Portable washing machines may seem like something you dreamed up, but alas! They’re real. When you’re on vacation, how many times do you wish you had a washing machine on hand? The amount of clothes you could leave behind if you and your family had one would lighten your load significantly. And let’s just say, if you have to travel out of state with a baby, having one of these may very well be a lifesaver.
How do portable washing machines work?
The main component of portable washing machines is, of course, water. The great thing about portable washers is that you can simply hook the included water hose to your sink, bathtub, or showerhead to get water or put water in yourself if it’s a mini version without a hose feature. When the machine is filled with both water and laundry, you’re good to go! Depending on which kind of compact portable washing machine you have, you’ll either need to set a timer or get to cranking. (Yes, there are both electric and non-electric options!)
So whether you’re traveling, washing delicate baby clothes, want to avoid the communal machines in your complex, or just need to save space in your home — there is a portable washer that’s perfect for you and your family. And they’re pretty cute too. Check out the best mini, compact, and portable washing machines below.
Best Mini Portable Washing Machines
The Wonderwash from The Laundry Alternative is a mini washing machine you can truly take anywhere — and that’s why it’s right at the top. What makes this mini washer so portable is that it’s non-electric. But before you groan at the crank handle, hear this: It can wash up to a five-pound load literally anywhere (because, you know, the non-electric thing), it can clean your dirty laundry in minutes, and how cute is the retro design? It comes in mint green, yellow and white too, so you’ll find one that fits your style for sure.
One Reviewer Wrote: “I bought this for my family, as we live in a very small apartment with no available laundry. The laundry mat (for me, my husband, and my little girl) was costing anywhere from $70- $100 a month, and that still leaves the massive amounts of dirty towels and sheets and comforters that I never seemed to get around to… The product is really intended for singles, college kids, etc, but as a housewife with normal amounts of laundry (not to mention a baby on the way!) I am very impressed. In 30 minutes, I can wash and rinse about 4-5 loads.” — DanielleQ
Did you ever think that you could fit a washing machine inside your suitcase? Neither did I, until I discovered this foldable portable washing machine. At only four inches thick when folded, it’s also easily storable when it’s not in use. Perfect for baby clothes or reusable diapers, this is a great device to have on hand during your child’s most stain-producing years. Oddly enough, you can also use this model to wash fruits and vegetables.
One Reviewer Wrote: “This is a really cool little washing machine. It is perfect for socks and undies. I really like how it folds down almost flat, it makes it really easy to store. The shipping was really fast. It is super easy to set up and use right out of the box. It doesn’t take up to much room on my counter when using it either. If you are limited on space and need to do some small loads this is perfect. I am super glad that I decided to order one and I definitely recommend getting one.” — Amazon Customer
Best Compact Portable Washing Machine
The price may seem steep for a portable washing machine, but this Amazon best-seller from Giantex also has a spin dry feature. It can hold up to 7.7 pounds of laundry at a time and is great for both home and camping use because of its long hose. It comes in three fun colors and includes an imbalance adjustment function that, quite frankly, all washers should come with.
One Reviewer Wrote: “This is probably the best purchase I have ever made. I live in a large apartment building with only 5 washer machines and 3 dryers and this has been an actual lifesaver. Especially during these times, I’m extremely happy I can do laundry in the comfort of my own home and not have to share a laundry facility with other people. I’ve had it for about a month now and [have] no issues. I bought a sturdy hose from Home Depot for $10 and ordered the universal attachment that goes onto the sink that most people recommend and it [fits] perfectly (just make sure to tighten the hose and the sink attachment tightly with a wrench and also tighten the other end to the machine securely).” — Jen
Portable Washing Machine for Camping
Camping will never be the same after you use this portable washing machine from COSTWAY. Aside from the 2-in-1 function of both a washer and dryer (which we love), this machine also has a super easy-to-use drain tube to remove dirty water. Despite how powerful it is, it’s actually fairly lightweight, making it easy to move from room to room (or, campsite to campsite.)
One Reviewer Wrote: “I love this thing. I bought a Homelabs portable washer but couldn’t add water manually. This washer I can. It’s quick and gets my clothes clean. It’s not very loud and the spinner actually dries my clothes. I mainly use it for my scrubs.” — Marie C.
Portable Washing Machine for Apartment
This one may be the most “normal” looking washer on the list, and the beauty of it is that it’s still compact and easily movable compared to the usual big and heavy washing machines. With the Twin Tub Washing Machine from SUPER DEAL, you can wash and dry at the same time. Full wash cycles finish as quickly as 20 minutes and will give you clean clothes in no time. It’s a best seller on Amazon with over 6,000 five-star reviews.
One Reviewer Wrote: “This little washer is amazing, it’s powerful, it’s compact, and cleans the heck out of your clothes! So easy to use. I did not use the fill hose it came with, it’s too short. I simply drop my handheld shower in the washer tub to fill [it]. I feel it’s best to use inside the bathtub, because if you ever get distracted and let the water run, it will overflow, and you will be thankful it was in your bathtub! Spin cycle is POWERFUL, your clothing will come out almost dry.” — Anthony
This article was originally published on