Agitator and impeller are found on top-loading fully automatic washing machines. They are helpful components as they help to clean your dirty clothes with a high level of efficiency. However, the question is which of the two is the better option.
We shall now compare both these functions and help you decide which is the better option for you.
An agitator is a spindle-like attachment fixed to the center of your wash drum that twists back and forth, rubbing against your clothes to remove the toughest stains. Agitators come with vaned or finned patterns.
Spraying Action: Soaks garments in water that has been recirculated from the wash and rinse cycle.
Wash Basket Action: Rotates for a powerful clean.
On the other hand, impeller or Pulsator are cones, wheels or discs placed at the bottom of the washtub that spin to rub the clothes against each other gently to remove stains.
Spraying Action: Soaks garments in recirculated water from the wash/rinse cycle.
Wash Basket Action: Rotates for thorough cleaning.
The similarities between agitators and impellers are as follows.
- Both are available on top-loading washing machines.
- Both are equally efficient in removing dirt from your clothes.
Apart from the shapes, they differ in the way they function. For example, the agitator rubs against your clothes to remove dirt, whereas the impeller rubs clothes against each other to eliminate dirt.
|Rubs against clothes||Rubs clothes against each other|
|Agitates the clothes, hence the name agitators||Is gentle on your clothes|
|Ideal for removing stubborn dirt||Not as efficient when dealing with highly soiled clothes|
|Uses more water||Uses less water to reduce friction between clothes|
|Clothes can get entangled at times||Generally, clothes do not get entangled|
|The improved technology available today ensures not to damage clothes||Impellers do not damage clothes anyway.|
|Not the best attachment to use when washing delicate and expensive clothes like silk sarees||Efficient when dealing with expensive clothing|
|Shorter washing times||More extended washing times, but clothes dry quicker|
|Agitator occupies more space in the machine.||The impeller does not occupy much space. Hence, a washing machine with the same capacity can wash more clothes.|
Let us look at the pros and cons of agitators and impellers
Agitator – Pros
- The agitators are efficient at removing stubborn dirt from clothes like sportswear, socks, and other soiled clothes.
- The agitating motion rubs the spindle against the clothes to loosen the dirt and remove it.
- The agitator-equipped washing machines have faster washing cycles.
- Efficient agitator models are available to cater to all kinds of clothes without damaging them.
Agitator – Cons
- Agitators consume more space inside the machine. Hence, it can be challenging to wash heavy clothes like bed sheets and blankets.
- Agitator-equipped washing machines consume more water than their impeller-equipped counterparts.
Impeller – Pros
- Impeller or Pulsator preserve your fabrics as they use a smooth action to rub the clothes against each other to remove dirt.
- The impeller do not occupy much space. Hence, you can comfortably wash blankets and bedsheets in such machines.
- Impeller-equipped washing machines use less water than agitator-equipped machines.
Impeller – Cons
- As impellers use gentle washing motions, they are not ideally suited for washing heavily soiled clothes.
Related: Front Load vs Top Load Washing Machine
Agitator vs Impeller – Which is the better option?
If your laundry consists of heavily soiled clothes, you should choose a washing machine with an agitator. On the contrary, if your demands are not heavy, the impeller should be the right choice.
Anyway, both impeller and agitator are equally valuable and competent for washing your clothes. The primary difference is in the way they operate.
Almost all washing machine manufacturers offer top-loading washing machines with either an impeller or agitator. Depending on your preferences, you can choose the machine you want.