Top Load Washer vs Front Load Washer

Appliances Connection answers the question between new Top Load Washers vs Front Load Washers

When buying a new washing machine, the main question most consumers ask is: Whats the difference between a top load washer and a front load washer? This is the great divide between washing machines and there are loyalists pledging allegiance to one side over the other. The debate between which is better has spawned a ton of controversy. It was only 20 years ago when the only washing machine available on the market was a top loader. With the sway in ecological concerns and energy efficient consciousness prevailing, the government started issuing regulations in the overall performance of home appliances. During the early 2000s, it seemed that new front load washing machines were positioned to be the only washing machines to be found in all households. This was due in part with the efficiency of a front load washer being able to use less water, resources and detergent to clean clothes which translated to saving more money per load of laundry. The numbers backed up this prediction for the most part.

The statistics on sales according to Traqline were, as recently in 2009, almost half the households in America that owned a washing machine, owned a front load washer. Now, the number of households with washing machines that own a front load washer is barely 30%. The decline and overall disapproval was based on the design of the washing machine. Front loaders require a rubber seal on the door to prevent water from leaking out. Typically, these seals are made from folds of rubber and water will inadvertently seep into the crevices between the door and the seal itself. This will inevitably promote the growth of mold if not maintained. Washers, despite their intended operation as machines that clean, also require cleaning themselves. It is highly reccommended to leave the door open after a wash in order for front loads to air out and using a rag to wipe down the rubber gasket routinely. For the most part, the problem with mold on front load washers has been reduced to a non-issue almost entirely, manufacturers nowadays have made strides in alleviating this problem using preventative measures with better door gaskets and high temperature cycles.

High Efficiency Washers

Recently, there have been greater strides in making both types of washers more effective while meeting mandated regulations. While virtually all front load washers are classified as high efficiency machines, there are limited top loaders that are classified as such.High efficiency top load washers are typically equipped without a traditional agitator post, instead offering an empty wash basin or a reduced impeller-styled post. The main difference with high efficiency washers is that they use less water and resources. The best washer doesnt necessarily come in the form of either a top load washer or a front load washer. They both are effective at what theyre designed to do and what theyre designed to do is launder clothes. The real question is whether a top load washer or a front load washer is right for you.

Top Load Washer



A top load washer is loaded from the top of the machine and generally comes equipped with an agitator, which is very effective at loosening and removing stains.


Top load washers are more inexpensive when compared to front load washers.

In case you Forgot

Most top load washers today, still allow you to add additional articles of clothing or detergent during a wash cycle.


Rough on Clothes

While agitators are more effective at cleaning clothes, they are also a little rougher as well.

Hard to Reach

It may be difficult to place and retrieve clothes from a deep wash basin on a top load washer for those who are short in stature or have a disability.

Limited Capacity

Cannot load as much clothes when compared to a front loader. Larger items like bedding and blankets may prove troublesome to wash in a top loader.

Front Load Washer



Front load washers use less water (both hot and cold) when doing laundry. The reason being, they don't fully immerse the entire load of laundry in water relying on the aid of gravity to do part of the work.

Gentle on Clothes

Gentler on clothes without causing unintended wear and tear from washing as the wash basin contains no agitator.

Higher Capacity

A front load washer does not use an agitator therefore, allowing loading in more laundry which equates to have to run fewer loads.



Front load washers generally have a more expensive upfront cost.

Not for the Forgetful

Cannot add in additional articles of clothing or laundry detergent once a wash cycle has started.

Not Ergonomic

Requires repeatedly bending over to load and unload.

Folks just want a good washing machine thats capable of getting their clothes clean. To be fair, there have been a lot of progress with manufacturers in building a more effective washing machine, both top load and front load. Perhaps, the washers from days of yonder were the perfect washing machine, but those days are gone. In light of regulations and tax credit incentives, manufacturers have been increasingly pushing the envelope on developing energy conservative washing machines. Nowadays, there are a lot of new features and technology being promoted with each new release. Some are gimmicky and some are actually useful innovations. While both styles clean, they operate differently. It's easy to say that front load washers are more efficient and top load washers are more effective, but thats merely a blanket statement without considering the whole picture.

Appliances Connection offers a wide array of washers. Our catalog carries over 125 different front load washers and over 88 different top load washers.

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