Best washing machine 2020: 7 models for every budget

From Maytag to Miele, we've reviewed the best washing machines for your clothing, bedding and textiles

best washing machine - real homes
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(Image credit: Miele)

Shopping for the best washing machine? Like many large appliances, a good washing machine is worth the investment and should be carefully considered. After all, the longevity of your clothes is dictated by how they are cared for and a machine that does a good job can not only help preserve your laundry, but make the task of doing so a tad more, dare we say, enjoyable. Finally, we also need to consider the running costs of any new washing machine – buying a top-quality version can save energy and money on your bills.

To speed up the decision-making process, we've reviewed the best models on the market, significantly narrowing down the overwhelming number of options available to you in every budget. We've covered everything from drum size to the variety of spin cycles. 

What is the best washing machine?

We rate the Samsung FlexWash washing machine as the best washing machine you can buy. It's smart, has extra-large capacity, and is eco-friendly, too. However, it is pricey, which is why we also want to highlight the LG TurboWash 3D. For under $800, it's packed full of special features typically reserved for higher-price models like smart phone connectivity, and voice control compatibility.

The best washing machines you can buy right now

best washing machine samsung flexwash

(Image credit: Samsung)

1. Samsung FlexWash Washing Machine

The best washing machine: huge drum, app control, dual washing, and energy efficient – what more could you want?

Specifications
Capacity: 6cu.ft.(Great for large families)
Energy-Star rated: Yes
Spin speed: 1300rpm
Finish: Black stainless steel
Dimensions: H46.9" x W27" x D34"
Reasons to buy
+Huge wash load capacity+Can be controlled from your smartphone+Reduced water consumption+Stylish design
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

Can't decide between a top-loader or a front-loader? Have we got a washing machine for you. Our top rated washing machine, the Samsung FlexWash, offers two separate washing drums; a top-loading 1cu.ft. drum, and a larger front-loading 5cu.ft. drum, which can be used separately for smaller loads to save energy and water, or in tandem to tackle extra-large loads. Combined with quick wash times, a long list of smart features, and a sleek design, this washing machine is easily our top pick.

Large capacity and efficiency

Designed with families, heavy clothing, and bedding in mind, this machine offers a generous 6cu.ft. load capacity for times when laundry threatens to swallow you whole. 

Another check in the efficiency column: The bottom washer features a superspeed cycle, which washes a full load in just 30 minutes. Need a clean uniform for the big game that starts in a couple hours? Day saved.

Smart technology

Smart washing machines are a full-blown thing now - and it's something we've looked into to find out whether the features are worthwhile in terms of the added cost. How does this one's work? You can manage your washing machine cycles, temperature, and spin speed from your smartphone, thanks to Samsung's SmartThings app. This innovative smart technology not only enables you to avoid returning home to a machine full of damp smelling clothing, since you can sync up your wash load with the time you'll arrive home, but it can also troubleshoot any minor issues before they become a bigger problem. 

Speed & noise level

The FlexWash features VRT plus technology that reduces wash cycle vibration by 40 percent, and motor that works without a belts or gears. What that means for you: a relatively quiet washing machine, even when it's working on overtime during its superspeed cycles. As for power, the machine will spin your clothes at up to 1300 rpm.

Reduced water consumption

Thanks to its use of steam particles, which penetrate fabrics more effectively than water droplets to wash your clothes, this machine requires a reduced rate of water consumption in order to function effectively. In addition to positive environmental impacts, this also reduces wash times.

Additional features

The Samsung FlexWash steam technology is also great for a few other reasons. Namely, the temperature level required to create steam (212°F) is much higher than a typical wash cycle (140-170°F), and is better at releasing odors and killing allergens. 

And finally, we love that the black stainless steel finish is fingerprint resistant. Because who wants to clean a washing machine?

Shop more washing machines at Best Buy.

best smart washing machine budget

(Image credit: LG)

2. LG TurboWash 3D

Best smart washing machine under $1,000: quiet, produces fantastic results and keeps the planet in mind.

Specifications
Capacity: 5cu.ft.** (Great for families)
Energy Star rated: Yes
Spin speed: 950rpm
Finish: Graphite, white
Dimensions: H44.5" x W27" x D28.38"
Reasons to buy
+Excellent results at all temperatures+Packed with smart features+Great price
Reasons to avoid
-No steam function

The convenience of a smart controlled washing machine can't be overstated--but id you don't want to shell out more than a grand to launder from afar, we can't exactly blame you. Which is why we love the LG TurboWash 3D. It's an app-controlled smart washer with impressive specs and lots of extras, and it costs only slightly more than our best budget washing machine (keep scrolling to find out what that is!).

Here's how this machine stacks up.

