Hand-washing your clothes by going to the dry cleaners’ or laundromat is a big hassle these days.
That is why washing machines have become a domestic necessity. While buying one, you will see half a dozen various types of washing machines.
If you are in the market to buy a washing machine, you will find 3 main types of washing machines which are top load agitator, front load, and top load impeller.
That makes it harder to choose one that does all the washing and doesn’t break down while washing.
“Why should I buy a certain type of washer when they all do the same job?” is what might have come to your mind.
But what is wrong with buying the one that fits your needs and makes washing clothes less laborious for you?
Now that we are on the same page, let’s dig deeper into the types.
From front-loading and top-loading to a washer-dryer combo and compact/portable ones, I have brought you a list of all the types of washers that you’ll find in the market.
Related: Washing Machine Brands to Avoid
Table of Contents
- Different Types of Washers You Need to Know
- 1. Front Load
- 2. Top Load
- 3. High-Efficiency Top Load
- 4. Washer Dryer Combo
- 5. Laundry Center
- 6. Free-standing Washing Machines
- 7. Integrated Washers
- 8. Semi-Integrated
- 9. Fully-automatic
- 10. Semi-automatic
- 11. Compact/Portable Washing Machines
- Top 5 Washing Machines (Our Pick)
- 1. Samsung WF45A6400A-Front-Loading Washing Machine
- 2. LG WashTower-Dryer-Washer Combo
- 3. GE HIgh-Efficiency Top Loader Washing Machine
- 4. Electrolux EFLS627UIW Front-Load Washing Machine
- 5. LG WM8100HVA Front-Load Washer
- FAQs on Types of Washing Machines
- What kind of washing machine cleans the best?
- What kind of washing machine should I buy?
- Which is better top loader or front?
- What is a better washer with an agitator or without?
- Do top load washers damage clothes?
- Steven Settles
Different Types of Washers You Need to Know
If you are in a hurry, here is a super quick overview of all the types that I will explain further in the article.
|Efficient, large capacity, can be stacked
|Expensive, long washing cycles, potential odor
|Easy to load, short washing cycles, compact
|High resource usage, lower cleaning performance
|High-Efficiency Top Load
|Water-efficient, shorter cycles, quiet
|Non-stackable, careful detergent use required
|Washer Dryer Combo
|Space-saving, all-in-one appliance
|Lower drying capacity, high water consumption
|Space-saving, attached appliances
|Limited features, expensive replacement
|Portable, budget-friendly, Variety
|Not incorporated, may disrupt room aesthetics
|Sleek design, quiet operation
|Expensive, difficult setup
|Partially hidden, easy control access
|Expensive, hard to find, difficult setup
|Time-saving, water-efficient, various designs
|Expensive, higher electricity consumption
|Affordable, water-efficient wash
|Time-consuming, lower cleaning quality
|Space-saving, portable, water-saving
|Limited load capacity, risk of flooding
Now, let’s scroll down to have a detailed look at each type.
1. Front Load
Front-loading washing machines are for their amazing cleaning properties. This type is one of the most popular in America and the UK.
Unlike normal washing machines, these don’t have agitators, and it rubs one article against another, which is why this whole cycle is not harsh on the clothes.
Front loads are one of my favorites because they don’t use a lot of water and all I have to do is fill it just below the door.
And secondly, what I like the most about these types of washing machines is their capacity.
Due to the larger interior, you can wash bigger and bulkier loads, and they will still come out clean.
In addition, front-load washing machines come with more cycle options. For example, for better stain removal, you can also add steam to the cycle.
They spin very fast, which extracts more moisture from the clothes, thus making the drying process faster and easier.
If you are short on space, this type can be a holy grail for you because it can be stacked with a dryer. All you have to do is buy a stacking kit to make sure the machines stay in place.
Cons of Front Load:
With all the features above, these washing machines are inevitably comparatively expensive.
They have very long washing cycles, and water often gets trapped in the washing machine, resulting in a malodor.
2. Top Load
The top-loading washing machine gets its name because it normally loads from the top.
These washing machines come with a cover on the top, making them easier to load and unload clothes.
Besides, top-loading washing machines have agitators that spin and clean the clothes by rubbing against each other.
Washing cycles of this type are a lot shorter. If you forgot to add your shirt, you don’t have to wait for the cycle to end because they allow you to add laundry in mid of the cycle.
