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These bestselling portable washing machines are all under $420

Portable washing machines are a great choice for those who want to save money and space.
Illustration of a woman folding laundry and the portable Magic Chef 1.6 cu. ft. Compact White Top Load Washing Machine
Designed especially for small spaces, a portable washing machine can clean dirty clothes without taking up too much room.Home Depot ; Getty Images

If you live in a smaller apartment or just moved into your first starter home and are short on space for a full-sized washing machine, a portable one can be a great alternative to lugging your laundry to the corner laundromat.

In addition to saving space, buying a portable washing machine can save you money, too. While full-sized washers from Samsung and Whirlpool start at around $600, many portable washing machines cost less than $350 and still offer the essential wash, rinse and spin cycles to routinely clean your clothes. You can also take a portable washing machine with you when traveling, especially if you have an RV, said Scott Mooers, sales consultant at Doyon’s Appliance in Bedford, Massachusetts. “Portable washing machines require 120 volts, which align with an RV’s electrical system,” he said.

It's important to remember, though, that these machines tend to fit only a few pounds of clothing at a time. Portable washing machines provide 3.5 cubic feet of space or less compared to the average 5.4 cubic feet of full-sized models, so larger loads with heavy or bulky items (such as shoes or a large comforter) might have to be done elsewhere, said Shirley Hood, an appliance expert from retailer Abt.

SKIP AHEAD Top-rated portable washing machines to shop

What to consider when buying a portable washing machine

  • Energy efficiency: According to Mooers, portable washing machines don’t generally qualify for an Energy Star rebate, but most are extremely energy efficient. “Most of the portables – based on six loads per week at 12 cents per kilowatt and at $1.09 per therm on natural gas – run an average cost between $8 and $25 per year,” he said.
  • Weight: Portable washers generally range in weight from 25 to 100 pounds, said Mooers. Weight is an important factor to consider if you are planning to store it away between uses or take it with you on camping trips.
  • Capacity: Portable washers range in capacity from 0.84 cu ft. to 3.0 cu ft., said Mooers, who noted that units with a 1-cu-ft capacity equates to about 8 pounds of laundry. As for water, he said that these units generally use anywhere from 6 gallons to 28 gallons per cycle, depending on the options chosen.
  • Cycle options: While some portable washers provide up to 10 cycles, all of them include a Normal, Heavy and Gentle wash cycle and have three temperatures: Hot, Warm and Cold.
  • Spin speed: Spin speeds start at 600 RPM and max out at 1,000 RPM, which allows for both gentle and heavier washes, said Mooers. “Higher spin speeds are good for blankets and towels, but more delicate items need a lower speed,” he said.
  • Noise level: Most washers don’t have a decibel rating to distinguish the sound level, said Mooers. To help moderate the noise, he suggested making sure the connections are tight, leveling the washer so it doesn’t rock, and making sure the clothes are evenly distributed when loading.
  • Faucet adapter: Most come with a quick-connect sink adapter. Check to make sure one is included.
  • Warranty: A quality washer should come with a one-year parts-and-labor warranty.

Top-rated portable washing machines to shop

Finding the right portable washing machine to suit your needs can be daunting, said Mooers, as they range in capacity, shape, weight, size and number of cycles. Some models offer dual tubs for separate washing and spinning, and some even come with a dryer attached. To help guide you, we compiled the most affordable (under $350) and highly rated portable washing machines from retailers like Amazon, Home Depot and Walmart. All are energy efficient, compact and can wash between 6 and 26 pounds of laundry at one time. They also all come with a one-year warranty.

Comfee Washing Machine

Weight: 80 lbs

Capacity: 15 lbs (2.0 cu ft.)

Warranty: 1 year limited

The Comfee Portable Washing Machine, Amazon’s bestselling portable clothes washing machine, has a glass lid so that you can monitor the inside of the machine as it works. It has six wash programs — Normal, Quick, Heavy, Bulky, Delicate and Spin Only — as well as three different temperature settings for the water. Its “delayed start” function allows you to choose when to start the cycle, and its stainless-steel inner tub can wash up to 15 pounds of clothing at once. When your load is done, its wheels and handles make the machine easy to transport. The Comfee also comes with a child lock and has an average 4.4-star rating from 5,094 customer reviews.

Black+Decker Portable Washer

Weight: 48.4 lbs

Capacity: 6.6 lbs (0.9 cu ft.)

Warranty: 1 year parts and labor

This portable washer from Black+Decker has a transparent top, 6-foot power cord and LED display with five cycle programs — Heavy, Gentle, Normal, Rapid and Soak — along with three water-level options for different-sized loads: High, Medium and Low. It’s designed to wash up to 6.6 pounds of laundry at once and also offers a delayed-start function. As a safety component, when you open the lid, this washer automatically shuts off. On Amazon this portable washer has an average 4.4-star rating from 2,830 reviews.

Magic Chef Topload Compact Washer

Weight: 70.5 lbs

Capacity: 12 lbs (1.6 cu ft.)

Warranty: 1 year parts and labor

The Magic Chef compact washer has a see-through window and LED display. To control the cycle, you can choose between three water levels, three temperature settings and six wash programs. It includes rollers on the bottom so you can easily move it around, too. Inside, the washer includes a stainless-steel tub and detergent dispenser, and you’ll also find a built-in filter, which is supposed to catch things like coins left behind in clothes. This washer has an average 4.3-star rating from 1,012 reviews at Walmart.

Super Deal Portable Compact Mini Twin Tub Washing Machine

Weight: 26.4 lbs

Capacity: 13 lbs (Washer 8 lbs; Spinner 5 lbs)

Warranty: 1 year parts and labor

This 2-in-1 washing machine from Super Deal includes separate washer and spinner tubs, which you can run at the same time: The wash tub can hold up to 8 pounds and the spinner can handle up to 5 pounds. Its washing cycle, which you can set to standard, drain or soft, can last up to 15 minutes. Once that’s finished, you can move the clothes to the Super Deal’s spinner, which cycles for 5 minutes or less. The Super Deal portable washing machine has an average 4.1-star rating from 10,120 reviews on Amazon.

Giantex Portable Mini Compact Twin Tub Washing Machine

Weight: 28 lbs

Capacity: 17.6 lbs (Washer 11 lbs; Spinner 6.6 lbs)

Warranty: 1 year parts and labor

At just 28 pounds, this twin tub portable washing machine is easy to move around or take with you in an RV. It has separate timers for the wash and spin cycles and you can set it to your desired minutes. One caveat, though, is that you have to stay by the washer to watch it because it does not stop filling with water by itself. This Giantex portable washing machine has an 4.2-star average rating from 13,060 reviews on Amazon.

How portable washing machines work

“Most [portable washing machines] operate like your normal full-sized washing machine but are suited for those on the move or anyone who lives in a smaller space,” explained Jay Ahmed, laundry merchant director at The Home Depot. Portable washing machines have wash, rinse and spin cycles just like a regular machine but. The difference is that the former can be stored away when not in use, said Ahmed.

Hooking up a portable washing machine is pretty simple. It connects right to your sink’s faucet. Just unscrew the faucet’s aerator (the small end piece of the faucet) and insert the machine’s adapter into the faucet. Then connect the input hose, which flows water to the machine. Before plugging in the machine, add your clothes and detergent. Then plug it into a nearby outlet and hit Start.

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