The 7 Best Portable Washing Machines of 2023

Our top pick is the Magic Chef Top Loader.

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If you’re tired of hauling laundry down the stairs of a walk-up apartment or waiting at a crowded laundromat for your clothes to clean, a portable washer can be a convenient alternative. These small washers can be used almost anywhere by connecting to a kitchen sink or bathroom faucet, and since the loads are smaller, there’s less water waste than if you were to put the same micro-load of wash into a full-sized machine.

Even the most energy-efficient washers have an annual energy use of 80 to 120 kilowatt hours per year, where a portable washer, in comparison, uses around 25 to 40 kilowatt hours per year. Portable washers are a fraction of the size of traditional washers, so they’re not ideal for every household, but for individuals or couples living in spaces without a laundry hook-up, portable washers can be a huge time and sanity-saver.

Here are the best portable washers:

Best Overall

Magic Chef MCSTCW16W4 1.6 cu. ft. Compact White Top Load Washing Machine

Magic Chef MCSTCW16W4 1.6 cu. ft. Compact White Top Load Washing Machine


Capacity: 1.6 cubic feet | Dimensions: 20.7 x 20.3 x 36.6 inches | Weight: 70.5 pounds | Warranty: 1 year

The Magic Chef Compact Top Load Washing Machine is a high-quality product at a reasonable price point from a trusted brand. It has \several features that set it apart. The settings are similar to a standard unit: A soak, wash, rinse, and spin option plus, six different cycles for various types of clothing (heavy duty, delicates, etc.).

You can pause cycles, set the timers, and adjust the temperature settings with the LED display panel. The washer has a clothing capacity of nearly 11 pounds, making it one of the larger portable washing machines available.

Price at time of publish: $636

Good to Know

Portable washers require significantly less detergent than a traditional washer, so it’s best to do a test run to gauge the proper amount. It’s important to keep in mind that larger items like fluffy comforters, pillows, and other large items should still be taken to a laundromat and don't do well in any portable unit. Do not try and overfill the washer.

Before use, make sure that hoses are tightly secured and if the hose is draining directly into a sink, weigh the hose down (so you don’t end up with water all over the floor).

Best Combo

Tacklife 17.6 lbs Mini Compact Twin Tub Washing Machine

Tacklife 17.6 lbs Mini Compact Twin Tub Washing Machine

Courtesy of Tacklife

Capacity: 11 pounds for the washer, 6.6 pounds for the spinner | Dimensions: 25.6 x 14.2 x 28.8 inches | Weight: 28.7 pounds | Warranty: 2 years

The Tacklife washer and spinner combo is reasonably priced, yet effectively cleans and removes moisture from the clothes (but they’ll still need to hang dry for a couple hours to be thoroughly dry). The washer can handle up to 11 pounds, which is about as much as a small load of laundry in a traditional machine.

There’s also a separate spin dry that can hold up to 6.6 pounds of clothing and takes just five minutes to spin dry. There’s also a soaking function for those tough stains or extremely soiled clothing. This top-loading unit weighs around 29 pounds, making it fairly portable.

Price at time of publish: $119

Best Splurge

GE GNW128PSMWW 2.8 cu. ft. 8-Cycle Top-Loading Portable Washer

GE GNW128PSMWW 2.8 cu. ft. 8-Cycle Top-Loading Portable Washer


Capacity: 2.8 cubic feet | Dimensions: 24.5 x 24 x 37.4 inches | Weight: 99 pounds | Warranty: 1 year

If you’re looking to invest a little more in a portable washer, the GE 2.8 Cubic Foot Portable Washer is loaded with extra features commonly found a standard, full-sized fixed machines, plus it has a large washing capacity. With eight different wash cycle settings and four different temperatures, there are plenty of options for cleaning a wide range of garments.

Four caster wheels under the washer allow it to roll with ease, and an open-designed, stainless steel basin can hold towels, small blankets, and bedsheets. Due to its larger size and nearly 100-pound weight, the washer is not a travel-friendly option like some of the smaller units but is ideal as a substitute for a traditional, in-home washing machine.

Price at time of publish: $978

Best Budget

ZenStyle Portable Washer Compact Twin Tub

ZenStyle Portable Washer Compact Twin Tub

Courtesy of Amazon

Capacity: 5.5 pounds for the washer, 4.4 pounds for the spinner | Dimensions: 25.19 x 22.04 x 14.96 inches | Weight: 22 pounds | Warranty: None

If you’re in the market for a portable washer but are on a tight budget, consider the ZenStyle Compact Washing Machine, a top-loading machine that delivers a solid bang for your buck. Weighing just 20 pounds, the washer features a practical two-in-one design for washing clothes and spinning them dry and both sides can run simultaneously.

