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Whether you're short on space, don't have the proper hookups, or are renting your place and the landlord won't pay to have a washing machine installed, you should consider purchasing a portable washer. They may not be as powerful as full-sized models, but they're perfect for washing small loads. Investing in one will help you avoid the laundromat or your apartment complex's shared laundry facility, where you probably have to deal with loose change, equipment malfunctions, and machine-hogging neighbors.
When shopping for a portable washing machine, consider its capacity, cycle selection, and drying capabilities. Portable washers only have tub capacities ranging from 1 to 2.6 cubic feet, but large models can cost just as much as standard machines. Most portable washers can wash up to 10 large-sized men's T-shirts and cost less than $3 a month to run. They hook up to your sink, so make sure you have the proper spout that can attach the appliance to your sink with the included hose — or be prepared to fill up the washer manually with a bucket. We also recommend installing the portable washer near a toilet, bathtub, or drain for easily emptying the dirty water after the wash cycles are completed.
This small but mighty washer from Giantex is perfect for those who want to avoid the laundromat at all costs. The twin tub may not have a large capacity, spin the fastest, or even be the most effective at removing stains, but it's affordable, energy-efficient, and doesn't require any special electrical or water hookups. Plus, you can fit it practically anywhere. It even has a built-in side dryer!
You have a choice of two capacities: 16 or 17.6 pounds, and you can expect each load to take around 20 minutes. The 16-pound model has enough space for washing five pairs of pants or four towels.
If a built-in spin dryer isn't an important feature, we think this portable washing machine from Black+Decker is one of the best you can buy. It offers a 0.9-cubic-foot capacity and a small footprint, making it an excellent choice for a micro-apartment, dorm room, or RV.
It's also one of the few portable washers that has several spin cycles for your specific washing needs. You have the choice of heavy, gentle, normal, rapid, and soak modes. The washer comes with an adapter for attaching it to your sink, as well as a hose for draining. Best of all, it spins quietly and doesn't vibrate, so it won't keep you or your neighbors up at night.
This portable washer from Magic Chef is an Amazon best-seller. It costs less than $200, but it's packed with features commonly found in pricier portable washers. It has five wash cycles, an electronic control panel, a digital display, and a detergent dispenser.
Our favorite feature is its auto unbalance detection mechanism, which adjusts the imbalance in the tub and prevents the machine from uncontrollably vibrating. Its legs are also adjustable to minimize vibration noise. This top-load washer features a 0.9-cubic-foot capacity, a see-through glass window, and a stainless steel tub.
It comes with a drain tube and adapter for attaching to your sink, and cycles take just 30 minutes.
Compared to the other Giantex portable washing machine we previously mentioned, this one is fully automatic, and it features a drain pump (the other model relies solely on gravity for draining). Other features include a five cycle selection, three water levels, and a digital control panel. The Giantex features 1.6 cubic feet of capacity, meaning it has enough space to wash 8 pounds of clothes, and the standard wash cycle only takes 40 minutes.
This portable washing machine is one of the highest-rated and most-reviewed ones on Amazon. Compared to other machines, it feels significantly more premium, and it's equipped with a stainless steel drum.
Plus, its 1.9-cubic-foot capacity is twice as large as other models. The washer is fully automatic, stays sturdy, and features touchpad controls, a LED display, and a glass viewing lid. The Panda washing machine comes with two 4-foot-long hoses, and an adapter for attaching it to your sink.