If you live in a caravan, motor home or a small apartment, then you know that every inch saved matters! A mini washing machine is an excellent buy if you have limited space or minimal washing to launder.
There aren’t many options available in the UK mini washing machine market and this is probably why you’ve ended up here. We scoured the web and found four mini washers which we believe will suit you if you’re a camper, a student living in a university hall or need the perfect machine for your motor home.
Our top recommendation is the Think Gizmo TG23 model. You can skip to the review right away by clicking its entry in the table of contents below.
Table of Contents
What is a mini washing machine?
Mini washing machines are the smallest of all washers available on the market. Some are up to one-quarter the size of standard washing machines and very lightweight, especially those designed for portability.
At Washing Wizard, we like to classify mini washers into two main types; mini plumbed-in machines and mini portable machines.
The plumbed-in mini machines work pretty much like regular washers in that they require mains power and a permanent water connection. Some like the Zanussi ZWC1301 even come with multiple washing and drying functions and resemble their full-size counterparts; the only significant difference being that they’re smaller and come with greatly reduced load capacity.
On the other hand, the portable mini machines like the TG23 and oneConcept DB003 are specially designed with campers, boaters, and caravaners in mind. They can operate anywhere as long as you have water and a source of power. You can even spin some manual ones by hand or peddle using your feet!
Why choose a mini washing machine?
There are several reasons you might want to buy a mini washer instead of a conventional washing machine. They include space limitations, cost, setup requirements and laundry needs.
The most obvious advantage that mini washers have over their full-size siblings is size. These devices take up less floor space and weigh only a few kg.
You can choose between portable and non-portable mini washers; the former are best suited for use in caravans, motor homes, camping tents and holiday camps. The non-portable devices are usually heavier and bulkier but still compact enough to be put on worktops, tabletops or inside small kitchen cupboards.
If your budget is limited and cannot stretch to a standard washing machine, the mini washers are a great fall-back. Most will cost less than £100 unless you go for a very high-end model.
Ease of use
Most mini washing devices require minimal setup and installation and are very easy to operate. You do not require a professional to help you with installation, neither do you need to set aside a fixed space for use and storage.
Save on utility bills
A mini machine can consume up to 50 percent less power if you compare it with conventional washers. The reason is their motors are not as powerful and thus draw less electricity. You should also be able to save a lot of water.
How do portable washing machines work?
Most come with the necessary sink connections for easy attachment to bathroom or kitchen sink faucets. They also have a separate hose that you place inside the sink to drain away wash and rinse water when you’re done washing. Draining can be either automatic or by hand.
What to look for in a mini washing machine
Compared to regular washers, mini washing machines are rarer in the UK, but that also makes selecting the best one difficult. Here are seven factors to consider when looking for the right mini device for your needs.
As the name suggests, mini washers are smaller versions of the conventional washing machines based on the amount of load volume that they can handle. Many are too small to replace traditional machines and won’t stop you from needing the odd trip to the launderette.
Size and portability
The idea is to help users save on space while also making it easier to carry them from one place to the other, especially when camping or a holiday. So, make sure you get one that will fit in your camper van or caravan.
There are two main types of mini washing machines – those that can be plugged in and those that are cranked or spun by hand. The former operate pretty much like regular washers, are usually bigger and come with more functions and programmes.
On the other hand, most manual mini washing machines are lightweight and occupy minimal space. This makes them ideal for campers and single apartment dwellers.
Some high-end devices allow you to hook them up to bathroom or kitchen sinks using a faucet adapter. However, for most standard ones, you will have to manually fill and empty the washtub at the start and end of the cycle.
Like anything else, prices vary significantly when it comes to mini washers, but most basic one tub models will set you back between £60-80. Twin tubs and premium options with higher specifications can cost you several hundred pounds.
When it comes to mini washer designs, there are plenty of options to choose from. For starters, you can get a front or top loading model and also select from various shapes including cubes, egg-shaped and round.
Some machines come with fold away handles for easy storage. Other common features that could influence your choice include LED display, transparent body and the position of controls.
Best mini washing machines
We think the following four devices offer the best blend of useful features, affordability and economy available today.
