The idea may seem strange but in this modern age buying a washing machine online and having it delivered to your doorstep is now very much a reality. This online marketplace puts an overwhelming emphasis on compactness, efficient design, portability and ‘ above all ‘ value for money. You’ll find all that and much more in our Top Pick in clothes washers, the Bismi Professional Grade Portable Washing Machine & Dryer.
Offering extremely compact design and portability, ease of use, sturdy construction and features you don’t usually see in clothes washers many times its asking price, the Bismi Professional Grade Portable Washing Machine & Dryer isn’t just our first choice; the reviews for one of Amazon’s best-selling washing machines have to be seen to believed.
Made in the USA, the Speed Queen AWN432S Top Load Washer presents the ultimate in heavy-duty construction, function and ease of use. While its price may have some foaming, this machine is sure to deliver years of faultless service.
The Giantex Washing Machine Washer & Spin Dryer is a budget priced washing machine that certainly does not compromise on quality.
Coming clean: on the subject clothes washers
The domestic washing machine has come a long way since the days of the washboard and wringer, first developed in the late 18th century. In 1858, Hamilton Smith patented the first rotary washing machine and less than 20 years later, in 1874, William Blackstone built a hand-cranked machine designed to remove and wash away dirt from clothes – ‘the first domestic washing machine’ as a birthday present for his wife. Whether or not he spent the rest of his life sleeping on the couch is a debate for the ages.
The first completely electrically-powered clothes washer, ‘The Thor’, was conceived by Alva J. Fisher in 1908 while working for Hurley Machine Company of Chicago, Illinois. Patented in 1910, the design is surprisingly forward-thinking, remaining essentially unchanged even 100 years later, with the patent stating a ‘perforated cylinder is rotatably mounted within the tub containing the wash water. A series of blades lifted the clothes as the cylinder rotated. After eight rotations on one direction, the machine would reverse rotation to prevent the cloths from wadding up into a compact mass’.
The humble clothes washer can be considered a permanent fixture in many homes and has helped us save an untold number of hours and energy, with some arguing that the domestic washing machine has changed the world more than any other device in history.
Top, front or twin: choosing a clothes washer
Electric clothes washers can be generally divided in three main categories: twin tub, top-loading, and front-loading. Naturally, each variety of machine has its pluses and minuses.
A twin tub, sometimes called ‘semiautomatic’, washing machine is a clothes washer that has two separate chambers: one for washing and the other for spinning clothes dry. Clothes are moved manually from the washing tub to the spinning tub once the washing cycle has finished. Twin tub machines usually the cheapest of the three varieties and are one of the most water efficient options. You also have the option reusing the water for more than one load of washing ‘ a feature unique to twin tubs. As the spin tub is independent of the wash tub, twin tub machines are capable of spin speeds usually far greater than their counterparts, saving you time on drying. The downside to twin tubs is, of course, they are far more labour intensive than fully automatic machines, as you need to move clothes from one tub to another yourself. Many twin tubs do not have water inlets or only have one inlet, meaning you have to fill the washer manually using your own hose or bucket, or you only have one water temperature option. Twin tub washing machines are less common than their front or top-load counterparts in retail stores but they are still widely available online due to their compact and lightweight design.
Top-loading washing machines are the most common type of household clothes washer and come in two general varieties: regular top-loaders with centre post agitators and ‘high efficiency’ top-loaders without the centre post agitator. These washers are generally very easy to use, being fully automatic, and are usually on the more cost-effective side to purchase. Many top-loaders have a variety of settings and wash cycles and are therefore very versatile, and can usually be halted mid-cycle by simply opening the lid. However, they cost more to operate as they consume more water and electricity than twin tubs or front-loaders. Regular top-loading washers also hold less laundry than other machines and operate at a much higher noise level.
Front-loading washing machines are generally considered to be the superior clothes washing machines as they are the best at getting clothes clean and they are also the most energy and water efficient. Front-loaders also tend to be gentler on clothes than top loaders and often have a variety of wash cycles and feature. The downside to this is that front-loaders are generally the most expensive types of clothes washer. Due to their design, front-washers can be a chore to use as they require constant bending to insert and remove clothes unless they are wall-mounted or are raised on some form of pedestal. Once a load of laundry has been started, it cannot be stopped and the door opened without draining all the water from the washer.
How we picked
Even with our helpful guide, the hundreds of different clothes washer options can make choosing one a daunting task. In our selection of the best of the best, there were several considerations that we looked for in each and every device.
