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6 Best Portable Washing Machines

To find the best portable washing machines, we reviewed:
  • 1. Performance
  • 2. Capacity
  • 3. Cycle Time
  • 4. Weight
  • 5. Cost
  • 6. Customer Reviews
mother a housewife with a baby engaged in laundry fold clothes into the washing machine as the featured image for a piece on portable washing machines

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What Is the Best Portable Washing Machine?

The best portable washing machines are small, easily movable washing machines that don’t need a direct water supply hookup. Perfect for small loads, camping, RVs, apartments, and dorms, these mini appliances are incredibly convenient.

But with potential problems like leaking, ineffective cleaning power, and limited space, it’s essential that you look for the best portable washing machines available. Even the highest-rated machines are priced low enough to be affordable.

Paying attention to customer reviews, specifications, and features will ensure you find one that will do its job well. We’ve done the work for you and have reviewed hundreds of washing machines made by different brands.

A few stand out as the best of the best, and we’re sharing them here. Find detailed info on each mini washing machine (capacity, weight, performance, cost, and reviews) below. We’ve also created a complete buyer’s guide to help you focus on the right criteria as you shop around.

Don’t waste your money on a mini washing machine that will break down or fail to get your laundry clean. Here are our top picks for the 6 best portable washing machines.

 Our Top 6 Picks:

1. Giantex Portable Mini Compact Twin Tub Portable Washing Machine
2. KUPPET Compact Twin Tub Portable Mini Washing Machine
3. SUPER DEAL Portable Compact Twin Tub Washing Machine
4. Garatic Portable Compact Mini Twin Tub Washing Machine
5. TACKLIFE Mini Compact Twin Tub Portable Washing Machine
6. The Laundry Alternative Wonderwash Retro Portable Compact Washer

Below, we rank the top 6 portable washers according to our criteria. We judge each appliance’s overall performance, capacity, cycle time, weight, and cost to give a score out of 20 total possible points. See how each one ranks below. 

Best Overall

Giantex Portable Mini Compact Twin Tub

Giantex Portable Mini Twin Tub Washing Machine

Our pick for the best portable washing machine because of its price.

TOTAL: 19/20

Performance: 4/4
Capacity: 4/4
Cycle Time: 4/4
Weight: 3/4
Cost: 4/4

The Giantex Portable Mini Compact Twin Tub Portable Washing Machine has more reviews than any other portable washer on Amazon. Even with more than 6,900 reviews, it still has a high average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.

With a total 17.6 pound capacity for laundry, you can fit a medium to large size load in the machine. This is one of the larger capacities you’ll find in portable washers. If you’ll be using your mini washer for more than small loads, this is definitely one to consider.

It features a twin tub design (washing tub and spinner), a gravity drain with drain tube, spinner to remove excess water from clothes, a timer for wash and spin cycles, and a cover plate to keep clothes from spinning out of the machine.

The 300-watt wash cycle takes 15 minutes to complete and the 110-watt spin cycle in the other tub takes 5 minutes. So in 20 minutes total, you can have a load of clothes clean and partially dry. It is rated best in the following categories: For small spaces, easy to use, and lightweight. It weighs only 28 pounds for easy maneuvering.

Second-Best

KUPPET Twin Tub Portable Mini Washing Machine

A solid portable washing machine that's a best seller for a reason.

TOTAL: 18/20

Performance: 4/4
Capacity: 4/4
Cycle Time: 4/4
Weight: 2/4
Cost: 4/4

The KUPPET Compact Twin Tub Portable Mini Washing Machine is the #1 best selling portable washing machine on Amazon. With more than 4,700 reviews and a 4.3 star average, it’s earned our #2 spot.

With a total 26 pound capacity in this twin tub machine, it’s big enough to handle a small, medium, or large load of laundry. You can choose to operate the 18-lb capacity washer tub separately from the 8-lb capacity spinner tub.

Or, you can run them together to have 2 loads going without waiting for one to finish.The drain tube and pump is built into this one, which is convenient when it’s time to drain the water out. The washer cycle takes 15 minutes and the spin cycle takes 5. One of the best features it has is the 1300RPM spinner motor.

It removes a lot more water from washed clothes so dry time is considerably cut. The only downside to this unit is it’s heavier weight. At 37.5 pounds, it’s not the most lightweight machine on our list, but it is still pretty easy to move around.

Third-Best

SUPER DEAL Portable Twin Tub Washing Machine​

SUPER DEAL Portable Twin Tub Washing Machine

A value pick portable washing machine with ample positive reviews.

