The best top load washers are efficient to run and will make light work of washing your clothes. The good news is that, typically, top load washers are cheaper than some of the best front load washers, and you can expect wash cycles to be quicker too. To help you find the best top load washer for your home, we’ve got plenty of washer reviews including models from leading brands such as GE, LG, and Samsung.
Before you buy a top load washer, consider how large you need the washer’s capacity to be. Top load washer capacities are measured in cubic feet, and if you need to wash quite a few clothes at one time, or bedding, you’re better off with a capacity of 4.8 cubic feet or above. If you’re doing washing for the whole family, the Maytag Bravos XL MVWB835DW washer in our guide offers a huge 5.3 cubic feet of space.
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Next up, some top load washers work by using an agitator to spin your clothes in water in order to get them clean. Alternatively, top load washers without an agitator at all won’t require as much water as they use impellers to clean your clothes instead. If you’re looking for other ways to keep energy costs low, keep an eye out for the Energy Star certification on a washer you’re considering.
For added convenience, smart top load washers will let you program your washing cycle from your phone, and when you’re not at home. If you’re after a smart washer, check out the LG Smart Top-load Washer WT7300CW.
Finally, if you’re looking for an all-in-one washer, head to our round up of the best washer dryer combos, or find handy hacks in our 5 tips for cleaning your top load washer and how to clean your washing machine features.
1. GE GTW720BSNWS: Best overall top-load washing machine
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.
- Read our GE GTW720BSNWS washer review
2. Samsung WA50R5400AW: Best high-efficiency top-load washing machine
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. LG WT7300CW: Best smart top-load washing machine
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.
4. Amana NTW4516FW: Best budget top-load washing machine
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.
It 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.
5. GE GTW335ASNWW: Best value top-load washing machine
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 WiFi or smart features, then the GE GTW335ASNWW is a great option that will provide excellent cleaning at a decent price.
- Read our GE GTW335ASNWW washer review
6. Maytag Bravos XL MVWB835DW: Best large capacity top-load washing machine
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 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.