No 1: Think Gizmos TG23 TwinTub
TG23 TwinTubmodel details
Load capacity (wash/spin) (kg)
H38.4 x W60 x D69
Think Gizmos TG23 TwinTub
The TG23 TwinTub mini washing machine comes with a considerable capacity of up to 3.6kg for washing and 2.6kg for the spin cycle. This works out at about four pairs of jeans and three t-shirts, or at a stretch, a light bed comforter or a couple of heavy towels. This isn’t bad for a device that fits seamlessly into your caravan or compact apartment.
We also like that this washer has two tubs that work concurrently and independently of each other. This means you can have one load in the spin dryer as you do a second load in the washtub.
The Think Gizmos mini washer weighs about 12.7kgs and measures 38.4cm x 60cm x 69cm, making it one of the larger and heavier mini washers here. However, it’s still relatively compact and we found it easy to fit in a corner and to move from one place to another.
The Think Gizmo TG23 Portawash is an excellent washer if you’re into camping, caravanning, boating, or live in a squeezed student flat or studio apartment.
The OneConcept DB003 is every camper’s dream mini washing machine that combines excellent functionality and compact size with a sturdy construction. One of its standout functions is the spin extractor which helps to shorten drying times. A significant advantage if you’re looking to reduce the number of clothes you need to pack.
Electric Star, the German company that manufactures this mini washing machine, clearly put the work in when designing this elegant machine. The washer is made using sturdy, break-resistant plastic to enhance durability whilst keeping it lightweight at only 10.2kg.
Its retractable carrying handle helps to keep the machine compact, while the lateral grip options make it easy to move. Also, it comes fitted with anti-slip rubber pads to enhance stability and keep it in place during spin cycles.
Assembling and disassembling OneConcept DB003 is easy and operating it easier still.
Like most mini washers, it only comes with only a couple of programmes to choose from, namely Soft and Strong. For the wash cycle, you can set the washer to run for anywhere between 0-15 minutes while the spin-drying cycle has a 5-minute timer.
The OneConcept DB003 measures 57cm x 58cm x 35cm, perfect for storing in small spaces.
The OneConcept brand are clearly doing a great job to earn two spots here. The company’s Ecowash Pico high-efficiency washing machine is the perfect companion for campers.
Capable of both washing and spin-drying, this mini device can also serve as an excellent backup or for those little bits and bobs you don’t want to throw in with everything. The Ecowash Pico is useful if you just want to clean baby clothes, underpants and other delicates that you’d otherwise prefer to hand wash.
This machine allows washing of up to 3.5kg, after which you can switch to its spin cycle to drain away water for quicker drying. This load is enough for a single person household and more than you may need for your caravan.
A wash can run up to 10 minutes while a spin is capped at 3 minutes. Of course, you can repeat either cycle as many times as you need before drying.
You’d be forgiven to think that the washer’s relatively narrow round bottom makes it unstable, but that’s not the case, thanks to its anti-slip rubber feet. Other top features we like in the OneConcept Ecowash mini washer include an incredibly lightweight design. It also comes with a fast spin speed of 1320rpm which is nearly the same as a standard washing machine.
We included the Zanussi ZWC1301 model here even though it’s slightly bulkier than most standard mini washing machines. It’s also pricier than some regular-sized washers but this is balanced by several helpful features.
For starters, this is an extremely compact mini washer that measures H (67) x W (49.5) x D (51.5), making it a perfect fit for small kitchens, laundry rooms or motor homes. Its 3kg load capacity is sufficient for people living alone or couples with minimal laundry. At this capacity, you’d easily clean three t-shirts, a few pairs of jeans and enough underwear and socks to last the week.
Zanussi ZWC1301 also comes with a few other impressive credentials especially regards economy, functions and spin speed. The washer also comes with more than 15 functions, including the automatic half function that adjusts the amount of water and energy used based on the load weight. Another standout feature of this mini washing machine is the 1300rpm spin speed which is as good as some standard machines. This helps to cut down the drying time.
Other features of the ZWC1301 model include a 24-hour delay timer, quiet washing with noise levels of only 53dB. There is also an LCD screen to help you track the progress of your laundry.
Unfortunately, the extra functions, dimensions and technology mean that this washer is several times heavier than all others we’ve reviewed here. Weighing about 50kg, Zanussi ZWC1301 is best suited for static caravans, mobile homes or small apartments.
Finding a mini washing machine that strikes the right balance between size, capacity, price and functionality can be very difficult. Before starting your search for one, think carefully about your laundry needs, available budget and how much space you have. Ultimately, you want a device that can serve you for many years to come, so it’s worth taking time to decide.