The 8 Best Washing Machines to Make Laundry Less of a Chore

The GE UltraFresh Vent System Washer is our favorite front-loading washer because it minimizes bacteria growth inside the drum and connects to an app for easy use.

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LG WashTower Electric Stacked Laundry Center with 4.5-Cu. Ft. Washer and 7.4-Cu. Ft. Dryer
Photo: Courtesy of Lowes

Laundry can seem like an endless chore when your hamper starts to fill up as soon as it's emptied. Whether you're doing laundry for one person or for the whole family, you'll need a washing machine that has the right load capacity, wash cycles, and features to meet your needs and keep your clothes clean..

However, picking out a new washer means more than just choosing between a front-loading or a top-loading machine. The best washing machines on the market not only remove dirt, stains, and smells from your clothes, they make the chore of washing even more intuitive and effortless.

According to Steve Sheinkopf, CEO of Yale Appliance, smart washing machines offer many useful features that you may want to consider. One feature Sheinkopf says is a winner is an automatic detergent dispenser. Fill it up with detergent—some models hold up to 40 loads' worth—and it will be dispensed in the correct amount for each load. This feature is not only a timesaver, but it's also a washing machine saver,

"Most people overfill the dispenser," Sheinkopf says. "The excess detergent remains in the washer and can become an expensive future service call."

We chose the GE UltraFresh Vent System Washer as our favorite front-loading washer because it deters bacteria growth inside the machine and it has a smartphone app so you can control it from the sofa. Our favorite top-load washer is the Maytag Smart Capable Top Load Washing Machine thanks to its quiet operation and variety of wash cycle options.

Whether you're looking for a smart device that you can control from your phone or simply a reliable, high-quality machine that'll last for years to come, there can be a lot to keep in mind.

Here are the best washing machines.

What We Recommend

Best Front-Load Washer: GE UltraFresh Vent System 4.8-Cu. Ft. Stackable Front-Load Washer

GE UltraFresh Vent System 4.8-Cu. Ft. Stackable Front-Load Washer
Courtesy of Lowes

Why You Should Get It: It's designed to minimize the growth of bacteria, which can be a common problem in other front-load washers.

Keep in Mind: This is not a high-efficiency washer, so it will use more water than other machines.

If your to-do list around the house is already overwhelming, the last thing you want is to monitor your washing machine to make sure the load runs properly and your clothes don't come out smelling mildewy. We love that the GE UltraFresh stackable front-load washer has a suite of features that allow you to run the machine without a second thought.

This smart washing machine connects to your WiFi and can be controlled through an app on your phone, allowing you to check on your laundry from anywhere, start and stop a load, and know exactly when the machine has completed a cycle. If you happen to hear a "clunk" coming from the laundry room, the patented re-balancing technology in this washer will actually rebalance an uneven load for you.

This machine also helps you avoid stinky laundry thanks to its odor-blocking vent system, which works to get rid of any extra moisture that can lead to smelly garments. This means your laundry will come out smelling fresh and clean, whether you use a scented detergent or not.

You don't have to worry about mildew building up, which can happen in front-loading washers, thanks to the anti-microbial technology that's built into this washer's gasket, dispenser, and draining system. These components slow the spread of bacteria in your washing machine, keeping your laundry and your appliance cleaner long-term.

If you're running short on time, you can choose the quick wash option for a lightning-fast wash on items that only need to be freshened up; otherwise, regular laundry loads will be done in 35 minutes. Plus, thanks to a reversible door, you can arrange your washer/dryer setup in whatever configuration your space needs.

Keep in mind that this washer is not a high-efficiency appliance, so it'll use more water and electricity to run than a high-efficiency washing machine would require.

Product Details:

  • Capacity: 4.8 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 28 x 32 x 39.75 inches
  • Number of Wash Cycles: 10
  • Smart Features: Yes

Best Top-Load Washer: Maytag 4.7-Cu. Ft. Smart Capable Top Load Washing Machine

Maytag 4.7-Cu. Ft. Smart Capable Top Load Washing Machine
Courtesy of Lowes

Why You Should Get It: It offers multiple cycle options and can even memorize which settings you use the most.

Keep in Mind: There is no setting that allows your clothes to soak in the soapy water before washing.

Manage your laundry from your phone or other smart device with this top-loading washer from Maytag. It turns laundry into a near-silent task, thanks to controls that absorb shock and keep vibration noises at a minimum. Because of this, you'll be able to work or sleep while the washer is running without being disturbed by the loud churning.

We like the broad range of wash cycles and features this machine offers, allowing you to pick the perfect setting for every laundry type and load. If your laundry is particularly dirty, there's an "extra power" button that adds a dual-temperature wash to any cycle to help fight stains. Or, you can choose the quick-wash cycle to speed through small laundry loads in under in a half an hour.

