Difference between Top Load and Front Load Washing Machine

Written by: Kaushik Jethva

Last Updated: November 25, 2022

difference between a top load and a front load washing machine
Comparison between a top-loading and a front-loading washing machine.

In India, consumers have a hard time choosing the best loading type when they purchase a new washing machine. The performance and personal preference of both front-loading and top-loading washing machines play a role in the choice.

It is the position or location of the washing machine door that makes the primary difference between a front load and top-load machine. Generally, the top load washing machines are designed with the door mounted on the uppermost surface of the machine. Putting clothes in a top-load washing machine is as easy as lifting the door and dropping them inside.

On the other hand, front-load washers have the door mounted on the front panel. Your clothes go in the washing machine by opening the front face, similar to an ordinary door.

1 Things to keep in mind before buying a washing machine

factors for choosing between top load and front load
Factors to look for when choosing between a top load and a front load washing machine.

What is your budget for buying a washing machine?

There is generally a higher price tag attached to a front-loading washing machine. Front-loading ones can be worth their price if your budget is not restricted. For an affordable option, it is better to choose one with a top-loading design that uses time-tested, simpler technology.

Which washing machine type will be the best fit and suit your home?

If you have congested space for your washing machine in the wash area, you can go for a front load washer as they can be stacked or you can also place them side-by-side with other appliances with minimal space requirements. Contrary to this, it is not possible to get top-load washing machines in compact sizes. However, it is recommended to check the dimensions of your space, especially the depth and the door swing.

Which washing machine type is easier to use?

Generally, a top-loading washing machine is constructed with an ideal height for users to reach inside making them easy to operate. But, if a front-loading one is not placed on a pedestal, users must bend over to reach it. Therefore, top-load washing machines are more convenient and easy to use as the users do not have to bend over to load and unload clothes.

2 The Pros and Cons of a Front Load vs Top Load

Pros: Top-load
  • While using a top load washers, you do not need to bend while loading the washing machine. If you have issues with your reflexes and mobility, using top load washers can be easier for your back and joints.
  • Top load washers are best suited for families with a busy work schedule. It provides a very convenient option to add clothes during a wash cycle.
  • A top-load washing machine requires low maintenance as compared to a front-loading washing machine.
  • Compared to a front-load washing machine, top-load washers have faster spin cycles for efficient washing.
Cons: Top-Load
  • Some people may face problems while fitting and adding heavier clothing items or bedding during the wash cycle.
  • Top load washers require more quantity of water and detergent for completing the wash.
  • The clothes may experience more wear and tear while being washed in a top loader.
  • Shorter people may face difficulties while reaching the bottom of the washer.
Pros: Front-load
  • A faster spin cycle allows clothing to dry faster by removing the excess amount of water which reduces the risk of mildew and mold inside the drum.
  • Reduced amount of water used per load during a wash cycle.
  • The tumbling process proves to be friendly with clothes and does no harm while washing.
  • Suitable for washing clothes with both delicate and bulky fabrics.
Cons: Front-load
  • The door seals and gaskets require frequent maintenance and need to be cleaned on a daily basis.
  • It is not possible to add clothes in mid-cycle because the door is locked to prevent water leakage.
  • It can be uncomfortable and difficult to load and unload the machine without a pedestal.
  • Front-load washers are more likely to be damaged by overloading due to the weight distribution during a tumble-style wash.

3 Differences between top loaders and front loaders - Which is better?

comparison table between a top load and front load washing machine
A comparison table listing all features for comparison between a top load and a front load washing machine.

The efficiency of cleaning

While top-loading washers are easier on your back, they can be harsh on clothes, especially if they are overloaded. Compared to a top loader, front loaders are much gentler on clothes. In addition, top-load washing machines are not able to fully immerse larger items like pillows and bed comforters.

Typically, front-load washers are more efficient due to their reduced water consumption, even though the cycle times are a bit longer.

