Doing the laundry shouldn’t mean a cross country trip to the laundromat, or a stair master style workout. If you live in an apartment, or are contemplating a move to a shiny new tiny home, you’re going to want to consider buying the best portable washer your budget will allow. Free your self from the change machine! Here is our list for
- 1 Best Portable Washer 2017
- 2 Haier HLP21N Pulsator Portable Washer – Editors Choice
- 3 Panda Small Portable Washing Machine PAN50SW – Runner Up
- 4 Avanti TLW09W Top Load Portable Washer
- 5 MIDEA Mar 30 – Best Value
- 6 Danby DTT100A1WDB Portable Top Load Washer
- 7 Best Choice Products Portable Washer
- 8 The Laundry Alternative Super Compact
- 9 Ivation Compact Portable Washing Machine
- 10 Pyle Electric Small Portable Compact Washer, Washing Machine – Best Countertop Washing Machine
- 11 The Laundry Alternative Wonderwash Portable Washing Machine
- 12 Buyers Guide: What to Look For In Your Portable Washer
Best Portable Washer 2017
|Brand||Automatic||Spin Cycle||Labor/Parts Warranty|
|MIDEA MAR 30 (Editors Choice)||Y||Y||1yr|
|Best Choice Products Portable||Y||Y||1yr|
|Haier HLP21N Pulsator||Y||Y||1yr|
|Panda Automatic PAN50SW (Editors Choice)||Y||N||1yr|
|The Laundry Alternative Wonderwash||N Manual Crank||N||1yr|
|Ivation Small Portable Washing Machine||Y||Y||1yr|
|Pyle Small Portable Compact Washer||Y||N||1yr|
|The Laundry Alternative Super Compact||Y||Y||1yr|
Haier HLP21N Pulsator Portable Washer – Editors Choice
The Haier Hlp21n is a small but mighty portable washing machine. Owners of tiny homes and renters in small apartments will love the ease of use in setting this thing up. It has easily attachable caster wheels, and conveniently accessible connectors for the hose and tap connections. You won’t need a plumber, or have the need to pay extra for installation of this little washing machine.
The innards (excuse my drawl), are really a bit ingenious engineering. It has a plate that does the agitating by twisting instead of spinning. I suspect that this will prolong the lifetime of this washer without stressing the inner mechanics. It also creates more space for clothing, bedding, or whatever you’ll be surprised will fit inside the bowl. This twisting motion is also gentler on the clothes themselves, helping to keep underwear hole free.
While some portable washers have restrictions on the type of detergent you can use, the Haier HLP21N allows for your choice. Out of convenience and laziness, I prefer the pods. I also think pods eliminate the chance of a sudsy accident.
My favorite feature of the washer is the noise floor. I expect these little guys to be obnoxiously loud, but whatever Haier is doing is magic. The machine runs quiet at full load and is super sturdy. You may notice a little movement with an unbalanced load, but the twist motion agitation in this washer seems to nullify this effect.
The size of this portable washer is perfect, it will fit in small kitchen or bathroom no problem. The caster wheels allow you to move it around if you do not have a permanent place for it. This unit has huge potential for those in a situation where downsizing is a necessity, and if you think it’s a great addition to your family, you can adopt its sibling the equally excellent Haier HLP140E 2-3/5-Cubic-Foot Compact Tumble Vented Dryer.
Panda Small Portable Washing Machine PAN50SW – Runner Up
The first thing you’ll notice with this portable washer, is that it seems extremely roomy considering its diminutive appearance on the outside. In fact, the whole package is streamlined and very modern looking, nothing you’d expect from the portable segment. The unit arrives with a small dolly which is useful in moving the unit into the home. While not light, it is manageable by one person, and easy to position.
Honestly, I’d expect a wheel and a foot pedal, but it’s obvious Panda intends to make you forget any misconceptions you have about what a portable tiny washing machine is.
This one happens to be a fully automated unit, with the cycles you expect on a larger unit. Once you connect the included hose to the sink, and ensure the drain hose is in the sink you are ready to rock.
This little thing is quiet when running through the various cycles. You can easily forget that this is portable washer, thanks to its refined programs, looks and cycles.
The one I tested had been open for a bit, but I’ve heard complaints of a strong odor that needs a few days of air to get rid of. This is to be expected from any item at this price point with a manufacturing origin in China. I’ve bought lots of camera gear that has a smell almost like oils. Rubber parts like hoses and washers are likely the culprit here. A few cycles and a ceiling fan should rid your home of the smell. I like to wipe those parts down with a Clorox wipe to reduce the smell.