This top-loading washing machine has a wrinkle-control cycle, which helps to prevent wrinkles by washing laundry in warm water on a low spin cycle. The power agitator is also efficient at breaking up stains and keeping your clothing from clumping together.

If you've found the perfect cycle for your clothing, this machine will memorize your settings so you can reapply the same options for the next load. An auto sensor makes sure the water level inside is perfect for each load, though you can choose the deep-fill setting to help soak stains and soils out of your laundry.

This appliance comes with a 10-year limited parts warranty that covers the direct drive motor and the stainless steel wash basket.

Product Details:

  • Capacity: 4.7 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 41.56 x 27.86 x 57.25 inches
  • Number of Wash Cycles: 11
  • Smart Features: Yes

Best Features: Samsung 4.5-Cu. Ft. Front-Load Washer with Vibration Reduction

Samsung 4.5-Cu. Ft. Front-Load Washer with Vibration Reduction
Courtesy of Lowes

Why You Should Get It: This washing machine is one of Energy Star's Most Efficient appliances of 2022.

Keep in Mind: It doesn't offer app connection.

While app connection and smart features have their place, we also found during our search for the best washing machines that some of these added bells and whistles are more of a hassle than a convenience. However, the Samsung High-Efficiency Stackable washer has a myriad of special settings that actually make laundry day easier.

The machine has 10 wash settings to choose from, including one for active wear, which cleans sweaty clothes without making them dingy, and a bedding wash cycle for keeping sheets and comforters plush and soft.

You won't have to worry about the cycle stopping midway due to unbalanced clothing, either, thanks to an automatic setting that will rebalance the load. Plus, the washer drum is designed to remove water more quickly during the final spin cycle, so your laundry will be done faster. It even has a self-cleaning function that helps to remove bacteria inside the machine.

And while you can't control the machine through it, you'll be able to use the Smart Care app to diagnose any issues that may arise and get connected with a repair technician.

The Samsung washer has a slimline design with closet-depth measurements, so it can fit easily into most spaces. This doesn't mean you'll sacrifice laundry space, though—the large, 4.5-cubic-foot drum allows you to wash large loads all at once.. It also has vibration reduction technology, which will help reduce noise in your home when the washer is running.

To top it all off, this high-efficiency washing machine was named one of Energy Star's Most Efficient of 2022, meaning it requires less electricity and water to run than other appliances on the market.

Product Details:

  • Capacity: 4.5 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 27 x 31.375 x 38.75 inches
  • Number of Wash Cycles: 10
  • Smart Features: No

Best Budget: Whirlpool 3.8-Cu. Ft. High Efficiency Top Load Washer

Whirlpool 3.8-Cu. Ft. High Efficiency Top Load Washer
Courtesy of Best Buy

Why You Should Get It: It offers a lot of helpful features, including a quick cycle, a soaking mode, and a late-locking lid for any last-minute add-ins.

Keep in Mind: It has an agitator in the center of the drum, which can cause quicker wear and tear to clothes compared to those with an impeller.

When it comes to dirty clothes, this high-efficiency washer takes on grime and stains masterfully. With a dozen cycles to choose from, including bulk, quick wash, soaking mode, and more, you've got the right option for every item that lands in your laundry basket. The easy-to-use dials on the front of the washer make it simple to program to your preferred setting for effective cleaning every time.

The dual-action agitator helps rotate your laundry items so they get optimal cleaning and stain removing power. Just keep in mind that the agitator can cause more wear and tear on clothing compared to washing machines with an impeller, especially if you put them on the wrong cycle.

While this top-load washer isn't Energy Star-certified, it's still a high-efficiency model, so it uses less water and costs less to run than other washing machines on the market. It offers water level selection so you can pick the fill level that's appropriate for the load, or you can let the auto sensor do it for you. The deep-water wash option is also great for soiled laundry that needs to soak a bit longer.

It's got a stainless steel wash basket that won't snag on fabric, and with 3.8 cubic feet of space inside the drum, you'll be able to fit more laundry in every load. Forgot to add in that pair of socks? The late-lock lid allows you to re-open the washer even after starting a cycle to permit stragglers to join the party.

Product Details:

  • Capacity: 3.8 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 27.5 x 27 x 44 inches
  • Number of Wash Cycles: 12
  • Smart Features: No

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Best Stackable: LG 4.5-Cu. Ft. Stackable Smart Front-Load Washer

LG 4.5-Cu. Ft. Stackable Smart Front-Load Washer
Courtesy of Best Buy

Why You Should Get It: The allergenic cycle helps remove up to 95% of dust and dander from your clothes.

Keep in Mind: There's no light inside the drum, so it can be hard to see when adding or removing laundry.

