6 Major Differences between Front-Loading and Top-Loading Washing Machine

Basically washing machines are of two kinds based on their structure: one is front loading washing machine and another is a top loading washing machine. The main difference between these two is the way the laundry is placed in them. In front-loading, the lid is in the front and the laundry is placed from the side where in top-loading the lid is on the top and laundry is placed from there. Before buying a washing machine, you must know the way they function, their advantages and disadvantages.

Here we will compare them based on different factors.


#1 Structure and Working

In front-loading, the basket is placed in the horizontal direction with no use of agitator. There are paddles on the side of the basket which helps move the clothes and stir water while the basket rotates. The paddles help remove dirt from the clothes by creating friction.

The top loading washing machine has a basket placed in vertical position. At the center of the basket there is one agitator placed on the vertical axis. This agitator is responsible for swirling of clothes in the alternate circular direction. The agitator has ridges on it which are responsible to push clothes to swirl along with the agitator. This alternate movement creates friction which removes dirt from the clothes.

Thus, the agitator in top-loading grabs and thrashes the clothes, where in front-loading paddles gently pick up the clothes and drop them into soapy water. The absence of agitator in front-loading makes gentle washing and drying of clothes, keeping them safe from being stretched or knotted by the agitator.


#2 Basket CapacityFRONT-LOAD-WASHER

In front-loading, you can place more clothes than top-loading because there is no agitator in the center. It means you can wash more clothes in one round than top-loading. It saves time if you have to do several rounds of washing.

#3 Price

The price of the front load washer is more than a top load washer. But, spending several hundred dollars more is really worth it because they are energy-efficient, so you will definitely save on your electricity bills. Moreover, they are bought once in 10-15 years or more, so it is worth to spend a little more on the front-loading machine.


#4 Electricity Usage

As there is no center agitator in front-loading, there is more space inside for clothes. It increases approximately 20% to 30% space for clothes. If you have a really big family and daily if you get so many clothes to wash, then front-loading can save your electricity bills by reducing the number of rounds than top-loading.

Also, the front-loading takes less time to dry the clothes transforming into shorter drying rounds and ultimately saving electricity.


#5 Water and Detergent Usage

The main advantage of front-loading over top-loading is it uses less water and detergent to wash clothes. The front-loading uses water by half the quantity of top-loading washing machine. It means half cut off on your water bills. Though you can use any kind of detergent in top-loading, but your selection must be limited in front-loading. You have to use an efficient detergent or less of your regular detergent in front-loading otherwise your laundry room will be filled with froth.


#6 Space consumptionFron-loading-washing-machine

The front-loading machine is quite compacted in size than top-loading. Also, you can stack front-loading on top of another, while you cannot stack top-loading one above another. Hence, it saves space in your laundry room.


Hence, front-loading washing machine turns out to be advantageous over top-loading as it saves time, effort, space and money and are energy efficient. It increases clothes life by softly washing and drying. Also it preserves water, one of the biggest environmental problems.

The drawback of front-loading machine is its initial cost, which is higher than top-loading, and no interruption of washing cycle. As soon as the front load is started, it cannot be opened again until it completes its round.


Author Bio

Daniel Clark is a blogger and a freelance writer. He explains us the significance of front load washer and dryer over top load washer and how we can save our money, time and effort.





  1. Alicia

    November 17, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Very informative post! I have been debating whether or not to purchase a front load or top load washing machine and the information provided in the post has helped me to decide. Great comparisons! Thanks for sharing!

    • Storm

      December 21, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks for writing such an eandtto-unyers-asd article on this topic.

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    November 28, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Very useful information. Helped a lot.

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  3. chukwunonso nnaemeka

    July 14, 2015 at 4:11 am

    what a wonderful comparison. at least i can now make my choice knowing that am going for the right one.

  4. Tasha Wilson

    December 5, 2015 at 12:06 am

    Great article, I learn something new from this blog, thank you for sharing this.

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    March 21, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    I too am enlightened.

  6. Sanjay kr.Baranwal.

    March 24, 2016 at 2:32 am

    Very knowledgeous and true facts.This is very essential to know these facts before buying a clothes washer.

