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Front-load or top-load washers: Which one is better?

Kelly Avatar By: Kelly | Last updated July 29, 2019

front-load washing machines top-load washers which is better woman hand taking laundry out of the washer basket with colorful clothes

The debate between front-load and top-load washers will never seem to end as both models continue to innovate. From adding features, increasing wash capacity, and improving the design, customers are having a harder time trying to choose between the two.

As their name suggests, the key difference between the two models is their structure. Front-load washers are the ones with a circular window in the middle, with users putting their clothes to be washed through the front door. This door is placed on the top of the machine with top-load washers. Aside from this main difference, there are also features exclusive to one type of machine only.

To see the main difference between the two, we will review the washers in terms of these factors:

  1.    Convenience
  2.    Features
  3.    Speed
  4.    Better washing performance
  5.    Budget-friendliness


Top-load washers are better in terms of convenience. This is easy because of its structure which allows you to put clothes while standing. This is a big factor that may be a priority for people with joint and back issues. Aside from this, they also allow you to able to add clothes while the cycle has already started. They can also collect lint and dirty better in comparison to front-load washers.

Top-load washers are also instantly placed inside homes. This is because most can function without the need to install complicated water pumping functions. Aside from this, they can be stacked with a dryer which can save some space in the laundry room. Most top-load washers are also equipped to be small enough to fit through doorways without difficulty. Its vertical structure makes it easier to squeeze through spaces. Front-load washers are usually wider in space, and therefore, harder to install.

Front load-washers can be more convenient by being elevated to reach your level, though. Also, it can be better if you want to easily estimate the number of clothes you have loaded.


In terms of features, both washers are equal. The key differences between their features are almost indistinguishable given that the companies continue to supply them with innovative ones which are replicated by the other. If you are looking forward to buying a washer, it is better to check for the must-have features to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth, though.


There are two types of top-load washers, those which use agitators and those that do not (also called high-efficiency washers). An agitator is a part of the machine that forces water inside to wash faster and with more force. This leads to a shakier machine that makes more noise. High-efficiency machines do not use this and have better performance and less noise. They also use less water. They cost more, though.

Front-load washers are quieter and are generally consistent in terms of speed. This is because they have a stabilizer for the internal drum that allows water to flow fast while still making the machine quieter. They also do not use an agitator for washing. This also prevents your clothes to be damaged during the wash.

Better washing performance

In terms of washing performance, front-load washers are better. This is because their washing style is generally more gentle on fabrics and more effective in terms of cleaning. This is because front-load washers do not use an agitator. Aside from this, they usually have more loading capacity compared to top-load washers.

Top-load washers are also good for washing but can be rough on the fabrics. In addition to this, they are usually noisier.


In terms of short-term investment, top-load washers are better as they are more affordable when bought. They are preferred for home-use because of their price and its size.

When it comes to long-term investment, front-load washers generally save you more water and energy. They do fewer cycles and use energy more efficiently compared to top-load washers.


In the end, the best washer mostly depends upon the user. Top-load washers are recommended for those with small spaces and those looking for a more affordable purchase. Front-load washers are recommended for those who want better cleaning and efficiency with water and electricity for a more expensive purchase.