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Maytag Agitator vs Impeller Washer: Pros and Cons

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Maytag top load washers use either an agitator or impeller to wash clothes. What’s the difference between agitator vs impeller washer designs? Traditional agitator models use a central rotating post to rub stains off clothing. Impeller machines have a lower-profile cone that rubs clothes against each other. Here’s how to compare and contrast a Maytag agitator vs impeller washer to determine what’s best for your laundry needs.

Choosing Between a Maytag Agitator vs Impeller Washer

While agitators and impellers share the same function, the way they wash clothes results in some variability. We’ll examine the Maytag agitator vs impeller pros and cons associated with these differences to best inform your washer choice.

What is a Maytag Agitator Washer?

Like other traditional top-loaders, a Maytag agitator washer has a tall, vertical post with vanes or fins in the wash tub’s center. This post twists back and forth during a wash cycle, rubbing against clothes to remove dirt and stains. Each wash cycle typically uses a full tub of water to enable the agitator to function properly.

Do agitator washers clean better? While they’re highly effective stain-removers, the repeated friction and contact of the agitator may cause increased wear and tear on clothes.

Here are some agitator vs impeller pros and cons:


  • Highly effective cleaning performance
  • Traditional design is familiar and easy to use


  • Can be rough on clothes
  • Higher water usage decreases efficiency
  • Agitator decreases tub space, making it difficult to clean your rug or wash other bulky items
Maytag agitator vs impeller washer
Photo of Washer with Agitator by Maytag

What is a Maytag Impeller Washer?

In contrast to agitator washers, Maytag impeller washers have a low-profile cone that spins at the base of the washtub. This cone and the motion of the washtub rub clothes against each other to remove stains. One of the benefits of washer without agitator is that it uses less water with each wash cycle while still cleaning effectively. Impeller washers are also gentler on clothes, leading to less wear and tear.

These are the pros and cons of impeller washers:


  • Gentler on clothing and delicate items, making it the better choice to wash a backpack, down jacket, or other fragile pieces
  • More efficient due to less water usage
  • Provides more tub space for washing larger items


  • Must use washer-specific loading guidelines for optimum performance
  • Can only be used with HE detergent
  • May not remove stains as effectively as agitator models
do agitator washers clean better
Photo of Impeller by Maytag

Which is Better: Agitator or Impeller Washer?

Determining if a Maytag agitator or impeller washer is better comes down to the machine that best meets your personal laundry needs. A washer with agitator vs no agitator can be more effective at stain removal, making it the better choice if you have heavily-soiled wash loads.

However, an impeller washer can be a better option if you wash clothes more frequently, as it’s more efficient and gentler on clothing. An impeller washer also provides more tub space, giving it the advantage if you regularly wash bulky items like blankets, duvets, and coats.

The experts at Service Care can answer any question, from comparing a Maytag agitator vs impeller washer to addressing emergent repairs. Call us for all your laundry appliance needs!


Toxey McDavid

Owner, Service Care

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