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Front Load vs Top Load Washers [Our Top Picks]

by Ann Ferguson

The washing machine has become an essential part of the household in these modern times, so it is crucial to go for an appliance that caters to your needs. In choosing a suitable washing machine, you first have to make one obvious decision: Do I go for a front load washing machine? Or do I go for a top load washing machine? Across both types, technology has advanced so much that front load and top load washing machines can wash efficiently, but still, due to their make, there are still gray areas you need to consider before picking one. Do I go for a top loader that allows extra water to tackle dirty clothes or rinse more thoroughly? Or do I go for the more modern trend of front load washers?

At a Glance:

Front Load vs Top Load Washers

Front Load Washer Review

Top Load Washer Review

Best Front Load Washers

Best Top Load Washers

Conclusion: Which is Better?

We, at Colder’s, feel it is essential for you to note those differences in front load vs top load washers so you can make the best choice when buying the perfect washing machine. So let’s group the comparison into five frequently asked questions:

  • Which washer is easier to use?
  • Which washer washes faster?
  • Which washer cleans better?
  • Which washer has a better price?
  • Which washer requires less space?

Which washer is easier to use?

Top loaders are far more convenient than the front load washer; you don’t necessarily need to bend over while doing laundry since you load from above. Going for a top load washer is a better option for senior buyers or people with joint-related issues. You can balance the field by installing a front load washer on laundry pedestals that raise the washer to a much higher level for a more convenient wash. Another factor that makes the top load a better option is the convenience of adding clothes while washing—as for the front load washer, adding clothes while during the main wash cycle isn’t ideal.

Which washer washes faster?

This is a battle of agitator vs impeller. As much as top loaders have a similar design, they run on different cores; some rely on agitators while others run on impellers. The agitator is the central part of a washer, rubbing against clothes and creating a cleaning action to wash. The impeller is in a disc-shape format, and it moves in a motion that makes clothes rub against each other. Agitators wash clothes more quickly than an impeller, but the impeller allows for more room and more effortless loading and unloading. The top loading washing machine washes faster than the front loading washer, primarily since clothes are submerged underwater during the wash.

Which washer cleans better?

The front loader takes this one; they are much gentler on fabrics and are still very effective. Previously, top load washers with agitators have higher potential to damage your clothes over time due to how aggressive the agitator is. Although the constant innovation has reduced the gap between them, top load washers have evolved to be gentler on fabric. You should also consider the pre-soak capability of top-load washers and the extra maintenance needed to maintain the front-loading washers. You will still get your clothes clean in practical use if you use either the top load washer or the front load washer.

Which washer has a better price?

Generally, front load washers are expected to be more expensive than the top load washer, but in the competitive market, determinants affect the price. Such determinants could be the capacity, materials, and the manufacturer.

Which washer requires less space?

For this category, the top load washer takes the win. The front load washer and the top load washer might be the same size, but the front and top load washer differ in use. A front loader washer needs more space to swing its door as well as room to wash. The top load, on the other hand, takes up less space in usage. The front-load washer being stackable is also something to consider. The top load washer is an excellent choice if you have a smaller washing space and a great option to maximize a bigger washing space.

Front Load Washer Review

person’s hand put dirty clothes in the washing machine

Per its name, a front loader is a washing machine that you load from the front. This type of washer is relatively newer than the front load washer and has unique benefits. After going through the ins and outs of the top load and front load washer, you would decide based on what you want. But still, one obstacle remains: Which washer would I buy? We’ve decided to make it easier for you by presenting our top three front load washers and top load washers.

Pros of a Front Load Washer

They wash better: The front load washing machine edges the top loader washer in cleaning. The front-load washer is gentler with your clothes and cleans well.

They save water and detergent: The front load washer wins in the front load water usage vs top load washer comparison. The front load washer has a limit to its feel, and since clothes are not submerged, it tends to save more water and detergent.

They are stackable: You can easily place them atop a shelf or dryer and still use them efficiently.

They save more energy: Though the difference is not that notable, the front load washer saves more energy.

Cons of a Front Load Washer

X Bending over to unload can be uncomfortable, especially for users with joint issues.

X Adding clothes while washing: Adding clothes while washing with a front loader is harder.

X It costs more to maintain in comparison with the top load washer.

X Overloading a front loader is more complicated. In operation, a top load washer can handle overload better than a front load washer. If proper precaution isn’t taken, you might cause lasting damage to your washer by overloading.

X Presoaking can be difficult with a top load washer because its build isn’t designed to keep your clothes submerged underwater.

X A front load washer’s cycle time is usually more when compared to a top load washer.

Top Load Washer Review

top view of white washing machine with clothes loaded inside for cleaning

In the same vein, top load washers are those washing machines that allow you to load clothes from the top. An essential detail is the capacity of the top load washer. Top load washers are built with different capabilities to meet your need, and when you are making a purchase, you should check the size to know which size meets your specifications.

