Choosing the Perfect Portable Washer for an Apartment

Choosing the right washing machine for apartment living is crucial for a hassle-free laundry experience.

Traditional washing machines often pose challenges in small spaces, from their bulky size to the complex installation.

Opting for a portable washing machine not only saves space but also makes the household chores of laundry less cumbersome.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how to make an informed decision when choosing a portable washing machine for an apartment.

Why Would You Need a Portable Washing Machine in an Apartment?

The advantages of a portable washing machine are numerous, especially for those living in an apartment.

Firstly, they are a godsend when it comes to space constraints.

These compact devices can easily fit into small areas like bathrooms or closets.

Secondly, no complex installation is required, making them perfect for renters who may not have permission for home improvement involving permanent appliance installations.

Lastly, their mobility allows you to store them away when not in use, providing more room for other activities.

Do Portable Washing Machines Work?

Yes, portable washing machines are effective and efficient for handling smaller laundry loads.

Many people are skeptical about the effectiveness and efficiency of a portable washing machine, but rest assured, these compact devices are more than capable of getting the job done.

While they may not have all the bells and whistles of a full-sized machine, they offer adequate wash cycles and water usage options that ensure your laundry comes out clean and fresh.

With the right laundry detergent and settings, a portable washing machine can offer comparable results to traditional machines but in a more convenient, space-saving format.

Types of Portable Washing Machines

When it comes to choosing a portable washing machine for an apartment, understanding the type of machine that best suits your needs is crucial.

Here are the three main types:

Top-Loading Washing Machines

These are the most common and are generally more affordable.

Top-loading washing machines have a lid on top where you add your laundry and laundry detergent.

They are often easier to load and unload but may consume more water.

Front-Loading Washing Machines

Front-loading washing machines have a door on the front and are known for their energy efficiency and effective cleaning.

They tend to be more expensive and take up slightly more space, but they use less water and detergent.

Spin Dryers

A spin dryer is a specialized machine that focuses solely on removing excess water from clothes.

It doesn’t have a washing function but is excellent for speeding up the drying process.

They are often paired with either a top-loading or front-loading washing machine for a complete laundry solution.

Manual Washing Machines

Manual washing machines, such as The Laundry Alternative WonderWash and The Laundry POD, require human effort to operate.

These machines are ultra-compact and energy-efficient, making them ideal for situations where electricity is limited or for those looking to minimize their energy usage.

Each type comes with its own set of features, pros, and cons, so consider what’s most important to you before making a decision.

Things to consider before opting for a portable washer

Before opting for a portable washing machine, it’s essential to consider factors like space constraints, laundry needs, and budget.

These compact machines come in various types and features, making it vital to choose one that aligns with your specific apartment living requirements.

Here are a few things that you must consider before going ahead with a portable washer:

Consider Your Space Constraints

What is the size of your apartment?

One of the most critical factors in choosing a portable washing machine for an apartment is assessing your available space.

Space constraints are a common issue in apartment living, making it crucial to measure the area where you plan to place the machine.

Ensure there’s enough room for the appliance to fit comfortably, including extra space for hoses and electrical connections.

Remember, the goal is to save space with a portable washing machine, so opt for a model that complements your living situation without causing clutter.

Load Capacity and Laundry Needs

Understanding your laundry needs is crucial when selecting the best portable washing machine for apartments. Ask yourself:

How Much Laundry Do You Do on a Regular Basis?

If you find yourself doing frequent small loads, a machine with a smaller load capacity might suffice.

However, if you have a larger family or simply prefer to tackle all your laundry in one go, look for a machine with a greater capacity.

How Large of a Load Do You Need to Wash at Once?

The load capacity of portable washing machines can vary. Some can handle as little as 6 lbs, while others can accommodate up to 20 lbs.

Make sure to choose a machine that can handle your typical laundry load.

Also Read: How to calculate the washing machine capacity?

Features and Functions

When it comes to features to consider when choosing a portable washing machine, the options can be diverse.

Here are some key functionalities that can make your laundry experience more convenient:

Multiple Wash Cycles

Some advanced models offer multiple wash cycles for different types of fabrics and soil levels.

This feature provides more customized washing, ensuring that your clothes are not just clean but also well cared for.


A timer function allows you to set your wash or spin cycle to run for a specific amount of time. This is especially useful if you want to set the machine to finish just as you arrive home or wake up.

Drain Pump

A built-in drain pump simplifies the process of removing used water, making the machine more user-friendly and efficient.

Additional Features

Some models come with extra features like a lint filter, delayed start, or even a built-in water heater.

While these might not be necessities, they can enhance your overall laundry experience.

