Are Portable Washers Good For Apartments? (YES, but…)

If you live in an apartment and don’t have the space for a full-size washing machine, the best alternative is a portable washing machine.

Portable washers are good for apartments when you are tight on space and do have a limited amount of laundry. But portables can be a problem since many landlords don’t allow these appliances.

Apart from the convenience and portability of portable washing machines, they’re also less expensive, sustainable, and occupy less space. It’s a good option for apartment units, campers, RVs, or dorm rooms.

Let’s look into why a portable washer is good for apartments and why some landlords forbid one.

6 Reasons Portable Washers Are Good for Apartments

Here are some benefits of portable washers, making them suitable for apartments.

1. Convenience

With a portable washing machine, you can conveniently do your laundry right in the comfort of your apartment than go to any on-site laundry facilities or the nearest laundromat.

Also, it’s easy to hook up a portable machine – a cold water supply from the kitchen or bathroom sink faucet and a place for the drain hose to expel the dirty water are all it needs apart from an electrical outlet for its power cord.

With a portable washing machine, you can clean clothes right immediately and easily.

Want to know more about how to use them best? Read our article How Do Portable Washers Work? (with 9 Helpful Tips)

2. Less Space

Apartments are usually small spaces and a portable machine is a viable option.

A portable clothes washer doesn’t take up a lot of space and doesn’t need a dedicated laundry room, and you can store it away in a corner, your storage space, or even in a cupboard in between uses. So, it is ideal, especially if you live in a small apartment.

While most portable washing machines take up very little floor space, there are more compact models that you can place on your kitchen counter.

3. Portability

The most obvious reason these appliances are good for apartments is portability. A transportable washer is great for limited apartments.

While you can move it around between uses, you can also take these portable machines along on a camping trip or any other place you travel to (especially if you’re regularly traveling or on the move).

4. Wide Range of Models

You can choose from various options of size, model, and color of portable washing machines to suit your requirements and space. Also, twin-tub washer-dryer combo models are available; purchasing one will avoid needing a separate dryer.

Some of the top portable washing machines have many wash cycles for different fabrics and a fabric softener dispenser. While most portable washers (with a large stainless steel drum) will easily fit a few shirts, some mini portable washers are for smaller loads and delicates.

5. Efficient

Some of the best portable washing machines work with less water, consume less electricity, and take less time to wash clothes. Hence, these are more efficient and less expensive to operate.

How long do they actually run? Here are the numbers we have found: How Long Do Portable Washers Take To Wash Clothes?

An efficient way to do laundry is to use a portable washer and a spin dryer. Another alternative is to run the portable washer at the highest spin speed or run an extra spin cycle to wring off excess water for faster drying.

Don’t know spin dryers yet? You should check our article: How Do Portable Spin Dryers Work? (Explained Shortly)

6. Cost Savings

Portable washing machines cost between $200 – $400, with some costing less than $100. This is cheaper than a full-size washer.

Also, with portable washers, you don’t have to pay to use the laundromat. You can even save money on your power and water bills.

Portable Washers May Be Forbidden in Apartments

Many landlords, local building authorities, and tenants’ boards often don’t permit the use of a portable washer in an apartment, and for valid reasons too.

Some of the reasons why portable washers may not be allowed in apartments are:

  • They’re noisy and a source of disturbance, with some, even vibrating violently.
  • There are chances of overflows or leakages from loose piping or broken pipes, causing damage to the apartment floor and even the tenants’ apartment below yours.
  • They increase the apartment’s water and utility costs – an issue if the landlord is paying the entire apartment’s utility bills.
  • If the entire building shares a water heater, depending on its capacity, loss of hot or cold water can occur when a portable washer is used.
  • Older apartment buildings may have smaller drainage pipes that cannot handle extra water from a portable washing machine. Using one may also violate municipal codes.
  • Some buildings may have electrical constraints that you might not be aware of. The portable washer’s drainage could cause a problem with the building’s electrical networks, or there could be an overload of the building’s electrical capacity.


Portable washing machines are a great laundry alternative for those living in apartments since they’re cheaper, more convenient, efficient, portable, and take up less space; also, there are many different options to suit your needs.

Suppose your landlord doesn’t permit you to have a portable washer in your apartment unit; your best bet would be to find one with a quiet operation and low electricity and water consumption.

Once you’ve found a suitable device, ask your landlord before installing it (in an attempt to convince the landlord by stating these features).

Of course, in the worst-case scenario, you could always opt for a manual model that doesn’t use electricity but requires some effort to wash clothes.