He washer top loader: 5 Things to Know About High-Efficiency Top-Loaders

5 Things to Know About High-Efficiency Top-Loaders

Front-load washers can be pricey and water-guzzling agitator models can get tight on space. High-efficiency top-load washing machines are a good compromise if price, water efficiency, and load size matter most to you.

HE washers are jack-of-all-trade machines. And they’ve gained popularity in recent years. Twenty-eight percent of washers shipped in 2020 were HE top-loaders, equaling that of front-loaders, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.

They may not clean as well as front-loaders but they’re typically less expensive while offering similar large load capacity, between 5.5 cubic feet and 6.2 cubic feet (more than enough room to wash six pairs of jeans or a large comforter). Plus, they use only about 13 gallons of water per load, much less than top-load agitators.

HE top-loaders don’t have a center-post agitator like traditional top-load machines but instead use a rotating mechanism called an impeller at the bottom to get clothes clean. They’re generally more expensive than agitators, but you save money long-term because they use less water and help save energy by spinning clothes really dry at the end of a cycle.

“The HE top-loader’s drum spins faster than an agitator machine’s, extracting more water and shortening dryer time,” says CR tester Rich Handel, who oversees our laundry lab.

HE top-loaders also have some advantages over their energy-saving siblings, front-load washers. These top-loaders take 60 to 80 minutes to wash a load, instead of a front-loader’s 75 to 120 minutes. They don’t vibrate, and according to a survey of CR members, just 3 percent of HE top-loader owners say it developed mold or mildew, compared with 17 percent of people who own a front-loader.

Of course, what matters most is how clean your clothes come out. CR’s testers use a spectrocolorimeter to analyze fabric swatches stained with red wine, cocoa, and carbon (which is similar to soot), among other stains, before and after washing. The lighter the stain after laundering, the higher the machine scores in cleaning. This test is meant to challenge the washer so that we can detect real differences among the machines.

Think an HE top-loader might be right for you? Here are the key factors to consider. And CR members can read on, below, for five impressive HE top-loaders from our tests. Consult our washing machine buying guide as you shop. Plus, our washing machine ratings offer details on more than 100 HE top-loaders, agitator top-loaders, and front-loaders, including compacts.

Millions of Samsung washers were recalled due to a safety issue. Read about the related class-action lawsuit to see if you can file a settlement claim.

There are more than two dozen HE top-loaders in our washer ratings, and only a handful earn an Excellent rating in our washing performance tests. Many earn a Very Good rating, however, meaning they’ll clean most loads just fine. That’s better than agitator top-loaders, most of which earn a middling Good rating in washing performance.

You can boost your washer’s performance by pre-treating stains with a top-rated stain remover or using a dab of a laundry detergent that packs some punch (just like Grandma did it). Consider using the washer’s heavy-soil or heavy-duty cycle, too, but keep in mind they’re tougher on fabrics.

Most of the HE top-loaders in our tests aren’t so gentle on fabrics, earning just a Good or even a Fair score in our gentleness tests. “That’s due to the combination of low water levels, longer wash times, and the laundry rubbing against each other,” Handel says. Many agitator washers aren’t gentle, either, because of the center post agitator churning clothes to get them clean.

Using the normal wash/normal-soil setting for most loads and the light-soil setting when possible can help. The delicate cycle goes even easier on your clothes, which is ideal for undergarments and delicate fabrics.

Combine low water levels, fast rotating impeller action, and 60 to 80 minutes of wash time typical of HE top-loaders and you have the potential for tangled laundry.

To reduce tangling, wash similar items together—say, a load of sheets, then a load of towels. And rather than dumping a whole basket of dirty laundry into the washer, add a few items at a time to separate them more. Lowering the washer’s spin speed also reduces tangling.

A load of laundry can become unbalanced in any type of washer, but each one handles it differently. When the clothes inside an HE top-loader get out of balance, as sometimes happens in our tests, the machine will attempt to rebalance the load by adding more water to improve the circulation and even things out. It’ll try this multiple times, but if it doesn’t work, you’ll get an error message alerting you to manually rebalance the load. The owner’s manual should tell you how to do this.

