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Top Loading vs. Front Loading Washing Machine: What’s the Difference?

January 13th, 2018

Ah, the age-old question when it comes to your washing machine: Top load or front load? Not all washing machines are created equal, and one of the signature traits of your washing machine is whether it is a top-loading or front-loading unit. But what’s the difference between the two?

If you’re wondering which route is best for you to take, take a look below for all the pros and cons of each type of washing machine:

Space: If you’re on the market for a unit that will allow for more space, a front-loader is the way to go as you can stack a companion dryer on top of it, saving plenty of space in your laundry room or laundry closet.

Efficiency: When it comes to efficiency, you can’t beat a front-loading model. Unlike a top-loader, which needs to be fully filled with water to properly wash, a front-loader only needs 1/3 of the water since gravity helps bring the clothes down into the water as the horizontal drum turns. There’s also no agitator in a front-loader, allowing for more clothes per wash and therefore less washes altogether.

Clothing Quality: In an upright top-loading washing machine, your clothes can get a little beat up from the agitator’s rough spinning and shaking. In a front-loading unit, however, gravity does most of the work, saving quite a bit of wear and tear on your clothing.

Ergonomics: For a front-loading machine, you’ll most likely have to kneel or bend down to both load and unload the machine. If you have a bad back or tricky knees, this could prove to be an inconvenience. On the other hand, a top-loader should be just the right height for you to not have to bend much when putting laundry in or taking it out.

Cost: A traditional top-loading washer machine is typically much less than a more modern front-loading unit. The same might ring true for repair on the top-loader – it may cost less to fix than a front-loader.

Last-Minute Additions: With a front-loading machine, it’s nearly impossible to make any last minute changes to your wash, like tossing in an extra piece of laundry you might have found after already starting the wash. For a top-loading machine, it’s possible to simply flip the lid up, after your wash cycle has started, to add extra items in.

Detergents: For most top-loading machines, any brand or type of detergent can be used as per your preference. On the other hand, a front-loader may call for a more specific detergent, like an HE low-suds formula. For detergents, your top-loader has more options as to which you can use with peace of mind.

All in all, when it comes down to the decision of choosing a top load model or front load model, the choice is yours! There are many pros and cons to consider, though keep in mind that while most front-loading models tend to call for a greater outlay of cash initially to buy, they tend to be a bit more sturdy and statistically call for less repairs.