Top Load Vs Front Load Washer: Which one is better in 2021

We are getting lazy. Trust me. We are getting lazy because science is progressing at a fast pace. When we talk about washing machines, new innovations are evolving every now and then. But one of the big debates that were going on for a long time is ” Top Load Vs Front Load Washer“. So let’s settle the battle between Front Load vs Top Load Washer in this article.

Both front load washer and top load washer have their own share of advantages and disadvantages. While a front loading washing machine is always an automatic one, on the other hand, top-loading washing machines are available in both automatic and manual configuration.

We will be evaluating the difference between Top load vs front load washer based on some key parameters. But before that, if you want to learn more about how a washing machine works or what are the different types of washing machine available in the market, then you should read the below article.

Must Read: Washing Machine Buying Guide

Top Load Washer

Top-loading washers are available in the manual or automatic configuration. In the case of a manual top load washer, there will be a separate drum for drying purposes. You need to take out the clothes from the washer drum and put them into the dryer drum.

In the case of an automatic top load washer, the same wash drum act as a dryer drum also. You just need to put on the clothes and run the cycle. Your clothes will be washed and dried automatically.

top load vs front load washers

Since in top load washers, you have to put clothes from the top, so you can put extra clothes without any hindrance. For that, we do not need to shut down the machine in any way. This machine is also suitable for those who have frequent pain in their knees and who feel difficulty in bending.

This machine is cheaper than a front load washer. The machine consumes more power than a front load washer.

  • Cheaper than top loading washer
  • Better ergonomics
  • Available in both manual and automatic configuration
  • Lid can be opened in between cycles to put extra cloth
  • Less energy efficient
  • Poor wash performance
  • Consume lot of electricity
  • Consume more water than front load washers
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Front Load Washer

As the name suggests, front load washers have a door at the front side through which you have to put clothes. You can not put extra clothes in between the cycle as water will spill out of the machine. However, in the market, there are some front loading washing machines that allow you to put clothes in between the cycle also.

Top Load Vs Front Load Washer

One of the key problems with the front load washing machine is that you need to bend down a little bit to put clothes into the washer. So those who have back pain issues may find the front loading washer a big problem.

However front loading washer has better wash performance, consumes less water and electricity but way too costly than top load washers.

  • Better wash performance
  • Consume less electricity
  • Consume less water
  • Short cycle time
  • Very costly
  • Poor ergonomics
  • Need to bend down to put cloths
  • Complex design. So maintenance cost is high
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Top Load Vs Front Load Washers

Here are the following parameters based on which we will be evaluating the differences between a top load vs front load washers

  • Ease of use
  • Wash performance
  • Water Consumption
  • Power Consumption
  • Noise and Vibration
  • Wash Cycle Time
  • Pricing
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Easy to use

Top load washers are easier to use. It does not require us to work extra hard. In this, according to our convenience, we can also add extra clothes later and additional water and detergent powder can also be added. Whereas the front load machine does not have this feature and has to bend slightly to put clothes on it. In terms of usage, the top load washing machine is easier to use than the front load.

top load vs front load washer
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Wash Performance

The top load washer uses an agitator or pulsator to clean cloths. Top-end top load washers use a pulsator and budget top load washer uses agitator. However, front load washers only use pulsators. Pulsators are known for better wash performance. So in other words, front load washers are better in wash performance.

But please in mind that for very dirty clothes, agitator-based top load washers are the best. The reason is that the agitator washes clothes due to the friction between cloths and the agitator. Whereas pulsator based front load washers wash cloths due to the friction between cloths.

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Water Consumption

Front loading washing machines consume less amount of water than top loading washing machines. Front load washer can save up to 40% water consumption compare to top load washers. That is, if you use 10 liters of water in a top load washing machine, the same work will be done in the front-load of 5 to 6 liters of water.

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Power Consumption

Front load washers are the best in power consumption. They consume a relatively less amount of electricity compare to top load washers. Usually, most of the front load washers come with Inverter Technology that can reduce your washing machine power consumption by up to 30-40%.

top load vs front load washer
Direct Drive Technology

On top of that most of the front load washers, works on direct drive technology that is known for consuming less power compared to belt drive technology used in top load washers.

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Noise And Vibration

As I said that front load washers use direct drive technology. What that means is that the front load washer has fewer mechanical moving parts as the motor is directly attached to the pulsator shaft. When there are fewer mechanical parts, there will be less noise and vibration.

On the other hand, most of the top loading washers still use belt drive technology. Due to that, there are more vibration and noise. However, there are few top loading washine machines with direct drive technology that produce less noise but those are very costly.

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Wash Cycle Time

We should also keep in mind the wash speed before taking a washing machine. The front-load washing machine is more suitable in terms of wash speed.

top load vs front load washer

The spinner’s speed plays an important role in the washing machine. The higher this speed, the better the machine will be and faster it will clean clothes. This speed is usually measured in RPM (Rotations Per Minute). Usually, front loads washers come with higher RPM spindle speed. So you will get a better wash with considerably less cycle time.

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Wear And Tear On Clothes

A top loading washing machine uses an agitator that uses the friction between clothes and agitator to wash clothes. Due to that, there are high chances that delicate clothes may get damaged while washing in a top loading washer.

On the other hand, front loading washers use a pulsator and there is no friction between the clothes and pulsator during the wash. Due to that, delicate clothes won’t get damaged in the front load washer. So if you care about clothes, then front-loading washers are the best.

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Repair And Maintanance

The design of front loading washing is very complex. Due to direct drive technology, there are more sensors and costly electronic parts. So in case of any issues, you may need to call an authorized service technician to fix it and you should be ready for a good service bill.

However top loading washers are simple in design. Of course, you need to call a technician but the service bill will be less compared to front load washers.

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Front load washers are costly compared to top load washers. Top load washers are also available in the semi-automatic configuration. That reduces the cost of the top load washer further down.

On the other hand hand, front load washers are all automatic and use costly electronic parts. Due to that, the machine cost is also very high. So you need to take a call whether you are buying a washing machine for a long term investment or not. If yes then front load washers are good. Otherwise, top load washers make more sense.

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Front Load Vs Top Load Washer

AttributeFront Load WasherTop Load Washer
Clothing lifeLess wear and tearMore wear and tear
Energy efficiencyMore efficientLess efficient
Load sizeLargerSmaller
Spindle RPMFastSlow
Water ConsumptionLessMore
Noise & VibrationLessMore
CostMore expensiveLess expensive
ReliabilityFewer problemsMore problems
Wash MechanismPulsatorPulsator or Agitator
ErgonomicsPoor Good
Ease Of UsePoorGood
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Conclusion: Top Load Vs Front Load Washers

From the above discussion, it may be clear to you that front load washers are better in terms of wash performance, water consumption, and power consumption. However, it has some ergonomics issues. On the other hand, top loading washing machines are relatively cheap and ergonomics friendly too. So it is again an individual requirement and priority about which washing machine to choose.

That’s all we have in this article. If you still have any questions, please do write in the comment section and I will be happy to help.



A 2004 batch Mechanical Engineering graduate From NIT, Agartala. Close to 16 years of experience in the field of consumer electronics and appliances domain as a Sr. Design Engineer and Team Leader in India and the United States. A gadget freak by passion and profession and in his free time love to go for riding.

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