Front Load Washer Vs. Top Load Washer

When shopping for a new washer one consideration may be choosing between a top or front loading model. This is a page about front load washer vs. top load washer.


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Does anyone have an opinion on getting a new front loading high-efficiency washing machine versus an Energy Star top load washer?

By Tiffany Davidson from FL


February 24, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

I love my new front loader, it seems to get the clothes much cleaner and I can fit more in there too. I also use much less soap and I'm sure my energy and water bills are lower.

The only complaint I have ever heard is problems with having a smelly washer over time. I have had it over 6 months and have just recently noticed some small odor problems, which cleared up when I ran the cleaning function.


I would recommend never using liquid fabric softener and only using HE soap though, that seems to be why people have problems.

It may be true that you have to bend over more for a front loader but I am short and would have to sort of jump up to get all the clothes out of my old washer. For me, it is much easier. Plus, it is pretty funny to see the kids gather around it and watch the clothes spin around, I may cancel cable! :)

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February 26, 20101 found this helpful
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On my front loader, I have a choice of fast spin or regular. I think my front loader is far easier on my clothes than a top loader with and agitator. Front loaders gently lift and drop the clothes, not beat them to death. They use less water, soap and electricity. At least that's what my research told me when I was considering buying mine about 8 years ago. I love mine. I can put far more in it without squishing them too tightly. I'd never willingly go back to a top loader.

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February 26, 20100 found this helpful
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I have a Cabrio top loading washer. It saves on water, using small amounts for small loads. The capacity is huge.


I wash my quilted king size bedspread in it, and dry it in my Cabrio dryer. I haven't found it hard on clothes, and have had it for a couple of years.

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February 27, 20100 found this helpful
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I like my top loading sud saver Maytag. The few times I wished for the front load for certain things is few in the year, and the laundromat is one block away for those things.

Negatives: Opening the door to check stains on clothing so you don't go the full cycle locked and can't see. Restarting the wash cycle 2-3 times over for more extended swish time. Can't use the washer to dye anything you would need.

Can't just fill. swish for 5 minutes and let it presoak something for a couple hours, check it, soak again.
Also, you can't open it and check it and restart the spin cycle all over again. This is the same reasons I like my regular washer.


My neighbor was forced into choosing which kind to replace hers with and so got the front loader--had to buy special detergent for her new one, hauled over several bottles of what she used to use. Myself, I have used the proper detergent they require since 1977. I use a 1 oz measure with each load.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

February 24, 2010

When comparing a front loader washer to top loader as it relates to spinning the clothes much faster in the front loader. Does this wear out the clothes faster? The front loaders use much less water and clothes dry much faster. It is hard on the knees from bending down to get clothes out of front loader. I would love to hear your experiences.


By Steve White from Dryden, NY


Front Load Washer Vs. Top Load Washer

I don't believe that spinning the clothes has anything to do with wearing them out. What would wear them out is the agitation. A top loader washing machine has a center agitator, whereas a front loader spins the clothes while they are washing and has no agitator inside the wash drum.

But when you compare the prices of a top loader to a front loader you pay a lot more money for a front loader washing machine. The salesman won't tell you the problems that you will have down the road when the rubber seal starts to deteriorate. You will end of with water on your floor, because it will leak.

Also, when you have to get it serviced you will pay more to get it fixed than you would with a top loader. If I were you I'd buy a top loader, and if you have any large quilts that you have to wash, take it to a laundromat.


Not too long ago I submitted a post on ThriftyFun along with a photo of my washer and dryer that we purchased at a used appliance store. The top loader washer, electric dryer, and delivery cost us $415.00. (06/08/2009)

By Marjorie

Front Load Washer Vs. Top Load Washer

I've had top load for most of my life and got my front load about 5 years ago. I love them, but can see some negatives. I can't soak things in a tub of water, for instance. I can't just open the door and toss in the forgotten sock. I do like that the washer spins out drier and needs less dryer time because of it. I haven't had them going enough to encounter the problems MCW described. I hope it never happens. As for wearing out the clothes, can't tell any difference. (06/08/2009)

By Judi

Front Load Washer Vs. Top Load Washer

No, the clothes do not wear out faster. I put more in the gentle cycle like lesser quality cotton t-shirts that I like. I've had mine for about 4 years.
For me these benefits outweigh the toploader:

  1. Quicker drying in winter in dryer.
  2. Lower water bill and detergent costs.
  3. I finish my laundry quicker as I have to take it out of the washer very soon after it stops.
  4. Cleaner clothes with less detergent and less water.
  5. Less skin irritation because the soap is rinsed and spun out.
  6. I can now wash my blankets, mattress cover and quilts (quilts on gentle), but I line dry on a sunny day with a breeze.

