The Best Top-Loading Washing Machines of 2022

Keep clothes and linens clean and fresh with one of these excellent top-loading washers.

By Deirdre Mundorf | Updated Jun 2, 2022 11:32 AM

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The Best Top Loading Washing Machine Option

Photo: amazon.com

If you’re in the market for a new washing machine or dryer, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the multitude of different models available. Top-loading washing machines are a popular choice, as they tend to cost less than front-loading washing machines and are helpful for those with limited mobility. But the best top load washers can be difficult to choose between, so this guide is here to help!

Learn more about important features to consider while searching for the best top-loading washing machine for your laundry room in this comprehensive guide.

  1. BEST OVERALL: GE 4.2 cu. ft. Top Load Washing Machine GTW335ASNWW
  2. BEST BUDGET: Amana 3.5-cu ft Top-Load Washer
  3. UPGRADE PICK: LG Electronics Smart Top-Load Washer WT7900HBA
  4. BEST HIGH-EFFICIENCY: Samsung High-Efficiency Top Load Washer WA50R5400AW
  5. BEST SMART: Maytag 4.7 cu. ft. Top Load Washing Machine MVW6230HW
  6. BEST LARGE-CAPACITY: Maytag 5.3-cu ft Smart Top-Load Washer MVW7232HW
  7. ECO-FRIENDLY PICK: LG Electronics TurboWash 3D Top-Load Washer WT7300CV
The Best Top Loading Washing Machine Option

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What to Consider When Choosing the Best Top-Loading Washing Machine

While all the best top load washers share the common characteristic of loading from the top of the machine rather than the front, there are still a number of important differences between the various options available. Top-loading washing machines come in different sizes and capacities, offering varying wash cycles and levels of water and energy efficiency. Some washing machines may also be WiFi-compatible or offer other features that make them a better fit for your specific needs.

Size and Capacity

Like front load washers, most top-loading washing machines have a width of around 27 inches and a height of 44 inches, though these numbers can vary between models. The depth of a machine varies based on its capacity. You’ll find small to average machines in the 20 -27 inch width range, and models with the largest washer capacity up to 30 inches wide.

While you’ll want to pay attention to the physical size of each washing machine to ensure it will fit in the space you have available, the capacity of the machine will tell you more about how much each option will hold. A washing machine’s capacity is measured in cubic feet and may range between under 1 cubic foot for some portable washing machines to nearly 6 cubic feet for extra-large models. However, average top and front load washers typically have a capacity between 4 and 5.5 cubic feet.

Consider the number of people in your household and how often you do laundry to help find the right size top load washer for your needs. Also think about the size of your bedding, especially comforters and duvets, which tend to be bulky. Keep in mind that overloading and underloading the machine can both lead to laundry mishaps. As a reference point, a 4-cubic-foot top load washer will hold between 12 and 16 pounds of laundry, and a 4.5-cubic-foot top load washer will hold up to 20 pounds of laundry.

Agitator vs. Impeller

Top loaders clean clothes using either an agitator or an impeller. When comparing machines with an agitator vs. impeller, you should know that each mechanism features a different design and cleaning method. An agitator is a tall post with a finned design that rises up in the center of a washing machine.

During wash cycles, the agitator twists from side to side to rub against items to remove debris and other soils. Agitators generally offer shorter wash cycle times than impellers, but they don’t spin as quickly at the end of a cycle to remove as much water as an impeller can.

An impeller is a spinning disc at the base of the washer with a low profile. Rather than rubbing against items to get them clean, an impeller spins to make the clothing and linens in the tub rub against each other to get clean. Impellers offer gentler cleaning cycles than agitators since they don’t rub directly against the items in the wash. They also deliver higher speeds for spinning water out of clothing at the end of a cycle. However, they typically take longer to clean, so wash cycles may be longer on machines with an impeller.

Wash Cycles

Some common wash settings offered by top loaders include cycles for whites, delicates, and bulky items, as well as prewashes, quick washes, deep-cleaning washes, and extra rinses. The best washers offer the ability to choose whether you want to use cold, warm, or hot water for each cycle.