TOTAL: 18/20

Performance: 4/4
• Capacity: 2/4
• 
Cycle Time: 4/4
• Weight: 4/4
• 
Cost: 4/4

The SUPER DEAL Portable Compact Twin Tub Washing Machine  is one of the lower-priced electric portable washers on our list. With more than 2,500 customer reviews, it has an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars.

It’s smaller and more compact than many other models available, and it’s also incredibly lightweight. The tradeoff, of course, is that the capacity is more limited. It has a 5.5 pound washer capacity and a 4.4 pound spinner capacity for a total of 9.9 pounds.

This is less than a medium-sized load of laundry, so this machine is best for very small loads. You can run the washer and spinner at the same time to dry off one load while you start washing another. Or run them separately as you need them.

The washer runs for 15 minutes on a timer and the spin cycle runs for up to 5 minutes per load. This is a powerful unit with a 1300RPM motor to thoroughly agitate and clean laundry and get clothes dryer in the spin cycle.

We like the True Rinse technology in this unit, which thoroughly rinses dirt and detergent from clothes without using more water than needed. Every cycle (there are 5) gets 2 deep rinses.

You can use powder, liquid, pod, or soap detergents to wash clothes in this. It’s rated the best in the following categories: Noise level, for small spaces, and lightweight; it’s only 22 pounds!

Fourth-Best

Garatic Portable Compact Mini Twin Tub Washing Machine

Product

A feature-rich portable washing maching that combines power and value.

TOTAL: 18/20

Performance: 3/4
• Capacity: 3/4
• Cycle Time: 4/4
Weight: 4/4
Cost: 4/4

The Garatic Portable Compact Mini Twin Tub Washing Machine  is #4 on our list of the best portable washers for several reasons. It packs a lot of features into its small size! With 4.3 out of 5 stars on average, customers really like this unit.

The popular twin tub design features a washer on one side and a spinner on the other. This means you can wash clothes while spinning another load dry in the next tub. It fits up to 13 pounds of laundry total.

A powerful 1300RPM motor makes sure the washer and spinner work hard to get clothes cleaner. You can set the wash timer for up to 15 minutes and the spinner for up to 5 minutes. All you do is load the clothes in, fill with water, set the time limit, and push start.

A drainage tube allows you to drain used water away without a mess. It weighs just 25.3 lbs, which is lighter than many other portable units.

Although it’s small, one reviewer said it was easily able to wash 2 towels and 5 washcloths in a single cycle. It’s rated best for the following categories: Value for money, for small spaces, and lightweight.

Fifth-Best

TACKLIFE Mini Compact Twin Tub Portable Washing Machine

TACKLIFE Mini Twin Tub Portable Washing Machine

A top pick for those seeking a lightweight, low-cost portable washing machine.

TOTAL: 17/20

Performance: 3/4
Capacity: 3/4
Cycle Time: 4/4
Weight: 3/4
Cost: 4/4

The TACKLIFE  Mini Compact Twin Tub Portable Washing Machine offers plenty of capacity, a strong motor for better performance, and an added soaking function for cleaner clothes. It gets an average 4.4 out of 5 stars in customer reviews. It also rates highest for lightweight, fitting in small spaces, and being easy to use.

The wash tub will hold up to 11 pounds of laundry, while the spin tub can hold up to 6.6 pounds. At 28 pounds total weight, it is pretty lightweight for a machine like this. The wash tub features a wash/soak timer as well.

You can set it to soak for 0 to 20 minutes, then wash for up to 15 minutes. The spinner can be set to run for up to 5 minutes. A 22 inch drain pipe drains the water out when you’re done without making a mess.

A filter net catches any remaining dirt so it can be cleaned after each use. The manufacturer notes that the spinner is not capable of completely drying clothes, so they recommend using a separate dryer for that.

Sixth-Best

The Laundry Alternative Wonderwash Retro Portable Compact Mini Washing Machine

The Laundry Alternative Wonderwash Retro Washer

A unique choice for those wanting to get some exercise while washing clothes.

TOTAL: 15/20

Performance: 2/4
• Capacity: 2/4
• Cycle Time: 3/4
• 
Weight: 4/4
• 
Cost: 4/4

The Laundry Alternative Wonderwash Retro Portable Compact Mini Washing Machine is the lowest-priced option on our list! At less than $60, this is definitely a bargain. It is not electric like the other models, though, so keep this in mind.

To use this unit, you turn an easy-turn hand crank around. Reviewers said it was so easy, their toddler children could do it. Wash up to 5 pounds of clothes at a time in this little portable unit. That’s equivalent to about 2 pairs of jeans, 8 dress shirts, or 10 t-shirts.

