Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve written about the best laundry bags, and found an old-school workout-clothes soap and Fran Drescher–approved detergent, here we’re going deep on portable washing machines that you can buy on Amazon for small apartments and homes without in-unit laundry (along with a couple of portable dryers, for good measure).
Best portable washing machine
“It has been about four months since we purchased the portable Haier washer, and I have to say that we love it! It came complete in the box, with the exception of having to screw in the base plate and the casters, which only took about ten minutes total. We use it in a truly portable way. When we need to do laundry, we wheel it out of our downstairs closet and into our downstairs powder room. My husband was really excited to try it out and started doing rather large loads immediately — I was concerned that it would fail, but it has kept on churning. The little washer does a really good job of getting the clothes clean, uses very little water and very little clothes-washing detergent. It is so very economical.”
Best quiet portable washing machine
“I have a family of five, and I can wash almost a regular load of laundry. It beats having to take it to a laundromat or use the machines here at the complex. It is so quiet. The water from the water filter hitting the water in my turtle tank is louder than the washer. I honestly can’t find a single negative thing about it. That’s either because it really is that awesome, or it’s because after doing laundry at a laundromat for the past eight years, I’m just ecstatic to have my own washer. I’ll say this though: I wish I would’ve thought to Google portable washing machines years ago.”
Best portable washing machine for small spaces
“It works great. Easy to use and takes up very little space, fits in our very small bathroom. The washing capacity [works] quite well for our laundry needs. Quick and easy transportation. If you are looking for a small, good-quality washing machine, this is the one!”
Best portable washing machine for RVs
“It was a snap to put together … then I washed four loads right in succession. It washed sweatshirts, socks, and jeans with no problems. The clothes then hang and dry by morning. It really spins the water out of the clothes. I bought this washer with the idea that I can take this in my RV and use it on the road. It is perfect for this. RV-specific washers are very expensive, and this washer is so light that I can carry it to move it to wash my laundry and put it back in storage out of the way. Now that I’ve owned this washer for several months, I still love it and still have had NO problems with it.”
Best portable washing machine with twin tubs
“When I described to my boyfriend what I had purchased, he immediately envisioned me with a plunger and a five-gallon bucket washing clothes in the bathroom. But this thing is amazing. The motor really agitates! I love the power of it. And it holds a lot of clothes! The spin dryer is also amazing. While it doesn’t dry (and doesn’t claim to dry), it really wrings the clothes out a lot. We hang-dry our clothes on a line with a fan in the room, and they are dry in an hour or two after the spin-dry cycle. The water input, as other reviews have stated, does not work well, as it doesn’t fit our faucet, but I went out and purchased a handheld showerhead with a long hose and use that to fill the tub. I love this washing machine.”
Best portable washing machine with twin tubs for $100
“This washer totally exceeded my expectations, even though I read all kinds of good feedback from other buyers. I can literally pick this up with one hand and carry it (although you’ll want to use two, and so do I), yet it is a serious powerhouse. I ran a dry cleaner for 23 years, so we might assume I’m a bit of an expert in the care of fabric. I am very impressed.”
Best portable washer-and-dryer combo
“Simply amazing! I live in a tiny studio apartment with no space for a washer and dryer. I was carrying baskets of clothes to the laundromat every week, spending an average of $15. This portable washer has made my life so much easier! I have been using it almost daily since it arrived. It it very easy to move around because of its light weight. I set it up in my bathroom, so it can drain into my sink or shower. I use the shower to drain the machine after my last load is done spin drying. The pump works really well, but has trouble getting the last cup or so of water out. If you keep the drain tube low (laying in the bottom of the shower) and lift the machine up about eight inches, the rest of the water drains easily. The machine washes very well and fast. The longest wash time you can set it for is 15 minutes. It has a normal wash mode and a gentle mode. You can fit about five shirts and a pair of jeans in one load. I try not to push it, though. The spin dryer does an amazing job as well. It can be set to spin for up to five minutes. It sounds like a little jet engine and spins most of the water out. I just hang my clothes up in the house and they are completely dry in a couple of hours. I definitely recommend this product to anyone that is sick of the inconvenience and cost of the laundromat.”
Best compact spin dryer
“We purchased a portable washer. In order to hang our clothing to dry in the house in the winter (or on a folding drying rack outside), we really wanted to get even more of the water out. So we purchased this spin dryer. It gets out an enormous amount of additional water after the spin cycle. It is really easy to use — really, really easy! Our clothing dries in a matter of hours. Even our large bath towels are spun out enough to hang-dry inside now. I am able to get our laundry washed, dried, and put away much faster. In the winter or during a stretch of rainy days, there were times I was so sick of looking at laundry hung up around the house. Now I can wash in the morning, hang everything, and come home in the early afternoon to put it all away, then actually enjoy a clean and uncluttered house.”
Best compact laundry dryer with heat
“I’m pleasantly surprised at the size and the heat that this dryer puts out. I’m able to put quite a bit in it, and it doesn’t take hours to dry my clothes like my last one did. This one runs circles around my old one. I hope nothing changes, and it keeps doing the job it’s doing now and I will be extremely happy.”
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