7 Best Top-Load Washers (2024 Guide)

By Sabrina Lopez Reviewed by ENERGY STAR May 6, 2024

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The first commercially available washing machines were top-load washers, and the design remains popular due to its ample laundry capacity as well as mildew and rust resistance. Unlike front-load washing machines, most top-load washers feature one of two washing mechanisms: a central agitator pole that twists in place or a bottom impeller, which consists of a low-profile rotating cone or base plate. 

In this guide, our team will take you through the best top-load washers for a range of budgets, laundry rooms, and individual preferences. Here are our top picks.


Top 7 Top-Load Washers


Best Top-Load Washer Overall

Courtesy Best Buy

GE Profile Top-Load Washer with Smarter Wash

$1,169.99 Prices taken at time of publishing.

This high-capacity top-loading washer has a suite of cloud-based features including AI voice assistant and remote monitoring. It’s equipped with sensors to regulate water, heat, and detergent levels as well as sensors that detect operational issues and imbalances.

$1,169.99 on Best Buy

What We Like

This impeller-style top-load washer from GE’s Profile collection stood out during our research thanks to its host of functions, including Alexa voice assist and Wi-Fi connectivity. Its smart-sensing technology precisely adjusts output from the detergent and softener dispensers according to the specifications of each load. Its direct drive motor and balancing technology provide a significantly quieter operation.

The GE Profile Top-Load Washer is also ENERGY STAR-certified and comes with a comprehensive 10-year warranty

What Customers Are Saying

Our research showed that buyers favor the GE Profile washer’s smart notifications, remote-handling capabilities, and precision cleaning. However, we also noticed a few reviews that are critical of the machine’s balance sensor, which occasionally requires users to manually redistribute wash loads.

“Very pleased with both the washer and dryer. … The app is useful and speeds up the wash turnaround time by keeping us informed when the load is complete. The Alexa feature is nice although we don’t use all its features.” —H. via Best Buy

“My husband and I love our new washer and dryer! Not only is it an upgrade from our old set, but it’s also super convenient and much easier to use with all the fancy functions. I’m able to clean my laundry in the designated modes depending on type, material, and amount. The app is an added bonus notifying us when laundry is nearly complete, giving us the ability to stay up on our chores no matter where we are.” —Mia W. via Best Buy

“The issue we’ve experienced with not having a traditional agitator is the load can become off balanced and needs manual intervention to adjust the load to complete rinse and spin cycles. We never had to deal with that with previous front load washer.” —O. via Best Buy


Most Efficient Top-Load Washer

Courtesy Best Buy

LG High-Efficiency TurboWash3D Top-Load Washer

$1,250 Prices taken at time of publishing.

This ENERGY STAR-certified, high-capacity washer from LG combines an impeller-style machine with smart features and an advanced washing mechanism to use less water and dramatically reduce energy consumption. Additional features include cycle monitoring, remote start, and maintenance alerts.

$1,250 on LG $1,250 on Best Buy

What We Like

The LG TurboWash3D top-load washer’s numerous water-conserving features set it apart from other oversized washers. Of particular note is its ColdWash direct drive motor and Water Plus cycle setting, which precisely tailors the water amount to each load. We like that the washer’s Wi-Fi-enabled LG ThinkQ technology allows users to remotely control, monitor, and troubleshoot their machine.

What Customers Are Saying

When examining reviews for this washer, we noticed that customers are especially pleased with the LG washer’s near-silent operation and substantial capacity. However, our team also found that some customers have experienced issues with the tub’s depth, which can make retrieving items at the bottom of the machine difficult.

“Very quiet machine, cleans my clothes perfectly, it’s not too deep but has amazing capacity, and the sanitization feature is very convenient as well. The app features are also very helpful in keeping up with machine cleaning and maintenance.” —Kylee P. via Best Buy

“I had the [older] version of this washer. I loved it so much I stuck with the newer one, and I still love it. It’s quiet and large capacity. Would recommend.” —Bobby via Best Buy

“This washer is so deep that I cannot reach all the items in the bottom without using a grabber tool. … Also, the written instructions leave a lot to be desired. There are several preset programs you can choose, but there is absolutely zero explanation of these in the owner’s manual.” —BB via Best Buy


Best Top-Load Washer with Agitator

Courtesy Samsung

Samsung Top-Load Washer with ActiveWave Agitator

$810 Prices taken at time of publishing.

