Best Top-Load Washers Under $1,000 of 2019By Cindy Bailen, Keith Barry, and Jonathan Chan, November 09, 2018, Updated February 22, 2019
We've made no secret of the fact that front-loaders are the most efficient, best performing washing machines out there. But some people simply prefer a classic top-loading washer. Whether you prefer not to bend over to take laundry in and out of the machine, don't want to worry about mold, or you learned to do laundry on the top-loader in your mother's basement, we get you.
The average price for top-loaders tends to be lower than it is for front-load washers. Even on a tight budget, you can get a very, very good top-load washer. Case in point, just look at our top-rated pick, the GE GTW680BSJWS (available at AppliancesConnection for $758.00), which retails for less than $600.
If you don't want to empty your savings account for the latest and greatest, we've got you covered. Here are our best top-loading washers that cost less than $1,000.
(If you're still on a budget, but prefer front-load washers, be sure to check out our article about the Best Front-Load Washers Under $1000.)
Updated February 22, 2019
GE GTW680BSJWSBest Overall
The GE GTW680BSJWS features the very best of top-loading technology, with everything the American public wants out of a washer: a massive 4.6-cu.-ft. capacity, a warm rinse feature, and powerful stain removal. We also love its efficient wash cycles, but if efficiency isn't a big deal for you, you might appreciate the Deep Fill feature, which allows you to add more water to a given cycle (even if you don't actually need more water to get your laundry clean). With a low sale price, it proves that premium can be affordable, too. Read the full review.
Why would I want a top-loading washer?
While recent studies indicate that front-load washing machines are overtaking top-load washers in the laundry popularity contest, some shoppers prefer to stick with what they know—top-loading washing machines with pole agitators. The sentiment isn't misplaced; getting a machine similar to one whose layout and logic you're used to will make your laundry life easier, even if most top-load agitator washing machines have gotten a tech-induced face-lift, and will probably look slightly different than the one in your mom's basement.
Additionally, top-loaders in general are somewhat less efficient than their front-loading counterparts with respect to water and electricity usage, but some people like having the option to use more water in really dirty loads of laundry, even if it doesn't necessarily mean your clothes get any cleaner. That's why GE, the brand behind our favorite top-load washer with an agitator, added in the Deep Fill option so that users can easily add more water to a wash cycle.
Lastly, top-load washers have different ergonomics than front-loading washers. If you prefer to just drop laundry into the washer from a standing position, and don't want to crouch down to get your clothes into and out of a front-load washing machine (or have to stack your front-loader so that accessible while standing), then you're probably better off with a top-loader. The washing machine type and feature set are just two of the things to consider when you're buying a washing machine, but knowing that you prefer a top-load over a front-load washer will help to narrow down your choices considerably.
How We Test
Every washing machine that comes into Reviewed’s labs gets put through the same testing regime, which addresses both performance and user-friendliness. Performance tests include:
• Stain removal – on a strip of AHAM-approved stains (which includes cocoa, sweat, pig’s blood, red wine, and oil), how much of each stain can this washing machine remove?
• Wear and tear – during a given cycle, how hard is the mechanical action of the washing machine on your clothes?
• Water retention – how much water does your washing machine spin out at the end of the cycle?
• Cycle time – how long is each washing machine cycle?
The best washing machines have solid stain removal abilities, do not damage your clothes, retain little water, and have short cycle times.
Beyond these performance tests, we also assess the usability of each washing machine, based on our experience, both during testing and during more casual use (one perk of working at Reviewed is that there is plenty of laundry machines on premises!). Our main goal is to get the answer to one question: how easy is it to actually use this washing machine? This involves cumulatively assessing the control panel, the door, the detergent dispenser, and any smart features that are included.
By combining the performance data with our own observations, we can make the solid recommendations for someone looking for any type of washing machine at any price point.
The GE GTW485ASJWS combines state-of-the-art technology with time-honored laundry solutions. This top-load washer can calculate the exact amount of water necessary for each wash—or you can fill it to the brim at the touch of a button. Its old-school aesthetic is very present in the control panel, where you can easily pick your wash cycle and a variety of cycle options by turning any of the five knobs. Whether you're frustrated by the "high efficiency" movement, or you're out to save the planet, it's a strong washer for anyone's political leanings. Read the full review.
Where To Buy$715.10 AppliancesConnection Buy $807.00 Home Depot Buy $799.00 Abt Buy $799.99 Best Buy Buy
The LG WT7500CW is one of our top picks for top-load washers thanks to its size, speed, and power. The huge 5.2-cu.-ft. drum easily accommodates a load of laundry from a family of four, and its Normal cycle can be as quick as 30 minutes. The best part is that during those 30 minutes, it performed admirably in our stain removal tests. Other options, such as Cold Wash, Water Plus, and TurboWash allow you flexibility and customization with your wash cycles. Its only major drawback is how much water it uses. Read the full review.
