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Best top load washers 2021

Best top load washers 2021
(Image credit: GE)

The best top load washers make getting fresh clothes simple again, making them a real asset for anyone who hates doing laundry. With large capacities and features designed for the utmost efficiency, a great top load washer will make it so you can focus on the more important things in life than dirty laundry. They also tend to have larger capacities to handle even the most overflowing of laundry baskets. Typically a more budget-friendly option, a reliable top load washer costs from around $450. 

Here we’ve sifted through the best top load washers for every budget, including picks from trusted brands such as Maytag Bravos XL, LG and Amana, many of which also make the best front load washers. With the more high-end models, you can make use of smart features so you can start a cycle without taking a step, directly from your smartphone. Or, if you’re prone to dribbling pasta sauce when you eat, you may want to invest in a top load washer with stain removal settings or a faucet to pre-treat stations.

Similarly, top load washing machines with super-speed cycles will suit someone on a strict schedule, whereas a model with a clean-washer cycle will flush out soap and bacteria for the best germ-killing wash. From our experience, the best top load washers are those with a powerful performance, producing clothes that smell fresh, and aren’t too soggy too - which is where users will benefit from a large range of cycles and rinse options. 

Most importantly, they should have enough space to handle your laundry load. Big households may benefit from a top load washer that’s larger than 5 cubic feet, but if you’re unsure which size you need, read our feature on what size washing machine should you buy? And if you’re looking for a full set of appliances to tackle laundry day, check out our guides to the best washer dryer combos, as well as the best dryers to partner with your new top load washing machine. 

1. GE GTW720BSNWS: Best top load washer overall

Best top load washers: GE GTW720BSNWS

(Image credit: GE)

GE GTW720BSNWS Top Load Washer

An easy-to-use top loading washer with powerful washing performance

Washer Capacity: 4.8 cubic feet | Max Spin Speed: 800 rpm | ENERGY STAR Certified: Yes | Width: 27 inches | Depth: 27 inches

Range of features
Powerful cleaning 
Good capacity 
Can leave clothes too wet

The GE GTW720BSNWS washer is our top pick as it’s a great all rounder that delivers superb cleaning without a premium price tag attached. It’s proven to be really effective at removing stains and even comes with a stain guide that allows you to choose the best settings for you.

For those that like a little custom control, the Deep Fill option allows you to choose to add more water to your wash and there’s also a range of rinse options so you can make sure fabric softener and any other additives are properly washed away.

Laundry does tend to come out a bit wetter than expected, which leads to longer drying times, but for most that won’t be a huge problem. Overall, it’s an excellent top-loading washing machine that has enough in the way of extra features to boost performance and usability, without so many that it pushes the price sky high.

2. Samsung WA50R5400AW: Best top load washer for efficiency

Best top load washers: Samsung WA50R5400AW

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung WA50R5400AW

With speed wash capabilities and enough capacity to work through laundry

Washer Capacity: 5.0 cubic feet | Max Spin Speed: 750 rpm | ENERGY STAR Certified: Yes | Width: 27.6 in | Depth: 29.4 in

Super Speed setting 
Active WaterJet for stains 
Good capacity 
Regular settings can be slow 

The Samsung WA50R5400AW washing machine is a top-load machine designed to help you get through laundry day as quickly as possible. It has a Super Speed cycle that powers through a wash in just 36 minutes, while the Swirl+ Tub interior extracts more water from the load so drying time is also decreased. 

On top of that, it can also help deal with stains quicker with its Active WaterJet, a kind of faucet that allows you to pre-treat stains at the machine itself, instead of journeying to and from the sink.

While the regular settings can be on the slow side compared to other top loading washing machines, the Super Speed cycle is so effective that it can still deliver a thorough clean at speed.

3. Maytag MVW7232HW: Best large capacity top load washer

Best top load washers: Maytag MVW7232HW washer review

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Maytag MVW7232HW Top Load Washing Machine

This spacious top load washing machine is great for a busy family home

Washer Capacity: 5.3 cubic feet | Max Spin Speed: 850 rpm | ENERGY STAR Certified: Yes | Width: 27.25 inches | Depth: 28 inches

Large capacity
13 wash cycles available
No steam function

The Maytag MVW7232HW excels when it comes to capacity, with plenty of room for families with large wash loads to get through. What’s more, it has excellent smart features so you can keep up with exactly how your wash is getting on, or start a cycle off even when you’re not in the room. 