With the initiative-to-operate and uncomplicated control panel, you don’t have to be an expert to operate this machine.
Also, top-load washing machines have minimal vibration, so you don’t have to hear that buzzing sound every time you wash clothes.
The compact design makes it ideal for those who don’t have a lot of space.
Lastly, if you find it hard to bend over or your back issues get worse by bending, a top-loading washing machine is what you should go for.
Cons of Top Load:
Unlike front-load, top-load washing machines use a lot of electricity and water.
If you have too many heavy items, your machine won’t do a great job which lowers the machine’s cleaning performance. The water is not completely drained out, and it lengthens the drying time.
3. High-Efficiency Top Load
Unlike traditional top loaders, HE top loaders don’t have agitators. So it can be used to wash bulkier items and larger loads.
The cleaning performance of these washing machines is almost equivalent to front loaders. And since they don’t have agitators, the washing cycles are also soft on clothes.
Top-loading washing machines use less water and need to be partly filled, allowing more room to load and saving energy.
Although this is a little more expensive than the traditional top loaders, it can still be affordable if you decide not to go for the high-tech design and other extras.
The washing cycles in HE top-loaders are shorter than in front-loaders. They take 60-80 minutes per wash, whereas front loaders take 75-120 minutes to wash a load.
Besides, these washing machines also don’t vibrate, which means your laundry sessions will be quiet.
Like the traditional ones, HE top-loaders cannot be stacked due to faster spin speeds and low water levels.
You need to be careful while using detergents because the suds can be difficult to rinse out due to less water.
4. Washer Dryer Combo
Okay, so let me make one thing straight and clear, a washer-dryer combo and a set of washers and dryers are two completely different things.
A washer-dryer combo is a single appliance with a single cabinet for the dryer and washer.
They don’t take up a lot of space, so it is a perfect choice for those living in apartments or small homes.
It might cost you a fortune if you buy a washer to rinse your clothes out and then a dryer to hang them dry. So much trouble it is, isn’t it?
However, you can save yourself from all this trouble with a washer-dryer combo that does all the job in just one go.
To me, this type of washing machine sounds like a jake-of-all-trades. This washing machine has a single tub that washes, rinses, and then dries the clothes.
Also known as fully-automatic, the machine automatically draws the right amount of detergent and water into the tub.
These types of appliances are found in various designs, from top loaders and front loaders to free-standing.
In addition, they also come with different cycle controls and temperature control options.
Although they can also handle small loads, you can put your sheets and towels in the washer too.
Cons of Washer Dryer Combo:
The drying capacity of the appliance is lower than the washing capacity. The cycle might seem longer because you have to wait for the first load to be washed and dried before adding the next load.
The water consumption in the washer-dryer combo washer is high because it uses a lot of water to dry.
5. Laundry Center
Laundry center washers are two appliances that come attached, and by attached, I don’t mean vertically.
These appliances, washers-dryers, are horizontally attached. These are a great alternative to those traditional side-by-side combos.
Although these types of washers are tall, they still don’t take up a lot of space, making them ideal for tight spaces, small apartments, and homes.
Unlike stackable washing machines, laundry centers are attached. So that is why you won’t have to worry about the machines sliding over each other.
Laundry centers are made, keeping the convenience of the users in mind.
Cons of Laundry Center:
Laundry center washers don’t have whistles and bells, so you have to keep checking whether the cycle has ended or not.
Suppose if one of the machines fails the other, you have to replace the entire laundry center, which can cost a lot.
6. Free-standing Washing Machines
As the name itself suggests, these types of washing machines are “free-standing.”
You can put it anywhere if you want, whether it’s in a spare room against a wall or just on a countertop in the kitchen.
Free-standing washing machines are also one of the most common and widely chosen types. You can easily find a free-standing washer for your needs.
Especially if you are a student and live in a small apartment, a free-standing washing machine would be the perfect one to buy.
Unlike the integrated ones, these washing machines don’t need a large room for installation.
Regarding installing free-standing washing machines, all you would be doing is plug it into an electric socket and connect it to a drain pipe.
Another plus point about free-standing appliances is a huge variety of models, colors, and sizes with a wide range of features.