This is a great little washer with plenty of room. I can see this working well in one of those small San Jose cottages where space is at a premium, but you need the best portable washer on the market to get through laundry day.
Another small compact wunderkind. The Avanti Tlw09w is an adept portable washer that is built for long term use. The specs state that is a fully automatic washer, but as you read on you’ll see that this is true, but with some caveats.
The Avanti is portable and comes with two rear casters, allowing to move the washer to it’s desired location. The fact that it only has the two wheels is a letdown, forcing the owner to askwardly lean the washer to move it. This is a pain in the butt if you have it positioned against a wall, forcing you to maneuver into twister like positions to move the damn thing.
Gripe session done, let’s get to the performance. Like some of the other best portable washers in it’s class, Avanti has eschewed the rotational agitators in favor of another internal mechanic preserving design.
The Avanti pulsates from the bottom of the unit. Whatever they intended, this little sucker gets clothes clean. The stainless-steel wash tub fits a nice size bundle of clothes and is super quiet. The spin cycle which is the true test of any washer, is as quiet as any of the other cycles.
Every load is spun virtually dry, as if there’s a secret technology in the washer targeting water at a molecular level. The included hoses are again hit or miss if all you must connect to is your bathroom sink. It does however connect to a standard washer spout with no problem.
You should also be aware of the necessity to elevate the drain hose a tad when placed in the sink. When not below the wash bowl there may be a slight tendency to have water back up in the machine.
Perfect? No. Capable? This thing works great, and if you’re in one of those small spaces in a big city, and you’re tired of donning riot gear to venture to the laundromat, then this is a great choice for a portable washer.
MIDEA Mar 30 – Best Value
With a name that belongs in any of the Star Wars movies, we have a portable washing machine by the name of the Midea MAR 30, which may be as dependable as R2D2. Comparable in size to many of the competitors on this list (the footprint is approximately that of a laundry basket), the Mar is a capable little machine.
While its specs list it as a 6.6 lb. capacity washer, it seems a whole lot bigger than the Laundry Alternative Brand listed at 5.5 lbs. The stainless-steel tub in the MAR 30 is double the capacity at 1.6 cubic feet.
What does that mean capacity wise? Well, you can fit an entire “true” load of laundry in the unit safely and comfortably, and they are going to get super clean. The connections on the dryer are OK, with the hoses still being hit or miss.
I must say though, that this may be an issue with faucets in general and maybe something to explore later with regard to standard threading. Anyway, make sure you have some Teflon tape on hand when you hook it up, as you will undoubtedly see some leaking at the sink upon fill and rinse cycles.
The machine runs super quiet as do most of those reviewed, to the point that you can forget it’s running. The spin cycle is awesome. Clothes are “dry”, facilitating quick dry on a rack if need be, or in a portable clothes dryer.
The machine is not heavy, but herein lies my biggest criticism…there are only two wheels on this thing. Manufactures make these washers with the understanding that fill a void regarding available space, therefore you’d think they’d do everything in their design power to ensure that fitting the washer in that space is a painless task. Still that gripe aside, and excellent product.
The Danby portable top load washer is another pleasant surprise. It’s small and boxy design hides an extremely capable unit that will rival the efficiency of most apartment units. The unit comes with hoses, but they will honestly be hit or miss in fitting your kitchen or bathroom sink. Unlike the Haier, this isn’t an automated washing experience where you can walk away and the job is done.
Firstly, you must transfer the finished wash from the tub to the spin side of the Danby. The spin is where the magic happens. This think is like a small cyclone, in that once the cycle is completed you’ll barely consider putting them in a dryer. They come out super dry!
As mentioned before you may find that the hose does not fit your faucet fixtures, and this is truly a bummer. But a bucket of water into the top of the unit is a simple solution for the convenience of avoiding the laundromat, and having some old man’s bloomers end up in your laundry.
The interior capacity of the washer is comparable to other reviewed units, and can wash any clothing or bedding item within reason. Towels which are stressful on any washer, are easily handled by the Danby portable washer.
The noise floor is a little higher on this unit, and the only thing I can think of is that it may be due to the dual design, with the spin compartment adjacent. It may just have too much empty space with the small divider not being enough to keep the sound down. None of these things are deal breakers for this washer, it is efficient, cleans clothes well, and is very reasonably priced. Matched with a portable dryer and you may have everything you need for a peaceful at home laundry day in your tiny home or small apartment.
Best Choice Products Portable washing machine is in a class of it’s own literally. It is both portable and fits on a countertop with room to spare. This is a nice little unit, that has a surprising capacity when it comes to fitting items in the tub. I like to measure with towels due to their bulky nature, and their heft after absorbing water in a cycle. This washer can fit several towels and couple pairs of pants not problem.
