Front Load vs Top Load Washing Machines- Which one is Better?

Top load washers have been the more common choice for a washing machine technology in the US. However, the increasingly popular front load versions have proved to be a worthy contender for the top load variants. In this article, we’re going to have a look at the features of both top load and front load washing machines as well as compare them so we can decide which is the better option. Let’s get started.

Front Loaders – Their Pros and Cons

As mentioned earlier, top-loaders are the more common choice for a washing machine. However, with the rise of front load machines, they are slowly starting to lose popularity. The reason is pretty simple: front load machines come with more advance features and benefits. Apart from that, a front load washing machine is capable of saving a lot of water and energy which can be really nice if you need a cost-efficient machine. This is thanks to its horizontal drum that uses gravity for tumbling a load of clothes. It also uses less detergent compared to its top-loader counterpart. In terms of features, front loaders often come with more cycle options. Compared to a top loader, a front loader will have higher spin cycles. It’s also way better at cleaning tough and stubborn stains. Lastly, it’s a lot gentler on your clothes.

But of course, it’s not without its drawbacks. First off, a front loader normally takes a long time to wash all of your clothes. On average, it will take around an hour for a single washing session as opposed to that of a top loader which only lasts around 15-30 minutes. Also, if you’re planning to load a lot of clothes, then a front loader will not be the best choice. Overloading it can put a lot of pressure on its drum bearings. Apart from that, despite being cost-efficient, a front loader actually has a more expensive upfront cost. Lastly, front loaders are more prone to mold and mildew, especially if you used a lot of detergents or if the drum and gaskets are left wet after use.

Put simply, front loaders are perfect if you:

  • Want a machine that consumes less water and energy
  • Need more cycling options and features
  • Need a washing machine that can deal with tough and stubborn stains

Top Loaders – Their Pros and Cons

Now let’s talk about top loaders. A more traditional choice, a lot of households throughout the world are still using them because they have several benefits that you just can’t find in a front load washing machine. First off, top loaders can take on more weight compared to front loaders of the same size. In fact, a lot of large top-loaders on the market can carry up to 10 kg a load. Despite lacking in cycle options than a front loader, a top loader actually wins when it comes to its washing cycle speed. As mentioned earlier, it usually takes around 15-30 minutes on average to complete a washing session. Aside from that, top loaders are a bit convenient during a washing cycle since you can add clothes to them. This isn’t possible with most front loaders.

But then again, it also has several drawbacks. For one, it’s less efficient when compared to its front loader counterpart. Generally, it uses more electricity and water which can quickly add to your monthly utility bills. Moreover, most top-loaders on the market are quite noisy during operation. Though they’re the more affordable option, the difference isn’t really that big. In fact, if we are to compare the cost per wash cycle, you won’t be able to see that much of a difference. Front-loaders will inevitably win in terms of cost-efficiency when we’re talking long-term.

In a nutshell, top loaders are perfect if you:

  • Want to wash a lot of clothes in a single session
  • Want to wash clothes at a much quicker pace
  • Don’t want to deal with issues of mold and mildew

The Verdict – Which is the Winner?

To determine the winner, let us present a number of aspects in a table and point out if the front loader or the top loader wins in the area.

Factor for ComparisonWinner
Cleaning EfficiencyFront Load
PriceNot much difference (draw)
Ease of UseTop Load
Cost-efficiencyFront Load
Washing Cycle SpeedTop Load
LifespanTop Load
CapacityTop Load


As you can see, both types of washing machines have their own advantages and drawbacks. Therefore, the clear winner for this comparison will actually depend on what you’re looking for in a washing machine. If you need a washing machine that comes with a number of advance features, then the front loaders are the better option. Meanwhile, as far as cleaning speed, capacity, and ease of use are concerned, top-loaders certainly are the ideal choice. That said, your choice between these two washing machine technologies will ultimately depend on your washing needs.

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