These appliances are budget-friendly, so if your current washer kicks the bucket, you won’t have to spend dollars on replacing it. Also, you can feel free to take it with you when you move places.
Free-standing washing machines are not incorporated into the unit like integrated appliances.
They might stick out and somehow spoil the overall look of your kitchen/laundry room.
7. Integrated Washers
Unlike free-standing ones, Integrated washing machines can be built into a unit.
All the appliances are covered by a uniform layer that gives your kitchen a single surface appearance making it more sleek and aesthetic.
These types of washers are comparatively heavy. Therefore, they are mostly mounted on a lower level to support their weight.
You can also mount them on chest level if you want. Mounting it at a chest level gives you more access and makes it easy to load and unload.
Integrated washing appliances are rarely used outside the kitchen because they need support from kitchen units.
They stay out of sight because you can easily fit them into a cabinet and when you’re done with your laundry, just close the cabinet. The best thing about these washers is that they operate quietly.
The dimensions of integrated washing appliances are the same for all brands. So in case, you have to swap the older one, you won’t have to redo the furniture to fit the new one.
Cons of Integrated Washers:
Integrated washers are not easy to set up, so you’ll need an expert to do all the work. In addition, they are really expensive.
So if you have enough money to splurge on these washers, integrated washing machines are your thing.
Semi-integrated washers are a subcategory of integrated washing machines. However, they are not easily available in the market.
These also fit inside the cabinet like the previous ones, which doesn’t let these washers be a spot on your kitchen’s beauty.
But the only difference is that although semi-integrated appliances sit within the cupboard, the machine’s upper part is left hanging.
It gives you easy access to the control panel of the machine. Also, it makes it easy for you to keep a check on your wash cycles.
Other than this, semi-integrated washing machines are the same as fully-integrated washers.
Like the integrated washers,semi-integrated ones also come with a hard setup. So for non-techy people, this might be a little headache. Moreover, they are not easy to find, and replacement can be an issue.
And not to forget that they are expensive so buy them only if you have a high budget to buy a new one now and then.
If you have a busy lifestyle and don’t want to waste your time-shifting clothes from the washing tub to the drying tub? Well, then this is the type you should be going for.
Fully-automatic washing machines are designed to make your laundry easier. Besides, you can also find fully-automatic washers in various load capacities.
You wouldn’t have to supervise your washing machine every time. The washing and drying take place in a single tub, and all you have to do is put your laundry into the machine.
You just have to line-dry them. Fully-automatic washing machines use less water which makes them a pretty efficient choice.
You can find front load fully-automatic washers and fully automatic top loaders as well.
Although going for a fully-automatic front loader would be a nice idea as the top load appliances have agitators which can damage your clothes.
Fully-automatic washing appliances come with smart control and many features that consume more electricity.
These types of washers are very expensive. Although the price is justifiable, you can still find more affordable options in the market.
As the name itself suggests, semi-automatic washers need humanitarian supervision. You’ll find a variety of designs in semi-automatic washing appliances.
While some would only require you to add water and detergent, some come with two tubs.
In this scenario, you must remove the items from the washing machine and place them in the drying machine.
Moreover, these are more affordable compared to the fully-automatic washers.
Washing clothes in a semi-automatic appliance doesn’t need a lot of water; only the rinsing does. These also comparatively weigh less.
Moreover, semi-automatic washing machines also require a lot of water. Shifting clothes take up a lot of time.
The washing quality of these washing machines is also not as good as that of fully-automatic ones. Although they don’t weigh that much, they still need more storage.
11. Compact/Portable Washing Machines
Just like the free-standing washers, you can place compact or portable washing machines anywhere you want.
You need an electric socket and a drain pipe. The best thing about these washers is that they weigh almost nothing, and you can easily take them anywhere you want. And you can put them in a cupboard when not in use.
Portable/compact washers are a great alternative for those who live in small apartments.
Because there is no such place to hang clothes, you would be washing clothes in small loads.
These washing appliances use sink water to don’t need a permanent water line connection. So overall, using a portable washing machine will also save you a lot of water.
However, the cleaning performance of a compact/portable washing machine is not as great as a full-size washer.
These washers also have a very small load capacity which means more wash cycles and time.
Since their water come from the sink, you might have a risk of flooding up the floor if not careful.
Top 5 Washing Machines (Our Pick)
There is a hell of a lot of brands that sell washing machines, and I find it very overwhelming to find the right match.
