Top load laundry pair in a blue laundry room

What size washer do I need?

Washer sizes range from compact to large in capacities from about 1.5 to 6 cubic feet. What size washer you need depends on things like the size of your household and the largest items you wash. If you’re having trouble translating cubic feet to real life laundry loads, know that any standard-sized washing machine should fit a full 2-bushel laundry basket of clothes, with some larger capacities fitting three baskets and beyond. Whether you’re looking for a compact, standard size or large capacity washing machine, you have plenty of options.

Chrome, top load laundry pair in a bright laundry room

Washer sizes: Is there a standard capacity?

Washing machines in the medium and large capacity category are most common, so look for capacities anywhere from 3.5 to 5 cubic feet if you want a more standard washer size. Any medium or large capacity washer should easily fit regular as well as large laundry loads.

Small capacity washers: 1.5 – 3.4 cubic feet

You may want a small washing machine if you’re working with limited space or have a smaller household that doesn’t create much laundry. Washers and dryers designed for small spaces are becoming more available and more innovative, like all-in-one washers that do both the washing and drying in one machine. Stacked laundry centers are also a good option for small spaces since they’re often able to tuck easily into a closet, and portable washers provide flexible installation for apartment living. Learn more about washer and dryer combos for tight quarters or browse Whirlpool® Small Space Washers and Dryers

Shop Whirlpool® Small Capacity Washers

Medium capacity washers: 3.5 – 4.4 cubic feet

If you have a decent amount of space but don’t need a large amount of capacity, or don’t want to pay for it, a medium-capacity washer might be for you. They shouldn’t have a problem fitting bulky items like bedding, though you may want to consider a larger capacity if you’re washing king-size comforters. In the medium to large capacity categories, exterior dimensions won’t change much as you move up in capacity, meaning you’ll likely need a similar amount of room for a medium-capacity washer as you would for a large-capacity washer.

Shop Whirlpool® Medium Capacity Washers

Large capacity washing machines: 4.5+ cubic feet

For an idea about how much laundry a large capacity washer can hold, consider that a Whirlpool® 5.0 Cu. Ft. Front Load Washer cleans over three baskets of clothing1 in a single load. A washer with 4.5 cu. ft. or above should also be able to handle king-sized duvets and comforters, so make sure you’re getting the capacity you need to avoid trips to the laundromat. Here are some other reasons you might need a large-capacity washing machine. 

  • You have more than three people in your household
  • You have children that do sports
  • You currently do more than 7 loads a week
  • You have the space and just want to do laundry less

Shop Whirlpool® Large Capacity Washers

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Compatible dryer sizes

You’ll need a dryer that’s sized to work best with your washer. Dryers will always have more capacity than washers to make room for loads to tumble, so don’t expect the cubic feet to match exactly. However, make sure you pair capacity categories together, so a large capacity dryer goes best with a large capacity washer, etc. 

Small capacity dryers: about 2 to 4 cubic feet

Medium capacity dryers: about 4 to 7 cubic feet

Large capacity dryers: 7 cubic feet and above

All-in-one washer inside a closet

No matter what size washer you need, Whirlpool has you covered

For well-known loading style and functionality, browse Whirlpool® Top Load Washers in a range of capacities. If you’re looking for something stackable without an impeller or agitator, explore Whirlpool® Front Load Washers. And if you need a washing machine and dryer to fit in your small space, check out a Whirlpool® All-In-One Model or Stacked Laundry Center. If you need help choosing the right washer for your household, our appliance finder can help narrow it down.


Planning on moving to a new home? Use this guide on on how to move a washer and dryer if you’re taking your laundry appliances with you.

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More help finding the right washer

Top load washer pair and front load washer pair

What to ask when comparing front load vs. top load washers

Loading from the top or the front? Agitator or impeller wash action? Trim or sleek style? We’ll help you make the tough decisions.

Black and grey clothes in a top load washer

Agitator washers vs. impeller washers: what’s the difference?

Agitators and impellers are both found in top-loading washing machines, but they move, and clean clothes, in two distinct ways.

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What is a Load and Go™ Dispenser?

Learn more about how this convenient feature automatically adds the right amount of detergent to every load.

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1. Based on 7-lb per basket.