The Best Compact Washing Machines for Apartments, Dorms, and Other Small Spaces

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When you live in an apartment, dorm, or any other compact living arrangement, one of the biggest challenges to consider is how to keep your clothes clean and well-maintained. The last thing you want is for your space to smell like old laundry.

Sometimes, your complex may have their own coin- or card-operated laundromat. Alternatively, you may have one located nearby. However, in either case, these can add up to extra thousands of dollars out of your pocket over the course of your residency.

So, what can you do to reduce the cost and solve the issue? 

Consider purchasing a compact washing machine you can use anywhere, anytime, at your own convenience. 

All of the below washing machines take far less space up than conventional washers and dryers, and cost typically less than ten percent of what a single normal double unit would. They’re thrifty, and save you thousands over time. Best of all, they only require water, laundry soap, and a source of electricity in most cases.

So, let’s get into it. Below, you’ll find the best compact washers you can purchase now for your apartment, dorm, or other small living space.

Compact Washing Machines: Reviews

Our first option on the list comes to us courtesy of the monolith company, Giantex. Giantex is a massive furniture and household goods company that produces thousands of items across the entire house. They’re well-known across the industry as a whole for their effective, yet budget appliances and furniture.

Quick Features

• Maximum Load Capacity: 9.92lbs

• Single, Large and Deep Tub

• Measures Approximately 20″ x 20″ x 34″ and Weighs About 51lbs

• Unique Automatic Load Balance Adjustment

• Child Lock Mechanism

• Hose to Connect to Any Water Source You Can Transport It To

This particular portable, compact washing machine by Giantex is our number one pick for a number of reasons. 

Firstly, unlike the twin tub washing machines you’ll find later on in this list, the singular, larger tub allow you to clean far more at once. It’s also much more stable. If the load of a twin tub is unstable, you’d have to manually adjust it more often than not, but that’s not the case with this washing machine unit thanks to the automatic imbalance adjusting feature.

Secondly, this washer achieves nearly everything that a normal washing machine does. It has automatic water level adjustments, excellent spin cycles, and really simple water hookups compared to many other compact machines. However, you may need to pick up an adapter for your bathroom or kitchen sink. You do have the option of simply using buckets of water and filling the machine manually, but the manufacturer recommends using the hookups for the best results.

Finally, the measurements of the machine itself, both in terms of dimensions and weight, are manageable enough to consider this washing machine completely portable. For the smaller folk out there, you may want to consider a cart if moving it some distance, but the majority of people won’t have much issue moving the 51lb washing machine around to wherever they may need it. Still, it would be nice if this washing machine had wheels for the sake of those incapable of lifting it.

One additional drawback is that you may need a kitchen or bathroom sink adapter depending on what sort of threads your water source has. The washing machine requires pipe-threaded connections for water hookup, so you’ll need an adapter if your sink is hose-threaded.

Pros

  • Excellent load capacity at nearly 10lbs of clothes maximum.
  • Automatic adjustment of load imbalance is an incredibly convenient feature 
  • Roughly half the size and under half the weight of the heavy-duty washing machines

Cons

  • No wheels on the feet of the washing machine, so you’ll have to be capable of lifting 51lbs to move it around easily.
  • May potentially need additional adapter purchase depending on your desired water hookup.

Next up is our second portable, compact washing machine on the list. This one by Panda is another single-tub option for those who don’t like the first pick for any reason. Panda is a smaller company that focuses only on compact washing machines and dryers, so they know exactly what those living in apartments, dorms, RVs, and other small spaces are looking for in a compact washer.

Quick Features

• Maximum Load Capacity: 10lbs

• Single, Large and Deep Tub

• Measures Approximately 20″ x 19″ x 34″ and Weighs About 60lbs

• Adapter for Water Hookup Included

• Automatic Washing Programs

• Can Connect to Most Common Water Hookups

• Back Two Feet are Rollers for Convenient Movement

This compact washing machine is very similar to the Giantex one above in many ways. It’s essentially Panda’s answer to the features offered by other single-tub manufacturers. Like the above washing machine, it also has a plethora of options and features that we love.

