Zero liquid.
  • “Green” detergent: Ecover Zero powder – great cleaning and scent free (not for darks).
  • Fabric softener: for a while I was purchasing Vernel and Miele softeners, but recently switched to plain old Downy Free & Gentle and have been quite happy with it.
  • Note about pods: Miele washers are engineered in such a way that anything foreign in the drum gets “spit out” into the rubber gasket – so if you left something in the pockets and it came out during the wash it won’t clog or damage the machine. If you prefer to use pods you have to make sure to either put them deep into a pocket, tuck in a sock or lingerie bag, otherwise you risk finding a semi-dissolved pod on your gasket and have to rewash the load.

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Miele Washing Machine Review Summary

My husband always jokes that Miele should just hire me already. I am so passionate about my washer that I always want to share that with people, and any guests that come over get the mandatory tour of my “laundry closet”. So the very short summary of the above Miele washing machine review is that I would absolutely recommend the Miele W3038 washer to anyone who is considering a compact front loader. It’s a fantastic machine that you will love, and that will last you a really long time.

The slightly longer version is this: if you are looking for a new washer, the first thing to do is decide whether you are comfortable with a front loader or top loader. There are pros and cons to both, you just have to decide what works best for you. If you’ve decided to go with a front loading machine, consider how often you need to wash very bulky items like King and Queen duvets and mattress pads or large area rugs. If you don’t mind taking those to the laundromat when they need to be laundered, and the Euro compact size works for you, the Miele W3038 is really a fantastic option. While pricey, it is very efficient and incredibly gentle on clothes, and Miele is a trusted brand with a long history of making some of the best washers in the world.

What prompted me to write this review was the number of people that had reached out to me via the Contact form to ask about my experience with the washer. The most popular questions are what can fit in the machine, how happy I am with the results and whether I miss having a true boil wash (no I don’t – I actually very rarely use the Sanitize temperature and doubt I’d do more than a handful of loads per year at 203F/95C). I tried to answer all of these questions in the review, but if there’s anything you’d still like to know please feel free to reach out to me via the comments or Contact form.

Stay tuned for a review of the corresponding Miele dryer, the T8023C!

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43 thoughts on “Miele W3038 Washing Machine Review: Is It Worth the High Cost?

  1. Charles Stuart says:

    I followed your link from Quora on a question that I also answered. I’m really surprised how much you have to pay in North America for a front loader. Miele is an expensive company but makes the highest quality products. However, there are many much cheaper front loading washing machines. My Beko with 7Kg capacity and 1600rpm spin speed cost about £240 in 2010. It’s a very good machine and current models cost about the same, as prices have hardly changed. A Miele washing machine can be bought new for as little as £589 according to Google. That’s for a 7Kg load with 1400rpm spin speed. However, there is a 9Kg model with A+++ efficiency for £1999 but that is by far the most expensive washing machine I’ve ever seen in the UK.

    • Olga says:

      Hi Charles, welcome to the blog and thanks for the thoughtful comment.

      I’d like to start out by saying that front loaders in the US are a lot more expensive than in Europe (you can take a look at some prices here – the least expensive option is over $600 or 424GBP), but of course not all of them are as pricey as Miele. However, US front loaders are typically much, much larger than what Europeans are used to. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 4kg machine here!

      As for Miele, they do not see the US as a focus market. There is very limited demand for compact front loading washers, and Miele even briefly experimented with making a “North American” larger sized machine, but that didn’t really go very well and they pulled those models from the market. Now they only offer the Little Giant and the washer that I own, the W3038. So if in Europe you have a range of models from least to most expensive, we get either expensive or crazy expensive!
      My guess is that the Mieles are priced at a premium since the logistics of importing such heavy and bulky items from across the pond are not easy or cheap, especially when doing that on such a small scale. We actually have the same thing with German-made cars – they are truly a luxury in the US . But at the same time all of my British colleagues factor in some time to shop for clothes, accessories and especially jewelry when they are in the US – according to them those everyday items are quite a bit more expensive in the UK than they are here.

