Are you an apartment dweller, condo owner, or just someone who wants to optimize the space you live in? If so, then a portable washing machine might be the next purchase you consider for your unit. Portable washers and dryers are more affordable than their larger cousins and can still wash and dry an impressive amount of laundry for their size. Plus, these portable machines can be easily stored away before and after use, making them the perfect choice for anyone working with limited space.
- 0.1 The Best Portable Washing Machine Units By Rating and Price:
- 0.2 Portable washing machine reviews: how to pick the best washer for you
- 0.2.1 Best Choices For Portable Washer & Dryer Combos 2018
- 0.2.2 The Best Portable Washer and Dryer Combos by Rating and Price
- 0.3 Appartment Sized Washer & Dryers
- 0.4 The most cost-effective apartment size washer and dryers
- 1 The 3 Best Stackable Washer and Dryers
The Best Portable Washing Machine Units By Rating and Price:
What is a portable washing machine?
A portable washing machine is just what its name implies – it’s a smaller version of a full washing machine that can be easily moved into your main living area when needed, but stored away in a closet when you don’t. Portable washing machines hook directly into a standard faucet via an adapter, and drain water through a tube you leave right in your sink. Drying options are up to you – line dry, drying rack, or the dryer downstairs. Whatever you choose, depending on your situation and how much laundry you do, a portable washing machine will save you time, stress, and money.
- Cost – a portable washing machine can range anywhere from under $200 to around $350, and most are reliable, quality appliances that are able to handle the average individual’s laundry needs. These machines are certainly less expensive than a regular-sized washing machine, and are always available right when you need them to be – unlike shared laundry in many large apartment and condo complexes.
- Convenience – imagine being able to do laundry in your apartment, or even your room, without the need for laundry hookups or quarters! You can do laundry whenever you want, without ever leaving your place. This is great for new parents, busy professionals, and anyone not comfortable with leaving their laundry at the mercy of unknown neighbors and strangers.
- Travel – Many people who buy a portable washer and dryer set take their unit with them when they go on vacation or travel. Imagine going camping for more than a few days and having a washer or dryer with you! Especially if you plan on being active, and you have a trailer or RV, you can keep your clothes fresh and smelling great, and you won’t have to pack as much!
- Capacity – One of the most obvious issues with portable washers are that they cannot do as much laundry as a traditional machine. Most of the portable washers can clean up to 10 lbs. at a time, which is around half the capacity a regular washer can handle.
- Setup – Another potential con of portable washers is the setup involved before you can use it. There’s no water line installed, and so before you can use it, you’ll have to either fill up your machine from the sink, or use a bucket or another source to fill your washer.
- Space – This might seem counter-intuitive, but if you live in a VERY small space, you might not want anything taking up more room than you need. However, remember that you can also store items on top of your machine, or store your machine underneath shelving or raised furniture.
Why invest in a portable washing machine?
If you’ve lived in a condo or apartment before, you know that many buildings provide on-site laundry rooms – though some, unfortunately, do not. A portable washing machine is the obvious choice for any dwelling that doesn’t have its own washing machines on-site, but even for buildings that do, investing in a portable washing machine might be well worth the up-front cost.
Consider this: if you have a laundry room, it might be an inconvenient distance from your unit, and it could be coin-operated and always full. If you have a baby on the way, or your mobility is limited, or you just want the convenience of being able to do laundry on your own terms, a portable laundry unit could be perfect for you.
Portable washing machine reviews: how to pick the best washer for you
When considering the best portable washing machine for your situation and needs, there are several aspects to consider:
Design & portability
One of the first things to think about when starting your search for a washer is its design and portability. Both of these aspects are often the main reasons why someone wants to purchase their first (or next) unit. Some of these features include:
- Height, width, and depth (adjustable feet?)
- Weight (cubic ft.)
- Capacity and maximum spin (RPM)
- Included faucet adapter
- Casters and cabinet handles (for maximum portability)
- Noise reduction plate
- Pulsator (this is a disc at the bottom of the tub that spins to wash the clothes – it allows you to wash more clothes at once)
Cycles and wash settings
When comparing prices and washers, you should note the number of features and wash cycles the unit offers. More cycles offer more versatility, and also help reduce water waste and energy use. Some of the most common cycles are: Heavy Cycle; Delicate Cycle; Quick Cycle; Spin Only; and Soak Only (this last one isn’t included often on portable washing machines).
