Best Portable Washing Machines of 2018

Linda Thomson ·
Writer/Reviewer
Updated
We maintain strict editorial integrity when we evaluate products and services; however, Top Ten Reviews may earn money when you click on links.

We researched portable washing machines for more than 60 hours to find the best. Our top selection is the big and multi-functional GE WSLP1500HWW with its 2.6 cubic foot stainless steel interior that lets you wash far more clothing than most other portable washing machines. Despite its good-sized interior, it’s a relatively small model, with dimensions of 36 inches high, 23.25 inches wide and 23.9 inches deep, which makes it easy to store when not in use. This helpful machine gives you eight wash cycles and seven water levels, which is outstanding for a portable washing machine.   

Best Overall

GE WSLP1500HWW

The GE WSLP1500HWW gives you great flexibility as far as washing different types of fabrics, load sizes and levels of dirtiness. It also offers a 2.6 cubic foot washing interior.
View on The Home Depot
Best Value

Haier HLP21N

The reasonably priced and petite Haier HLP21N weighs just 43 pounds, is easy to store and move, and gives you basic laundry operations, including a “quick connect” sink adaptor.
View on Lowe's
Best for Energy Savings

Avanti TLW16D0W

You’ll pay a far lower electricity bill with the Avanti TLW16D0W due to its excellent energy efficiency. In general, you can expect an annual operating cost of $12 per year.
View on ABT Appliances

Product
Price
Check Price
$319.03Amazon
$402.29Amazon
$249.00Amazon
$429.00Amazon
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Check Price
Check Price
Overall Rating
8.7
8.5
8.4
8.3
7.7
7.7
7.4
6.7
Estimated Energy Usage
7.8
6.5
6
5.5
9
10
7.8
8.8
Design & Portability
7.3
9.3
9
8.5
6.8
9
10
7.3
Cycles & Wash Settings
9.8
8.3
7.5
8.8
10
7.8
6.8
7.3
Ease of Use Features
10
8
8
8
6
6
2
6
Help & Support
10
5
10
5
5
5
Labor & Parts Warranty
1 Year
1 Year
1 Year
1 Year
1 Year
1 Year
1 Year
1 Year
Live Chat
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Phone & Email
Online Manual
FAQs
N/A
N/A
Casters
N/A
N/A
Adjustable Feet
N/A
N/A
Width (inches)
23.3
19.7
20.3
20.3
21.46
20.25
17.6
23
Noise Reduction Plate
N/A
N/A
N/A
Faucet Adaptor
Depth (inches)
23.9
20
20.7
20.7
21.65
20.75
17.3
21
Capacity (cubic feet)
2.6
1.5
1.6
1.6
N/A
1.6
1
1.6
Cabinet Handles
N/A
Height (inches)
37.5
35.5
37
36.3
35
37.25
32.5
37
Pulsator
N/A
Maximum Spin (rpm)
680
800
800
800
740
800
700
850
Weight (pounds)
90
61
66.0
68.3
70.55
73
43
225
Wash Cycles
8
4
6
6
11
6
3
6
Spin Only
Heavy Cycle
Soak Only
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Water Level Settings
7
4
6
6
5
1
3
3
Quick Cycle
N/A
Delicate Cycle
N/A
N/A
End-of-Cycle Signal
N/A
N/A
Delay Start
N/A
N/A
Remaining Time Indicator
N/A
Softener Dispenser
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Detergent Dispenser
N/A
Annual Estimated Energy Cost
$23
$29
$31
$34
$15.00
$12
$23
$17.00
Annual Electricity Usage (kWh)
191
271
290
290
126
103
214
145
Monthly Estimated Energy Cost
$1.92
$2.42
$2.58
$2.83
$1.25
$1.00
$1.92
$1.41
Monthly Electricity Usage (kWh)
15.9
22.6
24.2
24.2
10.5
8.58
17.8
12
Best Overall

GE WSLP1500HWW

For a portable washing machine, the GE WSLP1500HWW lets you get a lot of laundry clean. This is a small machine, but its interior measures 2.6 cubic feet, which means you can clean bigger loads than other portables can handle.
You can make use of eight different wash cycles, which gives you great flexibility as far as washing different types of fabrics, load sizes and levels of dirtiness. This also lets you set the machine for seven different water levels, which means you use the necessary amount of water for the laundering you need to do for a particular load, but you also save money and don't waste energy by using too much. This has three wash and rinse cycles, which helps since you pick the one that works best to yield the cleanest laundry, but you also can extend the life of your clothes by not dealing with a single choice too-vigorous vigorous washing cycle that can damage delicate fabrics. With dimensions of 23.25 inches wide, 36 inches high and 23.9 inches deep, this compact but powerful machine can give you good cleaning results, yet its smaller size makes it easy to store in a closet or out of the way spot. This is an easy to use machine, with electronic controls and a LED display. This comes with a delay start function, which lets you fill the machine and set it to launder clothes when you want it to, and you also get a helpful child lock.
Pros
  • You get a sizeable 3.6 cubic foot interior.
  • This portable washer launders big loads.
  • This is compact for a washer with a big interior.
Cons
  • This machine is rather heavy.
  • It lacks cabinet handles.
  • You must connect to washer hookups.
$764.10The Home Depot
Best Value

