Front Load Vs Top Load: Key Differences Between The Two Types of Washing Machines!

Buying a washing machine is a major investment, and it can be a bit difficult to decide which type of machine is best suited to your needs. Most of us are stuck in the comparison of front load vs top load. If that’s the case with you too, we’re here to guide you with the key differences between the two kinds of washing machines.


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Front load vs top load washing machine
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The Importance of Comparison: Front Load vs Top Load

With so many types of washing machines available in the market, it can become difficult to decide which one is best suited to our particular needs. In this article, we have tried to bring out the difference between a front load and top load, the two most popular models of washing machine bought by consumers. 

It is important to do a front load vs top load comparison in order to know the pros and cons of each type of washing machine. This can help us make an informed decision about which washing machine to invest in.

So, let’s get started and dig into the key differences between top load and front load machines.

1. Placement of the Machine Door

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The most obvious difference between a front load and top load washing machine is the positioning of the door used to load laundry into the machine. As their names suggest, top load machines have their door placed on the top while front load machines have it on the front.

2. Time Taken for a Wash Cycle

There are primarily two kinds of top-load machines: one that comes with an agitator and the other does not.

  • What is an agitator? 

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An agitator is what causes movement of water through the washing machine. That vibration you notice? That’s the agitator. Top load washing machines that have agitators are usually quicker with wash cycles, and take about 30 minutes per load.

On the other hand, a front load washing machine may take an average of 60 minutes per cycle. The cycle might only be shorter when the load is smaller/lighter.

Another reason why top load machines deliver quick wash cycles is because clothes are fully immersed in water.

3. Cleaning Performance

Though a top-loading washing machine is easier on the back, it is also rougher on your clothes, particularly if you’ve overloaded the machine.

Front loaders, in comparison, are a lot more gentler on clothes. They also clean better. Why? This is because the tumbling action allows the clothes to knock against each other, and they end up scrubbing against the detergent as well as the washing machine drum with more energy. This motion is a lot more powerful than a top-loader’s twisting action.

Another point to note is that a top-load washing machine might not be able to clean larger items, like comforters and pillows efficiently. This is simply because they would not get fully immersed in water.

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4. Maintenance of the Machine

A common complaint among front load washing machines owners is regarding mould build-up around the door’s rubber seal and an unpleasant odour emanating from the drum. Use this guide to find out how you can keep your washing machine’s drum clean.

This is not usually a problem with top load machines. Since the movement of water in top load washers relies primarily on gravity, moisture does not get trapped inside the machine. Using too much and the wrong kind of detergent is also a major culprit behind mould accumulation. Read more about it here.

We recommend using a good quality liquid detergent like Surf Excel Matic Liquid to avoid this situation. We’ve been using it for a while now because it not only cleans clothes efficiently, but also prevents any mould build-up in the machine.

GSC Tip:

To prevent mould and mildew build up, make sure to place your washing machine in a ventilated well-lit area, and clean the rubber seal detergent tray with a cloth after each wash.

5. Water Saving Function

As compared to top loaders, front-load washing machines tend to use less amount of water during a wash cycle. This is true regardless of whether the top load model is old or new.

When the drum of a front-load washing machine rotates, it drags the garments through a shallow pool of detergent-water solution. On the other hand, a much deeper pool of water is required by top-load machines for ensuring that garments are fully wet during the wash cycle.

6. Drying Efficiency

While proper cleaning of clothes is an important factor determining our choice between a front load and top load washing machine, we also need to consider the drying efficiency of the two models.

During this comparison, we found that front load washing machines tend to spin nearly 33 percent faster during the final cycle. Hence, they are able to eliminate a greater amount of water from your clothes before they are transferred to the dryer.

What does this mean? Faster drying of your clothes!

This means your clothes will dry faster in the dryer and be less heavy to move between the two units. One drawback, however, is that the spin cycle causes many front load washers to vibrate, making noise that many people would rather not hear.

7. Flexibility of Adding Clothes During a Cycle

When it comes to front load washing machines, it’s not really easy to add more clothes in the middle of a cycle. You can forget about putting in a forgotten sock or t-shirt because the door gets locked once the machine is started to prevent any leakage.

This, of course, is not the case with most top-load washing machines. The only time you have the option to add clothes to your front load machine in the middle of a wash cycle is when it comes equipped with a pause button. When you hit the pause button, the original wash cycle gets aborted and a new one begins.

8. Energy Consumption

With a growing consciousness about climate change and environmental pollution across the globe, we too wanted to ensure that we were making an eco-friendly choice even when purchasing a home appliance such as a washing machine.

We found that front load washing machines are more environment-friendly since they require a lesser amount of water and detergent as compared to top load washing machines.

We’ve also noticed a decline in our energy bills since the purchase of a front load washing machine, indicating that it consumes less electricity and is more energy efficient. The multiple settings allow us to customise each wash, thereby reducing the overall energy consumption.

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9. Cost Factor

Front load washing machines are typically expensive since they offer advanced features along with energy efficiency. Their price could vary from Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000. Top load washing machines, on the other hand, are comparatively cheaper, ranging between Rs 10,000 to Rs 30,000. 

We hope this blog helped you clearly understand the differences between a front load and top load washing machine. With this information, you can now choose the right kind of washing machine for your household!

You May Also Like to Read: How to Clean your Top-loading Washing Machine


Front Load vs Top Load: Which washing machine is better?

It is not possible to give a definitive answer to this question because both kinds of machines come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Which one of them is better, depends on your household requirements, budget and other feature priorities.

What are some other points of difference between a front load and top load washing machine?

Overloading your front load machine can pose a serious problem by wearing out their bearings. On the other hand, top load machines have tougher bearings that can tolerate a heavier load

How can your detergent make a difference in how long your machine lasts?

Using a low quality detergent that does not dissolve in water properly can cause residue to deposit in the machine. This residue can choke pipes and water outlets, lead to mould build-up in your machine and cause your machine to smell musty. All of these problems can lead to severe malfunctions in your machine.

Which machine is more durable: front load or top load?

While the general consensus is that top load washing machines last longer, they might require repairs more often than front load washers. However, repairing front load machines will be more expensive considering the advanced features and settings they have.

Are front load machines more eco-friendly than top load ones?

Yes, absolutely! Front load machines, by design, use less water and detergent than top load ones. They are also more energy-efficient, and the multiple options for wash cycles allows you to customise each wash and ensure lower power consumption overall.

Originally published