Construction, durability and reliability were perhaps first and foremost in our selection process. While the online market places the upmost importance on lightweight construction and materials and a low price, clothes washers can cost upwards of $1000 – certainly an investment you won’t want to be making every time it comes to haul out the machine to lessen your laundry pile. A well-constructed and well maintained washing machine will last for several years and will get your most soiled garments sparkling once again every time. Build quality, materials and construction were all important considerations.
Versatility and user friendliness were also essential considerations in our selection. For our purposes a clothes washer is, essentially, a tool to make the chore of washing your clothes less of a chore. Following on from reliability, a washing machine that’s frustrating to use or lacks certain features listed below may have you lugging your dirty clothes down to the laundromat, pockets heavy with change. As such, clothes washers that are easy to use were highly regarded.
Getting into washing machine specific features we looked for, we start with load capacity. The larger the washer’s capacity, the fewer loads you’ll have to do and the more energy and water you’ll be likely to save. Machines with load-balancing abilities were also highly regarded; a feature most common to top-loading clothes washers, some models automatically balance the load so that all the clothes do not accumulate on the same site of the tub while spinning, causing excessive vibration and noise. Spin speed was another consideration: standard models usually spin clothes around 600 -900rpm, whereas advanced models will spin up to 2000rpm. Faster spin speeds typically mean better moisture extraction in the spin cycle, reducing drying time and energy consumption.
The number of wash cycles and options washing machine has was also an important factor to consider. Machines that featured options for heavy duty, normal, delicate, and permanent press washing were highly regarded. In general, these standard cycles will be enough for most users, as you don’t need to pay more for extra cycles that you may never need. An extra rinse cycle is also something we looked for; a feature that most people will not use, its main purpose is to make sure that no detergent residue is left on the clothes. People with sensitivity against detergent residues or those who have certain allergies will look for this feature.
Our Top Pick: Bismi Professional Grade Portable Washing Machine & Dryer
Measuring just 27.3′ x 23.7′ x 14.8′ in size and weighing mere 28.8lbs, the Bismi is extremely compact and portable making it the washer of choice for those living without a lot of space or who want to take their washer with them. The Bismi’s washing tub can handle up to 12lbs of dirty laundry, making it the one of largest capacity washers in its size category. The stainless steel spin tub can handle up to 6.6lbs of wet laundry and the 110V/60Hz motor can spin at speeds of 1300rpm ‘ just as fast as machines many times more expensive.
The Bismi is very simple to use with three control dials operating the time of the wash cycle up to 15 minutes, the strength of the wash cycle and the time of the spin cycle up to 5 minutes. Unlike most twin twin-tub washers, the Bismi has both an outlet hose to drain water and an inlet hose that can connect to a faucet. Not only does this save you hauling buckets of water for your initial wash, but as also saves you time in rinsing as you can fill either the wash or spin tub with fresh water once the wash cycle is done. Another very handy feature the Bismi can boast that other twin-tubs cannot is a pump, meaning that you don’t have to rely on gravity to drain waste water and that it can be drained to any height.
Extremely well built, easy to use, portable, the Bismi presents exceptional value for money for those looking for clothes washer with limited space or travel in mind.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
While having a spin cycle capable of a blistering 1300rpm can be great thing, in such a small, light washer this can lead to the amusing-but-inconvenient washing machine shimmy across a room if your load isn’t balanced. Since the spin speed is not adjustable, you may not want to risk your delicates to the rapid spin cycle.
Our Step Up Pick: Speed Queen AWN432S Top Load
Another popular and highly regarded clothes washer, the Speed Queen AWN432S Top Load Washer offers the sturdiest construction, power, easy operation and a host of features to make your next load of laundry an absolute breeze.
Measuring 43′ x 28′ x 25.7′ and weighing 195lbs, the AWN432S is very much a stationary washing machine. With a stainless steel washtub, porcelain enamel coated steel drain tub, all-metal transmission and a commercial-grade steel cabinet, this machine is certainly built tough. An automatic top-loading washing machine, the AWN432S is the epitome of set-and-forget laundry but is still versatile enough to pause mid-wash to add or remove items. The AWN432S features dual inlet hoses for hot and cold water which make it ideally suited for spaces with dedicated laundry faucets. The machine’s 0.5HP motor powers the 3.3 cubic foot wash tub, providing 68 strokes per minute with 210 degree agitation during washing and a choice of 473rpm or 710rpm spinning, making for a thorough clean that’s still gentle enough for your finest finery. The AWN432S is also extremely energy efficient to run.