Firstly, the maximum load capacity is the highest we’ve seen out of any compact washing machine to date. The Panda is capable of holding up to 10lbs of clothes easily and can automatically wash them to your desired settings thanks to its ten separate washing options automatically programmed to the unit itself. 

Secondly, and unlike the Giantex above, an adapter is included with this unit. It allows the Panda to hook up to any standard faucet connection such as a kitchen or bathroom sink very easily. To do so with the Giantex, you may have to buy an additional adapter, but that’s generally not the case with the included one with the Panda unit. Sadly, the Panda doesn’t have the automatic load balancing that the Giantex offers, however.

Finally, the back two wheels on the Panda allow for easy transportable for the majority of people. Despite its weight reaching a meaty 60lbs in total, not counting any water in the machine, you can easily move it around using the back wheels. However, we still recommend potentially looking into a fairly cheap portable washer dolly if you intend on using and storing the unit very frequently.

Pros

  • Largest load capacity out of any compact, portable washer on this list.
  • Ten entirely automatic settings that are pre-programmed to the washing machine.
  • Adapter is included and is capable of connecting to any standard faucet connection.

Cons

  • Does not offer the automatic load balancing feature the Giantex above does.

Coming in our third spot and our choice for the best compact washer for those on a tight budget is this incredibly small mini washer by SUPER DEAL.The seller SUPER DEAL is an Amazon exclusive company that sells many household products such as furniture, appliances, and other goods at fairly good qualities, and amazingly cheap prices.

Quick Features

• Maximum Wash Load Capacity: 5.5lbs

• Very Small, Twin Tubs

• Measures Approximately 22″ x 15″ x 23″ and Weighs Only 23lbs

• Adapter Not Included

• Single Washing and Spinning Method with 5 Timers

• Can Connect to Some Common Water Hookups

• Ideal for RVs, Motorhomes, and Trailers

Unlike the other two above, this one by SUPER DEAL is notably different in a few respects. To start, it’s even more compact than both of the above two models, despite having a second dedicated tub just for spin cycles. This is primarily because it’s intended to only hold a maximum of 4-5lbs in both the washing tub and the spinning tub. That’s about half the load capacity of the leading models above.

Secondly, whereas the two compact washers above this one allow you to both wash and spin in the same tub, this one and the ones that follow will all require a little more elbow grease on your part. If you have a sizable amount of laundry to do, you’ll find yourself doing many more loads than you may like. However, if you’re in a pinch for either money or space, the SUPER DEAL Twin Tub Mini Washer will still do the job just fine despite its hiccups.

There’s no fancy settings aside with this one. Simply fill the washing tub, or hook up the small washer to a water source, add water, and set the timer to your desired cleaning cycle. The same timer applies to the other spin cycle tub when you’re ready to ring out your clothes to proceed. All in all, it’s an incredibly simple process which most people will be able to do on their own with limited difficulties.

Due to its size and weight, this one can be taken with you anywhere you go. It weighs a mere 23lbs, so it’s ideal for those traveling in an RV, Motorhome, or truck-and-trailer setup, too.

Pros

  • Incredibly compact and small design.
  • Great for very small spaces and vehicles such as RVs or Trailers.
  • Simple to set up and use without much difficulty.

Cons

  • Very small load capacity when compared to other, slightly larger and heavier compact washers.
  • Manually must switch clothes between washing and spinning tubs.

That’s right! SUPER DEAL strikes again by offering a second budget-friendly compact washing machine. The company continues to prove that it’s one of the top contenders when it comes to budgetary needs. This twin tub is our fourth and second-to-last of the chosen compact washers perfect for any small living arrangement.

