Semi-Automatic vs Fully Automatic Washing Machine: Which one you should go for?

Washing machines nowadays are to be found in almost every household on the planet. We all at some point in our lives face the dilemma of choosing a washing machine for our homes. The washing machine market is huge enough to force you to research extensively before buying a washing machine. This research only further intensifies when you are presented with the two main types of washing machines, fully automatic and semi-automatic washing machines. Both of these washing machine types are sold by various companies bundled with various features to either provide you with ease of use or just an expensive washing machine to compliment your luxurious house.

Now, we aren’t going to mention which is the best kind of washing machine available in the market because there is no such best type of washing machine. As everything that comes with choices, both of these types of washing machines also have their advantages and disadvantages. What we are going to do is clarify for you the difference between the two so that you can further choose the best according to your own needs.

What is a Semi-Automatic Washing Machine?

Best Semi Automatic Washing Machine

Semi-Automatic washing machines are used in most of the Indian households. It is not fully automatic and hence requires manual interference to complete its task. Cost-wise, a semi-automatic washing machine is quite cheaper than its alternative.

The process of a semi-automatic washing machine works something like this; there are two tubs, one for cleaning, and the other for drying. Once the clothes have been spun in the cleaning tub, they manually need to be transferred to the drying tub for well; you guessed it right, DRYING. The tub works on the spin principle, the higher the number of rotations, the faster the clothes dry. A semi-automatic washing machine does offer quite a low power consumption.

View the Best Semi Automatic Washing Machines in India


  • Price is lower than a fully automatic washing machine.
  • Requires less water comparatively
  • Doesn’t require a continuous supply of water
  • Full control of the washing cycle.


  • Quite Noisy
  • Requires manual intervention
  • Doesn’t perform as good as it’s alternative

What is a Fully Automatic Washing Machine?

Best Fully Automatic Washing Machine

Well, what’s not to adore in a fully automatic washing machine? When you compare a fully automatic washing machine vs semi-automatic washing machine, It’s got all the features you could’ve possibly asked for and even the ones you didn’t ask for just for the sake of luxury. A fully automatic washing machine features a greater loading capacity, great functionality, etc. Some of them even have a built-in heating function for a special kind of wash called a ‘hot wash’. Unlike its alternative, this machine comes with only one tub showcasing both cleaning and drying capabilities. The fully automatic machine does take more time than the semi version, but it’s understandable as it provides a much better wash than the semi-automatic washing machine.

View the Best Fully Automatic Washing Machines in India


  • Automatic controls
  • Child safety features
  • Clothes are better cleaned
  • No manual intervention is required


  • Costlier than a semi-automatic washing machine
  • Uses much more water than the alternative

Semi-Automatic Washing Machine vs Fully Automatic Washing Machine: Key Differences

Semi-Automatic Vs Fully Automatic Washing Machine

1. Washing Capacity

The washing capacities of both of these types of washing machines greatly vary. Semi-automatic washing machines are entry-level machines and hence have two tubs. This increased the size of the machine, resulting in it taking more space than a normal washing machine. Fully Automatic washing machines, on the other hand, are of two types: front-loading and top-loading washing machine.

There are different brands offering washing machines in varying washing capacities. The washing capacity should solely depend on the number of people in the household. The higher the capacity, the more clothes you can wash at once. A machine with a small load capacity would also work, but it would require to work multiple cycles and hence it will cost you more time.

2. Size

Washing machines come in different shapes and sizes based on their types. The semi-automatic washing machine comes with two tubs, one for cleaning and one for drying. The fully automatic washing machine, on the other hand, is much smaller as it uses only one tub for both the operations (drying & cleaning).

If the size is a constraint in your household, you shouldn’t consider buying a semi-automatic washing machine unless you are sure of your decision.  A fully automatic washing machine is much ideal for a compact household.   It offers many more features which are just more beneficial. The only downside is its requirement of a constant water supply.