Manufacturers often warn not to wash waterproof items in an HE top-loader, because this increases the chance of the load becoming unbalanced. Others suggest using a lower spin speed. So if you frequently wash waterproof jackets or other items, check the washer manufacturer’s website before choosing a model.

Some Washers Save Money, Others Waste It

There’s a big difference in the water use
of the most and least efficient washers in our tests

Many HE top-loaders in our washing machine ratings have claimed capacities of 5 cubic feet or more, making them larger than most agitator machines and front-loaders.

But that means some may be wider or taller than the machine you’re replacing, so double check dimensions in our ratings. Measure your laundry space and entry doors to ensure your new machine can fit.

Larger capacities can also mean deeper tubs. When you’re shopping, reach into the machine to try to touch the bottom to be sure you can get all the laundry out. Some readers tell us they can’t, and wind up using tongs or a step stool to retrieve socks and other small items from the bottom of the drum—gadgets not designed for your laundry routine.


Keith Flamer

As a kid in Delaware, I lived a few blocks from Bob Marley, who once said, “It is better to live on the house top than to live in a house full of confusion. ” At CR, I’m psyched to help readers navigate this cluttered, hyper-commercialized world we live in. I’ve covered luxury real estate, interior design, and culture—reporting on everything from smart home technology to racial hypocrisy at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate. Since the pandemic started, I cherish simplicity, covering accessible topics like decorating, cooking, and cleaning. Give me a smoothie blender over a mansion any day. Blenders are slightly easier to clean.

LG WT7900HBA Washer Review – Reviewed

If you’re looking for a new washer, front-loaders are better overall, but there are still reasons why you might prefer a top-loader. They’re a bit easier on your back, since you don’t need to bend down to load them, they typically have simpler controls, and they’re generally cheaper than front-loaders. If those aspects brought you to research the LG WT7900HBA, you’ll notice right away that last point doesn’t seem to hold true.

Another thing you’re sure to notice: all the fanfare around its cleaning methodology, called TurboWash4D. This system combines a jet spray with a tub and motor that can rotate independently, creating multiple unique water flows. In practice, we found all this technology didn’t necessarily translate into significantly cleaner laundry: In all cycles we tested, we found cleaning efficacy was on the low side of average when compared to other washers. Where the WT7900HBA makes up for this is with an incredibly fast Normal cycle time—just 30 minutes—which makes its average cleaning ability seem more impressive.

The LG WT7900HBA also has a pretty extensive feature set. We liked that it has steam cleaning options, a slow-close lid, and a smart phone app that enables features like remote start and stop.

About the LG WT7900HBA top-load washer

Credit:
Reviewed / Kyle Hamilton

The LG WT7900HB features a 5.5-cubic-foot stainless steel drum.

Dimensions: 27″ x 44.5″ x 28.38″ (W x H x D)
Capacity: 5.5 cu. ft.
Finish: Black steel
14 cycles: Normal, Heavy Duty, Bedding, Deep Wash, Sanitary, Allergiene, Bright Whites, Pre Wash+ Normal, Delicates, Permanent Press, Towels, Speed Wash, Waterproof, Downloaded
Cycle options: Five settings each for temperature, spin speed, and soil level; Steam; Soak; Extra Rinse; Add Garments; Delay Wash; Control Lock; Water Plus; ColdWash; Rinse+Spin; Spin Only; StainCare; Tub Clean; Signal; Remote Start; WiFi
Matching dryer: LG DLEX7900BE

What we like

The Normal cycle is twice as fast as the competition

We clocked the LG WT7900HBA’s Normal cycle at exactly 30 minutes, which is significantly faster than the average time of 54 minutes we see with other washing machines. While the cleaning performance of the Normal cycle was slightly below average—nothing you’d likely notice unless you have more heavily soiled items—the speed at which it was able to achieve those results actually points to a fairly efficient washing process. With a time like this, you could run two wash cycles in the time it takes other washers to complete one.

