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Top load vs front load washing machines: 11 key differences

11 minute read |

Once it’s time to buy a new washing machine, the big challenge is to decide whether you go for a front loading or a top loading washer. Both front loading and top loading washers come with their advantages and disadvantages, but which one is better?

Here, Electrolux Arabia will discuss 11 key distinguishing factors between top load vs front load washing machines to help you decide which set up fits your needs and style.

 

Front load and top load washing machines: Brief definition


Before going into the detailed comparison, let’s walkthrough the brief definition of front loaders and top loaders.

 

Top load washing machines


Top load washing machine is designed with a door on the top of the machine. With this layout, you don’t necessarily need to bend over while doing laundry since you load from above. And especially, you are free to add or remove items in the middle of the cycle.

According to Wikipedia, top load or vertical axis cloth washing machines are dominant design in the United States and Canada.

 

Front load washing machines


Unlike top loading washing machines, front loaders come with a door at the front which opens one side of the drum into which washing is placed.

In most regions of the world, high-end washers are often of this type. Most commercial and industrial clothes washing machines worldwide are of the horizontal-axis design as well.

 

>>> Read more: FAQ About Front-Load Washing Machine

 

11 key differences between top load and front load washing machines


So we’ve walked through a brief definition of front loaders and top loaders but which one is the right choice for you? Should you buy a top-load or a front-load washing machine? The decision mostly comes down to your family’s needs and budget.
 

To help you make the right choice, take a look at the following list of differences between a top load and front load washing machine: 

1. Appearance

 

As their names suggest, the overarching difference between these two types of washers is where the door is located on the machine. A front washer features a thick glass door on its front, whereas top loaders are opened from the top of the machine.

Without the large door on the front, top washers may have a smoother and sleeker look, but front loader allows users to see the clothes churning in the suds and water.

 

2. Size & Capacity

 

Agitator or impeller in most top loaders tend to take extra space and reduce the washing capacity. Thus, front-load washing machines can usually handle bigger loads.

Top-load washers, on the other hand, have smaller dimensions and are easier to fit into smaller areas and laundries.

 

3. Water & Energy efficiency

 

Generally speaking, front loaders tend to be more water and energy-efficient than top loaders. Thanks to their design, front load washing machines can wash larger loads and consume around one-third the amount of water. Besides, high-advanced technology setting also allows users to reduce energy consumption.

 

>>> Read more:

 

4. Cleaning performance

 

For a washer, cleaning performance is crucial. It’s widely accepted that front load washing machines offer excellent washing performance, compared to its top-load counterparts.

Front-load washers remove more dirt and grime and are better at removing stains than their top-load counterparts. The reason is that a front loader’s tumbling washing motions are more effective than a top loaders’ twisting wash motions.

With top-load washers, clothing tends to clump together during circular wash motions, making it ineffective when washing larger items such as winter coats and pillows.

Electrolux makes top-notch washers that are gentle on fabric yet effective on stains. This9kg front load washing machine is a great option worth considering.

How to Efficiently Remove Common Stains from Clothes

 

5. Cycle time

 

If you prefer fast laundry, front loading washer might not be the best choice. It takes longer time for a wash cycle than top loaders because it combines the rotation of the drum with a shallow pool of water and detergent to wash your clothes.

The average washing cycle of a front load washing machine is about an hour, while that of a top loader is roughly 20 - 35 minutes.

 

6. Spin speed

 

Another factor we should examine when comparing top load vs front load washing machines is spin speed. Front loaders have higher spin speed, around 1500 RPM (revolutions per minute). In the contrary, top loaders produce only around 600 RPM. 

In brief, front loaders can extract more water from the clothes, making clothes dry faster.

 

7. Noise

 

Front loaders are quieter and cause less vibration when washing.

 

8. Smell & Mold issue

 

Designed with a rubber, front load washers may build up mold around its doors. It requires user to clean your front-loading washing machine more often than you do with a top loader.