      • john says:

        Here in Scandinavia Beko is valued and said to be an economy brand. It can not in any way compare components or quality to a Miele or brands like Bosch , Siemens Aeg or Electrolux that makes good machines.

        The Miele machines are made for 20 years of use.

        • Charles Stuart says:

          I agree that Beko is a economy brand but I’m very pleased with it’s performance. I’ve had it for six years without any issues. Even if it breaks the next time I use it, I’ll consider that I’ve had good value. Washing machines are getting more and more efficient every year and I think that it’s probably better for my wallet to buy a new machine every 8-10 years than every 20 years. Apart from little conveniences like the drum light, I can’t really think what a really expensive machine can do compared to a cheaper machine from a well-rated brand. Beko does get good reviews for its washing machines.

  2. Karman says:

    Hi Olga,
    I found your blog while researching the MIele washer/dryer… We recently moved into another house and I guess the sellers never did their laundry, because they still had the old top loader with central agitater, and a dryer that warmed up the room but didn’t even dry! Both Kenmores looked to be at least 20 years old. I refuse to do my laundry in the old clunker of a washer (I’ve had agitators WRECK my clothes) so we were in the market for a new pair. Over the weekend we spent over an hour at a local appliance shop that specializes in laundry, and learned so much! We went in thinking we’d get a Samsung 5.0 cu ft washer/7.5 cu ft dryer and ended up walking out seriously considering the Miele or the Blomberg machines in the 7kg-10kg capacity range.
    We didn’t end up with the Miele because ultimately the Blomberg set we got was a little bigger (10 kg) and less of a shock for me in terms of size, but I was super impressed with all the European machines.
    Up to this point I have been the type to throw everything in the large North American washer & dryers, but I think the machines we bought will completely change my habits and attitude towards laundry. I rarely need laundry done QUICKLY, and do very small loads to begin with (I have too much clothing, re-wear clothing prior to washing, I don’t live in a very hot climate and sit in an office all day) and it just made sense to buy a smaller but more effective machine since when we had a stacking Samsung washer/dryer (it was probably a 4 cu ft) the only times we had ever even came close to filling the machine was when I tried to wash our Queen coverlet.
    Our new dryer is a ventless heat pump dryer, and I’m super excited to try it out! I’ve spent a better part of yesterday reading through all your laundry posts, and want to thank you for all the information!

    • Olga says:

      Thank you so much for the awesome comment!

      I’m super excited that you have some new laundry gadgets to play around with. I’d also love to hear what you think of the heat pump dryer – it’s a fairly new technology and I have never used it. Looks like it’s incredibly efficient, and if your electricity rates are anything like ours I’m sure you’ll come to appreciate that!

      In any case I’m sure you will love your new set and once again congrats on the purchase! And if you ever have any questions as you begin to explore the world of front loaders, you know where to find me. 🙂

      • Karman says:

        I will definitely report back about my set especially for the heat pump dryer! I’m pretty patient when it comes to laundry, so besides the size I think the newcomers and I will get along just fine 🙂 In fact, whenever I did a “Delicates” cycle in my old condo’s stacked Samsung set, I would grumble when I’d have to go back to take them out, just 45 minutes later! We did have a front loader in this condo, but our current house has the top loader. I don’t think I could ever go back to a top loader!

        Our electricity rates are pretty reasonable… but I definitely used it to justify the high cost anyway! I’m a little unsure if the machine ends up venting the warm air at the end of the cycle back into the room, if it does, it’ll be an added bonus since our laundry room is located in the basement (and I live in Canada so it’s either COOL or FREEZING down there!)

  3. carolina says:

    Is it true that this unit will wash a king size sheet set without any problems at all? Seems like too much for such a tiny machine.

    • Olga says:

      Hi Carolina, I wash Queen sets with room left over, however I’d recommend you check it out in person at a dealership if you have any doubts. Bring a set of King sheets with you, and see how they fit.