Smart control

As we mentioned, you have the option to control the LG TurboWash 3D with the brand's SmartThinQ app, which can ultimately help you to get better results from your wash: it'll alert you the minute your laundry is done, and also allows you to control key features on the washing machine like starting it and selecting a cycle.

Also cool: LG SmartThinQ works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so you can start your wash with a simple voice command. (Now if only we could get Alexa to do the folding).

Performance

This powerful-yet-gentle washer has a few unique technologies that make it tough on dirt, odors, and stains, yet easy on your clothes. The TurboWash3D technology causes forceful water streams that rub clothes together to create a deep scrubbing, and 6Motion technology, which uses up to six different motions in each wash cycle to help get clothes clean.

Extras

The washer is packed with them. A few of our favorite features include Lo-Decibel quiet operation, energy-saving cold-wash technology, and an easy dispense system that allows you to pour in your detergent, bleach, and fabric softener all at once and releases them at the right time.

Shop the top-selling washing machines on Amazon. 

best washing machine for families

(Image credit: LG)

3. LG WM9000HVA with SideKick

The best washing machine for large families: amazing clean and functionality, plus a massive 6.2 cu.ft. capacity

Specifications
Capacity: 6.2cu.ft.** (Great for families)
Energy Star rated: Yes
Spin speed: 1300rpm
Finish: Graphite steel, white
Dimensions: H41.25" x W29" x D25.75"
Reasons to buy
+Intensive stain removal+Loaded with smart technology+Extra-large drum
Reasons to avoid
-One of the more expensive models we've reviewed

If you've got a big family, then you'll be hard-pressed to find a better washing machine than the LG WM9000HVA. On its own, this mega washer has a 5.2cu.ft. drum capacity. But it gets even better (or should we say bigger?) because this machine is compatible with the LG SideKick pedestal washer, a pedestal that is also a separate washing machine with an additional 1cu.ft. capacity. We're calling this combination (LG markets it at a TWINwash package) the best washing machine for large families. The total capacity of the LG WM9000HVA and the SideKick pedestal is slightly larger than the Samsung FlexWash, at 6.2cu.ft. The high price of this combo knocked it out of our top-spot overall, though we do think all of the bonuses you get with this machine make it worth the money. 

Excellent capacity & energy efficiency

Like the Samsung FlexWash, the LG TWINwash package gives you two separate compartments for tackling double the laundry (or a fraction of it, you decide). In the LG model, the second drum isn't built in, and instead sits underneath the washing machine. The SideKick comes with a remote for easy operation, but we still find Samsung's top-loading design to be more convenient.

The LG WM9000HVA machine was rated one of Energy Star's most efficient of 2019, and its high energy rating and load-sensing water usage means running costs are low despite the washer's high capacity. LG's TurboWash® technology also cuts the wash time of large loads by up to 30 minutes.

Speed and noise level

This machine will spin your clothes at 1300 rpm, and features LG's TrueBalance anti-vibration and LoDecibel quiet operation systems, which keep rumbling to a minimum.

Smart technology

The machine is wifi-enabled and compatible with LG's THINQ® app, which allows you to control it from your phone.

Wash options

The LG WM9000HVA features 14 different wash programs, including ones for delicates, towels, and bedding, plus speed wash, heavy duty, and sanitary cycles. The Allergiene cycle operates at a high temperature and is designed to kill most common household allergens.

The LG SideKick also features a dedicated cycle for activewear, so you can extend the life of your yoga pants, sports bras, and performance gear.

Easy to maintain

Ease of maintenance and cleaning aren't something we usually consider when we buy a washing machine, but why not? This machine's tub clean technology means it will stay fresh without the use of harsh chemicals.

And, if something goes with the washing machine, the SmartDiagnosis feature will automatically detect the problem.

Shop LG washing machines at The Home Depot

best budget washing machine

(Image credit: GE Appliances)

4. GE GTW685BSLWS

Best budget washing machine: GE GTW685BSLWS

Specifications
Capacity: 4.5cu.ft.
Energy Star rated: Yes
Spin speed: 800rpm
Finish: White
Dimensions: H46" x W27" x D27"
Reasons to buy
+Programmed stain-removal settings+Active wear setting+Speed wash+Great value
Reasons to avoid
-No sound reduction -No smart technology

Our pick of the best budget washing machines, the GE GTW685BSLWS is all about no-frills function. It features specialty wash cycles, a large load capacity, automatic load balancing, and a dual-action agitator for powerful cleaning. It even has a few fun extras designed to preserve clothes and make laundry a little easier so you can hit that elusive laundry-basket-zero (which is even more satisfying than inbox zero) sooner.

Wash cycles to suit your load 

With a solid energy rating and 4.5-star reviews all-around, this is a good value model with a variety of specialty programs such as active wear, quick wash, auto-soak, and a dedicated Oxi cycle that's designed to work with the detergent for supreme sanitation. There's also a special stain guide for the washer, with pre-programmed settings for five common stains including blood, tomato, wine, dirt and grass.

