Top loader washers without agitator: Agitator vs. No Agitator in a Top Load Washer – Which Is Better?

Agitator vs. No Agitator in a Top Load Washer – Which Is Better?

Which type of washer is best? The debate over which type of washer has the upper hand in cleaning clothes can be heated, but in truth, it comes down to personal preference. If you’re in the market for a new top-load washer, you have two options: one with an agitator or one without. Both types come with pros and cons you should consider before making your purchase. 

In this article, we will cover the following:                                            

  • What does an agitator do? 
  • Agitators vs. impellers in top load washers 
  • Advantages of a top load washer with an agitator 
  • Disadvantages of a top load washer with an agitator 
  • FAQs about agitators in top load washers 

What Does an Agitator Do?                          

An agitator is a rotating arm that sits in the middle of the tub. It’s usually attached to a motor that rotates it at high speeds and has propeller-like paddles that create movement and churn the laundry during the wash cycle. This causes the clothes to mix and tumble within the tub, breaking up the dirt and grime so they can be rinsed away with water. 

While modern top load washers with agitators aren’t anywhere close to your grandma’s up-and-down models from the 60s, the cleaning action is the same. However, today’s washers are more advanced, and clients have more choices, including washers with removable agitators. 

And for clients who want something different, there are countless options for no-agitator top load washers that use impellers. 

Agitators vs. Impellers in Top Load Washers 

The newest models of washing machines don’t have agitators, and the ones that do are typically found on older washers. The new models use impellers instead, which look more like fins inside the drum than an upstanding pole.  

One key difference between agitator and non-agitator washers is how they clean clothes: while the agitator turns the clothes and rubs them against itself, impellers work by spinning quickly in a circle and creating movement in the water. The back-and-forth movement of water creates friction, causing the clothes to rub against each other. For the most part, the clothes do not even touch the impeller. 

Advantages of a Top Load Washer with an Agitator 

The use of the traditional top-load washer with an agitator is on the rise. According to consumer reports, top load agitators accounted for 44% of washer shipments in the US in 2020, and the numbers are expected to continue rising. Reasons for that include familiarity, effective cleaning mechanisms, and affordability. 

Familiarity: Washers with agitators are what most people grew up with. Most customers have been using this type of washing machine for years, so they know how it works. This may be different with newer models, which are more technologically advanced and offer different options, such as cleaning cycles and extra programs like steam or stain removal cycles. 

Plus, the mechanics of this type of washing machine are tried and true, and some customers may choose to stick with what’s already familiar to them. 

Affordability: The most obvious advantage of washers with agitators is affordability. While there are pricey options in either category, agitator units typically cost less money upfront than non-agitator models. They usually start at as low as $400 and can go up to $1,300 for newer models. Because they’re relatively inexpensive, even those with lower incomes or tight budgets can afford one. 

Effective cleaning: Agitators offer a powerful cleaning mechanism that can remove stains and grime better, especially on heavy-duty articles of clothing. The rotating motion of the agitator creates an effective force that allows the clothes to rub against each other and the rotating arm, breaking down soil and grime easily.  

Disadvantages of a Top Load Washer with an Agitator 

Top-load washers are generally cheaper than their newer counterparts, but they also have several shortcomings. These include lesser capacity, decreased efficiency, longer dry times, and increased wear and tear. 

Less capacity – A major drawback of the top loader with an agitator is probably the lack of space in the drum. The area occupied by the agitator means the washer has less capacity, which could result in needing to do more loads to wash your clothes. This may make it unsuitable for people who have a large family or do many loads of washing per week. It’s also harder to wash large loads like sheets or comforters. 

Decreased efficiency – This type of washing machine uses more water than other types of washers because it needs more water to work its magic. As a result, it will cost more money in terms of both water and energy consumption to function correctly. Although you might have bought it cheap, in some cases, your top-load washer may actually cost more to operate. 

