top load or front load washer

Top Load or Front Load Washer?

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The two main types of washers are top load and front load. Each one of them has its advantages and disadvantages. This article will help you determine what type of washer best fits your needs.

So, which one is better, top load of front load washer? Let's see the basic comparison chart first.

Top Load or Front Load Washer - Summary

  • Efficiency
  • Space
  • Clothing Life
  • Cost
  • Ergonomics
  • Last Minute Door Opening
  • Detergents
  • Spin-dry Effectiveness
  • Cycle Length
  • Wear and Abrasion
  • Noise
  • Difficult Items
  • Maintenance and Reliability

Top Load or Front Load Washer - Detailed



Top load washers require a lot of water to cover the clothes inside the drum, while front load washers actually require only a third of that amount.


Most front load washers are more compact since they can be stacked together with a dryer. This will be impossible for a top load washer.

Clothing life

Top load washers use agitators. These are tough on clothes. A front load washer will have much less wear and tear on the laundry. This will extend the life of your clothes.


Front load washers are more expensive than top load washers. However, that's true only if we're talking about the initial cost, since this will be recouped in energy costs over time.


Top load washer is much easier on your back and knees. Front load washers require to kneel or bend in order to load and unload clothes. You can use different devices to solve this problem, but these cost more money and you can't use them when your washer is stacked with a dryer.

Last Minute Door Opening

This one is simple. Top load: Yes, front load: No (unless your front load has a unique feature). This is an important point, because you'll always need to toss in a just-found T-shirt or pair of socks after the washer has started, instead of waiting for the next load.


A top load washer lets you use any kind of laundry detergent. A front load tends to be a bit picky on its detergent. This, however, depends on the manufacturer. In most cases, you'll have to use an HE low sudsing detergent.

Spin-dry Effectiveness

Front load washers offer higher maximum spin speeds (up to 2000 RPM), while top load washers with agitators usually do not exceed 1140 RPM. Higher spin speeds mean dryer clothes, shorter cycles, and less energy consumption.

Cycle length

Top load washer usually have shorter cycle times. This, in part, because of their design that emphasizes simplicity and speed more than energy conservation.

Wear and abrasion

Top load washers use an agitator to force a large amount of water through clothes. This increases mechanical tear and wear on fabrics. Front load washers operate gentler, which results in less wear.


In most cases, front load washers operate more quietly than top load washers, due to the door seal that helps contain noise, and to the different mechanisms they use.

Difficult items

It might be hard for top load washers to clean large items which tend to float inside the tub rather than circulate inside it.

Maintenance and reliability

Top load washers are usually more tolerant of maintenance neglect. They don't need a regular cleaning cycle to clean different parts. They also have less mechanisms that are potentially problematic than front load washers.


Both top load washers and front load washers have advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right washer for you depends on your needs and your space and money limits.

Washerlist Team

Washerlist is the #1 online destination for current and aspiring washer owners looking to buy a new great washer. Self described “washing machine devotees,” the Washerlist team enjoys reading about washing machines, salivating over photos of new washers, and long walks through washing machine shows. Check out our lists and reviews of the best washers in the market. Also, read our blog for more awesome tips to level up your laundry and home.
Washerlist TeamTop Load or Front Load Washer?

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