Agitator Vs. Impeller: The Ultimate Showdown In Laundry Appliances

You’ve finally decided to buy a new washing machine, and you’re standing in the store, staring at two models. One has an agitator, and the other boasts an impeller. But which one should you choose? 

Fear not, for this article will guide you through the epic battle of Agitator and Impeller, complete with their pros and cons, to help you make an informed decision.

A Brief Comparison Table

Cleaning ActionPowerful, effective at removing stainsGentler, may be less effective
Effect on ClothesCan be rough on delicate fabricsGentler, better for delicate fabrics
Load CapacityLimited due to space occupied by agitatorGreater, due to low-profile design
PriceGenerally more affordableOften more expensive
Energy EfficiencyCan be less efficient due to multiple loadsPotentially more efficient

The Agitator: The Traditional Laundry Warrior

Agitators have been around for decades, and they’ve earned their place in the laundry hall of fame. These vertical spindles sit at the center of the washing machine’s drum and twist and turn to provide the necessary motion for effective cleaning.


Pros of Agitators

1. Powerful Cleaning Action

Agitators are known for their strong cleaning capabilities. The aggressive motion they produce helps to remove stubborn dirt and stains, making them an excellent choice for heavy-duty laundry needs.

2. Affordability

Washing machines with agitators tend to be more affordable than their impeller counterparts. This makes them an attractive option for budget-conscious consumers.

Cons of Agitators

1. Rough on Clothes

The very feature that makes agitators excellent at cleaning – their aggressive motion – can also be a downside. The agitation can be rough on delicate fabrics, leading to wear and tear over time.

2. Limited Load Capacity

Agitators take up space in the washing machine’s drum, which reduces the amount of laundry that can be washed at once. This means you might have to run multiple loads to get through all your laundry, consuming more time and energy.

The Impeller: The Sleek and Subtle Laundry Ninja


Impellers are the newer, more technologically advanced siblings of agitators. These low-profile devices sit at the bottom of the washing machine’s drum and use a rotating action to gently move the water and clothes, providing a gentler wash.

Pros of Impellers

1. Gentle on Clothes

Impellers are known for their gentle cleaning action, making them ideal for delicate fabrics and garments with intricate details. The gentler motion also helps to preserve the lifespan of your clothes.

2. Greater Load Capacity

Since impellers are low-profile and take up less space in the washing machine’s drum, you can fit more laundry in each load. This allows for more efficient washing and reduced energy consumption.

Cons of Impellers

1. Potentially Less Effective Cleaning

Impellers may not be as effective at removing stubborn dirt and stains as agitators, especially for heavy-duty laundry. However, advancements in impeller technology have significantly improved their cleaning capabilities in recent years.

2. Higher Price Tag

Washing machines with impellers are often more expensive than those with agitators. This is primarily due to the newer technology and additional features they may offer, such as energy efficiency or advanced wash cycles.

Also Read: Differences Between Speed Queen And Electrolux.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which is better, impeller or agitator?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on your specific laundry needs and preferences. Agitators are ideal for powerful cleaning and are typically more affordable, while impellers are gentler on clothes and offer greater load capacity. Assess your priorities and choose the one that best suits your requirements.

What are the pros and cons of agitator vs impeller?


Pros: Powerful cleaning action and affordability
Cons: Rough on clothes and limited load capacity


Pros: Gentle on clothes and greater load capacity
Cons: Potentially less effective cleaning and higher price tag

Do agitators clean better?

Agitators are known for their powerful cleaning action, which makes them more effective at removing stubborn dirt and stains compared to impellers.
However, impellers have improved significantly in recent years, and some models may offer cleaning performance on par with agitators. It’s essential to consider the specific model and its features when comparing cleaning capabilities.

Are washers without agitators better?

Washers without agitators, which use impellers, have some advantages over agitator-equipped models. They are gentler on clothes, have greater load capacity, and may offer more advanced features.
However, they can also be more expensive and may not clean heavy-duty laundry as effectively as agitators. Ultimately, whether a washer without an agitator is better depends on your specific needs and preferences.

What is the advantage of agitator?

The primary advantage of an agitator is its powerful cleaning action, which effectively removes stubborn dirt and stains. Agitators are also generally more affordable than impellers, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious consumers.

Why use an agitator?

You might choose to use an agitator if you prioritize powerful cleaning capabilities and affordability. Agitators are particularly well-suited for heavy-duty laundry and removing stubborn stains. However, keep in mind that they can be rough on delicate fabrics and have a limited load capacity compared to impellers.

The Verdict

The choice between an agitator and an impeller ultimately comes down to your personal laundry needs and preferences. If you value powerful cleaning action and affordability, an agitator might be your best bet. However, if you’re looking for a gentler wash that’s easier on your clothes and offers a greater load capacity, an impeller could be the right choice for you.

Take the time to evaluate your laundry requirements and compare specific models to find the perfect washing machine that ticks all your boxes. Regardless of whether you choose an agitator or an impeller, investing in the right appliance will make laundry day a breeze.

Clayton S. Johnson

Well, I am Clayton who writes, manages, and does overall stuff for this website. I live somewhere in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and used to have a full-time job. But the pandemic taught me to do more do with my life. So, I quit my job and travel a lot! Since I have tons of time now, I write about all the stuff I have done, used, and have first-hand experiences.

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