With a capacity of 5.5 pounds of clothing in the wash, it’s possible to wash a pair of jeans and a few pairs of underwear and socks in a single load. Each load takes about 20 minutes for both cycles, but clothing comes out nearly dry—just hang it on a drying rack after removal—no need to wring anything. The device also has a built-in lint trap and timer settings.

Price at time of publish: $110

Best for Apartments + Renters

Comfee' 1.6 Cu.ft Portable Washing Machine

Comfee' 1.6 Cu.ft Portable Washing Machine

Courtesy of Amazon

Capacity: 1.6 cubic feet | Dimensions: 20.7 x 20.3 x 36.6 inches | Weight: 70.5 pounds | Warranty: 1 year

With a larger wash capacity and loaded with extra features, the Comfee Portable Washer is ideal for apartments that aren’t equipped with traditional washers and dryers. Powered by an energy-efficient motor, the sleek, gray unit has both hot and cold water input, a stainless steel tub, and a quick-close glass top (no slamming the lid shut).

For families with little ones, there’s a child lock feature that freezes the control panel. Plus, the pause setting adds time so you can add any forgotten articles of clothing. The extremely quiet washer (and built-in spinner) can hold up to 11 pounds and can accommodate towels and thin blankets. One drawback is that it weighs around 70 pounds—although it can be moved using carry handles. That means when it's time to move, this washer can be packed up and taken to your next place.

Price at time of publish: $396

Best for Tiny Homes

hOmeLabs 0.9 Cu. Ft. Portable Washing Machine

hOmeLabs 0.9 Cu. Ft. Portable Washing Machine

Courtesy of Amazon

Capacity: 0.9 cubic feet | Dimensions: 23.3 x 17.9 x 27.2 inches | Weight: 48.5 pounds | Warranty: 2 years

The Homelabs washer isn’t as lightweight as some of the other options, although its two roller wheels allow it to move from room to room with ease. The stainless-steel drum can hold up to 6 pounds of clothing, and for maximum energy savings, there are five different washing programs and three water levels. The feet are adjustable, to help it sit steadily on slightly uneven surfaces.

There’s an LED panel to adjust the wash settings (heavy, gentle, normal, rapid, and soak), with a wash time of around 20 minutes (including spin-dry cycle). The unit has an estimated annual cost of just $3 to operate.

Price at time of publish: $300

Best Manual

Lavario 1204 Manual Portable Clothes Washer

Lavario 1204 Manual Portable Clothes Washer


Capacity: 0.7 cubic feet | Dimensions: 19 x 19 x 24 inches | Weight: 10 pounds | Warranty: Manufacturer will replace any part that is damaged or missing

If you’re living off-grid, are doing some backwoods camping, or would like a backup way to wash clothes in case of a power outage, the Lavario Non-Electric Portable Washing Machine is both cost-effective and eco-friendly. Made in the United States, this manual, hand-powered washer is simple to use, requiring just 10 “up and down” motions for wash and rinse on the easy-grip handle.

One of the smallest and lightest devices on this list, the washer can be easily toted on trips or moved to different rooms in the home. It’s worth noting that garments still remain fairly wet after use, so they’ll still need to be hand-wrung or combined with a manual spin dryer.

Price at time of publish: $180

Final Verdict

The Magic Chef Compact Top Loader is our top pick overall for its sturdy, more traditional design and larger capacity. If you don’t have an electric hookup, the Lavario Non-Electric Portable Washing Machine is a great choice for going off-grid.

What to Consider When Shopping for a Portable Washing Machine

Washing Capacity

Some portable washers can only fit a few small articles of clothing while others can handle the equivalent of a standard, small to medium-sized load. Also consider what types of clothing you wash the most frequently, as larger items, like towels and blankets, may not fit the smaller portable washers.

Spin Dry

The more affordable washers (and manual washers) often do not have a spin-dry option. This means you’ll be hand-wringing the water out of the clothes, and they’ll take more time to dry (particularly if you don’t have an outdoor clothing line) than the washers that have a spin dry. If you do choose a washer without a spin-dry, you may want to consider purchasing a spinner or portable dryer separately.  


While these washers qualify as portable, some of them are very heavy. If you plan on toting the washer with you to campgrounds or hotels, opt for a smaller model or a medium washer with wheels. 


Most washers run on 120 volts, but there are some non-electric options on the market. Additionally, you’ll need a place to drain the wash water and the proper adapters to hook up to the faucet (for electric-powered ones). Not all washers include hoses and adapters, so you may need to purchase some minor parts separately.

Why Trust Treehugger?

The author, Amber Nolan, lives off-grid and is constantly researching and testing products that are more sustainable.

Arricca SanSone updated this article based on features, product reviews, and functionality.