  4. Jan Piro says:

    Hi Olga. I really enjoyed reading the info on the Miele. It’s one of the most respected brands in Australia and I need a new WM so I’m doing my research. Im also very interested in the Speed Queen and as you’re a self confessed laundry nerd and live in the US I wonder if you have any thoughts on this reportedly high quality brand???

    • Olga says:

      Hi Jan! Are you looking at the SQ front loaders? I didn’t realize those were available in Australia! Not sure if the lineup is any different from what we have here, but one very important difference between SQ and Miele front loaders here in the US is that the SQ does NOT have an onboard water heater. So you will never be able to achieve water temperatures higher than your regular water heater is set to, not to mention that during the wash it will cool down significantly. For me this is a dealbreaker, but some people love their Speed Queens, they have a bit of a cult following here.

      • Jan Piro says:

        Thanks for your reply Olga. I researched SQ originally because I thought I’d either get a Miele FL or stick to a top loader which I’m used to, but didn’t know which one to choose so I googled “best top loaders” and the Speed Queen came up. Of course I know them from laundromats in Australia but had forgotten they replaced the KleenMaid which I used to own many years ago.

        I was very impressed with what I read except that one particular reviewer was constant commenting about the lack of water and how could clothes get clean if they were not bathed in water, only saturated? Now I’m not sure which way to go.

        Once again thank you for your input.

        • Olga says:

          Hi again Jan, sorry for the delay in responding. I didn’t realize that you had SQ top loaders in Australia! One important thing to realize is just how different the two technologies are. The top loaders won’t have an interior water heater (so you’ll never get a truly hot wash with them), and will have very short wash times. At the same time, one Australian Miele user recently wrote me that Miele wash cycle times were very long for machines that are sold in your country – one of the cycles was upwards of 3 hours! So this is definitely something to take into consideration.

          In terms of cleaning performance, the overall consensus is that front loaders will do a better job, while using much less water and electricity per load, and being more gentle to fabrics. But this comes at the sake of longer cycle duration. I guess it’s up to you to determine what you truly value in a washing machine!

  5. Alex says:

    Thank you, Olga, for such an informative review. I especially like that you’ve had such great results with your cashmere sweaters and that you no longer need to hand wash anything. That right there is close to convincing me to buy this washer.

    What about the dryer? You say you’ll do a full review soon, but in the meantime, can you reply with a little more info on how the dryer treats delicate textiles? In https://www.amazon.com/review/R1YV9UY3MHGE7H, you say that it’s the only dryer you’d trust your wool to, but you also say that you don’t think it’s that different from other dryers. Can you elaborate more on that? I don’t need to stack the washer and dryer, and I also don’t need a ventless dryer. If you were in that position, is there a different dryer that you would get (in the US) that you’d feel confident trusting your delicate fabrics to?

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

    • Olga says:

      Hi Alex! Thanks for your comment and apologies for taking so long to get back to you. You know, I’ve had the Miele dryer for a little over 2 years now, and I still haven’t figured out just how I feel about it. On the one hand, I don’t think there’s any other dryer out there that I’d trust cashmere and true delicates to. On the other hand, when it comes to drying daily loads it does a fairly solid job, but I can’t say that I’m excited about using it like I get excited about the washer. That’s probably the reason I still haven’t gotten around to doing a full review!

      Sorry if this answer isn’t very helpful. The handful of times that I’ve used vented dryers I’ve been impressed with how fast they dry and how soft and fluffy towels and clothes come out (they are also much larger capacity, so much more room for clothes to tumble). But at the same time if you need a machine that can handle delicates, the Miele is definitely the way to go. Although just to clarify, the Woolens dryer cycle is only about 10 minutes long, and after that you still have to lay out your sweaters to dry flat.

      Once again, probably incredibly not helpful, but if tomorrow we moved into a house with a dedicated laundry room and option to have a vented dryer I’d probably keep the Miele for smaller loads and delicates and get a large vented dryer for regular loads and towels.

