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5 Best Top Load Washers

by Albert Lee Appliance

A man in a yellow shirt grabbing items out of a Whirlpool top load washer

At a Glance:

Why Are Top Load Washers Good?

Why Aren’t Top Load Washers Good?

5 Best Top Load Washer Models

Why Trust Us?

Despite their attractive looks and high-efficiency performances, front load washers are not the market’s most popular type of washing machine. That title belongs to top load washers, accounting for over half of the overall sales in 2020 alone. This data suggests buyers are more concerned with how a washer works — even if it’s at higher energy and water consumption costs and builds that can look outdated. But shoppers will be happy to know that sticking to tradition could come with some pleasant perks, as long as you have one of our best top load washer picks in the laundry room.

Don’t get us wrong. There are still some drawbacks when it comes to front loaders vs. top loaders; we’ll fill you in on those, as well as how much you can expect to spend on one of these machines. Then, we put our appliance experts to the test to find the best top load washing machines, narrowing our results to five models from some of the biggest names in the industry. All the details are inside.

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Top Load Washers

Why Are Top Load Washers Good?

A graphic cutaway showing the capacity of a GE Profile 900 Series top load washer

Let’s start off on a positive note — are top load washers better? To each his or her own, but for what it’s worth, agitator washing machines really do offer a robust lineup of advantages. The following are the major selling points for top loaders.

✅ Top Load Washers are Affordable

There’s not much more to say here. While you can find a top load washer starting under $600, you’ll be pressed to find a front load washing machine priced below $950.

✅ Deep fill saturates big loads better

Top load washers have a deep tub, whereas front loaders take the drum and rotate it on its side. That allows the machine to use half the water and eliminate the agitator, but it also limits how much of the tub is actually usable. 

Many top load washers have a deep fill option, which uses the maximum amount of water to fully soak the largest loads for a more thorough wash. For some users with height challenges, this is a drawback, but considering the extra depth cuts down on load count (i.e., a deeper tub washes larger loads, which means fewer cycles), it’s a minor inconvenience.

✅ Top Loaders Provide Heavy-Duty Cleaning

The washer spindle is the best way to remove stains from clothes — plain and simple. Let us be clear. We’re not saying front load washers aren’t effective at removing messes from clothes, but they do lack the mechanical action top loaders do, which is key in lifting fabric stains.

Why? An agitator creates more friction, which physically rubs dirt, grease, and other accidents from your wardrobe with better results.

✅ Add Items Later in the Wash

Few things are more annoying than forgetting to add that one specific article of clothing to a wash and not being able to add it until the next load. This is the reality with most front load washers, and while newer models do allow users to stop a load mid-cycle to add a garment, it requires full tub drainage. That’s wasteful and inconvenient.

On the other hand, last-minute items can be added to top load washers as long as the lid locking mechanism is off (it usually locks during the spin cycle).

✅ Skip the Mold Drama

By far, the number one issue users have with front load washers is mold and mildew. The problem can occur around the door gasket and inside the detergent dispenser, and once it happens, it’s an ongoing battle to keep it at bay. On top of being smelly, mold and mildew that grows on a front load washer can be harmful to the health. To avoid mold growth, manufacturers recommend wiping the gasket dry after each wash and keeping the door open — or, in other words, you’ll need to add a few steps to your laundry routine.

Why Aren’t Top Load Washers Good?

Even with all the incentives we’ve mentioned above, top load washing machines still have a few tradeoffs. Consider the following.

❌ Can’t be Stacked

Bad news if you’re working with limited laundry space. While they’re more affordable, top load washers don’t save space since they cannot be stacked. Not even with a special stacking kit, in case you were wondering.

❌ Harsher on Fabrics

On the flip side of the coin, a washer agitator might not be the best option for more delicate fabrics. Materials such as denim and canvas are okay, and top loaders with a delicate wash cycle do reduce damage, but overall, top loaders show significantly more wear than front loaders.

❌ Use More Water

In fact, tests have shown that, on average, front load washers save five gallons of water compared to top load washing machines. In the long run, that equates to lower utility bills, especially if your household is used to running loads with warm or hot water, which requires more energy to heat a larger amount of water.

5 Best Top Load Washer Models

When all is said and done, a top load washing machine is still a powerful tool to have in the laundry room. These appliances are best suited for users who can spare laundry room space, want a simpler user experience, and value capacity and performance over aesthetics. We’ve reviewed our catalog to find the best top load washer, and ultimately came down to these five picks, which we’ve ranked from least to most expensive. Give them a read to learn about all their great features that might just give front loaders a run for their money.

Best Top Load Washer Under $1,000: GE Profile™ 5.4 Cu. Ft. White Top Load Washer

Front view of the GE PTW700BSTWS top load washer

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With nearly as much capacity as the more expensive models on our list, this GE Profile top load washer that’s priced under $1,000 is an extreme value. What we love about this pick is that it includes smart sensors that detect soil and detergent levels during the cycle, adjusting the wash time for optimum results. Users will also appreciate its ENERGY STAR certified rating, plus hygienic upgrades like Microban Antimicrobial Technology that prevents bacteria development and a sanitize mode to keep the interior squeaky-clean.