Just like front load washers, some top load washers also offer cleaning cycles to keep the interior of the drum clean. Choosing a model with this feature can make it easier to maintain the washing machine and keep the stainless steel or porcelain tub interior clean.

Water and Energy Efficiency

Finding a top load washer that is energy efficient and doesn’t use excessive amounts of water is important both for keeping utility bills under control and reducing your household’s environmental footprint. Most top loaders require more water per load than front-loading machines. The average top load washer uses around 20 gallons of water for each load, while the average front-loading machine uses about 13 gallons.

Some washing machines that consume less energy than other models may receive Energy Star certification. Washers that consume around 316 kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity will receive Energy Star certification and can help users save on average $35 each year in electric bills. In general, top load washers are not as efficient as front loaders. However, impeller- style top load washers can be quite efficient and may earn Energy Star certification.

Smart Technology

Just like front loaders, some top load washers offer Wi-Fi connectivity and smart technology. Washers with smart technology provide a greater level of control over washing the laundry. With a smart washing machine, users can start or stop a wash cycle using a smartphone from any location, as well as check the status of a wash cycle or receive a notification when a wash cycle has been completed.

Some smart washers are also compatible with smart personal assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant, allowing users to start or stop a load of laundry with voice commands.

Our Top Picks

The following list features some of the best top load washers available, chosen for their wash cycles options, load capacity, eco-friendliness, extra features, and more.

Best Overall

The Best Top Loading Washing Machine Option: GE 4.2 cu. ft. Top Load Washing Machine GTW335ASNWW
Photo: homedepot.com

Our pick for the best washer with top-load is GE’s top load washing machine with its 4.2-cubic-foot capacity to accommodate large loads of laundry. With 11 different wash cycles, this machine gives users plenty of flexibility in customizing the settings to meet their specific laundry needs. Select the deep-clean cycle, which offers 67 percent more cleaning power for stain removal than a standard normal cycle for particularly soiled loads.

This washing machine also offers six water temperatures to further customize the cleaning and care of laundry items. It features a deep-rinse setting that works to make sure all detergent, fabric softeners, or other laundry additives are completely rinsed away from clothing and linens.

The machine boasts a stainless steel basket for durability and snag-free cleaning as well as a heavy-duty agitator to ensure clothing and linens are thoroughly cleaned. Automatic bleach and fabric softener dispensers are also integrated into the design; they will dispense bleach or fabric softener at the ideal point in the desired wash cycle. Other features include cycle status lights to allow users to quickly identify the wash progress and a 700 rpm spin speed for maximum water removal before drying.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 4.2 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 44 by 27 by 27 inches
  • Cleaning Mechanism: Agitator

Pros

  • 11 wash cycles included
  • 6 water temperature options
  • Stainless steel basket; snag-free construction
  • Built-in cycle status lights

Cons

  • No CEE rating for efficiency
  • No WiFi connectivity or steam settings
  • Some users have reported loud operating volumes

Best Budget

The Best Top Loading Washing Machine Option: Amana 3.5-cu ft Top-Load Washer
Photo: bestbuy.com

Many shoppers are satisfied with a basic, effective, and budget-friendly washing machine—the Amana 3.5 cu. ft. Top-Load Washer fits the bill. Choose from either the automatic water level sensor setting or deep water setting, with or without an extra rinse, and five water temperature settings. Basic wash cycles include normal, bulk, and delicate cycles. The dual-action agitator cycles the laundry to the bottom of the wash tub for a thorough cleaning.

