We round up our top-rated top-loading washers.
If you're in the market for a new washing machine, a top-loader may be on your radar. Good for cramped spaces where you can't necessarily bend down to load clothes, these units tend to be less energy efficient than their front-loading brethren.
Here are some of our current favorite top-loaders.
LG WT5101HV ($902-$1,199)
The LG WT5101HV is a high-end washer in an attractive package. It is easy on delicate fabrics and excellent at removing stains, sporting a host of washing options and a custom, programmable wash button. It has some of the best cleaning performance we've ever seen on the Normal cycle. For this reason, the average consumer may find this model more attractive than units which focus their power on heavy cycles. It does have a few downsides: It's a bit expensive, and not terribly efficient either, costing an estimated $52.06 to operate each year—top-loading washers are almost without exception less efficient than front-loading models. The control panel also takes a little getting used to. But it's currently the best top-loading model we've tested.
Whirlpool WTW7800XL ($939-$987)
Whirlpool's WTW7800XL is due to be replaced by a new model soon, but you can still find it at some retailers. It's slightly more efficient that most top-loaders we've tested, though it still looks gluttonous next to almost any front loader. Washing performance is good in the Normal, White, and Heavy cycles, and while it was generally good at removing stains, it didn't always get all the dirt out. You get a lot of options in this model and a lot of control over how much water is used, making it good for those who like to fine-tune their loads.
Maytag Bravos XL MVWB750YW ($805-$999)
Maytag's Bravos XL MVWB750YW was named our best top-loading washer of 2012 in our Best of Year awards. It has a huge capacity, but stain-removal performance is inconsistent from cycle to cycle. The Normal cycle works great at getting out stains and dirt, but the Delicate and Quick cycles could use some work. Even so, it's still a great washer which has a nice touch, simple controls, and a slew of cycles.