How To Choose The Best Portable Washing Machine?

Just because you are in a small apartment, dorm room or motor home where you cannot use a full size washing machine, it doesn’t mean you have to waste time washing clothes by hand.

Nowadays, washing machines come in all sizes, including compact and portable designs that you can set up just about anywhere.

Portable washing machines range in capacity from around 2.8kg up to 5kg. Depending on capacity, the washer can fit one person’s or a small family’s laundry.

Portable washers are not just great for dorm rooms, RVs and boats. If you are going camping for several days, carrying one along will save you the trouble of washing clothes by hand and you can even carry fewer clothes.

Of course, you’ll need to be at a campsite with power access or have a portable generator powerful enough to run a small washer.

In this buying guide, we recommend the best portable washing machines you can buy online.

Key Considerations When Buying a Portable Washing Machine

A. Capacity

A portable washing machine is definitely going to have a much smaller capacity than your normal big washer.

The largest portable washers have a capacity between 4kg and 5kg, while the smallest ones have a capacity under 3kg.

The best capacity depends on your washing needs. If you generate a lot of laundry, more capacity is better. If you prefer staying on top of your laundry, you can get a smaller washer that will fit smaller and more frequent loads.

Keep in mind that more capacity typically means a bigger and heavier washer. You have to decide whether the added capacity is worth the trade off in portability and fit.

Tip: Don’t get tricked by manufacturers that mention total capacity. A 7kg portable washing machine sounds great, but that’s the capacity of the washing tub and spinning tub combined. The capacity you should care most about is that if the main washing compartment.

B. Size and Weight (Fit and Ease of Portability)

Make sure the portable washing machine you want to buy will fit in the space you have. Most portable washers are 50-60cm wide, about 40cm deep and about 70cm high.

Twin tub washers are typically wider. If you want a space-saving washer with a 2-in-1 washing and spinning functionality, look for one that uses a single tub for both functions.

Also check the weight of the washer, especially if you plan on travelling with it or moving it around often. You can find some ultra-compact washers that weight as little as 6kg, but most portable washing machines weight between 10kg and 15kg.

C. 2-in-1 Functionality (Washing & Spinning)

This is a must-have feature. Even extra-small portable washing machines have a spin cycle.

A spinning program is a big time saver if you don’t have a tumble dryer and don’t have all day to wait for your clothes to dry. The spinner rinses your clothes and then extracts most of the water so that they dry faster once you hang then on the line or an indoor airer.

Some portable washers wash and spin clothes in separate compartments. These are called twin tub washers.

While they do take up more space than other types of washers, you can run the wash and spin functions simultaneously. While some of your clothes are dried in the spinner, others are getting cleaned in the main tub.

Note that the spinner tub usually has a lower capacity than the main washing tub.

Other washers integrate the washing and rinsing/spinning functions into a single tub. The main advantage of a single tub design is that it saves space since the machine is narrower.

D. Manual vs. Automatic

Most of the portable washing machines you’ll come across are manual. You have to manually add water and drain it.

If your schedule’s a bit busy and don’t have time to babysit the washer, get an automatic model. You’ll just need to hook it up to your faucet and hook the drain line over the sink.

Once you select the right settings, it does everything including washing, rinsing and spinning. It’ll control how much water comes in and a built-in electric pump automatically drains water into the sink.

By the time you are coming back, you just unload the washer.

To enjoy that convenience, however, you’ll have to spend more money on an automatic portable washing machine. A good one can cost as much as a normal 7-8kg home washing machine.

E. Controls

Finally, check the controls.

Most portable washing machines have three dials on top: one for the wash timer, another for the wash program (soft, normal/standard and drain) and another for the spin timer.

An automatic portable washing machine will have more controls for time, amount of water, washing programs and more. Most also have a screen to display time remaining for the current washing cycle.

Best Portable Washing Machines: Top 5 Reviews

1. Display4top Portable Compact Mini Twin Tub Washing Machine


The Display4top portable washing machine boasts a washer capacity of 3.5kg and a spin capacity of 2.3kg.

It’s a twin tub design, so you can wash and spin dry clothes at the same time using the two separate timer knobs on the control panel.

For washing, you can select two types of washing programs: soft (for delicates) and standard.

The 1300 RPM motor is not very noisy. You don’t have to worry about waking up your neighbours or roommates.

The Display4top washer measures 58cm wide, 34.3cm deep and 66cm high, so it should fit in a small corner of the room. If you are thinking about taking the washer camping or using it in a motor home, it weighs 12.4kg, light enough that two people can carry it over short distances.

The Display4top portable washer is a manual model, so you have to add water manually either using the inlet ports on the washer and spinner tubs or pouring water directly into the tub.

Draining the washer is also a manual task. Connect the included hose to the drain port to drain the water. Because the water drains by gravity, you’ll need to direct the hose to a drain that’s lower than the washer. A bathroom floor drain works best.

As for cleaning performance, most customers say it cleans clothes just as well as a normal washing machine, and in far less time.

What we like about it:

  • Good value for money.
  • Large enough capacity for most people’s needs.
  • Convenient twin tub design.
  • Easy to operate.

