Top Load Washers: Agitator or No Agitator

Are Top Load Washing Machines Better With or Without an Agitator?

Traditionally speaking, the agitator has been prevalent since the introduction of the modern washing machine. Joining that regard, the modern washing machine originally has been a top-load washing machine.

Only recently has there been a change in design with washers with the introduction of front-load washing machines. Habitually, the general public has been accustomed and more inclined towards a top load washer for the sake of familiarity. Now, there are certain advantages and disadvantages of a top load washer compared to a front load washer, but this article will cover the importance of the agitator on top load washing machines.

Is an agitator necessary to wash my clothes? Speaking frankly, no. An agitator was created as a sort of facsimile of traditional hand washing actions when doing laundry. Despite the rough nature of washing actions of an agitator, the general consumer feels this is the only way dirty laundry is cleaned effectively. Over time, an agitator will slowly degrade clothes with repeated washings because it creates certain violent wash actions.

Understandably, this would be a major concern when taken into account the amount of money we invest in clothes, on average $1500 a year. Careful consideration should be taken when deciding whether or not a top load washer with agitator is necessary. However, with recent consumer backlash on top load washers not containing a more traditional auger-blade style agitator, the industry reincorporated them in their new machines. Evidently, this is a major concern in the world of laundry care.

What Does the Agitator Do?

The agitator is the large spindle found commonly inside the middle of a top load washer. To mimic the hand washing actions of manually washing clothes, the agitator was designed to have blades or fins attached on its side. The auger-styled blades generally ran along the spindle portion of the agitator in a spiral and promoted a flow in which dirty laundry was pressed down then released upward inside the washer basin.

This has been an effective way to wash clothes for the modern washing machine and the agitator is good at what it was intended to do. One of the drawbacks commonly associated with agitators are they are too aggressive with the way they launder clothes. While agitators are effective, they are also effective in causing damage to clothes in the form of tears and rips.

High Efficiency and the Impeller

With environmental concerns at an all-time high, government departments around the world have been mandating a strict guideline and regulations for how new appliances are being manufactured. Not too long ago, the laundry care industry introduced high-efficiency machines. Briefly speaking, these machines are adept at using less resources in terms of water, detergent, and energy used to run them.

The new high efficiency machines offered no traditional agitator instead provided an alternative impeller mechanism in the middle of the washer basin. The problem with this is that it requires a specific way in which to load dirty laundry otherwise it is rendered ineffective. If used as per manufacturers recommendation, these no agitator washing machines are able to get the job done, but its not the same.


Despite the potential risk in damaging clothes, top load washers with agitators provide a better cleaning performance. Whereas, top load washers with no agitator may be more gentle to clothes, they really arent as effective at cleaning clothes compared to top load washers with an agitator. However, the top load washers with no agitators do provide more room for larger items as with blankets, quilts, and other bedding related items, providing more cleaning capacity.

Appliances Connection offers an extensive lineup of all the popular brands in washers and dryers. They also offer a categorized catalog of top load washers with agitators and without agitators. No matter your preference, Appliance Connection has the right appliance for your home.

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