Which is better between washers with agitators or washers without depends on what is most important to the consumer. Washers with agitators are less expensive to purchase, but they cost more to operate. Washers without agitators take longer to do a load of laundry, but get clothes cleaner.
Washers with agitators cost more to operate, primarily because of higher water usage, smaller capacity and increased spinning time. Because clothes are fully submerged during washing, washers with agitators use more water than models without agitators. Smaller tub sizes mean more loads of laundry, and this limits the ability to wash bulky items. Slower spin speeds remove less water from clothes, resulting in longer drying time. The washing action of an agitator can also be hard on clothes.
Washers without agitators don’t completely fill the tub, saving on water usage. However, by not submerging the clothes in water, the wash cycle takes longer. The benefit is that it results in cleaner clothes. The lack of an agitator allows for a larger capacity, making less frequent loads and the ability to wash bigger items possible. Higher spin speeds result in drier clothes coming out of the machine and reduced drying time.
Consumers need to decide how they want to do laundry, and consider the trade-offs of each type of machine, to determine whether a washer with an agitator, or one without, is the better choice.