3. User Convenience

Now, when it comes to the question of convenience of the users, there isn’t much left to say about it. It all comes down to whether you are willing to transfer clothes from one tub to another or you just want it to be one smooth process. Let’s just address the elephant in the room; a semi-automatic washing machine will require the user to do more manual work eventually being not so convenient.

Yes, in the early days of washing machines, it wasn’t a big thing because you didn’t have a choice. It was either this or washing every garment by hand. But now, when people do have an option to choose a fully automatic washing machine. It is no secret that a fully automatic machine is much more convenient than it’s alternative.

4. Energy Efficiency

Well, isn’t this quite obvious? Two options, a machine which stops and you manually transfer clothes from one tub to another for the machine to then continue its process and a machine with fairly advanced features which uses a constant water supply and completes the entire process in just one smooth go. Which one is more power consuming? Well, the fully automatic washing machine.

It’s got all the latest features, needs a pump to take in water whenever needed constantly, does all of this in one smooth process and thus it is the more power consuming option. But for what it’s worth those few extra bucks on your light bill are justified.

5. Load Type

Washing machines, in general, are of two loading types. Front Loading Washing Machine and Top Loading Washing Machine. Let’s answer the first question that would have appeared in an Indian mind, “Which costs more?”.  Well, there’s more to it than just the cost. The question should be, “Which one do I need more?”. Top loaders are more convenient to use; top loaders wash faster, etc.

Front-loaders, on the other hand, clean the clothes much more gently and much more thoroughly. Front-loaders are more expensive, but they are worth the cost as they are more energy, as well as water-efficient and this, will help you save more money in the long term.

6. Water Consumption

This is a concern for many of the households in a developing country. Most houses still don’t have a 24/7 uninterrupted water supply. They rather have a fixed water supply that is stored in a plastic tank most of the time. They have to think and save to manage the household for an entire day. The semi-automatic washing machine uses a fixed amount of water. It thus uses less water than the fully automatic, which requires a constant source of water to carry out its process. If water is a concern in your home, you should go for the semi-automatic.

7. Cleaning Capability

There is quite a difference in the wash quality provided by a fully automatic washing machine and a semi-automatic washing machine. A semi-automatic washing machine requires you to soak the clothes in water manually and move them to the drying tub manually too. With its limited supply of water, there is not much one could expect from the machine. Most probably you would even have to scrub some stains by hand.

A fully automatic washing machine, however, cleans clothes much more thoroughly and if it’s a front loader, it even washes the clothes more gently. On top of that, features for washing delicate clothes like clothes made of wool are provided too. Thus, a fully automatic washing machine provides a better wash quality.

Related: 10 Surprising Things You Can Clean Using Washing Machine

8. Price

Fully automatic machines are better equipped with the latest technology and the most advanced features when compared to the semi-automatic version. So, it’s only fair that they cost more than the alternative too. Well, are you scared and your opinion changed all of a sudden? Don’t worry; it just sounds scary as the market for fully automatic machines increased. Brands selling the product increased too, and thus their prices went down. The cheapest fully automatic machine is available for Rs.15,000. But you are recommended to go for at least the Rs.20,000 variant for reliability.

Also Read: Best Washing Machines Under 20000


Do these questions ever barge your mind? Which one to go for? Semi-Automatic Washing Machine or Fully Automatic Washing Machine? UGHH!! Too much to handle!! Hence, at the end of this debate on Semi Vs Fully Automatic Washing Machine, no matter whatever you go for, one thing must be quite clear.

Fully Automatic Washing Machines are considered to be the best for a quicker and easier wash. Fully Automatic Washing Machine requires more water usage than a Semi-Automatic Washing Machine. Expenses are less in the case of Semi Automatic Washing Machine so that initial cost can be reduced significantly. Before buying any of these washing machines, you should evaluate your need and budget. Otherwise, we cannot judge which is the best and the most suitable one.

Samarth is a Mechanical engineer from IIT Bombay with deep understanding of machines and the overall market. Samarth has been building machine from over 8 years so all his reviews on November Culture are first hand expert review. He co founded November Culture along with few other industry experts to provide reviews of daily products.

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