Evaluating these features in light of your specific needs and space constraints can help you choose the best portable washing machine for apartments that is both functional and convenient.

Noise and Energy Efficiency

A vital aspect to consider when choosing a portable washing machine for an apartment is its impact on your living environment, specifically regarding noise and energy consumption.

Are Portable Washing Machines Loud?

Generally, portable washing machines are quieter than their full-sized counterparts, but it’s still a good idea to check reviews and specifications for decibel ratings.

Are Portable Washing Machines Energy Efficient?

Yes, many models are designed to use less water and electricity. Brands like GE and Black+Decker have particularly energy-efficient options, and manual machines like The Laundry Alternative WonderWash require no electricity at all.


The weight of the machine affects its portability, especially if you plan to move it frequently or store it away when not in use.

A heavier machine might be more cumbersome to maneuver, while a lighter model would be easier to handle.

Always consider your space and how often you’ll need to move the machine when making your decision.

Also Read: Average Washing Machine Weight (With examples)

Budget and Expenses

When it comes to choosing a portable washing machine for an apartment, understanding your financial limits is crucial.

Initial Cost and Operating Costs

Portable washing machines can range from affordable to high-end, with prices varying based on features, type, and brand.

Don’t forget to consider operating costs like water usage and electricity, which can add up over time.

Setting a Budget to Avoid Overspending

It’s essential to set a realistic budget to avoid any financial strain.

Keep in mind that a higher initial price might be offset by long-term energy efficiency and durability.

Where to Buy a Portable Washing Machine?

Deciding where to buy a portable washing machine is as important as choosing the machine itself.

In-Store vs Online

Buying in-store allows you to see the machine upfront but may limit your options.

Online shopping offers a wider variety, but make sure to read reviews from other users to gauge the product’s quality.

Warranty and Reputable Retailer

Always ensure that the portable washing machine is backed by a solid warranty.

This is a good indicator of the manufacturer’s confidence in their product. Furthermore, buy from a reputable retailer to ensure you’re getting a genuine and quality product.

Both budget and retailer choice are key factors that can influence your satisfaction and the machine’s longevity.

Setting Up Your Portable Washing Machine

Getting your portable washing machine up and running can be quite straightforward, but the steps may vary depending on whether it’s an electric or manual model.

Basic Setup Steps for Electric Models

Position the Machine: Place the machine in the designated area, making sure it’s level and stable.

Connect Hoses: Attach the inlet and outlet hoses to the respective water sources and drains.

Plug-In: Connect the machine to an electrical outlet that matches the machine’s voltage requirements.

Run a Test Cycle: Before adding laundry, run a water-only test cycle to ensure functionality.

Add Laundry and Detergent: Load your laundry and laundry detergent, then select your wash cycle and settings.

Basic Setup Steps for Manual Models

Position the Machine: Similar to electric models, place your manual machine on a stable, level surface.

Add Water and Detergent: Manually fill the drum with water and add the appropriate amount of laundry detergent.

Load Laundry: Place your laundry into the drum, ensuring not to overload it.

Operate Manually: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to operate the machine, which may involve turning a crank or pushing a lever.

Drain and Rinse: Once the cycle is complete, you’ll need to manually drain the water and add fresh water for rinsing.

Final Thoughts

From saving space to offering the convenience of mobility, these machines are designed to meet the unique needs of apartment living. Whether you opt for an electric or manual model, the key factors to consider are space constraints, load capacity, features, and budget. Don’t forget to read reviews and ensure a good warranty before making your purchase.

Additional Tips for Choosing a Portable Washing Machine:

  • Always check the warranty and buy from a reputable retailer.
  • Consider your laundry detergent options, as some machines may require specific types.
  • Think about long-term operating costs in addition to the initial price.

Frequently Asked Questions

What brands are reputable for portable washing machines?

Brands like GE, Black+Decker, Yirego Drumi, and The Laundry Alternative WonderWash are well-regarded in the industry.

How do I maintain my portable washing machine?

Regular cleaning and following the manufacturer’s guidelines can extend the life of your machine.

Can I use regular laundry detergent?

It depends on the model. Always check the user manual for specific detergent recommendations to ensure optimal performance.

How energy-efficient are manual washing machines?

Manual machines are the most energy-efficient as they require no electricity. However, they do require manual effort.

Hemant Sarkar is a seasoned techie with a diploma in computer science and an impressive track record of over 15 years in dealing with speakers, kitchen appliances, and various home appliance-related issues. He is widely recognized for his exceptional expertise in repairing dryers and washing machines from all major brands. In addition to his appliance repair prowess, Hemant maintains engaging blogs on topics related to music and speakers. For any inquiries or assistance regarding appliances or tech-related matters, you can reach out to him at: hemant (at)