Front-load vs Top-load Washing Machines

By: The Cleancult Team

July 10, 2017

So you finally decided to buy a washing machine for your home. Good for you! You now find, however, that there are many type of washers, mainly divided into two groups: top-load and front-load washers. Don’t know which is better for you? Or why? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.



Deeper Cleaning

It’s tried and verified. Every test shows that front-loaders remove more stains from fabric than top-load washers. and CNET both publish photos of their testing stain strips, and it’s obvious that the strips washed in front-loaders have fewer stains leftover. But what do front-loaders do different than top-loaders? Front-loaders clean better because the wash motion is more effective. The tumbling motion of a front-loader knocks clothes against each other and against the suds of the detergent with more energy and aggressiveness than that of a top loader. If you use the best detergent and the ideal water temperature, the washer with the most effective mechanical action will get clothes the cleanest.

They save a lot of water and energy

Compared with a typical High Efficiency top-loader, front-loaders use about 5 fewer gallons of water per cycle, or roughly 2,000 gallons per year (even more if compared to older top-loader models). b. Even though front-loader washing cycles are longer, in the long run your front-loader could actually help you save on energy. Because front-loaders use less water, they won’t use as much water from your heater as they would for a warm- or hot-water cycle in a top-load machine. Moreover, front-loaders squeeze out more water out of your clothes, during the wash cycle, so they wouldn’t have to spend as much time in your dryer. In other words, top-loaders are both greener and less-expensive (in the long run) than both of their top-loader counterparts.


Uncomfortable loading and unloading of clothes

Since the design of the machine forces you to bend over to load or unload it, front-load machines may uncomfortable for many people. Especially for people with back problems or knee problems.

It’s harder to add clothes mid-cycle

Just started the washer and then realize you left a stray sock on the floor? Too bad! Most front-loaders have a door-lock mechanism which only opens once the cycle has finished. However, some front loaders do have a pause button, which aborts and restarts the cycle, giving you the possibility to add clothes. Make sure your top-pick is one of those!

Mold/Mildew problems

Don’t use too much detergent or fabric softener! If you use too much detergent, too much fabric softener, or let the drum and gaskets stay wet between uses, mildew and mold will grow in your washer and it’ll stink. To avoid this you must wipe out the door and gasket between uses and we recommend running an empty cleaning cycle once a month. Follow these easy tips and avoid this mold and odor problem.



Easier maintenance

If you don’t like cleaning your washer after every use or running cleaning cycles once a month, maybe you should consider a top-loader. Since leftover moisture can just easily evaporate through the unsealed top-door, top-loading washers rarely end up stinking or growing mold or mildew.

Easier access to loads

If you have back problems or knee problems and shouldn’t be bending to pick out your clothes out of the washer, a top-loader should be your pick. The easier door-on-top design makes it easier to fit into your home, especially if your space is limited where a front-loader’s door would go.

Higher life expectancy of the machine

Standard top-load washers have a life expectancy of roughly 14 years. Compare that to the expectancy of front-loaders or HE top-loaders, which is close to 11 years.


They use up more water than front-loaders

Because of the top-loaders design, it needs more water to fill up the drum and entirely submerge and wash the clothes. More water means more cost. So in the long run, you may end up paying more for a top-loader than a front loader with the same price tag.

Less thorough cleaning

Front-loaders are both gentler and more effective when cleaning your clothes than top-loaders are. With top-loaders you may end up having to pretreat most stains before throwing the article of clothing into the washer.

The Verdict

Front load washers take the cake! With similar price tags, higher energy efficiency and less waste of water, front-load washers stand on top of both HE top-loaders and standard top-loaders. However, if your home layout can’t handle the front door of these types of washers, we highly recommend a HE (High Efficiency) top load washer. These washers have similar energy and water saving capabilities. So go ahead, leave your doubts behind, buy that washer and get to cleaning!