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  8. Scott

    April 5, 2016 at 9:52 am

    This is full of inaccuracies…
    1. Load size. You cannot put a lot of clothes in a front loader without a wash cycle of 90 minutes or more. I find that with our front loading GE you cannot wash nearly as many clothes as with the agitator style. If you try to fill the drum the load cycle becomes exceedingly long…usually because it cannot spin out the water properly without becoming unbalanced.
    2. It is true that top loading (“high effiency”) washers will use less water than the old style agitator. It will not cut your water bill in half, however as it is obviously only a portion of your total water usage. I would not expect huge water bill savings with front loading.
    3. I have found most front loaders to be larger than top loaders.
    4. There are plenty of high-efficiency top loading machines these days that do not use an agitator. These will have the same long wash cycle times as the front loaders, however.
    5. There are several drawbacks to a top loader not mentioned here. Like smell. You have to clean them frequently as they will begin to smell like mildew. You have to leave the door open or the smell with occur within hours. They also can be exceedingly noisy as they try to balance clothes out working AGAINST gravity. Same with the drain and rinse cycles….they are not using gravity to their advantage like the old school top loaders.
    6. In my opinion front loaders are a gimmick with the only advantage being how the clothes are removed from the washer. I would recommend a high-efficiency top loader over a front loader. Personally, the old school agitator top loading type clean your clothes the best and in the shortest amount of time. I sold my high-efficiency top loader and went back to the technology of 15 years ago and couldn’t be happier. It’s so nice to have clean clothes that actually get rinsed and in less than half the time of the new HE types. To me that is very much worth the $10 more per month on my water bill (in my experience).

    • Scott

      April 6, 2016 at 9:51 am

      Meant to say… “5. There are several drawbacks to a FRONT LOADER not mentioned here.”

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      December 21, 2017 at 9:10 pm

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    May 16, 2016 at 7:32 pm

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  10. Gardia

    May 18, 2016 at 4:14 am

    One big drawback of front loaders is that it is nigh on impossible to remove clothing in the case of a malfunction. The door has to be forced open and the floor ends up being flooded. Then the very long cycle reduces the number of loads per time-unit, and, as I am not keen on leaving the house with a load of unsupervised washing going on, I have found that there were times when I was quite literally kept captive by my washing machine. There has to be a good reason why you hardly ever find front loaders in laundromats

  11. Dorah

    May 20, 2016 at 5:37 am

    Very informative. I can now make a better decision before buying. Thank you very much.


    June 9, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Very informative debate anyway….both ‘for’ and ‘against’ the front loading washing machines…

  13. Peter Goesinhim

    September 9, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Wow, so many omissions and lies here. Where is the comparison to he top loaders?. Those don’t have center post agitators. They have a wash plate. HE top loaders are very gentle on clothes and take no longer to wash than front loaders. Top loaders ate superior ergonomically. Some front loaders are huge, much larger than any top loader. Front loaders can have balance and wobble problems, and many cannot be interrupted mid- cycle. Top loaders don’t have lid locks? Says who?

    You also don’t realize there are top loading washers with horizontal tubs. Terrible article. Just terrible

  14. Roger collopy

    March 11, 2019 at 1:37 am

    Hmm I have a top loader the wash takes 45 minutes no matter what cycle wash you choose I also just bought a side loader what a big mistake. It takes 2 1/2 hours to do a regular wash and up to 3 1/2 hours depending on the type of wash you select. A whopping ouch. Oh I know it has a quick wash option but the owners manual states that continued usage of this selection will ruin my washing machine. Are you kidding me!
    That is a difference of 1:45 for each load. I do about 8 loads a week for 2 people. That is 12 hours more per week or or 144 additional hours more for a side loader over a top loader.
    I will willing will pay the added cost for water and electricity. Now if you compare my extra time on a cost basis versus water and electricity and real extra frustration I believe you will find top loaders are much cheaper.

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  16. pankaj grover

    September 16, 2019 at 8:27 am

    Very informative debate anyway….both ‘for’ and ‘against’ the front loading washing machines…

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  18. WasherWoman

    December 2, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    Front loaders take longer and don’t clean OR rinse as well as top loaders. Same not-as-clean issue occurs with top loaders with impeller instead of agitator.

    Top loader with agitator for life for this launderer!

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