However, rest assured because here are a few of the best washing machines that you’ll find easily in the market.
1. Samsung WF45A6400A-Front-Loading Washing Machine
- AI-Powered Smart Dial
- Direct Drive Motor
- VRT Plus Technology
- Wi-Fi Connected
- Swirl Drum
- Energy Star
Samsung is one of the world’s leading electronic companies, and the WF45A6400A is their top-of-the-line washing machine.
It’s a front-loading model with a stainless steel tub and comes with a wide variety of features.
The built-in Wi-Fi connection allows you to connect your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to the machine, accessed through the smart app.
It also has a “multi-control” feature that allows you to choose the cycle based on your laundry needs.
There are also several preset cycles for different types of laundry, including delicate, regular, and heavy-duty. You can set your own settings, too.
It’s an excellent choice for people looking for a top-of-the-line front-loading washer.
It’s also great for families as it will save you a ton of time and effort, it is easy to use and clean, and it will help you get your laundry done faster.
- It is an AI-powered smart dial washing machine with an app that helps you customize and monitor your wash cycles.
- Even if you are not near your washer, you don’t have to worry about the cycle ending because it recommends wash cycles.
- There is a wide range of cycles from steam-sanitized wash to self-clean setting.
- It is stackable to stack a dryer if you feel the need to do so.
- The spin speed f this washing machine is 1200 RPM, which is very low compared to other washers.
2. LG WashTower-Dryer-Washer Combo
If you’re looking for a compact, convenient laundry solution for your home, this LG WashTower-Dryer-Washer combo is exactly what you need. It has a sleek design that’s perfect for small spaces and is super easy to operate.
This 2-in-1 comes with a 3.4 cubic-foot dryer and a 4.5 cubic-foot washer, which is enough to wash and dry a large load.
LG WashTower comes with an uncluttered control panel located in the center, making it easy to reach.
The integrated sensors adjust the water temperature according to the load size and fabric texture.
The built-in steamer curbs wrinkles and sanitizes your clothes. This LG WashTower-Dryer-Washer combo will be a great addition to any laundry room.
- This 2-in-1 is 3.5 inches shorter than average dryer-washer stack combos.
- It comes with a 7.4 cubic-foot dryer and a 4.5 cubic-foot washer that is enough to wash and dry a large load.
- LG WashTower comes with an uncluttered control panel located in the center, making it easy to reach.
- This combo also has integrated sensors that adjust the water temperature according to the load size and fabric texture.
- The built-in steamer curbs wrinkles and sanitizes your clothes.
- The wash cycles for large and heavy loads require a lot of time.
3. GE HIgh-Efficiency Top Loader Washing Machine
GE is a well-known name in the tech industry, and its top-load washing machine is no exception.
It has a lot of interesting features that make it a great choice for people looking for a reliable appliance.
Their front-load washing machine has an innovative Dynamic Balancing technology, which reduces vibrations and noise during the washing cycle.
It has a Wi-Fi connection option that allows you to connect it to Amazon Echo, IFTTT, and Google Assistant, and it can be controlled remotely through voice commands.
It’s equipped with a water level indicator that lets you adjust water levels with a single touch.
With the help of its intelligent sensors, the washing machine can detect the fabric type, fabric weight, and fabric color, so you can customize the washing cycles according to your needs.
The machine also has an extra rinse option that helps remove fabric softeners, detergents, and other stains on your clothes.
You can also remove stains with a warm rinse and a deep rinse. The machine is also equipped with a self-clean option, which helps clean the inner components of the washing machine without the need for manual cleaning.
So if you want a washing machine that’s easy to use and offers many useful features, then this is the one for you.
- The innovative, dynamic balancing technology provides you with reduced vibration and quiet washing cycles.
- You can customize the water levels according to your need with a single touch.
- It also has a Wi-Fi connection option that connects it directly to Amazon Echo, IFTTT, and Google Assistant.
- You can also remove fabric softeners, detergents, and other stains with an extra rinse, warm rinse, and deep rinse.
- There is always dampness in the clothes after each wash cycle.
4. Electrolux EFLS627UIW Front-Load Washing Machine
We have found the Electrolux front load washer to be quite good. It’s been a good performer over the years, and the latest models have improved its performance even further.
