Apartment Living

The Best Portable Washing Machines for Apartments Without Hookups

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If you’re sick of wasting money at laundromats and tired of washing clothes by hand—let me let ya in on a little secret: portable washing machines.

They’re inexpensive, lightweight, effective, and best of all, they save your money and time. What’s not to love?

I did a ton of research on the best portable washing machines for apartments without hookups because I want to buy one instead of washing my clothes by hand all the time. Check out my review below!

But first, some common questions:

Can I use a portable washing machine in an apartment?

Yes, as long as your lease does not stipulate that you cannot have portable washing machines (this is a common clause in New York City).

Are portable mini washing machines any good?

Yes, they are surprisingly good, and certainly better than handwashing. Portable washing machines save many people trips to the laundromat!

Can you use a portable washer without hookups?

Yes! To use a portable washing machine, you don’t need hookups. All it needs is a faucet and a drain!

What to Look for in a Portable Washing Machine

What exactly do you plan to wash inside of it? Remember that many portable washing machines have a lower capacity than a regular washing machine. So if you’re planning on washing a king-sized comforter in one…think again.

Also, even if you could fit your comforter into the washing tub, the smaller spin dryer tub will probably not fit it, so you’ll be hang-drying something that’s dripping wet. I’ve done it! It will just take a long time to dry.

Are you going to be okay with hang-drying all your laundry? There is such thing as a portable heat dryer that doesn’t require hookups, but it’s more pricey. Most people just use the portable washing machine and hang dry their laundry. This, of course, takes patience and pre-planning if you’re planning on wearing those clothes later today or making your bed tonight.

Another option is to buy a separate dedicated spin dryer, which can spin the laundry way dryer than the built-in spin dryer that comes with many portable washing machines.

How large of a machine are you willing to carry? Yes, a bigger machine can do bigger loads of laundry, but beware: Not only will you potentially have to carry the machine upstairs to your apartment, but you’ll also likely be picking up the machine and moving it into your bathtub every time you want to do a load of laundry. Be realistic about how much you can carry.

Most portable washing machines come with TWO tubs: one for washing and one for “drying”

Be aware though that the “dryer” is really just a SPIN dryer; it does not actually heat your clothes and dry them. It spins them super fast (just like the spin cycle of a regular washing machine) so that when you take them out to hang dry them, they’re not dripping wet.

Look at the total pounds for capacity. But realize that the total pounds are then split between the washing tub and the drying tub. For instance, a 20 lb capacity will often mean that it can WASH 12 lbs and DRY 8 lbs. The spin dryer tub always has a lower capacity than the washer tub. That means that you will often have to set some sopping wet laundry aside while you spin dry the rest in the smaller tub. Plan ahead for this.

Your portable washing machine needs a way to fill with water. Often, the hose that’s included with the portable washing machine is NOT long enough to reach your kitchen sink. So, you can buy a longer hose. OR, you can do what I’d do: Just fill it up with a bucket. Or, if you have an extendable showerhead, you can use that and stick the washing machine in the bathtub or shower stall.

Your portable washing machine needs a place to drain the water. I highly recommend putting the machine into your bathtub or shower stall. That way, you can just lay the hose down and let it drain there. Otherwise, you’ll need to set it up so that the hose can reach your sink and drain there.

The Best Portable Washing Machines for Apartments Without Hookups

Auertech Portable Washing Machine, 20lbs

Machine weight: 24 lbs

Capacity: 20 lbs (Wash: 12 lbs, Spin Dry: 8 lbs)

Washing power: 300W

Spinner power: 130W, 1300 rpm

Dimensions: 24.5″ L x 14.5″ W x 27.5″ H

Examples of what you could fit in ONE load:

  • 4 bath towels
  • Or 5 shirts
  • Or a queen sheet set
  • Or a King-sized fitted sheet

This was my favorite one in my research, as it balanced being big enough to fit my King-sized sheets (probably just one at a time, though) with being lightweight enough for me to transport into and out of my shower stall when I want to do laundry.

Reviewers state that the drainage hose that’s included with it is way too short to reach your sink, so you’ll probably have to use a cup or bucket to fill the washing machine. They also say it’s pretty quiet, and the spin dryer function gets 80-90% of the water out of the laundry, making it easier to hang dry after. Be mindful of how heavy your loads are and how often you’re running them; some reviewers reported that it started to emit a burning smell, which resolved after they gave the machine a break.

BANGSON Portable Washing Machine, 17.6 lbs

Machine weight: 28 lbs

Capacity: 17.6 lbs (Wash: 11 lbs, Spin: 6.6 lbs)

Spin Power: 1700 rpm

Dimensions: 25.6 x 14.2 x 28.8 inches

Examples of what you could fit in ONE load:

  • 2 fitted full-sized sheets
  • 5-6 jeans
  • 2-4 jackets
  • 15-20 shirts

The BANGSON portable washing machine has a rare and coveted feature: a soak cycle. The soak cycle soaks your clothes for 20 minutes (in addition to the 15-minute wash cycle), making your laundry extra clean. The spin dryer on this is excellent, with 1700 revolutions per minute—higher than any of the other washing machines on this list. Reviewers report that it gets laundry about 80% dry. If you live in an apartment, be aware that reviewers say the spin cycle starts out loud for a few seconds, but then it quiets down.

SUPER DEAL Compact Mini Twin Tub Washing Machine, 13 lbs

Machine weight: ‎26.4 lbs

Capacity: 13 lbs (Wash: 8 lbs, Spin: 5 lbs)

Spin Power: 1300 rpm

Dimensions: ‎23 x 13.5 x 26 inches

Examples of what you could fit in ONE load:

  • 2 queen-sized bed sheets
  • OR 2 towels

The SUPER DEAL portable washing machine has one stand-out feature that the others in this list don’t: a stainless steel spin dry tub. Stainless steel can be better because it’s sturdier than plastic and can last longer.

Reviewers say that the spin cycle is quiet, so it won’t bother neighbors. However, the intake drain doesn’t fit some faucets, so you might have to manually fill it with water.

Oneconcept Ecowash Pico – Compact Mini Washing Machine, 7.7 lbs

Machine weight: 15.5 lbs

Capacity: 7.7 lbs

Spin Power: 130 W and 1320 rpm

Dimensions: 17 x 17.25 x 21 inches

Examples of what you could fit in ONE load:

  • One queen-sized sheet
  • OR One or two bath towels
  • OR a pair of jeans

If you’re looking for a small but sturdy machine for washing smaller loads, this Oneconcept compact machine is for you. I’ve considered getting this just for doing a bath towel or two at a time, as well as underwear and socks.

Reviewers report that the noise level is low, but the con of this model is that the spin cycle is weak, so clothes do not get as dry as with the portable washing machines that have TWO tubs.

Wonder Washer portable mini washing machine

Machine weight: 6 lbs

Capacity: 10 liters

Dimensions: ‎13 x 10 x 13 inches

Examples of what you could fit in ONE load:

  • Blouse, leggings, pair of socks, pair of underwear
  • One queen-sized sheet

And now, for the lightest machine on this list! This tiny but mighty portable washing machine holds only 10 liters. But, I seriously considered getting it because it’s so lightweight. This would probably be best for washing smaller garments, such as hand towels, bras, underwear, socks, etc. But one reviewer did report being able to fit one king-sized sheet—so who knows! Be careful not to overload it, though.

Also, some reviewers complained that the Wonder Washer is not weighted well, so sometimes, when it was spinning, it would tip over. Some resolved this by placing something heavy on top of its lid.