The Best Portable Washing Machines for Long-term Travel
Any seasoned traveler will tell you that the secret to avoiding overpacking, especially on longer trips, is to wash clothes while you're on the road. A lighter suitcase means more flexibility and fewer baggage fees.
But what do you do when hotel laundry service isn't an option and laundromats are few and far between? This is where portable washing machines come into play. While often overlooked, these handy appliances give you a convenient and personal option when your laundry needs are minimal. Whether you're RVing across the U.S., backpacking through Europe, or spending a couple of weeks on a boat, a portable washing machine will be a game-changer when it comes to keeping your clothes clean and your travels stress-free.
Portable washers do the same job as their full-size counterparts except they don't rely on traditional plumbing to function. They typically have an open-ended hose you can use to manually drain, making them ideal for camping and boating. Some units even allow you to use a sink or bathtub as the washing basin — no draining necessary — which gives you even more flexibility to wash your clothes wherever and whenever you need.
So how do you choose the best portable washing machine for you? First, consider your travels and ask yourself a few questions that'll help narrow down your options: How long will you be gone? How much laundry will you be washing? Are you limited to a backpack or carry-on suitcase? Will you have access to electricity?
Whatever your laundry needs may be, we found the best portable washing machines that'll work in a variety of situations. All of our picks, listed below, have a few things in common: They're compact and easy-to-use, they come highly recommended by customers, and they're energy-efficient, so you won't waste a ton of water in an effort to get your clothes tidy.
From manual to electric and dual tub to handheld options, these are the nine best portable washing machines customers can't seem to get enough of. Read on to learn more about each.
- Best Overall: Giantex Full-Automatic Portable Washing Machine
- Best for Quiet Operation: The Laundry Alternative Silk Lux Portable Washer
- Most Eco-Friendly: The Laundry Pod Portable Washer
- Most Compact: Super Deal Mini Twin Tub Portable Washing Machine
- Best for Large Loads: Panda Compact Washer
- Most Customizable: Homelabs Portable Washing Machine
- Best Manual Option: Lavario Non-Electric Clothes Washer
- Most Affordable: The Laundry Alternative Wonderwash Portable Washer
- Best for Camping: East Doll Mini Folding Portable Washing Machine
Best Overall: Giantex Full-Automatic Portable Washing Machine
Touted for its slim design, 10-pound load capacity, and eight water level options, this customer-loved unit from Giantex is a top-rated model on Amazon with a 4.5-star rating. Customers love the easy-drain function and bonus "balance adjustment" feature that automatically shifts clothing for optimal weight distribution inside the machine. The result is clothes that are efficiently washed, every time. The compact-yet-powerful electric washing machine can be plugged into any electrical outlet before use and also has a sleek digital display, a built-in filter that captures and collects any debris from your clothes while washing, and 10 programs — including an air-dry feature — to choose from, resulting in a seamless user experience. One of the nearly 650 satisfied reviewers wrote, "Loving this little machine, it's the perfect addition to our RV! Everything has come out clean and smelling fresh."
To buy: amazon.com, $310
Best for Quiet Operation: The Laundry Alternative Silk Lux Portable Washer
With its sleek shape and beautiful color lid, this washer is as functional as it is stylish, according to shoppers. It easily hooks up to any sink and has a 7.7-pound capacity, so you can wash a medium-size load without compromising too much space in your camper or RV. Plus, it operates quietly and has a bonus UV light for extra cleansing in each wash cycle. The no-frills machine is easy to operate — simply choose from three wash cycles and three water levels — but customers say it does the job well and saves them expensive trips to the laundromat. One reviewer said: "This washer is a tremendous help where my place has no washer upstairs. It's compact, quiet, and fits perfectly in the bathroom. The connector to the sink made it so easy to connect. The clothes came out clean and fresh. I like it a lot."
To buy: amazon.com, $245
Most Eco-Friendly: The Laundry Pod Portable Washer
The best eco-friendly option, this portable washer uses 90 percent less water than a typical washing machine and is completely electricity-free. Compact and portable, it's perfect for washing small, hand-washable loads of up to 10 items with a simple crank of a handle. It also works as a spin dryer, removing 90 percent of the water from washing and leaving clothes to air dry. One happy customer said it's so good that they're contemplating replacing their regular washing machine with it. "I couldn't believe how easy it was to use and how clean the clothes came out," they raved. "The process of doing laundry, while it required more 'elbow grease' on my part, actually took less time and my clothes came out cleaner. I may just use this permanently and forget about repairing my washer."
