Front-load vs top-load washers: Which is better & differences

The clothes we wear daily will get dirty, and we need to wash them often. It has been done since thousands of years ago, although there used to be traditional methods that are no longer effective nowadays. Luckily, technology evolved fast, and you can wash your clothes in performant machines that does all the work for you.

When the program ends, your clothes will be clean, fresh, and smelling good. Some washers also have a drying process included, and you can save even more time with such a feature. If you are about to change your washer, it is ideal to do proper research before you make a final choice.

front loader washer

Most likely, you haven’t purchased one in years since these machines are built to last a long time. They have evolved, and it is time for you to find out about all the features equipped on them. You can choose a traditional top load washer if you want to keep things simple, but you can also try the modern front load washer for higher efficiency.

In this article, we will talk about both of them. Continue reading as we discuss the front load vs. top load washer debate. You will find out which is better and see the differences between them. 

A summary

There are many differences between a top load and a front load washer, but we make it easier for you to understand them. Instead of going through endless lists of specifications and figuring out the details yourself, we prepared a simple table that is easy to understand. 

Here you will find the attributes each washer can perform, which will help you with your choice. 

Product AttributesTop LoadFront Load
Capacity
X
Cleaning Performance
X
Easier InstallationX
Energy EfficientX
ErgonomicsX
Fabric Care
X
Higher Cost
X
Lifespan
X
Noise/VibrationXX
Sleek AppearanceXX
SmellX
Stackable
X
Wash SpeedX
Water Efficiency
X

As you can see, the traditional top load washers lack some features that come as a standard on front load ones. These machines have evolved, and newer models always include new options that further increase comfort and efficiency. The front load washers are also easier to use, so programming and operating them is not difficult.

While the front load washer is more expensive and can be acquired at a higher cost, the water efficiency is superior to the top load. It will save you money in the future as the water bill will be significantly reduced. 

Pros and cons of front load washers

LG front loader

Everything in this world has advantages and disadvantages, as do the washers you use to clean your clothes. No machine is perfect, although the companies producing them strive to reach perfection as close as possible.

Front-load washers are more popular nowadays because they are modern and easy to operate. While there are many benefits to such an upgraded version of the traditional top-load ones, there are also some disadvantages you will have to consider before making such a purchase. 

Pros

  • It can easily outperform top load washers.
  • Increased water efficiency reduces costs with bills.
  • Lower power consumption, further reducing costs in the long term.
  • It can be easy to access even by short people.
  • It can be installed on low shelves as there is no need for top access.
  • Ideal for small apartments because it doesn’t take up much space.
  • The spin cycle is faster, making the dryer more effective.
  • No agitator means higher fabric protection for your clothes.

Cons

  • They are more expensive than top-load washers and are not budget-friendly.
  • You will have to bend down to unload the clothes from the washer.
  • Kids can easily change the settings as controls are easy and user-friendly.
  • Mold can develop inside as the air-tight door keeps the moisture inside.

Pros and cons of top load washers

top load washing machine

If you want to go old-school and still value traditional and vintage items, you can choose a top-load washer instead. This one used to be the most popular back in the day, and in some regions of the country, it is still commonly found in many households. 

This kind of washer has advantages and disadvantages, and you should explore them before deciding. Let’s have a look at them now.

Pros

  • People with mobility problems can operate it easily since there is no need to bend down to load and unload the washer.
  • They are cheaper and more efficient than front-load washers.
  • Top load washers have shorter cycle times, but the exact time depends on the model.
  • No risk of mold since the water evaporates in an upward direction.
  • You can always add more clothes during the washing cycle, which makes the top-load washer ideal for large families.

Cons

  • The agitator will take up a lot of space, so you might have to wash fewer clothes in one cycle.
  • Top load washers have an increased water and energy consumption, and your bills might increase.
  • The agitator will be rough on fabrics, and you will experience more tangling in your laundry.
Lg Top Load Washing Machine

Of course, the performance of a top load washer depends on its features and the brand that manufactured it. There are expensive and cheap options, but those in the middle seem to be the best for most customers.

Best washers

Now that you gathered all this information, you are able to make a final decision. But the market is wide, and there are many models to choose from. If you do not have the time and patience to continue your research and choose your favorite model, take a look at the ones we recommended below.

We searched the market and found the best front-load and top-load washers. These machines deliver more than you would expect based on:

  • performance
  • customer reviews
  • and features. 

Best front load washer – LG WM9000HVA

LG is known for producing high-quality items; this washer is no exception. It comes with a sanitizing wash feature and a unique steam cycle mode. Large families will benefit from this model the most since it has a 5.2 cubic-foot capacity, enough for all your household’s laundry needs. 

Consider that this machine is 2 inches wider than other models, which measures 29 inches in width. If you have a lot of laundries to do daily or weekly, this is the ideal choice for you. Make sure it fits in the designated space, and take measurements before placing your order. 