Top GE PTW700BSTWS washer review: “I love this washer the clothes come out clean it handles rugs and large king size comforters.”

Best Top Load Washer Made in the U.S.A.: Maytag® 4.7 Cu. Ft. White Top Load Washer

Front view of the Maytag MVW6230HW top load washer

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Built with proud American heritage, this Maytag top load washer skips the frills and gets straight to a powerful performance. It may not be the largest model in our ranking, but wash options such as the Heavy Duty cycle and the Extra Power button provide the “Most Powerful Cleaning in its class,” which means stains come out the first time. It’s also nice having a water sensor that knows the precise amount to fill the tub per load, no matter whether you use the Deep Fill option or wash a load with the Quick Wash cycle. Overall, this is a good pick if you want a washer that does the job without making it complicated.

Top Maytag MVW6230HW washer review: “This washer gets everything clean.”

Best Smart Top Load Washer: LG 5.5 Cu. Ft. Graphite Steel Top Load Washer

Front view of the LG WT7400CV top load washer

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Like many of the over 130 5-star reviews point out, this LG top load washer is massive when it comes to how much laundry it can wash in a single go. You can thank the impeller disc, which also provides a gentler cleaning method to traditional agitators (in other words, you get to wear your favorite T longer). And there’s so much more to love, from the TurboWash3D technology that completes a load in less than 30 minutes to Smart Pairing that uses Wi-Fi to sync a washer and dryer and program ideal cycles based on a wash.

It’s a slight upgrade for the previous two models, but any household that is keen on smart appliances and the latest feature needs to check this LG smart top load washer out.

Top LG WT7400CV washer review: “This is also the first washer I've ever had which fully cleans a fluffy king sized comforter. No more trips to the laundromat for huge blankets!”

Best Impeller Washer: Samsung 5.5 Cu. Ft. Ivory Top Load Washer

Front view of the Samsung WA55A7300AE top load washer

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If you’re less about the tech and more about commodity, this Samsung top load washer is a worthy alternative to our LG pick. It features the same capacity (5.5 cubic feet), uses an impeller disc, and can be programmed remotely, just like our recommended LG model. You won’t be able to pair this washer to a compatible dryer via Wi-Fi, but that’s a plus if you want something simpler. What it does feature are the essentials:

  • A deep fill option
  • A Super Speed cycle that cleans in 28 minutes
  • ENERGY STAR-rated performance
  • 12 wash cycles, four more than the LG WT7400CV

Top Samsung WA55A7300AE washer review: “I love this washing machine it's quite and efficient.”

Best High-End Top Load Washer: Speed Queen® TR5 3.2 Cu. Ft. White Top Load Washer

Front view of the Speed Queen TR5003WN top load washer

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We’re capping off our list of the best top load washer models with something simple: a Speed Queen top load washer. Don’t let the nostalgic look of this washing machine fool you. For over 100 years, Speed Queen has been a top dog in the world of laundry appliances, bringing commercial-grade performance to the everyday home with its high-end washers and dryers.

We agree this isn’t the largest top load washer, clocking in at a modest 3.2 cubic feet. But what you pay for is quality. Each washer (and dryer) is tested for at least 25 years’ of use, and they are made of the best materials that outperform mass-produced washers. For Speen Queen, all a household needs are the basics, like the Perfect Wash system with advanced agitation that is kinder to clothes and a deep tub option for maximum tub usability to wash large loads.

Top Speed Queen TR5003WN washer review: “The best washing machine I've ever owned.”

As budgets get tighter, trends show that households are turning to appliances that deliver the best value versus ones that provide flashy features and designs — not that there’s anything wrong with those buying factors. But the evidence suggests buyers will most likely continue to pick a top load washer over a front load washing machine, which is why researching your options is crucial. Our independent reviews give you a preview of what the experts recommend, but in the end, the decision comes down to your specific needs, budget, and lifestyle.

To make the best purchase, shop top load washers at Albert Lee. We have the most experience in the state of Washington, with a large stock of top load washers for every type of home. Browse online today or visit one of our six Puget Sound appliance stores to explore even more washers from the brands you know and trust.

Why Trust Albert Lee?

Since 1939, Albert Lee Appliance, a three-generation, family-owned business, continues to grow and serve the greater Seattle area with quality you can count on and service you can trust. We are proud to have served this community for so long and wouldn’t be here without our loyal customers. There is a reason why we are Washington’s largest independent appliance dealer, and it’s not a secret. Simply put: We have the experience. We are the original appliance experts for over eight decades (and counting).

Shop Top Load Washers at Albert Lee

At Albert Lee Appliance, we provide quality name-brand appliances for great prices. Shop washers online or visit us today at one of our six locations in Puget Sound, WA. In the meantime, browse our website to shop Albert Lee appliance sales and check out Albert Lee appliance reviews online to ensure every purchase is an informed one. More available than ever, our experts at Albert Lee Appliance are always happy to help you take home the best top load washer, whether you call us or use our online chat feature. Contact us today!

Learn More: Albert Lee’s Best Front Load Washers