Laundry Tips: Difference Between Front Load and Top Load Washing Machines

There has long been a debate on the difference between front load and top load washing machines. Both styles have their own benefits and drawbacks, so the best model for your needs will come down to personal preference. With that said, you can make your own case on what you believe to be the best.

What Is the Difference Between Front Load and Top Load Washing Machines?

When it comes to deciding on the best washing machine for your home, there are several factors that come into play. Let’s take a look at the biggest differences between the two styles.


On the first impression, the difference between front load and top load washing machines is, of course, their design.

Top loaders open from the top and have a rotating agitator in the center of the drum. You pour detergent and drop clothes down into the wash tub, where the drum agitates and spins.

Front loaders open in the front where you place clothes into the wash drum. There is no center agitator in a front loader, as they use a smaller impeller to get clothes clean. Detergent is added to a compartment up on the top which dispenses into the drum during the wash cycle.

When it comes to the pros and cons of top load vs front load washers though, their design is just the beginning.

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Ease of Use

Some of the pros and cons of front load washers involve how easily clothes can be loaded and unloaded. Top loaders are easy to see into and it’s even easier to just drop clothes down into the tub. And if you find a stray sock? No problem! Just open the lid and toss it in.

With a front loader, plan on bending over a bit to load clothes into the front. However, pedestals installed underneath raise the washer and reduce how much bending is required. Newer models allow you to add missed items after the wash cycle has started. With older models, you may be out of luck.

Cycle Time

A relatively small difference between front load and top load washing machines is the cycle time. In the wash, the front loaders usually take longer to complete a cycle. On the other hand, the clothes are so much less saturated going into the dryer, that the dry time is reduced. So, you have a trade-off in time to consider.

Cleaning Ability

Front loaders are the best washing machine when it comes to cleaning ability. Although dedicated fans of top loaders will dispute this, front loaders provide exceptional cleaning and are significantly more gentle on clothes.

Another added benefit of cleaning with a front loader is the ability to wash heavy and bulky items such as towels or comforters. Large items can be stuffed into a front loader and come out nice and clean.

Water and Detergent Use

Out of all of the pros and cons of top load and front load washing machines, water and detergent usage are the most significant. Top loaders use considerably more water than front loaders. Front loading models save a ton of water and detergent, which is why they are considered high- efficiency (HE) machines. If you use a front loader, your utilities and wallet will thank you.


Sticker price can be a shocking difference between front load and top load washing machines. There is no doubt that you pay more initially for a front load washer. However, the money you save over time in utility costs and detergent balances things out.

If your top load or front load washer is in need of service, High’N Appliance Repair Services is happy to help! Schedule an appointment today.