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Front Load vs Top Load Washers – 5 Things to Consider Before Buying

Front load vs top load washers- it’s an ongoing query amongst many. In today’s modern household, we need a washing machine that gets our clothes clean and stands up to the task of washing comforters, blankets, and other heavy-duty items. We simply don’t have time for wimpy washing machines.

So this begs the question, what is the difference between top loading and front loading washers? Well, let’s take a look.

Front Load vs Top Load Washers

Ease of Use

Ultimately, in the battle of front load vs top load washers, top loaders win for ease. Most top load machines are at a comfortable height for adding and removing clothes, which is especially important for people that have trouble bending or have other joint issues. However, front loading machines have pedestals that can go underneath the unit to provide height, making this less of a problem.

In addition to height, top load washers are easy to add last-minute items to the wash during the wash cycle. Since there is typically no locking mechanism on a top load washer, you can open it up, chuck in that missed sock, and off you go. Front load washers do not always have this ability without canceling the cycle and restarting, and who wants to mess with that?

Energy Efficiency

It is pretty standard these days to find energy efficient washers, but you can’t beat the efficiency of front loaders. There is a significant difference in overall efficiency between a top load and front load washer. One difference between front load vs top load washers is how efficiently they use water – even the average front load washers use at least 40% less water than top loaders.

Water consumption from washing machines is the second highest water expense Americans face. Consequently, cutting down this cost with a front load washer is a welcome reprieve. Another difference is that front load washers use less detergent than top load washers, even with increased load size.

Wash Speed

The main difference between top loading and front loading washers regarding wash speed resides in the spin cycle. Front load washers spin about 30-35% faster than top load washers, resulting in faster completion. Since more water is removed in the front load spin cycle, clothes are less saturated, lighter (making the transfer to the dryer easier), and subsequently dry faster in the dryer.

Altogether the front load washer makes the job of washing and drying clothes a quicker process than a top load washer.

difference between top loading and front loading washers
Photo Credit: The Appliances Reviews


Time and time again, front load washers shine in performance. You can stuff them full of laundry, and they will clean everything thoroughly and with incomparable energy and water efficiency. Furthermore, front load washers are gentle enough on clothes to safely wash the most delicate fabrics.

Conversely, top load washers are easier on the back to load, and some argue the extra water provides for cleaner clothes. The downside is that top loaders are more limited in what types of laundry they can handle (think bulky), and are generally more aggressive on the fabrics.


If you’re still debating the merits of front load vs top load washers, don’t let the price deter you. Front load washers usually cost more up front. However, the cost is justified when you weigh in the ability to do larger loads, wash heavier/bulky items, have better energy efficiency, use less detergent, and enjoy a significant reduction in your water bill. Nevertheless, when it needs to fit into your budget, consider carefully the features and functions that are most important to you.

Not ready to jump into a new washer just yet? Contact your local appliance repair technician and fix your old one.