The basin is angled so you can load and unload the clothes without bending down too much. It is perfect for mobility-impaired people, as the effort is minimal. Although it is a large and heavy front load washer, you won’t have to worry about the next bill since this machine is efficient with power.

Regarding noise levels, this washer can be considered quiet. You can hold clear conversations while the door is open in the next room. Several customers are satisfied with this feature since most washers are quite loud. 

NameWM9000HVA
BrandLG
Capacity5.2 cu. ft.
Color:Graphite Steel (V)
ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient 2019:Yes
Max RPM1300

Best top load washer – Samsung WA55A7300AE

Those familiar with Samsung know that the South Korean company only makes high-quality products. By combining performance with smart features, they also created this top load washer that managed to satisfy many customers.

For large families that face large loads of laundry, this model is one of the biggest ones they can get. With 5.5 cubic feet of space inside the wash basket, you can wash the clothes of all household members at once. A special speed wash setting runs for 28 minutes, giving you the option to finish your laundry routine quickly without skipping the washing process.

Stainless steel was used to construct this machine, so you can rest assured that it will last a long time. The exterior looks pleasant for the eyes, as an ivory finish replaces traditional washers’ classic white color. Because it takes up a lot of space, ensure a large designated area in the laundry room before you purchase this model.

Once you install the top load washer, it is not recommended to store bottles of detergent and other laundry items on the slanted lid. While you can wash a large load of clothes, you can also take advantage of the increased capacity and wash your blankets and even curtains in one go. 

NameWA55A7300AE
BrandSAMSUNG
Capacity5.5 cu. ft.
Color:Ivory
Great featuresSmartphone control

How much water does a top loader washing machine use?

It is always wise to consider this factor, especially if you are thinking long-term. While the machine comes with a fixed price tag, the operational costs will easily surpass the price you paid for. After analyzing the consumption pattern of several households, it has been found that 17% of the water usage goes to the washing machine

Reducing this number will do wonders for your budget, especially if you are limited. Investing in an efficient washing machine can save more money in the future. On average, a top-load washer will consume between 30 and 35 gallons of water for every load that you run.

While this number is an approximation, the actual value might depend on the model you are looking for. Most companies will provide this information in the product’s description. You can determine exactly how much a top-load washer consumes in water and electricity before purchasing it.

It is also important to consider that his large amount of water must be heated. If you wash your laundry in hot water, expect to have an increase in the electricity bill as well. 

Why do front-load washers smell?

You might wonder why front-load washers smell, and this problem is quite common. There are a lot of factors that could generate such an unpleasant smell, and consumer misuse is the most common one. Customers will always take good care of the washing machine, but prevention is also important.

Most people do not perform regular maintenance on these washers, and a bad odor develops in time. The same result occurs if there is too much detergent. When there is excessive soap and chemicals, there will be residue buildup that will create an unpleasant smell after some time.

Lastly, consider moisture another factor since front-load washers often have this problem. Because the inside of the washer is air-tight, moisture can quickly develop as there is no air circulation. After some time, the residual water left in the machine will start to form mold and mildew, which have a bad odor.

It is recommended to keep the front load washer’s door open when you are not operating it. It will prevent most problems regarding bad smell, but you should also conduct regular maintenance. 

Why does a front-load washer clean better?

Both front-load and top-load washers perform exceptionally, but it is generally believed that front-load ones clean better. In a front load washer, the motion is effective, and the detergents can mix with the water and close much more easily than in a top load one.

With this type of machine, you can get the most effective mechanical action and ensure optimal results. The tumbling motion also uses gravity as the clothes will stumble against each other. In a top-load washer, the twisting mechanism will not be as effective because the clothes will not knock against themselves.

While the front load washer will clean better because of this principle, it doesn’t mean that the entire machine easily outperforms the other type. Each type has its features and characteristics, and your decision should be made on several factors. 

Suppose you use the right amount of chemicals and a perfect water temperature. In that case, you can notice the difference if you run a laundry load on both. The front load washer will clean better and protect the fabric of your clothes. 

Conclusion

Depending on your needs, you can now make the right decision as you know more about the difference between these types of washers. Large families will find the top-load washer more effective and suited for their increased needs, as the large capacity can easily handle household laundry loads.

But front loader ones will be more effective at drying as they force more water out of your clothes thanks to the centrifugal force. This way, you also save more time and money in the long term. Those that want something modern and performant will always go for front-load washers because their features are updated to today’s standards.

While top loaders have been around for some time, they are considered to be old and vintage in some parts of the world. In several regions of the country, these are still the primary choice for households, which is why companies continue their production.

They implement new features and update them in such a way that they can easily compete with other models that have different structures. Now that you know what these washers are capable of and the difference between them, you are able to make a choice for yourself.

However, do not forget to conduct proper maintenance regularly as you want to avoid problems in the future. Bad smells and residue buildup will develop with time if you do not use the machine correctly.