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A woman putting hot pink clothing into the washing machine.

A Comparison of Front-Loading & Top-Loading Washing Machines

Buying a new washing machine will make a huge difference to your family – the added convenience it brings to cleaning laundry have a big impact on your daily activities, household budget and (increasing) spare time. However, choosing precisely the right kind of washing machine for your home is what will really make the difference. Here, Surf excel explains some of the key differences between a front loading and a top loading washing machine, weighing up the pros & cons of each and helping you to decide which model is best for your family. 

Some advantages of owning a front-load washing machine

  • A front loading machine requires less water per wash cycle, with newer models becoming increasingly more efficient.
  • These machines also clean and dry more efficiently and effectively than the top loading counterparts because they can spin the clothes around faster inside the drum.

Some disadvantages of owning a front-loading washing machine

  • Front loading machines tend to be more expensive to buy than top loading machines.
  • The powerful motor can spin clothes very fast…but of course that means that the machine may be louder and may vibrate more. If you are living in a busy apartment complex or have the washing machine located to close to your living areas, then you will want a washing machine that is a little more discreet (that said, companies such as Panasonic and Samsung are producing machines with new direct drive motors, which are a lot quieter than their older models).
  • Front-loading washing machines tend to be large and take up a lot of space. Their door has to open out as well: in a small apartment it can be challenging to find the necessary space for the washing machine to stand.

Some advantages of owning a top-loading washing machine

  • A top loading machine is cheaper to buy – a mid-range top loader will cost less than a mid-range front loader.
  • The drum door is located on the top of the machine, so you don’t need to worry about the extra space that is needed to open a front loading machine.
  • The design of top loading machines is simple and easy for first-time users to understand. There are fewer mechanical parts to get damaged or malfunction. However, at the same time the top loading machines are becoming a lot more sophisticated and the latest models come with a full range of wash programs and built-in extras. For example, the Electrolux High Efficiency series of Top Load Washers require less water per cycle, and spin the clothes without the need for a space-consuming central agitator.
  • Because the drum doesn’t usually spin as fast in a top loader, the machines can be quieter.

Some disadvantages of owning a top-loading washing machine

  • A top-loading machine uses more water than a front-loading one: the top-loading drum must be completely filled with water during the wash cycles. This will lead to a larger household water bill.
  • Top-loading washing machines tend to have fewer features and functions – if these are important to you, then take that into consideration.