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The 7 Best Portable Washing Machines

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Lugging your hamper to the laundromat can be a total drag. The solution? A good portable washing machine. Available in a range of prices to suit most budgets, the best portable washing machines are compact enough to fit in small spaces, and feature spin cycles to wring out extra water. Some are tricked out with multiple temperature and agitation settings, and others are pared down and don’t even require access to electricity.

Most of these options are pretty compact, but some require more room than others, so be sure to measure your available space before buying. You’ll also want to consider capacity. If you’re just looking to do T-shirts, socks, and some underwear, you can get by with a capacity of around 5 pounds, but if you’re looking for something that can handle bedding and towels, you’re better off with something bigger. (The options on this list go all the way up to an 18-pound capacity.)

Another thing to consider is how high-tech you want to go with your washer, and machines are all over the place in this aspect. If you want to keep it straightforward (and a bit cheaper), you could opt for a machine with simple timer settings, but you’ll have to put in a bit more effort by draining and refilling the machine before running a rinse cycle. If you want something a little more hands off — go for a fully automatic option. These higher-priced machines also have more customization options, like different agitation settings (gentle, bulky, etc.), so you get a proper clean for whatever you’re washing. Some even have temperature options, so you can toggle between warm, hot, and cold water. On the other hand, if you’re off the grid — or want something super compact — go for a hand-powered crank washer that doesn’t require access to electricity. While it definitely requires more work on your part, it’ll get clothes cleaner than simple hand-washing, and is much easier on the wrists and fingers.

Picking the best portable washing machine for you and your space can be tricky. Here's a roundup of the best portable washing machines, so you can throw in a load and get back to your couch ASAP.

1

The Best Overall

  • What’s great: 10 washing programs, automatic, auto-balance adjustment, spin cycle
  • Size and weight: 19 x 19 x 33.5 inches, 51 pounds

The best portable washer — all things considered — packs a lot of punch despite its slim design. The honeycomb-shaped inner tub can hold up to 10 pounds of laundry per load (and if you aren't sure what 10 pounds of clothing looks like, the support manual comes with a handy reference guide to help you out). The Giantex portable washing machine also features a touchpad control panel with eight water levels and 10 washing programs — like fast, normal, blankets, and spin — to choose from, making this the most customizable pick on the list. Plus, there’s a delay function and a digital timer display, so you know just how soon your load will be done. This machine even features a "balance adjustment," which will automatically shift clothing so weight is equally distributed throughout the washer for efficient cleaning, every time.

According to one reviewer: "Fantastic washer, washes really well, functions just like a standard modern HE washer. You can select the water level based on the load size but even if you don't select the right water level, this machine will auto sense and correct the water level for you. The spin is fantastic, clothes come out practically dry. Although it may not look like it, this washer also holds a substantial amount of clothing.”

2

The Runner-Up

  • What’s great: 5 washing programs, auto-balance adjustment, spin cycle, cheaper than top pick,
  • Size and weight: 17.7 x 18 x 31.5 inches, 44 pounds

This portable washer is similar to the top pick, albeit with a smaller 6.6-pound load capacity and fewer washing programs. That being said, it has a more wallet-conscious price tag, so it’s good choice if you want to shell out a little less. It has five wash programs, like gentle, heavy, and rapid, as well as three load size selections and a spin cycle to wring out water. Like the first option, it has a digital timer display, so you can see how many minutes are left on the cycle, and it automatically corrects for any unbalanced loads. Plus, despite the relatively small capacity, reviewers have reported it can take on sheets and towels just fine.

According to one reviewer: “Basically this washing machine is just like a regular washing machine except that it's smaller and uses the sink as a hookup. It has different cycles (I love the 19 min 'rapid' cycle!), it spins everything at the end so they will hang dry quicker than when I handwash things myself. It says you should only use cold water, this has been fine for getting my things clean. [...] I waited until I had the washing machine for about a month to write a review, just to be sure I've really tested it out and I LOVE THIS MACHINE! I no longer dread doing laundry.”

3

The Best Budget-Friendly Washer

  • What’s great: wallet-friendly, 3 settings, compact size, separate spinner
  • Size and weight: 25 x 22 x 15 inches, 22 pounds

For a budget-friendly option, this compact portable washing machine hits all the right marks. It’s lightweight and small enough to fit into just about any closet or storage space, but the dual-tub washer and spinner helps you get clean and nearly dry clothes without having to leave the comfort of home. The wash tub holds up to 5.5 pounds of laundry — a relatively small capacity, so you may have to do multiple loads — while the spinner can accommodate up to 4.4 pounds. (Reviewers recommend being careful to not overload the machine, and have reported it’s a bit too small for sheets and multiple bulky towels.) Plus, this portable mini washing machine features three settings: standard, soft, and drain. It also features a timer for both wash and spin cycles so you can load your clothes, set the timer, and let it do its thing until the buzzer goes off.