The AWN432S’s three control dials make it very easy to tailor each and every load, with options for water temperature, load size and 17 different cycle options and two different spin speeds. With options for soaking, pre-washing, permanent press options and settings for your delicates, you certainly won’t be wanting for wash preferences. If you’re sensitive to or just particular regarding soap or fabric softener residue left on your clothes, the AWN432S comes with an extra rinse switch which prolongs the rinse cycle. Two other additions that make this machine so wonderfully set-and-forget are separate bleach and fabric softener dispensers; simply fill one or both of the dispensers before setting the machine to go and you’re away.
Another clever feature is the AWN432S’s automatic balancing system which distributes clothes evens over the cylinder so the machine’s balance isn’t upset during washing or spinning, causing it to cut out and saving you the hassle of having to attend to the machine mid-cycle. The machine’s equilibrium is further enhanced by self-levelling rear legs. These two features together prove extremely popular with reviewers with some stating that the AWN432S never goes out of equilibrium, even when washing heavy items like bathroom mats and rugs.
All in all, the AWN432S is an extremely well built, easy to use and efficient clothes washer, and it’s made in the USA to boot. This clothes washer isn’t the cheapest machine around but you can guarantee that it’s one that you won’t have to replace any time soon.
Best Washer and Dryer: Giantex Washing Machine Washer & Spin Dryer
For a clothes washer that is compact, versatile, functional, easy to use that will set you back by not much, you need look no further than the Giantex Washing Machine Washer & Spin Dryer.
Measuring 24.8″ x 14″ X 28.4″, this compact twin-tub washer’s slim profile makes it ideal for those without a lot of room to spare. The Giantex features an 11lb washing capacity and is capable of if spinning 6.6lbs of laundry at a blistering 1300rpm. Controlled via three dials that allow for wash a cycle time up to 15 minutes, two different wash cycles and a spin timer up to five minutes, this washer is extremely easy to use. The Giantex also features dual inlets into the washer and spinner, saving you time and effort in rinsing your wash. This washer also has a removable lint trap on the washer to save any potentially nasty clogged drains, and a removable trap on the spinner for easy cleaning.
In short, the Giantex offers many features you would only usually see in clothes washers many times its asking price. This washing machine represents outstanding value for money for those looking for a budget-priced compact washer.
Best Non Electric Washing Machine: The Laundry Alternative Inc. Wonderwash Washing Machine
Believe it or not, the Laundry Alternative Inc. Wonderwash Washing Machine is one of Amazon’s best-selling clothes washers. It may seem strange at first glance, but this hand-cranked, non-electric washing machine presents and ideal laundry solution for campers, travellers, cabins, mobile homes, small apartments or anyone who frequently washes small loads.
The Wonderwash measures only 12? x 12? x 16?, weighs less than 6lbs, and uses up to 90% less water and detergent than a regular electric clothes washers. Use is very simple, with the user simply filling the Wonderwash’s washing drum with up to 5lbs of laundry, water and detergent, fastening the lid and working the hand crank, then draining the waste water from the handy bottom spout. As you’re the one doing the cranking, you can be as vigorous or as gentle as you need. A sturdy base with option suction cups make sure the Wonderwash doesn’t move while being operated while upright or, alternatively, the Wonderwash can be wall-mounted.
One of the smallest clothes washers you can get, cost-effective and the ultimate in environmental friendliness, the Wonderwash might just be on your list of essential items for your next camping trip.
Best Stackable Washer Dryer: Panda XPB27 Washing Machine
This counter-top washing machine measures only 14.2′ x 14′ x 19.3′ and weighs a mere 13.2lbs, and is advertised as a counter-top clothes washer. Powered by a 200W motor, this tiny machine washes loads up to 5.5lbs and spins using a cleverly designed removable basket. Extremely easy to use, the XPB27 features just one control dial for washes up to ten minutes and spin cycles up to five minutes and a very simple gravity drain hose that, when unhooked and lowered, drains the machines ready for spinning. The XPB27 is ideally suited to be used for small loads and to be stored away just as easily.
Best Front Load Washer: LG WM3477HW Washer Dryer Combo
Amazon’s most popular front-loading clothes washer also happens to be one of its most versatile, also doubling as a fully-fledged clothes dryer. As well as sporting the performance and energy efficiency benefits of a front-loading machine, the LG WM3477HW Washer Dryer Combo features a ventless condensing drying system, meaning that it dries clothes efficiently in small spaces. Measuring 24′ x 33.5′ x 25.3′ and weighing 155.4lbs, the WM3477HW’s 2.3 cubic foot stainless steel drum is powered by a direct-drive 120V motor capable of spin speeds of up to 1400rpm while still being remarkably energy efficient.
