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Which top-load washer should I get?

What top-load washer is best?

Being able to wash your clothes in your home instead of hauling everything to a laundromat is a true luxury experience that’s hard to give up once you’ve had it. If you’re moving to a new home or your current washer has stopped working, you have an opportunity to change your life with a brand-new top-load washer. To avoid wasting money — including on your water and energy bill — consider aspects such as capacity, aesthetics and high efficiency.

What to know before you buy a top-load washer

High-efficiency washer pros and cons

High-efficiency top-load washers, or HE washers, have several pros over standard washers but also some cons.

  • Pros: The main benefit is that they use less water and energy than a standard washer, saving you untold amounts of money over time. They also usually have sensors that let them adjust their cycles and settings automatically to your load. On average, they can hold larger loads and are quicker to drain once a cycle finishes.
  • Cons: In return, HE washers cost more and need more maintenance. You also need to use HE-specific detergent, or you could damage it. Finally, they usually take longer to complete a cycle.


Top-load washers come in four capacity ranges.

  • Personal washers have no more than 1 cubic foot of capacity. These are for individuals living in small spaces, such as studio or one-bedroom apartments. Most don’t need a washer hookup, letting you attach to a sink instead.
  • Small washers have a capacity of 1 cubic foot  to 3.5 cubic feet. These are good for single or two-person households that don’t go through much laundry. They’re also good for smaller apartments.
  • Medium washers have a capacity of 3.5 to 4.5 cubic feet. If your household has up to four people that go through a reasonable amount of laundry and you have some space to stash it, this size is what you need.
  • Large washers have a capacity of 4.5 cubic feet or more. These are for large households or those that chew through laundry at a rapid pace. You need a dedicated laundry space for one of these.


Don’t forget to consider how you will dry your clothes after they’re washed. Most top-load washers have a matching dryer, and many brands offer both as a bundle for a  discounted price. You never need to match them, but a handful of smart-capable top-load washers have features that won’t work unless they’re paired with their matching dryer.


The classic washing machine design is plain white, but you can also find them in black and a faux-steel shiny gray. If it’s black or gray, check to see if it’s smudge-resistant, or it can get grimy fast.

What are the best top-load washers to buy?

GE 4.2-Cubic-Foot Top-Load Washer

A deep clean cycle and deep rinse help clean even the toughest stains, plus you can choose the water level manually or use PreciseFill to handle it automatically. It has 11 wash cycles, six water temperatures and cycle status lights.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

LG 5.5-Cubic-Foot Smart Top-Load Washer

LG’s TurboWash3D feature reduces wash times, while jet sprays and a steam function better eliminate grime and wrinkles. The tub and motor rotate in opposite directions to force clothes to scrub against each other for a deeper clean.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Maytag 5.3-Cubic-Foot Smart Top-Load Washer

An “extra power” button pushes your clean further by triggering a dual-temperature wash that targets stains best dissolved in both hot and cold water. The Maytag washer app lets you control every aspect of your washer on your phone from anywhere, including scheduling a wash.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Samsung 4.5-Cubic-Foot Top-Load Washer

Samsung’s “Vibration Reduction Technology+” reduces noise for a less bothersome experience, and a self-cleaning feature lets it automatically eliminate bacteria from the drum. Smart Care lets your phone connect to your washer to diagnose problems and offer solutions.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Whirlpool 4.7-Cubic-Foot Top-Load Washer

This washer has a built-in faucet and comes with a brush so you can pretreat stains right in the drum. The controls are easy to understand, and a dispenser drawer lets you load up your cleaning solutions so they can be injected into the wash at the optimal time. 

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

What are the best high-efficiency top-load washers to buy?

Samsung 5-Cubic-Foot High-Efficiency Top-Load Washer

A “Swirl+” tub interior helps extract and drain water faster, and an “EZ Access” design makes it easier to reach your clothes at the bottom when your cycle finishes. It has 10 preset wash cycles and seven options if you want to customize your cycle.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Maytag 4.2-Cubic-Foot High-Efficiency Top-Load Washer

A deep water wash option fills the drum to the max to soak out the toughest stains, and a power wash cycle uses heated water, extra wash action and a longer wash time to drive out the most stubborn grime.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

GE Profile 5.0-Cubic-Foot High-Efficiency Top-Load Washer

GE’s “Profile” line of washers incorporates modern design aesthetics and smart home connectivity to become all but future-proof. This one has a tangle control to reduce knotted loads and a sanitize mode that uses an Oxi additive to increase your detergent’s cleaning ability.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Frigidaire 4.1-Cubic-Foot High-Efficiency Top-Load Washer

It has 12 wash cycles, including a quick-wash cycle for small loads and a heavy-duty cycle for big loads. It has five soil levels combined with a MaxFill setting, so you save as much water as possible by only using what you need.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Costway High-Efficiency Top-Load Washer

If you live alone, spending $600-plus on a washer with more capacity than you’ll ever use is hard to stomach. This is half the cost of most entry-level high-efficiency washers with enough space for a single load, and it doesn’t need a washer hook-up.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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