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4 high-efficiency washing machines that save water, electricity and time

If you want to cut utility costs, it might be time to say goodbye to your old washing machine and purchase a new high-efficiency appliance.

Traditional washers use up to 45 gallons of water per load, and their heavy agitators require a lot of power. This energy usage adds up significantly.

High-efficiency washing machines don’t depend on agitators as much as others do. They instead rely on specially formulated detergent designed to break down dirt and grime with less water and power.

What to know before you buy a high-efficiency washing machine

High-efficiency washing machine pros and cons


  • High-efficiency washing machines use less water and electricity, saving you money.
  • They spin faster to remove more water from your clothing before it goes into the dryer.
  • Gentler wash cycles are better for delicate garments.
  • Most have a larger capacity than regular washing machines.


  • Washing a load of laundry with less water takes more time.
  • They have a higher price tag than traditional washing machines.
  • Very dirty clothes may not be cleaned as effectively without hard agitation.
  • High-efficiency machines need more maintenance and cleaning than normal washers.


High-efficiency washing machines need high-efficiency detergent. This soap creates fewer suds and disperses faster than traditional formulas. Using regular detergent in a high-efficiency machine results in a longer rinse time. It can also adversely affect cleaning power.

Energy Star certification

Energy Star certification is granted to products, appliances and items that meet strict government requirements for energy usage. Look for the Energy Star logo while shopping to ensure that your washing machine runs as efficiently as possible.

High-efficiency washing machine types

  • Top-loading washers let you easily add more laundry to your wash mid-cycle. They allow for faster spinning, but their agitators make them noisier and they can’t be stacked. Top-loading washers use more water than front-loading ones.
  • Front-loading washers offer a sleeker, more modern appearance. They don’t have an agitator, making it easier to fit in bulky blankets and towels. Front-loading washers can be stacked to save space but may be challenging to load and empty for people who have difficulty bending over.

Best high-efficiency washing machines

Best top-loading high-efficiency washing machine

Maytag High-Efficiency Top Load Washing Machine 

What you need to know: This top-loading washer features a Deep Water Wash setting for especially dirty clothes.

What you’ll love: With 11 wash cycles at your fingertips, this machine can accommodate any household. Sensors detect how much clothing is in the machine so it only uses the water that is needed. Customizable settings let you choose how you want to treat your laundry.

What you should consider: This machine is not Energy Star certified and is only available in white.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Best front-loading high-efficiency washing machine

LG Mega Capacity High-Efficiency Front Load Washing Machine 

What you need to know: This Energy Star-certified machine lets you check the status of your laundry with an app on your phone.

What you’ll love: With 5 cubic feet of space, this washing machine has enough room for a large comforter. It features a SpeedWashCycle option that can clean and rinse laundry items in as few as 15 minutes. This washer can remove up to 95% of allergens from clothing, making it great for allergy sufferers.

What you should consider: This washing machine is too expensive if you don’t plan on using all of its smart features.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Best top-loading high-efficiency washing machine for the money

Whirlpool High-Efficiency Top Loading Washing Machine 

What you need to know: You can wash bigger loads in this machine by swapping its agitator for its impeller.

What you’ll love: This machine’s Quick Wash option can clean and rinse clothing in 30 minutes. You can clean this washer automatically using its Clean Washer with Affresh setting. You can also choose your water level for the cycle you want to run.

What you should consider: There is no sensor in this washing machine, so its efficiency depends on your cycle and water level selection. It is also not Energy Star certified.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Best front-loading high-efficiency washing machine for the money 

Samsung High-Efficiency Front Load Washer 

What you need to know: Quiet and Energy Star certified, this washer is great if you don’t want to break the bank.

What you’ll love: This washer connects to your phone via its Smart Care app. It is stackable, features 10 preset cycles and allows for five temperature settings. It reminds you when it's time to run a cleaning cycle with a gentle alarm and is available in three trendy colors.

What you should consider: Some buyers feel that the quality of this machine is not up to par with competing options.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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