Beko is the UK’s best-selling large home appliance brand, and the Beko WY940P44EW is part of the brand’s premium AquaTech range, promising faster washes, gentler cleaning, and the added functionality of the slick HomeWhiz app, which enables you to monitor washes and add cycles from your phone.
With a generous 9kg maximum load, 1400 maximum spin speed and super-frugal A+++ energy rating backing up its smart features, could this be the perfect family washer? We took it for a spin to find out…
Price and availability
The Beko AquaTech WY940P44EW is available in the UK for £379, with most of Beko’s AquaTech models hovering above or below this price depending on spec. Stepping up to around £400 gets you into German-built territory with basic Bosch and AEG models, albeit without the capacity or features of this bristling Beko. Or, if you want to save a few pounds, the Indesit Innex BWE 101684X W UK is around £300 and has a higher maximum spin speed; otherwise, it offers very similar features and options.
Design and key features
A gloss black door on a washing machine might not be to everybody’s taste, but the Beko AquaTech WY940P44EW certainly looks dramatic. Opening the door reveals a gaping 34cm-diameter porthole, and an illuminated drum capable of swallowing decent-sized duvets and other large items with ease. The drum light stays on even when the washing gets going, although the ability to watch your fully illuminated smalls going round and round polarized opinion in the office.
The blue/white lights on the control panel and large numbers on the display mean you won’t need to reach for your reading glasses, and the programmes are clearly laid out around the dial – there are a lot of symbols on the display, however, so keep the manual handy. One oddity is the location of the Start/Pause button. This is a smooth touch-button to the right of the touchscreen that looks like a simple logo on the facia rather than a physical button, so it doesn’t exactly stand out.
Washes that take less time and are gentler on clothes are the big-ticket features of the Beko AquaTech WY940P44EW. Pre-mixed water and detergent enters from the top of the drum to best soak into the clothes and this, claims Beko, reduces the need for more aggressive and potentially fibre-damaging drum action. This model also has a SteamCure function, which gently injects steam at the end of the wash to reduce creasing and save time on ironing. Nice touches include a child lock, drum clean cycle, and automatic half-load adjustment.
There are 15 programmes to choose from as standard, and you can also download extra programmes via the app. The big-hitting cycles naturally include Cottons, Delicates, Synthetics and Woollens, but you also get Anti-Allergy, StainExpert and Daily Quick/Super Short programmes, with the latter taking just 28 minutes to wash a full load. For smaller loads of up to 2kg, the Beko promises a Quick Wash in just 14 minutes – that’s less time than it takes most of us to get dressed in the morning.
The washer hooks up to the HomeWhiz app, available on Android and iOS, over Bluetooth. The app allows you to choose and monitor your basic wash programmes or select a custom cycle for your precise load (you enter weight, material, colour, soiling, etc) using the Programme Selection Wizard. Magic? Not quite, but it’s a neat trick anyway.
Testing and real-world performance
How we test
Our tests include the UK’s most popular programme: a full-load Eco Cotton wash at 40 degrees, comprising a selection of cotton clothing, bedsheets and towels, plus a test stain strip featuring an assortment of dried-on household and food spills. Measuring water, energy and noise throughout, we also run a half-load Eco Cotton 40 wash to see if the machine reduces water and energy consumption accordingly, plus one or two more cycles to test any programmes specific to the machine or brand. We only wash with non-bio liquid to ensure it’s the machine, not the detergent, doing all the work. As cotton clothes take up a relatively large amount of space, we use 70% of claimed maximum load capacity for a full load and 30% for a half load. We also test spin efficiency by checking the weight of water remaining in the load after a cycle.
Initial impressions of the Beko AquaTech WY940P44EW are very favourable: its touchscreen controls are slick and responsive, and the programme dial operates precisely – although it also clicks around with a beep that quickly became annoying, and no amount of searching the instruction manual would reveal a way of turning this off. Opening the door and detergent drawer is easy, although the latter is quite shallow so doesn’t pull out very far, requiring you to take care when adding the liquids.
Starting with our full test load, we measured out 7kg of mixed cotton clothing; that’s a lot of washing, but the Beko AquaTech WY940P44EW took it all in, thanks to its capacious drum and good-sized porthole opening. The default Eco-Cottons cycle came up at an anticipated three hours and 17 -minutes whether we opted for the 40-degree or 60-degree versions, which isn’t too long for a big-capacity Eco wash. Our 40-degree Eco wash ended up a little longer than predicted at three hours 50 minutes, but that’s still a fair bit nippier than some A+++ machines we’ve tried.
Our half load on the Cottons Eco 40 degrees setting was also projected at three hours 17 minutes, and took seven minutes longer – so it might be better to select one of the Daily Quick wash cycles if you’re in a hurry.
We tested the Beko AquaTech’s stain-removal abilities on the full load, using a leading brand of non-bio detergent. The results weren’t bad at all; both the harissa paste and grass stains were still noticeable after the wash, but both are very tough stains to get rid of on a low-energy wash with non-bio liquid. There were also still faint traces of the turmeric and blood, but the results rate as solid for this relatively affordable machine. Select the Beko’s 5kg StainExpert cycle or a hotter wash, or use bio detergent, and you have a very effective stain-busting machine.
The Beko AquaTech WY940P44EW is suitably miserly on power and water usage too, living up to its A+++ billing. Our full load on Eco 40-degrees used just 0.75kW of electricity and comfortably under 70 litres of water. Washing a half load trimmed 20% off the power consumption and almost halved the water use, making half-loads a viable option even if you’re watching the pennies. Our calculated annual electricity consumption, based on 180 full loads and 40 half loads on the Eco wash programme throughout, comes in at 166kWh, which is a good bit lower than the energy label’s 190kWh, and super-frugal.
We don’t expect the sound of silence from lower-cost machines such as this Beko, but it’s far from rowdy. The wash noise was low, dipping under the magic 50dB mark for most of the wash, which is barely audible in a busy kitchen. Spin noise wasn’t quite so impressive, with our sound level meter swinging round to agree with the energy label’s 76dB at its full-bore 1400rpm. That’s road noise-level, but it’s typical for machines at this price point, and not unduly raucous.
With the promise of quick washes and gentler cleaning, the Beko AquaTech WY940P44EW is a great option for those pressed for time, with its shortest cycle taking only a mind-boggling 14 minutes to clean a 2kg load. Sticking to the Eco washes enables you to make the most of the A+++ rating, which is easy on your wallet, and the HomeWhiz app allows you to control and monitor your washes (unfortunately you’ll still need to load and unload it yourself).
Stain removal could have been a little better on our Eco Cotton 40 degree wash, but with a StainExpert program to cover the tough jobs like grass stains, that may not be a major issue for you. The drum and door size don’t disappoint, offering the sort of capacity that even other 9kg claimed machines would struggle with, and happily swallowing our 7kg of real-world cotton clothes – you can make use of the duvet cycle even if you like your bedding queen-sized. Top all that with a relatively affordable price tag for a large-capacity machine, and the Beko looks like a great buy.