Buying Guide for Portable Washing Machines
Why buy a portable washing machine?
When you’re in a living or traveling situation where you don’t have access to a washer and dryer, it can add a lot of stress to your life. It can be easier on your wallet and your time to purchase a portable washing machine rather than frequent the laundromat with quarters and heavy hampers in tow. A portable washer is also a great tool for RVers and for new parents who choose to use cloth diapers.
What should you consider in a portable washing machine?
- Load Capacity: One thing you’ll want to consider in a portable washer will be how much laundry it can handle. If you often wear jeans or enjoy fluffy, full-sized towels, you may want to consider a portable washer that can handle a bit more weight. If you’re only using your portable washer for cloth diapers or other smaller items, you will not need quite as much space and can opt for a more compact washer.
- Filling and Draining: Users must fill the washing machine with clean water and drain the dirty water each time. Depending on where your washer will be and whether it will be stationary or portable, you’ll need to figure out how the hoses will work for you. Most portable washers come with hose attachments that work in tubs or sinks. Be sure that the measurements of each hose will work for your situation.
- Optional Settings: Many portable washers come with a side-by-side spin dryer. While a spin dryer can get your clothes mostly dry, it will not dry them 100%, so you will need a game plan for hanging your clothes after you wash them. Some portable washers come with only one cleaning setting, while others come with multiple settings for temperature and for wash agitation.
How long do portable washers last?
When you buy a portable washer, it may state in the product information how many washloads it will handle in its lifetime. Most portable washers last, on average, anywhere from 8 to 15 years.
Our Picks for the Best Portable Washing Machines
Giantex Portable Mini Compact Twin Tub Washing Machine
Cut your wash time in half with this dual-sided washer that can wash and spin at the same time.
Pros: One of the best things about this little washer is that it can handle more laundry than you may think. It’s easy to set up. Most people set it up in the bathtub for easy filling and draining. Just hook up the hose to the faucet to fill, and all you need to drain it is gravity! It also cleans well, so you don’t have to sacrifice sparkling clothes when using this product. It saves on water and power. The spin dryer gets your clothes about 90% dry, which is fantastic considering that the spin cycle on a standard washer doesn’t work as well. And many people who have had this portable washer for a long time say it still works just as well as it did on day one.
Cons: The directions that come with this machine can be difficult to follow.
Bottom Line: This portable washer is a must-have for small spaces without built-in laundry. It is easy to use once you figure it out. And it has a higher load capacity than most other similar models.
SUPER DEAL Compact Mini Twin Tub Washing Machine
This energy-efficient portable washer will help save you money on your utilities.
Pros: This portable washer is surprisingly quiet. In fact, many say it’s quieter than a new air conditioner. And it comes with everything you need to hook it up, so it will work seamlessly on day one. It can wash up to 8 pounds of laundry, so you can wash your jeans, jackets, or heavy sweatshirts without worry. Also, this washer helps save money on laundry soap because it doesn’t take much to get your clothes clean. It’s compact, so you can store it away easily. And it uses very little power.
Cons: The spin dryer does not fully dry your clothes. You will need to air dry them to finish the job.
Bottom Line: This is a light-duty washer and a light-duty dryer, so it will not perform like a full-size heavy-duty version of either. The directions are standard and well-written, but you may need to do a little trial and error depending on your hookups. However, it works really well for everyday washing and is a great item to have in a dorm or RV.
BLACK+DECKER Compact Pulsator Washer for Clothes
Compact and powerful, this portable washer is perfect for small spaces.
Pros: This portable washer is a premium brand-name product. You can easily wash heavier items like bath mats without annoying vibrations. It’s whisper quiet while running, so it won’t disrupt your movie nights. It has a timer you can set up to 24 hours in advance and has more than one wash setting, so your clothes and linens come out perfectly clean and fresh every time you wash. Also, it’s lightweight, so if you need to move it for washing, you won’t have to strain your muscles.
Cons: This washer comes with styrofoam packing to protect it, but the pieces may get caught in the washer bay. And while this washer comes with hoses, they’re not very long.
Bottom Line: While this washer comes with installation directions, several videos are available online for easy reference. Once installed, this washer is easy to use, quiet, and effective. And it’s well-made, so it won’t fall apart on you.
ZenStyle Portable Washer Compact Twin Tub
This lightweight and compact washer is easy to use and easy to store away.
Pros: This is a great little washer that you can use right in your bathtub. It’s super lightweight, so you can pull it in and out and store it away when you’re not using it. It’s really simple to use: you just need to hook up the hose and start it on each cycle. And while it’s made of plastic, it’s quite hardy and can wash up to 5.5 pounds of laundry without vibrating or tipping. The spin side gets clothes up to 80% dry, so you won’t need to air dry them for long before putting them away.
Cons: This has a smaller capacity than others, and it’s recommended not to overload it.
Bottom Line: This little washer is a powerhouse perfect for small spaces like RVs. It may not be able to wash large loads, but it’s perfect for light use. And it works quickly, so you can get through a load in half an hour or less.
COMFEE' 1.6 Cu.ft Portable Washing Machine
This upscale portable washing machine has all the functionality of a full-size washer.
Pros: This multifunctional portable washing machine is a lifesaver for people who don’t have access to laundry in their home, dorm, or RV. It has many settings, including normal, quick, heavy, bulky, delicate wash, and spin, plus an optional extra rinse cycle. It also has three temperature settings, unlike many other portable washers. It’s easy to read the LED display, it has a child lock feature for safety, and you can even monitor your wash through the clear lid.
Cons: This portable washer is heavy, so it will need to be stationary. And the drain hose is short, so you may consider purchasing a longer replacement from your local hardware store.
Bottom Line: If you want a portable washer that’s easy to set up and works just like a standard washer, this may be the best choice for you. While the hose and adapter can be a little finicky for some, they work for most. And this washer cleans really well, leaving your clothes looking and smelling fresh.
Portable washers can be an absolute lifesaver if you don’t have access to laundry. Whether you’re traveling, living in a dorm, or living in a shared laundry building, it can be a pain to get your clothes clean if you don’t have your own washer. Once you figure out your available space, budget, and setup for your new portable washer, you’re all set!