Its soft-close lid is pleasant to use

Credit:
Reviewed / Kyle Hamilton

The washer’s SlamProof lid does what the name implies: It helps the lid close slowly, to avoid slamming shut.

If you’re tired of accidentally slamming the lid shut on your top-loader, the LG WT7900HBA might be for you. The WT7900HBA’s SlamProof lid will slowly lower itself until it gently comes to rest in its closed state.

Steam cleaning features add a touch of luxury

If you’ve never had a washer with steam features, you’ve been missing out. Steam serves a dual purpose: It helps to sanitize the clothes as well as de-wrinkle them. If you hate ironing or have kids and pets, it’s probably worth investing in a washer/dryer combo equipped with steam.

SmartThinQ app lets you control the machine remotely

The free SmartThinQ app helps provide the LG WT7900HBA with quite a bit of additional functionality. You can select cycles, start or stop the wash remotely, and get a notification when a cycle is complete. You can even set it up to work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. While there are likely few reasons you’d need to remotely start or stop your washer, we’re glad the functionality exists. And it is nice to be able to get a notification on your phone when a cycle is complete.

The LG WT7900HBA also benefits from LG’s ProActive Care program, which uses AI to diagnose and troubleshoot problems as they arise. The machine uses your WiFi to send LG usage diagnostics and when the appliance indicate a problem, you get a notification via email or the app on what the issue is and how to fix it.

What we don’t like

Cleaning capabilities fell short

While it wasn’t far off from average, we did note that the LG WT7900HBA’s cleaning performance was subpar on every cycle we tested. Compared to average performance numbers, the Normal cycle got laundry about 5% less clean, the Heavy Duty fell about 10% under, the Quick Dry cycle was down by 7%, and the Delicates cycle fell shy by 9%. Within the context of the Normal cycle finishing in about half the time we typically see, those numbers make more sense. In all other cases, though, it’s just subpar performance.

Control dial feels a bit loose

Credit:
Reviewed / Kyle Hamilton

Each click of the dial doesn’t necessarily correspond to the number of cycles you’re scrolling through, which makes the controls feel slightly unresponsive.

It’s a minor detail, but using the control dial detracted from the overall user experience. When spinning the dial, it felt a bit loose, and didn’t have particularly strong clicks as it moved from one position to the next. Further, the cycle selection seemed to lag behind the dial somewhat, resulting in situations where you turn the dial four clicks but the cycle selection only advances by two. You have to turn the dial slowly to make sure that the machine is able to keep up.

What owners are saying

This washer is still fairly new, so there aren’t many user reviews currently available. Most are less than a year old, so there isn’t much out there on how well the LG WT7900HBA performs over time.

Based on the currently available reviews, the WT7900HBA has a solidly good rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 on average, across major retailers. Owners most frequently praise its capacity, quiet operation, cleaning efficacy, and ease of use. The negative reviews are pretty few and far between.

Warranty

LG offers a one-year warranty for parts and labor. This is essentially the bare minimum warranty offered in the appliance industry. We’ve seen significantly more robust warranties—some cover specific parts for up to five or 10 years.

Should you buy the LG WT7900HBA washer?

Yes—If you have a large family and need a top-loader

The LG WT7900HBA excels in its class—as a top-load washing machine and as one large enough for a family. However, it gets a little trickier to recommend it to a wider audience, because, as a top-loader, it simply doesn’t perform as well as most front-loaders available on the market today.

Its 5.5-cubic-foot drum is gigantic and by far its most appealing quality. If you need a higher-bandwidth washer, the LG WT7900HBA can definitely accommodate.

In terms of wash performance, the LG WT7900HBA’s results mostly fall in line with the average front-load washer’s performance, which makes it one of the better top-loaders we’ve tested (front-loaders, on average, have higher cleaning power than top-loaders). Of course, if you’re spending a premium for a washer, which you are with this model, you should expect better-than-average performance.

