A new appliance can be a big purchase and a washing machine is no exception. With two different designs to choose from, how do you decide between a top load or front load washer? We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each model when it comes to important factors like usability, cleaning performance, and cost.
Top Load or Front Load Washer: Factors to Consider
Researching and comparing top load and front load washers is difficult when you don’t have a set of criteria to use. The following considerations can help you make the best decision for your household.
Installation and Usability
When it comes to installing a top load or front load washer, both have the same electrical, gas, and water connections. However, almost any front load washer and dryer can be stacked, making them ideal for small spaces. While top loading washer and dryer towers are available, most top-loading washers must sit side-by-side with dryers, taking up greater space.
However, loading and unloading a front load washer requires significant bending, even when it’s on a pedestal. This can be difficult for older owners or those with certain medical conditions. Also, a front loader’s locking door doesn’t provide the convenience of adding clothes mid-cycle. This locking door can also create front load washer odors. Not having an air-tight door makes top loading odors less likely.
Wash Cycle Speed
An agitator is what really makes a difference when you compare front load washer to top load washer cleaning speed. Top load washers with an agitator generally have faster wash cycles than a front load washer because clothes stay immersed in water for the entire wash cycle. A front load washer fills and drains more than once while washing, adding additional time.
Meanwhile front load washers and HE top load washers without an agitator have almost no difference in their wash cycle speeds.
Spin Cycle Speed
A significant difference between top loading and front loading washing machines is the speed of their spin cycles. Front loaders spin significantly faster that a top loader, meaning that more water is removed during a spin cycle. Since clothes have less water in them when they’re placed in the dryer they dry faster, cutting down on overall laundry time.
Long Term Reliability
While the reliability of a top load or front load washer are fairly equal, there is a difference between the two models when it comes to repairs. Generally, front load washer replacement parts are more expensive than top loaders. It can also be more difficult to perform repairs on front load washers. On average both of these factors make front load repairs more expensive than top-loaders.
The edge in front load vs top load washing machine cleaning performance goes to front loaders. The tumbling motion and water usage of front load washers enables detergent to better penetrate clothing, leading to more effective stain removal. This tumbling motion is also easier on clothing than a top loader’s agitator, creating less wear and tear.
Our final comparison of top load vs front load washer pros and cons addresses purchase price and operating costs. Yes, front loading machines and HE top loaders still have a higher initial price. However, their greater energy efficiency can save money over time when compared to a traditional top load washer.
By using less water and less electricity or gas to heat that water, front loaders and HE top loaders result in smaller utility bills. This can translate to a lower total cost over the life of the machine.
Deciding between a top load or front load washer really comes down to what works best for your household’s needs. When it comes to a washer repair service, Sharper Service Solutions can fit any need at any time. Call us to schedule a repair!