Top Load Vs Front Load Washing Machine

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The biggest question that came to my mind while choosing a washing machine last year was should I buy top load or front load washing machine? I learned a lot after researching about each one of them hence I decided to write this article. In this article we will see top load vs front load washing machine,

The basic difference between a top load and front load washing machine is their cleaning mechanism.

A top load washing machine uses agitators or impellers to rotate the clothes inside the drum forcing them to rub with each other.Whereas a front load washing machine doesn’t use any agitator instead it simply rotates the drum and gravity smashes the clothes to the bottom of the drum.

A top load washing machine uses more electricity, more water and gives poor cleaning results in comparison to a front load machine but it takes just half as much time taken by front load washing machine to do the same washing.

Top Load Vs Front Load Washing Machine – Basic Difference:

The basic difference between a top load and front load washing machine is the way their cleaning mechanism work.

Top load washing machine either use agitators or impellers for the cleaning mechanism. In a top load washing machine, water is filled in the drum and clothes are soaked in pool of water. The agitator in the centre rotates and rubs the clothes against each other and lifts them to a height and drops them. This happens again and again untill clothes are washed.

Top Load Washing Machine Working Courtesy – Repair Clinic

A Front load washing machine doesn’t have an agitator, Instead of beating the clothes back and forth in water, it rotates them up out of the water and gravity causes them to drop back down into the slurry.

This washer design mimics the action of an agitator with one big key benefit, you don’t need nearly as much water to complete the process. This method of agitation generates plenty of dwell time in water and in some cases only requires half water volume of a standard top-load washer. Water savings isn’t the only benefit, half the water means half the energy required to heat it, spin it around and remove it later.

Front Load Washing Machine Working Courtesy – Repair Clinic

Now that you know the basic operational difference between a top load and front load washer let’s compare them on some important parameters to know which one is better.

Top Load Vs Front Load Washing Machine – Cleaning Comparison:

The cleaning of clothes in washing machine depends on three main factors:

  1. Cleaning detergent used,
  2. Cleaning water temperature set,
  3. Cleaning mechanism

You can select the best detergent for your washing machine and also select most appropriate temperature setting however the cleaning mechanism is inherent in the machine and you cannot change it.

Consumer Report a popular blog which test’s performance of several appliances tested the best top load washing machine with front load washing machine and found that 9 out of 10 front load washing machine give better cleaning.

Top load washing machine are generally tougher on your clothes and at times can tangle your clothes badly if overstuffed. Whereas front load washing machine are more gentle on your clothes and provide better cleaning. The reason for front load washing machine’s better cleaning is the gravity assisted cleaning mechanism.

Top Load Vs Front Load Washing Machine – Water Usage Comparison:

Thanks to the gravity aided washing process front load washing machine does not have to fill a pool of water to soak the clothes instead it needs far less water.

On an average top load washing machine use twice as much water to clean same volume of clothes than front load washing machine.

Top Load Vs Front Load Washing Machine – Energy Efficiency Comparison:

Almost 60 % of power consumed by any washing machine is used to heat the water for cooling, only 30 % to 40 % power is used by the electric motor.

As we saw above that front load washing machine use less water to wash the same number of clothes hence, front load washing machine would need less power to heat that volume of water (since water used is less) which leads to good amount of power savings.

Also front load washing machine are good at removing the water from your clothes hence, the clothes are less moist which reduces the load on your dryer. Thus reduced power consumption of your dryer as well.

Generally speaking front-load washing machine use less energy (electricity) than average top load washing machine.

Top Load Vs Front Load Washing – Price Comparison:

Let’s be real, price is the most important parameter while making a decision to buy any appliance.

Front-loading washers are typically more expensive, but justifiably so. They give a more quality clean and tend to be more energy and water efficient than top loaders.

Although the upfront cost of a front loader is generally more, I think over the long run your total expenses will even out.

I have pulled up the price of a 7 kg fully automatic top load washing machine from Whirlpool and compared it with 7kg fully automatic front load washing machine from Whirlpool to give you a rough idea on how much each one of these cost.

  • A 7 kg top load washing machine from Whirlpool cost around Rs 18,990 and
  • A 7 kg front load washing machine from Whirlpool cost around Rs 26,000.

Hence you can see that a front load washing machine is 40 % to 50 % more expensive than top load washing machine.