No bells or whistles here, and the price is half compared to premium models. For a dependable machine at an affordable price, the Amana is a solid machine.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 3.5 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 27 by 27.5 by 42 inches
  • Cleaning Mechanism: Agitator

Pros

  • Multiple water level and wash settings
  • 5 water temperature settings
  • Dual-action agitator

Cons

  • No WiFi connectivity or steam settings

Upgrade Pick

The Best Top Loading Washing Machine Option: LG Electronics Smart Top-Load Washer WT7900HBA
Photo: homedepot.com

This is the best top load washer for those who are looking to splurge a bit, this 5.5-cubic-foot top load washer doesn’t skimp on the extra features. This washer from LG offers SmartThinQ technology that allows users to pair the machine with their smartphones to receive alerts about wash cycles and control the washing machine from the palm of their hands. It also works with smart-home assistants for even more operating options. Using about 30 percent of the water used by other standard washing machines, it also conserves resources and is Energy Star-certified.

In addition to being easy to use with the smart technology, this washer also offers powerful cleaning capabilities. Its special 6Motion technology puts up to six different wash motions to work during each cleaning cycle to produce optimal results, while steam technology removes wrinkles, dirt, and odors from fabrics.

Thanks to its LoDecibel motor and TrueBalance anti-vibration system, this washer is significantly quieter than other models. Other notable features include the clear lid, stainless steel NeveRust tub, and automatic detergent, fabric softener, and bleach dispensers.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 5.5 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 28 by 44 by 27 inches
  • Cleaning Mechanism: Impeller

Pros

  • Energy Star-certified
  • 6Motion technology integrated; 6 washing settings
  • Smart technology
  • Quiet operation volume

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Hose kit not included for installation

Best High-Efficiency

The Best Top Loading Washing Machine Option: Samsung High-Efficiency Top Load Washer WA50R5400AW
Photo: bestbuy.com

The Samsung 5.0-cubic-foot top load washing machine is an Energy Star-certified model that will help keep energy use and costs down and wash your clothes quickly, making it perhaps the most reliable washing machine on this list. With Super Speed technology, this machine allows users to clean a full load of laundry in only 36 minutes.

A deep fill option comes in handy for individuals who wish to take advantage of the cleaning power delivered by a full machine. Twelve wash cycles, five temperature levels, and eight additional wash settings allow for complete customization for each load of laundry.

This model also features a built-in faucet to use when pretreating stains. The EZ Access design of the basin also makes it easier to reach the base of the tub than is possible in other similar models. VRT Plus technology keeps noises and vibration to a minimum to limit disturbances and create a quieter environment. This model also offers a soft-close lid and a self-clean cycle.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 5 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 47 by 28 by 29 inches
  • Cleaning Mechanism: Impeller

Pros

  • Energy Star-certified
  • Super Speed technology for fast washing
  • 12 wash cycles and 5 water temperatures included
  • Built-in faucet

Cons

  • Pricey
  • No WiFi connectivity or steam settings

Best Smart

The Best Top Loading Washing Machine Option: Maytag 4.7 cu. ft. Top Load Washing Machine MVW6230HW
Photo: bestbuy.com

The Maytag 4.7 cu. ft. Top Load Washing Machine MVW6230HW is another top-load washer that combines old and new, with a traditional top-loading design packed with smart features.

This washer offers many of Maytag’s attractive washing machine functions, including an Extra Power boost option, 30-minute Quick Wash cycle (for small loads), and a Deep Fill option. To simplify the laundry process, this machine also has a Cycle Memory function, which stores the last-used settings so you can easily run the same cycle again.

With a capacity of 4.7 cubic feet and an agitator instead of an impeller, this machine is a step down from the MVW7232HW, but its roomy wash drum is plenty enough for most households. The machine also is smart-home enabled and can pair with the Maytag app for start and stop functions, cycle notifications, and limited troubleshooting. Plus, this machine also has a slow-close glass lid, which gives it an updated look.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 4.7 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 28 by 27 by 42 inches
  • Cleaning Mechanism: Agitator

Pros

  • Smart-home enabled
  • Cycle memory setting saves last-used cycle
  • Slow-close glass door

Cons

  • Not Energy Star-certified

Best Large Capacity

The Best Top Loading Washing Machine Option: Maytag 5.3-cu ft Smart Top-Load Washer MVW7232HW
Photo: bestbuy.com

Maytag’s top load washer is an ideal choice for those looking to enjoy the features offered by a smart washer. With the ability to connect via a smartphone, users can get notifications about the progress of a wash cycle or start and stop cycles from anywhere. The powerful impeller combined with the Extra Power button work together to penetrate and remove tough stains and leave items clean and refreshed.