  6. Ryan says:

    Hi Olga,

    Once upon a time, I was in a similar situation with a tiny-ish laundry closet in my loft in San Francisco. After doing my homework, I bought a Miele set (and stacking kit, and 220V splitter). I absolutely loved that washer and dryer. Once we turned into a family of 3, the loft wasn’t going to work anymore, and so we left it behind, along with the Miele. A tragic mistake, I know…

    My offers to take that old washer and dryer off the new owner’s hands have yet to bear fruit, and Craigslist has been of little help. That’s forced me into the new market, and I’m having trouble navigating it. Reviews and critical comparisons at the Miele level of the laundry market are basically non-existent.

    Having traveled around a fair amount, I’ve had a fair sampling of the lower rungs of the market. I’ve had buttons ripped off of by a shiny new Whirlpool’s perforated drum, a brand new LG dump water and suds all over the floor, and a new Kenmore do just a passible cleaning job. And they all tend to break. Meh.

    As we will soon be a family of 4, a larger capacity is attractive, as is a lower price. As far as I can tell, the only competitor to Miele in terms of build quality is Speed Queen. While SQ does offer larger capacity, and is at least a kilobuck less, I’m tempted to declare their lack of an integrated water heater a deal-breaker. I’m allergic to dust mites, and a proper sanitize cycle is important for me. I also suspect that the SQ’s noise level might be problematic, but I don’t have any good data on that.

    What else should I be looking at? What would you say is the current closest competitor to Miele? Is there one?

    Thank you!

    • Olga says:

      Hi Ryan!

      Sorry it took me so long to respond – was traveling for work, and couldn’t get around to it.

      I’m absolutely with you on not being able to live without a built in water heater. Considering that with children your water heater is most likely set to 120F, you can imagine the hottest washes you’ll get without the help of a built in heater… Probably at most the equivalent of Miele Warm (104F)!
      As for competitors, there is Asko in the higher price range, however I have no personal experience with the brand and can’t really comment on how those perform (they seem to check all the right boxes, but somehow aren’t nearly as popular in the laundry world as Mieles). And in the lower price range a lot of the folks on the laundry forums have been quite happy with Electrolux, so I’d probably be looking at that too. You’ll notice that the Electrolux will have less of a “high end” feel in terms of build quality, but it’s quite a bit less expensive and also comes in a larger size.

      I’d love to hear what you come to in your research and ultimately choose!

  7. Denise says:

    Using the Miele W3048 how can you program the spin cycle to respin (some things are still very wet) after the washer has stopped?

      • Jon Wysocki says:

        This is a great option, on our 11 year old little giant, this was not an option. Every once in a while you would have a water inlet fault, which would stop the machine just before the final spin cycle. The only option use to be to run a complete new cycle. Our new 3038 is coming in a few weeks, although I wish the Little giant was only slightly more as it use to be to get the slightly larger drum. The oversized US option was not a good move, but the little giant was.

  8. G. Sadler G. says:

    I was very happy with the performance of my Miele (model W3033) until last week.
    I paid over $2000 Cdn in 2008 for this machine for all the positive reasons cited above when my Kenmore tanked after only 8 years – I was going to get some real longevity out of my next machine!!
    Well … my Miele just tanked at the 8 year mark (bearings gone) – extremely annoying as I recently retired and expected to use this machine for many years to come – and my children have been out of the house for several years so just my laundry to do.
    Bottom line, unless you know people or see reviews from people who have actually received 15-20 years service from a brand then believe longevity claims at your own risk. Also, a long-lasting machine by a manufacturer doesn’t mean they are still building them with the same durability in mind. Technology changes so quickly these days that after 8 or so years the less expensive models have likely caught up with the improvements.
    Yes, I am a little jaded at the moment 😉

    • Olga says:

      Aw, I’m sorry you’re upset about the machine breaking down on you. Has Miele quoted you the cost of repair? I personally don’t expect any appliance to last longer than 8-10 years, that just doesn’t seem to be the way things work nowadays.

