Top Load Vs Front Load Washing Machine: All the Differences

If you are planning to buy a washing machine then it’s important to know the difference between top load and front load washing machines. We bring you breakdown of all the features of both type of machines.

front load vs top load washing machine

Front Load Washing Machine

In a front load washing machine, clothes are loaded and unloaded from the front side rather than from the top. Clothes get washed by tumbling motion where clothes get thrown from little height on top of each other to remove dirt. This motion is similar to washing clothes with hands. As you can imagine this gives better cleaning. Let’s see what its the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Better cleaning due to similarity with washing by hands
  • Better fabric care
  • Lesser noise
  • Better water and power utilization

Cons

  • Higher Price and cost of maintenance
  • Needs more maintenance to prevent smell / mould issues

Top Load Washing Machine

Top load washing machine is a popular form of washing machine that can be fully or semi-automatic. This is more common type of washing machine and is usually more easier to operate. Let’s see its pros and cons

Pros

  • Convenient to use
  • Less costly
  • Requires less maintenance

Cons

  • Utilises more water
  • Less efficient in cleaning and fabric care
  • Less drying efficiency

Top Load Vs Front Load Washing Machine

Differences Between Top Load and Front Load Washing Machine

FactorFront LoadTop Load
Ease of useHarder to use due to more difficult front loading and unloading actionEasier to Use
Cleaning EfficiencyClothes are dropped from small height to deliver better cleaningWave of water used to clean clothes leading to slightly lesser cleaning
Water UtilizationUses less waterUses more water
Power ConsumptionConsumers lesser powerConsumes more power
SpaceTakes lesser space in generalTakes more space
Smart FeaturesMore smart featuresLesser smart features
Drying EfficiencyHigh spin speeds gives better dryingLower spin speed results in less efficient drying
Ease of MaintenanceMore advanced tech requires more maintenanceRequires lesser maintenance
Maintenance CostHigher cost of maintenanceLesser cost of maintenance
LifespanSmaller lifespanBetter lifespan
NoiseLess noiseMore noise
Price30% to 40% higher priceLesser price

Which is Easier to Use?

It is an important factor to consider while discussing the comparison. Front load washing machine requires you to bend to load or unload your clothes. This can be a little difficult for older users and user with joint pains. Therefore it is usually recommended to install front load washing machines on a pedestal for ease of use. On top of it, you can not add clothes to this machine during mid cycle. However there are few front loaders that come with pause button to add clothes mid wash.

On the other hand, it is easier operate top load washing machine as you can load and unload clothes while standing. And you can add clothes during any stage of washing except during spin cycle.

Which Performs Better Cleaning?

Front loaders use gravity to clean clothes. The tub spins in both the directions. This creates a tumbling motion that helps clothes to rub against each other. Also, veins inside the rotating drum removes tougher dirt. This is very effective motion to clean clothes. On top of it washes even large cloths such as curtains and comforters properly. Front loaders also keep the fabric of clothes in better shape.

On the other hand top loaders are not as good as front load machines in cleaning. Also, top loaders can face difficulty in washing larger clothes because they may not insert in water completely. Therefore, manual intervention might be required.

Which Consumes Less Water?

In top loaders, clothes have to be immersed in the machine tub completely so that they start floating. This helps clothes easily move along the flow of water. This requires quite a good volume of water. For example if the washing machine capacity is 7 litres, then you will have to fill the tub with maybe 5 or 6 litres of water. And same process will be repeated for rinsing clothes as well. This means that for each load of clothes, 10 to 12 litres of water will be used. Thus, top loaders are water hungry machines.

However, front loaders work by tumbling clothes from small height onto a shallow pool of water. (Imagine dipping clothes repeatedly in your bucket to clean clothes.) This process if quite efficient in terms of saving water. In fact, front loaders can use less than half the water used by top loaders to wash same set of clothes. So, if you live in area with erratic water supply then you should choose front loaders.

Which Consumes Lower Electricity?

Front loaders are much more energy efficient as compared to top loaders. One of the reasons for this is top loaders have to be filled with more water and this required stronger motor. Other reason is that front loaders can wash more clothes in one cycle as compared to top loaders.

Space: Is There Big Difference Between the Two?

Front loader take lesser space compared to top loader for any given capacity. They are also smaller in height. You can even choose to place front loaders under kitchen cabinet.

Smart Features

Both the washing machines come with many smart feature depending on your budget. Features such as automatic modes and sensors are add-ons on top of washing feature. However, a front loader will typically have more features in-built as compared to a top loader. Therefore finding a top loader with very basic features is easier as compared to a front loader.

Spin Speed: Which One Gives Better Drying

Speed of spin decides how well the clothes will dry. If you take a look at maximum spin speed of front loaders and top loaders, it will be clear that speed of front loader is 30% to 40% higher than top loader for given capacity. This results in better drying of clothes. During the drying process, front loaders tend to vibrate a little bit. Some users may not like this.

Ease of Maintenance

Front loaders require more maintenance. One reason is regular use of front loaders tend to deposit mould around the door’s rubber gasket. Thus it is advised to regularly clean the gasket in order to prevent this mould growth. Also, if you can place the machine in an area with good ventilation, it helps minimize this issue. Top loaders do not face this issue because chances of water getting trapped inside them is less because water easily flows down the machine with the help of gravity upon draining.

Maintenance cost

Front loader is a complicated machine to build. That’s why it’s more difficult to repair it. And this also reflects on the maintenance service cost. On top of it, some parts are also costlier in a front loader. Also, front loader requires special detergent to wash clothes. This detergent is also costlier comparatively.

Therefore, maintenance cost of a front loader is more as compared to a top loader. And a semi-automatic top loader is even more cost effective to maintain. Since top loader is a simpler machine, ad easier to manufacture, you will find much more brands offering this type of washing machine.

Lifespan

We just saw that top loaders require lesser maintenance. This is one of the reasons why top loaders have higher lifespan as compared to front loaders

Noise

Top loaders wash clothes by creating motion in water and clothes. This process creates noise. However, front loaders are known for producing quite less noise during washing. Even though spin (drying) process can create noise in front loaders.

Price

We just discussed that front loader is a complex machine to build that offers better cleaning. It is also energy and water efficient. All these benefits come with higher price tag. Top loaders are cheaper in comparison and semi-automatic top loading washing machine is even more cheaper than its fully automatic version.

Conclusion

If you are looking for budget friendly washing machine that is easy to use and easier to maintain then you can go with top load washing machine. And if budget is not a constraint for and you are open to more maintenance, then you can go with front loader.

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