To buy: amazon.com, $83 (originally $100)
Most Compact: Super Deal Mini Twin Tub Portable Washing Machine
Fans of twin tub washing machines will love this model by Super Deal. Weighing 22 pounds, this super compact and lightweight washer can easily be moved around your RV, campsite, or boat without taking up a lot of space. It's even small enough to tuck away into a closet or pantry when not in use. Customers love how affordable and easy-to-use the space-saving tool is, and they also tout its eco-friendly design, which uses less water and detergent for added cost-savings. One reviewer said that it's "very quiet and fast," noting that it's also great for small apartments and dorms.
To buy: amazon.com, $125
Best for Large Loads: Panda Compact Washer
If you're in the market for a more sustainable long-term option that can handle large loads — and are willing to pay a bit more for extra features — the Panda Compact Washer has all the bells and whistles to make your laundry experience totally seamless. Its larger size allows you to fit up to 12 pounds of clothes, while eight washing programs and four water levels provide flexible options for normal, quick, delicate, or bulky loads. It even features an extra rinse function for heavier loads. And though this pick is roomier than others, it's still portable, with many reviewers calling it a great option for use in mobile homes and apartments.
To buy: amazon.com, $292 (originally $330)
Most Customizable: Homelabs Portable Washing Machine
The Homelabs Portable Washing Machine is a favorite among Amazon shoppers, and it's easy to see why. This super customizable machine offers fully automated washing, rinsing, and spinning cycles accessible via a user-friendly digital display panel. You can choose between five different wash programs and three load sizes, and it allows you to customize the cycle even further by selecting the wash time, rinse time, and spin time. What's more, its durable, rust-resistant stainless steel drum can hold up to 6 pounds of clothes, including your most delicate fabrics like silk and wool. To use, simply hook up to your sink's faucet. One happy customer said: "Thank you for this tiny, mighty washer!" Another called it a "convenient and well-made washer" and said it has "excellent quality for the price and is super easy to set up and use."
To buy: amazon.com, $250
Best Manual Option: Lavario Non-Electric Clothes Washer
Praised for its portability and effectiveness, Lavario is one of the sturdiest portable hand-washing machines out there, according to Amazon reviewers. Lightweight and easy to use, the manual washer cleans clothes in less than 20 minutes and can handle everything from dog bedding and towels to jeans and sweatshirts. What's more, it uses absolutely no electricity and requires barely any setup, so it can truly be used anywhere. Shoppers rave over how well it works, with many calling out how convenient it is for RVs, campsites, or anywhere else where electricity isn't available. One shopper said it's "easy to use and cleans clothes very well" while another said it gives you "cleanliness, effectiveness, ease, convenience, and control."
To buy: amazon.com, $150
Most Affordable: The Laundry Alternative Wonderwash Portable Washer
This adorable hand-operated washing machine gets our vote on looks alone. Available in a range of pastel colors, it's reminiscent of a vintage homemade appliance and is the most affordable option at just under $60. But don't be fooled: This little tool does more than just look pretty. It's fully portable — there's no setup or electricity required — and can wash clothes in as quickly as two minutes. What's more, since the budget-friendly appliance is completely hand-operated, it's more economical and ideal for gently cleaning delicate threads. One reviewer said, "It works great and really got my small load of clothes clean! Very easy to assemble and it's great for small spaces." Another was happy to report that it "cranks easily, almost effortlessly."
To buy: amazon.com, $56 (originally $58)
Best for Camping: Moyu Mini Folding Portable Washing Machine
The Moyu Portable Washing Machine is a foldable model that is not only incredibly easy to pack, but also offers a surprising amount of power. It's best used for light loads of small clothing items such as T-shirts, pants, bras, underwear, and socks and ensures that you can have all of your essentials cleaned and ready to go when you're at the campsite. While it doesn't completely wring out your clothes, its drain bucket helps remove excess water so your clothes aren't sopping wet. Reviewers also love using the device for washing dishcloths, towels, and other gear when they're on the go. "Machine was quiet and worked flawlessly washing," wrote one Amazon shopper. "I use it for washing only and wring clothes by hand and hang them outside to dry. This machine works great for my needs and is lightweight and portable to take anywhere. Washer function does a great job."
To buy: amazon.com, $82
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