Agitator vs Impeller Washing Machine: Which One Is Better?

Agitator vs Impeller. Many people do not know what are those and what are the differences between the two.

If you have a Top Load Washing Machine you might notice a tower-shaped part ( Agitator ) or a disk (or cone) part at the center of the drum. That is where all the actions are concentrated in a washing machine.

The agitator or impeller is a very important part of a washing machine as it helps in creating a rubbing action which in turn loosens the dirt in clothes. Without an agitator (or Impeller), a washing machine can not wash clothes.

Many consumers do not have a fair idea about agitators or impellers and often choose a product that is against their requirements.

Both agitators and impellers have their advantages and disadvantages and this article will be all about the differences between Agitator Vs Impeller. At the end of this article, you will be informed enough to decide which one is the best for you.

What Is An Agitator?

The agitator is the part that is found at the center of the drum of a washing machine. It is like tall spindles, vaned or finned tower. It agitates back and forth and rubs against clothes to loosen the dart.

Agitators are found in top-load washing machines or more precisely in low-cost top-load washing machines.

Agitator In Washing Machine: Agitator vs impeller
agitator in washing machine

Now the question is, how do you decide if you need an agitator-based washing machine or not?

If you plan to wash heavily soiled clothes frequently, then an agitator is the best bet for you as the rubbing action of the agitator and clothes can soften hard soil. On the other hand, agitators will consume more water and power.

Although there are new technologies developed for agitators that will consume almost similar levels of water and power, they still have to go a long way to impellers.

One more thing you need to consider is that you can not wash delicate clothes in an agitator-based washing machine as there is always a chance that the rubbing action will damage your clothes.


  • Can wash very dirty clothes
  • Provides more efficient cleaning
  • Has a faster cycle time
  • Fractional force is generated by rubbing the agitator with the clothes
  • Relatively cheaper


  • Not suitable for delicate clothes
  • Consume more water
  • Consume more power

What Is An Impeller?

An impeller is a low-profile cone shape or disk space part that spins and rotates to gently rub clothes each other and thus loosen dirt.

The impeller drives clothes from the outer rim of the wash basket to the center, using a small amount of water to optimize the friction.

impeller washing machine
impeller washing machine 1

In contrast to an agitator, an impeller rubs clothes on each other, so there are fewer changes of fabrics getting damaged as clothes won’t be spinning around the impeller. That is why for delicate clothes, an impeller-based washing machine is the best.

The other benefit is that an impeller washing machine consumes less amount of power and water compared to an agitator washing machine.

However, the biggest problem is that impeller washing machines are not good for removing heavy dirt as the frictional force between clothes is generally less.

Impeller washing machines are also called pulsator washing machines.


  • Does not damage clothes
  • Provides more space for clothes
  • Consume less power
  • Consume less water
  • Rubs clothes with other clothes and not with the impeller


  • Can not wash heavily soiled clothes efficiently.
  • Relatively costly

Agitator Vs Impeller Washer

Here is the difference between agitator and impeller in a tabular form so that it is easy for you to decide.

Rubs against clothesRelatively cheaper than an impeller
Better wash qualityPoor wash quality
Chances of clothes getting damagedConsume more water than an impeller
Not suitable for delicate clothesNo issue with delicate clothes
Does not perform well with heavy dartsConsume less water than agitator
Consume more powerConsume less power
Ideal for removing stubborn dirtRelatively cheaper than an impeller
Short cycle timeLong cycle time
Occupies more spaceOccupies less space
Relatively cheaper than impellerImpeller washing machines are costly

Agitator vs Impeller Washing Machine: Which Is Better?

So which one is right for your family? An agitator washing machine or an impeller washing machine?

Well, it all depends on your requirements. If you plan to wash your regular clothes like your baby clothes, office formal, or lightly soiled casuals then both the agitator and the impeller with do the job for you.

However, if you want to wash heavily soiled clothes regularly, then an agitator will be the best bet for you. Please remember that agitators are not good for delicate fabrics. If you require to wash delicate clothes, better to choose an impeller washing machine.

Can’t we get a washing machine with both an agitator and an impeller?

Absolutely, But in India we don’t have such machines. In the United States, Whirlpool has a washing machine that has a detachable agitator and impeller. Based on your wash load or type of wash, you can choose between the two and attach it. Is not that great?

FAQ | Impeller Vs Agitator

What Is An Agitator In A Washing Machine?

The Agitator is a tall spindle, vanned, or finned tower at the center of a top load washing machine that agitates back and forth and rubs with clothes to loosen the dirt.

What Is An Impeller In a Washing Machine?

The Impeller is a small cone shape or disk shape part at the center of a top load washing machine that spins and rotates and allows clothes to rub against each other to loosen the dirt.

Rajib Is The Founder And The Key Brain Behind RiansDeal. A NIT 2004 Graduate In Mechanical Engineering With Close To Two Decades Of Experience In Designing Large Appliances And Consumer Electronics Products.

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