When it comes to the quality of washing itself, the Maytag MVW7232HW has plenty of cycles to choose from, including a Deep Clean program to tackle stains vigorously.

The hefty price tag of the Maytag MVW7232HW is justified by both its focus on washing and its smart features. There’s no doubt that this machine would make laundry day much easier, especially if you have a lot of clothes to freshen up. If you have the spare cash to spend, the Maytag MVW7232HW will be an excellent addition to your home.

4. LG WT7300CW: Best smart top load washing machine  

Best top load washers: LG Smart Top Load Washer WT7300CW

(Image credit: LG)

LG Smart Top Load Washer WT7300CW

A washer with a range of innovative features and smartphone control

Washer Capacity: 5.0 cubic feet | Max Spin Speed: 950 rpm | ENERGY STAR Certified: Yes | Width: 27 inches | Depth: 28 3/8 inches

Good capacity
No agitator so less laundry movement 

The LG Smart Top Load Washer WT7300CW is definitely towards the more expensive end of the top-loading washing machine market, but when you consider the range of innovative features it utilizes, it’s not that surprising. Some of these features work to reduce excessive vibration, using the clothing itself to create friction without beating and provide powerful cleaning even on a cold wash.

It’s also WiFi-enabled and, with the LG app, you’ll be able to control your machine from your phone and receive alerts as to the status of your wash cycle. You’ll even be able to hook it up to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to control the machine with voice commands from around your home.

5. Amana NTW4516FW: Best top load washer on a budget

Best top load washers: Amana NTW4516FW

(Image credit: Amana)

Amana NTW4516FW Top Load Washer

A budget top loading washer that still delivers a great clean

Washer Capacity: 3.5 cubic feet | Max Spin Speed: 700 rpm | ENERGY STAR Certified: No | Width: 27 ½ inches | Depth: 27 inches

Compact design
Cycle for clearing bacteria
Struggles with bulky loads
No Energy Star certification

The Amana NTW4516FW is a machine that’s on the compact side and offers a fairly limited set of wash options, but it still delivers a good wash and does so on a budget. It does offer a deep-water wash for when you need extra water in the washtub. The clean-washer cycle is good for keeping your machine free of soap scum and bacteria.

While it’s not Energy Star certified, it’s still pretty energy friendly and only averages about $19 a year to operate. The Amana NTW4516FW Top loading Washer is a machine that will struggle with large or overly bulky loads, but it’s still a great option for standard clothes washing that won’t break the bank.

6. Whirlpool WTW5000DW: Best gentle top load washing machine 

Best top load washers: Whirlpool WTW5000DW washer review

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Whirlpool WTW5000DW

A no-frills top load washer that's kinder to your clothes

Washer Capacity: 4.3 cubic feet | Max Spin Speed: 660 rpm | ENERGY STAR Certified: No | Width: 27.5 inches | Depth: 27 inches

Uses an impeller 
Quick Wash and 'Add Garment' settings
No smart features
One year warranty

The Whirlpool WTW5000DW is ideal for those on a budget, coming in at under $700 in price. Rather than a traditional agitator, this model uses an impeller to get clothes clean, which saves you money and is gentler on your clothes: a win-win washing situation!

Efficiency is key with this top load washing machine, as it also automatically adjusts the water level so you’re never wasting resources. And if you’re in a hurry, you’ll be glad of the Quick Wash setting that can deal with a wash load in under 30 minutes, as well as the ‘Add Garment’ function for any pesky odd socks left behind in the laundry basket. The Whirlpool WTW5000DW is great for getting the most out of your money, as long as you don’t mind the lack of smart features. 