Advantages of Top Load Washing Machine:

  1. Top loading washing machine decreases the need to bend over when loading and unloading.
  2. They eliminate the need to purchase expensive bases to raise the machines up to a comfortable height.
  3. Top load washers are not prone to odour’s, mold and mildew as much as front loaders are.
  4. They are generally a little less expensive than comparable front load washers.

Disadvantages of Top Load Washing Machine:

  1. Clothes must be loaded properly to avoid tangling during the wash cycle – they can’t just be thrown into the tub.
  2. They generally use a little more water than front loading machines.
  3. Large bed-sheets and other long clothes are a trouble to wash in top loaders.
  4. The clothes coming out of machine are quiet moist hence if you use a dryer to dry your clothes then it will consume more electricity.
  5. Quality of wash in not as good as front load washing machine.
  6. They are generally more louder and more shaky than front loaders.
  7. They are not stackable appliances and therefore can take up more space than front loaders.
  8. Overall top loaders consume more electricity than front load washing machine.

Advantages of Front Load Washing Machine:

  1. Front load washers are very attractive, with glass doors and chrome accents.
  2. They generally have larger capacities, allowing you to wash comforters and other bulky items.
  3. They don’t have agitators or impellers in the tub, giving you more room and a more gentle washing action.
  4. They can be installed with the dryer stacked on top of the washer, saving space in the home.
  5. They use much less water than top load machines, and the vast majority are Energy Star rated.
  6. They have excellent washing performance and fabric care.
  7. They are usually quieter than top load washers with agitators.

Disadvantages of Front Load Washing Machine:

  1. They can develop musty odour in the tub if not cared for properly. Many front load washers come with dedicated washer cleaning cycles to help maintain the wash tub.
  2. They can take more time to do the wash than many top load washers (on average about 20-30 minutes more than top load washers).
  3. They generally have larger exterior dimensions than top load washers, making them hard to fit in some homes.
  4. Vibration is more of an issue with front load washers than top load washers, although most front load washers have advanced anti-vibration technology that will allow them to perform well and quietly as long as the load is balanced and the washer is level.
Top Load Vs Front Load Washing Machine
Top Load Vs Front Load Washing Machine

When To Use Front Load and Top Load Washing Machine:

As far as my research goes I can say one thing for sure that front load washing machine is the best washing machine available in the market. If your budget permits than buy front load washing machine.

I think it’s a better choice than a top-loader for most people because front-loaders remove tough stains more easily, using less water and energy even compared with newer high-efficiency top-loaders.

If you have a large family where washing machine usage is more (almost daily for an hour) then you should buy front load washing machine.

If you have a laundry business or a business where your washing machine is going to be used a lot then go with front load washing machine. In both the above cases you will save lots of water and electricity without compromising even a tiny bit on wash quality.

If your budget is tight then go with top load washing machine.

Most of the blogs you might have read would put top load washing machine as this inferior product which uses more power, makes more noise, harms your clothes and provides poor cleaning. In my opinion what you pay is what you get. Since front load cost almost 50 % more than top load they are bound to give better performance.

No matter which type of washing machine you choose you can save electricity electricity by using your washing machine wisely. Follow these simple tips to reduce energy consumption of your washing machine.

Washing Machine Energy Saving Tips:

  1. Use regular cold water instead of heating water in washing machine.
  2. Reduce number of wash cycle to twice or thrice a week.
  3. Presoak the clothes for half an hour to remove tough stains.
  4. Use detergent recommended by your manufacturer for cleaning.
  5. Use eco mode or speed perfect mode if available.
  6. Use your washing machine when your electricity tariff is low (only for TOU plan).
  7. Instead of using dryers to dry your clothes hang them out in the sun for natural drying.

You can check out the full article on washing machine energy saving tips over here.


Front load washing machine are the clear winner they offer better cleaning, consume less electricity and water but are 40 % – 50 % more expensive than top load washing machine. This makes people to tilt towards top load washing machine.

Top load washing machine are a good option if your budget is tight. They offer reasonable cleaning, uses slightly more water and electricity but as I said above are cheap and affordable.

Buy the one that fits your budget and use them in the best way possible to get optimum cleaning.

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If you have any doubts or suggestion then please mention it in the comments section.

Thank You 🙂


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