The Agitator’s Effect on Clothes – Although clothes are more likely to be cleaner in a washer with an agitator, they’re also more likely to be damaged. Some fabrics get caught and pulled around by the spinning arms or tumbling clothes during washing. That agitation may lead to the tangling of delicate fabric items like lace or silk. 

Longer dry times – Top load washers with agitators usually use more water during the wash cycle, which often means you have to dry your laundry for longer. This may mean running your dryer longer, increasing your energy bill. 

They’re noisier – Generally, washers with an agitator are noisier than other washing machines. This can be pretty loud, but that shouldn’t be a problem if your laundry room is not next to your living room or bedroom. 


It’s 2023, and washers are no longer the same as they were back in the day. Today, washing machines come with a variety of options that allow for more customization when it comes to water temperature, spin speeds, and even cycles. 

Agitators are primarily used on older models because newer machines tend to be made with more efficient impellers. If you want to save money on energy bills and reduce your environmental impact, it’s best to use a front-loading or no-agitator washing machine instead. There’re also water-saving, high-efficiency removable agitator models at lower prices. 

Looking for a new washer? We have lots of high-efficiency models, traditional top-loader washers, and even modern front-loaders at different price points. Browse our catalog to see our full selection of washers. And if you need more assistance before deciding, here’s an in-depth washer-buying guide to help you. 

FAQs About Agitators in Top Load Washers 

Are washers better with or without agitators? 

There is no right or wrong answer as to which type is better—it all depends on what you want out of your washing machine. Agitators in a washing machine do an excellent job cleaning dirty and grimy clothes, but they can also be tough on certain types of clothing, such as delicates and knits. Non-agitator washers are typically more expensive but more efficient and have a larger capacity. 

Most machines in the non-agitator washer category are high-efficiency, meaning they use less water and energy. They also have more capacity, allowing you to do bigger loads of laundry. The lack of agitators also means that less wear-and-tear occurs on your clothing. 

Do top-load washers clean well without agitators? 

Top-load washers without agitators can clean clothes well, depending on what you need to wash. They are excellent for delicate, bulkier, and larger items. The machine operates based on fins inside the drum that make the water spin really quickly, causing the clothes to rub against each other for a faster and more thorough but gentle wash. 

How does a washer with no agitator get clothes clean? 

A top load washer without an agitator is designed to work differently than a traditional one using low-profile wheels, fins, or cones known as impellers. The impellers cause the water to move at high speeds, moving the tub back and forth, like it would in a hand washing cycle, but at high speed and with less water. This saves energy and money by not using as much hot water or electricity as a regular top-load washer and guarantees a thorough, clean wash. 

Do I want an agitator or an impeller? 

The type of washer you purchase largely depends on your personal preferences and needs. Agitators are known for providing excellent cleaning power because they use motion to help break up dirt particles. This makes them great for heavy-duty cleaning and ideal for people who are always outside. Non-agitator models have a larger capacity, are more efficient, and are gentler on delicate clothes. 

With which type of washer the cycle lasts longer, the impeller or the agitator? 

Agitator washers typically have a shorter wash and longer dryer cycles. On the other hand, non-agitator models have longer wash times because of the gentle cleaning cycles. This is beneficial, too, because as the machine is spinning, it can rinse out more water than the agitator model. This makes the drying time shorter for this model than for an agitator model. 

Do agitators make a difference? 

Agitators make a difference in the cleaning mechanism of the washer. An agitator-type washing machine uses some form of mechanical agitation to break down dirt particles, making it perfect for heavy-duty clothes that require more effort to clean. 

But if you’re looking for the most effective way to clean your clothes, you’ll want a non-agitator top-load washer. These models work by churning the water around in the machine to get your clothes nice and clean with less scrubbing. The motion of the tub is better suited for getting dirt out from in between fibers, plus it’s excellent at reducing fabric abrasion. 

Agitator Vs. No Agitator | What’s Best for Washing Your Clothes?| Don’s Appliances

When buying a new washing machine, it’s important to consider is you want one with an agitator, or without an agitator. We are going to tell you the benefits of each, and hopefully this will help you decide which kind of washer would be best for you and your lifestyle.

