At a Glance
Laundry is a necessity. If your stove is broken, you can always order out.
With a broken washer, laundry can accumulate fast - really fast if you have children.
Going to a laundromat is a less than desirable solution.
You end up spending three hours between washing and drying and fending for your stuff in a crowded place.
Fortunately, most top load washers have not changed in design over the last few decades.
All top load washers are technically reliable and better than the average 9.5% repair rate for appliances in general. Our numbers are based on over 40,000 service calls logged last year.
In this article, you will learn about the most reliable top load washers. We'll also compare top washer reliability to front load washer reliability because it's pretty even.
Lastly, you will ascertain whether you should buy that warranty being pushed on you by your appliance, store, or internet retailer is worth it.
How We Calculate Top Load Washer Reliability
In 2021, we logged more than 40,000 service calls for the year.
We calculate appliance reliability by dividing the products we serviced by the products we sold. For this article, we looked at the number of appliances sold and serviced from December 1, 2020, to October 31, 2021.
Service is free for the consumer in the first year, so the data is more accurate. In theory, more people will be calling us for free service.
Whenever a service technician is sent to your house, it counts as a service call.
Finding you a reliable top load washer is important for us. Repair is now the biggest single department at Yale by far. Have a look at our service technicians pictured below.
We now have 35 service technicians performing 8-10 service calls five days a week.
Most appliance stores do not have a service department or even use a single technician. You must call a 1-800 number for that.Short on time? Get our free Washing Machine Buying Guide
Most Reliable Top Load Washers for 2022
The average repair rate for top load washers is 5.7%, or about 2.7% better than appliances in general.
Top Load Washer Reliability for December 2020 to October 2021
The most reliable top load washers are based on a minimum of 150 sold per brand with a sample of over 900 units.
LG - 1.7%
LG's service rate at 1.7% is the lowest we have measured since publishing reliability statistics five years ago.
LG has historically been amongst the best in front load, but 1.7% is pretty unbelievable. But hybrid washers like the WT7305 or other brands lack the agitator to remove tougher stains even with all the cycles. Then again, people do not seem to be returning them either.
Like every other company, getting service is a problem.
Best LG Top Load Washer to Consider: LG Mega Capacity Top Load Washer WT7305CW
Their most popular washer sold last year was the WT7305CW. It's not a basic top load washing machine, with a 4.8 cubic foot capacity, TurboWash cycle, and smart functionality.
Maytag - 6.4% Service Rate
Maytag is the Whirlpool Corporation's best washing machine line. It's considered high-end with the most features.
Maytag has a few interesting new cycles. Their Extra Power button lets you wash your white clothing with a normal load. The washer starts in cold water and gradually warms to wash your whites and colors together.
You can safely mix loads of light colors and dark colors using ExtraPower.
The DeepFill options fill the entire tub for blankets or comforters. You have Wi-Fi functionality in the Maytag as well. It may be helpful, so you don't have to wait for the load to end. The washer will text you automatically.
Best Maytag Top Load Washer to Consider: Maytag Smart Top Load Washer MVW6230RHW
Maytag's best top load washer, the MVW6230RHW, is 4.7 cubic feet and has a five-year warranty.
The only downside is it has a smaller agitator.
Speed Queen - 7.5% Service Rate
Speed Queen is a throwback. I mean that in the best way.
The machine is solid and made in the US. It's simple and built solid like the old machines and is the heaviest washer on the market.
Best Speed Queen Top Load Washer to Consider: TC5 Top Load Washer TC5003
Speed Queen's best top load washer, the TC5003, has a stainless steel tub and a variable speed agitator making it gentle on your clothes.
Speed Queen's washers rely on moving your clothes through the water rather than hard agitation to clean them. It cleans better than a regular top load washer, and repair rates have improved over the years.
It also has a 7-year warranty.
Should You Buy an Extended Warranty?
Absolutely not. Most extended warranties are backed by nothing more than call centers. They receive your call and then try to find an available service technician.
Top loads have some of the best reliability stats for appliances, so don't feel compelled. However, finding service is always an issue, and when you do need service, it's often expensive.
