Top 5 Best Portable Washing Machines

After reading this guide, you’ll feel confident in choosing the best portable washing machine for you and your family. We’ve also put together a handy list of some of the best products on the market so you don’t need to spend time narrowing down your options. 

Do I Really Need A Portable Washing Machine?

Have you ever been on a camping trip for a long time and ended up having to wear dirty clothes because you didn’t pack enough? We’ve all been there but we learn from our mistakes. If you’ve felt this pain then there is hope and that comes in the form of the portable washing machine. 

These compact appliances are ideal for when you’re on the go and can make packing for a lengthy trip so much less stressful. 

One thing you do need to keep in mind, however, is that you’ll need to have access to water and electricity. So, if you’re wild camping where there is no electric hook up, then this isn’t an appliance you’ll be able to take and you’ll have to resort to more traditional methods of cleaning your clothes. But then, if you’re wild camping, you’re probably looking to ditch the creature comforts anyway, am I right?

But for those headed to a campsite, a portable washing machine is an excellent option. Even when you’re at home, you might find a use for this piece of equipment. For example, some people who live in very small apartments or studios find a portable washing machine invaluable. You can still do your washing at home without having to worry about having space for a full sized machine. 

The Pros and Cons Of Portable Washing Machines


  • The biggest advantage of a portable washing machine is that it is compact and lightweight. Even on the go, they don’t take up a huge amount of room. 

  • Unlike a full sized washing machine, the portable version is very easy to set up. We’ll give you a guide on this later in the article. 

  • Portable washing machines are very affordable, especially when compared to a full sized machine. 


  • Portable washing machines do not perform as well as larger, full sized versions.

  • It’s very difficult to come across a portable washing machine with a drying function which means you will have to air dry your clothes.

  • You can’t fit as much into a portable washing machine. 

Portable Washing Machines – Our Top Picks

You’d be surprised at how many portable washing machines are out there so choosing one can feel a little overwhelming. Especially, if you aren’t sure what you’re looking for. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out our top picks of portable washing machines; there’ll be something for you.

What Do I Need To Look For When Choosing A Portable Washing Machine?

It’s all well and good picking one of our top portable washing machines and hitting the ‘buy now’ button. But even though we’re confident in the quality of each washing machine we have chosen, not all of them are going to be suitable for everyone. That’s why it’s really important to further narrow down your choices by comparing features and making sure that the washing machine has everything you need. 

Load Capacity

When looking at any type of washing machine, one of the first things you’ll look at is how much you can fit in at once. However, this is even more important when choosing a portable washer as they’re generally much smaller so you’ll need to make sure there’s enough room for your needs. 

Normally, a full sized machine would have around 5.4 cubic feet of space inside whereas the average portable washer only has 3.5. It’s quite a difference but then it really depends on how much you intend on washing. If you’re just looking to keep your undies clean when you’re adventuring then you’ll want something markedly smaller than if you were looking to wash blankets, towels and other heavy items.


You could be fooled into thinking that all portable washing machines are powered by electricity. But that is a common misconception. Sure, there are those that plug into power and do the hard work for you but there are also those that are not powered. 

The electric versions are pretty much the same as a large washer in that they connect to power and a water source and away you go. Of course, if you’re camping or caravanning, you’ll need to make sure you have a hook up.

But what if you want to go off grid? Well, there is a solution. A non powered portable washing machine works with hand power so it’s up to you to spin the clothes. Yes, it’s more effort but it’s a lifesaver when you don’t have access to power. 

Water Flow

As well as hooking your portable washing machine up to power, you’ll need to give it access to water but how this works is vastly different between machines. There are some that can be connected to a tap in the kitchen or bathroom and these are very convenient. 

On the other hand, you might choose one that needs to be manually filled up and emptied before and after each use. This is less convenient but again is great if you’re off the grid and don’t have access to plumbed water. You’ll need to think about where you’ll be camping in order to choose the right option for you. 

Extra Features

All portable washing machines come with a different number of extra features. They’re not all essential but they can make life easier when using your machine. 

For example, some portable washing machines are fitted with caster wheels which makes them much easier to move around. You’ll normally find that this feature is reserved for bigger electric models.

Other portable washing machines come with features that might normally be seen on a full sized washing machine. A delay start function allows you to prep the machine and hit start but it won’t actually turn on for a predetermined amount of time. This is great if you’re looking to be more considerate of how much energy you are using. 

Finally, a lot of portable washing machines come with a viewing window located at the top of the machine. Again, this is not a necessary feature but it does give you the opportunity to monitor what’s going on inside. 

How Do You Use A Portable Washing Machine?

One of the best things about a portable washing machine is how easy they are to install. If you’re using a powered model that connects to a water outlet then it’s merely a case of plugging them in and hooking the pipe up to a tap.

In any case, you will need to make sure that you have somewhere for the waste water to be disposed of. This is unless you are using a machine that requires emptying manually after use.


When you’re on the road for a holiday in a tent or caravan, you don’t always have those home comforts. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Rather than having to pack every item of clothing you own or end up wearing dirty clothes, why not invest in a portable washing machine?

They give you a viable way of keeping your clothes clean on the go and are easy enough to transport thanks to how compact they are. It’ll change the way you travel forever!