Top Load Washers: Agitator or Impeller? - Danny's Appliance

Top Load Washers: Agitator or Impeller?

Top Load Washers: Agitator or Impeller?

When shopping for a new washer, there are many factors to account for in your decision – from size and overall cost to energy efficiency and automation options. But one of the first, most basic decisions you’ll need to make is if you want a top load or front load machine.

If you decide to go for a top loader, your next decision will be to choose between two styles of washers – an agitator or impeller – to determine exactly how your new machine will wash your laundry.

What is an agitator?

A more traditional option, top-load washers will often contain an agitator. This tall, finned spindle sits upright in the center of the wash basket and twists, or agitates, back and forth to clean your laundry. The motion causes clothes to rub against the agitator as the machine runs, effectively breaking down any loose soils on the clothing.

  • Effective Clean: The twisting motion of an agitator is perfect for cleaning heavily soiled clothing, breaking up tough dirt and resulting in a deeper clean.
  • Familiar Functionality: Because top-load washers with agitators have been around for so long, this is a familiar option that many people feel more comfortable using.
  • Tough on Clothes: Although the technology has greatly improved, agitators can still damage clothing. Their central location in the wash basket and spinning motion can cause clothes to catch on the agitator and stretch or tear.
  • Not Ideal for Bulky Items: Since the agitator is located in the center of the wash basket, this makes it difficult to wash bulky items like pillows or comforters.

What is an impeller?  

An impeller is a low-profile disc or cone located at the bottom of the wash basket. When the machine is running, the impeller will spin and rotate to rub the clothes against each other. This friction between clothes delivers a gentle, thorough clean.

  • More Room: Because the impeller is so low profile, it takes up less room in the wash basket compared to an agitator. This is ideal for bulky items and easier loading/unloading.
  • Energy-Efficient: In order to optimize the friction between clothes, an impeller utilizes less water than an agitator. The impeller also spins at such a high speed that the clothes won’t be as wet after the wash, effectively cutting down on their time in the dryer.
  • Longer Wash Time: A top load washer with an impeller generally takes longer to complete a wash cycle than a machine with an agitator, due to the high-speed spin cycles.
  • Can Be Too Gentle: Although impellers tend to cause less damage to clothing, this gentler motion can result in a less effective clean. If your clothing often contains tough dirt and stains, these may not be removed as easily with an impeller compared to an agitator.

While there are pros and cons to both agitators and impellers, it’s important to look at which style is the best fit for your lifestyle. If you’re ready to make your purchase, look no further than Danny’s Appliance; with our unbeatable prices and excellent customer service, you won’t be disappointed!

Get in touch today or stop by our showroom in Providence, Rhode Island to browse our collection of high-quality appliances!