Among top-loading machines, the ratings are lower, as front-loaders are consistently rated more efficient and effective. Top-loading machines have made strides in recent years, though, many having shed the space-eating center-post agitators.
The two top-ranked top-loading washers by Consumer Reports are two models of the Whirlpool Cabrio — WTW7300 and WTW7600 (above). They are examples of new top-loading machines without the center agitators that eat up space and can be rough on clothes. The WTW7300 (with 78 out of 100 points) has 5 cubic feet of space and lots of fancy-sounding features, such as ”6th Sense Technology,” auto-load sensing and “Eco-Boost.” It’s $900. The WTW7600 (77 out of 100 points) is slightly larger and about $100 more expensive.