How To Guide to Portable Washing Machines in NYC

Originally posted on January 20, 2023 3:00 pm
Updated on January 10, 2023 2:30 pm

Doing laundry can be a hassle, especially for those living in big cities or older homes in rural areas. Many pre-war apartment complexes don’t have in-unit laundry or a laundry facility, and washers and dryers can be ridiculously expensive. Laundromats can be very convenient, but these costs can add up quickly and they can be time consuming since people have to travel there, hang around, then travel home, and that’s if there’s one nearby at all. For folks who don’t have traditional washing machines or a laundromat, portable washing machines might be the answer.

How Do Portable Washing Machines Work?

Portable washing machines work in a variety of ways. Most machines have two hoses, one that connects to a sink so water can enter the machine, and one that drains said water. Some machines have a basin that’s to be manually filled with water, but then drained with a single hose. Either way, water goes in the machine, washes a small load of laundry, and drains right back out once the cycle is done. Some machines are two-in-one washers and dryers. However, these models are a bit more expensive, so investing in a separate drying rack is never a bad idea.

Pros of a Portable Washing Machine

Portable washing machines are more affordable

Some in-unit washers and dryers can cost thousands of dollars. Even if someone is seeking just a washing machine, most retailers charge an average of $700. Portable washing machines, on the other hand, usually cost less than $400. Additionally, since they are smaller, they use less electricity, which means folks who use portable machines can expect to save on their electric bill. Portable machines are also cheaper than using a laundromat long term.

Portable washing machines save space

Most in-unit washers and dryers require their own room, simply because they’re enormous. Some in-unit washers can stand as tall as 44 inches and are 27 inches wide. Portable washing machines are way smaller, standing anywhere from 25 to 30 inches tall and about 17 inches wide. Many are even smaller, with this model standing at just 14 inches. This means that even small NYC apartments can have a washing machine.

Portable washing machines are…well, portable!

Normal washing machines are hard to move and usually can only be installed in one section of an apartment. Since most portable washing machines are small and have wheels, they can be stored anywhere in a home. This also makes them easier to transport when people are moving to a new apartment. It’s a level of convenience that can’t be ignored. 

Cons of Portable Washing Machines

Portable washing machines can’t wash larger loads

This issue means that laundry can take longer, especially for those who wait a week or two to wash clothes as you may need to do multiple rounds of laundry. In addition, for portable laundry machines that don’t have a dryer function, you’ll need to take additional time to air-dry your laundry in shifts. Some units can only hold laundry loads of up to five pounds, so shoppers should be sure to find a unit that matches their laundry needs and schedule. 

Portable washing machines require more labor

Traditional in-unit washers, can be used at one’s leisure once they are connected to a water source and plugged in. It’s generally speaking a one-time set up process. Portable washing machines on the other hand, have to be hooked up to sinks, or have their basins filled, with every single use. This can be difficult for those with physical disabilities or injuries, and it just adds another thing on the to-do list of laundry day.

Is a Portable Washing Machine Right For Me?

Portable washing machines are great for folks who have smaller loads of laundry to process on a more frequent basis, smaller homes, want to save money, or all of the above. There are some drawbacks to these products, but the benefits largely outweigh them, and they can be a great way to do laundry and save space in a home.

Best Portable Washing Machines

Black and Decker Top Load Portable Laundry Machine

This portable washing machine is a bit on the bigger side, but that just means that it can wash bigger loads. Though it can only run cold water cycles, it has five of them for different laundry needs. This machine is perfect for those who want to do larger loads of laundry, but still want to save space and time.

Super Deal Compact Washing Machine

This smaller machine can’t hold as much laundry, but it makes up for this by including a spin cycle to help dry clothes. This machine is extremely easy to use, with three easy settings and a basin, so there’s no need for a hose to connect to a water source. Instead, you’ll only need to find a place to drain the water. This machine is great for camping trips or college dorms.

Zeny Mini Portable Washing and Drying Machine

Extremely compact, this washer and dryer will save anyone a ton of money and time. Perfect for young professionals, college students, and those who like doing laundry several times a week, this machine can wash and dry clothes, and takes up so little space, folks will hardly even notice that it’s there.

Costway High Efficiency Portable Washer

A slightly more fashionable washing machine, this washer can hold slightly larger loads, and cleans them very well. The machine is also very quiet, so guests won’t even know it’s running. While lacking a full dryer, the drain will suck away excess moisture, making the air-drying process go a lot faster.


Many folks dread doing laundry because of the time, money, and energy wasted. Having a portable washing machine can fix all of those problems. They are small, quiet, and way more affordable than traditional laundry methods. Even if these washers are only used in certain homes or on specific occasions, they are still a great resource to have around. Folks who value their time, money, and space should definitely check out portable washing machines as an option.

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