The included E-Z lid lever is simple to use and keeps all water contained for no splashing. The 3-year warranty stands out as one of the best. This is a great unit to have around if the power goes out, for camping, or even as a conversation piece.

Reviewers said it was a nice way to get younger children interested in helping out with chores or washing smaller loads. It takes about 2 minutes of cranking to get a load clean, but some reviewers said it ended up taking longer.

Many customers loved the different retro colors it comes in and cool, vintage-inspired design. With 4.3 out of 5 stars, it is rated best in the following categories: Easy to assemble, lightweight, and easy to use.

How to Choose the Best Portable Washing Machine

Before you buy a portable washing machine, you should know which features and specifications to look for. Some perform much better than others. Without buying every unit yourself, how can you determine which are worth your time? Our buyer’s guide outlines the criteria by you should judge a portable washing machine.

Washer and Spinner Performance

Most of the units available are the twin tub style, with a wash tub on one side and a spin tub on the other. The wash tub is where water is added along with detergent to get them clean. If a washer doesn’t perform well, or if the spinner isn’t powerful enough to wring water out, the unit will end up being pretty worthless to you.

Find the best washer and spinner performance by looking for motor specifications like RPMs (revolutions per minute) and wattage. At minimum, you’ll want a portable washer with a 1300RPM motor to ensure it spins fast enough to mix detergent with water and penetrate all clothing in a load.

It also ensures the spinner will spin fast enough to wring out as much water as possible. This cuts your drying time considerably and is a lot less messy than dealing with sopping wet, clean clothes.

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Portable Washing Machine Capacity

Every portable unit you find for sale should tell you exactly what its maximum capacity is. This explains how much laundry you can fit into the machine at one time in a load.

For twin tub portable washers, most capacities are given as a total in pounds. But pay close attention, because this will actually be a combination of the wash tub and spin tub capacities. For example, one unit on our list says it can hold 17.6 pounds of laundry.

But the wash tub can hold a maximum of 11 pounds and the spin tub holds a maximum of 6.6 pounds. For reference, most portable washing machines can hold anywhere from about 5 pounds (small hand-crank models) up to about 26 pounds (larger electric models).

A 5-pound capacity can handle about 2 pairs of jeans, 8 dress shirts, or 10 t-shirts at a time. A 26 pound capacity can handle a medium load comparable to what you’d be able to wash in a full-size machine.

As long as you understand that the total capacity is not actually the weight of clothes you can fit into a single load, but rather the combination of the wash and spin tub capacities, you’ll make a better buying decision. 

Wash and Spin Cycle Time

The time it takes to complete a wash or spin cycle is also important to think about. It’s one of those things that’s easy to skip over while you’re shopping around, but becomes really important the moment you start your first load.

It should not take more than about 20 minutes to complete a wash cycle. Most spin cycles (that wring water out of clothing) in these units take no more than 5 minutes.

Also think about the features that surround a unit’s wash and spin cycle times. It’s a good idea to look for bonus features like adjustable timers (so you can set a shorter or longer time if needed) and an option to add time for soaking.

For hand-crank machines, the wash cycle lasts as long as you continue cranking. This can be a turnoff for some buyers, so make sure you’re selecting an electric portable washer if you want to be able to set the wash cycle time and walk away.

Total Weight

Since these machines are intended to be portable, make sure you look for one that is truly lightweight. The smaller the unit, the lighter the weight – but also the less capacity it will have for laundry.

So what you’ll be looking for is a good balance between the two. You want a unit that is light enough to easily move, but large enough to fit your preferred laundry load size. The portable units on our list range in weight from about 5 pounds (the hand-crank machine) to as much as almost 38 pounds.

Even the heavier machines will still be maneuverable if you’re able to lift it, but keep any mobility or weight-lifting restrictions you or family members may have in mind. This is especially true if you’ll need to move your portable washer in and out of an area each time you use it, rather than keeping it stored in the same place. 

Portable Washing Machine Cost

Finally, you should compare and consider the cost of each portable washer you’re checking out. While these units range in price from about $50 to as much as $800, you’ll find that most are more in the range of $100 to $200.

When in doubt, and if there’s room in your budget, spend a little more to get a higher-quality, longer-lasting machine. It’s not always the case, but usually higher priced units are made with more durable components and are more functional.

The more features and capacity a portable washing machine has, the more it will cost. But as you can see in our list above of the top 6 units, you can find a wonderful feature-filled washer for less than $200.

Just make sure you know your budget before you start shopping around. Choose a unit on the higher end of what you can afford to ensure you end up with the best portable washing machine in your price range.

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