The Best Top Load Washers

By J.W. Carpenter , last updated August 8, 2011

A great selection of top load models is available from all the best manufacturers, with great features and cheaper prices than their front load cousins. Whether you’re looking for a durable, no-frills machine or a high efficiency version packed with the latest technology, you’re sure to find several good options at your local appliance shop or home improvement center. Read on to learn about some of the best top load washers currently on the market.

Traditional Top Load Washers

Traditional top load washers have been in wide use for many decades now. Though they use somewhat more electricity and water than the newer high efficiency top load washers, they require less up-front investment.

The Maytag Centennial top load washer (MVWC300XW) is among the best of the entry-level traditional washers. Widely available at under $500, the Centennial features all the basic washing machine technologies you’ve come to expect, including 11 automatic wash cycles, automatic temperature control, and a vibration-dampening suspension system. This washer is equipped with a center-column agitator in its 3.4 cubic foot washbasin. The Centennial is Energy Star rated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, though it does use more power and water than the more expensive high efficiency models. This is an excellent budget top load washer that will likely last for many years of regular use. It sells with a one-year limited warranty.

High Efficiency Top Load Washers

So-called “high efficiency” washers can be distinguished from tradition washers by the lack of a center-column agitator. Rather, these models are typically equipped with a wash plate at the bottom of the washbasin, which pushes and circulates the laundry items through the water. Without a center-column agitator, more clothes can be washed in a single load allowing for more efficient use of water and electricity. Typically, high efficiency washers are only compatible with “HE” laundry detergent, which is widely available in grocery stores.

The Samsung High Efficiency top load washer (WA5471ABP) is a fantastic option and among the best of the full-featured top load washers. With a super-sized 5.4 cubic foot wash basin, the machine can clean up to 34 bath towels in a single wash cycle. This model features Samsung’s Vibration Reduction Technology for smooth, quiet operation in the home, even when the machine reaches its full cycle speed of 1,300 rpm. This model includes Samsung’s advanced Powerfoam cleaning technology, which fills the washbasin with foam to penetrate deep into fabrics and bulky items for a deeper clean.

The Kenmore Elite High Efficiency 4.5 cubic foot top load washer is a full-featured machine packed with great features. The machine is Energy Star rated and features several other energy saving technologies, including a Cold Clean cycle that cleans just as well as warm water cycles, but with less energy. This is a sleek, modern, high capacity washer that can meet the laundry demands of large families while keeping energy consumption down. It sells with a 10-year warranty on the washer motor.

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