Home Topics Cleaning Cleaning Products
Rachel BroughamUpdated: May 18, 2023
Need a little help picking the best washing machine? Family Handyman has you (and your toughest stains) covered.
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Having a reliable washing machine is a necessity for many. From getting rid of stains to washing dirty sports uniforms, washing machines handle a lot and yours needs to be up to the task. If your current washing machine has seen better days, it might be time to upgrade.
Unsure of where to start? Don’t worry! As shopping experts, we’re here to help you find the best washing machine on the market. We’ve carefully combed user reviews, examined industry standards, and found the must-buy washers for every type of home (and stain).
7 Best Washing Machines
- Best Overall: LG 4.5 Cubic Foot Front Load Washer
- Best Budget: Hotpoint 3.8 Cubic Foot Top Load Washer
- Best Front Loader: GE 4.8 Cubic Foot Front Load Smart Washer
- Best Top Loader: Maytag 4.8 Cubic Foot Top Load Washer
- Best Smart Washer: Samsung 5.2 Cubic Foot Smart Washer
- Best Large Capacity: Samsung Bespoke Ultra Capacity Washer
- Best Portable: Giantex Portable Compact Washer
Best Overall Washing Machine
LG 4.5 Cubic Foot Front Load Washer
The LG Front Load Washer combines powerful cleaning with quick wash cycles to combat even the toughest stains. And what’s more, you won’t have to sort, as the machine’s built-in sensors detect fabric texture and load size to automatically select the right settings and wash cycles. Buyers love the five powerful jets that spray clothing from multiple angles for a complete clean in less than 30 minutes.
- AAFA certified with Allergen Cycle to remove 95% of pet dander and dust
- Great for larger, heavily soiled loads
- No sorting needed
- Offers complete clean cycle in under 30 minutes
- Settings can be loud
Best Budget Washing Machine
Hotpoint 3.8 Cubic Foot Top Load Washer
Top-loading washing machines are generally less expensive than front-loading models, and this Hotpoint Top Load Washer is a steal for under $600. In addition to being budget-friendly, this washing machine also features a heavy-duty agitator, which results in a powerful wash action that rotates laundry to ensure a thorough cleaning. There are four water level selections, along with a deep rinse cycle to make sure your items are free of laundry detergent, fabric softeners and stubborn soils.
However, it is worth noting that the spin speed of 700 rpm is below the industry average of 1000 to 1800 rpm. This speed isn’t a huge deal, but it does mean your clothes may retain more water after a wash cycle.
- Affordable price
- Quiet machine
- Agitator ensures a thorough clean
- Fill hose and drain hose included
- Low spin speed of 700 rpm
Best Front-Loading Washing Machine
GE 4.8 Cubic Foot Front Load Smart Washer
This Front Load Smart Washer is the only washing machine on our list featuring an OdorBlock and UltraFresh vent system. These features eliminate excess moisture and prevent odors, ensuring your machine stays fresh and clean. Use the built-in Wi-Fi to start, stop and monitor your laundry from anywhere and receive real-time notifications and updates. Plus, the quick wash cycle offers a fast 20-minute wash for lightly soiled items.
- Front-loading washer
- OdorBlock and UltraFresh systems
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- 10-year warranty
- 1300 rpm spin speed
- Reversible door
- No steam cycle
Best Top Loading Washing Machine
Maytag 4.8 Cubic Foot Top Load Washer
If you like the efficiency of top loaders, then you’ll love this Top Load Washer from Maytag. The Deep Fill setting is excellent for large loads, while the Quick Wash cycle thoroughly cleans small, lightly soiled loads in under 30 minutes. Plus, this washer has a drawer that dispenses liquid or powder detergents at the ideal times during the cycle.
Buyers like the slow-close glass lid that offers a view of the laundry and note the auto-sensing capability does a great job of adjusting the water level for each load to provide effective cleaning.
- Top-loading washer
- Deep Fill is great for large loads
- Quick Wash cleans small loads in less than 30 minutes
- Slow-close glass lid
- Wrinkle-control cycle
- Buyers noted some cycles take longer than average to complete
- Slow spin speed of 750 rpm
Best Smart Washing Machine
Samsung 5.2 Cubic Foot High-Efficiency Smart Washer
The Samsung Smart Washer with Steam Wash isn’t the only smart washing machine on our list, but it gets our pick for the best smart model because of its many bells and whistles. Schedule laundry from your phone with built-in Wi-Fi, start or stop a cycle and receive washing alerts—all without getting off the couch! And, complete large loads in just 28 minutes with the spacious 5.2 cubic foot capacity.
The steam wash gently removes stains with ease and without pretreatment. Plus, with a more shallow depth than similar models, this washing machine easily installs inside closets (or other smaller areas) without sacrificing wash capacity.
- Smart Wi-Fi capabilities with the SmartThings App
- Steam clean option
- Large capacity
- Available in three finishes
- Shallow depth allows for easy installation
- No internal water heater
Best Large Capacity Washing Machine
Samsung Bespoke 6.1 Cubic Foot Ultra Capacity Front Load Washer
Handle huge laundry loads with this Bespoke Ultra-Capacity Washer. It’s ideal for large families short on time who have plenty of dirty clothes. We especially love the Super Speed Wash setting (it’s just one of 24 options) that completes a cycle in 28 minutes. Plus, the AI Smart Dial learns and recommends cycles and water temperatures for the best performance. Use a smartphone to get alerts, schedule cycles and remotely start the laundry. Buyers noted it was quiet and easy to use.
- AI Smart Dial that recommends cycles
- Large capacity
- 20-year limited warranty
- 1200 rpm spin speed
- Super speed wash
- High efficiency
- Antimicrobial technology
- Not stackable
Best Portable Washing Machine
Giantex Portable Compact Washing Machine
A portable washing machine is a great option for those with tight quarters. This Giantex Compact Machine doubles as a full washer-dryer combo. It’s a top loader that handles up to 8 pounds of laundry at a time and offers six different washing programs.
Additionally, it’s light and compact to easily move when needed, which is perfect for RV camping. It has a built-in pump and drainage tube, which buyers noted was easy to set up and use.
- Compact and lightweight
- Washer-dryer combo
- Easy to set up
- Not ideal for large families
What to Consider When Buying a Laundry Machine
If you’re in the market for a new washing machine, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind. First, know that there are top-loading and front-loading machines, both of which have pros and cons. Think about capacity, spin speeds, settings offered and possible smart features before purchasing.
Types of Laundry Machines
- Top-loading washing machines are convenient since they are usually faster than front-loading machines, plus you don’t have to bend over when loading clothes inside.
- Front-loading units are known for getting your linens and clothes cleaner than front-loaders. Plus, they are often stackable, which can be convenient in tight spaces.
How We Found the Best Laundry Machines
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject-matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
Which is better top load or front load?
Top-load and front-load machines are both great options, but the best choice depends on personal preference. In general, front-loading washing machines are best for fighting stains and getting clothes cleaner. However, if your clothing generally isn’t that dirty, top-loading machines work just fine and often outlive their front-loading counterparts.
What brand washing machine is most reliable?
In 2022, J.D. Power ranked Samsung, Maytag and Whirlpool as the highest-ranking manufacturers in customer satisfaction.
What is the life expectancy of a washing machine?
On average, most washing machines last about 10 years with normal wear and tear.
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Originally Published: May 18, 2023
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.