While looks aren't everything when it comes to the best washing machines, the LG Stackable Smart Front-Load washer combines a sleek black steel finish and rose gold accents with intuitive washing capability.

The machine uses five jets to spray clothes from different angles to help wash large loads of laundry faster. With a variety of settings—including a steam function and specific cycles for bedding, towels, and more—this washer has plenty of capabilities to suit different laundry types.

No need to sort your clothing before putting them in the machine, either; this smart washer uses AI technology and sensors to automatically determine fabrics and select the perfect wash setting. Its allergenic wash cycle uses steam to help remove up to 95% of dander and allergens from your clothing, and the machine is even certified by the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America.

At 30.25 inches deep, this stackable washer from LG is shallow enough to fit in most closets, making it super easy to tuck away in your home and combine with your dryer (though you'll need to buy the stacking kit separately). With a 4.5 cubic-foot drum capacity, this washer still manages to offer plenty of room for your largest and heaviest loads of laundry.

Sync your washer to your smart device with the ThinQ app, and you can make your washer "talk" to the dryer to pick the right drying cycle. You can also use the app to start a load of laundry from anywhere, monitor the status of your laundry, and get feedback on your energy and water consumption.

This washer is backed by a 10-year limited warranty, and it was named one of the Most Energy Efficient of 2022 by Energy Star, which means it uses less energy and water than competing models.

Product Details:

  • Capacity: 4.5 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 39 x 27 x 30.25 inches
  • Number of Wash Cycles: 12
  • Smart Features: Yes

Best All-in-One: GE 2.4-Cu. Ft. Ventless All-in-One Washer Dryer Combo

GE 2.4-Cu. Ft. Ventless All-in-One Washer Dryer Combo
Courtesy of The Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: It's ventless, so you have more options for where to install it.

Keep in Mind: It has a smaller capacity than most regular washers and dryers.

A great way to save space in your homes is to find an appliance that both washes and dries your clothes, and this GE model is our top pick for the best all-in-one washer-dryer. No more pulling out a load of soggy clothes—just leave your laundry in this machine until it's all done.

You might think it would take up a ton of space, but this machine is only 23 inches deep and 25 inches wide, so it's easy to install just about anywhere in your home. There's no vent required to operate this all-in-one, so you can tuck it under a counter, in a closet, or in any other small space.

You don't even have to worry about adding detergent or fabric softener to a load manually, thanks to an automatic dispenser that does it for you at just the right time in the cycle. This GE also senses the correct dry cycle based on the load you've just washed, so all you have to do is fold and put the clothes away once it's complete.

The steam wash option digs deep into fabric to get rid of stains without damaging your clothes. There's also a sanitize cycle, which uses a hotter temperature to kill off bacteria and other household allergens. Forgot to add something to the wash? Press pause to unlock the door and you can toss it in.

Product Details:

  • Capacity: 2.4 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 33.25 x 23.5 x 25.63 inches
  • Number of Wash Cycles: 14
  • Smart Capable: No

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Best Laundry Tower: LG WashTower Electric Stacked Laundry Center with 4.5-Cu. Ft. Washer and 7.4-Cu. Ft. Dryer

LG WashTower Electric Stacked Laundry Center with 4.5-Cu. Ft. Washer and 7.4-Cu. Ft. Dryer
Courtesy of Lowes

Why You Should Get It: It's compact, but it has plenty of room for large laundry loads.

Keep in Mind: The gas-powered version is about $200 more expensive than the electric one.

If you're looking to maximize space in your laundry room, the LG WashTower is a great appliance that offers app connectivity, an easy-to-use control panel, and plenty of features. While it saves space by stacking the dryer on top of the washer, the large drum capacities of both appliances allow you to do more laundry in one load.

With five different temperature settings and six wash cycles with the washer and six drying cycles with the dryer, you'll have plenty of options to choose from when doing your laundry. The control panel for both appliances is at waist-height for easy use, and the connected app allows you to start a new wash or dry cycle from anywhere at the press of a button.

If you need something clean in a hurry, the speed wash cycle can complete a small load of laundry in only 15 minutes. Or, if you've got an extra-large load, there's plenty of room in the 4.5 cubic foot washer and 7.4 cubic capacity dryer. The washer has a stainless steel drum so it'll treat all of your fabrics gently.

Best of all, it's Energy Star certified, so you'll save on water and energy, which means you'll also save money.

Product Details:

  • Capacity: 4.5 cubic feet for washer; 7.4 cubic feet for dryer
  • Dimensions: 74.38 x 30.38 x 27 inches
  • Number of Wash Cycles: Six
  • Smart Features: Yes

Best Portable: Black + Decker 0.9-Cu. Ft. Portable Washer

Black + Decker 0.9-Cu. Ft. Portable Washer
Courtesy of Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: It doesn't require a traditional washer/dryer hookup; you can drain the water into a sink through the hose.