Also don’t forget about water level settings! These are important as it allows you to set how much water you need to clean your laundry effectively. The best washers often have six options of water levels.
When determining what portable washer is best for you, don’t forget about the little features that can make a big difference. Most people don’t enjoy doing laundry—many put it off until the last possible moment. While the convenience of having a portable washing machine might make laundry less of a chore, you still want to make it as easy as possible. Some of the most sought-after ease-of-use features include:
- Remaining time indicator
- Delay start
- End-of-cycle signal
- Detergent and softener dispensers (most washers will have the first, the second is more rare)
For more options and information about portable washers, check out the reviews on our site. You’ll find helpful information that doesn’t just stop with a portable washer purchase. We hope that the information on our site is useful to you even after you choose your perfect washer. If you have any questions, or would like to see an article about a certain topic, please let the team know!
The portable washer and dryer combo are one of the most underrated improvements to home appliances in the modern era. If you’re looking to buy a house, it usually goes without saying that your house will have washer and dryer hookups. Few new homeowners plan to do their laundry at a laundromat. However, if you have shopped around for a home, you may be very familiar with the issue of where the washer and dryer hookups are located. You may have a room that you’re picturing as your laundry room, but it doesn’t have hookups, whereas the small hallway leading into what you’re envisioning for your den does. Also, if you live in an apartment or don’t have access to water hookups, going portable might be your only alternative to taking your laundry to a laundrymat.
Best Choices For Portable Washer & Dryer Combos 2018
This is where the convenience, flexibility, and portability of a portable washer and dryer combo truly shows its genius. With a portable washer and dryer combo, you aren’t tied down to only doing your laundry in one area of your home. Plus, these portable washer dryer combos are the perfect solution to anyone who is short on space, or living in a non-traditional home, or limited living space, like a trailer home, triplex, condo, or apartment.
The portable washer and dryer combo is a great option for anyone who doesn’t like to wait around for clothes to line dry, or who is concerned with having dripping clothes in their apartment or unit. Often these units are not much more expensive than a solo washer or solo dryer, and the benefits can outweigh any downsides. Read on below to find out more before you make your decision on whether a portable washer dryer combo is right for you!
The Best Portable Washer and Dryer Combos by Rating and Price
Let’s cut to the chase and break down the best portable washer and dryer combos by rating and price. These are not the only washer and dryer combos we recommend, but these are three of the best out there on the market currently, for the reasons that we’ll go into below.
Remember, it’s always good to do as much research as you can before making your purchase – not only will research make you feel better about your purchase, but you’ll be able to understand why a certain combo might not be right for your situation. Before you do look into any washer and dryer combo, we recommend knowing a couple important statistics:
- What are the dimensions of the room and/or area where you’ll put your washer dryer combo
- What is the distance between the floor and the faucet, and the floor and the sink?
- Where is the nearest three-prong outlet?
- What is the average size of laundry you want to do in your washer?
Panda, if you’ve shopped around even a little for portable washers and dryers, is one of the most popular brands. This is in large part due to its price, durability, and reliability – three qualities that you should look for when you’re purchasing any major home appliance. This particular Panda washer and dryer combo are perfect for anyone looking especially for space-saving options, and flexibility. With a 7.9 lb. capacity for clothes, you’ll have enough room to wash all your important items, and yet the unit only weighs a total of 28 lbs. That means it’s easier for you to move around, and store when not in use.
Plus, as with any Panda unit, this washer and dryer combo is easy to operate. You just add your clothes, detergent, fill with water, and then set to wash. One side is your regular washer, and the other is a spin dryer. Because of its small size, your wash cycle only takes a few minutes. The great thing about having a washer dryer combo is that you don’t have to wring out all that water from your clothes – just transfer the wet into the spin dryer, and set to spin. No more dripping water while your clothes line dry.
For these reasons, and its reasonable price, the Panda Washing Machine 7.9 lbs. capacity with spin dryer is one of our Top Picks for anyone living in a limited space, who still wants a great dual unit that will wash a decent load of laundry.