According to one reviewer: "Game changer! [...] I set my clothes in it to soak overnight - this gets a TON of built up detergents, body oils, etc out of it. In the morning, I rinse them, spin them. Rinse again in water with fabric softener and spin nearly dry. Hang out to dry. My clothes are much nicer. Socks no longer crunchy from detergent build up.”

4

The Best Large-Capacity Washer

  • What’s great: large 18-pound wash capacity, 2 washing programs, separate spinner
  • Size and weight: 27 x 16 x 32 inches, 31 pounds

If you want to get more laundry done in one cycle, this large-capacity washing machine that can handle up to 18 pounds is for you. It also has a separate spinner that can accommodate up to 10 pounds, but you may need to run two cycles to spin all your washed clothes. Two dials let you set the wash on a timer of up to 15 minutes, and the spinner up to five minutes, while a third dial allows you to choose between a standard wash setting and drain. Despite its capacity, the washer weighs in at just 31 pounds, making it easy to move out of the way if needed.

According to one reviewer: “I live in a 400 sqft studio and use this to cut laundry costs. [...] Good capacity, even for the dryer. I can fit a twin-sized matelasse bedspread or a full-sized linen blanket in the spin dryer (as long as there's nothing else in there and I let some water run out before putting it in). [...] Overall, I'm SUPER happy with this. Even when I have a traditional washer/dryer setup, I may still keep one of these on hand...”

5

The Best Premium Washer — & One With 3 Temperature Settings

  • What’s great: 6 washing programs, 3 temperature settings, spin cycle
  • Size and weight: 20 x 21 x 37 inches, 77.8 pounds

If you don’t mind the higher price tag, this fully automatic portable washer is well worth the cost, and the closest you’ll get to a standard washing machine, thanks to its three temperature settings that let you dictate between warm, cold, and hot cycles — the only pick on the list with that feature. The machine also features six washing programs, including delicate, bulky, and normal, and three load size selections, plus a spin cycle. There’s a delay mode and a digital timer display, so you can see how much longer you have before your clothes are done.

According to one reviewer: “Turns out the Panda washer easily fits in the space and is just as good as a full-size washer with as many cycle choices as a full-size washer. This design is unique in the fact that it does not have a conventional agitator that takes up a lot of the space that could be filled with clothing. [...] The spin cycle is so effective that the clothes almost feel dry when pulled out. If you’re short on space this is the washer to buy.”

6

The Best Dual Washer & Spin Dryer

  • What’s great: separate tubs for washing & spinning, 2 washing programs
  • Size and weight: 25 x 15 x 28.5 inches, 29 pounds

This multi-tub washing machine features one tub for washing clothes and one tub for spinning them — that means they’ll take much less time to air dry once you complete both steps. There are two adjustable dials that allow you to choose the amount of time for wash and spin cycles (up to 15 minutes for a wash and five minutes for a spin), and the wash selector dial gives you options for normal, soft, and drain programs. Keep in mind that the washer tub holds up to 11 pounds of laundry (twice as much as the budget pick), while the spinner holds 6.6 pounds, so you may have to “dry” in two separate loads.

According to one reviewer: "We do not have the space for a washer/dryer in our RV. [...] The spinner works wonderfully and the clothes come out virtually dry. We just hang them up for a bit more and usually by the next day they are completely dry. The washer even stand up to our work clothes. We can wash fairly decent loads. The spinner takes smaller loads. No complaints at all!”

7

The Best Hand-Powered Machine

  • What’s great: no electricity required, great for small loads, takes up minimal storage space
  • Size and weight: 12 x 12 x 16 inches, 6 pounds

The most compact option on the list — and the best portable washing machine for camping — is the WonderWash. This model gets clothes clean with a human-powered hand crank, so access to an outlet is not necessary. Similar to hand-washing clothes (but more effective and a lot less tiring), it works in just one to two minutes, but you may have to run a couple rinse “cycles.” It’s budget-friendly and super lightweight, but according to the manufacturer, can still accommodate up to 10 T-shirts, or eight dress shirts, or two pairs of jeans. Of course, if you’re looking for something that can wash sheets, or a unit with multiple settings, this isn’t the pick for you. But if you’re on the road or just looking to wash basics between trips to the laundromat, this is a solid pick that takes up minimal space.

One reviewer wrote: “This will get your clothes cleaner than hand washing will. The rotation works on the same principle as a front-loading washer. It cranks easily, almost effortlessly. The trick is to turn it slowly. And yes, you should feel/hear the clothes dropping from one end to the other, just like they do in a front loader. I do find that, even using the recommended small amounts of detergent, at least several rinses are required. [...] I use mine out on the porch where I can fill it up with the hose, but it would work just as well in the kitchen or bathroom.”