Buying a washing machine is big challenge because a variety of brands, designs, and colors exists. But, does any of this matter in efficient cleaning of clothes? Yes it does! The components that make the washer function dictate how well the machine will function. When it comes to washers, we have two varieties: top load and front load. Further studies show that top load washers have two washing technologies: Agitator and Impeller. Both are efficient in washing clothes but work differently. Let’s compare Agitator Vs Impeller Washer

The agitator vs impeller washer or the old-school vs new-school is the question that many consumers ponder. The Agitator is still most people’s choice as it has worked for many years and has a traditional touch. Oftentimes,  people don’t like new technology. However, the impeller has been gaining attention among the masses within the past few years. The main reason is its new design, larger tubs, and more efficient water saving feature.

So, which type of machine should be in your laundry room? Should you go for a classic machine or a modern machine? We know that these are difficult questions to answer. Don’t worry. Our detailed comparison of the Agitator vs Impeller washer will help you decide wisely. So, keep reading to figure out which style will fulfill your laundering needs. Also our experts’ review of best 5 top load washers in both styles. Lets start the conversation!

What is an Agitator Washer?

Agitator Vs Impeller Washer
Agitator Propeller

The Agitator style washer is known for its deep basin which uses a central post for cleaning clothes. This central post is actually known as the agitator. This agitator moves in a back and forth position which allows it to rub against clothes. This movement helps in breaking apart the stains. Agitator washers are known to be more popular due to their powerful cleaning performance. In addition to a deep basin, they also come with quite large capacity tubs. Thus, they are a good choice for households who deal with heavily soiled clothes or have large families. In terms of price, this one is relatively affordable in comparison to other types of washers. Check out our comparison of Whirlpool vs Samsung washing machines. This will give you a better idea of washer price points.

How Agitator Washers Work

Now that you know what an Agitator washer is, you need to learn how it works. When comparing the agitator vs impeller washer, the first difference you will encounter is how they work. Read our step by step explanation of how an agitator washer works for more understanding. Below, you will see the steps get a better idea on how the agitator washer works.

  • You first need to add clothes, water, and detergent to your agitator washer.
  • Then you need to select wash cycle that you desire and press start.
  • After the cycle starts, you will see that agitator begins to twist in a back and forth direction. This makes clothes rub against each other and this rubbing will help to break apart hard stains.
  • Once the water gets dirty, washer drains it and then refills the machine with clean water.
  • The agitator doesn’t stop and continues its back and forth twisting to rinse clothes with clean water.
  • After washing and draining dirty water, agitator washer rinse clothes and efficiently removes excess water.
  • After this, congrats, the wash cycle gets finished.

Pros of Agitator Washers

  • These washers use a central agitator post and thus make clothes move vigorously. This vigorous movement deeply and thoroughly cleans the load. That’s why agitator washers are ideal for heavily soiled laundry.
  • If you want shorter wash cycle times, then choose the agitator washer. They are helpful in fulfilling quick laundry tasks and save time. However, they do not compromise on the quality of wash.
  • When it comes to price, agitator washers are a more affordable option. Simple yet efficient, these washers are the perfect budget-friendly option for those who have a tight budget.
  • They are easy to use because many people have been using these washers for decades. Thus, they prefer these washers over new technology.
  • Many users find agitator washers have longer lifespans. They have a simple design with fewer electronic components which make these washers more durable than other ones.

Cons of Agitator Washers

  • The agitator is an aggressive technology. That’s why people often don’t use them for washing delicate clothes. The aggressive nature may harm fabric over time.
  • These washers need more water and energy per cycle, leading to higher operating costs. They are not a good option for those who ask for eco-friendly machines.
  • The drum capacity isn’t good though it washes heavy loads. Still, agitator captures more space and gives less area to load.

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What is Impeller Washer?

Washing Machine Impeller Propeller
Impeller Propeller

The Impeller washer is also a type of top-load washing machine, as it uses a low-profile cone or disc, which is known as impeller, for cleaning your clothes. It is for gentle cleaning, as it spins to gently rub clothes safely against each other. So, everyone who has delicate clothes or allergies, should choose these washers. These modern washer designs are good, thus they use less water and energy than their competitor, the traditional agitator washers. If you want modern technology or revolutionary machines in your laundry then nothing is better than an impeller washer.

How the Impeller Washer Works

when comparing the Agitator vs impeller washer, you will realize that they work quite differently. However, they both give efficient results. Let’s see how the impeller washer works to clean and wash your clothes.

  • Load your clothes, add needed detergent and water in your impeller washer.
  • After selecting your desired wash cycle then just press start.
  • Once the washer gets filled up with water, it starts working.
  • The impeller in your washer starts spinning and rubbing against your added clothes. In this way this technology breaks apart stains efficiently.
  • Then it drains dirty water and continues the process. The washer refills it with clean water.
  • Until the clothes are clean, the impeller continues working. After rinsing them with clean water the washer starts spinning clothes so that the excessive water is removed.
  • Once the excessive water goes away, it means the wash cycle is done.

