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There are some things in life you can't do without. A washing machine is one of these!

Sometimes, having a full-size one is a bit of a problem. You could be away in a caravan, on a boat, or staying in a bedsit for a short   undetermined amount of time (I've been there!).

In such cases, a mini washing machine makes a lot of sense. They're small, portable and best of all - they're cheap.

We took at look at the best portable washing machines on the UK market. Here are the top 6 you can buy in 2020 (scroll down for reviews!).

The Best Mini Washers For 2020

How Does A Portable Washing Machine Work?

Portable washing machines work a little differently to their full-sized brethren.

You usually need to fill them with hot (or cold) water to start washing clothes. The larger models come with a hose you can hook up to a tap. The smaller ones you can put in a sink or use a bucket or hosepipe to fill.

Draining is also slightly different. Most of these models don't have an automatic pump. Some use gravity and a hose to drain the water. So you'll need to put the hose in a drain or sink. The smaller models can just be emptied out once your finished.

Features To Watch Out For

Here are a few things you need to consider when looking at the different mini washers on the UK market.

Size – this is the defining factor of these portable models.

You need it to be small enough to be placed on a table top, for example, or in a very small space in your caravan, boat, bedsit or wherever you need it.

Among the five models reviewed, you will see that we provided the size, so you can check if it is small enough for you – we reckon all of these will pass the test!

Capacity – you are never going to match the load capacity of a standard washer, but you still want it to be able to launder a load that will get you through the holiday, for example.

We’ve given you the capacity of each one in the description, so you can compare and decide.

Simplicity – ease of use is of paramount importance with these appliances.

You don’t want to be fiddling around with complex controls when you have limited time and space, so being able to simply set it to wash and leave it to do the job is an attractive option.

Portable – Another key feature. You want something that you can either take on holiday or with you when you move.

Some of these have built-in handles that make them easier to move around. You should also check the overall weight of the item.

Functions – don’t expect all the features and functions from your home machine, but still look for the best range of features for you.

If it’s for holiday use, for example, a good fast-wash feature is a bonus.

Energy Usage:

That’s a few of the things you need to consider when comparing the models on our list, now let’s have a look at them in greater detail.


Mini Washer Reviews

When considering the best mini washing machines of 2019, we kept in mind all the key features that we outlined above.

We're confident you'll find something on our list that fits with your budget and space.

The Costway 2 in 1 is design that many people with boats and caravans love.

It's 3.5kg load capacity with 750 rpm spin, automatic pump and choice of programs (via a nifty LED control panel) put it in a class above the usual mini washers you'd expect to see.

Of course, for these extras you can expect to pay twice the price. But is it really worth the extra expense?

Well, first off it's fully automatic so it will save you a lot less hassle. There's 6 programs and 3 different water levels to chose from. After that, it's off and running.

To give you an idea of how efficient it works, if you select the "Medium" program it will perform a wash, rinse and spin in around 40-minutes.

The LED panel clearly displays the cycle time and will beep to let you know it's done. It will also automatically adjust the water level if it gets too low.

It's 3.5KG size means it can handle a couple of pairs of jeans and towels, but while a double duvet cover will be o.k a king-size might be pushing it (especially when spinning). To be honest, this is the same as most of these mini-machines.

However, unlike the other designs where you tip the water in, this Costway design comes with a tap hose and it's a gravity drainer.

A lot of people put use it in their shower units so the water can just drain away. Another option is putting the outlet house into a sink or bowl.

The unit measures L43CM*W43CM*H75CM. This means it's about 15cm shorter and 17cm slimmer than regular washing machines.

It weighs 18KG so you can get it into a boat or a caravan without too many problems. But it's possibly too heavy for a single person to carry up a flight of stairs.

However, the extra weight means that it doesn't bounce around too much when spinning and it's reasonably quiet when working.

All in all, if you're looking for something that is "semi-fixed" that you can move in and out of a boat, RV, or temporary accommodation - this one ticks all the boxes.

Pros

  • Smaller & lighter than regular washing machines 
  • Washer & Spinner
  • Automatic Pump
  • 3.5KG Capacity
  • Easy-to-use LED controls
  • 12-months guarantee

Cons

  • 18KG so not as portable as other models

The first on our list is a a great choice for a boat, caravan or RV. It's made by Electric Star - a German company, but does that mean it's any good?

