Top Loading Washer Without Agitator. What Are Pros and Cons?

There’s no doubt that you use your washing machine more than most other appliances in your home.

So, when it comes to choosing a new one you want to be sure you’re making the right decision.

In today’s world there are many brands and styles of washers available.

While lots of people prefer front-loading washers, there are still many who prefer the top loading variety.

However, now it’s not just as simple as choosing a brand – there are options to choose from!

One such option is should your top loading washer have an agitator.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of buying one without an agitator.

Pros Of Buying A Top-Loading Washer Without An Agitator

A top load washing machine that doesn’t have an agitator is essentially a front-load that’s flipped on its side.

Here is a list of pros that you will find appealing with these models.

More Gentle On Clothing

Washers without agitators have fewer interactions with your clothing while inside the machine.

Overtime this subjects your clothing to less abuse, thus allowing you to keep your favorite garments longer.

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Machines without agitators also help your larger items come out cleaner.

Top Loading machine gentle on clothes

The Machine Requires Lower Maintenance

Much like anything else, your washer will need to be cleaned occasionally to ensure your clothes come out clean.

Though you’ll still need to clean the inside of the tub, it’ll be a quicker process without having to worry about cleaning the agitator.

They Use Less Electricity And Water

Washers without agitators are high-efficiency appliances.

Even though the wash capacity is larger, these models use less electricity and water compared to those with agitators.

When comparing an agitator-less model with a traditional one you’ll find that they use 80% less water.

In terms of energy savings you’ll notice most units are around 60% less.

The Models Fit In Most Homes

Most homes have laundry rooms that will accommodate specific size washers and dryers.

Some front load washers are too large, and won’t fit in the allotted space.

However, most of the top loaders without agitators are no larger than traditional washers.

These Washers Spin At Higher Speeds

Not all, but some top load washer models without an agitator spin at much higher speeds.

This is beneficial because when your clothes spin faster more water is released, which means the clothes spend less time drying.

Allows You To Wash Larger Loads

The agitator takes up space inside the tub.

When you remove this element it allows you to wash larger loads of clothes.

This will cut down on the amount of time you spend doing laundry each week.

It also allows you to wash comforters and other large items more easily.

Small Items Won’t Get Stuck In The Machine

When washing items such as bathrobes, jackets, and hoodies, the drawstrings have a tendency to get stuck around the agitator.

This is not an issue anymore when you don’t have an agitator present.

Impellers Also Work Great For Cleaning Fabrics

Washers that lack agitators have what’s called an impeller instead.

This mechanism works by producing strong water currents to help remove soil and stains from clothing.

Not to worry, there is still a great deal of power inside the tub even though the agitator is missing.

Cons Of Buying A Top-Loading Washer Without An Agitator

Now to take a look at the list of cons.

You Must Follow Instructions For Best Use

To ensure your clothes get as clean as possible you must take the manufacture’s suggestions for best use into consideration.

So, when using one of these models if you don’t follow the proper steps your clothes may not come out as clean as they should.

The Impeller Can Cause Knots In Clothing

The drums in these washers produce strong currents that can create knots in your clothing.

Although this is a common complaint among those who buy the lower-end models, it seems to go away when you buy higher-end versions.

These Models Cost More

If you have a small budget, these models may not be a good option for you.

On average, the entry-level models without agitators cost $100 more than traditional models.

If tub size is what you’re concerned with, be sure to compare all models.

You may find a washer that has an agitator and larger tub cheaper than an agitator-less version with a smaller tub.

Repair Costs Can Be Higher

Due to the different technology used in these washers you may find that repairs are more expensive.

They take more time to repair and parts can cost more for impellers.

They Require Longer Wash Times

A washer with an agitator will commonly finish cycles 50% faster than agitator-less models.

This is a common complaint among people who purchase these models.

You Must Use Specific Detergent

Much like a front loading washer, top loaders without agitators require laundry detergent made for high-efficiency appliances.

The good news is that most detergent these days has the “HE” emblem on there.

This is bad news for those who prefer to buy cheaper varieties of soap, as they are usually not made for such appliances.

They Struggle With Items That Are Heavy Duty

If you wash a great deal of heavy-duty fabrics such as denim or canvas, this model may not be a good option for you.

Many people complain that the machines are not aggressive enough to clean such items in just one load.

Though the agitator has its drawbacks, it is great for providing a combative cleaning process that works well for certain materials and tough stains.

Oil And Grease Still Build Up Inside The Unit

While some people think that not having an agitator will allow them to clean items that have grease or oil stains without getting it inside the washer – this is wrong.

Though these substances won’t get on the non-existent agitator, they will still collect inside the tub.

You should still be vigilant about cleaning the washer’s interior immediately after washing such items.

In conclusion, top loading washers without agitators are great choices for many people.

The final decision usually comes down to personal preference.

