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Quiet Appliances


Tired of all the noise? Keep things hush hush with kitchen kit designed to give you some peace - these will make all the difference to your stress levels at home.



Image (left): The HFP 5041 WLG X UK freestanding dishwasher with Active Dry, £549, from Hotpoint has capacity for up to 13 place settings, created with a flexible storage system to secure pans vertically. Plus there's a 'delay wash' programme for up to 24 hours. Key features: Quiet Mark certified 

Image (right): Magimix's 5200 XL food processor, priced £350 to £370, has a commercial-grade induction motor that automatically adjusts the power depending on what's in the bowl. It can grate up to 1.4kg of vegetables in one go. Key features: Quiet Mark certified, A+++ energy rating


How to choose a quiet appliance

There's an ever-increasing range of quiet appliances, from washing machines and extractors to food processors, that have been made specifically using less noisy motors and more sophisticated components. Quiet Mark, the certification programme pushing for low-noise living, identifies the quietest products in more than 70 categories, including kitchen appliances, with all accredited models undergoing vigorous acoustic testing.

"Two appliances could have the same decibel (dB) level but one could have an annoying rattle, so we would exclude this rough-sounding design," explains Poppy Szkiler, founder and chief executive officer at Quiet Mark.

Common kitchen noise complaints include freezers which whir, kettles that drown out the noise and extractors that prevent you from hearing anything else going on. So, if you are looking to reduce the annoying acoustics, a model with a noise level of below 50dB would help. The quietest options are as low as 38dB. which is virtually silent. For washing machines, even the least noisy ones will cause some disruption - expect 60dB for a cycle, which is about the level of a conversation, and up to 72dB for a short 1400rpm spin cycle. So if you can, position laundry appliances behind closed doors, in cupboards or utility rooms.

Latest functions to look for

Quiet appliances offer high-tech components and improved functions that help reduce the general noise, which is particularly important if your space is open plan. For example, Bosch's EcoSilence dishwashers have a brushless mechanism that reduces the friction noise - ideal for a late night cycle - while Wifi-connected extractors and hobs help reduce unnecessary fan noise as the appliances's sensors adjust to the most efficient extraction rate. Although among the noisier pieces of kit, low-dB washing machines and tumble dryers are built with digital inverters and induction motors for greater stability, producing less vibration and movement so limiting rattle.

It's all about those decibels

An appliance with a rating of a few decibels (dB) higher than another can be significantly noisier, as a l0dB increase actually corresponds to 10 times the sound intensity and double the perceived loudness. This means that 80dB is actually 16 times louder to us than 40dB, rather than double. A top tip from Owain Harrison, country manager at Novy, is that "the sound of a quiet library is around 34dB and normal conversation lies between 60dB and 65dB, so hoods or extractors that have similar minimum and maximum continuous noise levels as these references gives you an audible comparison".


Image (left): This 3-in-l Combi-Wave, £399,95, from Sage is a microwave, oven, and air fryer in one. Its power-smoothing inverter ensures the microwave function operates incredibly quietly. It offers a from frozen option - which alternatives between microwave, convection and grill settings - to cook chicken, meat, or fish. Key features: Quiet Mark certified

Image (right): The Novy UP Power four-zone 88cm vented downdraft induction hob, £3199, has five separate configurations and two advanced domino induction hobs on either side of a central ventilation lower. The extraction unit rises to a height of 10cm with a maximum free flow rate of 750 cubic m/h. Key features: Quiet Mark certified.


Buying tips

The Quiet Mark sticker is a good place to start.

"Certified products have tripled from 350 to more than 1000 since March 2019 and we are seeing more models across the price spectrum," Poppy explains.

Also narrow down the appliances by comparing the minimum and maximum decibel levels, which are specified on the energy label found on every product. This will give you a good idea of the difference between how loud a variety of models from a range of manufacturers are. Read the box on the left for more information on understading dB levels, too.

Good to know

A solid maintenance routine is vital to keep any appliance running smoothly and, in this case, quietly. Regularly descale machines and clear out the filters to take the strain off motors and avoid unnecessary rattles and splutters. If your washing machine is particularly loud on the spin cycle, it could be wobbling - so adjust the feet to make sure it's stable. And don't overload the drum with too many heavy items such as towels and jeans, as some models will automatically rebalance the load or choose not to enter the spin cycle avoiding unnecessary noise.


Image (left): Liebherr's SIGN 3576 Premium NoFrost integrated freezer, £1649, has a SoftSystem ensuring the freezer door gently closes by itself from a 35-degree angle. Key features: Quiet Mark certified.

Image (right): Miele's WER865 WPS 9kg-capacity washing machine, £1699, is compatible with the @mobile app and features an AddLoad option and 49-minute QuickPowerWash programme. Key features: Quiet Mark certified


Useful extras

The moving parts in an appliance are often at fault when you notice noise so make sure there is at least a five-year warranty on all moving parts. There are guides on manufacturers' websites to help you replace and check seals, clear filters and buy descaling products, too.


More affordable models that have achieved the Quiet Mark are coming onto the market as technology improves. A super-quiet kettle comes in at around £150 and for a washing machine you can expect to pay around £1500. 


Image (left): Fisher & Paykel's black double DishDrawer DD60DDFHB9, £1460, also comes in stainless steel. It has 15 wash programmes and an eco option to minimise water and energy usage. Each drawer holds a half load for small, fast dishwashing. Key features: Quiet Mark certified

Image (right): The Dualit Classic kettle, £145.99, features a replaceable 3kW element for a quick boil time and is available in six finishes, including polished stainless steel as shown. Its indicators range from one cup to 1.7 litres, so you can only boil the amount of water you actually need. Key features: Quiet Mark certified, Whisper Boil setting


Image: Belling Farmhouse 90cm Extractor Hood, £349, comes in red, black and champagne (shown) with three fan speeds and 512cubic m/hr max extraction. Its aluminium grease filters are washable, plus it has two LED multi spot lights. Key features: Quiet Mark certified


Read the original article in the June 2021 issue of Kitchens Bedrooms & Bathrooms Magazine.