In particular, we’re impressed by the new LuxCare wash system. This is a wash system that provides temperature control and improved wash actions.
It’s not as intuitive as some other systems, but it delivers better results than the previous models.
The smart-Boost technology provides high-quality stain removal. The steam cycle can remove tough stains without damage to the fabric, and you won’t need to use a separate stain removal product.
Electrolux also provides you with a choice of three wash cycles. They’re quite short at 15 minutes each, so they’re ideal for people who don’t have a lot of time to spend washing their clothes.
They’re also very easy to use, and the dispenser is adaptive, so it works with all detergents. You can get a full list of detergents here.
Overall, this is a good front-load washer. If you’re looking for a powerful machine that’s going to get the job done, then this is a great option.
- The smart-Boost technology provides high-quality stain removal.
- It has a great cleaning performance due to the perfect steam cycle that kills 90% of bacteria and 95% of allergens.
- With the LuxCare wash system, you’ll get temperature control and improved wash actions.
- The wash cycles are very short-15 minutes only.
- It also comes with an adaptive dispenser that provides amazing cleaning irrespective of detergents.
- The wash cycles are longer than the average washer, and t also doesn’t clean the clothes well if only detergent is used.
5. LG WM8100HVA Front-Load Washer
It comes with a huge capacity, which is ideal for those who do a lot of laundry in a week.
The washer can handle large loads of laundry with ease, making it easy to fit all your clothes into the machine. This is due to its large capacity of 5.2 cu. ft.
LG WM8100HVA is also very efficient, with an energy consumption of 125 kWh/y.
This means that it’ll save you around $50/year on electricity bills, which is a pretty big saving if you have a lot of laundries to do in a week.
The LG WM8100HVA is also very quiet, with a noise level of 28 dBA. This is lower than most other front-loaders on the market, so you won’t have to worry about the noisy operation every time you do the laundry.
It has several washing cycle options, including extra rinse, steam, and prewash. The washer can handle regular wash cycles.
So if you’re looking for a front-loading washer with excellent capacity and great performance, then get the LG WM8100HVA. It’ll definitely make your life easier and will save you a lot of money.
- Due to the capacity to handle large loads.
- It comes with various wash cycle options, including extra rinse, steam, and prewash.
- LG WM8100HVA offers a quiet operation, so you won’t have to worry about a buzzing sound every time you do the laundry.
- It also offers an energy consumption of 125 kWh/y.
- The door needs to be left open after use because there have been complaints about residual water in the gasket.
FAQs on Types of Washing Machines
What kind of washing machine cleans the best?
Front-load washing machines are known for their amazing cleaning performance.
They remove even the toughest stains more easily while using 40% less water and consuming 50% less electricity.
What kind of washing machine should I buy?
Choosing the type of washing machine should depend on your needs and requirements. However, front-loaders are the outright winners due to their efficiency.
Which is better top loader or front?
As compared to top-loaders, front-load washing machines are more water and energy-efficient.
Front-loaders are very soft on the clothes, while top-loaders come with agitators that damage the clothes. Also, the load capacity of a front-load washing machine is 4 cubic feet to 4.9 cubic feet.
What is a better washer with an agitator or without?
Agitators take up a lot of space in the washers and are harsh on clothes. At the same time, non-agitator washers allow you to add larger loads.
They also use less water and still provide great cleaning results. So, non-agitator washers are better than the ones with agitators.
Do top load washers damage clothes?
Yes, top-loaders mainly have aggressive agitators that can be rough on fabrics, thus damaging the clothes.
High-Efficiency top-loaders use less water and spin fast, which tangles the clothes. This tangling can be harsh on fabrics as well.
No matter what type of washing machine you choose, make sure it is what you are looking for or need based on your current situation.
Once you know your priorities, you can then start your hunt, and there are tons of reliable brands out there.
Make sure to choose one that not only does a great job but also doesn’t break down after a single wash.
So what type of washer are you going for? If you have any questions, feel free to comment below, as I would love to answer your questions.
Steven Settles is an ISCET-certified master in appliance repair. He has aced the National Appliance Service Technician Certification Exam, showcasing his exceptional diagnostic and repair skills. With an in-depth understanding of the latest repair technologies and a keen eye on evolving industry standards, Steven is a go-to expert for any appliance issue.