7. GE GTW335ASNWW: Best value top load washer

Best top load washers: GE GTW335ASNWW Review

(Image credit: GE)

GE GTW335ASNWW Top Loading Washing Machine

A range of good wash features at a great price

Washer Capacity: 4.2 cubic feet | Max Spin Speed: 700 rpm | ENERGY STAR Certified: No | Width: 27 inches | Depth: 27 inches

Great value
Easy to use
Good capacity

The GE GTW335ASNWW washer is our best value pick thanks to features like PreciseFill, which automatically selects the best water level for the best performance, and a deep clean cycle that offers a really powerful clean, all in a machine that can be found for less than $500.

This model offers more useful features than budget models, although isn’t as full of innovations as more expensive models like the LG WT7300CW, but if you aren’t bothered about Wi-Fi or smart features, then the GE GTW335ASNWW is a great option that will provide excellent cleaning at a decent price. 

8. Maytag Bravos XL MVWB835DW: Best top load washer for stains

Best top load washers: Maytag Bravos XL MVWB835DW

(Image credit: Maytag)

Maytag Bravos XL MVWB835DW

A large capacity top load washer with powerful stain removing options

Washer Capacity: 5.3 cubic feet | Max Spin Speed: 850 rpm | ENERGY STAR Certified: Yes | Width: 27 1/2 inches | Depth: 28 inches

Large capacity
Easy to use control panel
High water use

The Maytag Bravos XL MVWB835DW washer is one of the largest capacity washers on the market, offering 5.3 cubic feet of space, making it a great option for large families or anyone with a lot of laundry to get through. It also features a PowerWash cycle that delivers impressive stain removal, and a RapidWash cycle that can power through a wash in under 30 minutes. 

It’s usually priced as mid-range in the market, but it is a good-looking model with well thought out finishing touches like a tinted glass lid with soft-close hinges. Plus, for those who spend a lot of time on multiple loads, this washer’s ability to tackle two to three baskets of laundry in one go is probably worth the extra cost over a smaller budget model.

What size top load washer do I need for a comforter?

If you are ready to replace your old washing machine, you may be looking for something large enough to handle bulkier loads. If you buy the right size washer, you can avoid having to take your king-size comforter to the laundromat. However, there is some debate on what the right size is.

Theoretically, any machine over 3.8 cubic feet should be able to handle a king-size comforter, but a few cleaning experts say you should look for a washer with at least 4.5 cubic feet. We think even that is a little low, depending on your comforter. While really bulky comforters may fit in a 4.5-cubic-foot machine, they don't have enough room to move and get clean.

How full should a top load washer be?

Fill the tub no more than about 2/3 of the way up for the best results. It may be tempting to make use of the entire wash tub, but that can strain the motor. Also, if you overfill your machine, your clothes may come out still soiled,  because part of what cleans your clothes in a top-load machine is the items colliding with one another and the agitator. If the load is too full, everything will just sit there in one, dense lump.

The manuals for many of the washers we compared aren't very specific in their filling instructions. They mostly just advise against overfilling. For traditional top-load washers, that means you shouldn’t fill it past the agitator, and you don't want to pack the items too tightly either. However, the 2/3 of the way full we recommend is below the top of the agitator. 

Most modern top-load machines don't have agitators. Instead, they have impellers or wash plates that are much closer to the base of the wash tub, and they work best when filled no more than 2/3 of the way full.

How can you maintain a top load washer?

You may think you are off the hook for maintenance if you buy a top-loading machine instead of a front-loader. After all, front-loaders have the bad reputation of mold and mildew problems. Top-loading machines still need some time and effort if they are to run properly, though. Whether you buy the older style with a central agitator or the newer style with an impeller along the bottom, consider doing these things, at least every three months, to keep your top-load washer in good shape:

  • Run a Sanitize Cycle – If your machine has one, use it. If not, you can get the same effect by setting the water temperature to its hottest and adding about a quart of vinegar and 4 ounces of baking soda. You can also use 2 cups of lemon juice instead. Once the baking soda has dissolved, stop the cycle and let it sit for a half hour, at least. Then restart it and let it finish. Running this cycle with bleach can also be helpful.
  • Wipe Down Everything – Skin cells, dust mites and dirt can spread onto various surfaces as you toss your clothing into the machine, so it’s important to regularly clean all the surfaces on and in your washer. Pay special attention to the automatic dispensers, which can build up a lot of sticky grime.