Differences between the Front Load and Top Load Washing Machine

Last Update Date : Dec 02. 2019

Choosing between a top load and front load washing machine can be a very personal choice. You should make your selection based on the following performance factors:

1- Which is easier to use?


Top-loading washers are normally more convenient since you don’t have to bend over to load and unload clothes. For older buyers or those with joint issues, top-loading washers typically stand at an ideal height to save the trouble of bending down. To mitigate this issue with front loaders we recommend installing the units on laundry pedestals that raise the units about 12-15".


Top loaders also have other convenient qualities, such as the ability to add clothes in mid-cycle, or even right after starting the cycle. Top-loading washers can also collect lint and distribute fabric softener better than front-loading washing machines can.

Winner: Top-Load Washers

2- How quickly do they wash?


Note that not all top loaders are same. Today, there are two main types of top-loading washing machines, one that has an agitator and one that does not. An agitator is a mechanism within a washer that creates motion by shaking and forcing water through the machine, leading to a vibrating washing machine. Top-loading washing machines with agitators typically wash quicker, but top-loading washing machines without agitators (known as high-efficiency top load washing machine) clean better, can clean more clothes at once, and use less water. As such, HE (high-efficiency) washing machines cost more.

Winner: Top-Load Washers

3- Which cleans better?


Despite being easier on your back, top-loading washers can also be rougher on clothes, especially if the machine is overloaded. Front loaders are much gentler with clothes. Top-loaders also have a difficult time washing larger items, such as pillows or comforters, as they won’t fully immerse in the water.

Winner: Front-Load Washers

4- Price?

Front-loading washers are typically more expensive, but justifiably so. They give a more quality clean and tend to be more energy and water efficient than top loaders.

In addition, the front load washers pack more wash features to accommodate all fabric types and soil levels. Moreover, front loaders are far more quiet than top loaders thanks to their more advanced motors and suspension systems.

Although the upfront cost of a front loader is generally more, we think over the long run your total expenses will even out.

Winner: Draw

5- Which uses less water?


Front-loading washing machines use less water and electricity than the average top-loading washing machine. An efficient front-loading washer can help better sustain our environment.

Winner: Front-Load Washers

6- Installation Flexibility


Front-loading washing machines have the ability to be stacked with a dryer. When these two appliances are stacked, the space dedicated to laundry is contained to a smaller footprint in your home.

There are two popular reasons why people decide to go with a stacked washer-dryer layout. The first is that they have no other choice. Many homes or rental units have their laundry sets located in small closets where vertical space is the only space available. But even those who have the space are opting to stack their laundry units since it allows them more functional floor space that can be used for additional cabinetry, storage or even left open.

In many homes, space, among other details, tends to be a major deciding factor when choosing a washer and dryer.

Winner: Front-Load Washers

7- Spin speed - How Well Does It Extract Water?


During the final spin cycle, front-loading washing machines generally spin about 33% faster than typical top loaders, meaning that more water will be removed from the clothes before you transfer them to the dryer.

This means your clothes will dry faster in the dryer and will be less heavy to move between the two units. One drawback however is that the spin cycle causes many front-loading washers to vibrate, making noise that many people would rather avoid.

You can find the spin-speed of any washer in its specifications document measured by RPM's (revolutions per minute). Higher the RPM, higher the Spin quality.

Winner: Front-Load Washers

8- The smell/mold issue

One of the biggest complaints about front-loading washers is that over time mold can buildup around the door's rubber gasket. To combat this, front-loading washers require a lot more maintenance than top-loading washers. We recommend placing these washers in an area with good airflow and keeping the door slightly ajar between cycles to minimize issues with mold and mildew.

Top-loading washing machines don’t have this issue since they rely on gravity to pull water down, so water doesn’t get trapped in any seals.


Winner: Top-Load Washers



Comparison Factor

Washer Type

Which is easier to use?

Top Load

How quickly do they wash?

Top Load

Which cleans better?

Front Load



Which uses less water?

Front Load

Installation flexibility

Front Load

Spin speed - performance on water extraction

Front Load

The smell/mold issue

Front Load

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