Washing Machines - Top load vs. Front load washers

The Ups and Downs of Washing Machines and Loading Choices

Washing laundry is never fun but having a capable washer that fits our needs can be helpful. Many are used to the old standard top loading washing machine and may have no complaints but as the market and technology grow there now are a few variations in how we may choose to wash our clothes.

It is believed that front load machines can wash larger loads, use less water, energy, and clean better, but is this true. In addition, according to consumer reports, the higher priced models are not necessarily better at washing clothes and many higher rated or advertised models did not meet their testing requirements and left clothes dingy and soiled.

There are 3 basic styles of washing machines from which one can choose. The standard top loader has a center post agitator that rotates and churns the laundry.  A top loader high efficiency model does not have a center agitator but spins and rotates at a high speed.

The front loader also spins and rotates at high speeds. The three basic types will have a few variations but most can be technically defined within their classes.

Standard Top Loader: Using the center agitator has pros and cons and in pricing, they are the cheapest to purchase. For smaller loads and general cleaning, these workhorses are efficient but use the most water and energy of the three due to the fact the clothes need to be completely submersed to be cleaned properly and have lower speeds in spinning and drying cycles.

HE Top Loader: The high efficiency top loading models will carry a higher price tag but do cut costs in water and energy costs as they can use less water due to the high spinning speed.  Including the high spinning speed the spinning and drying cycle will dry clothes more efficiently and use less energy in the dryer. Delicates can be damaged and clothes will wrinkle because of the higher speeds though most clean as well if not better than the average top loader.

Front Loader: The most efficient in design and durability as well as energy the front loaders on average are worth the high price tags. They can help in saving space as in some models the dryer can be stacked on the top of the washer. These units use very little water as they throw the clothes up and back into the water and with higher speeds can give a more vigorous wash. The highest speeds of all washers during the spin cycle also dry the best. They are on average quiet in operation though can vibrate the floors.

Depending on personal circumstance and location, one can argue both washing machine styles have their pros and cons though as laundry washing goes the front loader delivers more bang for the buck.

Front loaders also can be found in several sizes from small apartment styles that can fit most anywhere and larger more industrial style washers for larger homes and families and can make laundry very efficient and much more relaxing.


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