This large-capacity top-load washer features Samsung’s ActiveWave agitator, anti-snag tub, and built-in faucet for pretreating heavy stains. The control panel presents five temperature settings, seven wash cycles, and 10 preset modes, plus braille coding and optional audio assistance. Interactive troubleshooting is available via Samsung’s Smart Care app.

$810 on Samsung $810 Best Buy

What We Like

This model stood out to us from other agitator washers for several reasons: Its streamlined mechanism and tub, convenient WaterJet water faucet, a litany of wash settings, high load capacity, low price point, and 20-year motor warranty. We determined that this model would be an excellent choice for households who frequently wash large loads and want a variety of wash cycles. 

According to Samsung, the agitator is designed to deliver exceptionally deep cleaning while keeping vibration, noise level, and tangling to a minimum.

What Customers Are Saying

According to our research, numerous verified buyers are impressed with the Samsung agitator washer’s sizable capacity and exceedingly quiet operation. By looking through critical buyer reviews, we learned that some owners have experienced issues with the washer’s balance sensor, which may require calibration or repair after a year or so of use. 

“Love my new Samsung Top Load Washer. … Its controllers are very intuitive and easy to use. I love the see-through lid because I can look inside anytime I need to check on what’s going on there. Its capacity is great! It perfectly fits a king size comforter or huge dog bed without being too tight. … The program presets are very convenient and cover all my washing needs.” —Margaret via Samsung

“The first thing I noticed about this washer was how quiet it is and how large as well. This turned out to be a great unit for an affordable price.” —Jcan214 via Samsung

“I purchased the washer and dryer set; exactly one year and 3 days later the dryer quit, and now the washer is constantly stopping and alerting that it is off balance. I tried everything from removing all items but one and checking to make sure the washer was level, but after days of babysitting it, I still have not completed the load.” —Green via Samsung


Best Impeller Washer

Courtesy Samsung

Samsung HE Super Speed Top-Load Washer

$899 Prices taken at time of publishing.

Despite its large capacity, this impeller-style top-load washer exceeds the high efficiency standards set by ENERGY STAR. It’s equipped with a WaterJet faucet for stain pretreatment and Samsung’s best-in-class swede wash technology which cleans large loads in less than 36 minutes.

$899 on Samsung $899 on Best Buy

What We Like

In addition to its short wash time, our research showed the Samsung HE Super Speed washer stands out for its heavy-duty controls (12 wash cycles, eight cycle settings, and five temperature levels), auto-regulated detergent dispenser, built-in faucet, soft-close lid, and vibration reduction architecture. 

What Customers Are Saying

We saw that happy customers are especially pleased with the Samsung Super Speed washer’s self-regulating dispenser system, high-volume capacity, and precise presetting. However, we also learned that some customers feel the impeller tub’s spin action is sluggish in comparison to agitator models.   

“This washer capacity is huge! I was able to wash a 3-foot-by-5-foot rug in it last night with no problem. … If I overfill the fabric softener, the washer dumps the excess into the wash with detergent so that I always have just the right amount of softener. This is by far the best washer I’ve ever had!” —Shellot via Samsung

“I’ve had this washer [for] a little over three months, and I love it! It’s large enough to fit my king size comforter, and I love all the settings it has—especially the quick wash, which takes only 30 minutes.” —Cindy S. via Samsung

“This is the first time I’ve used a washing machine without an agitator, and I find that the drum turns/works slowly … I cannot adjust the cycle time unless I use a manual selection, which defeats the purpose…” —Morena via Samsung


Best Budget Top-Load Washer

Courtesy Best Buy

Insignia High Efficiency Top-Load Washer

$719.99 Prices taken at time of publishing.

The Insignia High Efficiency Top-Load Washer relies on a single-action agitator and is large enough to handle medium- to large-size loads. It has 11 auto-wash programs, five soil-level settings, and five temperature levels, plus a delay button, child safety lock, and digital display. Insignia provides a one-year warranty for parts and labor.

$719.99 on Best Buy

What We Like

We found that this top-load washer is highly functional for its price point. Its wash cycle options include (but are not limited to): activewear, bulky, delicates, drain and spin, hand wash, and quick wash. Temperature settings range from tap cold to hot and include an energy-conserving “eco warm” mode. Users can also dictate the cycle intensity by adjusting the soil level settings, which is ideal for customers who need to get rid of tough stains. 

What Customers Are Saying

In the course of our buyer-based research, we found that customers are impressed with the Insignia washer’s comprehensive controls and highly effective spin cycle. However, some of the reviews we looked at indicate that the machine is relatively noisy during operation, and at least one buyer experienced a malfunction with the softener dispenser. 