Quick Features

• Maximum Wash Load Capacity: 8lbs

• Maximum Spin Cycle Capacity: 5lbs

• Fairly Small, Twin Tubs

• Measures Approximately 23″ x 13.5″ x 26″ and Weighs 26lbs

• Powerful Motor for Its Size

• Adapters Not Included

• Single Washing and Spinning Method with 5 Timers

• Can Connect to Some Common Water Hookups with Additional Hose Purchases

This model by SUPER DEAL shares most things in common with its smaller, sleeker sister model above. However, it’s slightly larger and weighs about three pounds more. The trade-off being that you can wash up to three pounds more in this one’s wash cycle than the cheaper model above at any given time.

Unfortunately, this comes at a fairly steep downside. The spin cycle tub on the right of this compact washer is only capable of holding 5lbs. Though this is about one pound more than the other SUPER DEAL model above, it’s a massive three pounds below its own washing tub’s maximum capacity. What this means is that when doing large loads of laundry, you’ll often have to spin half of each washed load at a time. If this isn’t a problem for you, then this model might be a more ideal choice than the previous one. 

The motor used in this model seems a tad more powerful than the other SUPER DEAL model above as well. Overall, it’s a solid slight upgrade from the much more compact model above that won’t break the bank, if you feel the additional load capacity is worth it to you.

Pros

  • Larger washing load size than the Miniature Model above.
  • Slightly more powerful.
  • Still incredibly budget-friendly when compared to the larger compact models.

Cons

  • Spinning load size and washing load size vary greatly, and will require more manual turnover between the two cycles.

Our fifth and last compact washing machine that’d be perfect for most apartments, dorms, and other small living spaces is the second Gigantex washing machine to be featured on this list. Just like the top pick, this one is made by the well-known household goods experts at Gigantex.

Quick Features

• Maximum Wash Load Capacity: 11lbs

• Maximum Spin Cycle Capacity: 6.6lbs

• Twin tubs with sizable load capacities for the size of the machine

• Measures Approximately 31″ x 27″ x 16″ and Weighs 28lbs

• Great 300W Washing Power, and 110W Spinning Power

• Common Adapter Included that Hooks Up to Many Common Water Fixtures

• Multiple Timers for Both Wash and Spin Timed Cycles

This particular twin tub model by Giantex is the answer to the budget-friendly twin tub models found through its competitors’ products. Although it doesn’t come with the ease of use and features of the single tub option listed in our top pick slot, it’s still a solid choice for many reasons we’ll list out below.

First of all, out of the space-saving twin tub models available on the market, this Giantex washing machine offers one of the largest washing loads available. Coming in at a solid 11lb capacity, you won’t have to likely do multiple loads unless you stockpile laundry for weeks at a time. Unfortunately, the spin cycle only allows for a maximum of 6.6lbs, however, so you may have to separate your wash loads into multiple spin cycles depending on how many clothes you’re washing at once.

Secondly, unlike both of the budget models above, Giantex does include an adapter with this unit. Depending on the fixtures available within your home, apartment, RV, or otherwise, you will have no trouble hooking up the machine and enjoying the ease of use that water supply and draining provides. If not, filling and draining the machine in a bathtub also works fairly well for the sake of a little inconvenience. 

Overall, we much prefer the more expensive Giantex model for the sake of convenience. You won’t have to switch your clothes from tub to tub, nor do you have to deal with the limited and varying load sizes on each side of the machine. However, if you’re looking for a fairly large, but still compact, twin-tub washing machine, then this one might just be the right one for you.

Pros

  • Largest load capacity out of the twin tub models listed.
  • Reliable and easy to use, even for beginners.
  • Adapter included to allow hookup to common water fixtures.

Cons

  • Lacks the features and ease of use that the fully-automatic Gigantex model has.
  • Washing load capacity is far greater than that of the spin load capacity,

Compact Washing Machine Accessories

Like many other household appliances, compact washing machines come with a plethora or accessory choices ranging from critically necessary to simply convenient to have. Depending on your household’s needs, you may want to consider the following accessories.