Featuring a slew of computerised washing technology, the WM3477HW offers five different temperature settings, nine different washing programs and ten optional wash options including wash delay, child lock and tub cleaning options, and even adjusts the water level according to the size of the laundry load. The drying function is no less technologically advanced, offering automatic sensor drying to one of four chosen dryness levels or manual timed cycles of 30, 60 or 120 minutes. The WM3477HW is also quite a handsome looking machine to boot, featuring a light-up LCD display that lets you know exactly how long your wash or dry cycle has to run and an alarm to let you know when your load is done.
Although this machine does it all apart from fold and put away your laundry, all of this state-of-the-art wash technology comes at a price. While not for everyone, the WM3477HW can certainly be said to be an excellent example of multipurpose clothes washing technology.
Best Counter Top Washing Machine That Does Not Look like a Clothes Washer
Looking more like a kitchen appliance than a laundry machine, the Eco-Egg provides an alternative for those who are looking for a clothes washer that looks like anything but. Positively tiny, measuring just 12.5′ x 12.5′ x 18′ and weighing 13lbs, the Eco-Egg can wash loads up to 2.2lbs and is ideal for washing small items or clothes that usually require hand-washing. Coming with an inlet hose and a faucet connector, the Eco-Egg can claim to be the only countertop washing machine with an automatic rinse cycle rather than you having to fill the tub manually once the wash water has drained. While lacking a spin cycle or the ability to launder larger items, the Eco-Egg is an affordable, space saving alternative design.
Best in steam: LG WM9000HVA Front Load Washer
LG WM9000HVA Front Load Washer
Boasting an option for steam cleaning, the LG WM9000HVA Front Load Washer presents another clothes washer featuring the very latest in dirt-busting technology. A front-loading washer with a huge 5.2 cubic foot capacity, the mightily framed WM9000HVA measures 29″ x 41.3″ x 33.8″ and weighs 227.1lbs ‘ no lightweight, to be sure. The machine is powered by an 120V inverter direct drive motor capable of spin speeds of up to 1300prm.
The benefits of steam cleaning are many, with steam cleaning clothes more efficiently, serving to loosen dirt and stains, removing odours and sanitising by killing germs and bacteria. Featuring an abundance computerised washing technology and smart design, the WM9000HVA offers five different temperature settings, 14 different washing programs and 13 optional wash options, including steam, a time saving ‘TurboWash’ option, one touch cold washing and remote starting. In-built Wi-Fi connectivity and a proprietary app allows you to check the progress of a cycle and control the WM9000HVA remotely, and also provides a list of extra cycles available for download, troubleshoot problems and record and analyse data from the washer. The machine’s door is subtly tilted upwards to save your bending back, and the four-tray detergent, bleach and softener dispenser is recessed in order to save spills. The WM9000HVA’s sleek looks are accentuated with the light-up LCD display being integrated onto the machine door. The WM9000HVA is also compatible with the LG SideKick pedestal which not only elevates the washer, saving your back further, but serves as its own 1.0 cubic foot independent and discretely concealed washer.
Best Portable Washing Machine
Suited for light to medium sized laundry loads with an 8lb capacity, this compact twin-tub washer measures 28.5′ x 15′ x 24′ and weighs just 25lbs, making it easily portable. The XtremepowerUS is powered by a 200W motor and can wash one load while spinning another at the same time. It also features dual inlets into both the washer and spinner and a pump to remove waste water via the outlet hose. The XtremepowerUS can be considered an excellent value budget washer for those without a lot of room to spare.
Best Top Load Washer
A near contender for our Top Pick was the Haier HLP21N Portable Washer, a well-built, easy to use and attractively priced automatic top-loading clothes washer. This machine is extremely trim, measuring just 17.3′ x 17.6′ x 30′ and weighing 43lbs. The 1.0 cubic foot capacity stainless steel wash drum is powered by a 120V motor. The HLP21N features easy to use push-button controls, included easy-connect faucet adapters to connect the water inlet hose, heavy duty casters for easy movement. This washer is an absolute bargain.
Wrapping it up
Hopefully, through our exhaustive selection process, we’ve made choosing the right clothes washer a little less daunting. In our considerations for making our selection of recommended clothes washers, construction, features, portability, versatility and quality components were all paramount. In the Bismi Professional Grade Portable Washing Machine & Dryer you will find all of this in a washing machine that also offers unparalleled value for money. In the Speed Queen AWN432S Top Load Washer you will find a washer with all the features you could ask for in machine that is built to last decades. In the Giantex Washing Machine Washer & Spin Dryer you will find Amazon’s best-selling clothes washer without frills at a price that won’t cost you your shirt.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.