Learn if a washer with or without an agitator is right for you.

WASHING MACHINES WITH
AGITATORS VS. IMPELLERS

The Difference Between Agitators vs. Impellers:
It’s How They Move

Both agitators and impellers are found in top-loading washing machines (learn more about top-load vs. front-load washers) and all ENERGY STAR® certified impellers and agitators are efficient, but they move — and clean clothes — in two completely different ways.

Washing machines with agitators use a central post that twists back and forth, rubbing against clothes to help break apart stains. In contrast, washing machines with impellers use a low-profile cone or disc that spins/rotates to rub clothes against each other to get them clean.

How do washing machines with impellers stack up against the washing machines with agitators that you’re probably used to? Find the answers here about agitators vs. impellers so you can decide what’s right for you. 

WHAT IS A TOP-LOADING WASHING MACHINE WITH AN AGITATOR?

Maytag washing machines with agitators.

Agitators are tall vertical spindles, vaned or finned, in the center of the washer. Washers with agitators are all about the motion in the wash basket and are designed to help fight stains while providing optimal fabric care.

How Maytag washers with agitators clean.

 They typically move in multiple ways for optimal clean, including:

Spraying Action

Soaks clothes with water recirculated from the wash/rinse cycle. 

Wash Basket Action

Rotates for hard-hitting clean. 

Agitator Action

Rubs against clothes to help break apart stains and loosen soils.

WHAT IS A TOP-LOADING WASHING MACHINE WITH AN IMPELLER?

Maytag washing machines with impellers.

Don't let low water levels fool you: Washers with impellers use a small amount of water in order to optimize the friction of the clothes rubbing against each other. This is what helps deliver gentle, efficient and thorough cleaning.

How Maytag impeller washers clean.

They also typically clean with multiple wash motions, including:

SPRAYING ACTION

Soaks clothes with water recirculated from the wash/rinse cycle. 

Wash Basket Action

Rotates for hard-hitting clean. 

impeller action

 Uses low-profile cones, wheels, fins or discs that rotate to gently rub clothes against each other.

THE BENEFITS IN A NUTSHELL

WASHER WITH AN AGITATOR

Agitator rubs against clothes to
remove and rinse away loose soils

Familiar functionality

MAYTAG TIP

Agitators take up room in the wash basket, often compromising on space. But we offer agitators with capacities large enough to rival their impeller model counterparts.

WASHER WITH AN IMPELLER

(WASHER WITHOUT AN AGITATOR)

Rubs clothes against each other to
deliver a thorough, gentle clean

More room in the basket for bulky articles
and easy loading/unloading

MAYTAG TIP

Impellers (and some HE agitators) employ a low-water wash to save on water and provide a concentrated clean (more water can dilute the detergent and render it less effective). But if low water’s got you down, you can add more water on select cycles with our Deep Fill option. 

WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU?

Is a washer with or without an agitator better? With cleaning performance, energy efficiency, capacity, innovation and convenience being roughly equal, it all boils down to your personal preference. The choice is yours. Which style appliance will nab the coveted spot in your laundry room and reign supreme on laundry day? Compare all of our top-loading washer options.

Learn how washing machines with agitators perform vs impellers.
Learn how washers without agitators perform.