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Best top load washers 2021

Best top load washers 2021
(Image credit: GE)

With one of the best top load washers in your kitchen, you’ll be able to make good progress on your laundry pile. These machines have a hatch at the top of the washer rather than at the front, so not only do they save you squatting down to load and unload your laundry, they’re typically cheaper than the best front load washers. A top loading washing machine tends to be roomier than its sibling too, handling bulky items such as towels, coats and bedding like a pro. 

We’ve found the very best top load washers by comparing a huge range of specs and looking for great value for money, efficiency, helpful wash settings, and great user reviews. We also took into account the warranty offered with each model and how easy they are to install.

Our promise to you

The best top load washers, including the Maytag Bravos XL, often have over five cubic feet of space for all your laundry needs. While this makes them a wise choice for big households, the larger the capacity, the more space you’ll need to put aside in your laundry room. That means that paying special attention to the dimensions is extra important for anyone tight on space. As for anyone with mucky kids or a messy hobby like sports or cooking, look for washers that come with an agitator to deal with clothes that have fallen victim to stubborn dirt or stains. The downside to a model with an agitator is that they are less efficient overall and harsher on your delicate items.

High maximum spin speeds are another dirt-banishing feature belonging to the best top load washers. Not only will fast spin speeds help to cut through tough stains, but clothes will be lighter and less soggy, shaving time off for them to dry. Other nifty features for a top loading washing machine include steam functions and Deep Fill modes to add some extra TLC or quick cycles that will sort out your laundry on a tight time limit. To save on energy and costs, an Energy Star certification is also a plus. 

Best top load washer overall

Best top load washers: GE GTW720BSNWS

(Image credit: GE)

The best top load washer with powerful washing performance and high-efficiency.

Specifications
Washer Capacity: 4.8 cubic feet
Max Spin Speed: 800 rpm
ENERGY STAR Certified: Yes
Width: 27 inches
Depth: 27 inches
Reasons to buy
+Range of features+Powerful cleaning +Good capacity 
Reasons to avoid
-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. 

What the users say

This washer earns a 4.4 out of 5 stars rating on Home Depot’s website. Users praise this machine based on how spacious it is and how it only uses just the right amount of water, making it a more efficient choice. There are some complaints that state the machine drum rusts quickly, and other users reported issues with balancing the load.

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. This machine is also energy efficient so you don’t need to expect huge running costs. 

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.

Best efficient top load washer

Best top load washers: Samsung WA50R5400AW

(Image credit: Samsung)

The best top load washer for efficiency.

Specifications
Washer Capacity: 5.0 cubic feet
Max Spin Speed: 750 rpm
ENERGY STAR Certified: Yes
Width: 27.6 in
Depth: 29.4 in
Reasons to buy
+Super Speed setting +Active WaterJet for stains 
Reasons to avoid
-Regular settings can be slow -Detergent tray is awkward to reach

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.  

What the users say

With an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, the Samsung WA50R5400AW is a popular choice. The bigger capacity on this machine meant one user said that what would have been three loads in a previous washer, fitted into one. It scores highly for operating quietly too but some users criticize the positioning of the detergent tray and say that this makes it a little awkward to use.  

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 in less time. 

Best top load washer for heavy-duty cleaning

Best top load washers: Maytag MVW6230HC washer review

(Image credit: Home Depot)

The best top load washer for heavy duty cleaning power.

Specifications
Washer Capacity: 4.7 cubic feet
Max Spin Speed: 750 rpm
ENERGY STAR Certified: Yes
Width: 27.25 inches
Depth: 27.88 inches
Reasons to buy
+Excellent for intensive washing  +Smart features 
Reasons to avoid
-Complaints of confusing operating -Some users had issues with detergent residue

The Maytag MVW6230HC is the best heavy-duty top load washer that has a power-boosting feature. It’s seriously impressive when it comes to washing power, with both an ‘Extra Power’ button for turbo-boosting your wash and a ‘Heavy Duty’ washing cycle. Beyond banishing tough stains, there’s also a handy quick cycle for anyone in a hurry, and enough capacity for a large family to do multiple wash loads a day.  

What the users say

Reviewers especially like the slow-close glass lid to avoid noise and improve their view of their washing. The extra power button went well with users and the smart features were also a hit. Others found this Maytag’s many settings quite difficult to get used to, and one found that full loads leave detergent on the clothing.  

