If you’re on the market for a new washing machine, it’s essential to do your research on both top-load vs. front-load washers. Although they both have their pros and cons, your selection will likely come down to personal preference. To help you make your decision, here’s a breakdown of the key differences between front-load and top-loader washers.
Top-Load vs. Front-Load Washing Machines
Before choosing a washing machine for your home, you’ll need to understand how the models differ.
If you choose top-load, you’ll also need to choose between agitator or impeller models. Top-load agitator washers rotate clothes using a center agitator. Keep in mind, however, agitators can be tough on fabrics and compromise on space.
High-efficiency top-loading washing machines are often equipped with impellers, a low-profile hub that rotates to rub clothes against each other. Impellers employ a low-water wash to save energy and provide a concentrated clean.
Rather than having a central spinning post, a front-load washing machine rotates the drum to spin the clothes. It uses specialized wash actions that help fabrics rub against each other to remove dirt and stains.
Now that we’ve discussed the key differences between front-load vs. top-load washers, here’s an overview of their benefits and drawbacks.
Benefits of Top-load Washers
Price: A significant benefit of top-load washers is their lower price point. A base model will cost you roughly $300, depending on how old the model is and its features.
Smell: With front-load washers, mold can build up around the door’s rubber gasket, which can lead to foul odors, if not cared for properly. Top-load washing machines rely on gravity to pull water down, so moisture and musty smells don’t get trapped in the seals.
Ergonomically-Friendly: With Top-load washers, you don’t have to bend over to load and unload clothes. This makes top-loads beneficial for aging adults who suffer from joint stress or back pain.
Easier to Repair and Maintain: Top-load washers are easier to repair and maintain than front-load washers. Plus, repairs tend to be less expensive.
Drawbacks of Top-load Washers
Energy Costs: Top-loaders use an average of 7,000 more gallons of water than front-loaders per year, which means the appliance uses energy to run and heat the water. Fun fact: It takes roughly 90% of the washing machine’s energy to heat water. Only 10% is used to power the washer motor.
Clothing Damaging: Models with a central agitator churns the laundry, rubbing clothing together to clean it. Although top load washers with central agitators are effective at cleaning clothes, they tend to damage clothing. So if protecting your clothing is important to you, consider either a front-load washing machine or a top-load washer with no central agitator.
Top-Load Washer Tips
- Don’t load the drum too tightly.
- Keep the cycle balanced to prevent a damaged machine.
- Use the recommended amount of laundry detergent.
- Change the cycle settings according to load type and fabric.
Benefits of Front-Load Washers
Energy Efficient: Front-load washing machines are built for efficiency. On average, they use 40% less water than the average top-loading washing machine, saving you money on your monthly utility bills.
Installation Flexibility: Thanks to their ability to be stacked, front-load washing machines use less space than top-loads. This allows homeowners to have more functional floor space that can be used for storage.
Less Wear and Tear: Front-load washing machines don’t have the same central agitator that’s present in top-load washers. The gravity-aided tumble wash of front-load washers cleans clothes in an up and down motion, similar to hand washing. This gentle action causes less friction and wear and tear.
Luxury Features: In some cases, front-loading washing machines come with luxury features, including a steam setting and a self-cleaning cycle.
Drawbacks of Front-Load Workers
Foul Odor: Front-load washers can end up with a foul smell for various reasons. For starters, people tend to think more detergent leads to cleaner clothes. But when clothing is overwhelmed with too much detergent and water, it doesn’t clean correctly, leaving sludge to become trapped
in a warm, most machine or draining pump. This sludge leads mold to grow and begin to smell.
Must Use Specific Detergents: Because there’s so much less water involved in a high-efficiency top-loader cycle, it needs detergent that is formulated to create fewer suds. Therefore, you must use a detergent that is marked “HE” on the label. Otherwise, a manufacturer might not honor the machine’s warranty if it breaks.
Price: Although front-loading washing machines will save homeowners money on their energy bills, it will cost more up-front.
Front-Load Washer Tips
- Open the washer door to allow for proper ventilation and drying of the unit.
- Clean out the rubber seal in the washer to reduce smells and avoid tearing of the seal.
- Run a “tub clean” or “heavy” cycle with hot water and cleaner through the machine quarterly.
- Load laundry evenly to allow the washer to be able to balance the load.
What’s Right For You?
When sorting through a sea of washers, it can be difficult to choose between the different brands and models. When making your decision, there are lots of factors that may influence you in one direction or the other. In the end, the choice is yours.
Utah Washing Machine Repair Service
If you have a problem with your washing machine or need helping to select your new washing machine, call iFiX today at 801.731.4349. We can service a wide variety of different makes and models. While you’re browsing different washing machines, we invite you to read a few of our online reviews to see the type of company we run. We understand how important your home and appliances are. That’s why we treat your home and property as if they were our own. Honesty, integrity, and reliability are at the center of our philosophy. We work hard to provide our customers with the best appliance repair possible.
Do you prefer a top-load washer or front-load washer? Please share with us in the comments below, and make sure to share this article!