I don't like:

  1. That I have to wipe out the gasket every time.
  2. If the door is closed by mistake, the dryer smells musky when I open it to do a wash.
  3. Cannot presoak, but it's a good excuse to get out of the house and see my grandson, or visit a good friend. (06/08/2009)

By Christine Elliott

Front Load Washer Vs. Top Load Washer

The front loader needs to have the door left open to dry out the interior. Do you have enough room to do this or is your laundry set up in a narrow hallway? Also, if the hinges on the front loader are not exceptionally sturdy, they will break because those doors are so heavy, the detergent is the HE type, and quite expensive. (06/09/2009)

By Holly

Front Load Washer Vs. Top Load Washer

I can't stand front loaders. You're not able to soak clothes before a wash cycle (which means you have to soak them in the sink first, then wring them out and then transfer to the washer. Lord forbid, if you don't have a sink in your laundry room and/or if it happens to be a bulky item and/or you have carpal tunnel or arthritis. You also can't open the door to toss something in once the cycle has begun.

My experience has also been that as long as you load a top load washer evenly it doesn't make a bit of difference as to the amount of moisture left in the clothing after the spin cycle.

By Deeli

Front Load Washer Vs. Top Load Washer

Fisher and Paykel have top loading washers that are extremely high-efficiency. They are rated better than most front loading washers and have the convenience of being the size of a standard washer, which was important to me because of the size of my utility room. (06/10/2009)

By susan

Front Load Washer Vs. Top Load Washer

You will not get the wear and tear like you would with a top loader. The front loaders are more gentle and get the clothes cleaner with less detergent and less water. I have well and septic so this is great for me. I have a Whirlpool front loader, bought it about 5 years ago. I absolutely love it. You can soak for 35 minutes. If I need to soak it longer I'll use a bucket or whatever is handy this way I won't tie up the the washer from doing more wash (oh joy). I have a pause/cancel button to add to any cycle, you just have to wait for the click then you can open the door, if you don't you can hurt your fingers or break off the handle. When I do spring or fall cleaning I can throw anything in the washer I don't have to go to the laundromat and wait for the big washers, pay over 10 dollars for usage and wait for it to get done when I could be at home doing something else (cleaning, oh joy).

When you are done with the last load just keep the door open and take out the dispensers to air dry overnight. On top loaders you also have to keep the lid open so it doesn't get smelly and moldy. Also, you don't have to wait for your washer to fill up with water, mine starts the water and wash cycle at the same time so shorter wash cycle and definitely spins the clothes dryer, or not all there are so many options. I have a large capacity one and I can fill it with almost double amount of clothes so wash day is shorter, if you overfill it, when the wash is done I do check behind the gasket for a lost sock sometimes. Go to a scratch and dent store to buy it cheaper. Also if you have to wash your favorite jeans for that special day out you won't feel guilty washing them. (06/10/2009)

By Oksana

Front Load Washer Vs. Top Load Washer

I just bought a top loader 2 months ago. Love it. It is a GE and it is one they have just come out with. It runs so quietly and it is gentle on clothes. It does get your clothes clean. I was unsure at first, but would not trade it for anything now. I think front loaders would be hard on your back and knees. (06/11/2009)

By Teresa Tart

Front Load Washer Vs. Top Load Washer

I have a Fisher and Paykel top load washer and dryer that are great. The washer uses a lot less water, but still gets the clothes very clean. The dryer does not get really hot therefore saving damage and shrinkage to clothing. (06/12/2009)

By Sue

Front Load Washer Vs. Top Load Washer

I love the front-loading washer at the laundromat. I can put all of the clothes from my hamper into a medium-sized front loading washer with 2 cups of detergent and maybe 1/4 cup of OxyClean (if the clothes were particularly dirty that week) and they all come out clean. The cost is around $4.25. Then I put the same batch of clothes (a full hamper's worth) into the dryer and set it for an hour, which runs around another $4.00. Altogether, $8.25 is not a bad cost opposed to a full $10.00 in my complex's top-loading washer and traditional dryer that uses $10.00 to wash and dry the same 4 loads of laundry. (06/20/2009)

By Jenni

Front Load Washer Vs. Top Load Washer

I am European and have always used front loaded machines, until I was an exchange student in Iceland. They import a lot of stuff from America and my landlord had top loaded washing machines (White and Westinghouse).

Wow, they are bad. Not only can you only choose from only three different temperatures on the water, they use a lot more water too. And thus more detergent. I have to say they do not clean the clothes nearly as good as front loaders do. You can tell the machine is just "swirling" the clothes around a little, whereas a front loaded machine really works the laundry because of gravitation. A huge difference. So many of my clothes had stains that did not come out the whole time I was using the top loaded machines in Iceland, and the first wash I did at home, they were finally clean again.

My own front loaded machine at home has 5 different temperatures (centigrade) to choose from, and it has a soaking function, too. It is also about half the size of a big bulky top loaded washer. Plus it being front loaded means I can put something on top of it. In my case, a dryer! (06/27/2009)

By Anna H

Front Load Washer Vs. Top Load Washer

Wow, haushinka, the place you lived in Iceland must have had an ancient top loader model because I haven't seen such a simple one here in America since I was a kid in the 50s and 60s.

Top loaders nowdays have more than three temperature choices and load size/amount of water choices. As for not getting clothes as clean with a top loader, it also makes a difference of what kind of water you have (hard/soft, well/city) and whether the top loader uses an agitator or an impeller. (06/27/2009)

By Deeli

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