An agitator is a tall mechanism that goes from the top of the washing machine to the bottom. These typically have spiral pieces around them for moving clothes from the top of the machine to the bottom when it spins.

The machine without the agitator will have a very small post on the inside. In the bottom of these machines are small raises in the metal that span the whole bottom of the machine. This will make sure your clothes don’t get pulled through the holes on the perimeter of the washing bin.

Since the machines without agitators don’t have a big post up the middle, they will have a bigger capacity. You’ll be able to fit more clothes in these machines versus the ones that have agitators. The machines with the agitators will struggle to properly wash bulkier items like sheets or comforters.

Although, the agitator helps in general with getting better wash action. Your clothes will be more clean from this versus a washer without an agitator. Delicate items are better washed in a non agitator machine since this will give you less wear and tear on clothes.

Mainly you’ll be looking at those few things: capacity, what cleans better, and what is more gentle on clothes. Hopefully this helped determine the difference in washers with agitators and without agitators, and which will work best for you and your clothes.

Why Trust Us?

Founded in 1971, Don’s Appliances is a family-owned, independent appliance retailer based out of Pittsburgh, PA. Don’s has since expanded to 10 locations selling, delivering, installing, and servicing all major appliance brands. Large enough to offer competitive pricing yet small enough to continue offering the “white glove” service we pride ourselves on, our focus is always on the customer experience — from the first step into a showroom to the purchase transaction to well after your new appliance has been installed. When our customers are remodeling or building a new house, Don’s has all the expertise, product knowledge, inventory, brands, displays, and services to meet and exceed your needs. And in the event an appliance breaks, we are there, right on time and with the right product, delivery, installation, and service.

Shop Washers at Don’s Appliances

Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today, and shop washers at Don’s Appliances. Our friendly experts are always happy to help you discover why Don’s Appliances is one of the best appliance stores in the area — whether you call us at 866-544-1711, email us, or use our online chat feature. Better yet, stop by any of our Don’s Appliances Pittsburgh, PA warehouse locations. Visit us today!

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Front Loading VS Washing Machines

If you have bought or thought about buying a new washing machine in the last decade or so, you have probably looked at both front loading and top loading washing machines and wondered which washing machine is better.

To make your decision a little easier, here is a helpful guide to the similarities and differences between these two types of washing machines. We’ll start by looking at the main differences between front load and top load models and then move on to some comparisons of their most important features.

What’s the difference?

The main cosmetic difference between these two types of washing machines is the location of the door. The front loader has a door at the front of the machine that opens outward, while the top loader has a door at the top.

But there are many other differences between the two types that go beyond mere aesthetics, and each difference has its pros and cons depending on your priorities and preferences. For example, top loading machines are equipped with one of two types of washing mechanisms: agitator or impeller.

  • The agitators that most people are familiar with are a tall pole in the center of the wash drum that agitates the clothes surrounding it.
  • Commonly found on high efficiency models, the impellers move less than agitators and require less water for a gentle, effective and thorough cleaning of clothes.

On the other hand, front loading washing machines don’t have a central sink because they don’t need one! Since the wash drum is on its side, all it has to do is turn around so that the laundry inside is turned over and essentially cleaned.

But to decide which machine to get, you need to know more than the basic mechanical differences. So, let’s take a closer look at their features.

  • Easy loading

Top loading washing machines are generally a little easier to load and unload because it doesn’t take a lot of bending or bending to get clothes out of the bottom of the wash drum like front loading washing machines do. And while you can buy stands that will lift front loaders off the ground, top loaders are still the winners when it comes to ease of loading.

  • Ability to add elements during cycle

With a top loading washing machine, you have the freedom to throw away the extra sock even after you have started the wash cycle. Front loaders are more finicky when it comes to this feature and they often vary from model to model.

However most front loaders will allow you to pause loading and unlock the door to add items, but only in the early stages of the wash cycle. Once the water level reaches a certain point, you won’t be able to open the door (which is ultimately a good thing, because otherwise you would have a little flood!).

