The 8 Best High-Efficiency Washers of 2020

Reduce your footprint with these top-performing machines

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Our Top Picks
"This model uses load-sensing technology to reduce resource consumption, tackle bulky loads, and finish your laundry faster."
Best Overall, Front Load:
LG Smart Front Load Washer at Best Buy
"The cycles of this washer use significantly less energy and water compared to other models on the market, and run quietly."
"For a washer that won't give you sticker shock, look to this model that has newer features and an average-sized drum."
"The interior of this washing machine includes a conventional agitator, so clothes are cleaned thoroughly and at a low price."
"With a dispenser specifically designed for detergent pods and an energy-efficient operation, this washer checks off many boxes."
"Your household will love the 5.2 cubic foot drum of this model, as well as the built-in faucet for pre-treating clothes."
"This washer can transfer settings to a matching dryer, so your clothes are handled with precise and practical care."
"There's a cycle selection within this appliance that can wash clothes in under 30 minutes, just in case you're in a time crunch."

Putting a high-efficiency washer in your home has its perks—both financially and environmentally. This type of appliance uses load-sensing technology to add the exact amount of water your laundry needs. By doing so, it doesn't create waste, or needlessly rack up your water bill. Although some machines may take a little longer to clean your dirty clothes on a normal cycle, they typically make up for it with speed cycle selections, built-in faucets, and "deep fill" settings that raise the water line within the drum for heftier loads.

Here, the best high-efficiency washers for your home:

Best Overall, Top Load: Samsung WA54R7600AW 5.4 cu. ft. High-Efficiency White Top Load Washing Machine

The Samsung WA50R5400AV is a great pick for a high-efficiency top-loading washer. It includes time-saving features, that also reduce energy consumption and finish your laundry faster. It has a 5.0 cubic foot drum, so there’s plenty of room for even oversized loads or bulky blankets.

Like most high-efficiency washers, the machine utilizes load-sensing technology to determine how much water is required for the wash cycle. If you usually need to pre-treat stains, then your household will likely appreciate the efficiency of the Samsung Active WaterJet—a built-in faucet that gives you an easy, mess-free way to scrub shirts, pants, and anything with stains. 

Now, be prepared: the cycles may take longer than a conventional washer with an agitator. This HE washer is doing more with less, though—which sometimes mean longer wash cycles. If you're in a hurry, simply select this washer's speed cycle that cuts cycle times to a respectable 36 minutes.

Best Overall, Front Load: LG WM3900HWA 4.5 cu. ft. High Efficiency Ultra Large Smart Front Load Washer

There are plenty of high-efficiency front load washers on the market, but the LG WM3900HWA is your best bet. This washer includes convenient features that will make your laundry routine easier and your clothes cleaner. Most significantly, this HE front load washer uses up to 30 percent less energy and about half the water of comparable models. To further boost the energy efficiency of this appliance, a ColdWash setting gives you the option to conserve resources, by combining six unique wash motions.

The unit is both solid and operates quietly, which means you won't hear it tackle even the largest loads. It also is stackable, which is ideal for anyone household with a small laundry setup. Ultimately, if you’re looking for a washer that is easy to load and unload, and has the bells and whistles of a typical HE washer, look no further than this model from LG. 

Best Budget: Whirlpool WTW5000DW 4.3 cu. ft. High-Efficiency White Top Load Washing Machine

Many high-efficiency washers have an impeller plate for gentle yet effective wash action. The Whirlpool WTW5000DW combines this well-loved design with simple, easy-to-use controls and a sizable 4.3 cubic foot wash basket. Notably, it offers a range of amenities but won't give you sticker shock. 

Some of these amenities include an automatic load size sensor—which fills the washer with just the right amount of water—and a 660 RPM spin speed to wring out your freshly-washed clothes. When it's spinning, you'll notice that it doesn't shimmy and shake across your laundry room, which adds to the quiet operation of this machine. Like some other HE washers, there's also a Deep Water Wash setting, which adds extra water to the wash basket for especially bulky loads. 

There’s no automatic fabric softener or bleach dispenser on this model, but you'll easily be able to pause the cycle at the right time for these wash additives. All in all, this Whirlpool HE washer lets you spend less, but also enjoy newer features and a modern design.

Best Budget, Runner-Up: Amana NTW4516FW 3.5 cu. ft. White Top Load Washing Machine

The Amana NTW4516FW is an affordable, yet efficient, washer that'll tackle your dirty laundry in a fuss-free way. As a HE washer, it uses load-sensing technology to conserve water and also requires just a teaspoon or so of HE detergent to do its job well. 

