Once you are ready to buy a washing machine, front load vs top load washing machine is a question that comes to mind. A washing machine is perhaps one of the most important appliances in most homes. This appliance takes away the stress of cleaning clothes, allowing you to focus on other things.
However, with so many washing machines to choose from, it can be pretty daunting to make your decision. Usually, you have to choose between a traditional top-loader or a front-load washer. Both washing machines have their advantages and disadvantages.
Front Load vs Top Load Washing Machine Overview
If you have been wondering which to buy, front load vs top load washing machine, then this article is for you. Below is a detailed comparison of the two washing machine models to help you make an informed buying decision. Before we dive deeper into comparing front load vs top load washing machines, let us look at an overview of the two units.
Front Load Washer
A front load washer is designed such that you can load clothes through an opening at the front. These washing machines are reputed for using less water and energy and removing tough stains more easily.
- Better cleaning power
- Gentler on clothes
- Energy and water-efficient
- Includes modern built-in features
- Ability to stack together
- Less noisy
- Shorter drying times
- Longer washing cycle time
- Risky to overload
- Cost more upfront
- Uncomfortable to load and unload
- Prone to mold and mildew
- Needs direct water connection
Top Load Washer
A top loader machine is a traditional washing machine that lets you load clothes through an opening at the top of the unit. This unit features an ergonomic design, is easier to use, and is considerably less expensive than front load washers.
- Easy to load and unload
- Larger capacity
- Less risky to overload
- Faster cycle time
- Ability to add clothes mid-cycle
- Requires little maintenance
- Uses more water and energy
- Not stackable
- More likely to cause wear and tear on clothes
Front Load vs Top Load Washing Machine Comparison
Both the front load and top load washing machine vary in various aspects. Below are the key differences to help answer your question on front load vs top load washing machine.
Ease of Use
When making your decision on front load vs top load washing machine, you need to consider the comfort and convenience that comes with it. When it comes to ease of use, top-loading machines take the crown.
Front-load washers require bending over when loading and unloading clothes. But, top-load washers are very comfortable and minimize bending. This makes them ideal for older people or those that suffer from back pain.
Nevertheless, you can minimize the discomfort of front-load washers by mounting them on a laundry pedestal. This will raise the unit by 12 to 15 inches, giving it an ideal height for everyone to use.
The speed of washing is something to keep in mind when comparing a front load vs top load washing machine. Generally, most top loader washing machines have a run cycle time of about 15 to 30 minutes, faster than the one hour-run cycle time of front loaders. This is the case for top loaders equipped with an agitator that shakes and forces water in the drum, making it possible to immerse clothes in water.
Nevertheless, you should remember that some top loaders do not have an agitator and have an impeller instead. Although impeller top-loaders may not be fast, they are highly efficient as they use less water, have a high capacity, and clean better.
The load capacity of a front load vs top load washing machine models in the market varies. Some people consider top-load washers because they have a larger capacity than front loaders of the same size. This means that they can hold more per load, making them an excellent choice for commercial use. You can get one with a capacity of up to 10 kg.
The cleaning power of front load vs top load washing machine is not the same. When it comes to cleaning better, there is no doubt that the front load washing machine takes the win. Thanks to their tumbling motion, front load washers are gentler on clothes than top load washers. Each cloth is repeatedly dropped into the water as the drum rotates, and this cares for the fabric.
Also, front load washers are not only gentle of fabrics but also very effective when it comes to stain removal. They can accommodate all soil levels thanks to their excellent cleaning power.
Since they don't fully immerse clothes in water, they can clean more oversized items like comforters. You should be careful when washing soft fabric on top load washers as they are more prone to cause wear and tear. This is especially true if the machine is overloaded.
Something else that you need to keep in mind when comparing front load vs top load washing machines is efficiency. Front load washers are highly efficient and use less energy and water per load.
This is particularly true when this unit is compared with units that use the agitator. Unlike top loaders with a deep pool to immerse the clothes, front loaders have an impeller design where the drum rotates and drags clothes to a shallow pool with minimal water and detergent solution.
