One of the luxuries of living in a big house is having a dedicated space to wash and dry your clothes. But just because you live in an apartment or townhome and may not have room for a full size washing machine doesn’t mean your only option is to trek to the laundromat or hand wash items in the sink. A portable washing machine is a great alternative for small space dwellers and for those who don’t have access to permanent hot and cold water hook ups.
These mini machines are usually big enough to handle small to medium loads, say, a few bath towels, bedding, underwear or workout wear, even several pair of jeans. And most are on wheels so they can be moved up to a sink when you are ready to run a load. All of our Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab recommendations below except for the non electric models have wheels for easy moving. Not all machines that claim to be portable do. In our opinion, that’s what makes them portable, so we eliminated any that weren’t on wheels. Let’s exploce The Best Portable Washing Machines of 2021 below.
The Best Portable Washing Machines of 2021
Portable Washing Machine
GE washers always do well in GH Cleaning Lab tests and this little guy has many of the same features we’ve reviewed and loved on its full size siblings. It senses the size of the load to determine the correct amount of water needed, but it also offers deep fill and deep rinse options if you want to add more. At almost 3 cubic feet, it has the largest capacity of our picks, so it can more easily handle loads, like towels, bedding and even jeans with dedicated cycles for these items.
Nice extras include presoak, extra rinse, and extra spin options as well as a speed wash cycle for things you need in a hurry and a delay wash to start a load at a later time. The see through glass lid folds back on itself for even more space savings when open and Capacity: 2.8 cubic feet.
Top-Loading Portable Washer
With all the basics and then some, this Insignia washer offers a useful assortment of feature and options in a compact size and at a great price. You’ll find cycles like Normal, Heavy, Delicate, Bulky, Quick Wash and even Spin Only to better wring items for speedier drying. This machine offers the ability to delay the start of the wash cycle for up to 24 hours and a lock on the control panel to keep it from being accidentally started by small children.
And while there is a built in dispenser for powder and liquid detergent, you won’t find dispensers for chlorine bleach or fabric softener. Online reviews for this machine were stellar, but just as impressive is how the company responded to virtually all reviews, both good and those with issues. This Insignia works with an agitator and Capacity: 1.6 cubic feet.
Portable Top Load Washer
If your landlord is a penny pincher when it comes to utility bills, this Avanti could be a good choice. Fully featured and our second largest pick, it allows you to control the amount of water that goes in by selecting a small, medium, or large load size and offers the best combination we found of large capacity and low electricity use per year.
You can delay the start of the wash for up to 48 hours or wash items you need in a hurry in just 15 minutes on the Quick Wash cycle. Special touches include its soft close glass top lid and platinum color, though it lacks separate bleach and fabric softener dispensers and Capacity 2.0 cubic feet.
Drumi Portable Washing Machine
For those without enough space for even a mini electric washing machine, the Yirego Drumi will gently get clothes clean (and give your leg muscles a little work out) just by stepping on the pedal. Simply remove the lid and place a few pieces of lingerie, activewear, or light clothing into the round inner drum along with water and detergent. Lock the lid in place and press the foot pedal for three to five minutes to tumble clothing clean as the drum rotates.
Drain the Drumi from the plug in the back and repeat with clear water for one to two minutes to rinse. Drain again, spin for 30 seconds to wring, and hang items to dry. We think the innovative design of the Drumi makes it easy to store and carry and easier than hand cranked models that get tiresome to use. While it won’t totally eliminate trips to the laundromat, it can lighten the load and help you go less often.