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Agitator vs. Impeller Washers: Which is Right for You? - A Comprehensive Guide from

by Open Box Appliances 17 Apr 2023

Are You in the Market for a New Washing Machine? Learn the Difference Between Agitator vs. Impeller Washers

If you're considering a new washing machine, you might be curious about the distinction between agitator and impeller washers. While both clean clothes effectively, they utilize different mechanisms. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the variances between these washer types and assist you in determining which is best suited to your needs.

Agitator Washers

Agitator washers, a long-standing fixture in laundry rooms, are commonly found in older homes. Featuring a tall, vertical spindle in the center of the drum, known as an agitator, these machines create a swirling motion in the water by moving back and forth. The agitator's function is to rub clothes together, generating friction that aids in dirt and stain removal.


  • Affordability: Agitator washers are typically more budget-friendly than impeller washers.
  • Cleaning Power: Ideal for heavily soiled clothes or larger loads requiring thorough cleaning.
  • Shorter Cycle Times: Agitator washers often have shorter wash cycles compared to impeller washers.


  • Fabric Sensitivity: The agitator may be harsh on delicate fabrics.
  • Energy Efficiency: They may not be as energy-efficient as impeller washers.
  • Noise: Agitator washers can be noisy during operation.

Impeller Washers

Impeller washers represent a newer technology and have gained popularity in recent years. These machines eschew the traditional agitator in favor of a low-profile disc at the drum's bottom, creating a gentle, wave-like motion in the water. The impeller's role is to move clothes through the water, allowing detergent to effectively penetrate fabrics and lift away dirt.


  • Fabric Care: Gentle on clothes, making them suitable for delicate fabrics.
  • Energy Efficiency: More energy-efficient than agitator washers, leading to potential utility bill savings.
  • Noise Reduction: Generally quieter during operation compared to agitator washers.


  • Stain Removal: May not be as effective at removing heavy soil and stains.
  • Load Capacity: May not accommodate larger loads as effectively as agitator washers.
  • Cycle Times: Impeller washers may have longer wash cycles compared to agitator washers.

Choosing the Right Washer

Ultimately, selecting between agitator and impeller washers hinges on personal preferences and laundry requirements. For heavily soiled clothes or larger loads, agitator washers may be preferable. However, if delicate fabrics or energy savings are priorities, impeller washers may be the better choice.

At Open Box Appliances, we offer a diverse selection of both agitator and impeller washers from top brands such as LG, Samsung, and Whirlpool. Explore our website today to discover the ideal washer for your home.

In conclusion, the decision between agitator vs. impeller washers is subjective and dependent on individual preferences and laundry needs. Both types offer advantages and drawbacks, so consider your priorities carefully. Whatever your choice, we're confident you'll find the perfect washing machine for your home at

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