Portable Washing Machines: Are They Worth It?

Portable washing machines are compact and cheaper than full-size washers. It can be useful if you have a small space or live in an apartment. If you want to know whether the portable washers are worth the money, then exploring the features, pros, and cons is a must.

Are Portable Washing Machines Worth It

Are Portable Washing Machines Worth It?

Portable washers can be worthy in the following scenarios:

  • Laundromat is not around the corner
  • You don’t have space for a full-size washer
  • You need to wash uniforms or similar laundry every day
  • You live in an apartment without laundry provision
  • You cannot afford a full-size washer
  • If you are living out of RVs or Camper Vans

When you are faced with such difficulties, you can get a portable washer and do your laundry with ease.

But before you choose to get a portable washing machine, it is a must to know what portable washers are, their features, and their pros and cons. This will help you to know the limitations of the appliance and understand its worth.

What are Portable Washing Machines?

Portable washing machines are very compact clothes washers with capacities of less than 3 cubic feet. They have a compact design and can be moved around with the help of caster wheels. Due to their compact form factor, they are easy to store and don’t take up much space in your home.

Portable washers function like high efficiency top-load washing machines. Portable type washers open at the top and have a small wash tub with an impeller at the bottom for agitation.

Features of Portable Washers

Let us explore the different features of portable washing machines and learn the pros and cons.

Design and Size

Portable machines are designed like top-load washers. The form factor is sleek and ranges from 2.5ft to 3ft according to the washer capacity and model.

The capacity of the washer ranges from 0.9 cubic feet to 2.5 cubic feet as per the model of the washer.

Type of the Washer

Portable washers are available in two types:

  • Fully automatic top-load washing machines with impellers for high-efficiency
  • Semi-Automatic Twin Tub Top Load Washing Machines

Fully automatic machines are convenient and don’t require any kind of human intervention. It is efficient and easy to use for all kinds of people. The entire wash cycle is automatic and doesn’t require any manual control.

The semi-automatic variant requires human assistance. You have to shift the clothes from the washer tub to the spin tub. The wash programs and options must be manually set using the mechanical timer control.

The machine has a lid at the top to allow access to the washer tub. The washer comes with a water inlet and a drain hose but it does not have a dispenser system for detergent, bleach, or any other laundry products.

Some models may not have a water inlet system and you have to manually fill the machine tub according to the load. You can hookup the drain hose to any drain pipe of the house or you can also use your sink for draining the wastewater from the drain hose.

Wash Programs and Wash Options

Portable washing machines have very few wash programs and wash options. The common wash programs in a portable machine include:

  • Normal
  • Quick Wash
  • Heavy
  • Soak
  • Delicates

The common wash options might include:

  • Spin cycle adjustment
  • Wash Time adjustment
  • Rinse Time Adjustment
  • Load size selection

You may find all of these programs and options or at least some of these. Apart from these programs, a portable washer doesn’t have any other.

Special Features

  • Portable washers are available with adjustable legs to get the right balance
  • Some models come with an anti-vibration feature to reduce vibration and noise
  • Certain brands offer a soft close lid feature for the washer to increase convenience
  • A lint filter is available
  • End of Cycle signal is available in most models

Energy Efficiency and Water Consumption

Unlike full-size washing machines, portable units consume less energy and comparatively less water to do the laundry. This is because of the small capacity and very less wash cycles available with the portable washers.

Despite being a top-load variant, the portable units can perform with high efficiency and consume less water if you understand the purpose of the unit.

Portable units are only suitable for a single person living in a small apartment space. If you use a machine with light laundry loads and proper detergent type, you can avoid high energy consumption and water expenditure in the washer.

Pros and Cons of Portable Washing Machines

Portable washers have caster wheels to move the machine around the houseVery low capacity
The machine can be stored anywhere with just two to three feet of spaceNot many wash programs and wash options are available
No need to install a separate drain pipe for inserting the drain hose. You can simply put the drain hose to your sink and drain the washer.Doesn’t have safety features like lid lock and child lock
No need to fix a water inlet pipe. You can fix the water inlet hose directly to your kitchen tap or bathroom faucet with the help of an adapterNo noise and vibration controls in many models
Available in both agitator and impeller modelsRequires kitchen or bathroom sink for drainage
Simple wash programs and optionsSemi-automatic variants require large space for storage
You can choose between automatic and semi-automatic modelsMay not be effective in removing tough stains
Highly energy efficientNo detergent dispenser
Very low water consumptionOnly suitable for clothes, not recommended for other laundry
Comfortable for daily washYou may need a dryer to dry the clothes quickly since the spin speeds are not very high
Highly useful for apartment dwellers

Who should opt for portable washing machine variants?

Portable type washing machines are only suitable for the following categories of people:

  • Apartment dwellers who don’t have laundry access or laundromats access.
  • If you need to wash certain types of laundry like uniforms regularly, then it is useful to own a portable washer.
  • People with camper vans and RVs can easily store this compact portable washing machine inside their camper van and do their laundry without any issues.
  • If you cannot afford a full-size washing machine, then you can go for portable variants which are cheaper and more efficient.

If you fall under these categories, you can opt for a portable washing machine. Otherwise, you can go for a full-size washer and get better functionalities.

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