Top load washing machines, by contrast, don’t have mold problems since they rely on gravity to pull water down. There aren't any seals or gaskets for water to get trapped in.

 

>>> Read more: Discover Electrolux laundry care solutions for a more sustainable future

 

9. Maintenance & Repair

 

Talking about maintenance, top load washers are less expensive to repair and easier to maintain than front load washing machines. While users can make basic do-it-yourself repairs on their top loaders, front-load washers are best checked by trained technicians.

 

10. Convenience

 

Top-load washers are more convenient since you can freely add or remove clothes to and from the washer. Moreover, if you have back or knee problems, you will find it more difficult to unload your clothes from a front loader. In addition, kids may get inside your front-load washer since the door is lower.

The abovementioned facts are true to most front loaders. However, Electrolux washing machines are equipped with helpful features that can address most of the inconveniences which front loaders are popularly known for.

For example, Electrolux 7kg front load washing machine EW6F5722BB comes with child lock feature, keeping both your beloved kids and washer safe from any possible damages. Moreover, adding clothes mid-cycle is totally possible with Electrolux front load washers. Let’s check out the video below for further details:

 

Adding clothes mid-cycle is possible with Electrolux front loaders

11. Price

 

Commonly, front loaders may cost you more at the checkout, but that initial outlay should be quickly offset by savings in the long term because they are more energy and water efficient.

If you're on a tight budget and looking for a top loading washing machine that offers premium features at an affordable price, explore some highlighted products from our range of top loaders below: 

  • Abaya cycle is designed for gentle cleaning.
  • StainCare removes 40 different visible stains*.
  • UltraMix prevents visible detergent residue*.
  • Abaya cycle is designed for gentle cleaning.
  • StainCare removes 40 different visible stains*.
  • UltraMix prevents visible detergent residue*.
  • Abaya cycle is designed for gentle cleaning.
  • StainCare removes 40 different visible stains*.
  • UltraMix prevents visible detergent residue*.

What are the advantages of a front loading over a top loading washing machine?


By now, you've likely recognized that the differences between front load and top load washing machines extend beyond mere door placement. But which is superior: the top loader or the front loader?

Below, we outline the key advantages of front load washing machines to help you understand why choosing a front loader might be the better option.

Save more money in the long run


‘Why is a front-loading washing machine more expensive?' is a question many ask when shopping for a new washing machine. This section will provide the answer.


Being more complex in design and more advanced than their top-loading counterparts, front load washing machines are likely to cost more upfront. However, this initial investment can be offset in the long run, especially if you do your laundry frequently.

This is because all front-loaders are designed with higher efficiency (HE) in mind. This means that they can operate with less water and energy without compromising on a powerful clean. While new top loaders can also be high efficiency, front load washing machines are still unbeatable in terms of water and energy saving.

More water and energy efficient


Why is a front-loading washing machine more water efficient? The secret is in the drum design and its tumbling motion.

Due to gravity, clothes are repeatedly knocked against each other in a shallow pool of water and thoroughly cleaned by the detergent — providing a good clean with minimal water. With top loading washing machines, clothes need to be submerged in a deep pool of water to remove dirt.

It’s also typical to see front loaders with energy labels, certifying that they are compliant with a country’s strict energy guidelines.

Most Electrolux front loaders such as this 8kg front load washing machine from PerfectCare 600 series comprise EcoInverter motors, which reduce energy consumption considerably, whilst also reducing vibrations to deliver a quiet, reliable performance.

  • SensiCare protects clothes from over-washing
  • Fuzzy logic technology optimizes settings for less energy
  • Inverter motor for higher performance & silent working
Make sure to read our post on how to operate an automatic washing machine to maximise all its benefits.

Better care for your clothes – and your family 


Without an agitator or impeller agitator, front load washing machines clean gently yet efficiently.