Similarly, front-load washers are energy efficient because they can hold more load per wash. In the long run, this reduces the number of washes in front load vs top load washing machine. Still, top load washing machines can be more energy efficient when you wash with cold water.
Typically, a front load washer is equipped with more built-in features and cycle options when compared to top loaders. For this reason, they can provide better benefits to the user, such as higher spin cycles. So, if modern features matter to you, then a front-load machine is worth considering.
Ability to Add Clothes Mid-Cycle
Are you wondering which washing machine will allow you to add items during the washing cycle? If you want to add items in the middle of a wash cycle, a top loader is your best choice.
These units allow you to add clothes mid the washing cycles, which most front loaders don't do since the door locks securely to prevent leaks. Nonetheless, some modern front-load units are equipped with a pause button, allowing you to interrupt the wash cycle.
When making a comparison of front-load vs top load washing machines, the available space is worth considering. If you have limited space available, top load machines would be ideal for you. This is because most units are narrower, and you won't need to swing the door open.
Nevertheless, a front load washing machine presents you with the option to stack it with another appliance like the dryer to save on floor space. This makes it very flexible and space-saving. For this action, a bracket mounting kit can come in handy. However, keep in mind that the controls can be difficult to reach, given the height.
While it is not advisable to overload a washing machine, overloading is much riskier on a front load vs top load washing machine. By overloading a front loading machine, pressure is applied on the drum bearings, lowering the machine's lifespan.
Mold/ Mildew Problems
Top load washer machines respond better to detergents and fabric softeners, which is not the case with front load washers. Using too much fabric softener or detergent can cause mold or mildew growth in the washer. You are also likely to experience mold/mildew problems if you allow the drum to remain wet between washes. The seal must be thoroughly dried to prevent mold and mildew in these units, which can be time-consuming.
If you value your peace and love to go through a washing cycle without much noise, a front load washer may be worth considering. During a wash cycle with a top load washer, there is a lot of twisting and turning, and this friction can contribute to a lot of noise.
Just like buying any other product, you probably want to know which model; front-load vs top load washing machine will save you more money without compromising on quality. Between the two washing machines, front-loading washing machines are significantly more expensive than top-load washers. This is because they are better at cleaning, come with more features, and are highly efficient in energy and water.
Front Load vs Top Load Washing Machine: How Do These Washers Clean Clothes?
The method in which the front load vs top load washing machine cleans clothes is rather different. The front load machine uses the tumbling motion, which is more effective at removing stains and drying water than its top load washer counterpart. The tumbling motion involves the mechanical action of the washer, the thermal action of water, and the chemical action of the detergent.
This motion knocks clothes against each other and scrubs them with the chemical action. It is very effective as long as you use the right water temperature and detergent.
On the other hand, a top loader uses a twisting and turning motion to move clothes through the water. There are two types of top load washing machines; those that use the central agitator and those that use the impeller.
Most units have a center agitator that does the work of moving your clothes up and down during the wash cycle. It forces water and detergent through the fabric, and this helps to loosen any soil. The agitator is equipped with paddles that look like propellers to remove dirt and grime effectively. However, this can easily cause wear and tear on clothes.
Alternatively, there are top load machines that come with an impeller rather than a central agitator. An impeller is a low rotating hub that rotates to cause turbulence that moves clothes through the water to clean them. Hence, it is not very aggressive to cause wear and tear, but it may not clean clothes effectively.
Front Load vs Top Load Washing Machine - In Conclusion
Ultimately, the type of washing machine that you choose between front load vs top load washing machine will depend on your needs and personal choice. Generally, front load washers are ideal for a modern unit with better cleaning ability and energy and water efficiency.
On the other hand, you may want to consider a top load washer because of its large capacity, shorter wash cycle, and affordability. We hope that the factors provided above in our front load vs top load washing machine will make it easy for you to make your selection.