This smart washer offers a number of other cycles, including a quick-wash cycle, a wrinkle- control cycle, a delicate cycle, a bulky items cycle, and an extra-rinse cycle. Individuals can also program their favorite settings to simplify laundry time. The washer is Energy Star-certified and has a slow-close glass lid.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 5.3 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 28 by 27 by 42 inches
  • Cleaning Mechanism: Impeller

Pros

  • Large capacity washer
  • Smart washing machine
  • Energy Star-certified
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • Longer cycle times

Eco-Friendly Pick

The Best Top Loading Washing Machine Option: LG Electronics TurboWash 3D Top-Load Washer WT7300CV
Photo: lowes.com

LG’s TurboWash 3D top-load 5.0-cubic-foot washing machine is an energy-efficient model that helps users limit their impact on the environment while also keeping energy costs down. This model also offers LG ThinQ smart technology that allows users to control their washer remotely with their smartphone.

The brand’s special TurboWash3D technology ensures clothes are thoroughly yet gently cleaned without the use of an agitator for easy stain removal. Additionally, LG’s 6Motion technology combines up to six washing motions to clean each item with care and precision. A deep-fill option is also available and can be turned on with any wash cycle by simply pressing a button, and the stainless steel tub resists nicks and prevents fabrics from getting snagged.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 5 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 44 by 28 by 27 inches
  • Cleaning Mechanism: Agitator

Pros

  • LG ThinQ smart technology
  • 6Motion technology integrated; 6 washing motions
  • Stainless steel drum prevents snags

Cons

  • Pricey

Our Verdict

One of the best options overall is the GE top-loading washer with its 4.2 cu. ft. size, 11 wash cycles, 6 water temperature options, and stainless steel drum with a snag-free design. Alternatively, for a budget-friendly option, the Amana top-loading washer has a 3.5 cu. ft. capacity, multiple water level and wash settings, 5 water temperature settings, and a dual-action agitator.

How We Chose the Best Top-Loading Washing Machines

We researched the most sought-after top-loading washing machines in their respective categories and discovered that the best models are determined by their capacity, size, number of wash and water cycles, and other special features included by the top brands.

For more cleaning power per wash, the above list prioritizes large-capacity washing machines from 3.5 to 5.5 cubic feet and each has appropriate dimensions for the average home’s laundry room. Many of the above models are made in sleek finishes, have stainless steel drums to prevent snags and dings, and come with impellers or agitators based on your personal preference.

These top-loading washing machines also come with multiple cycles including quick-wash and deep clean, different water level settings based on the size of your load, and a selection of water temperature options to avoid damaging clothes and linens. For ease of use, these top load washing machines also come with smart home capabilities, Super Speed technology, built-in faucets, slow-close lids, and Energy Star certifications for their water efficiency.

FAQs

A washing machine is a big purchase, and it’s understandable if you still have a few questions or want to learn more about the best top load washing machines before making a purchase. Use the frequently asked questions below as a resource to help you gain new information before selecting a product to purchase.

Q: Do top load washing machines clean as well as front-load washers?

Some people who have compared top-load versus front-load washers have found that front loaders are more effective at cleaning. However, top loaders are easier to maintain than front loaders and can still do a good job cleaning with their agitator or impeller.

Q: Do all top load washing machines have an agitator?

No, not all top-loading washers have an agitator; some clean using an impeller. An agitator is a tall post in the center of the machine that rubs clothing as it twists to get it clean. An impeller is a cone or disc on the base of the basin that spins and makes items rub against one another to get clean.

Q: Are top load washing machines easier to keep clean?

Yes, top-loading washers are easier to keep clean than front-load washers due to their design and orientation. Washing machine cleaners can also be used to keep the drum clean and prevent detergent buildup or odors.