It’s the biggest sales weekend of the year. Shop our favorite deals now ahead of Cyber Monday.

Updated November 2022
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line

Buying guide for best top-load washers

An efficient washing machine reduces much of the tedium inherent in doing the laundry. A unit that works reliably, cleans clothes well, and offers various options for different types of clothing can make the process run a lot smoother. While laundry may not be the most thrilling part of your weekly routine, a good washing machine helps to not make laundry a dreaded chore.

The BestReviews team has gone deep to research the various top-load washer options available. We’ve selected our top five favorites — visible at the top of this page — and outlined their features and drawbacks. That’s not all, though; below, you’ll find a host of tips to help as you select a brand new washing machine for your laundry room or space. Our buying guide provides you with shopping and usage tips to make your laundry experience a little brighter. We also have a frequently asked questions section to try and answer any lingering questions you might have about washing machines. Read on, and let us help you find a machine that’ll make your laundry even easier.

Content Image
Read your appliance’s manual. You’ll be more likely to use every feature, and get your money’s worth, if you’re familiar with how they work.

Advantages and disadvantages of a top-load washer

While front-load washers are a popular option because of their sleek design, and the fact that they free up space for storage, top-loading washers are a solid choice and have a few advantages compared to their front-loading counterparts.

  • Lower price point

  • Easy to load; just flip open the top and insert laundry; no need to bend down

  • Quicker cycles

  • Larger capacity than some front-load washers

  • Not prone to leaking

  • No mold issues like some front-load washers have

Top-load units also have their share of drawbacks, however.

  • Can't be stacked

  • Not as energy-efficient or eco-friendly

  • Often noisier than front-load machines

Considerations for top-load washers

When deciding on the best top-load washing machine for your home, consider the following.

Washer size

Of course, capacity is important. What you need depends not only on the size of your household, but also the amount of laundry you produce. Some people find themselves with more dirty laundry. It’s possible for a couple to end up creating more laundry than a family of four.

The size required may also depend on the type of laundry you’ll be doing. Are you often washing sets of sheets or comforters? A large drum is necessary to clean these items properly. The interior size for some top-load washers may be larger than usual if they lack the typical center post seen in most units. This means that the tub can fit more clothing. If you want a bit of extra space, but don’t have room for a physically larger appliance, opt for a high-efficiency washer, since these often lack a center post.

Cycle options

The chance that you’ll require a wide variety of settings for doing laundry is slim. The basics should suffice, but some users may appreciate having a bit of flexibility. Most units allow you to choose the water temperature and have some kind of choice for load size. Many top-load washers also feature options for delicates or bulky items. Often, an extra rinse cycle function will also be included. This cycle helps to wash off any potential residue from detergents. Higher-end models feature fancy, automatic sensors that can adjust each setting depending on the amount of dirt detected and the size of the load. It’s a convenient extra, and handy if you have trouble deciding between cycles and settings, but it’s far from a necessity.

Content Image
Expert Tip
If you have a king-size comforter, make sure it can fit inside your chosen washer.

High efficiency

If you're concerned about conserving energy and water, go with a high-efficiency model. These types of washers use less water for each cycle than front-load options. If you choose an HE washing machine, remember to use specially labeled detergent to clean your clothes properly, and avoid damaging your device. As previously mentioned, these washers often have a bigger interior capacity.

Extra features

If you're interested in appliances with extra bells and whistles, you’ll be disappointed when it comes to washing machines. Most units have roughly the same functions and features. Some units do have a built-in bleach and detergent dispenser to slowly release the cleaning product as clothing goes through the wash cycle. Higher-end models may also feature smartphone connectivity and app control. Smart features are really only useful if you’re home to respond to them. Intelligent washers can alert you when a load is done and allow you to monitor a cycle’s progress, but they can’t physically transfer clothing from washer to dryer, sadly!

Top-load washer prices

Top-load washers are usually cheaper than front-load options. The cost ranges from $400 to $1,000. Typically, the pricier the model, the more feature-packed it will be. High-efficiency washers are more expensive, as are models with a larger capacity.

Content Image
Expert Tip
Larger tubs can allow for more laundry to be done at one time, but they are often deeper, so they’re a poor choice for short owners — reaching clothes left at the bottom could be tough!

Usage tips

We’ve compiled a few tips to help you with using and maintaining your new top-load washer.

  • Don't put too much in the washer at once. If you have a lot of clothes to wash, do two loads, instead of one large one. Overloading your machine may cause your clothes to come out less than clean.

  • Be careful when adding bleach to a dispenser (if your washer has one). It's easy to overfill or spill the liquid. If you're throwing in a load and using bleach, wait until your last load, so you don't accidentally bleach your darker clothing.

  • Even your washer needs to be cleaned once in a while. You can use hot water and bleach, but there are special cleaning tablets available for cleaning your washer, too.

  • Don't leave wet clothes inside your washer for long periods of time. They might begin to smell of mildew.

  • Your washer can’t do all the work when it comes to nasty stains. Don’t wait to tackle blood spots or wine splotches. Use stain removing sprays immediately to ensure you don’t permanently ruin your clothes.

  • Clueless about what your clothing tags are trying to tell you? Print out a symbol guide, stick it somewhere visible next to your washer, and become a laundry pro.

  • Detergent first, then toss in your clothes.

  • Cold water isn’t just more energy efficient. It won’t cause your colors to bleed and stain each other as warmer water would.

  • Installation is easy if there’s already a designated spot for a washer in your laundry area, otherwise, call a plumber to help you install your new appliance correctly.

Content Image
Make sure you’re comfortable with the controls of your selected washer. Read the owner’s manual thoroughly, and know how to shut off the water supply in an emergency.


Q. I'm concerned about noise, which type of top-load machine is quietest?
Because they lack a central post, high-efficiency washers tend to vibrate less than their non-HE counterparts, but most filled washers will produce some noise. Consider installing your washer in the basement to minimize the amount of noise you actually hear.

Q. My washer isn't fully draining, what's going on?
It may be a clog in the plumbing, but before you panic, make sure you're not stuffing your washer full to the brim. This can cause your machine to drain slowly, and it will take your clothes longer to dry since they'll likely be very wet when taken out of the washer.

Q. I often need to wash large blankets and comforters; what should I look for in a top-load washer?
Opt for a model with an extra rinse cycle to make sure your laundry doesn't end up with a lot of residue. A heavy or extra spin cycle will also help to ensure your bulky items don't come out sopping wet.

Q. Are there any safety features to consider when choosing a washer?
If you have children or pets, go with a washer that features a locking mechanism. All washers will cease spinning if the lid is lifted during a wash cycle, but some can also lock. To unlock the lid, users usually need to cancel the wash cycle, and the water inside will drain before the lid can be opened.

Our Top Picks