10 Small-Space-Friendly Washing Machines That Prove Every Home Can Have One

updated Jan 25, 2024
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Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Prop Styling: Carla Gonzalez-Hart

Looking for more small-space solutions? Check out our Big Shopping Guide for Small-Space Living, which is packed with our favorite furniture, decor, hacks, and organizing and storage finds for maximizing every inch of every area of your home.

If you’ve ever trucked your clothes down to the laundromat and washed them there under the unforgiving fluorescent lights, then you can appreciate the convenience of having a washer and dryer in your home. I’m fortunate to have a laundry room in the basement of my apartment building, which is definitely more convenient than any laundromat, but I still have plans dreams to one day live somewhere with in-unit clothes washing and drying machines. That would certainly be the sweet life…

Of course, there are other options in the meantime: namely portable washing machines. These devices vary in size, capacity, and complexity, and they all get your clothes just as clean as the full-size machines. From countertop automatic models to manual devices, these small-space-friendly washing machines are a much cheaper option to traditional machines and they’re a convenient way to enhance your home’s laundry capabilities without committing to an expensive appliance. (If you rent your home, these are definitely worth checking out.) Browse our picks below for the best portable washing machines and see which one would be perfect for your place.

1 / 10

For a super portable option, get this manually-operated washing device. It disassembles into a few pieces so you can pack it up and take it with you on a long car trip or store it conveniently at home. To operate it, just add water and laundry detergent to the bucket or bathtub of your choice and pump the tool up and down. Our best list editor Britt was seriously impressed by how well it works. "What I liked best about Lehman's Manual Washer is that my clothes looked and felt clean afterwards, and each garment dried nice and soft, just like it would with a traditional washing machine," she wrote. "It was generally fun to use, and didn’t take a lot of time to complete a full wash cycle."

2 / 10

One of our most budget-friendly picks is this super-compact washing machine that uses a hand crank to give your clothes a thorough wash. It has suction cups on its feet to stop it from moving around your floor while you're turning the wash barrel by hand, and after you drain the dirty water with an included drain attachment, you can refill the device with clean water and spin it again to rinse your clothes. Our best list editor Britt found that this does just as good a job as traditional washing machines, and obviously takes up way less space. "I love the convenience and ease of the WonderWash," she wrote. "Even with cranking the machine up three times, the entire process from washing to hang-drying can be completed within half an hour for a single load."

3 / 10

This washing machine is about the size of a typical laundry hamper and has a neat two-bin system where one bin washes the clothes and the other spins them dry. You can operate both bins simultaneously if you have several batches of clothes to clean, and the machine has a built-in drainage hose that you can hang over a sink or bathtub.

4 / 10

Just 21 inches high, this washing machine is small enough to operate on a countertop yet roomy enough to hold a 4.4-pound load capacity, including larger items like towels and sheets. Featuring just three buttons — On/Off, Wash, and Rinse — it's easy to operate and whisper quiet. Just plug it in, fill with water, and go!

5 / 10
was $138.98

Not much bigger than a medium-sized trash can, this washing machine allows you to clean a good amount of clothes without taking up much space at all. It weighs 14 pounds, so if you want to store this in a closet or some place out of the way until you need to use it, that won't be a problem. It doesn't have a ton of buttons or cycle options, but that also means it's simple to use. And, best of all, its motor is pretty quiet.

6 / 10

Our social media manager Brian got this dual-bin portable washing machine when he was preparing to become a parent, and he found that it works great even in a limited space. One bin is used for washing clothes and the other spins to dry them off, and overall the machine is about as big as a full-size laundry hamper. Brian found it convenient to store this inside a closet and then set it in his bathtub when he wants to use it, since the water source and drainage spot are right there. Read his full review here for more details and photos of it in use.

7 / 10
was $284.99

This BLACK+DECKER model is the most affordable fully automatic washing machine that we found. It does washing and rinsing in the same stainless-steel tub and takes up a little less space than other models. Your purchase includes a convenient drainage hose and an adapter to connect it to your faucet for filling, and our contributor Megan Wood found it to be the perfect solution to wanting to avoid trips to the laundromat and instead clean her clothes at home. "I’m no longer stressed about bed bugs, clothing thieves, or errant bleach from communal machines," she wrote. "And getting an evening back from the laundromat has been priceless."

8 / 10
Home Depot

We were thrilled to find this full-service machine at such an affordable price (and made by a reputable brand). Its digital interface gives you different wash cycle options and its built-in wheels let you easily move it around your home as needed. We also really like that it has a delay start feature so you can program it to do your laundry whenever electricity usage rates are lowest in your area.

9 / 10
Home Depot

You get a lot of great functionality with this portable washing machine, such as a digital interface that lets you dial in the exact washing conditions you need, as well as a spacious steel tub that will hold a generous amount of clothes. If you nearly have the space for a full-size washing machine but don't have the proper plumbing hookup or don't want to invest in a permanent appliance, this machine is exactly what you're looking for.

10 / 10
Home Depot
was $999.00

This portable washing machine comes close to being a regular washing machine, although it has a slightly smaller capacity and can be repositioned as needed or easily transported to another home if you're moving. Its control panel has a wide range of wash cycles to choose from, and it comes with an adapter to conveniently hook it up to any sink for filling and draining.