A CR tester looks at one of the best washing machines of 2020 in CR's tests.
Rich Handel, who oversees CR’s laundry appliance tests, checks the cycles and settings of washers before testing.

For most of us, doing laundry is a chore. But for Consumer Reports’ testers, it’s a mission.

Cycle after cycle, they work to determine the best washing machines for every budget and look for innovative features that make doing laundry easier. And faster.

“Research shows that consumers say doing laundry takes too much time,” says Mark Allwood, Consumer Reports’ senior market analyst for laundry products. “Manufacturers have been trying to address this problem with machines that have bigger capacities, speed cycles, or built-in pretreat features.”

In addition to cataloging all that—and much more—CR’s test engineers launder swatches of fabric stained with red wine and cocoa, among other stains, to see how well each machine cleans.

And no matter its cleaning capability, a washer that doesn’t stand the test of time is no winner. So we incorporate survey data for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction into our washer ratings (dryers, too).

MORE ON LAUNDRY APPLIANCES

We test full-sized agitator top-loaders, HE top-loaders (the type without an agitator), and front-loaders, including compact front-loaders. They’re from familiar brands such as Amana, Frigidaire, GE, Hotpoint, LG, Maytag, and Whirlpool, and lesser known ones like Fisher & Paykel and Miele.

CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of the best washers for each type from Electrolux, GE, LG, Maytag, Miele, Samsung, and Speed Queen. See our washer buying guide for a broader look at each type and our washing machine ratings for even more choices.

Best Agitator Top-Load Washers

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Washing performance
Gentleness
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Washing performance
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Best High-Efficiency (HE) Top-Load Washers

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Washing performance
Gentleness
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Best Front-Load Washers

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Washing performance
Gentleness
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Best Compact Front-Load Washers

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Washing performance
Gentleness
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Washing performance
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