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Top-Load Washer Benefits

Add laundry mid-cycle: Top-load washers allow you to easily add clothes mid-cycle while front-load washers do not.

Budget Friendly: They tend to be more affordable and budget friendly when compared to front-load washers.

Easy to load & unload: With the opening on the top, you don't have to bend down as much as with front-loading washing machines, which can be especially beneficial for those with mobility issues or back problems.

Less maintenance: Top-loading washing machines are generally easier to maintain than front-loading ones, as they don't have a rubber door seal that can trap moisture and dirt.

Can be gentler on clothes: They are typically designed with agitators or impellers that can be gentler on clothes, especially delicates.

Faster wash cycles: Top-loading washers tend to have shorter wash cycles, which can save time and energy.

Agitator vs. HE Top-Load Washers

There are two main types of top-load washers. First, there is the classic style that features an agitator, which many of us are familiar with. Second, there is the newer style of top-load washers that use an impeller, which is a low-profile cone that sits at the bottom of the basin.

The agitator is the long spindle that sticks up in the center of many top-loading washers. The idea behind the design was to replicate the way that hand-washing clothes in a tub would “push” all of the soil out of the clothes. Similarly, the agitator, well, agitates. It spins, but not continuously, more in a back-and-forth motion, once again, to replicate the rubbing and scrubbing of clothes washed by hand.

What to Know: Agitators

There are two main drawbacks you should keep in mind when deciding to purchase a washing machine with an agitator. The first is that it uses more water and energy than a high-efficiency (or a front-load) washer. It also uses more water and energy than HE washers. Secondly, clothing is more likely to rip and will wear out faster due to the agitator.

What to Know: HE Drawbacks

HE washers don’t have an agitator, and therefore some may be able to fit larger laundry, like blankets, better. With that being said, you have to load them carefully; you can’t just dump all of your laundry in and shut the lid. You will also not be able to stuff your clothes in.

You should only fill it up around halfway at most. Also, you’re going to want to loosen the laundry that you put in there to avoid any tight clumps. Lastly, for a good clean, you’ll have to try and lay your laundry around the outside of the basin, around the impeller.

The Best Washer for You

With these differences in mind, we listed our 2023 picks for the best top-loading washers. If you are looking for a washer that doesn’t break the bank, scroll to the bottom to see our picks. Before deciding on whether any of the following washers are the right ones for you, we’d recommend you take a look at some of our other top-load washers here.

Try playing around with the filters like price range, brand, and washing mechanism (agitator or impeller, which is what the high-efficiency washers use) to find a washer tailored to your unique needs.

Our 2023 Picks

Best Top-Load Agitator Washer: Speed Queen Classic Clean

Why We Love It: The first thing to note with the Speed Queen Classic Clean is its short 28-minute cycle. Besides that, what makes this model our favorite is its simple controls and high functionality. It offers six wash cycles to choose from, such as Extra Rinse, Heavy Soil, and a gentle cycle for delicate fabrics.

This high-efficiency top load washer also has a switch that gives you the option to “deep fill” or raise the washer's water level up to the top; to completely soak your laundry for the entire cycle. Lastly, Speed Queen washers are built to last, with the reliable construction and performance of commercial washers and dryers. In fact, They are tested to last 10,400 cycles. If you wash eight loads of laundry per week, that adds up to 25 years.

Runner Up: Speed Queen Perfect Wash

Why We Love It: The Speed Queen Perfect Wash is a new series of models, they are slightly more expensive than the Classic Clean model and offer a gentler and quieter wash. While they still use an agitator like the Classic Clean, it ties to the tub rather than the motor, to provide a more gentle and quiet wash experience.

There are currently three models in this series; the TR3, TR5, & TR7. If you liked the simple knob controls of the Classic Clean, then stick with either the TR3 or the TR5. The TR7 comes with an electronic control pad and also offers 8 different cycles as opposed to the TR5’s 6 cycles, or the TR3’s 4 cycles

If trying to decide between Speed Queen’s Classic Clean and Perfect Wash models, consider what kinds of clothes you wash most often. These models are great If you often wash fabrics that benefit from a gentler cycle.

Best Top-Load HE Washer: LG Smart Top-Load Washer

Why We Love It: This LG high-efficiency washer is designed to use less water and energy than traditional washers while still providing a powerful and heavy-duty clean. The washer is packed with smart features to add convenience such as Wi-Fi connectivity, where you can control and monitor the washer remotely from your smartphone.

Additionally, this ENERGY STAR-certified washer boasts TurboWash 3D technology that uses jets to spray detergent and water throughout the drum, ensuring your clothes are thoroughly cleaned while minimizing water usage.

Bonus - Best Top-Load Washers For A Budget: GE 4.2 Cu. Ft. Capacity Washer & 4.6 Cu. Ft. Capacity Washer

Why We Love It: Reminiscent of our top pick, the Speed Queen Classic Clean, the GE 4.2 cu. ft. capacity washer has simple controls and uses an agitator. This washer has an average cleaning ability, which should clean clothes that aren’t overly soiled just fine. Like other washers with an agitator, it can be a bit harsh on clothes.

However, if you run it on the “delicates'' cycle, it performs true to its name and will provide a gentler clean. At the end of the day, if you’re just looking for a quality washer at a fair price, this washer is a great choice. If you want everything mentioned above but with the benefits offered by HE washers, check out the GE 4.6 cu. ft. capacity washer.

The Best Appliance Store Near You

If you’re ready to purchase a new washer to upgrade your laundry routine, then you’re in luck! Stop by any of our store locations in Fond du Lac, Beaver Dam, and Watertown, Wisconsin, to browse our selection of the best laundry appliances.

We strive to always provide the best customer service in order to help you find exactly what you are looking for regardless of your budget and preferences. Shop top load washers, front load washers, commercial washers, combination washers/dryers, and more at Silica.

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