Keep in Mind: You can only wash medium-sized loads with cold water.

You don't need a dedicated laundry room or even a washer hookup to get your clothes clean thanks to this Black + Decker portable washer. There are five wash cycles—heavy, gentle, rapid, normal, and soak—and an LED display to let you know how much time is left.

Since it's approximately the same size as a clothes hamper, this washer is easy to store away without requiring tons of space. It's also more energy efficient than other portable washing machines because it runs on cold water, and you'll only need to clean out the built-in filter once a month. Just keep in mind that this washing machine requires high-efficiency detergent.

It connects easily to a faucet with a drain hose, and the adapter is included so all the dirty water can easily drain out of the machine without creating a mess. The drum has a capacity of 0.9 cubic feet and holds a little more than 6 pounds of laundry, which is big enough to fit a normal load. Its cycles run between 19 and 52 minutes.

Of course, you won't be able to get your comforter in this washer, but it's perfect for washing small- and medium-sized loads from the comfort of your apartment, dorm room, RV, or even a boat—basically any place with a sink.

Product Details:

  • Capacity: 0.9 cubic feet
  • Dimensions: 31.1 x 17.3 x 17.7 inches
  • Number of Wash Cycles: Five
  • Smart Features: No

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The Bottom Line

The best washing machines on the market will fit comfortably in your space, have a variety of wash cycles to suit different laundry types, and be super easy to use. Our choice for the best front-load washing machine is the GE UltraFresh Vent System Stackable Front-Load Washer because it has a variety of helpful settings and even minimizes bacteria growth inside the drum to keep your appliance clean and effective.

We also chose the Maytag Smart-Capable Top-Loading Washer as the best top-loading washing machine because it offers app connectivity and even remembers your favorite settings to make laundry day even easier.

What to Know About Washing Machines Before Shopping

Capacity

When shopping for the best washing machine, don't confuse capacity with the machine's dimensions; there are some machines that are compact in size but still have plenty of room to take on larger loads of laundry. Sheinkopf says that while previous generations might have been just fine with a 2.3 cubic foot top-load machine, today's best washing machinesare now as big as 7 cubic feet. "For the best value, you want to stay with 4.5 to 5 cubic foot max on a front-loading machine," Sheinkopf says.

With top-loading machines, you might be tempted to choose one without an agitator to have even more room, but Sheinkopf says the larger washers without agitators simply don't wash clothes as well. If you need a top-loading washer that can handle particularly soiled laundry, plan to shop for an appliance that has an agitator, not an impeller.

Drum Material

The drum is the rotating container inside the washer that holds the clothes. It's perforated to release the water when the wash cycle finishes. Drums are made from heavy-duty plastic, porcelain-coated steel, or stainless steel. The latter is best because it's much more durable and it's non-porous, which allows it to stand up to odors.

Wash Settings

There are washing machines that have upwards of a dozen wash and rinse settings and cycles. While having options is rarely a bad thing, you probably won't use all of them on a regular basis. Instead, the best washing machines will have various water temperature settings and at least a few fabric settings to accommodate different laundry types.

Your Questions, Answered

How do you clean a washing machine?

You should clean your washer every 30 loads or so to keep bacteria and mildew out of the drum, which is especially important in front-loading washers. Affresh tablets are one of the simplest ways to clean your machine—just drop one in and choose the clean setting on your machine.

If you'd prefer a natural method, sprinkle about half a cup of baking soda in the drum and pour 1 cup of distilled white vinegar into the detergent dispenser. Then, run it on a cycle with hot water. It should smell clean and fresh when it's through.

How level does a washing machine need to be?

Your washing machine must be on all four feet at all times to keep it running efficiently. A professional installer will ensure this is the case, but if you have an unbalanced load that knocks the machine off kilter, you'll need to get it leveled again. This is non-negotiable if you have a stacked washer/dryer or a laundry tower—it's a huge safety risk if it's uneven, as the entire set could tip over.

How much water does a washing machine use?

According to the Department of Energy, washing machines between 4 and 5 cubic feet use around 15 gallons of water per load. However, the best washing machines are Energy Star-certified, meaning they require up to 30% less energy and water than other competing models. This can save you a lot of money on your monthly energy bill.

Who We Are

Barbara Bellesi Zito writes about home and garden topics for Better Homes & Gardens. To compile this list, she researched a variety of the best washing machines from top brands based on their capacity, stain-fighting power, variety of wash cycles and settings, and smart technology features. She also consulted Steve Sheinkopf, CEO of Yale Appliance, for his expertise.

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