Owning a washing machine is almost a necessity of modern life but they’re also bulky pieces of equipment and take up a lot of space. For those with a small house or apartment a standard washing machine may just not be practical, but there’s no need to resort to trudging out to the Laundromat with a pocketful of quarters several times a week.
Portable washing machines are more compact than standard machines and can be attached to a standard faucet and drained into a sink, without any need for additional plumbing.
These handy domestic gadgets are becoming increasingly popular due to their affordability and convenience, but with so many new models on the market how do you know which one to choose?
We’ve done the hard work for you and reviewed the top 10 best portable washing machines so you can easily choose the best model to suit you and your personal circumstances:
- 10. Haier HLP21N Pulsator 1-Cubic-Foot Portable Washer
- 9. Midea MAE70-S1402GPS 2.07 cu. ft. Top Loading Portable Washing Machine
- 8. Panda Small Compact Portable Washing Machine
- 7. XtremepowerUSPortable Compact Washer and Spin Dry Cycle with Built in Pump
- 6. XtremepowerUS Electric Mini Washer and Spin Cycle Portable Compact Washing Machine With Built in Pump
- 5. New Version Panda Counter Top Small Portable Compact Washing Machine
- 4. Sonya Compact Portable Apartment Small Washing Machine Washer
- 3. Giantex Small Compact Portable Washing Machine Fully Automatic
- 2. Panda Portable Compact Clothes Dryer Apartment Size
- 1. The Laundry Alternative Super Compact 5.5 Lb. Capacity Full Automatic Washer
This portable washer features the option of three water levels and three wash cycles for up to six pounds of laundry. This is the ideal size for a small wash such as baby clothes or delicates and makes it perfect for single people to use at home.
Measuring 36 x 23.2 x 23.2 inches, the machine has a small footprint and Haier have thoughtfully included casters so it can be wheeled away and stored out of sight in a closet when not of use.
Your neighbors are sure to appreciate the quiet operation and setup takes literally minutes with the help of the included easy installation kit and quick-connect sink adaptor.
- Quiet wash cycle
- Easy setup
- Can be rolled away when not in use
- Powerful spin cycle dries clothes to damp effectively
- One of the more expensive models available
- Hose connections may leak if not tight enough
- Some users had trouble connecting the metal base plate during initial setup
This Midea portable washer offers versatility for washing different items with six different cycles and six water level settings. The temperature of the water can also be set to hot/cold, warm/cold or cold/cold.
The unit is mounted on wheels for easy movement and measures 22.1 x 21.4 x 37 inches, making it the ideal size for apartment living.
The capacity of the machine is 2.07 cubic feet – enough for a small load of laundry. Pre-programmed automatic wash cycles via electronic controls make any laundry task a breeze.
- Quiet function
- Easy to move and store
- Flexible water temperature and wash options
- Poor instruction manual
- Some users have complained of faulty models and poor customer service from Midea
This Panda machine is a twin-tub model meaning that clothes are washed in one tub and then transferred to the second tub to be spun dry. While this makes this model more “hands on” than the single tub models, it does allow you to do two loads of laundry at the same time (one spinning while the other is washing).
The footprint of this machine is similar to other portable washers at 31.1 x 27 x 16, although it is wider than single drum washing machines. The 10-12 pound capacity is generous for such a small washer and makes it ideal for a family of 3-6 people.
The washer comes with all hoses and attachments necessary to connect it to a water supply and these can also be replaced with longer hoses if necessary.
- Washing and drying drums can be used at the same time
- Large capacity
- Easy and intuitive setup
- Wider than other models
- Washing must be transferred between the two drums to complete the cycle
- Spin dryer has half the capacity of the washing drum so only half a load can be spun at a time.
- Not as quiet as other models
This twin tub compact washing machine has a washer capacity of 8.8 pounds and a spin dry capacity of 5.5 pounds. It’s ideal for small loads such as underwear, t-shirts and children’s clothes.
The machine measures 26 x 29 x 15 inches, which is very compact for a twin tub model. It is also a very light machine, weighing in at only 28 pounds.
Water can be added manually (for example from a shower hose or bucket) or by attaching to a faucet with an adapter (not included). The wastewater can be drained directly into a sink or drain and there is an integral drainage pump included.
- Affordable price tag
- Fast spin cycle
- Light and easy to move
- Faucet adapter not included
- Operation is noisier than some other models
- Small capacity of spin dry tub
- Drainage hose is at top of machine so only works with pump
- Twin tub design means washing must be transferred manually to be spun dry
6. XtremepowerUS Electric Mini Washer and Spin Cycle Portable Compact Washing Machine With Built in Pump
This compact washer with spin cycle drier has a capacity of 11 pounds and is ideal for doing small to medium loads of laundry. The compact size makes it ideal for apartments, dorms, motor homes and RVs.
Measuring in at 28.5 x 15 x 24 inches and weighing 25 pounds this is one of the smaller machines on the market and yet still has a relatively large washing capacity.
The design of the machine allows you to wash and spin dry two different loads at the same time and the built-in drain pump allows water to drain quickly from the machine.
