Top loading or front loading washer? The United States is seeing a surge of new front loading washers from manufacturers. For many years, top loading washers were the only type available to the consumer market in the U.S. While for the rest of the world, front loaders were standard. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
Wear and Tear on Clothing
Front loading machines tumble clothes in an up and down motion similar to hand washing. Most top loaders use a central agitator to move clothing in a circle causing more wear and tear.
Front loading machines typically use less water per load. A top loading washer uses three times as much water as front loaders, unless it is rated with the U.S. Department of Energy's blue Energy Star rating. Both top- and front-load machines that have an Energy Star label use 30 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than other current models.
Front loading washer must use specially formulated low-sudsing formulas, marked as "he" for high-efficiency washers. If using a regular concentrated detergent, the machine can overflow and cause break downs.
Since front loading washers use less water, they are the more energy efficient. Using less water also means less fuel use when using hot water. However, both top- and front-load machines that have an Energy Star use 30 percent less energy and 50 percent less water than other current models.
Comfort in Loading/Unloading
Front loading washers require bending to load and unload, just like a dryer. Support boxes can be made or purchased to raise the washer to waist level. Top loaders are easier to load but can be difficult to unload for users with short stature and arms.
Adding Laundry During A Cycle
Many front loaders lock while in use to prevent water overflow prohibiting the addition of last-minute laundry. Items can be added throughout the wash cycle in top loaders.
Front loading washers can be stacked with a dryer to fit into closets or small areas.Top-loading machines must be placed side by side with a dryer unless you purchase a smaller, compact washer/dryer combo.
In the U.S., front loading washers are significantly higher in price than a top loader. There are savings in energy costs but it will take many years to realize the savings.Top loading washers are the only choice for the buyer on a budget.
The average life expectancy of a front load washer is 11 years. The life expectancy of a top load washer is 14 years.
Specific questions? Just ask here.
Be a part of the Laundry Community
Front vs Top Loading Washers
|Front Loading||Top Loading|
|Gentleness to Clothing||X|
|Water Savings with Energy Star||X||X|
|Energy Savings with Energy Star||X||X|
|Comfort in Loading/Unloading||X||X|
|Adding Items to Cycle||X|
|Washer/Dryer Space Requirements||X|