2. TG23 Twin Tub Portable Washing Machine


The TG23 portable washer has a washing capacity of 3.6kg, while the rinse & spin tub can hold up to 2kg of laundry. The total capacity is slightly lower than the Display4top washer, but it’s still enough for most people.

You can set the wash timer up to 15 minutes and the spin timer up to 5 minutes. A third dial in the middle lets you select between soft and normal washing.

Being a twin tub washer, you are free to run both functions simultaneously. While one load gets cleaned, you can rinse and spin another in the smaller tub.

Each tub has its own inlet where you can hook up the included hose to add water to the tubs. You can also use a jug or bucket to pour water directly into the tubs.

After you finish cleaning, use the provided drainage tube to gravity-drain the tubs.

According to most users, cleaning performance is very good. The TG23 cleans as well as a normal sized washer. It holds far fewer clothes, but cleans them in just 15 minutes. If you have lot of laundry, it’s just a matter of doing laundry more often.

As for fit, the TG23 portable washer measures 60cm wide, 38.5cm deep and 69cm high. It’s slightly bigger than the Display4top washer, but still compact enough to fit in a small bathroom, kitchen or dorm room.

It weighs 12.7kg.

What we like about it:

  • Comes with drain tube, water fill hose and lint filter.
  • Excellent cleaning performance.
  • Convenient twin tub design.
  • Easy to operate.

3. FitnessClub Portable Twin Tub Washing Machine


If you are looking for a twin tub portable washing machine with a large capacity, we recommend this compact one from FitnessClub.

The main washing tub has a capacity of 4.6kg, a whole kilogram more than our two picks above. You can pack it with more clothes and bulky items like a duvet or a pillow.

The large capacity is great for people who generate a lot of dirty clothes as well as couples and small families that need a compact washing machine.

The rinse & spin tub is also bigger than in other portable washers with a 3kg capacity. This allows you to rinse and spin dry a bigger load.

The controls are similar to other manual portable washing machines. There’s a 15-minute wash timer, a 5-minute spin timer and a cycle select dial for soft, standard and drain.

A pair of inlets allows you to connect a hose to either tub. There’s also an outlet at the bottom for manually draining dirty water. Note that the FitnessClub washing machine comes with a 2m inlet hose as well as a 65cm drain tube.

Despite the larger capacity, the FitnessClub is roughly the same size as other portable washers. It measures 60cm wide, 36.5cm deep and 70cm high. It weighs 13kg.

What we like about it:

  • Larger capacity – perfect for couples, small families and roommates.
  • Good value for money.
  • Easy to use.
  • Compact design.

4. PIGE Portable Washer, 2.8kg


If you are looking for an ultra-compact and light washing machine, the PIGE portable washer is the best one we found.

PIGE is a single-tub washer with a capacity of 2.8kg, making it ideal for small loads of laundry. It’s perfect for a dorm room, a small apartment, a motor home or a boat.

Because it weighs just 6kg, it’s also great for camping. You can lift and carry it on your own over short distances.

While the 2.8kg capacity is too small for your entire family’s laundry, you can use it to wash underwear, socks, towels and other small items. It’s also great if you want to wash baby clothes separately from the rest of the family laundry.

The single tub design is multi-functional. After going through the wash cycle, you can select the spin cycle to extract moisture from the clothes.

The PIGE portable washer comes with a water inlet, a drain port at the bottom and a timer dial to set the washing time.

We love the modern cylindrical design. If you find conventional washers too boxy for your liking, you’ll love PIGE.

In terms of fit, the PIGE washer can fit in just about any corner, whether in the bathroom, dorm room or RV. It measures 34cm wide and 58cm high.

What we like about it:

  • Very compact and lightweight.
  • Easy to use.
  • Perfect for camping and motorhomes.
  • Wash and spin functions.

5. COSTWAY 2 in 1 Portable Washing Machine


Do you prefer the convenience of an automatic washing machine? Get the COSTWAY portable 2-in-1 washer.

COSTWAY is fully automatic, meaning all you have to do is connect the hose and drain tube, and remove your laundry when it’s done.

You can hook up the intake hose to your faucet and set up the drain tube to drain into your sink. The COSTWAY washer has a built-in drain pump, so you don’t need to drain water to a floor drain.

The 3.5kg single tub is large enough to fit one or two people’s laundry. You can also wash a duvet, bedsheets, towels and other bulky items.

Once you load your clothes, select your preferred settings on the control panel. You can select from three water levels and six programs. A full cycle (wash, rinse and spin) takes about 40 minutes.

A small screen shows you a countdown timer to the end of the current cycle.

Thanks to the single-tub design, the COSTWAY portable washer is more compact compared to twin tub washers. It’s 43cm wide, 42cm deep and 70cm high, so it can fit in a narrow space.

It’s a bit heavy at 18kg, making it less than ideal for camping and travelling.

What we like about it:

  • Fully automatic – easy to use and convenient.
  • Cleans and spins just as well as large washers.
  • All necessary accessories provided.
  • Multiple options and settings to fit your washing needs.