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Front-Loading vs Top-Loading Washers

Updated on July 3, 2017


Which works better? Or should I ask which best suits your needs? The washer is a necessity, no doubt about that. I don't think I can live without one. Imagine having to wash all that laundry by hand every day. Yikes, my poor back!

It used to be that the front-loading washer was seen only in laundromats but these days more and more households are opting for the front-loading over the top-loading washer. Manufacturers are producing more front-loading washers suitable for domestic use. It certainly has many advantages compared to the top-loading machine.

If you are planning to buy a new washer and still debating which one to get, read on and maybe what I share will help you come to a decision.

woman with front-load washer
woman with front-load washer

Front Loading Washer More Efficient

The greatest advantage the front-loading washer has over the top-loading one is its efficiency. The front-loading machine needs only a third of the water required by the top-loading machine. The reason is that the drum is set horizontally in the machine and as it turns, it uses gravity to draw the clothes back into the water. The top-loading machine will empty the soapy water and then refill for a rinse agitation cycle while a front-loading machine just sprays clean water on the load as the drum continues to turn thus saving gallons of water. Since the front loading machine does not have an agitator, there's more room for a bigger load. A bigger load means fewer loads.

The front-loading machine spin mechanism can reach up to 1000 rpm while the top-loading machine can spin at an average of 650 rpm. This means less water is left in the laundry and so less drying time and thus saving more energy as well.

Courtesy of

Dryer stacked on top of washer
Dryer stacked on top of washer

Front-Loading Machine Saves Space

Most front-loading machines can be stacked with a dryer while this is not possible with the top-loading washer. This is an important consideration in a small house or an apartment where space is limited.

Front-loading machines can easily be installed under a countertop in a fitted kitchen often disguising as an ordinary base unit.

Front-load washer
Front-load washer

Front-Loading Washer Less Damaging To Clothes

The modern top-loading machine has improved greatly but with the use of an agitator it can still be tough on clothes. Since only gravity is at work in a front-loading machine, you'll save a lot of wear and tear and so extend the life of your clothes and other linen.

Top-loading washer
Top-loading washer

Top-Loading Machine Less Costly

The front-loading washer is significantly much more expensive than the top-loading machine. Where cost is an important criteria in the initial outlay then the top-loading machine should be your choice.

Picking up dirty laundry
Picking up dirty laundry

Top-Loading Washer Perfect For Last-Minute Lid Flipping

If you are like me, you will often find a dirty T-shirt or socks after you have started the washing machine. The top-loading machine is great for tossing in those just-found items that needs to be washed. This is not possible with the front-loading machine once you have pushed the start button. It would have to wait for the next wash.

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Top-Loading Washer Perfect For Those With Joint Pains

Those who have problems bending and kneeling, the top-loading machine is the perfect choice. The front-loading machine will require bending and kneeling to load the clothes as well as remove the wet load when it is finished.

Top-Loading Washer Easy to Use

The top-loading machine is easy to operate. All you need to do is open the lid, drop your dirty laundry, add in the detergent,close the lid and start the wash. No worries about closing the door seal properly or fear of water leakage when using the front-load washer.

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