This machine is also handily smart equipped. That means that you can receive notifications when your wash is done on your phone, and never again be cursed with forgetting about your clothes in the machine. You can also choose the ‘Deep Fill’ option whenever you want to give your clothes a really thorough soak. 

Noise has been taken into consideration when designing this machine so that it doesn’t disturb you too much. What is worth noting is that this top load washer has an agitator which will take on dirt on your clothes, but bear in mind that agitator machines can be harsher on your laundry and they use more water. 

Best large top load washer

Best top load washers: Maytag MVW7232HW washer review

(Image credit: Home Depot)

The best top load washer with a large capacity for bigger households.

Specifications
Washer Capacity: 5.3 cubic feet
Max Spin Speed: 850 rpm
ENERGY STAR Certified: Yes
Width: 27.25 inches
Depth: 28 inches
Reasons to buy
+Large capacity+13 wash cycles available
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-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 even when you’re not in the room.  

What the users say

Bringing in an average score of 4.3 out of 5 stars, the user reviews for this Maytag washer praise the detergent dispensers and how easy the machine is to use. Despite the large capacity, some users report issues with bigger loads getting all tangled up during the spin cycle. Overall, however, lots of reviewers like that this washer is made in the US.

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.

Best top load washer for pre-treating stains

Best top load washers: Samsung WA45T3400AV washer review

(Image credit: Lowe's)

The best top load washers for pre-treatment and a built-in faucet.

Specifications
Washer Capacity: 4.5 cubic feet
Max Spin Speed: 700 rpm
ENERGY STAR Certified: Yes
Width: 27 inches
Depth: 29.3 inches
Reasons to buy
+Built-in jet for pretreatment +Designed for quiet running 
Reasons to avoid
-No smart features  -No add-garment feature

With the Samsung WA45T3400AV, you can pretreat and wash your clothes in one handy station, with a built-in faucet that can replace trips to your laundry sink. There’s plenty of options when it comes to exactly which cycle you want to remove any stains, as well as an abundance of different washing options on top of that.

What the users say

The style and finish of the Samsung WA45T3400AV is a real winner among its user reviews. This machine has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars and users are happy with the large capacity for washing comforters and bedding, as well as the easy-to-use controls. The main criticisms come from users who wish this Samsung washer had an ‘add a garment’ feature.

This machine also has a soft-close lid, so you won’t be hearing the snap of your machine closing any time soon. That’s on top of the diamond drum design to prevent snagging and promote deep cleaning. Users who loved this model were also impressed by the musical jingle the machine uses to tell you it’s done, though it’s slightly let down by the lack of smart features. 

The Samsung WA45T3400AV works quietly and to keep the machine clean and hygienic, there’s a self-cleaning cycle. There might not be smart features but there is a troubleshooting functionality you can use on your phone should anything happen.

Best smart top load washer

Best top load washers: LG Smart Top Load Washer WT7300CW

(Image credit: LG)

The best smart top load washer with innovative features.

Specifications
Washer Capacity: 5.0 cubic feet
Max Spin Speed: 950 rpm
ENERGY STAR Certified: Yes
Width: 27 inches
Depth: 28 3/8 inches
Reasons to buy
+Quiet+WiFi-enabled
Reasons to avoid
-Set-up can be confusing -Expensive 

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.

What the users say

This LG model wins over plenty of users with its spacious capacity and its Energy Star certification. Overall, it’s rated as 4.6 out of 5 stars but some reviews criticize the set-up, stating it’s ‘fiddly’. Because there’s no agitator, some users felt their clothes didn’t move around as much and weren’t as clean, but this could be down to how differently impeller models operate.

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.

One of the real winning aspects of this LG washer, however, is that it’s Energy Star certified so you can expect lower energy bills than with a machine that doesn’t have this certification.

Best budget top load washer

Best top load washers: Amana NTW4516FW

(Image credit: Amana)

The best budget top load washer.

Specifications
Washer Capacity: 3.5 cubic feet
Max Spin Speed: 700 rpm
ENERGY STAR Certified: No
Width: 27 ½ inches
Depth: 27 inches
Reasons to buy
+Compact design+Cycle for clearing bacteria
Reasons to avoid
-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. 

What the users say

This Amana model has an average score of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Users love that this washer cleans really well on high-efficiency settings, and you don’t need much detergent in order to get good results. The auto-sensing water feature was a hit for many as it saves water but some users found this feature to be a bit temperamental.

While it’s not Energy Star certified, it’s still pretty cheap to run 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.