- One of the most affordable compact machines
- Small and lightweight
- Fast washing and drying cycles
- Laundry must be transferred between tubs mid-cycle
- No easy way to connect to faucet so water must be filled manually
- Only half the washing load can be spun at a time
- Laundry must be transferred manually between the two tubs
This counter top washing machine is very small (only 14 x 24 x 16 inches) making it ideal for living situations where space is limited such as small apartments and dorm rooms.
Weighing in at only 14 pounds, the washer can be moved easily and it comes with a handy carrying handle so it can be transported and stored out of sight when not in use. Despite its small size, this machine has a washing capacity of 10 pounds, which is enough for a small to medium load of laundry or a queen size sheet set.
The mode of operation is very simple – just add your clothing items and soap, fill the machine with water, set the timer and close the lid. Once the cycle is finished, the water can be drained by gravity into any sink or drain.
This mini washer is too small to have a spin cycle so clothes must be wrung and dried separately. Separate portable compact spin dryers are also available to purchase if you want a more streamlined laundry process without using one larger machine.
- Very small, compact, and portable
- One of the cheapest models available
- Quick and adjustable time cycle
- Clothes must be wrung dry or spun dry in a separate machine
- Not as effective as other models for washing bulky items
- Some users reported a chemical smell for the first few uses
This compact machine measures 21 x 21 x 36 inches, making it ideal for small spaces. It comes with two hoses that can be attached to both the hot and cold water supplies or a single sink adaptor that allows you to control the temperature at the faucet.
The Sonya compact washer comes with its own dolly so that it can be moved around easily. This can also be removed so that the machine can fit into smaller spaces, such as under a bench.
There are a number of preset wash cycles to choose from, similar to what you’d find on a full size machine. As well as the wash cycles, laundry can be rinsed or spun separately. There are also 10 different water levels to choose from, ideal if you have a limited water supply.
- Large washing capacity
- Effective spin dry cycle
- Various wash cycles to choose from
- Comes with dolly for easy movement around the house
- Quick sink adapter included for easy setup
- More expensive than some other models
- In-home repair service not included with warranty
- Taller than some other models when casters are used
- Faucet adapter prevents normal use of faucet
If you’re looking for a compact washer that does everything the standard machines do in a smaller space, this could be the one.Measuring only 19.7 x 19.7 inches, with a height of 33.1 inches and weighing in at 48.4 pounds, this machine is ideal for homes where space is at a premium.
This portable washing machine from Giantex has a generous 12 pound capacity, which is enough for most small families. There are four different wash cycles and a standalone spin cycle.
A quick-connect sink adapter is included for easy connection to a faucet in your kitchen or bathroom, along with lint and drain filters to ensure your machine keeps running effectively.
- Quiet operation
- Water can be added manually or using the included faucet hose and attachment
- Large washing capacity
- Small footprint
- One of the more expensive compact machines
- Gravity drain only means sometimes the machine does not fully drain
- No casters means it can be awkward to move around
This compact clothes dryer is ideal for those who already have a portable washing machine and also want a way to dry clothes quickly without taking up a lot of space. It has a capacity of 8.8 pounds, which is enough for a small load of laundry.
There are four different heat settings to choose from, ranging from cool to hot. Drying cycles take up to 200 minutes depending on the weight of the load and the heat setting chosen
The machine itself measures 23.62 x 17.12 x 27.56 inches, making it very compact and ideal for apartments, dorm rooms, RVs, and other small living spaces. Weighing 44 pounds, it is fairly easy to move around and store away when not in use.
- Easy and compact way to dry clothes in a small space
- Affordable in comparison to other similar dryers
- Doesn’t use an excessive amount of electricity
- Choice of drying cycles
- Helps to heat the house in winter
- Venting hose not included
- · Low voltage so takes longer than a regular dryer
- · Low capacity
This compact machine is very small, measuring only 16 x 17 x 25 inches and weighs in at 35 pounds, making it very easy to move around. The 5.5 pound capacity is comparable with similar sized machines and enough for a small load of laundry, making it ideal for single people who live alone in an apartment, or for families who wish to do smaller loads of laundry throughout the week.
This washer is fully automatic so the full wash and spin cycle can be completed without any intervention. This makes it a lot more user friendly than twin tub models and allows washing loads to be completed more quickly.
Hoses are provided to connect to standard kitchen faucets and no plumbing-in is required. You can also buy a separate adapter so you can still use the faucet while it is connected to the machine.
- Fully automatic function means you can leave your laundry while you do other things
- Very small and easy to store
- Full wash, rinse, and spin cycle
- Effective spin cycle
- No casters for easy movement
- Small washing capacity
- Short power cord
There is no “one best” portable washing machine to suit everyone and it’s important to consider the features of each individual model and decide which will work best for your particular living situation.
People living in very small living quarters will benefit from using one of the mini desktop machines that can be stored away when not in use and transported easily, while those with a little more space may wish to buy a bigger machine that can manage large loads.
All-in-one automatic machines are more convenient than twin-tub models but some people prefer the ability to wash and spin at the same time that a two-drum machine provides, so this is another consideration to be made.