Well, like all most of these designs, this is like a cross between hand washing and a standard washing machine.

You have to add the water - so there is no heating element inside the machine.

It's got a 2KG capacity which is good for 2/3 pairs of jeans and a couple of t-shirts.

Single duvet covers are o.k - but anything larger than that and you may well struggle.

At 10.5kg it's light and portable. It measures 57cm x 58cm x 35cm so it takes up a really small amount of space.

Here's a video from the manufacturer showing it in action.

As you can see, there are 2 wash programmes - "Soft" and "Strong" and a timer up to 15-minutes. It's quick due to it's small size and because you don't need to heat the water.

The 2nd drum is for spinning and that's also fast with a timer that goes up to 5 minutes.

It comes with all the hoses but there have been a few reports that these aren't the best quality. To get round this, many people use a bowl or a bucket and tip the hot water in.

All in all, this is an ideal if you're going camping and want to wash and dry a few items quickly.

Pros

  • Small & light
  • Only 250w
  • Low Water Usage
  • Has a spin dryer
  • 15-min / 5 min timer
  • 12-months guarantee

Cons

  • Hoses could be better

This model from the Syntrox, a German brand that makes a number of very neat such appliances. It comes with some impressive credentials.

Measuring just 41cm x 67cm x 38cm, it's compact enough to fit on a table top or inside any caravan.

With a weight of just 8kg it is also surprisingly light, making it entirely suitable for carrying around between locations.

It has also been awarded with Energy Rating "A" efficiency - which is high for this style of washer.

Another big plus is you can get a full 4kg load inside.  That’s enough for a single person home, and more than enough for a holiday machine. 

There are two timer settings: one is for the wash cycle (0 - 15 mins), and the other for the spin (0 - 3 mins), which gives you a 300rpm speed. Please note you can only spin half-loads (2kg) though.

The spin speed is a fraction of a standard washer, but seeing as most don't have a spin-cycle it's certainly better than nothing!

This is one of the more expensive on our list, but for German engineering and those who want a portable washer that doesn't look too cheap - it's ideal.

Pros

  • 4KG Capacity
  • 300rpm Spin Cycle
  • A Rated Efficiency
  • Compact Size
  • Side-Grips To Transport
  • Wash & Spin Timers

Cons

  • Relatively Expensive

Many people love the "Twin Tub" design and they're very popular outside of the UK. This model is compact, yet it's pretty powerful with a large capacity.

First things first - the size is 58.4cm by 34.3cm by 66cm.

So it's a bit wider than the others due to the extra tub.

This one weighs a bit more too - 12.8kg. This makes it better for somewhere like a flat or a shed rather than for camping.

The extra size is put to good use though. You can wash up to 13 lbs (just under 6kg) in the two tubs. 8lbs ( 3.6kg ) in the washer and 5 lbs (2.4kg ) in the spinner.

Best of all, the spin speed is 1300 rpm, which is about the same as a regular washing machine.

So with this one, you get a fairly decent capacity and a spin speed which will really cut down the drying time.

Both the washer and the spinner are controlled by a timer, which up to 15 minutes and 5 minutes respectively.

People love this particular design as it doesn't need to be plumbed in. There are 2 hoses, one for the intake (about a meter long) and one outflow hose. You also have the option of filling with a bucket, too.

If you have a bit more space to play with and won't be moving it anytime soon, this is an excellent choice.

Pros

  • 13lbs Capacity
  • 1300rpm Spin Cycle
  • Twin Tub Design
  • Compact Size
  • Wash & Spin Timers

Cons

  • Relatively Expensive
  • Pretty Heavy

Display4Top Mini Washer & Dryer

If any on our list can lay claim to being truly "mini"; this is the one; it measures just 21.9" by 14.8 by 23.2" - and is just 60cm from floor to top. This means it should fit easily into most kitchen cabinets.

It makes for an ideal boat or camping washing machine. You can use it as a tabletop washer, too.

Simple, easy to use (and in a rather fetching purple) it also weighs less than 11.5kg, making it the most portable on our list.

What's really impressive about this one is it has a relatively large washing capacity - 3.5kg. You'd probably get away with 3 T-shirts and 4 pair of jeans, or a lot of socks and pants!