For what you pay, this machine still gives you everything you need but its spin speed isn’t that impressive at 680 RPM. This will still be fast enough to get rid of some excess water, but you might find your drying times will be longer than if you had a faster spin speed. 

Best top load washer with an impeller

Best top load washers: Whirlpool WTW5000DW washer review

(Image credit: Home Depot)

The best top load washer for gentle washes.

Specifications
Washer Capacity: 4.3 cubic feet
Max Spin Speed: 660 rpm
ENERGY STAR Certified: No
Width: 27.5 inches
Depth: 27 inches
Reasons to buy
+Uses an impeller +Quick Wash and 'Add Garment' settings
Reasons to avoid
-No smart features-One year warranty

The Whirlpool WTW5000DW is ideal for those on a budget, coming in at under $700. 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! 

What the users say

This Whirlpool washer is hugely popular, with over 24,000 reviews on just Home Depot’s website alone. On that site, this model earns a 4.4 out of 5 stars rating. Users praise how easy the machine is to use and how the large capacity means you can wash comforters in it. Some reviews highlight that this model doesn’t have a detergent dispenser and can be loud when it’s operating.

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, but you won’t benefit from smart features like some other machines offer. At this price, however, we wouldn’t expect fancy frills.  

Best top load washer for features

Maytag MVWC565FW top load washer

(Image credit: Home Depot)

The Maytag MVWC565FW is a generously sized top loader washer with a handy power wash mode.

Specifications
Washer capacity: 4.2 cubic feet
Max spin speed: 700 RPM
Energy Star certified: No
Width: 27.5 inches
Depth: 27 inches
Reasons to buy
+Good range of wash cycles +Cheap to run 
Reasons to avoid
-Low spin speed -Over-complicated controls 

The Maytag MVWC565FW top load washer is a large and powerful machine that uses less energy than some comparable machines, it is made in the USA and comes with an impressive warranty, stretching 10-years on some parts. 

What the users say

Buyers of the Maytag MVWC565FW like how quiet it is, even when it’s using the spin cycle and they are impressed by how much laundry the drum will take. They are complimentary about its simple styling and the fact that you can buy a matching dryer. Many felt the auto-sense water option didn’t submerge the laundry sufficiently,  meaning the Deep-Fill option is needed. 

If you have lots of stained clothes, this Maytag’s Deep Fill setting lets you soak and clean a large load. It has extra rinse settings too, leaving clothes super clean and it has a simple yet sleek design. It runs smoothly and quietly. 

What lets this machine down is the lower spin speed so your clothes will need to be dried for longer, which may mean using additional electricity. The controls are also overcomplex – though this does give you a huge range of options for all types of laundry. Overall, it’s a good choice for those who wash large, heavily soiled loads each week and its cost means you can afford power and reliability without breaking the bank, though it can use large amounts of water. 

Best top load washer for treating stains

Best top load washers: Maytag Bravos XL MVWB835DW

(Image credit: Maytag)

The best top load washer for stains.

Specifications
Washer Capacity: 5.3 cubic feet
Max Spin Speed: 850 rpm
ENERGY STAR Certified: Yes
Width: 27 1/2 inches
Depth: 28 inches
Reasons to buy
+Large capacity+Easy to use control panel
Reasons to avoid
-High water use-Difficult to reach the bottom of the drum

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 households 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.  

What the users say

The large capacity on this washer goes down well with users and the machine scores an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars. According to user reviews, the control panel is easy to use and there’s a good range of settings to choose from. Not all reviews were positive though, and some comment on how it’s very difficult to reach the bottom of the washer’s drum. Others add that sometimes there is a film of detergent left on clothing at the end of the wash cycle.

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’s also impressive about this washer is its fast spin speed. It can reach 850 RPM which will really help to reduce drying time. As well as that, the Maytag Bravos XL MVWB835DW is Energy Star certified so you can expect lower running costs.

What to look for in a good top load washer

A good top load washer usually comes with a range of useful features to make your life easier, plus at least a five cubic feet capacity. This is a substantial size and is suitable for large families or those who prefer to wash a huge pile of laundry all at once. 

Many of the best top load washers are also Energy Star Certified. This is an internationally recognized and trusted mark of high efficiency – which is always a must for any appliance, especially if you will be using it weekly. 

Plus, the top load washers are usually designed with a speed wash, lasting around 30 minutes or sometimes less. You can also expect to find a deep clean cycle which is specifically crafted to remove any pesky stains, and a super hot wash that will help eliminate bacteria. 

