5 Things to Know About Top-Load Agitator Washing Machines

As a group, top-load agitator washers tend to be noisier than HE top-loaders or front-loaders. That’s not a big deal if your washer is tucked away in a basement, but it can test your patience if the washer sits near your bedroom.

Our panelists judge each washer’s noise levels during the fill, agitate/tumble, drain, and spin cycles. None of the agitators in our tests garner an excellent rating for noise, but a handful earn a very good rating, which means they’re audible but not loud enough to disturb you. Most earn an acceptable or less-than-satisfactory rating, which means they make sustained noise while in use.

Another noise factor to be aware of: If a laundry load gets out of balance, your washer may seem, well, agitated. It could make loud thumping sounds, rock back and forth, or even “walk” out of its place. If that happens, stop the wash and move the clothes around to rebalance the load. When the load is done, use a level to make sure the machine sits evenly. Check that the washer is level from front to back and side to side, then tighten the lock nuts on the feet to keep it in place.