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Front-Load or Top-Load Washers: Which Should You Choose?

Front-Load or Top-Load Washers: Which Should You Choose?

Top-load or front-load? Here’s how each match up to the criteria for an excellent machine.

At least 50% of Americans have traditionally used top-load washing machines in daily life, yet the evidence for the benefits of front-loaders is overwhelming. If you find yourself in the market for a new washing machine, consider the various factors that make a washer a stellar appliance. 


Both front-load and top-load washers have benefits when it comes to placement and usage in the home. Front-loading machines can stack on top or under the dryer so that you can save floor space. On the other hand, top-loaders must go side-by-side, which may not be a disadvantage.

Ease of Use

Top-load washers are easier to use, since you don’t have to bend or squat to change out the loads. The front-load washer’s door can also get in the way if it is in a narrow or high-traffic space, though some models have reversible doors that hinge on either side. Top-loaders, meanwhile, require no squatting and minimal bending. You can also add laundry mid-cycle more easily than with a front-loader.

Energy Efficiency

Experts have determined that front-load washing machines are significantly more efficient than top-load washers in many ways. One major way this is true is that they use up less electricity or gas power. Depending on how often you wash your clothes in hot or warm water, your energy bill from heating the water will be noticeably less.

Water Usage

Front-loading machines use less water than top-loaders, approximately five fewer gallons per round. The reason for this is because of the mechanics of each machine. Front-loaders take advantage of gravity to toss the dirt out of clothing, while top-load ones need a deep reservoir to get all the clothes wet.

Cleaning Performance

There is no doubt about it: controlled studies make it clear that front-load washers clean far better than their alternatives. Their design lets the laundry rub out its dirt through aggressive tossing and a higher concentration of detergent. The other design just tosses the clothes with mechanical twisting arms. With the right laundry techniques, you will notice a difference.


Top-loading machines may be easier to maintain. It may be easier to access parts that need tweaking or replacing. Front-load models tend to grow mold and mildew more easily and need a professional repairman to fix it.


When it comes to price, top-load washers are a few hundred dollars cheaper. If you are looking for an easy-to-use model that does a decent job, this model can work just fine. However, if you are considering breaking out of the top-loading tradition, front-load appliances will prove their worth. 

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