Front load and top load washing machines carry obvious visual distinctions, but their performance styles are also vastly different. Like most classic appliance battles, each washer type has its advantages and disadvantages. We’ll explore the differences between a front load vs top load washer to see why consumers still flock to both models.

 Front Load vs. Top Load Washer:
Is One Better Than the Other?

Though cost seems to lead the pack in decision factors, you should also consider elements outside a price tag, such as efficiency, ease, and maintenance. The bottom line is that both are great at providing you clean, fresh clothes. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each type to see why there’s no right or wrong when it comes to washer preference.

Ease of Use

Let’s look at the design of each model and how it impacts the convenience component. In regards to comfort, it’s hard to beat effortlessly dropping your clothes in a top load washer. We also can’t ignore the ease of adding a forgotten sock to a top-loader 10 minutes into the wash process.

As for front-loaders, the swanky look comes with an ergonomics disadvantage. Hunching over to fill and empty a front load washer is more of a hassle. Front-loaders also make it impossible to add to the load after the cycle’s start. Because of these two key reasons, the top-load washer edges out the front-loader for ease of use.

front load vs top load washing machine

Image from Maytag

Washing Speed

If you’re in a rush to get your laundry done, the top-loader might be the perfect fit. Front load washers usually take twice as long because water enters the drum and drains out several times during the cycle. Top-loaders, however, fill with water once during a cycle. Though some front load models now offer a time-saver setting to move things along, your clothes might not come out as clean because of the reduced water exposure. When it comes to cycle speed, top-loaders are the way to go.

Spin Cycle Speed

While both styles show little difference in the length of wash cycles, the drum in a front-loader spins at twice the speed. A faster spin means more water drained from the drum, leading to less saturated clothes when transferred to the dryer. Because front-loaders leave less water in the fabrics, less time is required for your clothes to dry. By that measure, front load washers claim the gold for overall laundry speed.

Cleaning Ability

Standard top-loaders use a central agitator with paddles to spin clothing briskly, causing more wear and tear. Because top load washers use more water to wash clothes, many believe they outrank front-loaders in the cleaning department, but this isn’t necessarily valid.

front load vs top load washer

In addition to using less water, front-load washing machines use a spinning impeller instead of an agitator. Since they lack an agitator, front-loaders are gentler on fabrics and produce newer-looking clothes. However, not using the recommended high-efficiency detergent or not knowing how much laundry detergent to use could result in a smelly washer. The winner of this round goes to the front load washer as long as you know how to properly use it to yield the best results.

Reliability

When deciding between a front load vs top load washer, dependability should be and typically is prioritized ahead of other factors. Both models’ lifespans generally run the same and both undergo the same amount of repairs. The lead difference is the cost of repair. Top-loaders are easier to repair and the replacement parts are usually less expensive than parts for front load washers. In the front load vs top load washing machine reliability race, the top load washer has the advantage.

Overall Cost

Which type is best for your buck? One of the widely accepted disadvantages of front loading washing machine is the upfront purchase price. However, the operable word in this popular fact is upfront. 

Because front load models use less water, the cost of long-term operation is much less. Trimming dollars from your utility bills will eventually cover the price difference between top loading and front loading washing machines. When comparing the overall cost of a front load vs top load washer, it’s a draw.

As far as the sweeping winner is concerned, there is no clear verdict. With so many brands and features on today’s market, finding the ideal unit for your household is something you should ultimately decide. Knowing the ups and downs for each type of washer will help narrow down the playing field, but the person who knows your situation and needs best is you. For information on which is the best top loading or front loading washing machine or if you’re in need of washing machine repair service, contact Mid America Appliance Repair today.