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The 5 best washers: Plus, the smartest washing machine

What is the best washing machine? The GE UltraFresh Vent System Front-Load Washer with OdorBlock is ZDNET's top choice because of its many features at a competitive price. We researched and compared hundreds of washers based on their cost, size, and type.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer on

A washer is one of the most important appliances you can have in your home. It rids your clothes and linens from dirt while keeping away any harmful materials you may pick up throughout the course of the day.  But not just any washer will do. These days, washers are a dime a dozen, and it can be difficult to determine which one is worth the expense for your long-term needs. We can help.

When you need to wash away the dirt and grime, these are the best washers to complete the task.


  • Capacity: 48 cu. ft.
  • Height: 39.75 in
  • Depth: 32 in
  • Width: 28 in
  • Number of wash cycles: 12
  • Number of wash speeds:  5
  • Number of wash temperatures: 5

As the best overall washer, the GE UltraFresh Vent System Front-Load Washer with OdorBlock combines smart technology with affordability. Its exclusive UltraFresh Vent System is designed specifically for Odor Block, working to eliminate odors caused by excess moisture in the machine. It also uses microban antimicrobial technology for greater durability, with components like the gasket, dispenser and draining system all incorporated. 

The SmartDispense Technology greatly simplifies everything, allowing for an intelligent dispenser to dispense exactly the right amount of detergent up to 32 loads. Plus, there is built-in WiFi to help you control your laundry, no matter where you are. If you are at home, there is Dynamic Balancing Technology (dBT) to help ensure a quiet wash, so your washer is not the soundtrack to your home.

A one-year limited warranty is included.


  • Smart dispenser
  • Wi-Fi-enabled
  • Multiple wash cycles


  • Not the cheapest
  • No steamer


  • Capacity: 0.9 cu. ft.
  • Height: 31.5 in
  • Depth: 18.2 in
  • Width: 17.69 in
  • Energy consumption: 23 kWh/year
  • Number of wash cycles: 5
  • Number of wash speeds: 1
  • Number of wash temperatures: 1

When you want the best compact washer, consider the Black + Decker Portable Washer, our pick for the best portable washer. It is small at just 0.9 cubic feet but still manages to include features like an LED digital display, cycle status light, and top lid viewing window. There are five wash cycles: heavy, gentle, rapid, and soak. 

However, both the wash speed and wash temperature are limited to just one option each. That means there is only cold water and not hot water to wash your clothes. You do get a choice of three water levels with a 765 RPM maximum spin speed. A drain hose and quick connect sink adapter are included.

A one-year limited warranty is included with your purchase. 


  • Very affordable
  • Compact design
  • Low energy consumption


  • Limited warranty
  • Few features


  • Capacity: 4.5 cu. ft.
  • Height: 74.38 in
  • Depth: 30.38 in
  • Width: 27 in
  • Energy consumption: 105 kWh/year
  • Number of wash cycles: 10
  • Number of wash speeds: 5
  • Number of wash temperatures: 5

For the price of one machine, you can get two with the LG WashTower Laundry Center. It is built for larger families, pulling double duty with both a washer and dryer in one. The washer measures 4.5 cubic feet, while the dryer is larger at 7.4 cubic feet for an extra-large capacity for which you will likely be grateful. It does not skimp on technology, either, offering built-in AI sensors that can automatically adjust and customize wash and dry cycles. 

It also incorporates exclusive technology like five jets with TurboWash360°, the Allergiene wash cycle, and TurboSteam to keep your clothes both allergen- and wrinkle-free. You can also use your phone for notifications and to control your laundry using the ThinQ app.

A ten-year limited warranty accompanies your purchase.


  • Affordable duo
  • Smart technology
  • Long warranty


  • Expensive
  • Must purchase dryer


  • Capacity: 5.3 cu. ft.
  • Height: 42.88 in
  • Depth: 27.88 in
  • Width: 27.25 in
  • Energy consumption: 270 kWh/year
  • Number of wash cycles: 13
  • Number of wash speeds: 3
  • Number of wash temperatures: 5

The Maytag Smart Capable High-Efficiency Top-Load Washer is our pick for the best top-loading washer because it includes smart technology at a reasonable price. This machine is up to the challenge with even your dirtiest clothes, thanks to its heavy-duty construction. 

Use the Extra Power button to fire off a quick stain-fighting boost that you can use, no matter the cycle. It is also able to handle your more temperamental garments with a dual-temperature wash. This model includes smart features, as well, such as notifications and remote start and stop. You can even use the app to troubleshoot any issues you may run into during use. 