Only buy an extended warranty from a dealer or service agent with a service department if you want peace of mind.
Google reviews, and find the service agent in your area.
Brands With Extended Appliance Warranties
Speed Queen and Maytag have extended warranties as part of the machine's price.
Depending on the machine, you also have a 3 to 7-year full warranty, so you will be covered and not pay for service.
Top load washers are easier to repair than front load washers.
However, you may have problems finding services in certain areas. Most independent service agencies make warranty calls the last priority. This is because of the low warranty reimbursement rates.
The cost of fixing a warrantied washer is higher than servicing the machine.
They don't tell you when you are buying at your local, regional, box store, or internet dealer.
It's also the reason most stores do not service what they sell. They are afraid of losses.
What You Need to Know Before Buying a Top Load Washer
Top load washers are known for their ease of use. They are the same as the first automatic models from 70 years ago.
These machines run on a motor. The motor is attached to the agitator through a transmission component. The agitator sits vertically in the center of the tub.
However, it can be argued that a top load washer's agitator can be rougher on clothing.
Top load washers use about 30-45 gallons of water per load on a normal cycle. This is a lot compared to the average 15 gallons in a front load washer.
Top-Load vs. Hybrid Top Load Washers
There are two types of top load washers - the traditional top load with an agitator and the hybrid top load without an agitator.
Most of the washers on this list are the older, less expensive agitator models.
However, the hybrids have a larger capacity, use less water, and are more expensive.
Initially, the early hybrids had issues, especially with cleanability. The agitator rotated and cleaned the clothes. How do you remove it?
We tested it in our training center. However, that was years ago.
Front-Load vs. Top-Load Washers: Which Is More Reliable?
The most reliable washers sold are Whirlpool's most basic top load washers.
They haven't changed in quite some time. For the front load, the story is a bit different.
The following service rates are based on a minimum of 300 front load washers sold per brand and a total sample of over 3000 from December 2020 to October 2021.
Most Reliable Front Load Washers from December 2020 to October 2021
Front-load and top load washers have almost statistically the same reliability at 6.3% and 5.7%.
You would think top loads are drastically more reliable.
Top load washers are generally less expensive and cheaper to fix than front load washers.
Front-load washers are larger and use less water, electricity, and detergent than a top load washer. The spin speed is also three times faster, so the clothes need less drying time.
Although front load washers are more expensive to buy, the payback is 2-3 years.
The only downside to a front-load is the cost of repair. It's expensive and time-consuming.
When people buy a Yale extended warranty and need any motor part, we replace the machine with a new one.
Read more: Front Load vs. Top Load Washers
Most Reliable Top Load Washers: Key Takeaways
You could be reading this because of a bad experience with another machine.
Statistically, the LG hybrid top load is the most reliable washer you can buy.
Yet, front load washers are pretty good overall and a good consideration. They offer larger sizes and better efficiency, saving you more money over time.
If you're looking for the most reliable brands, look at LG, Maytag, and Speed Queen for top load washers. For front load washers, look at GE, Samsung, and LG for the most reliable models.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do top load washers clean better?
They use more water and an agitator but do not clean better than the front load washers.
2. Which is better, a top load or front load washer?
Front-load washers are much bigger with better cycles. Front-load washers also use less water and energy consumption than top load washers.
3. Who makes the best washing machine?
LG, Whirlpool, Maytag, and Samsung make the best washing machines.
4. Which top load washer is best?
The simple Whirlpool washer is statistically the most reliable top load washing machine.
5. What are the best front load washers to consider?
Read More: Best Front Load Washers
6. How long do washers last?
Top load washers will last 6-10 years on average.
Download our Yale Washer Buying Guide with all the features, terms, and brands of laundry. Over 1 million people have already found answers in a Yale guide.
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Steve is the third-generation CEO of Yale and a lifelong Bostonian. He currently resides in Boston, one mile from where he was born. Despite being one of the worst goalies of all time, he is a huge hockey fan of college hockey and the Boston Bruins. The love of his life is his daughter Sophie.
Steve has also been featured in numerous publications such as the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.
A Note About Pricing