Flexibility in installation

Front-load washers can be stacked with dryers. By stacking these two appliances, you can reduce the space in your home dedicated to laundry. In many houses and washing areas, laundry sets are stored in small and tight spaces where vertically oriented space is the only option. Although some people who have the space prefer stacking washers on top since it allows them to utilize additional free storage and empty space.

Considering the laundry space, we recommend you opt for a front-load washer as it is easier to stack.

Which has the fastest spin cycle? Ideal for drying your clothes.

The final spin cycle of front-loaders is generally 1/3rd times faster than that of a top-load washer, which means that excess water will be removed from your clothing before you move them to the dryer. While using a machine of front load, you do not need to move your wet and heavy clothes between the dryer and washer, letting your clothes dry faster.

The capacity of washing

Recommended washing machines in India typically have a capacity of between 5 and 10 kg. Machines having a capacity of 6kg are enough for bachelors and couples. If you have more than 6 members in your family, a washing machine that can withstand 10kg of laundry may be the right choice.

Nowadays, both top and front load washing machines are available with the desired capacity, but front load machines have the advantage of not having the agitator that lowers the capacity of a top load washing machine. It is therefore more practical to use front load variants.

Efficient use of energy and water

Front-load washers use between 1500-1800 gallons less water annually than top-loading machines on average. Since front-load machines require less water than top-load washers, they also need less detergent. Front-loading washing machines remove more water from clothes through the spinning of their drums at the completion of the cycle. This results in a shorter drying time.

In comparison with top-load washing machines, front-load washing machines consume less water and energy. In order to maintain a cleaner environment, we can use front-loading washers that are more efficient.

Tip:

  • When choosing a washing machine, always consider the one with an Energy Star label for high efficiency so that won’t have to pay more electricity bills at end of the month.

Repairs and maintenance

Most front-loading washing machines develop mold around their rubber gaskets around the door. Due to this, front-loading washers require more frequent cleaning than top-loading washers. In order to combat this problem, manufacturers have come up with self-cleaning cycles, antimicrobial surfaces, and special vent systems.

Contrary to front-load machines, top-loaders are gravity-driven and do not require any maintenance, so they don’t experience mold problems. There are no seals or gaskets to trap water in top loaders, and there is free airflow through the lid.

You can also read our blog on how to clean washing machines if you want to increase the lifespan of your washing machine, whether it’s front-loading or top-loading.

Tip:

  • Front-load washers should always be placed in an area where there is sufficient airflow.
  • Keep the air gap between the door and detergent drawer clean and leave the doors slightly open to prevent mold growth.

4 Wrapping Up

Both top-loading and front-loading washing machines have their own individual advantages and disadvantages. Choosing the right washer for you depends on several factors, including your laundry habits, space, and home layout. If you are looking for genuine tips on choosing a washing machine, you can check our guide which covers all the essential factors to look at before buying a washing machine.

FAQ's about Top-loading and Front-loading washing machines

Is there any difference between front load and top load detergent?

If you have a top-loading, fully-automated washing machine, you should use a detergent that produces more froth and foam. When using a front loading machine, you’ll need an formulated detergent formula to produce fewer lather and foam than with a top loading machine.

It is true that top-load washers tend to last longer than front-load washers on average, however a front-load washer will need repairs less frequently over the course of its life. The cost of repair for a front-loading washing machine can exceed due to its extra features and various wash cycle options.

The wash quality of a washing machine depends on various factors such as the wash cycles, fabric of the cloth etc. During a normal cycle, front-loading washers are gentler on clothes than top-loaders, so there is less wear and tear. As a front-loader squeeze out more water, it requires less time to dry a cloth and it is done at a lower temperature, which further prolongs the life of the garment.

Front-loading machines are more expensive because they can handle more loads even during quick wash cycles. Unlike top-loading machines, front-loading washers squeeze out more water from the clothes before transferring them to the dryer. Also, the spin cycle of a front-loading washing machine is 1/3rd time more than a top-loading washing machine.

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Kaushik Jethva
Written by: Kaushik Jethva author

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Updated: November 25, 2022
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