  • Water and energy efficiency

On average, front loading washers use less water overall—about 13 gallons of water per wash cycle. Paddle top loaders use slightly more water than front loaders, approximately 70 liters per load. There are washing machines with a 50 kg load, they, accordingly, consume even more water. Traditional top-loading agitator sinks consume the most water, around 140-200 liters. per wash cycle!

High-efficiency sinks (including top-loading and front-loading models) use less water and require less energy to operate.

  • Cleanability

Nearly every controlled cleansing test shows that front loaders remove more soil from fabric than top loaders, often using less detergent.

Front loading washers are known to remove more water during the spin cycle than top loading washers resulting in faster and more energy efficient drying.

  • Maintenance and cleaning

Top loading sinks require little cleaning and maintenance, while front loading sinks require more regular cleaning. Wiping down the door seal after each use and leaving the door ajar. Failure to do so may result in mold growth on the door gasket and in the washing drum. (If you’ve ever heard someone complain about a bad smell coming from their front loading washing machine, that’s probably why!)0003

It’s easy to clean and maintain a front-loading washing machine, but a top-loading washing machine is nothing to worry about. The water doesn’t have the problem of flowing out due to gravity, so you’re less likely to run into mold.

Automatic washing Geyser APU 1000 with vertical loading, made in Russia.

Product catalog


APU 1000

Sale of automatic washing plants APU 1000 Geyser from a warehouse (St. Petersburg, Moscow, Chelyabinsk, Kazan) from the manufacturer.
Ask for price lists with prices for Geyser automatic top-loading washers (Russia) at the car service equipment department.

Automatic flushing unit APU 1000 Geyser.

APU 1000
is a professional blast cleaner with a rotating basket and an easy upward opening lid. Washing parts APU 1000 effectively removes oil and grease, sand, dirt, dust.

Operating principle of the APU 1000 blast cleaning unit.

Washing unit with the help of a heating element heats the washing solution to a temperature of 65 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Geyser Spray’s unique solution spray system sprays the solution under pressure onto the surfaces to be cleaned.

The arrangement of nozzles at an angle to the trajectory of the basket movement ensures the rotation of the basket with products by the energy of water jets. During rotation, it is possible to process all surfaces open to the solution.

A complex of multidirectional nozzles allows the jets to penetrate into the most inaccessible parts of the part. This guarantees the highest quality cleaning.

Timer limits the time required for flushing.

The angle of rotation of the ramps is selected empirically, depending on the weight and configuration of the products. The recommended speed of the basket is 5-15 rpm.

The wash cycle time is selected depending on the degree of contamination of the product and is 10-20 minutes.

Efficient cleaning of surfaces from various types of contaminants is carried out with an alkaline cleaning solution heated to a predetermined temperature.


For car services and service stations of passenger vehicles, repair of engines of medium-duty trucks, off-road vehicles, special equipment.


Closed depth 1170 mm
Width 1330 mm
Closed height 1500 mm
Basket diameter (table size) 1000 mm
Working space height 700 mm
Reservoir 260 l
Basket capacity 350 kg
Maximum temperature 65°C
Voltage 380V
Power 8. 5 kW
Weight 380 kg

Complete set.

  1. AISI430 stainless steel body, 2 mm thick.
  2. Electromechanical basket drive for even workpiece rotation and better rinsing.
  3. Digital temperature controller with automatic maintenance with an accuracy of +/- 2°C.
  4. Frame with adjustable feet.
  5. Heating elements made in Italy.
  6. European made electronics.
  7. Timer for 60 min. for automatic shutdown of a sink after washing.
  8. Electronic steam protection.
  9. Emergency stop system
  10. Strainer 2×2 mm.

Additional options.

  1. AISI304 steel body, 2 mm thick. for use with acid detergents.
  2. Disc oil separator.
  3. Dry run protection.
  4. Automatic solution level maintenance.
  5. Exhaust fan.
  6. Stainless steel basket.