If you want to stick with a top-loader, also check out the Whirlpool WTW8127LC, which is the top-rated model on our list of best top-loading washing machines. If you don’t mind switching to a front-loader, then for about the same price you can buy the excellent Electrolux EFLS627UTT, which is currently our top-rated washing machine.

The product experts at Reviewed have all your shopping needs covered. Follow Reviewed on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or Flipboard for the latest deals, product reviews, and more.

Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Meet the testers

Mark Brezinski

Senior Writer

@markbrezinski

Mark Brezinski works on the Home Team, reviewing refrigerators, minifridges, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, air conditioners, air purifiers, and fans.

See all of Mark Brezinski’s reviews

Kyle Hamilton

Product Tester

Kyle Hamilton is a product tester at Reviewed, specializing in home appliances and technology.

See all of Kyle Hamilton’s reviews

Checking our work.

Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you’re confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we’ll compare notes.

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Best Top Load Washing Machine 2023

Electrolux EW6T5R261

Best Top Load Washer

Electrolux PerfectCare 600 EW6T5R261 is currently the TOP Top Load Washing Machine in terms of wearing price / quality. This is not to say that the model is budget, but it is not very expensive compared to other brands and their models in this category.

  • Brand: Electrolux
  • Country of origin: Poland
  • Manufacturer: Fabryka Pralek Electrolux w Oławie

Pros and cons of Electrolux EW6T5R261

  • Intuitive and user-friendly interface
  • Auto parking drum
  • Short wash program 14 minutes
  • A little noisy

Zanussi ZWY 51024 CI

Zanussi ZWY 51024 CI has an electronic control, a drum with the ability to load laundry up to 5. 5 kg and an economical energy efficiency class A ++. The maximum spin speed is 1000 rpm, which is enough to dry clothes after washing in just 2-3 hours. Up to 24 hours delay start, child lock, fault self-diagnosis and foam level control are available.

  • Brand: ZANUSSI
  • Country of origin: Poland
  • Manufacturer: Fabryka Pralek Electrolux w Oławie

Pros and cons of Zanussi ZWY 51024 CI

  • Democratic price
  • Wash quality
  • Noisy when spinning

Indesit BTW A61052

The Indesit BTW A61052 (RF) top-loading washing machine has buttons and a rotary mechanism, which allows you to quickly and accurately select the parameters of its upcoming work. In this home assistant you will find 14 different programs for cleaning cotton, synthetics, wool and delicate fabrics.

  • Brand: Indesit
  • Country of origin: Slovakia
  • Manufacturer: Whirlpool Slovakia Spol. s.r.o.

Pros and Cons Indesit BTW A61052

  • Price
  • Many washing programs
  • Noisy at maximum spin

Candy CST G260L/1

The Candy CST G260L/1 washing machine in a 60x86x40.5 cm white cabinet supports vertical loading. The model is designed for loading up to 6 kg of laundry and supports 15 washing programs, as well as a spin mode with a maximum speed of 1000 rpm. Among the supported programs are “Hand wash”, “Wool”, “Delicate wash”, “Children’s clothes”, “Synthetics”, “Cotton”, 3 quick wash modes of 14, 33 and 44 minutes.

  • Brand: Candy
  • Country of origin: China
  • Manufacturer: Jinling Electrical Co Ltd

Candy CST G260L/1 pros and cons

  • Ease of use
  • Price

Weissgauff WM 40275 TD

The Weissgauff WM 40275 TD top-loading washing machine offers a wide range of functionalities for high-quality washing of various things. It is characterized by the ability to load up to 7.5 kg of laundry and spin speed up to 1200 rpm.

  • Brand: Weissgauff
  • Country of origin: China
  • Manufacturer: Wuxi Little Swan Co Ltd

Weissgauff WM 40275 TD

  • Very roomy (7.5 kg load)
  • Convenient interface
  • Noisy

Gorenje WT 62113

The Gorenje WT62113 top-loading washing machine is made in a compact 40×9 housing0x60 cm. This makes it easy to install the device where it would not be most convenient for the user. The device with a spin speed of 1100 rpm provides support for 19 programs, which will help to cope with any contamination on any type of fabric. The following programs are available to the user: delicate 40°C and 30°C, children’s 40°C, cotton 95°C and 60°C, eco cotton 60°C, synthetics 40°C, sports 30°C and other programs.