  9. Edward says:

    I purchased my Miele washing machine in March 2016. I had to replace my 2006 Bosch washing machine. I was sad to hear (according to repair folks and reviews) that Bosch was a piece of junk and that I was fortunate to have mine for a decade. My Miele machine has worked wonderfully so far. Must say I was irritated to read G. Sadler ‘s post that their machine tanked at the 8 year mark. I, too, was hoping my machine would last 20 years. All the reviews I read suggested the Miele lasted 20 years. The machine is fantastic and is gentle on clothing.

    • Olga says:

      Thank you for sharing Edward!

      As for longevity, I think of buying a high end appliance like buying an expensive car: will you get more life out of a Mercedes than out of a Toyota? Probably not, and repairs will be much more expensive. However the “ride” (in our case the washer performance) will be significantly nicer, and that is reflected in the price premium.

  10. Kypros Pisialis says:

    PERSONAL STORY
    Miele Washing Machine: I bought trash at the price of gold (€1350!!!!!!!!)

    I bought a new MIELE W 5100 Ecocare washing machine in 2012 (it’s now 4 years old) in Cyprus. I was offered a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty.

    The first problem appeared 8 months after I bought it: a lot of water was licking through the door of the w/m on the kitchen floor. Thank god I was at home and the water didn’t make it to the living room to destroy the wooden floor. I noticed that the sealing rubber of the door was cut (pic 1). The Miele technician who came to replace it said that it was not covered by the warranty (only a convenient -for the company- selection of parts is covered) and I should pay €110!!!!! to replace it. They also suggested that I caused the problem, because I didn’t know the right way to put the clothes in and pull them out of the washing machine!!!!!! They showed me the right way and I learned ☺. Anyway, I replaced the rubber.

    Three years after, a second problem came up, again with the sealing rubber. Only this time it literally melted (pic 2) letting water leak in the washing machine. I called the Miele service department in Cyprus again and expressed my frustration, since it was the 2nd time in four years that I had to replace the sealing rubber. They insisted that I should pay for the rubber. This time, because they didn’t think of a fancy explanation of how this was my fault again (like washing clothes with strong acid), they came up with another ridiculous story: that I should know that I’ m supposed to change the sealing rubber every now and then, the same way I do it with my car!!!!!!! As if a washing machine rolls on its door sealing rubber. I paid €110 and I replaced it.

    Now, given that I never had to change the sealing rubber of much cheaper washing machines in the past, I came to the conclusion that Miele is not exactly the definition of quality. In my opinion, both times, the problem was caused by design and/or quality issues. Feeling completely unsatisfied from the company and the washing machine, I sold it to get rid of trash I bought at the price of gold. Never again Miele. Not to mention the fact that both times it took around 12 days to replace the sealing rubber. In the meantime we had to wash our clothes at friends who were lucky enough NOT to have a Miele washing machine.

    P.S.
    When the representative of Miele in Cyprus told me on the phone that this issue (the 2nd one) is very common and natural, I asked her if she didn’t mind if I published the story online. She answered, and I quote: “Miele is not afraid of this kind of reviews. You are free to publish your story”. I also contacted Miele in Germany via message on their facebook page, and their answer was a pdf document with the list of the parts that are covered by the 10 years warranty.

    So, feeling free, I’m publishing the story… (to protect potential customers)

    Thank you, Miele!!!!!
    I’m so happy I will NOT have to deal with you and your “premium” products in the future,

  11. Allison says:

    Hi! I’m looking to buy the Miele as well but I’m wondering if it will be big enough for a family of 4. If not, do you have a recommendation for a larger capacity washing machine that will be gentle on clothing? Thank you for all of your research! It’s been so helpful.

    • Olga says:

      Hi Allison! This is a tricky question. In Europe this size of washer is standard, so as you can imagine many larger families there rely on the smaller capacity washers. At the same time in the US we have access to larger machines, and many people are used to them. I think the best way to go is to visit your local Miele dealership and bring a hamper of clothes with you to see how much you can fit and if that will work for you.