If you’re willing to spend just a bit more money, one of our other favorite picks for a portable washer and dryer combo is the newer model Panda compact portable washer that holds 15 lbs. per load, has a spin dryer, and a built-in pump. This washer dryer combo offers the largest load capacity of the Panda models, and just barely less than a normal-size washer load (which is average: 18 lbs.). Yet unlike its more bulky, larger cousins, this washer dryer unit is only 17x32x27 inches, and weighs only 34 lbs. That means that despite its larger capacity for clothes, the unit is still easily movable, and small enough to store out of the way when not in use.
The 15 lb. Panda washer dryer combo is a great option for those homeowners or condo dwellers who want to be able to do more laundry in one go, but also don’t have a lot of space or washer dryer hookups. The setup for this larger unit is the same as for its compact cousins – one side is for washing, and the other is for spinning. A bonus with this unit is the built-in pump that attaches to the unit for easy upper drainage. No more worrying about how to dump out the water after you finish your wash cycle. The pump makes the process super simple.
So if you’re looking for a compromise between larger laundry loads and space-saving washer dryer combo options, this Panda 15 lb. capacity may be just what you’re looking for.
If you’d rather purchase a washer and dryer combo that’s not Panda, the Giantex portable, compact washer dryer combo is a great alternative. This unit has a certified capacity of 8 lbs. for wash, and weighs total 37.4 lbs. That means you can not only do a decently-sized load of laundry, and then move the unit without much trouble after you’re done. A perk of this washer dryer unit is the built-in aluminum drain pump and drainage tube, that automatically and easily drains dirty water at the completion of your wash cycle.
One difference between the Giantex and the Panda is its water level gauge. If you’re paranoid about leaving your washer on, and then stepping out of the room, this feature of the Giantex is for you. The gauge provides three water levels that you can choose from – depending on the amount of clothes you need to wash. Not only do you lower the risk of water overflowing from the lid of your washer, you also save on water and electricity, not wasting unnecessary spillage or effort for a certain size load.
The Benefits of a Portable Washer Dryer Combo
If you’re thinking about buying a portable washer, and you don’t think you need the dryer, consider this before you miss out on a great combo:
- Washer dryer combos are often not that much more than just purchasing a portable washer, and when you consider the benefits, the difference in cost if often well worth it in the long run
- Two words: wet clothes – enough said. Who wants wet, dripping clothes?
- Quicker clean laundry – adding a spin cycle means that your clothes will dry quicker, and you’ll be able to wear them again sooner! (Or at least fold and put them away sooner)
One of the only “downsides” to a portable washer and dryer combo would be the weight and the space. If you truly are restricted in the amount of space you have to keep your washer and dryer units, than perhaps purchasing just one is the right choice for your situation. Even if you don’t have the space, you can still figure out creative ways (or at least pretty convenient ways) to wash and dry your clothes efficiently.
- If you have just a portable washer, you can always line dry your clothes out on the balcony, or in your bathroom, or kitchen (over tile, ideally, due to dripping)
- You can always take your laundry down to the shared laundry room in your building, or to your local laundromat – dryers are often not as busy as washers, and you can save money and time by just drying, and not washing AND drying, your clothes
If you want more advice on what type of washer and dryer combo, or portable washing solution, is right for you, please check out the other pages on this site. You’ll find all the information and reviews you need to make an informed decision concerning your next major appliance purchase, and then be able to be happy with your washer and dryer combo purchase for years to come.
Appartment Sized Washer & Dryers
The most cost-effective apartment size washer and dryers
One of our favorite compact appliances is the apartment size washer and dryer, but let’s dismiss some misconceptions about these portable washing machines before we say anything more. Because it’s the opinion of some of the writers on this site that portable washers and dryers get a bad rap from big box stores that want consumers to buy their larger (and, of course, more expensive) cousins.
Our favorite three apartment size washers and dryers
Compact washer and dryers can be useful in many different living situations, including people who live in cabins, mobile homes, and freestanding guest houses. However, compact washers and dryers are compact lifesavers for many apartment dwellers, due to the time they save waiting for open washers or dryers in the shared laundry space. So if you live in an apartment and are searching for the best apartment size washer or dryer that still fits within your budget, here are three of our favorites:
This Midea top-loading washer is 1.6 cubic feet in capacity, and only weighs 68.3 lbs. For apartment size washers, we love top-loading designs, because with top-loaders, you don’t need to worry about the space in front or back of the unit as much, meaning you can do your laundry in an even smaller space, with ease!
