You'll find some good deals on washers this time of year. And having a working washer is a lot easier than making trips to the laundromat when hosting family and friends for the holidays—as baskets of dirty towels, tablecloths, and clothes pile up. Here's a laundry list of large-capacity washing machines that cleaned up in Consumer Reports' tests. 

Washing machines use less water than they did a decade ago because of tougher federal standards. Less water means longer wash times are needed to get laundry clean. So some manufacturers keep increasing capacities, allowing you to wash more laundry in one load.

The Big News About Capacity

We used to factor capacity into the overall score in our ratings, but we stopped doing that after our readers told us that they want to decide for themselves how important capacity is when choosing a washer. So instead, in our washing machine ratings you'll see each washer's claimed capacity in cubic feet. Here's what else you'll want to know about large-capacity washing machines:

King comforters. A washer with a claimed capacity of more than 4.5 cubic feet readily fit a king-size comforter in our tests.  

Washer vs. dryer capacity. When you buy a matching washer and dryer you can expect the dryer to fit the wash load, even though the claimed capacities are different. The dryer's capacity is larger because the compacted wet clothes you put into the appliances need the added room to tumble around to dry properly.

Large capacities, small loads. Front-loaders and high-efficiency (HE) top-loaders, the kind without an agitator, adjust the water level to the amount needed to get the job done. Some of these washers have a special quick-wash cycle meant for smaller loads. 

Deep fill. This option lets you increase the water in an HE top-loader up to a deep fill, significantly increasing water use. We test deep-fill options, although we don't include the results in our cleaning scores because not every HE top-loader has this option.  

Top 10 Large-Capacity Washing Machines

These large-capacity washing machines were very good or excellent overall and have claimed capacities of at least 5 cubic feet. 

HE Top-Loaders
Manufacturers increase capacity in several ways—making the tub deeper or wider, for example. These machines are 27 or 28 inches wide, and height varies from 41 to 46 inches. Depth is 28 to 29 inches. You'll see this called out in the Features & Specs tab in the washing machine ratings and on each washer's summary page. When shopping, reach into the washing machine and try grabbing that imaginary stray sock. 

Front-Loaders
The Samsung WF50K7500AW is the usual 27 inches wide, and the others are 29 or 30. Height varies from 39 to 43 inches; depth is 33 to 35 inches. All have wash times of 90 minutes or longer, using the normal wash, heavy-soil setting. You'll save time using the normal-soil setting, and these machines have an option that cuts normal wash time for regular-sized loads. Past tests found that Kenmore's Accela-Wash, LG's TurboWash, and Samsung's SuperSpeed saved 15 to 20 minutes without sacrificing performance. 

Agitator Top-Loaders
Top-loaders with agitators often have claimed capacities in the 3.2- to 4.2-cubic-foot range. We buy and test those, too. See our washing machine ratings for washers that fit your budget and your typical load of wash.