Haier HLP21N

Along with washing clothes well, the Haier HLP21N portable washing machine is so lightweight and compact, it is easy to store and move. It weighs in at only 43 pounds, which makes it the lightest washing machine we evaluated, and it is equipped with helpful rolling casters so you can pull it from a closet or storage area and get it to a sink with little effort.
It is only 32.5 inches high, 17.6 inches wide and 17.3 inches deep, so you can easily find a spot to keep it when not in use. This reasonably priced washer is a basic model with just three water level settings and three washing cycles – heavy, quick and spin-dry. The interior is just 1 cubic foot, which limits the amount of laundry you can put into this machine. This Haier can reach 700 rpm during its maximum spin, which is somewhat lower than other models we examined. This machine is simple to set up: You just connect a sink adapter to the faucet in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room or anyplace else you have a sink. Each time you want to do laundry, it’s easy to connect the water hose to the faucet. Then you put the drain hose into the sink and you’re ready to start doing laundry.
Pros
  • This washer weighs just 43 pounds.
  • Its compact size makes it easy to store.
  • You get rolling casters, so moving it is easy.
Cons
  • You can put only 1 cubic foot of laundry inside.
  • You get only three wash cycles.
  • There are no handles to help you when moving the machine.
$279.00Lowe's
Best for Energy Savings

Avanti TLW16D0W

You can enjoy a lower electric bill with the energy efficient Avanti TLW16D0W portable washing machine. The device cleans clothing well, operates quietly and costs little to run.
Assuming you do a typical amount of laundry in a year, your Avanti will use about 103 kilowatts of electricity. This means you will likely end up paying about $12 a year to operate this washing machine, which comes to just $1 a month – far less money than you’d spend on any coin-operated machines in an apartment building or laundromat. This is easy to move from wherever you store it to a sink by simply tilting the machine backwards and then wheeling it on two rolling wheels attached to the back. You can get a good grip using the recessed handles on each side. After that, you simply attach the hose to a water faucet, put the drain hose into the sink and start doing your laundry. The interior measures 1.6 cubic feet, which is about average for portable washing machines, and this size can candle a typical load of laundry. You won’t have to worry much about drying clothes since this washer gives you a potent spin cycle of 800 rpm, which is quite fast for a portable washing machine.
Pros
  • This is a very energy efficient washer.
  • You’ll spend only $12 a year running this unit.
  • It is easy to move.
Cons
  • It does not have a dispenser for detergent.
  • You get only one water level setting.
  • You don’t get a fabric softener dispenser.
$415.00ABT Appliances

Why Trust Us? 

When we researched portable washing machines, we read blogs and various articles, compared competing machines to see which had the most useful features and decided against including any machines that required extremely old-fashioned work such as hand cranking or foot-pumping to operate the machines. Instead, we opted for electric-only models since these seemed to be the most popular and preferred models on the market.

We also watched user videos to see how real people coped with these devices, and we paid special attention to how they appeared to feel about the machines and what they said, especially regarding the effort they had to put into getting their machine ready, using it and then putting the washing machine away. 

How We Researched 

We spent 60 hours researching portable washing machines, carefully evaluating each model to find the best we could. We wanted to find excellent and compact portable washing machines, and looked for a range of capabilities, sizes and prices.

We examined the dimensions, ease of use and performance. We found general information about portable washing machines on the internet and manufacturers’ websites. After that, we looked for specific information about particular models that looked appealing, paying close attention to consumer reviews, blogs and the level of satisfaction – or disappointment – expressed by people who had actually used these machines. In addition, we examined a range of prices so you have a broader series of options to make your choice and get the best for you.

What Features to Look For in Portable Washing Machines 

Size
These machines are designed for use in small living quarters so they’re designed to do quite a bit of work but still not create a big footprint. It’s important to get the dimensions for the machine you are considering buying since you’ll need storage space, easy maneuverability to a sink and enough room to position hoses.

Pricing
If you are in the market for a portable washing machine you are likely concerned with both size and price. These machines are generally priced well below what larger, non-portable units cost. The best-sellers on sites like Home Depot and Lowe's cost an average of about $450. Even the best-reviewed units in this category are relatively inexpensive, averaging only about $350. Simply put, you can get a great machine for less than $500.


Energy Use
You can save a considerable amount of money if you buy a well-designed machine that is energy efficient. Models we examined ranged from costing approximately $12 a year up to $34 yearly.


Cycle Settings
The greater the number of cycle and water settings, the better. Having more choices means you can extend the life of your clothes by washing them with the correct amount of force to really clean them but not wear out fabrics.

Design
Certain features such as having handles on each side and rolling wheels on the bottom can make a huge difference when it comes to actually using your portable washer. A noise reduction plate can go a long way toward making apartment or condo living more enjoyable while you still get the laundry done.

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