      As for larger capacity front loaders, I hear great things about Electrolux!

  12. Julia says:

    I have had a Miele washing machine for about ten years. I finally replaced it and have promised myself to never buy another Miele product. We bought a whole house full of Miele appliance and they all have been problematic with the exception of the dryer. I have easily spent more than twice the original cost of the Miele washing machine in repairs. I’m not sure where you found the info that there was a 10 year warranty because each time I reached out to Miele they told me all my issues weren’t covered and said they only have a 1 year manufactures warranty. I just bought a Bosch, I did notice that cleaning was not as through and it does not dry/spin the laundry as well as the Miele machine. But my repair man has assured me the repairs will be far less costly and less likely to occur. It’s sad that I have become such good friends with the Miele repair man and he isn’t recommending their machines.

    • Olga says:

      Thanks Julia, I hope you will enjoy your Bosch appliances more, although as you can already tell they are just not in the same class performance-wise as Miele. But after having a bad experience with costly repairs I can see why you’d want to change to a different manufacturer. If the Bosch also fails you, you might want to look into Electrolux – those get pretty good reviews from hardcore laundry folks.

      I’m not sure where you’re seeing anything about a 10 year warranty in my post. I say pretty clearly that it’s a 1 year warranty standard and you can pay extra to extend to a 5 year – which I personally did, for peace of mind. I’ve already said this, but buying a Miele does not mean that you are guaranteed a trouble-free experience. It’s like buying an expensive car – you’re paying for the performance, but repairs are as likely to be needed on a Honda as on a Mercedes, only the Mercedes repair bill will run you much more.

  13. Alan says:

    Hi Olga,
    Thank you for your helpful information. We’re considering the Miele and wondering if paying for installation is necessary. Seems easy enough to install myself, but does that void the warranty or are there certain factors that make a DIY installation ill advised?
    Thanks!

    • Olga says:

      Alan, I’m 90% certain that installing the machines yourself would not affect the warranty in any way, but to be on the safe side I’d double check with Miele (preferably via email so you have their response in writing – better safe than sorry).
      That being said, installation and delivery usually come as a package deal, and the washer is HEAVY, much heavier than a regular washer.

  14. Bianca says:

    Well, tho whomever bought the Bosch….i spent a lot of money for a Professional Line Bosch machine. Just died on me after 3.5 years only, the day after Bosch customer service was at my place, for a cheap EUR 160. They dod aomething with the pump and the very next day machine triggered the Aqua Stop due to pump lealage. Repair coata would be much higher then what this thing was still worth. They had to break open tha machine to rescue my washing. The emergency release didnt work – at all. Repair shop told me to steer clear of Bosch as they see a lot of issues. Plenty of plastic being now used. Well, mine broke down after 3.5 yeats, so i guess there is something to that warning. Bought a Miele today . WMV963WPS

  15. Malik says:

    I have been always thinking about what is easier to use, or how it fits in your space. For me, top load is usually smaller than front load.

  16. Dave says:

    Have a 12 year old miele 1215 and matching 1415 dryer that has 10,246 cycles on it.
    Best machine Ive ever owned by a wide margin.

    It has needed a few repairs in its life, all were done promptly, and affordably.
    I lost a fill solenoid, a heater, and a shock absorber and while inside the unit to replace the shock I put in new brushes that were worn to about 20 % remaining life.

    The machine runs several loads a day one in hot (60c) that cleans a load of towels used in my wife mobil dog grooming business. Without an internal heater we would need to use bleach to disinfect and that would eat through the material in short order.

    I can’t speak for a king sized comforter but the unit will wash a queen top cover, the queen fitted sheet, and 6 pillow shams all at the same time while indicating it isn’t quite full. It takes 58 minutes to wash and about 50 minutes to dry. It cleans FAR better than the top loader it replaced.

    The unit laundered a family of 4 and 3 dogs with absolutely no issues so the capacity thing is only a limitation if you don’t sort your laundry and throw it all in one big batch.

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