The Midea’s dimensions are: 20.7 x 20.3 x 37 inches. With the door open, the top rises to 48 inches. While the machine has two rollers on its back so you can tilt and move the machine easier around your apartment, a pro tip if you’re concerned about the weight or unwieldiness is: purchase a small dolly (or find one used on Craigslist or a garage sale), to make the machine even easier to move.
Why do we love this Midea? Because it’s stainless steel! You’ll find apartment size washers that are made of plastic (albeit strong, treated plastic), but the Midea’s stainless steel body means you’ll be able to use it for years, and as often as you need.
Another great apartment size washer is The Magic Chef. Again, this washer holds 1.6 cubic feet in capacity, and is around the same price as the Midea. However, a few features differ. The Magic Chef’s control panel is a bit easier to read, with fully electronic controls and an LED display. The Chef comes with 6 different pre-set washes, and 6 different water level selections. This is great for if you need to do a small load of dish towels or baby clothes, or you’re looking to wash a respectable amount of adult-size clothes.
Something special about The Magic Chef? While, like any apartment size washer, it can be used without washer/dryer hookups, it also CAN hook into your W/D hookup, if you have one. The Magic Chef also has a relatively large capacity for its size, plus with its different settings, you can be even more exacting in your water usage or conservation.
Size-wise, The Magic Chef can easily be stored away in most closets while not in use. So you can forget about it until you need that next load of laundry done!
Not to be biased, we thought we’d include one standalone apartment size dryer in our list, for those who are looking for that type of unit. This Panda is a great option, as it’s only 48 lbs. with a stainless steel drum and see-through window. You can EVEN mount this on the wall if you like, and it’s safer than some dryers, as it runs at 110V rather than 220.
Yet even with its compact size, this dryer can hold up to 13 lbs. of clothes – enough to effectively dry your sheets, linens, and clothing – without taking up a ton of room in your apartment. The unit is so lightweight and portable, it’s often a favorite RV addition, or on longer camping trips where you might want warm, dry clothes.
Whether you want to vent this dryer is up to you – and also depends on where you live. If you live in a humid location, you might consider using an indoor venting kit, or attaching a hose to the dryer, and letting that hose wind towards the outdoors. However, the dryer was not designed to need venting, and does not require this to work well.
While these are some of our favorite apartment size washers and dryers, they are by no means the full list. We encourage you to peruse the site if you’re looking for a washer or dryer (or washer dryer unit) for your next purchase, as you’ll hopefully find one here that matches what you need from it, for your particular living situation.
Some misconceptions about apartment size washers and dryers
Here are some misconceptions about portable washers and dryers that we’ve heard:
- “Apartment size washers and dryers don’t do enough laundry to be worth the cost.”
- “Portable washers use up too much water.”
- “Apartment size washers and dryers can damage your floors.”
- “They’re dangerous”
Let’s take these one by one, and wring out the truth in each.
The Truth: Apartment size washers and dryers offer several load options, with enough capacity for most apartment dwellers or compact family homes
Have you ever loaded your clothes into a laundromat washer and noticed all the extra room? Unless you’re trying to overstuff a load of clothes + sheets + towels, if you’re an apartment-dwelling individual, or a couple, you probably don’t need to wash a large amount of clothes frequently. And even if you do, one of the benefits of a portable washer is that – because it is conveniently located in your apartment – you can do smaller loads more often, so that the smaller capacity is never a problem.
In fact, these washer and dryer units are incredibly popular with new parents, because baby clothes are small in size, but often big in stains. And when your child’s clothes get dirty, you often can’t wait too long to wash them. Apartment-size washers with 1.65 cubic feet can comfortably hold around 10 lbs. Of clothes, suitable for most couples and small family’s needs.
The Truth: Small washers use less gallons of water per year than big washers
Helpfully, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Star program has run numbers on the differences in water consumption between small and large washers. The official designation in their studies for a “small washer” is one with less than 2.5 cubic feet of capacity. Your average portable washer has around 1-2 cubic feet of capacity.