  • Brand: Gorenje
  • Country of origin: Slovakia
  • Manufacturer: Whirlpool Slovakia Spol. s.r.o.

Pros and cons of Gorenje WT 62113

  • Clear control
  • Large number of programs
  • Soft opening of leaves
  • Noisy

Leran WTL 46106 WD

Capacity 6.5 kg, delayed start, electronic control – all this and much more is united by the LERAN WTL 46106 WD washing machine. With it, you can wash absolutely everything, from cotton to wool. For more comfortable use, there are 16 programs, among which there is a drum cleaning. Now you do not need to waste your personal time in order to clean the machine.
This model is made in classic white color, which will perfectly complement any interior. The LERAN WTL 46106 WD washing machine will cope with the most difficult tasks, as well as provide a long service life due to modern technologies, high-quality materials and professional assembly. To install and use the washing machine does not require special skills and additional equipment.

  • Brand: LERAN
  • Country of origin: China
  • Manufacturer: Wuxi Little Swan Co Ltd

Pros and Cons of Leran WTL 46106 WD

  • Price
  • Drum cleaning function
  • Noisy when spinning

Hotpoint-Ariston WMTL 601 L

Hotpoint-Ariston WMTL 601 L is an excellent model in the price category below the average. Washes well, there are no problems connecting. A little noisy on the spin cycle, does not loosen, does not rattle, rinses well, energy saving class A.

  • Brand: Hotpoint
  • Country of origin: Slovakia
  • Manufacturer: Whirlpool Slovakia Spol. s.r.o.

Hotpoint-Ariston WMTL 601 L pros and cons

  • Not very noisy during operation
  • Ease of use
  • Lots of modes
  • No smooth opening drum cover

Haier RTXS G382TM/1

Haier RTXS G382TM/1 is a very roomy model with a capacity of 8kg of laundry, suitable for a large family. The auto-weighing function will reduce washing time and water consumption. Large selection of programs, including children’s and sportswear. There is a quick wash. Convenient loading of laundry, but at the end of work you need to turn the drum with your hands to catch the door for unloading.

  • Brand: Haier
  • Country of origin: China
  • Manufacturer: Jinling Electrical Co Ltd

Pros and Cons of Haier RTXS G382TM/1

  • Not very noisy (when properly installed)
  • Spacious
  • Easy laundry loading
  • Does not vibrate much during operation
  • No automatic drum positioning
  • End of wash sound very quiet

How to choose a top-loading washing machine (drum type).

Main functions.

Drum type washing machines are equipped with a metal drum, one of the walls of which opens for loading clothes. Such machines are more functional, they use the same modern technologies as front-loading machines. Washing in the drum allows you to apply automatic programs for different types of fabrics. One of the advantages of using top-loading machines is the ability to reload. Right during the wash, you can add detergent or throw a few more things into the machine without stopping the running program and without draining the water.