Some people simply prefer a more traditional washing machine model.

Do you have a top loading washer without an agitator?

What do you like about it? What do you not like about it?

Comment below and share your thoughts!

Reader Comments (15)

  1. I despise my top load, no-agitator washer. I’ve had it for about a year now. I’m literally on my NINTH attempt to “drain and spin” two small blankets because they aren’t PERFECTLY balanced. It’s 4:19pm and I’ve been at this since about 7:00am.

    Why the dang thing keeps adding water is beyond me. It doesn’t swish the load around which is what it would need to do to balance it all out. If it can’t spin while damp it sure won’t be able to while drenched. Once it finally gives up, I then have to go in and reposition things manually while sopping wet and 50 pounds each. I’ve changed my soaking wet shirt four times today because of this piece of garbage.

    If you’re running multiple cycles for hours on end for a SINGLE LOAD, trust me–you’re NOT saving water OR electricity.


  2. Have had my ge no agitator washer 3 years. I will never buy another without agitator. Have loaded the washer per instruction, still doesn’t work right. When it spins it bounces the machine around due to not keeping balance. I’m so glad I got the 5 year guarantee, have had service a month ago, still does same thing. He said it was good as new, he is right because it never was good. Wish I had read these reviews before I bought this kind. This is especially bad when washing denim.

  3. We got a new GE washer and dryer last year. Thought getting a washer without an agitator would be a good idea… have problems with anything bulky, pair of jeans in load, light blankets, towels, all throw this thing off balance. I redistribute the soaking wet wash and try again…sometimes it will work on the second try, sometimes not. The worst thing is washing fitted sheets. The sheet will wrap around the load of laundry like a parachute, really strange. I also need to use a grabber to get small items from the bottom of the machine. Never had this problems in 50 years of doing laundry.

  4. I am suffering with my Samsung non-aggitator washing machine for a few years until i can buy a new one. I will definitely get an old fashioned washer with an aggitator next time. The impellor style washing machine simply does not clean clothes well. I am all about being Green and energy efficient, but it is also nécessaire to use enough water to actually clean the laundry! These new style washers are amazingly ineffective.

  5. My wife can’t wait to get a new washer WITH an agitator. The Whirlpool POS has had 3 lids (tempered glass top door) replaced in a 2 year period. The clothes come out so badly wrinkled, everything has to be partially dried to remove the wrinkles.

  6. We just got a Samsung with impeller and so far it seems to work fine. My complaint is that the drum is so deep that I have to use a stool to get out items at the bottom. I am 5’2”.

    • I use a grabber to get small items from the bottom of the washer. Never had this problem with any other washing machine.

  7. I bought a Maytag July 4, 2016. Top load no agitator. Two weeks ago it stopped agitating. it will cost more to fix then washers worth. Never again. . no Maytag and I will buy washer with agitator. Should have kept my old one. Never got a new one.

  8. Don’t buy one of these things unless you NEVER have soiled clothes. I got the water saving version. It doesn’t fill with enough water to get the clothes wet. And it DEFINATELY DOES NOT clean your clothes. I’d be better off down by the river with a couple of rocks. I’m serious!

  9. We like ours, mold and mildew were always an issue in our front loader. We wash a lot of things like backpacks, sleeping bags etc. Yes, they sometimes take two loads but they don’t get bound up and actually we felt our front loader didn’t clean as well probably because of the mold and mildew clean up. We would rather have longer wash time and not deal with the front loaders problems, plus we like that we can open it after the cycle started to add things. With a house of 5 this happens all the time. If there is a problem I can open and pull items out of the top loader…not with the front loader.

  10. I really regret buying my Samsung Washer and Dryer in 2020. The washer (without agitator) leaves the clothes totally twisty-wrinkled. They come out of the washer looking much worse than they went in. If I want to add fabric softener, it adds 1/2 to the cycle! The dryer doesn’t keep the drum light on while the door is open. You have to turn the machine back on to get the drumlight. I am SURE that California’s energy standards are behind this. I should have researched before I bought.

  11. never ever again have to wash clothes 3 times to get them clean and it will not clean if you try to do a full load i was always sold on whirlpool but i am done with them BIG waist of your money

  12. My top loading washer without an agitator leaves large residue spots on the clothes. I always use the extra rinse cycle but still have the large residue spots. The spots are large, white with large veins running in several directions from the spot. I’ve had to run the whole load again through all the cycles without detergent. This is crazy. What can I do or what am I doing wrong?

    • I have the same problem. I have tried dissolving my detergent in water before adding to the wash and I’ve tried liquid laundry detergent. I’m eager for a solution.

      • Are you over filling. I listened to one you tube and it said to drop clothes around impeller loosely and only fill half way with clothes. A service person also told me not to cover the impeller in the bottom of machine with clothes. Drop clothes in around it.

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