Inside this budget, high-efficiency washing machine, you’ll notice a conventional agitator that seems to do an excellent job creating water movement and ensuring clothes get thoroughly cleaned. In addition, although the load-sensing technology fills the tub with just enough water to get the job done, this washing machine also includes a Deep Fill setting that is useful for washing fluffy or bulky items such as throw blankets.

You'll have little to complain about with this washing machine—other than the lid that can be slow to unlock after the cycle is over. However, the extra few minutes is a minor inconvenience when compared to the cost and energy efficiency of the Amana NTW4516FW.

Best for Environment: Electrolux EFLS627UTT 4.4 cu. ft. Front Load Washer with SmartBoost Technology Steam

If you’re looking for a high-efficiency washing machine that's also great for the environment, then check out the Electrolux EFLS627UTT. This model carries a CEE Tier III rating from EnergyStar for its energy efficiency and thoughtful water usage. There are a number of high-efficiency washers that share this distinction, but this model from Electrolux outperforms nearly all of them in terms of energy consumption. When used with an electric water heater, this front load washer is estimated to use only about 85 kWh per year. In comparison, many models are estimated to use 100 or more kWh per year.

While this high-efficiency washer is known for being energy-efficient, it’s not short on handy options. It includes a dispenser for single-dose laundry packs—a brand new feature that's popping up on washers. It also includes a shortened cycle for when you need clean clothes in a hurry, and a steam option to banish odors and allergens.

Best High Capacity: Maytag MVW7230HC 5.2 cu. ft. Smart Capable Metallic Slate Top Load Washing Machine

There are very few washers on the market that can challenge the capacity of the Maytag MVW7230HC. With a 5.2 cubic foot drum and an extra power button, this washer is designed to save water and energy, handle large loads of laundry, and take care of tough grime and stains. Just prep your clothes beforehand using the built-in water faucet. Then, select one of 13 precise wash settings and five rinse temperatures. After starting your cycle, take care of your clothes from anywhere using the Maytag app on your phone.

Being compatible with smart homes is just the beginning of this appliance's high-end design. Additionally, it comes with dispensers for fabric softener, detergent, and bleach, and a Deep Fill setting that raises the water line. Whether you have a large family, are constantly outdoors and getting dirty, or live with roommates, it'll ensure your clothes come out fresh and clean. However, opt into the service or 10-year warranty plan upon purchasing this washer, as it may need a couple repairs after years of use.

Best Smart: GE GFW850SPNDG 5.0 cu. ft. Capacity Smart Front Load Steam Washer

If you want the most innovative and smart high-efficiency washer, head straight for the GE GFW850SPNDG. As you’d expect for a smart washer, this model is equipped with built-in WiFi—but wait, there’s more. Not only does it provide you status updates to your smartphone, but it also syncs with compatible GE dryers, by transmitting cycle settings from one machine to the other. To experience this, just unload your washed clothes into the dryer unit. You’re ready to go, without needing to repeat cycle settings or add options.

The really smart thing about this washer, though, is the fact that it features GE’s UltraFresh Vent System with OdorBlock. Forget about stinky front-loader issues with this appliance that includes an in-door vent to keep mold and mildew away. In addition, the gasket, drain, and pump utilize Microban technology to prevent the growth of bacteria that turns into odors.

And while this machine isn’t smart enough to do your laundry for you, it’s smart enough to wash and dry a load of 2 pounds or less, by using an internal fan for circulation.

Best for Short Cycles: LG WT7300CW 5.0 cu. ft. High Efficiency Mega Capacity Smart Top Load Washer

High-efficiency washers get a bad rap for being slow, but the LG WT7300CW aims to solve this problem with a cycle selection that can wash a load in under 30 minutes. This high-efficiency top load washer offers up to 5.0 cubic feet of space for large loads, but also caters to your need for speed with an express cycle that'll have your favorite shirt or pants drying in no time. 

To be honest, this top load washer does just about everything fast—short cycle times, fast spin speeds, and efficient draining are a part of its design. Are you in the market for a stylish unit? The glass lid gives this traditional top-loader a more modern feel, and also lets you take a peek at your laundry that's in progress.  

Final Verdict

For a high-efficiency washer that's top-loading and conscious with the resources it uses, the Samsung WA50R5400AV (view at Home Depot) is our top pick. It has a steam function, load-sensing technology, and a built-in faucet which makes pre-treating clothes a breeze. If you're in the market for a front-loading model, the LG WM3900HWA (view at Best Buy) will certainly get the job done. This appliance is stackable, runs quietly, and uses significantly less energy and water than comparable pieces on the market.

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