  • One of the main characteristics of top-loading washing machines is spin speed . It can range from 400 – 600 rpm to 1300 – 1500 rpm. It is better to give preference to models that have as many spin speeds as possible, each of which is used for a certain type of thing: high-speed mode is contraindicated for thin and delicate linen, while dense fabrics easily tolerate the highest speeds. However, it is worth considering that when manually setting the spin speed to high speeds, the machine may become unbalanced due to a large amount of laundry in the drum, therefore, to avoid this situation, it is better to choose a machine with unbalance control system and automatic detection of the number of things in the drum.
  • Also, when choosing, you should pay attention to control type washing machine. Mechanical control allows you to manually start the necessary functions, set the desired washing program, determine the spin speed and washing time. With electronic control , the user pre-selects the automatic washing program and all the necessary functions using the push-button or touch control unit. Some models are equipped with display , which displays all the necessary information about the progress of the wash. The most modern models of washing machines are equipped with intelligent control , when the device independently determines the degree of loading of the drum and the type of fabric. Based on these data, the technique automatically selects the optimal washing and spinning mode.
  • The automatic drum parking system will position the drum exclusively upside down after washing, so you no longer have to twist it by hand to remove the laundry.
  • Multi-stage protection system protects against accidental leaks: the valve automatically shuts off the water supply in the event of a malfunction. Foam control protects against leaks when too much detergent is used.
  • Top loading machines can have many automatic washing programs , such as jeans, synthetics, wool/silk, cotton and cotton eco, mixed laundry and others.
  • Energy efficiency class shows how economically the device consumes the consumed electricity. It is calculated from the ratio of power consumed per hour to the maximum load volume. The highest grades for top-loading machines are A++ and A+++. Indicators below B (C, F and G) during operation will cost the family budget more. So, two cars with identical dimensions and capacity, but with different energy efficiency classes, can have a flow rate of 0.13 and 0.23 kWh/kg. A less efficient machine will spend several tens of kilowatts more energy per year. Knowing the cost of electricity tariffs, before buying, you can calculate how much more expensive equipment with a lower energy consumption class will cost to operate annually.

Top-loading washing machines: pros and cons

A washing machine can be chosen for any need, any household, but this does not make it easier to choose an element of household appliances. First you need to weigh all the pros and cons of the device, and then make the final decision, opting for the so-called “best option” for yourself.

Let’s take a closer look at those aspects that, in the following, will be decisive in our choice of one or another model of a top-loading washing machine.

Pros:
  • Minimum vibration. As a rule, one of the main complaints about washing machines is the noise and vibrations they create, therefore, when choosing a top-loading unit, we keep this criterion to a minimum, given the variety of flooring in homes.
  • Less likely to develop mold, for example, front-loading laundry machines are very susceptible to mold, and manufacturers of different brands have been struggling with this delicate problem for years. In practice, there are cases when several lawsuits took place regarding the malfunction of the washing machine due to the appearance of mold.
  • More practical to use, i.e. there is no need to bend over once again, somehow contrive to load the laundry or take it out later at the end of the wash. This can be of fundamental importance for consumers with problems with the locomotor apparatus of the body, or simply for people experiencing back pain.
  • Definitely more reliable than front-loading washing machines
  • Laundry cycles shorter than front loader
  • “long-lived machines” requiring minimal maintenance and user intervention
  • Easier to add laundry in the middle of the wash cycle, which can not but please busy people
  • Average cost lower than front loaders
  • Easier to use if you already have a top loader
Cons:
  • Not as energy efficient, such units consume more water, respectively, and energy resources than front-loading washing machines
  • Needs more detergent (other detergents) than front loaders
  • The maintenance of such a unit will cost the consumer more than providing proper care for the front-loading machine
  • Washes worse than a front loader
  • Less capacity than our competitors with front load laundry
  • Less frugal with some fabrics
  • Putting laundry in and out of the machine can be difficult for short people
  • Heavy items of clothing or bulky items such as bedding can be extremely difficult to place in this machine
  • Sometimes some models can be extremely noisy
Programs and additional features

Before buying a washing machine and choosing a particular model, many consumers consider additional features offered by the manufacturer. The latter, in turn, due to the huge competition in the market, annually release more and more new models, equipping those with more and more modern options, which sometimes do not directly affect the quality of washing, which, in fact, is the primary task of the unit. .

The standard programs of a top-loading machine are no different from those of a front-loading machine.

  • quick wash
  • cotton and linen wash cycle
  • washing synthetics
  • wool wash and delicate wash
  • hand wash
  • soaking
  • delayed start function

Top-loading washing machines are equipped with fewer options than their counterparts with front-loading laundry, but, for the sake of objectivity, it should be noted that top-loading units are cheaper in price, which cannot but please the consumer.

Manufacturers

Usually, when the question arises of purchasing a washing machine, 3 global manufacturers are heard – these are Candy, Whirlpool, Electrolux.