Timer delay

This washing machine's timer delay allows you to set the wash at a time that suits you, while a digital program progress indicator keep you informed of the cycle’s progress. Always useful if you're getting ready to head out.

Speed and noise level

This machine will spin your clothes at 800 rpm. Unlike many of our other best washing machine picks, this one has no noise-reduction technology, but reviewers still agree that it's quiet.

Extra handy features

The glass lid is soft-close for a quiet, shatterproof shut. Also, many reviewers were thrilled with the machine's deep fill and soaking options, as the option has become harder to find among high-efficiency washing machines.

Shop more integrated washing machines at Home Depot

best compact washing machine- miele W1

(Image credit: Miele)

5. Miele WWH860WCS W1 Front Load Washer

Best compact washing machine: exceptional results in a scaled-down size

Specifications
Capacity: 2.26cu.ft (great for couples or individuals)
Energy Star rated: Yes
Spin speed: 1600rpm
Finish: White
Dimensions: H33" x W23.5 x D25.3"
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic at all temperatures+Very quiet spins+Scores high on usability
Reasons to avoid
-No steam on this model-Pricey

Tight on space? Try the Miele WWH860WCS W1, which is our top-rated compact washing machine. This front-loader is not only stackable, but it shaves about 3"- 4" off of the depth and width of more standard size washing machines, and up to 13" off the height (perfect if you're adding a dryer below!)

Design

At first glance, this Miele washing machine looks just like any other - a white cube with a door. It's not until you switch one on and its touch-screen display springs to life that it really livens up laundry time. Everything is controlled by the touch screen, and the tasteful LED lighting in the drum gives a pleasant view of the gleaming inner stainless steel construction.

Combined with its quiet and efficient ProfiEco motor, this washing machine doesn't cost the earth too as it comes in with incredibly low annual energy costs.

Smart control

The Miele mobile app can work across all Miele smart home appliances; from coffee machines to the washing machine. This means that you'll be able to get notifications about what your appliance is up to, and control it remotely too.

Performance

The Miele WWH860WCS W1 doesn't sacrifice performance for size, with one of the fasted spin-cycles of any model we reviewed (1600rpm). One of our favorite features of the washing machine is its TwinDos detergent-dispensing system, which features two integrated laundry detergent containers that automatically dispense the perfect amount of laundry soap for each load. And for that extra little 'boost' to clean or soften, there's Miele’s CapDosing system, which features individually-portioned detergent capsules which are incredibly convenient for specialty laundry applications or adding in a detergent booster.

The machine also offers a long list of cycles in the options menu with settings like Eco, QuickIntenseWash, and single wash for a solo piece of laundry.

best compact washing machine

(Image credit: Bosch)

6. Bosch 800 Series

Best compact washing machine runner-up: Petite power and German engineering

Specifications
Capacity: 2.29cu.ft.
Energy Star rated: Yes
Spin speed: 1400rpm
Finish: White
Dimensions: H33.25" x W23.5" x D25"
Reasons to buy
+24" size+Anti-allergy+Smart technology
Reasons to avoid
-Fewer feature than Miele

It's kind of amazing how much oomph is packed into this pint-sized washing machine. Although the Bosch 800 series washing machine is only 24" (the same size as our no. 5 best compact washing machine pick from Miele), it can wash five men's dress shirts in just 15 minutes, and has an EcoSilence motor that's extra quiet but still manages to deliver a powerful 1400 rpm (one of the fastest we reviewed).

Eco-friendly, speedy cycles + good wash results

One of the few 24" models that's rated by Energy Star, the Bosch 800 series uses sensor-controlled automatic washing programs and ActiveWater technology to ensure efficient energy and water usage. 

Lots of wash cycles

The Bosch 800 series has 14 built-in wash programs that should literally cover any type of laundry you've got. A few highlights: permanent press, quick wash, hand wash/wool,whitest whites, sanitize, and a super quick 15-min wash. It also has a drum cleaning feature.

Gentle on clothes

This is a washing machine with a drum designed to be gentle on your clothes. The washer features a wave-shaped drum, and adjusts its rotation direction based on load type: it uses steeper edges for heavy duty washes, and shallower edges for delicates.

Smart technology

The Bosch 800 uses the brand's Home Connect smart technology, which lets you start your laundry with your phone. Its EasyStart feature also guides you through selecting the best setting for your clothes you don’t have to guess.

Shop washing machines at Lowe's.