Adapters are first and foremost one of the most common accessory add-ons you may need to consider to make your life a lot easier. This solely depends on your choice of washing machine and whether a compatible adapter is currently included or not. For those thinking of hooking their washing machine up to a kitchen or bathroom sink, an adapter such as the Danco Coupling Adapter may be just the thing you’ll need. 

For other faucet thread connections, there are many other adapters out there for all thread types.

If you’re someone who intends on moving your washing machine around frequently, you may want to consider this next accessory. Dollies, such as the SPACECARE pictured above, allow you to easily move your washing machine around the apartment (or other space) without much effort. Since your washing machine may frequently be filled with water while doing so, this can save your back the trouble of lifting up to 70lbs at once!

We also highly recommend wheels such as these if you want to put the washing machine away whenever it’s not in use. It’ll save you a lot of time, stress, and soreness in the future.

Next up, we have another accessory that makes drying clothes over time a simple process: the drying rack. If you don’t have the ability to hang your damp clothes after washing your laundry (such as by hanging them on your shower curtain rod), then this one may be an essential add-on for your living space. 

Depending on your laundry needs, you can go with one as simple as the AmazonBasics drying rack depicted above, or look into larger stand-alone drying racks. You may even opt into wall-mounted racks if you have the option to consider those.

Draining Hose

One of the least optional accessories to consider by far is the draining hose, such as the MyLifeUNIT hose above. Although many compact washing machines come together with these hoses, others do not. It’s always important to check with your particular model, lest you be stuck with the arduous task of manually draining your washing machine with each usage. 

Getting water into your machine is the easy task. Figuring out the best way to drain the water afterwards is where the importance of either having a drain hose or a lighter weight compact washing machine truly shines.

 

Frequently Asked Questions Section

If you’ve made it this far and still have questions, below are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding compact washing machines. They may be the answers you’re looking for!

What is the Smallest Washing Machine?

The smallest compact washing machine we’ve come across is the SUPERDEAL Mini Twin Tub washing machine. It has a tiny 5.5lb washing load capacity, and will easily fit on most surfaces such as counter tops and desks with no issue.

How Portable are these Compact Washing Machines?

The answer to this varies depending on the model and size of each of the above washing machines. In general, the twin tub washing machines are far more portable and would suit travel more than the first two larger compact washing machines. However, they lack the ability to wash and spin in the same load automatically. Thus, you’ll have to manually switch over a lot more clothes over time.

What Exactly is a Compact Washing Machine?

For the purpose of this article, we classify a compact washing machine as one that can be moved around and tucked away in a small living space such as an apartment with relative ease. They’re significantly smaller than the heavy-duty standard washing machine, and likely do not require much heavy lifting beyond what the average adult is capable of.

What is the Best Washing Machine for my RV or Motorhome?

Any of the above compact washing machines should do the trick, depending on the size and space available within your rig. If you have a very limited amount of space, we’d recommend a twin tub compact washing machine over the first two options.

Additionally, consider looking into shower hookups for the sake of easy water filling and draining within your motor vehicle.

How Do I Drain My Compact Washing Machine?

This depends solely on the manufacturer and model that you decide to purchase, but generally speaking there are two way to drain your washing machine. 

One possible way of draining is through the connection of a drain hose. The installation of a drain hose may be a bit of a chore, but it eliminates the need to manually drain your compact washing machine entirely.

The other possible way is simply draining your washing machine in a shower, bathtub, or sink. Many smaller washing machines will have an easy-to-use manual drain plug to get the excess water out. The weight of your compact washing machine unit will impact which of these options are right for your small living space.

Picking the Best Compact Washing Machine For Your Apartment or Small Living Space

Still not entirely sure which compact washing machine would be the best choice for your apartment or other small living space? No problem. This quick summary of the key points of each of the above compact washing machines might help you decide which is right for you.

With that, I hope that all of you out there enjoy the convenience of being able to wash your own clothes no matter how small your living arrangement may be.

Thanks for reading!