Best Portable Washing Machines of 2018

Linda Thomson ·
Writer/Reviewer
Updated
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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
Danby DWM045WDB
The Danby DWM045WDB is a strong portable washer that lacks a few characteristics of some competitors, but it gives you quiet operation and plenty of settings for different fabrics.
View on Home Deopt
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 Amazon
Product
Price
Overall Rating
Design & Portability
Cycles & Wash Settings
Ease of Use Features
Help & Support
Labor & Parts Warranty
Live Chat
Phone & Email
Online Manual
FAQs
Casters
Adjustable Feet
Width (inches)
Noise Reduction Plate
Faucet Adaptor
Depth (inches)
Capacity (cubic feet)
Cabinet Handles
Height (inches)
Pulsator
Maximum Spin (rpm)
Weight (pounds)
Wash Cycles
Spin Only
Heavy Cycle
Soak Only
Water Level Settings
Quick Cycle
Delicate Cycle
End-of-Cycle Signal
Delay Start
Remaining Time Indicator
Softener Dispenser
Detergent Dispenser
Annual Estimated Energy Cost
Annual Electricity Usage (kWh)
Monthly Estimated Energy Cost
Monthly Electricity Usage (kWh)
$769.00 Home Depot
8.7 7.3 9.8 10 10
1 Year
-
23.3
-
23.9
2.6
-
37.5
680
90
8
7
$23
191
$1.92
15.9
$319.03 Amazon
8.5 9.3 8.3 8 5
1 Year
-
-
19.7
20
1.5
35.5
800
61
4
-
4
-
$29
271
$2.42
22.6
$402.29 Amazon
8.4 9 7.5 8 10
1 Year
-
20.3
20.7
1.6
37
800
66.0
6
-
6
-
-
$31
290
$2.58
24.2
$249.00 Amazon
8.3 8.5 8.8 8 5
1 Year
-
20.3
-
20.7
1.6
36.3
800
68.3
6
-
6
-
$34
290
$2.83
24.2
$386.43 Home Depot
7.7 6.8 10 6 5
1 Year
-
-
21.46
21.65
N/A
35
-
740
70.55
11
5
-
$15.00
126
$1.25
10.5
$599.00 Amazon
7.7 9 7.8 6 0
1 Year
-
-
-
20.25
20.75
1.6
37.25
800
73
6
-
1
-
$12
103
$1.00
8.58
Check Price
7.4 10 6.8 2 5
1 Year
-
17.6
17.3
1
32.5
700
43
3
-
3
-
-
-
-
-
$23
214
$1.92
17.8
Check Price
6.7 7.3 7.3 6 0
1 Year
-
-
23
-
21
1.6
37
850
225
6
-
3
-
-
$17.00
145
$1.41
12
Best Overall
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
Read the full review
Best Value
The Danby DWM045WDB is a trim, basic portable washing machine. It doesn’t come with a slew of fancy features like standard-size washing machines do. However, it has five water level settings and 11 washing cycles, which is more than any other portable washer we reviewed.
With such a variety of choices, you can wash different fabrics according to their manufacturers’ recommendations, which keeps your clothing in good shape. You can also gauge how thoroughly or lightly a load of laundry should be cleaned, then select the appropriate setting. The washing cycles include normal, heavy, quick, delicates, auto wash, wash only, soaking, rinse and spin, spin only, super spin and no spin. This Danby model is not only reasonably priced, but it’s also economical to operate since it uses little electricity – over the course of a year, it costs less than hauling your dirty clothes to a laundromat. Since it weighs just 70.55 pounds and has rolling casters on the bottom, the DWM045WDB is easy to move from its storage space to any sink. It also runs quietly, which is great if you live in an apartment or small house.
Pros
  • This washer handles up to 9.9 lbs of laundry.
  • There are 11 washing programs and five water levels.
  • Rolling casters make moving easy.
Cons
  • Maximum spinning speed is only 740 RPM
  • The machine weighs 70 lbs.
  • There are no adjustable feet to level the machine out.
$386.43Home Deopt
Read the full review
Best for Energy Savings
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.
$599.00Amazon
Read the full review
Best for Families
This portable washing machine isn’t playing around.
The Kenmore 44422 runs up to 850 rpm and has an interior of 1.6 cubic feet, so it’s powerful and large enough to handle your family’s clothing. The incredibly fast spin cuts your drying time substantially. This machine is similar in size to most portable washers at 37 inches tall, 23 inches wide and a depth of 21 inches. It also weighs 225 pounds, making it as heavy as a full-size washer. It's made of heavy duty stainless steel inside and out to withstand any abuse and wash your clothes thoroughly. It has six washing cycles ranging from heavy to delicate and even one for cleaning the machine's insides.
Pros
  • It runs at 850 rpm.
Cons
  • It weighs more than 200 pounds.
$524.99Sears
Read the full review

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.

How Much Do Portable Washing Machines Cost?

The average cost of the washing machines we evaluated is $423. We found full-size washers available for around $500, so if you’re willing to spend a little more and space isn’t an issue we recommend shopping around. On the other hand, if you don’t have much room these pint-sized washers work really well. 

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.