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Top Load vs Front Load Washing Machine: Which is Best?
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difference between top loading and front loading washing machines

Comparing a top load vs front load washing machine may not necessarily reveal which machine is best. Rather, it can help determine which machine is best for you and your laundry needs. By comparing both styles’ cleaning abilities, cost, and other important factors, we’ll review how each model can make your laundry day easier.

Weighing the Differences Between a Top Load vs Front Load Washing Machine

While both washer designs will get clothes clean, certain differences may carry more weight than others. For some families, cost can be the most important factor while ease of use may be paramount for others. We’ll break down the advantages of a top load vs front load washing machine to determine which makes the most sense for you.

Installation & Ease of Use

When comparing front load and top load washers’ ease of use, the advantage goes to top loaders. Top loaders require less bending when loading and unloading and you can add forgotten items mid-cycle by simply lifting the lid. Transferring items from the washer to the dryer is also easier, with less likelihood of clothes falling on the floor or doors getting in the way.

By contrast, front load washers have the ability to be stacked or installed under a counter or shelf, making them great space savers. You can also purchase pedestals to lessen bending and lifting when loading. However, significant bending is still necessary and the locked door makes it difficult to add items mid-cycle. Lastly, transferring items to the dryer usually results in at least one item landing on the floor while navigating both open doors.

Advantage: Top Load Washers

top load vs front load washing machine

Washer Spin Speed

A big difference between top loading and front loading washing machines is spin speed. On every test, front loaders have demonstrated faster spin speeds than top loaders. Clothes then have less water in them when they enter the drier, reducing drying times. This makes the overall time spent doing laundry faster with a front loading machine.

Advantage: Front Load Washers

Speed of Wash Cycle

When you compare front load washer to top load washer total wash cycles, a top loader takes less time to wash clothes. Even though front loaders have a faster spin cycle, they drain and refill more often when washing, taking more time. A top loader fills the washer drum once and keeps the clothes immersed in that water, making the overall wash cycle faster.

Advantage: Top Load Washers

Durability Over Time

Is a front load or top load washer more durable? Both machines are equally dependable, with generally the same frequency of repairs. However, front loader repairs tend to be more complicated with parts and labor costing more than top loading machines. Consequently, front loaders have the disadvantage of being more expensive when malfunctions occur.

Advantage: Top Load Washers

Washer Cleaning Performance

While both machines will get clothes clean, a top load vs front load washing machine isn’t as effective as a front loader. This is because a top load washer’s agitator doesn’t remove dirt and stains as well as the tumbling motion of a front loader. An agitator is also rougher on clothes, leading to more wear and tear over time.

While front loaders do get clothes cleaner, they are prone to harboring dirt and mold, leading to washing machine odors. Front loading machines may require more frequent cleanings to keep dirt and mold at bay.

Advantage: Front Load Washers

front load or top load washer

Overall Cost

Though there is currently less of a disparity, the upfront cost of a top load vs front load washing machine is still lower. However, front load washers use less water and energy throughout their lifespan, reducing utility costs. Consequently, while top loaders may have less of an initial cost, a front loader can save more money over time.

Advantage: Front Load Washers

Knowing the pros and cons of front load and top load washers can determine which has the most advantages for your laundry needs. And if your washer results in the need for a washing machine repair, Moore Appliance Service is always ready to help.

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