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Front Load vs. Top Load Washer Hero Image

Front Load vs. Top Load Washer

In this guide, we cover the pros and cons of both front load and top load washing machines. If you're struggling to decide what type of washer you should purchase, read on for some helpful information.

Which One Should You Choose?

Since the front load washer popped onto the scene in the 1990s, it has exploded into one of the most popular home appliances on the market. But the traditional top load model isn't dead. In fact, it still holds a massive share of the market, proving that both types of washers are an excellent choice for many households, with plenty of distinct advantages and disadvantages of both categories.
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If you're like many consumers and are deciding which style to choose, we're here to help! As long as you choose an energy-efficient washing machine from one of the top appliance brands, you'll be in great shape no matter what.

Front Load Washers

Front load washers, as their name suggests, are loaded through a door on the front of the machine (similar to a clothes dryer). They're considered the more contemporary design out of the two and haven't been on the market for as long as top loaders. With that being said, front load washers have some surprising advantages over top loaders, but they're not right for every scenario. Here are some situations where we recommend going with a front load.
  • Better for Those with Space Limitations—The front load design allows it to work in a wide range of challenging configurations, such as if there's a cabinet or shelf above where you want to install it. Additionally, this design is typically a feature on the washer and dryer combo or stackable washer, which are two of the best options for smaller laundry rooms.
  • Better for Those with Bigger Households—Although front load washing machines tend to have longer wash cycles, they can handle high capacity loads. What's more, they're more affordable to operate over time because they let you cut down on detergent and water usage, which will save you money over the life of the machine.
  • Better for Those Concerned About Water Usage—According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a new Energy Star certified front loading washer uses about 14.8 gallons of water per load or less, while an Energy Star certified top loading washer uses about 19.4 gallons of water per load. Those bulky, old top loaders are the biggest water hogs of them all, using over 40 gallons per load!
  • Better for Those Who Want Top-Notch Washing—Overall, front load washers tend to beat out the competition when it comes to the quality of the wash. There's no central agitator as there is with a top load style, which means that clothes get a better clean. What's more, these agitators can damage clothes by catching loose threads or getting fabric stuck.
Washer and Dryer in Laundry Room

Top Load Washers

Top load washers are loaded through a door on the top of the appliance. Because this is the way the washer was designed before the front load washer came along, it's considered the original or traditional approach to the washing machine design. However, traditional isn't always better. There are definitely pros and cons associated with this type of washer. We recommend it in the following situations.
  • Better for Those with Extra Room—If space is not a concern for you and you prefer the aesthetics of the top load washer, this is a great way to go. Naturally, because they load from the top, these machines can't be stacked and generally require more room. They are typically placed in a side-by-side configuration next to the dryer.
  • Better for Those with Limited Mobility—If you're an older person or suffer from a disability, a top load washer may be the better choice. This design eliminates the need to bend down or crouch to remove the clothes from the washer, so it may be easier for people with mobility issues.
  • Better for Those on a Budget—As you'll see from browsing our selection of washing machines, you can usually get a top load washer for less than a front load washer. However, because they use more water and detergent, you may wind up paying more over time. An affordable top loader may be a good option for your rental unit, vacation home or backup.

Still Not Sure Which to Choose? We Can Help

It's important that you feel like you're getting the best possible appliance for your home, so don't hesitate to reach out to the team at Abt for personalized advice and information on your washer purchase. For those who want a high-quality front load washer, we suggest browsing our Samsung or LG front load washer options. If you need help deciding on a top washer brand, consider looking at Maytag or Samsung top load washers. Whatever your preference, our appliance experts are ready and willing to guide you to the model that's the best suited for your budget, needs and personal preferences.