Plus, when hunting down the right top load washer for your home, be sure to check the maximum spin speed. Many of the best washing appliances come with around 700 revolutions per minute (RPM). The more RPM, the less time your clothes will take to dry.

Which are the best high-efficiency top load washing machines?

Getting your washing done quickly and saving money on bills are two central concerns of anyone with a busy household. That’s why high-efficiency top load washing machines are so in demand, and why so many manufacturers have features built-in to help out. Plenty of machines feature super speedy wash cycles, which aim to deliver the same quality in a shorter time. That includes the Samsung WA50R5400AW which can power through a wash in just 36 minutes. It also has an interior which drains water quickly, in order to cut down on the energy spent on the last part of the process. Another contender for the best high-efficiency top load washing machine is the Whirlpool WTW5000DW, which automatically adjusts the water level for each wash, so you’re not needlessly overfilling your machine.

In order to find out whether the machine you’re eyeing up is energy efficient, be sure to check out whether it’s Energy Star certified, and take a look at the Energy Guide that you should be able to find on any retailer’s website. That will give you an indication of the average running cost for each machine for a year so that you can judge which model works out best for you.

What are the benefits of a top load washer versus other types of washers?

Top load washers have many benefits. Generally speaking, top loading machines usually have a much lower price point. Many of the best and most affordable top load washers start at around $399. Plus, top load washers are usually much easier for the user to fill. 

Unlike front load washers, top load devices means there is no bending involved for the user. Which is perfect for those who have a bad back or find it difficult to crouch down. Another feature that makes top load washers different to other types of washers, is their lack of detergent drawer. 

Usually, with a top load washer you pour the detergent directly into the machine with your laundry. This means there are less washer parts for you to clean. Plus, many of the best top load washers come with a large load capacity. 

You can also usually add garments mid-cycle and many of the top-rated machines have faster cycle times so are perfect for those who need their laundry done in a hurry. This also makes them far more energy efficient compared to other washers. 


The detergent drawer open on the Maytag Bravos XL MVWB835DW top load washing machine

(Image credit: Maytag)

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

A popular query when it comes to the best top load washers is whether they are roomy enough to effectively wash comforters and other bulky items. After all, having a large enough washer in your home will save you from costly trips to the laundromat and be much more convenient. 

There is some debate on what exactly the right size is when it comes to being capable enough of handling comforters. In theory, any machine over 3.8 cubic feet should be able to handle king-sized comforters, but experts recommend sizing up in order to get the wash movement you really need to properly clean them. 

That makes the more agreed-upon size something closer to 4.5 cubic feet, though this might still be a squeeze for super bulky comforters. Our advice would be to size up as far as you can if you really want to be able to fit your comforter in for a wash with ease and guarantee that it comes out properly cleaned. For tips, read our feature on how to clean a comforter

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?

One benefit of opting for a top-loading machine is that it can be maintained with more ease than a front-loader. The latter has a bad reputation for mold and mildew problems, which can wreak havoc on your laundry routine. That doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook when it comes to properly maintaining your top load washer, however, as they still need TLC in order to function at their best. 

Regardless of the style of your model, whether it has a central agitator or an impeller, you should consider the following actions in order to keep your machine in tip-top condition. 

  • Run a Sanitize/Clean Cycle - If your machine has one, then take advantage and use the clean cycle when you need to. If you don’t have a machine with a clean cycle, then don’t worry, you can replicate the effects by setting your machine to the highest possible temperature and adding a quart of vinegar and four ounces of baking soda. (If you’d prefer, you can use two cups of lemon juice instead.) Once the baking soda has dissolved, stop the cycle and let it sit for half an hour. Then restart the cycle and let it finish for a super clean machine. 
  • Clean the exterior of your machine -  As well as the interior, cleaning the outside of your top loader will go a long way to help with maintenance. Skin cells, dust mites, and dirt can all spread onto various surfaces as you do your laundry. So, to avoid a build-up of grime, it’s crucial that you regularly clean all the surfaces of your washer. After you’ve done that, you should look closely at the automatic dispensers too, which you need to keep clear in order to have seamless running.  

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Sophie Bird

Sophie is Home Editor at Top Ten Reviews. Starting off her career in print journalism, Sophie then moved to digital and now specializes in lifestyle, home interiors and social media. While she has scooped awards for her journalism, Sophie likes to whip up a storm in the kitchen when she's not writing.