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Miele WKB120 review

 Review: September 2015  

Last updated January 2017

Rating: 5 stars

In a nutshell: With a recommended retail price of 1049, Miele's W1 series WKB120 washing machine is far from cheap. But with a full 10-year warranty on parts and labour, it's worth the money. As well as being supremely reliable, the machine is easy to use, gives outstanding wash performance, and is very efficient and quiet in operation. We don't often give 5 star ratings to washing machines, but this machine deserves it!



Miele's W1 range is the step-up range from the W Classic, and the WKB 120 has a smart design with a premium Aluminium Silver door ring. The control panel is flat, making it suitable for built-under installation. It's quite a large machine, with a depth of 636mm, so be sure to check that you can fit it in the available space. The porthole is extra wide too, giving easy access to your clothes.

It's a very solidly-built machine, with cast-iron counterweights to stop it from vibrating, and the enamelled front is scratch, acid and corrosion resistant. It weighs in at a hefty 94kg.

The basic wash programmes are easily accessed using a rotary dial.

In addition, there are buttons to turn other wash options on or off - pre-ironing, short wash and water plus (which adds an additional rinse.)

A central LED display shows information about the wash, including a countdown indicator, and lets you select other settings, as well as starting the wash and setting a time delay if required. There's more going on here than in the entry-level Miele machines, but it's still easy to use once you get used to the available options.

A child safety lock is fitted, and you can also set up a PIN code to restrict access to the machine.

Washing and performance

The WKB 120 has a larger 8kg capacity than Miele's cheaper machines, although it can't match the bigger family-sized capacities of some rivals. The machine will recognise smaller loads and adapt its washing accordingly.

There's a good selection of wash programmes here, including Cottons, Delicates, Dark Garments, Shirts, Woollens, a Minimum Iron setting, plus a 20-minute Express 20 option for freshening up. Separate Rinse and Spin options are also available, as well as a Pre-Wash. A Pre-ironing option, not available on cheaper models, uses Miele's soft honeycomb drum and steam to smooth garments prior to finishing.

The maximum spin speed of this machine is a rapid 1600rpm, giving it an A rating for spin performance, and helping to reduce time drying. The spin speed is easily adjustable via the control panel.

As well as conventional detergents, this model is compatible with CapDosing, which adds special detergents, fabric conditioners and additives using single-use capsules.

The machine is rated A+++ for energy efficiency, but actually uses around 10% less water than the cheaper Miele models. Its ProfiEco motor is incredibly quiet - barely noticeable while washing, and pretty quiet while spinning too. It's not the very quietest washing machine available - some of the high-end Bosch and AEG machines beat it - but it comes close.


Miele enjoys a reputation for making the most reliable appliances of any manufacturer. All Miele washing machines are tested for 10,000 operating hours - the equivalent of 20 years of use. The WKB120 currently comes with a full 10 year warranty on all parts and labour.

Conclusion - expensive but well worth it

With an RRP of £1049, the WKB 120 is significantly more expensive than Miele's W Classic washing machines, such as the highly recommended Miele WDA101. Both machines are supremely reliable, although the WKB120 comes with the extra assurance of a 10 year warranty. In addition, it gives you better washing performance, more control over the wash, a faster spin, greater wash capacity, and is significantly quieter too - an important factor if your machine is installed in your kitchen or an adjoining utility space.

Quality is never cheap, but you can be certain that the extra money spent on this machine is buying you genuinely worthwhile features. That's why we have no hesitation in giving it an "outstanding" rating, which is something that we rarely do at S21.

The new Miele WKB 130 W1 washing machine is even better value.

Miele WKB120 features include:

User questions

Sorry - questions and comments on this page are now closed.

I had a Miele Novotronic 220V fantasticduring 16yrs.! I would like to replace it with the WKB120 is this a 220V? if not how easy is to modify it to 110V I am in the USA. Can you tell me where to get it?

Asked by carmen fanelli from USA on 19th Jul 2016

Is this machine integrated?

Asked by Michael from UK on 9th Jun 2016

Reply by S21 from UK on 9th Jun 2016
No, it's freestanding.

Is the motor brushless?

Asked by Gudrun from U.K. on 23rd Apr 2016
Just to clarify if the motor requires brushes. My first one did and required new ones every year and my second machine was brushless motor so it never needed replacing. As I go through a lot of laundry I rake up the guaranteed 10000 hours in under 10 years.

Miele WKB120 user reviews

Sorry - reviews and comments on this page are now closed.

Average rating from 3 reviews:

Reviewed by Nihcaj from UK on 20th Dec 2017
Miele are having us all on! No wonder they dropped the 10 year warranties, this is not the quality I was expecting of a top brand machine. I got mine at a "bargain" price of £462 including cashback and was the previous owner of an OLD Siemens machine and I thought I thought I was replacing it with similar top quality. It's not! It's just about worth what I paid for it, and not what others are forking out. Quiet in use, except the pump and spin are noisy enough to resurrect the dead, so no hope of using it overnight as it is able to be set up for. It is VERY big and bulky so won't fit in the space available in a "normal" kitchen and will poke right out into the room. The waste hose is very cheap and nasty, very stiff and hard to route and the door is painted with cheap looking grey paint which totally ruins the look I am used to on a washing machine. The door is awkward to open too, and the interlock makes a "clunk" that scares my dog and would probably waken anyone asleep in the house. Needs a LOT of button and touch screen presses to get going and the standard programmes are shown as 2 hours 59 mins but actually take about 3 hours 20 in practice! You can shorten that, but the perfect wash it gets over the full time then becomes a very poor quality wash because then it is only 1 hour 14 minutes long. Everything comes out stuck to the drum and VERY creased, even though most of the programmes give slower speed spins, very few of them do spin at the 1600rpm maximum. Constantly messages about "Hygiene" because it wants a hot wash to clean the machine out - trouble is, then it takes half a day, and the electricity consumption is already much higher than with my old machine.
If you get it cheap enough as I did, then it's annoying, but at least it was cheap. If you can't get it cheap, look for something else.

Reviewed by P Mulock from England on 16th Sep 2016
I have had my old Miele for 18 years with no trouble at all, thought the olf machine can not go on much longer so bought the W1 WKB120 which I have found fantastic and washes brilliantly, could not part with my old machine so have now got 2 even though my old machine is quite noisy comparecd to the new one which is not surprising ofter 18years, Miele are the best and well worth the money.
Five star Rating.

Reviewed by Mike from England on 14th Apr 2016
We bought this Miele machine when we had a new kitchen fitted last year. It replaced another Miele washing machine we'd had for a trouble free 12 years and we sold that one! In fact all the appliances we bought were Miele. They're simply the best and most economical if you can afford the initial price.

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