Top Load Washers: Agitator or No Agitator
Ideas and Advice

Top Load Washers: Agitator or No Agitator

Do you love top load washers? These days, there are plenty of great features and options to choose from when you shop for a top load washing machine. One of the biggest choices you'll have to make is whether you want a top load washer with an agitator or with an impeller. Keep reading to take a closer look at what these two washing machine parts do and the advantages of each.

What Does an Agitator Do?


An agitator is a post that sticks up in the middle of your top load wash basket. During a wash cycle, the agitator twists, turning the clothes, rubbing them against itself, and creating movement that helps get your laundry clean. The agitator may have fins on it to help manipulate the clothes around the inside of the wash basket. Many agitators can also spray water out, thoroughly soaking your laundry during the wash cycle. The action of the agitator is what loosens dirt and breaks up stains.

What Does an Impeller Do?


An impeller may look more like a fan or a cone at the bottom of your top load wash basket. It does not stick up very far. The impeller is designed to create water movement during the wash cycle to get your clothes moving and rubbing against each other. The clothes might not even touch the impeller. Impellers usually include some type of spray action, spraying water (and detergent, on some models) up into the clothing, for jets of cleaning power that help break up stains and soil.

Top Load

Advantages of a Top Load Washer with an Agitator


An agitator is more reliable for getting clothes clean. While the rotating actions of the agitator might cause some wear and tear on your laundry, you will find that stains come out easier and in less time.

Another advantage is the price. Top load washers with agitators are usually less expensive than those without agitators.

Finally, if you have had a top load washer in the past, you are probably already familiar with the way an agitator works. The familiarity of it is a big draw to some people who prefer not to change the way they do laundry.

Advantages of a Top Load Washer with an Impeller

The biggest advantage of an impeller is probably the extra space inside the wash basket. Top load washers with impellers have a bigger capacity than those with agitators. This is great if you have a lot of laundry to do, and it is helpful when you need to wash bulky items, such as winter coats and blankets.

Impellers also allow you to use less water, making them more efficient, better for the environment, and easier on your energy bills.

While the top load washers with impellers do not have the same reputation for getting out tough stains that machines with agitators have, they still get clothes clean. Some users prefer them because they are more gentle on clothing. Your laundry doesn't have to rub against a post during every load.


Still Can't Decide?

Removable Agitator

If you are unsure whether you want to buy a top load washer with an agitator or with an impeller, you can find some models that give you both options! These high-end washers allow you to remove the agitator when you need the extra space inside your wash basket.

Related Questions

Are top or front loaders better?

Top load washers make loading and unloading laundry easier because you don't have to bend down as far. It is also possible to add laundry items after the cycle has already begun. Top load wash cycles are typically faster than front load wash cycles. On the other hand, front load washers often use less water than top load washers, making them more energy efficient. They are good for any type of fabric, including delicates and bulky items. Some front load washers have the capability to be stacked with a matching dryer, saving space in your home. Both types of washers are a great option and which is better will depend on your needs.

How long should a washing machine last?

You can expect a washing machine to last about 10 years with proper care and maintenance by the user.