Again, it is small and light, so my complaint about a lack of wheels would be unwarranted considering that ANYBODY could lift this thing up. If you are a frequent camper, this unit can be hidden away in your RV with no problem at all. Hoses? Meh, don’t expect great ones at this price point. If you’ve read this far, you know this is just the norm for this class of appliance. Grab yourself a stylish bucket and get to washing.
The machine makes very little noise, even with my caveat regarding the spinning side being a noise repository. Leave it on and head to the other room and you won’t hear a thing. I would however be careful leaving it on a countertop with heavy items like towels, for the simple fact that it may cause the machine to walk a little as the spin dry is engaged.
Speaking of which, the spin dry is a cyclone unto itself, needing a short time to whip dry whatever you challenge it with. I wish these would have been prevalent all those years ago as I toiled away in a dorm room, amongst the pure unadulterated funk native to the species known as Freshmen. This thing is that compact, and that effective, and it is definitely a best portable washer list contender.
This is the smallest upright top loading portable washer of the bunch. It’s truly difficult to visualize how small a .8 cubic foot stainless steel wash tub is. The specs say that the Laundry Alternative Super Compact is 5.5 lbs. To put this in perspective, you are probably wearing 3 lbs. of clothing as you read this.
The washer is 15lbs on average lighter than its competitors. The build is solid, but the hoses are abysmal and it may take a couple of runs to home depot to jimmy rig something that’s going to hold fast to your sink. It seems to connect fine to traditional washer connections. There is a weird white washer in the hose that I later found was causing some of the leak issues.
The washer however works just fine. You can expect to fit a few shirts and maybe a couple of pairs of khakis in the tub at one time. This is truly a tiny portable washer, and you won’t want to let your clothes pile build up, or you’ll truly regret the amount of time it takes to get thru laundry day.
It the operation is quiet, and the spin cycle whips clothes around at the speed of oh yeah. Hang up what you’ve washed for an hour, and they’re ready to be folded and put away. This portable washing machine DOES not use hot water, so whites are going to need to be pre-soaked if that’s a concern.
There are better machines for apartment life, but this thing would be awesome on an RV or a mobile tiny home. The hoses are a major disappointment, and with any of these washers they seem to be touch and go, but again if it means no more laundromat, then we have another contender worth your consideration.
I try to resist reviewing the dual bin portable washer machines. A lot of people tend to confuse the spin side of these units with a true dryer. The Ivation portable washer is a reminder of why. This thing can dry your clothes in minutes on that spin side. I hate to jump ahead but my foot in my mouth prompted me to correct a faulty assumption. The wash side is roomy at a size comparable to some of the standalone washers, and its physical footprint isn’t much bigger. 8 lbs. on the wash side will allow you wash a significant amount of linens, bath towels, and several outfits no sweat.
The noise on this one isn’t on par with the single units, but as I’ve guestimated, it’s likely the expanded cubic feet on the spin dry side that is the culprit for added noise. Like other machines in this class, this one has a pulsating motion instead of traditional agitation. This machine isn’t as sturdy as some of the others, and really lived up to its R2d2 comparison, as it tried to walk while using the spin cycle adding to the noise.
The cables are trash. They didn’t come close to fitting the sink, so prepare to take them to your local DIY big box store to score an adapter. If you’re not connecting to a true washer outlet, then I’d just fill it with water from a bucket. The last irksome issue with this washer could happen to any of them potentially, but after draining, there was significant water left in the bottom of the tub. Nothing a tilt couldn’t fix, but something to note. Also, be sure to rinse the unit well with water should you find soapy water at the bottom of the tub.
Pyle Electric Small Portable Compact Washer, Washing Machine – Best Countertop Washing Machine
I see the name Pyle and think, “this can’t be the same Pyle that made the car sub woofers of my youth?!”, but that is exactly who this is. Upon first look at their portable compact washer, I think that perhaps I’m looking at a salad spinner. No, what you are receiving is a wonderful little device not much bigger than the Wonder Wash, but has the added benefit of being totally mechanical. At less than 2ft high, you can put this countertop washer anywhere and forget about going to the laundromat again.
The performance of the unit is damn good if you consider a few things. First, you cannot overload it, or it will not spin right. A motorized salad spinner is an apt description of its agitating device. Overloading it will ensure that its small motor will not be able to spin your clothes properly, and they likely will not get cleaned.
You can forget about the hoses with this unit. They look like something that would be hooked up to a hospital respirator, and will not withstand constant connecting and removal that will surely happen with this unit over time. The drain hose should be left connected to the back of the unit until you are ready to drain it. Trust me on that one, you don’t want to see how quickly this thing can drain all over your floor.
