Top load washer with agitator or without – what's better?

By Amy Mitchelle/ Last Updated: June 29

top load washers with agitators

Washing machines’ structure features directly impact the quality of their work, various washing cycles’ operating nuances, and other no less meaningful washer’s parameters. Today, portable washing machines (both top and front load) are equipped with a tank with a built-in agitator or impeller. This small part divides all portable washing machines into two large groups. Top load washers with agitators provide more thorough clothes mixing, but at the same time, they can be aggressive to delicate fabrics. In turn, top load washers without agitator feature an impeller (small flat spare part). Let’s detect and discuss the essential features of each washing machine type and highlight their advantages and weaknesses.

Washing machines with agitator – main technical traits

Any washing machine type has a specific set of strengths and weaknesses. Let’s talk about washers with the agitator first. The mentioned spare part is usually fixed at the bottom of the tank and can slightly reduce its volume due to specific dimensions. Washing clothes thoroughly and efficiently is one of the advantages of agitator-type washers. Users admit that such washers do an excellent job even with old dirt.

They can also cost slightly less than impeller-type devices. What can be said about their shortcomings? Such washers offer a more modest tank capacity since the agitator occupies a particular place. Also, such solutions consume a lot of water and electricity. 

top load washers without agitator

And one more nuance – the presence of an agitator makes washing effective but at the same time aggressive. Accordingly, it is not recommended to wash clothes made of delicate materials in this type of washing machine (be especially careful with garments made of synthetics, silk, wool). When choosing agitator-type washers, try to purchase washing machines with a spacious tank. Agitator fixed in a small tank may seriously reduce the usable volume and limit you in the amount of loading laundry.

Washing machines with impeller – basic features

Washing machines with agitator – main technical traits

And what about the impeller-type washers? They are more delicate and gentle to the fabric during the washing process, but at the same time, they are not able to remove dirt as effectively as their competitors (agitator-type washers). However, these washing machines consume significantly less electricity and water. This is because they were invented later on the agitator type and use improved mechanisms.

Impeller-added washing machines demonstrate high-efficiency parameters, guarantee delicate washing and spinning as well. Also, these devices are ready to offer you more roomy tank for laundry (due to the small size of the impeller).

Each family makes its own decision regarding the choice of the first or second type of washing machine. In this case, a whole complex of factors plays a role. These are financial opportunities and requirements dictated to the quality of washing products and adherence to familiar mechanisms.


So, washing machines with agitators are older than the impeller complemented devices. Therefore, many people, already familiar with the agitator, prefer these particular household appliances. However, a rare person is ready to try something new, so the demand for agitator-type washers continues unabated. However, many who have ventured once to test how comfortable a washing machine with an impeller is and what quality it offers are not ready to go back to the agitator.

Impeller solutions are really more efficient and powerful. An impeller is similar to a flat disc, takes up a minimum of space in the tank, and smoothly rotates clothes inside the drum. Due to the clothes’ friction, the washing process takes place, and dirt is removed quite efficiently. Today you can find both top and front load solutions with the impeller. It is recommended to choose a washer design that suits all the buyer’s requirements (including both functionality and appearance). But it is worth noting that top load washers are slightly cheaper than front load. However, this does not affect the quality of the laundry.

Agitator added washers can be an excellent acquisition for operation in a country house or camping. Rest or work in nature is always associated with a lot of dirty clothes. Agitator will easily cope with serious contaminations and delight you with high power ratings. In turn, washers with the built-in impeller perform best when used in an apartment or flat.

Multiple proven brands offer agitator and impeller appliances so that you may choose various solutions. But first, get acquainted with the actual users’ reviews. Their honest revelations about such devices’ operation will let you know which device is better to give preference to. Today, such household appliances are produced both by world famous brands and by numerous little-known but no less responsible and noteworthy companies.

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