“It has proven to be a superior appliance. It is a large-capacity machine that handles washing blankets, several coats, towels, and bulky items extremely well. The spin cycle spins clothing almost dry! I love all the options, and that I can choose more water, extra spin, whatever the load requires. It’s a bit noisy when it levels the load and agitates, but I don’t care at all due to the fact that my clothing is clean!” —E. via Best Buy

“The features are amazing, the value is amazing, and the size of the drum is huge! There is a button for delayed start time as well as everything from light to heavy loads. You can change your water temperature, add more water with a click of a button, or use the hand wash cycle. It washes really well.” —Moma Lina via Best Buy

“I’d like to write a more positive review, but the fabric softener bin is not draining. Basically, I load the fabric softener and push the fabric softener button, but the bin does not drain and the fabric softener does not go into the load. … I called Geek Squad, but since the purchase is still within the 1 year warranty I have to call Insignia. Very frustrating!” —Shelby R. via Best Buy


Best Compact Top-Load Washer

Courtesy Best Buy

Whirlpool High Efficiency Top Load Washer

$674.99 Prices taken at time of publishing.

This top-load washer is great for customers with a small amount of space and for those who don’t need to wash clothes from multiple people at once. It includes a two-way wash action agitator with a fabric softener dispenser and has an auto-sensing feature that adjusts to the amount of water needed based on the size of the load.

$674.99 On Best Buy

What We Like

We think this top-load washer is great for customers with a small space and those who don’t need to wash clothes from multiple people at once. It includes a two-way wash action agitator with a fabric softener dispenser and has an auto-sensing feature that adjusts to the amount of water needed according to the size of the load.

What Customers Are Saying

Our team found that the majority of verified buyers who left reviews favor this washer for its auto-sensing feature, quiet operation, and variety of wash cycles. However, we saw a couple of critical reviewers dislike that the machine does not give users the option to adjust water intake levels.

Takes the guess work out of water levels with the auto sensing feature.   Very quiet and efficient.   11 different wash cycles and a “clean washer” cycle as well.  Never had a Whirlpool before so I can’t speak on the longevity or quality.  Seems to be fairly well made.” —Iwillnot via Best Buy

“Many more fabric settings than my previous washer. It runs more quietly. The 360-degree agitator cleans better. I am highly pleased with this washer” —Mick via Best Buy

“I like all of the features on my new washer except for the fact that I don’t have any control on the amount of water that is dispensed into  the washer.  I am used to the old washers where you could choose the water level. I don’t think that enough water is going into my washer to adequately cover the clothes. There have been times where I have opened the lid and the clothes are not wet. I think that some improvement needs to be done on this feature.” —JoAnnF via Best Buy


Best Top-Load Washer for Pet Owners

Courtesy Best Buy

Maytag High Efficiency Top Load Washer with Pet Pro System

$1,167.99 Prices taken at time of publishing.

Pets who shed can cause frequent washes, and some washing machines struggle to remove pet hair from clothing and other materials. This washer includes a Pet Pro filter that lifts and captures pet hair, removing five times as much as similar products.

$1,167.99 On Best Buy

What We Like

We would particularly recommend this washer for pet owners that need to remove hair and pet stains from clothing and bedding. In addition to its Pet Pro filter, this washer includes nearly five total cubic feet of capacity and a deep fill option that allows you to add more water to your load to fight off difficult stains. It also includes a quick wash cycle and advanced vibration control that redistributes unbalanced loads.

What Customers Are Saying

We found that customers like this washer’s stylish design, quick-washing ability and ease of use. However, our review of several dozen customer comments revealed that some buyers feel the machine’s operating volume is intrusive.

“It is easy to use and cleans the clothes well. It also fits well in my laundry closet.”  —GreatDell via Best Buy

“From the sweet look and texture of the washer and the functionality and ease of use I am very happy with my purchase. I went ahead with the Dryer as well to match and that works well. I don’t usually run a ton of laundry all the time but this set suits me very well.” —DanRichard05 via Maytag

“Have had it for a few weeks. It is extremely loud and takes long to wash. It doesn’t have a time countdown on it either. It does seem to clean clothes well though.” —Critt111 via Maytag 


What to Look for in a Top-Load Washer

When researching the best top-load washers on the market, our team noted that these were the most important factors to consider when making a purchase.

Agitator vs. Impeller Mechanism

One important detail we noted while researching the best top-load washers is the difference between agitator or impeller plate washing mechanisms. The column-like agitator sits in the drum’s middle and cleans garments by creating a twisting motion. Conversely, impeller-style washing machines have low-profile impeller plates mounted to, or as part of, the drum’s interior surface. 