Best washing machine Maytag heavy duty

(Image credit: Maytag)

7. Maytag MVWB765FW High-Efficiency Top Load Washer

Best heavy duty washing machine: powerful cleaning and deep water options

Specifications
Capacity: 4.3cu.ft.(Great for families)
Energy Star rated: No
Spin speed: 900rpm
Finish: White, Carbon
Dimensions: H27" x W27.5" x D42"
Reasons to buy
+Speedy but thorough wash cycles+Eco wash cycles+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Not Energy Star rated

While all of the washing machines on our list meet minimum federal energy-efficiency standards, the Maytag MVWB765FW is the only one that isn't Energy Star rated. But it made an appearance because, if you're specifically looking for a heavy duty machine that's proven to get stains out and has a deep-water option, (and is still relatively energy efficient compared to models built a decade ago) this is an excellent pick.

Performance 

This heavy duty machine is all about results. It's the largest-capacity agitator washing machine available, it's been recognized for best-in-class cleaning ability, and its agitator and internal heater are designed to send detergent deep into fabric for optimal cleaning. The POWERWASH option adds heated water throughout the cycle to boost stain-fighting, too.

One of the best features is a fresh-spin option, which helps reduce wrinkles and odors for up to 12 hours when loads can't immediately be flipped to the dryer.

Wide range of cycle options

On one hand, this washing machine features Maytag's Quick Wash cycle, which cleans small everyday loads in just 15 minutes; a great choice for saving energy and time. On the other, there are options designed to tackle the toughest loads of laundry, like a steam-cleaning option and a heavy duty cycle.

Add as you go

The Maytag MVWB765FW comes with a Late Add feature, allowing you to add items to the wash after it has already started. Handy.

Shop Maytag washing machines at Home Depot.

How to buy the best washing machine

Front-loading or top-loading washing machine?

We're partial toward front loaders in most cases. Front-loading washing machines are excellent for tight spaces – think, in a closet or bathroom – since they can be stacked with a dryer to save space. They're also the obvious choice for under countertops or inside built-in storage that would prevent you from opening a top loader. 

And finally, front loaders don't have agitators (that column-like structure in the center of top-loading washing machines), which is notable for a few reasons. For one, agitators take up a lot of space, so you'll often get more cubic feet in a front loader than in a top-loader with an agitator. Also, washing machines with agitators are also harder on clothes than those without, so if preserving your clothing for the long-haul is important, a front-loader may be the way to go. 

Some high-efficiency top-loader models also come without agitators, so if that's the only thing stopping you from purchasing a top-loader, you may want to look for a model with no agitator instead.

All that said, front loaders do have their drawbacks, too; mainly that they're more difficult to load and unload since you'll have to bend down to do so. If you have mobility issues, you can add a pedestal to the base of the washer to raise it up, but you may still find a top-loader easier to use.

Special wash cycles

The most important thing to consider when buying a washing machine is the type of laundry you wash on a regular basis. Some washing machines come with special programs to tackle pet hair, tough stains on sportswear, work gear and school uniforms, while washing machines with short wash cycles are a great bonus for when you’re in a hurry. It's worth taking time to consider which of these settings will make laundry easier. We recommend considering a machine with advanced stain removal if you find yourself spending a lot of time pre-treating and even post-treating stains.

The basics

As well as the variety of programs offered, look at features like spin speeds, capacity in cubic feet, and standout features such as eco-cycles and special cycles for woolens, delicates, duvets and anti-allergy options. 

Load size 

The size of your average load of laundry will influence the size of the of the drum you need. If you're washing for a large family, 5-6cu.ft. will do; 4-5cu.ft. will do for an average family; 2-4 cu.ft. is big enough for single people or couples.

Noise level

Quiet washing machines are a good option if your laundry will be housed in a centrally located closet, or off a master bedroom, for example. Look out for washing machines with vibration control or noise reduction technology to ensure your machine doesn't cause a racket.

Energy Star ratings

Eco-wise, check the Energy Star rating and water consumption as well as half loads, timer delay, sensor washing and auto detergent dispensing, which detects how dirty the clothes are and adjusts the program and detergent accordingly for the most efficient wash. 

Smart washing machines

Some of the best washing machines come with WiFi connectivity so that you can operate them from your phone. Far from a gimmicky feature, this addition is perfect if you're tired of coming home to a washing machine full of damp smelling clothes and can be a lifesaver in the instance that your washing machine starts leaking.

Plus, selected models can do everything from ordering more detergent to selecting the amount of washing liquid and water each cycle needs. This means you'll reduce your water and energy consumption – and with that your annual bills.

Our top rated washing machine is a smart model, but if you're looking for more options we'd recommend heading over to our specialist guide: what is a smart washing machine and do I need one?

If you want more tips on how to buy a washing machine online then keep scrolling.

How often should I replace a washing machine?

A washing machine will usually last around 10 years. If yours is older than eight years old and is showing signs of wear or poor performance, first book a service and ensure you maintain it well with cleaning (use our guide to cleaning a washing machine to find out how). If poor performance persists, think about replacing it.

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