Front Load vs Top Load Washers

Does front-load or top-load washing machines best suit your needs, that is the question. If you’re in the market for a new washer you might need to take a look at some of the great new technologies with the appliances. Take a look at these pros and cons of both front-load and top-load washers before deciding which one is best for your needs.


Energy Efficiency

The most energy-efficient washers tend to be high-efficiency top-loaders. Research and testing indicates that the highest-efficiency is the top-load washer vs. front-load or top-load with a center agitator. You can save on energy, water, detergent, and money when you decide to get an appliances that is Energy Star Certified.

The difference between a front-load washer and top-load washers is that a traditional top-loader will float your clothes in water and rotate them with a center agitator. A front-load washing machine rotates the drum to move the clothes, rather than having an agitator in the center.

Most high-efficiency top-load washers don’t have an agitator. Instead, there’s a wash plate at the bottom that creates turbulence for the clothes. A test between a high-efficiency top-load washers vs. front-load machines, high-end front-loaders tended to use less water and were more effective at cleaning clothes.


Cost & Features

When making any major appliance purchase, your two primary considerations are likely to be cost and features.

Front-loaders use less electricity. According to research front-load washers cut electricity use by up to 50% when paired with an electric hot water heater.

Front-loaders leave clothes less wet at the end of a wash cycle.  Front-load machines spin faster than top-loaders, and therefore leave clothes 10% drier, which means that your dryer doesn’t need to work as hard or dry as long, which also translates to energy savings.

Front-loaders can be more costly at purchase. As with any appliance, the upfront cost will depend on the brand and how many features you choose. But, on purchase price alone of comparable models of top-load vs. front-load washers, the front-loaders tend to be more costly.

Pros and Cons of Top-Loaders

Even if you have already made a determination that a top-load washer is right for you, you still want to understand the top-load washing machine pros and cons so that you can make a well-reasoned purchase. Here are things to consider when purchasing a top-load washing machine:

Clean and Gentle. High-efficiency top-loaders tend to clean clothes better and be more gentle on fabrics.

Faster spinning means less drying. While one of the high-efficiency, top-load washing machine benefits is that it spins faster than a machine with an agitator, it also means that fast spinning could cause clothes to tangle, so you want to be sure to untangle items before placing them in the dryer.

Large capacity. Because of the high-efficiency of a top-loader has no center agitator pole, it has more room and can accommodate a bigger load of laundry.

Less vibration. One common washing machine complaint is that the appliance can cause a vibration on certain kinds of floors. Often this is less of an issue for a front-load washer versus top-load washer, but the high-efficiency top loader versus front-loader has an even better Consumer Reports score on vibration.

Less opportunity for mold growth. Mold growth in front-load machines has been a problem for a long time, and it actually has been the reason for lawsuits against some large appliance manufacturers. However, Consumer Reports indicates that mold doesn’t seem to be an issue for high-efficiency top-load washing machines.

Significant potential for repair costs. High-efficiency top-loaders tend to be more complex than standard top-load washers, and the more features that are added to an appliance, the more opportunity there is for something to go wrong. In the comparison of high-efficiency top-load versus front-load washers; there are similar maintenance and repair costs because of the complexity of both.

We hope this is a great guideline for you to understand the difference in features between a front-load washer versus top-load washer. Please contact us if you have specific questions for your laundry needs and our team can definitely find you a solution that works best for your needs.

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