The choice – top or front loader?

While front load washing machines are becoming more popular, each machine type has its pros and cons. If you’re shopping for a washing machine, here is a list of things to consider for both kinds of washer.

Water leakage

Top loading machines are less prone to leakage. Front loading machines require a seal on the front door, and similarly the front door must be latched during operation to prevent opening, lest large amounts of water spill out. This seal may leak or require replacement. Many current front-loaders, though, can be stopped and added to or removed from, by way of keeping the water level in the horizontal tub below the door level.

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Energy usage

Front loaders use less energy, water and detergent and clean more effectively than the best top loaders.

Water usage

Front loaders generally use less water than top-loading residential clothes washers. Estimates are front loaders use anywhere from about one third ) to one half as much as top loaders. Needing less water means that front loaders use far less soap, too.


Front loading machines may be installed underneath counters. A front loading washing machine, in a fully-fitted kitchen, may even be disguised as an ordinary base cabinet/unit. They may also be convenient in homes with limited floor area, since the dryer may be installed directly above the washer.

Clothing lifespan

With their lack of an agitator, front loaders are less likely to damage clothing in a variety of ways. They are less likely to stretch, shrink or felt knits. They can also be less damaging to decals on T-shirts, though it is always a good idea to take precautions like separating and turning them inside out. Even less delicate clothes will last longer with gentle treatment.

Laundromat Dryers

Spin-dry effectiveness

Front loaders also offer much higher spin drying speeds of up to 2000 RPM. This makes it possible to dry clothes very quickly by hanging them on washing lines or airing racks or can substantially reduce the length of time required in a tumble dryer.


Front loaders tend to operate more quietly than top loaders, since there is less of a tendency to imbalance.

Accessibility and Ergonomics

Front loaders are more convenient for little people and those in wheelchairs, as the controls are front-mounted and the horizontal drum eliminates the need for standing and/or climbing. For people who are sufficiently tall and can stand, top-loaders may be easier to load and unload, since reaching into the tub does not require stooping. However, this issue can be mitigated due to the offering of risers (usually with storage drawers underneath) to raise the front loader door opening closer to the user’s level.

Each type of washing machine has advantages and disadvantages. We hope we have helped you choose the right washing machine for your home.

Posted by Janine P February 11, 2011 at 12:16 AM under Clotheslines and Laundry

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