Pros of a Top Load Washer

✓  Easier to maintain: Various test and customer reviews have proven that over the years, top load washers are easier to maintain than the front load washers.

✓  Quicker wash: The average wash time for the front load washer is lesser than that of the front load washer. (this applies to the top load washers with agitator).

✓  Easier to use: You can easily load and unload with little effort. Also, a great choice if you want to avoid bending down.

✓  You can easily add more clothing items while washing.

✓  It has a faster wash cycle than the front load washers.

Cons of a Top Load Washer

X Uses more water and detergent

X Top load washers are harsher on clothes. This intense wash could make your clothes worn out after some time of constant wash.

X They are not stackable, so other items cannot be placed on top, primarily when washing.

The Best Front Load Washers: Our Top Picks

Best Overall Top Load Washer

Whirlpool 5.0 Cubic Foot Black Shadow Front Load Washer

The Whirlpool 5.0 Cu. Ft Black Shadow Front Load Washer (WFW9620HBK) is indeed a masterpiece to behold. With a mind-blowing capacity of 5.0 cubic feet, you can wash more clothes, its other features include:

  • Smart connectivity allows you to remotely control your washer with the Whirlpool app.
  • The 12-hour FanFresh option keeps your clothes fresh up to 12 hours after a wash has ended.
  • Intuitive control: You get over 35 choices to choose from to receive the perfect type of fabric care for your clothes 
  • The Steam Clean option for a more profound and cleaner wash.

Check for Best Price: Whirlpool 5.0 Cu. Ft Black Shadow Front Load Washer

Best Budget Top Load Washer

The LG 4.5 Cu. Ft White Front Load Washer (WM3400CW) allows you to do more laundry in fewer loads. It also has:

  • 6Motion tech provides a smart cleaning experience.
  • A stainless-steel tub means durability.
  • The ColdWash option uses enhanced washing motion for better performance.

Check for Best Price: LG 4.5 Cu. Ft White Front Load Washer

Best Luxury Top Load Washer

LG 5.2 Cu. Ft Graphite Steel Front Load Washer (WM8100HVA) gives you a whopping 5.2 cubic feet to do more laundry. Its features include:

  • The Steam option makes for a better wash.
  • The LG Sidekick allows you to wash small loads that can’t wait.
  • 6Motion tech provides a smart cleaning experience.
  • TurboWash saves you time!

Check for Best Price: LG 5.2 Cu. Ft Graphite Steel Front Load Washer (WM8100HVA)

The Best Top Load Washers: Our Top Picks

Best Overall Top Load Washer

LG 4.8 Cubic Foot White Top Load Washer

Our top pick is the LG 4.8 Cu. Ft. White Top Load Washer (WT7305CW). This beautiful work of art tops as an all-rounder. Its features include:

  • The brand-exclusive LG TurboWash function washes your clothes faster and gentler. You save about 35 percent more time with this machine, giving you more time to do whatever you want.
  • 4.8 cubic feet of capacity
  • The four-way agitator provides a thorough wash.
  • The Deep Fill option adds extra water with a single touch of a button.
  • Reduced noise and vibration

Check for Best Price: LG 4.8 Cu. Ft. White Top Load Washer (WT7305CW)

Best Budget Top Load Washer

The Whirlpool White Top Load Washer (WTW4955HW) tops on the best budget. You get premium features for a lesser price. Its features are:

  • 3.8 cubic feet of capacity
  • Two-way wash agitator
  • Different cycle choice: You can select other cycle choices such as Whites, Colors, Delicates, and Sheets cycles to meet the needs of those fabrics for better wash.
  • Smart water selection automatically adjusts water based on load size.

Check for Best Price: Whirlpool White Top Load Washer (WTW4955HW) 

Best Luxury Top Load Washer

The Speed Queen TR7 3.2 Cu. Ft. White Top Load Washer (TR7003WN) gives your clothes the royalty it deserves. It has the following features:

  • Built with premium materials to last up to 25 years
  • The PerfectWash option gives your clothes the perfect wash.
  • The Solid Mount Suspension System uses a whole steel base to provide balanced performance, less noise and vibration, and a better machine life
  • Full tub washes and rinses provide maximum cleansing.

Check for Best Price: Speed Queen TR7 3.2 Cu. Ft. White Top Load Washer (TR7003WN)

Our Final Verdict

Whether you choose to go for either the top loader or the front loader, we, at Colder’s, have got you covered. You might still be confused about which is better between the top load washer and the front load washer. The top load washer has a slight edge over the front load washer, but it all ends up at the same finish line; your clothes will have a good wash.

Shop Washing Machines at Colder’s

As always, don’t forget to shop local! Be sure to scour our catalog for front load and top load washers, and if you have any questions related to our inventory or delivery timelines, don’t hesitate to call us at 1-414-476-1574 or visit us at any of our four Southeastern Wisconsin locations.