A ten-year limited warranty accompanies this purchase.


  • Stain-fighting boost
  • Smart features
  • Extended warranty


  • Can be noisy
  • On the smaller side


  • Capacity: 5.2 cu. ft.
  • Height: 42.5 in
  • Depth: 27.88 in
  • Width: 27.25 in
  • Energy consumption: 260 kWh/year 
  • Number of wash cycles: 36
  • Number of wash speeds: 3
  • Number of wash temperatures: 5

The Whirlpool Smart Top Load Washer with 2 in 1 Removable Agitator takes things one step further than most traditional washers. The removable agitator means that you can swap it out at any time, so you have two different ways to wash. It is also a smart machine, offering subscription-free smart features when you use the Wi-Fi-enabled app. 

There are an astounding 36 wash cycles that you can choose from, ensuring that each piece of your clothing is washed exactly to manufacturer specifications. You can preload detergent using the Whirlpool Load and Go Dispenser, so it is one less worry throughout the day. You can even pre-set cycles, so you do not have to be present to catch up on Laundry Day. Other helpful options include the Deep Water Wash Option and a pretreat using the dual temperature faucet. 

A one-year limited warranty comes included. 


  • 36 wash cycles
  • Removable agitator
  • Smart capability


  • On the pricey end 
  • Short warranty

What is the best washer?

The GE UltraFresh Vent System Front-Load Washer with OdorBlock is our pick for the best washer overall. It is one of the best-priced washers, given the number of features it offers. You benefit from 12 rinse cycles with five rinse temperatures in a reasonably-sized box.

Here is an overview of our best washers for comparison purposes.

Best washer


Number of rinse cycles

Number of rinse temperatures

GE UltraFresh Vent System Front-Load Washer with OdorBlocWhirlpool Smart Top Load Washer with 2 in 1 Removable Agitator




Black + Decker Portable Washer




LG WashTower Laundry Center




Maytag Smart Capable High-Efficiency Top-Load Washer




Whirlpool Smart Top Load Washer with 2 in 1 Removable Agitator




Which is the right washer for you?

It is not always easy differentiating between the different models of washers. To help you find the best washer for you, consider these expert recommendations. 

Choose this best washer...

If you...

GE UltraFresh Vent System Front-Load Washer with OdorBlocWhirlpool Smart Top Load Washer with 2 in 1 Removable Agitator

Want an attractive front-load washer at a competitive price point

Black + Decker Portable Washer

Want a portable washer for your home or office

LG WashTower Laundry Center

Want a stackable washer with dryer

Maytag Smart Capable High-Efficiency Top-Load Washer

Prefer a top-loading model

Whirlpool Smart Top Load Washer with 2 in 1 Removable Agitator

Want a top-load smart washer 

How did we choose these best washers?

To choose the best washers, we consider a number of critical factors, including these.

  • Type: Whether it is front-load or top-load, you have a decision to make for your washer. This could be based on preference, or perhaps, your room size will dictate that for you, as top-load washers can often fit into smaller spaces.
  • Size: Some washers are significantly larger than others, and some may be stackable for a compact or vertical dryer. The size of your washer will impact the capacity and how much you can fill in each load.
  • Features: There are a ton of features you may find in your washer, such as smart technology, multiple wash settings, and numerous rinse cycles. These are all things that matter and can greatly improve your experience with your new washer. 
  • Price: price can vary significantly for washers, so we consider washers of all price points, as seen here. Our picks for the best washers vary from around $250 to more than $2,000, depending on the model and features that you choose. 

Be sure to carefully review the specifications for your chosen washer before purchasing, so you can be sure that it is the right pick for you.

What are the types of washers?

There are two main types of washers: top-load and front-load washers. It is often a matter of preference as the loading process differs significantly between the two.  

Are washers and dryers sold together?

Washers and dryers are sometimes sold together, but you can also purchase them as a single unit like most of the models shown here. It can be cheaper at times to purchase a washer and dryer together, but it all depends on the models you choose. 

How much does a washer cost?

A washer can vary from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on the model and features that you choose. Our picks for the best washer vary from $258 to nearly $2,200.

Are there alternative washers worth considering?

These are far from the only washers and dryers available today. These are some of the top models that almost made our list of the best washers.

While shopping for your home, consider our picks for the best refrigerator, the best countertop ovens, and the best dishwashers!

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