According to the Department of Energy’s studies, an apartment-sized washer uses an average of 8.35 gallons of water per full wash load, or 3,274 gallons per year. Compare this to your average 4 cubic foot large washing machine… even an energy efficient one. That big washing machine will use an average 11.75 gallons of water per full wash load, or 4,606 gallons per year.
Additionally, standard-size washing machines often require a lot of electricity to run. In fact, the Department of Energy lists these standard washing machines as the fourth biggest energy waster in a home. This number rises to the second biggest waster, if your home doesn’t have a pool.
The Truth: Apartment size washers and dryers can damage your floors
Some apartment size washers come with spin cycle drying, or several different wash types of speeds. Understandably, before you purchase a portable washer, you want to make sure it won’t scuff up your floors. To this end, we recommend you always check into washer and dryer units that have rattle guards, or you pick up an inexpensive rubber mat to place under your washer when it runs.
Some tips: running your washer or dryer in a room with tile or linoleum might be better than running on marble floors, or wood. However, even if your entire apartment or cabin has wood flooring, your washer and dryer should be fine if you test it out, and prepare for the possibility of a bit of movement.
The Truth: Apartment size washing machines and dryers are not more dangerous than any other compact appliance
As with any appliance, apartment size washing machines and dryers always run the risk of danger if used improperly, or in rare cases. That said, these compact appliances have no history of being any more dangerous than other appliances.
Some helpful safety tips to consider while using (or before using) any electronic appliance:
- Only leave your washer and dryer unattended after you’ve run it once at least under supervision – know your voltage, and always use a grounded outlet
- Never leave the apartment entirely for long periods with your apartment size washer or dryer running. If you’ve never run your dryer cycle, make sure you check in on it to make sure it’s venting properly and the timing is correct
- Test out different times for your wash and dry loads – remember that with apartment size washers especially, the time it takes to do a load will be much less than that of a traditional washer
- Always make sure that you unplug the unit before you move it around, and watch out for water on the floor before you let a cord drop
The 3 Best Stackable Washer and Dryers
For anyone looking for the ultimate in space-saving portable washers and dryers, they’ll find some great options in the stackable portable washer and dryer combo.
Stackable washers and dryers not only save space, but they free up your time and cost less than most traditional alternatives. Additionally, they provide you with flexibility and much-needed space, so in-room laundry can be achieved in almost any living situation.
Top 3 Stackable Washer & Dryers for 2018
The stackable washer and dryer unit was the most likely next step for portable washers. One of the main reasons why portable washing machines are so popular is because they are major space-savers, making laundry possible for people who could never afford to do it within their homes before. If you’re interested in saving space, then you’d probably taken that next logical jump to wondering whether you could save even MORE space by stacking two units together.
Before we go on, let’s put this right out there: you should NOT purchase a portable washing machine and also a portable dryer that were not made to be placed anywhere other than the floor, and stack them one on top of the other. The only stackable machines you should consider are ones that were fully designed to be stackable.
Prior to committing to a purchase, you should also consider some important aspects of owning a stackable portable washer and dryer unit:
- Do you have someplace where you can store the unit when not in use, and does this area fit both the width, depth, and height dimensions of your washer and dryer.
- Have you considered how much laundry you will need to do per week, and whether the top unit is easy enough to get to for whoever I using it.
- Are you okay sacrificing some of the mobility and portability of the more traditional washer and dryer, in exchange for the space-saving aspects of the portable washer and dryer
If so, here are three of our favorites:
If you want to save space, but you also don’t want to skimp on load space, the GE is a good option to check out. It has several settings, and works well in a compact space. It does need a 225V hookup, but it saves much more space than a side-by-side traditional washer and dryer.
If you have a 110V hookup, then the Sekido Stackable Compact Washer could be your solution. This combo has a venting option for the dryer, and a 13 lb. load capacity. It has water saving options, and an end-of-cycle chime, so you can walk away from the laundry, and still hear it to switch loads immediately.
For more information on stackable washers and dryers, or any advice on what time works for you, visit our homepage!
4 Tips When Using Your Small Portable Washing Machine
If you recently purchased a portable washing machine, but you have yet to use it for the first time, we wanted to provide 4 tips that will hopefully help you get the most out of your machine, plus save you stress, time, and wasted water.