Agitators have been around longer than impeller plates. Since impeller mechanisms are more gentle on fabrics than turnstile agitators, they’ve become increasingly popular among consumers and brands in recent years. 

Capacity

Most top-load washers have a drum capacity between 3.5 cubic feet and 5.4 cubic feet. A capacity of 4.5 cubic feet or more is considered large, and a capacity in excess of 5.5 cubic feet is considered extra-large. Compact washer-dryers and portable washing machines typically have a capacity of 3.4 cubic feet or less. For the most part, machines with smaller capacities will use less water per load.

Wash Cycles

Basic top-load models typically include the standard wash cycles such as colors, whites, normal, delicate, and heavy. More advanced models often include additional cycles to accommodate athletic wear, hand-wash items, and bedding. Some high-end top-load washers even offer allergen reduction settings and Microban technology.

Features

In addition, to wash cycles, other standout features to look out for in top-load washers include smart features that let you control the washer remotely, built-in faucets that more efficiently clean clothes, quick-wash features that allow you to speed wash when you’re in a rush, and bulk dispensers that can hold detergent for multiple loads.

ENERGY STAR Certification

Top-load washers that are ENERGY STAR certified use less water and are more energy efficient than other models, which will help you reduce your energy bill and is better for the environment.


Tips for How To Best Use a Top-load Washer

Top-load washers are efficient devices that allow you to wash large loads of clothes at a time. However, there are some important things to keep in mind to ensure you’re getting the most out of your product. Here are some tips for how to properly use a top-load washer.

Don’t overload it

When loading your top-load washer, avoid tightly packing the wash drum to ensure that your garments can move freely during the cycle for proper cleaning. Overloading the machine can cause your clothes not to get fully washed or the machine to get off balance.

Be aware of the agitator

If you are using a top-load washer with an agitator, be careful not to wrap long items tightly around the agitator, as this could lead to your clothes getting tangled.

Check pockets

Check the pockets of all clothing before loading the machine, especially those in children’s garments. Inspecting pockets before loading laundry can help prevent damage to the items and your washer.

Don’t forget to clean it

Cleaning your washer may not be something you think about, but doing so on occasion can help preserve the machine’s shelf life and ensure it is operating at its highest efficiency. Check the FAQ section below for step-by-step tips on how to clean your washer.


Our Recommendation

Our pick for the best washing machine is the GE Profile Top-Load Washer with Smarter Wash Technology. Its high energy efficiency, suite of smart features, numerous wash options, and sizable stainless steel drum make it a solid, best-in-class choice for homeowners.


Top-Load Washer FAQ

How energy and water efficient are top-load washers?

Due to the drum design, we found that most top-loading washers are less energy-efficient and use more water than comparably sized front-loading washing machines. A standard top-load washer uses between 30 and 50 gallons of water for every load of laundry. However, there are quite a few Energy Star-certified top load washers available. On average, these high-efficiency washing machines are 20% more energy efficient and conserve around 30% more water than regular washers.Learn more about efficiency-rated washing machines at ENERGY STAR.

What are the advantages of a top-load washer?

Our research showed there are a few advantages that top-load washers have over other washing machines. The top-load design is easier to clean, less prone to mildew and rust buildup, and requires less mechanical maintenance than front-load washers. Top-load washing machines also tend to last longer than other styles.

How do you clean a top-load washing machine?

Cleaning your washing machine is relatively simple and only requires some baking soda and distilled white vinegar. We recommend adding four cups of vinegar to the drum and setting your machine to the hottest and highest wash cycle. Let the drum fill up, then pause the cycle and allow the water to sit for one hour before starting the rinse cycle. At the end of the rinse cycle, add one cup of baking soda to the drum and run the same wash cycle over again.

What are the main differences between a top-load and front-load washer?

The biggest difference we noticed between a top-load washer and front-load washer is the loading mechanism. In front-load models, a door opens towards you where you can put in your clothes. On top-load models, the door opens at the top. Additionally, top-load models typically require less maintenance than front-load models and have a faster wash time. However, top-load washers use more energy and can be difficult to reach the bottom of for those with short stature.


How We Chose the Best Top-Load Washer

Over the years, our team has vetted thousands of products to help you select the best major appliances for your home. We update our data points and review content regularly to account for shifts in customer consensus, product availability, new releases, and overall quality.

To steer the product selection process, our reviewers conduct detailed research that focuses on several key factors: