While front loading washers are gaining popularity each year, there are some definite pros to top-loading washing machines. For one, many people find them easier to load and unload, a plus if you have mobility issues. They're also less likely to incur mold and mildew problems than front loaders. Finally, sometimes a top loader simply suits your space best, especially if your laundry is in a tight spot and there isn't clearance to open a front-load washer.
So, if you've settled on finding the best top-loading washing machine for your home and budget, keep reading, because we've combed through dozens of best-selling models to find the top performers.
Below, we've broken down our list into two sections, one for U.S. readers, and one for those in the U.K.
We've also written a guide on the best washing machines, if you're open to front loaders, too.
Shopping in the UK? Click below for UK options...
How we chose the best top loading washing machines
To choose the best of the best, we evaluated our top-loading washing machine contenders on a number of criteria, including:
- Drum capacity
- Energy efficiency
- Wash cycle options and special programs
- Added features like wifi or steam
- Style and design
- User reviews
What is the best top loading washing machine?
In our opinion, the best top loading washing machine currently available comes in the form of the LG Electronics WT7300CW Smart Top Load Washer (opens in new tab). It's got an extra-large 5 cu.ft. drum capacity, an Energy-Star rating, and can be controlled using LG's SmartThinQ app. Plus, it's under $1,000.
Read on to find out more about the LG WT7300CW, and check out our other top picks.
The best top loading washing machines you can buy right now
Our top pick if you're on the hunt for a toploader washing machine with smart capabilities, the LG WT7300CW Smart Top Load Washer (opens in new tab) is easy to use and energy efficient, too. Here's everything you need to know about it:
Connect to your smartphone for ease of use
Wifi enabled, it's possible to operate this model from your smart phone. Far from being a gimmicky feature, this means you'll never have to worry about returning home to a washing machine full of damp smelling clothes again. Simply start your laundry from the app to sync up with when you'll be home. Plus, in the instance that your washing machine does malfunction, you'll be able to troubleshoot the issue before it gets out of hand.
Impressive energy efficiency
One thing we love about this model is its energy efficiency. It's designed to conserve energy and water with each load, and features Cold Wash technology that allows you to get similar results to a warm wash cycle without using any hot water.
Deep fill option
For the times when you do have a heavily soiled load of laundry, the machine features a deep fill option which adds extra water to the cycle for supercharged cleaning power.
Perfect for large families, this model offers an impressive 5.0 cu.ft. wash capacity which, in real terms, means it's large enough to wash a king sized comforter and full set of bedding in one cycle.
10 year warranty
Proving it's designed to stand the test of time, this model comes with an impressive 10 year guarantee.
Perfect for those who are always on-the-go, this top load washing machine offers a speedy clean, with wash cycles taking as little as 15 minutes.
This sleek Samsung top-loader features much of what we like about our top pick from LG, including energy efficiency and a large drum, but it lacks wifi connectivity and can't be app-controlled. However, this machine does have a steam function, which is great for eliminating allergens and penetrating tough stains even without pre-treating. So if the added cleaning power of a steam setting outweighs app-control for you, then this Samsung washing machine is an excellent option.
Despite its wide range of cycle options, including Activewash, a built-in soak feature for pre-treatment, this machine still manages energy efficiency, and is Energy Star certified. It's estimated that this machine will only cost you $20 per year to run.
As we mentioned, the steam function on this machine is a definite plus. Steam helps penetrate and release stains, and is also effective at killing allergens and bacteria.
This is one of the best-looking machines on our list thanks to the fingerprint-resistant black stainless steel finish and digital display.
The Maytag High-Efficiency Metallic Slate Top Load Washer (opens in new tab) is perfect for those who regularly expect their washing machine to tackle stubborn stains. Its stylish design, reliable performance, and budget-friendly price point make this model a best seller. Here's why:
If you have a job that requires getting dirty (or a child under age five), you'll find this model's deep-fill setting handy. It adds extra water to the wash cycle, which helps breakdown stains and dirt on heavily soiled garments. According to Maytag, this option is best suited for towels, and sturdy fabrics like denim or cotton sweatshirts.
Pre-programmed wash cycles
Complete with a handy Rapid Wash function, this machine reduces cycle lengths, helping users clean loads faster.It also offers a delay-start, so you can plan the laundry around your schedule.
Thanks to a sturdy design and wash basket constructed from stainless steel, this model can boast an impressive 10 year guarantee. So, you won't have to worry about a replacement in the near future.
A variety of cycle settings
Customize your cycle to best suit your needs, thanks to 11 handy wash cycles – including bedding, delicates, rapid wash, wrinkle control and more – as well as five temperature settings.
Another high spec top load washing machine from Maytag, the Maytag 5.2 Top Load Washer (opens in new tab) offers all the benefits of our top pick, but with a greater load capacity. Here's everything you need to know about it:
Large load capacity
Whether you're doing the laundry for a large family, or want to reduce your environmental impact by doing larger, but less frequent wash cycles, this is a good choice for you.
Remove stains with ease
If you come face-to-face with stains, all too often – any parents or clumsy red wine drinkers, out there, will relate – you'll be pleased to hear about the handy deep fill setting that this model offers to tackle just that problem.
Plus, the addition of a handy agitator is perfect for those stains that require concentrated cleaning.
Efficient wash cycles
Complete with a handy Rapid Wash function, this machine reduces cycle length, again, helping users clean loads faster. In the long term, that means cheaper, bills, too.
Like our first pick, thanks to a sturdy design and wash basket constructed from stainless steel, this model can boast an impressive 10 year guarantee.
A variety of cycle settings
Again, this model allows users to customize their cycle to best suit a specific need. As many as 11 wash cycles – including bedding, delicates, rapid wash, wrinkle control and more – as well as five temperature settings mean users are sure to find something that suits.
Another option that comes highly recommended is the Magic Chef Compact Washer (opens in new tab), thanks to its range of wash cycles and variety of convenient features, it's easy to see why it's a top seller:
Easy to use control panel
Thanks to its easily accessible control panel – which we think makes it perfect for the elderly – this model offers convenient access to an impressive variety of wash options. This includes six fully automatic wash cycles, three water levels and three temperature settings. Ideal.
Delay start function
Perfect for those who are tired of returning home to a machine full of damp smelling clothes, the option for a delayed start means you can start a wash cycle at the time that's most convenient to you.
This compact size is ideal for couples or those who live alone, as well as city living and pint-sized utility rooms. It boasts the same durable construction and features – including 3D waterfall and filter – of a larger model, but at a fraction of the size.
If you're looking for a reliable, quality machine to get the laundry done without spending a fortune, this Amana top-loader is for you. It's got a great reputation among reviewers from Home Depot, Lowe's, and Best Buy, and rings up under $400.
While the capacity on this machine is smaller than many of our top picks, it's still large enough for a family of three or four (larger if you don't mind throwing in a load of laundry more often).
Dual action agitator
One of the reasons many people swear by a top load washing machine is the agitator. Agitators are tougher on fabric than an impeller or the tumbling mechanism used by front load washing machines, but they're also known for being tougher on stains and grime. If you're all for an agitator, this machine's dual action system is made up of two parts designed to scrub clothes throughout the entire cycle.
Range of wash cycles
You get all the standard wash cycles with this washer – including delicate, cold wash, normal, drain and spin, and casual. Though there aren’t tons of specialty cycles, you still get the clean-washer cycle, which helps keep your washing machine free of soap scum and any odor-causing bacteria.
Today's washing machines are decidedly high tech, with options like steam, wifi, delay start, active wear cycles, and more. But if you're the kind of person who sets your washing machine to one cycle and uses it load after load, why pay for all of the upgrades you won't use? This machine is straightforward, easy-to-use, and reliable.
Best UK top load washing machines
A slimline solution that's perfect for apartments, as well as small kitchens and utility rooms, the Whirlpool TDLR60210 Top Loading Washing Machine (opens in new tab) offers all the benefits of a full sized model, but at fraction of the size.
Despite its 6kg capacity, sense technology ensures this machine monitors the size of each unique wash load, adapting the wash cycle to reduce both the length and the amount of energy required in a cycle.
Wash at low temperatures
One of the easiest ways to reduce energy consumption is by washing at a low temperature. Luckily, this model offers the same wash performance at 15 degrees as it does at 40. Plus, it comes with an efficient A+++ energy rating.
Tired of coming home to a washing machine full of damp smelling clothes? Thanks to fresh care technology, that no longer has to be the case. With the option to tumble clothes for up to six hours after the completion of a cycle, this machine keeps clothes fresher for longer.
Another slimline option, the Hotpoint WMTF722HUK Freestanding Washing Machine (opens in new tab) offers a slightly larger capacity than other similar designs. Plus it comes with a range of programs – including a one hour wash cycle.
Perfect for slotting into a small kitchen, utility room or even an airing cupboard, this model offers all the benefits of a full sized model, but at a fraction of the size.
Quiet spin cycles
If leveled correctly, this model offers a quieter spin cycle than the majority of its competitors, making it the ideal option for apartments or small houses.
How to buy the best top loading washing machine
Where to buy the best top load washing machines
When it comes to buying the best top loading washing machine, there are a few factors worth considering if you want to get the most for your money. These include:
As well as the variety of programs the machine offers, look at features like spin speeds, capacity and energy-efficiency. Whether you're doing the laundry for an entire family, or wash a lot of sportswear or delicates, you'll want to look out for a top loader washing machine that suits your specific requirements.
If you're washing for a family, or want to reduce your environmental impact by doing larger washes less frequently, look for a machine with a capacity above 4 cu.ft.
Shopping for something to suit a small space? If you're a couple, or live by yourself you can afford to downsize to something under 4 cu.ft.
Opting for a machine that comes highly rated for energy efficiency will not only reduce your environmental impact, but will lead to less expensive bills, too. Look for the Energy Star certification as an easy indicator of a machine's energy efficiency. Don't see one? Look a the machine's Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) Rating.
Many of best top-loading washing machines on our list have added features that improve performance or simply make them more convenient to use. A few to look out for? Wifi-connectivity, steam cycles, and smart-dispense technology.
Looking for more washing machine advice and inspiration?
- How to clean a washing machine
- Best laundry hacks ever: 16 ways to get washing and ironing done faster and better