In the race to build the world's biggest washing machine, the LG WT7700HVA is on the honor roll. With a capacity of 5.7 cu. ft, the drum can fit about three baskets of laundry. This top-loader also has a bunch of neat features, including the time-saving TurboWash, the stain-busting Steam option, and a veritable buffet of cycle customizations to make your life easier. It's not the most efficient washer or the best at stain removal, but if it's volume you're after, this LG is a good choice. Read the full review.
Where To Buy$798.80 AppliancesConnection Buy $808.00 Home Depot Buy $799.00 Abt Buy $799.99 Best Buy Buy
The Samsung WA54M8750AW is competitively-priced, and comes with a roomy tub with plenty of room for laundry. It cleans clothes well, and it has plenty of family-friendly cycles and options. The feature most unique, however, is ActiveWash. ActiveWash is a combination faucet/hand-washing sink that's built into the top of the washer, so you can clean and soak your clothes—then dump them straight into the washer. When you're done hand-washing, the sink basin simply flips up next to the top of the washing machine, and the rest of your laundry routine proceeds normally. A washer with a built-in, convenient feature like ActiveWash is something worth putting in your laundry room. Read the full review.
Where To Buy$694.30 AppliancesConnection Buy $698.00 Home Depot Buy $699.00 Abt Buy $699.99 Best Buy Buy
The "What to Wash" and "How to Wash" control panel system helps to ensure that your clothes won't get ruined in the Whirlpool WTW7500GC. With over 20 different combinations, this washer can handle any laundry situation. One of those options is ColorLast, which keeps your clothes from getting stretched out or losing their vibrancy by washing in cold water and with gentler agitation. On top of that, this top-load washer offers a built-in faucet. This feature allows you to easily pre-treat tough stains without the need for a utility sink. Read the full review.
Where To Buy$528.80 AppliancesConnection Buy $548.00 Home Depot Buy $529.00 Abt Buy $529.99 Best Buy Buy
The Samsung WA45M7050AW is a prime example of what a modern top loader can do. It has a 4.5-cu.-ft. drum, a powerful Heavy Duty cycle, and a diamond-patterned drum interior. These design choices means it has better stain removal and it is gentler on your clothes. Like most Samsung washers, the WA45M7050AW has an amazing number of wash options, but those myriad options aren't overwhelming: the interface is streamlined and easy to use. When you combine better performance, sleek design, and premium features, you get a washer that's worth trading up for. Read the full review.
Kenmore Elite 31633
Kenmore Elite 31633
When it comes to washing machines, you can't get much bigger than the Kenmore Elite 31633. With its humongous 6.2 cu.-ft. capacity, the 31633 can turn a mountain of dirty laundry into a molehill chore. Not only does this washer have the size, but it also has the speed. Utilizing Kenmore's Accela Soak Technology, the 31633's cycle times max out at about an hour, so you're in for some speedy cleaning. Speed, size, and performance come together in perfect balance with this washer. Read the full review.
The GE GTW460ASJWW is the quintessential American washer. If you want the washing machine that your mother (and maybe your grandmother) used, this is today's version of that machine. It has a dual-action pole agitator, a button that lets you fill the tub to the brim with water, and easy-to-read controls. In spite of its retro feel, all of the major cycles for this washer take less than an hour, so you won't be stuck waiting by the washer for long. If you've enjoyed a top-load washer in the last six decades, you'll be pleased by this one. Read the full review.
Where To Buy$758.00 AppliancesConnection Buy $769.00 Home Depot Buy $764.00 Abt Buy $764.99 Best Buy Buy
The GE GTW685BSLWS has time-tested features in a more modern context. Its soft-close glass lid is a nice bonus, and it allows you to monitor the wash as it agitates. All you need to do to turn on the machine is to lift up the lid. A single knob lets you dial up a wash cycle; because they’re clearly labeled, it’s a breeze to pick the one you need. You can have granular control over each wash load by choosing the soil level, water temperature, spin, and rinse. Once you’ve set it, you can save it using the My Cycle feature. For this top-loading agitator machine, getting clean laundry is a successful balancing act between old-school and high-tech. Read the full review.
Where To Buy$798.80 AppliancesConnection Buy $999.00 Home Depot Buy $799.00 Abt Buy $799.99 Best Buy Buy
If you don't have a utility sink in your laundry room, you might appreciate the Activewash sink and ridged wash basin built into the Samsung WA52M7750AV washing machine. To get the best cleaning performance, we recommend that you use the Heavy cycle, which clocks in at about one hour and twenty minutes long. It finishes in only seven minutes longer than the Normal cycle, but does a better job at stain removal. While it does only an average cleaning job, this Samsung washer has a ton of cycles and cycle options, so it should leave even the pickiest of laundry doers satisfied. Read the full review.