A washing machine's spin speed can vary by type and model. Generally speaking, most front-loading washing machines spin at faster speeds than top-loading washing machines, yet actual spin speeds differ based on model. If you're considering purchasing a new washing machine or upgrading your existing one, it's helpful to know how fast a washing machine will spin; the faster a washer spins the clothes, the less dry time they will need.
A standard top-loading washing machine can typically spin up to 800 revolutions per minute (rpm), according to the website Best Top-Loading Washing Machines. Other top-loading washing machines can spin as fast as 1600 rpm, although these models are usually more expensive. While spin speeds fluctuate by manufacturer and model, most top-loading washing machines have spin rates of about 800 rpm rather than 1600 rpm, which are rarer. The faster a washing machine spins the more water quits the laundry, cutting dry time.
An advantage of front-loading washing machines is that they commonly spin faster than a top-loading washing machine. Most front-loading washing machines have spin speeds between 900 and 1200 rpm, according to Whirlpool. Certain front-loading washing machines will begin the spin cycle at a lower spin speed and gradually increase the rate of speed to "wring" clothes nearly free of water before the cycle ends.
Noise and Vibration
The faster a washing machine's spin speed, the more the washer will vibrate and the noisier it will sound during the spin cycle. A standard front-loading washing machine is therefore more apt to vibrate and make noise than the average top-loading washing machine models. Although there are ways to mitigate noise and vibration, like balancing the washer, installing it properly and avoiding overloading the machine, expect a front-loading washing machine to move more during the spinning cycle than a top-loading washing machine.
Although a washing machine's spin speed should be a factor for deciding which washing machine to buy, it shouldn't be the only factor. Consider other aspects that a washing machine offers, such as load capacity, energy usage, wash time, noise level and price. In addition, if a washer's spin speed is less important to you, you may want to choose a model that offers two speed options. A washing machine with two speed options gives you more flexibility when selecting a wash setting, depending upon the laundry you're washing.
Christie Gross has been writing since 1998. Her work writing public policy platforms for elected officials nationwide has been featured in national and local newspapers under various client pen names. Gross has a Bachelor of Arts in English and political science, as well as a Master of Public Administration from the University of Delaware.