It has a 220V electric motor which is pretty quiet when it's working. You wouldn't get any complaints from neighboring caravans.

There is a spin dryer, too. This is smaller at 1.5kg and a few users have commented that it's not the best (while praising the washing function).

You can fill this little washer using either a hosepipe or bucket. Some people also use it in their bath tub. It gravity drains and you can put the hose into a sink or drain.

For the price, this is a fantastic mini-washing machine to take care of your essentials.

Pros

  • Ultra-Compact
  • Very Light - 6KG
  • 3 Pre-Set Programs
  • Easy to install & use
  • Great Price

Cons

  • Only 1kg Capacity
  • No Spin Cycle

Our final choice is the second twin-tub model in the selection, and while not as portable as some of these, it uses its size to great effect.

Measuring 63cm x 36cm x72cm; it’s easily the biggest on the list, and at 12.5kg it is also the heaviest too (though much lighter than a regular washer!).

The twin-tub design also gives you the bonus of having a spin-cycle - which a lot of "minis" don't have.

It can handle a 5kg wash load and a 3kg drier load.  This is more than ample for a student or single-person home, or for caravan or boat use.

The drier also spins at 1300rpm, which is as good as some standard machines.

Again, this is a model that would be best placed where it is going to stay.  It would suit somewhere like a static caravan, a motor-home or University halls of residence.

It’s also sensibly priced, so worth adding to your shortlist.

Pros

  • 5KG Wash Load
  • 3KG Spin Load
  • 1300 RPM Spin-Speed
  • Easy to install & use
  • Timer Switch

Cons

  • Not Very Compact
  • Relatively Heavy

We had to include this Candy Aqua model - even though it's more expensive than many regular-sized washers.

This is the perfect model for static caravans or mobile homes.

The dimensions are just 71 cm tall by 52cm tall and 44 cm deep.

This makes the Aqua ompact and perfect for where space is at a premium such as under a sink or inside a small cupboard.

To give you an idea of how far the 3.5kg capacity goes, it could wash 4 t-shirts and 3 pairs of jeans. At a stretch, it might handle a couple's clothes for the weekend!

Candy also claim the Aqua features are in-line with it's larger cousin, and to some extent that's true.

There are 18 programs including a 32 minute quick wash, a wool and dedicates program and the choice of either a 3,6, or 9 hour timer-delay.

In terms of energy-efficiency, it's rated A+ and put out 78db during high-spin and 56db during normal operation. Again, this is about the same as an average 7kg washer.

Still, if you want a front-loading washing machine for a caravan or small space, this one is the pick from a small selection (no pun intended!).

If you're interested in this one, it's worth checking out Appliances Online as they have this at a good price.

Pros

  • Front Loader
  • 50% Smaller than regular size
  • 1000 RPM Spin-Speed
  • Quick wash programs
  • Delay Timer Settings
  • 10-Year Parts Guarantee

Cons

  • Expensive

And finally....here's something a little bit different....

This is the Brunner Wonder Wash.

It's a tabletop washing machine (or on the floor if you don't mind crouching!) that doesn't use any electricity!

Instead, you use a hand-crank to turn the drum for 2 minutes to wash your clothes.

Great if you want to keep fit while doing your chores!

There's a 3kg capacity and happy buyers report it can even handle a king-sized duvet!

Once you've placed the clothes inside there is a pressured lid you screw on top. It looks and works just like a cement mixer!

Once you've cranked it for a few minutes the detergent will have dissolved and your clothes will be clean.

Simple attach the supplied funnel and the water drains away when you're finished.

Unlike cement mixers, it's made of plastic so it's easy to lift onto tables and sinks. This does mean the base is a bit flimsy, but I guess that's a trade-off for having something that's truly portable.

Here's a great video of the wonder wash in action:

I love this design and think it would be perfect to take camping or on a boat. Quite a few people are also using it as an emergency washing machine, too.

You need to be aware that clothes take a lot longer to dry using the wonder wash. However, using a spin dryer could cut this time in half.

Pros

  • Fits about 3kg of clothes
  • Quicker than hand-washing
  • No electricity
  • Uses less water
  • Light and portable
  • Can put on floor or table

Cons

  • Clothes take longer to dry
  • Base is a bit flimsy