Garments do not get twisted or tangled, meaning that your delicates, silks, and woollens receive the best care possible. Faster spin speed means that more water will be removed from clothes, helping to reduce drying time and long exposure to heat in the dryer and therefore extending the lifespan of your clothes. 

Generally, front-loaders have more advanced technologies and features than top-loaders. Some can have steam cleaning, allergen removal, and smartphone connectivity to name a few.

Have you ever noticed white specks on your clothes after they come out of the wash? They may be undissolved detergent. This 10kg front load washing machine from Electrolux comes with UltraCare technology can prevent this hassle by thoroughly blending detergent and softener with water before entering the drum.
  • UltraWash offers perfect cleaning at lower temperatures for less energy
  • Gentle care drum protects your delicate clothes
  • SteamCare reduces wrinkles by 30%

>>> Related reading: Clothing care tips to make your clothes last longer

Optimise laundry space


The fourth advantage of front load washing machines over top load counterparts is about the utility of laundry space.


Front load washing machines can be stacked with your clothes dryer, utilising space better, compared with top load washing machines. This is especially useful if you don’t have a dedicated laundry, providing the flexibility to store your washer and dryer in your bathroom, a small utility closet, or even on a sheltered balcony.

For top load, the door is at the top of the machine which means the space above cannot be fully utilised for other home needs such as shelves and other storage.

To install your washer and dryer, a stacking kit is a simple, brilliant solution. Ideally, your washer and dryer should come from the same appliance brand so the two work in harmony and create a seamless aesthetic in your laundry. Electrolux UltimateCare washers and dryers, for example, have complementary functional features and design.

To minimise bending when loading and unloading, mount the front-loader on a laundry pedestal to raise it to a convenient working height.

Washing machine front load vs top load: Which is better?


Comparing a top load vs front load washing machine may not reveal which type is best. Our comparison table below will summarize both pros and cons of these two types and how each model can make your laundry day easier.

 

 

Top loaders

Front loaders

Pros

  • Lower price
  • Safer for elders and kids
  • Easy to use & maintenance
  • Compatible with most detergents
  • Easy to add or remove items mid-cycle
  • Water and energy efficient
  • More features and functions
  • Better cleaning performance
  • Less noise and vibration during cycle
  • Higher spin speed and shorter drying time

Cons

  • Consume more water and energy
  • Make more noise and vibration
  • Less function
  • Damage clothes more
  • Shorter lifespan
  • More costly
  • Compatible with specific detergents only
  • Hardly can add or remove items mid-cycle
Below is an infographic that provides a clearer comparison between front load and top load washing machines: 

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>>> Read more: 5 tips to choose your perfect washing machine

Choose an Electrolux front load washing machine for better results 


Choosing an automatic washing machine is one of the most important appliance decisions you will make. How your clothes will look, your bills, even how you’ll enjoy doing laundry — all these can be significantly influenced by your choice. 

A front load washing machine can be pricier upfront, but your future self might thank you for making this worthwhile investment.

With their advanced, game changing laundry technologies, Electrolux front load washing machines provide the ultimate level of care. They retain colours’ vibrancy, preserve treasured pieces, while enhancing your laundry experience and reducing your environmental impact. Isn’t that what you, your clothes, and the planet deserve?

In case you are still confusing about which type of washing machine is right for you, we have a complete Washing machine buying guide for your further reference. Also, to streamline your search for the best front load washing machines, check out our wide range of Electrolux front loaders:

  • Eco TimeManager allows less energy, more time
  • Extra-large opening for easy loading and unloading
  • Gentler than traditional hand-washing
  • SensiCare protects clothes from over-washing
  • Fuzzy logic technology optimizes settings for less energy
  • Inverter motor for higher performance & silent working
  • SteamCare System reduces wrinkles by 30%
  • SensiCare System automatically opimizes settings to adapt the load
  • Eco TimeManager allows less energy, more time

FAQs about front load vs top load washing machines 

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