If you’ve made the switch to a portable washer, you’ve already been sold on the benefits of having a smaller, lightweight, easily movable washer for your apartment or home. These machines are great for apartment and mobile home living because they not only save space, but also cut back on your water bill. Best of all, portable washers require minimal setup and installation, you just wheel your machine up to a sink, hook it up to a faucet, plug the machine into a three-prong outlet, and you’re set to start washing!
Starting tips for loading your portable washer
Before you wheel your washer out from its storage space, scope out the area you’re thinking about using. Your washer will need to be connected to a faucet, so check your washer and make sure you have the hose, and it’s connected on one end to your washing machine. Note its length. Almost every portable washing machine we know of (and definitely all the ones we review) come with a default hose. However, depending on your situation and space, you might need to purchase (or DIY) an extension hose in order to reach your sink. This is especially important if your sink is set back in your apartment or mobile home.
Clear your space and load your machine
Once you determine that your space will fit your portable washing machine, we recommend first loading your machine, so you don’t accidently bump the hose off the connector. For the most part, you should be doing small loads with your portable washer, and many washers only hold up to ten pounds of clothing. Your machine’s instruction manual will have specific specs for how much clothing your model will hold, but we recommend not overstuffing your machine.
Here are a few load tips:
- Leave at least two inches of open space between the sides and back of your portable washer, to avoid spillage and malfunction
- Load your clothes evenly throughout the washing bin – uneven loads may produce vibration, noise, or even water spillage
- Remember to empty any pockets and check for forgotten items before loading clothes into the machine – did you remove the pacifier? How about loose change or paperclips? Hard items could damage the washer, and no one likes finding laundered money!
- Just like a full-size washing machine, you can separate loads by color and fabric type – new clothes with vibrant colors might just as easily bleed over in a portable washer as they would in a normal wash!
Hook the hose up to a faucet
Once your laundry is loaded and you’ve positioned your washer where you want it to be during the wash cycle, it’s now time to hook the hose up to the faucet. Screw the hose onto your kitchen or spare room faucet. Make sure the fastener is tightened before turning your water on.
Some water tips:
- Use the water temperature that works best for your clothing type. Cold water, warm, or hot.
- Some portable washers have two different hoses: one to load the water, and the other to drain it after the wash. Refer to your instruction manual if you have any questions about which hose you’re connecting to the kitchen sink.
- Most machines have a line inside the washer that indicates how much water you should add. Do not add water above that line, as it can create spillage and potentially damage your washer and/or your clothing.
Plug in your washer and prep your load
Once you have your washer hooked up, do a quick check and make sure that your plug is dry, and then plug your washer into the wall. Most portable washers require a three-prong outlet, so make sure you check for this prior to deciding where to set up your washer.
Never remove or cut the third prong from the washer’s cord, as you always need a grounded wall outlet. Portable washing machines do not work with extension cords.
You’re ready to wash!
Once you’ve done all the steps above, it’s time to wash your clothes! Here are our tips for washing:
- Most machines have a washer timer – the dirtier your clothing, the longer you want to wash them
- Once your cycle is done, remember to drain the dirty water – there should be a different nozzle to do this, which you place in the sink before you drain.
- Be aware that a safety feature of your washing machine is that it will start draining automatically if the lid is opened – this helps prevent serious accidents.
- Some washers allow you to customize controls, including setting water level, temperature, and cycle start or end.
Once the wash cycle ends, depending on the portable washer you own, you will need to drain the used water, and then fill it back up again with cold water for the rinse cycle. Check your manual to confirm. After the rinse cycle, you drain the water again, and begin the spin cycle.
Drying options with a portable washer
Once your clothes are washed and spun, you have a few options for drying. Ideally, if you have a portable dryer, you can move your clothes into the portable dryer and set the appropriate cycle.
You can also use a regular dryer or air dry your clothes on a drying rack, a clothesline, or even slung over your shower curtain rod.
Some last tips to effectively use your portable washing machine
There are several different portable washing machines you can purchase, and if you’re looking for suggestions on which ones to buy, you’ve come to the right place! Check out our favorite washers, and read reviews and insights from our experts. Thanks and good luck with your portable washer purchase!