Things that this unit doesn’t have which should not surprise you, are a spin cycle. You will need to purchase a portable dryer, or be prepared to ring your clothes out, which will be necessary on removal. It’s not quiet, but it’s not noisy all things considered, and while that’s a bit of an oxymoron, you’ll know it’s on but your neighbors won’t. This is a great dorm/travel/studio space unit. Grab a little dryer and you can efficiently clean your clothes for a long time to come.
This was the little beast that peaked my interest in regards to the portable washing machine segment, as sat at home mesmerized by one of the tiny home shows. It’s a beautiful little idea that is well executed. First thing to note, so that there is no confusion upon purchase, is that this machine is not electric. It’s 100% manual with a crank activated by your hand or foot. This works for me, because I’m looking to get some exercise whenever my chubby self can…but it only takes two minutes to wash a load!
The unit weighs 6 lbs. empty, and is about 2ft around sitting approximately that high off the ground. It takes very little detergent and fabric softener to wash a load of clothes. Does it work as good as its larger mechanical brothers? It can, if you pretreat really tough stains and keep the inside of the unit clean after a wash.
The concern you may have, and upon examining it up close is the long term durability of the unit. Every part of it is made of plastic. The manufactures says it’s the most durable plastic ever made, but you use anything enough and it’s going to break. I wonder how this will hold up over a year’s time? Then again, at such a cheap price who cares, you just buy another one.
Another thing that is a bit annoying, is that the unit will move as you’re washing, as it has nothing to secure it in place whether it’s weight or suction cups. Which leads to the last issue, which is that it can be messy washing with this little sucker.
It’s close to the ground, and you don’t have the luxury of a super spin cycle to pre-dry your clothes. That said if you live in a big city, with no laundry, on the 79th floor, then this bad girl is heaven sent.,
Buyers Guide: What to Look For In Your Portable Washer
Apartment life is about effiency in general, we don’t want to tack on tons of money to our household budget. While portable washers don’t have room for the green technology that make their full-size brethren energy-efficient, the size of your household and clothes should balance out any use. In the end, you should be fiscally even with those trips to the laundromat.
Design & Portability
The best portable washer for you should fit your lifestyle. When not in use you shouldn’t have to know it’s there. If you can’t move it yourself without difficulty, then it’s not a washer you should consider. I’ve even seen where people have diy’d wheels on to their portable washing machines. This defeats the purpose of buying one of these machines.
Measure the space you plan to put the washer, and from there head to your local big box home store and see if you can view on in person. Pick it up, roll it around, measure it, because if you’re going to take it home, it must be a perfect fit.\
Be prepared for some of the compromises that come from purchasing a portable washer. No matter what you read, we didn’t find one where the hoses were not an issue. And in this regard, they are no different than garden hoses that seem like they have a great connection for a week before leaking everywhere. If you don’t have a washer dryer hook up, grab some Teflon tape or a bucket and prepare to nurse that connection. It will still beat a trip to the laundromat any day.
Don’t get to caught up in the capacity specs of the washers. Most of these units will work perfectly fine for a house hold of two. 1.8 cubic feet beats 1200 sqft. of sweaty laundromat patrons, any day.
Cycles & Wash Settings
Some of these machines are more automatic than others. It varies from machine to machine, since some of them don’t drain automatically, or have spin cycles. That’s why we love the Haier, Panda, Midea, and Avanti. Do they cost a little more? Yeah, but they are as close to a full-size washer as you can get less than half the price of a full size machine. You don’t have to compromise on features even at this price range.
These little wonders have come a long way in the features they pack in their little footprints. The top models have everything you’d expect in a washer. Time remaining notifications, scheduling options, and countdowns to completion are some of the features that used to be just wish list items. Even the dispensers have the drop-in features you’d assume were exclusive to full size washers.
Not to mention that they are considerably more quiet than you’d ever imagine. The sound plate technology they are using is really impressive and makes these small washing appliances a welcome addition to any apartment or tiny home.
Help & Support
You can be confident in owning one of these units. Why? Well the manufacturers themselves have the confidence in their products to offer one year full parts and labor on their warranties. The only gripe I have with other areas of support happen to be with the manuals, which for a few of these washers is friggin useless. Much of the literature reads like it was sent through Google translator.
And while we had no occasion to contact any of the companies, they are all brands with a presence in the market at large. I can’t foresee a lack of parts or techs if needed to service your portable washer. If you do the math, and one of these units last you 18 months then it’s money well spent.