Pros of Impeller Washers

  • They are better for delicate garments. They contain a fabric friendly washing process with less risk of damage. Let’s check some Thermador vs Miele brands for washing machines. These new brands usually include an impeller.
  • Impeller washers are also energy efficient and come with a large drum capacity. It reduces utility bills and accommodates bigger loads.
  • The best thing about this washer is its quiet operation.

Cons of Impeller Washers

  • It is less effective in cleaning and is unable to remove tough stains.
  • Impeller washers takes more time in every cycle as compared to the agitator washer. Thus, they are less convenient.
  • They are more expensive than agitator washers and sometimes tangle clothes more.

Agitator Vs Impeller Washer

The debate between the Agitator vs impeller washer needs thorough understanding. Both are good in terms of washing clothes but which one should be our choice is always tricky to pick. So why not compare both machines in an unbiased manner to make a wise decision.

Agitator vs Impeller Washer: Cleaning Mechanism

Agitator washer comes with central column that has fins or paddles. They move in circular round motion and make the fins rub against clothes. It causes friction which helps in thorough cleaning. While, Impeller washers come with low-profile cones or discs which you can see at drum’s bottom. When impeller generates current, a gentler one who guides clothes through water. Thus cleaning occurs due to gentle movement in water than mechanical agitation. That’s why most people categorize them as perfect machine for delicate garments.

Agitator vs Impeller Washer: Washing Performance

Agitator washers offer powerful cleaning and are even efficient in handling heavy soiling and large loads. Thus, they are better to pick for cleaning greasy, heavily soiled items.

However, Impeller washers remain gentler with clothes that’s perfect feature for delicate fabrics and lightly soiled loads. Because they are gentle, they can’t tackle heavy soiling which requires vigorous cleaning. Still, they are more energy-efficient as they use less water.

Agitator vs Impeller Washer: Capacity

Agitator washers are classic machines and come with smaller drum capacities. This is because the washer’s central agitator column takes up more space. Thus, you can’t use it for washing large bedding or bulkier items. For that you need an impeller washer. Companies also increased the size of impeller tubs instead of agitator ones. The impeller has no central agitator so it offers more space to wash heavy loads.

Agitator vs Impeller Washer: Water and Energy Efficiency

Agitator washers need more water and energy because the agitation process requires it. Moreover, to wash heavy loads, the washer consumes more resources than the impeller. Impeller washers work on advanced technology and are generally more water and energy-efficient. Thus, people who love nature can pick this eco-friendly option for reducing an environmental impact.

Read our guide to know which company has better washer: SamSung vs Maytag washer and dryer.

Agitator vs Impeller Washer: Maintenance and Durability

Agitator washers come with more moving parts thus you need to maintain them properly. The chances of potential damage and wear and tear are also more in this case. Impeller washers have advanced technology. Thus, they come with few moving parts, need less maintenance and offer more durability.

Agitator vs Impeller Washer: Noise and Vibration

Washing machines should be noiseless, and in this case the impeller washer wins more points. Agitator washers have old technology that is not as efficient in reducing noise and vibration as impeller ones. So, if your laundry room or area is closer to bedrooms or common areas, you have to pick impeller ones instead of agitator washer.

Best 5 Top Load Washers

Here are the best top load washers with both technologies, so choose now for your laundry room.

Maytag Pet Pro Top Load Agitator Washer

It is an agitator washer that washes clothes by rubbing against clothes. These washers slightly agitate fabric to remove dirt from material. This Maytag washer has a Pet Pro filter and deep fill option. It also comes with built-in water faucet and provides quick wash cycle.

Maytag Top Load Agitator Washer Plus Extra Power

Another good option for an agitator washer is Maytag, with extra power. As name suggests, it provides extra power and washes clothes more perfectly. It also comes with deep fill option and has built-in water faucet. With extra agitator power it provides quake wash cycles.

Whirlpool Top Load Agitator Washer with 2 in 1 Removable Agitator

It is a 2-in-1 removable agitator that is the best example of a smart appliance. It operates with Wifi and has smart features. With its deep water wash option, it provides outstanding results. Add detergent and skip refill for 20 loads with its load & go dispenser.

Maytag Smart Top Load Impeller Washer

With its extra power it provides extra facility to fight against stains. It is an impeller smart appliance that operates automatically. You can efficiently control and manage options from anywhere. Its features also include deep fill option, quick wash cycle and built-in water faucet.

Whirlpool Smart Top Load Impeller Washer

Take the control of every option with your smart app and use this outstanding impeller washer. With its initiative controls, it lets the washer choose the right cycle combination. Soak, scrub and wash in one go the built-in with all in one option. Dual temperature and a pre-treat brush provides quick and deep cleaning done at once. It also has a load and go dispenser feature.


We have made a comparison of the agitator vs impeller washer in detail. At last, we must say that picking one washer depends on more than one factor. The decision should be based on your needs and what you prefer as technology. So, share with us what you think about it.

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