title background

Differences between top-load and front-load washing machines

Care | 6 minute read |

A washing machine is a home appliance used to wash laundry. A reliable washing machine is easily one of the most important household appliances you could own. Without a washing machine, doing laundry becomes a much more time-consuming and labor-intensive task.

Once it’s time to buy a new washing machine, the big challenge is to decide whether you go for a front loading or a top loading washer. Both front loading and top loading washers come with their advantages and disadvantages, but which one is better?

Here, Electrolux Thailand will discuss 11 key distinguishing factors between top load vs front load washing machines to help you decide which one fits your needs and style.


Top load and front load washing machines: Brief definition


Before going into the detailed comparison, let’s walk through the brief definition of front loaders and top loaders.

What is a top load washing machine


Top load washing machine is designed with a door on the top of the machine. With this layout, you don’t necessarily need to bend over while doing laundry since you load from above. And especially, you are free to add or remove items in the middle of the cycle.

What is a front load washing machine


Unlike top loading washing machines, front loaders come with a door at the front which opens one side of the drum into which washing is placed.

In most regions of the world, high-end washers are often of this type. Most commercial and industrial clothes washing machines worldwide are of the horizontal-axis design as well.

>>> Read more: Washing machine buying guide


What are the main differences between top-load and front-load washing machines? 


Obviously, the main difference between these two types of washing machines is the location of the door. For top-load washers, you put in the laundry from the top, whereas front loaders are opened from the front of the machine.


But which model is better? Should I buy a top-load or a front-load washing machine? It depends on your family’s needs and budget. To help you make the right decision, take a look at this list of differences between top loaders and front loaders:

  • Energy efficiency: Front-load washing machines consume less water than top loaders thanks to their design. The reason is that during the wash cycle, front loaders are only partially filled with water, just enough to fully cover the clothes. To be more specific, they use one-third the amount of water that top loaders use. However, top loaders consume less electricity since the washing time is shorter.

 

  • Capacity: In term of washing capacity, front-load machines outperform top loaders, since this type of washing machine does not have an agitator, which is a part of top loaders. This leaves more space for clothes, which means you need to do laundry much less often with front loaders.

 

  • Cleaning performance: Generally speaking, front-load washers tend to be better at removing stains than their top-load counterparts. The reason is that a front loader’s tumbling washing motions are more effective than a top loaders’ twisting wash motions. With top-load washers, clothing tends to clump together during circular wash motions, making it ineffective when washing larger items such as winter coats and pillows.

 

  • Cycle time: If you want to get your laundry done fast, front loaders are definitely not the best option. That’s because front-load washing machines have more complex wash cycles, with a barrel that spins the clothes around and water entering and draining out of the drum during the cycle. Front-load washing machine cycle times can range between 70–120 minutes for a normal wash cycle. Top loaders have a shorter cycle time (around 60-85 minutes), since they are filled with water just once during the wash.

 

  • Spin speed: Front-load machines have a higher spin speed, around 1500 RPM (revolutions per minute), so they can extract more water from the clothes and save time on line drying. In contrast, top-loading machines produce only around 600 RPM.


>>> Read more:
Helpful tutorials on how to use front-load washing machines

Top load and front load washers
  • Noise: Front loaders are quieter and cause less vibration when washing.

 

  • Space consumption: Top-load washers are narrower, meaning that you can place the machine in smaller space.

 

  • Convenience: Top-load washers are more convenient since you can freely add or remove clothes to and from the washer. Moreover, if you have back or knee problems, you will find it more difficult to unload your clothes from a front loader. In addition, kids may get inside your front-load washer since the door is lower.

 

  • Cost: Commonly, front loaders may cost you more at the checkout, but that initial outlay should be quickly offset by savings in the long term because they are more energy and water efficient.


>>> Read more:
Things to know about front-load washing machines

 

Advantages and disadvantages of front load and top load washing machines



Comparing a top load vs front load washing machine may not reveal which type is best. Our comparison table below will summarize both pros and cons of these two types and how each model can make your laundry day easier.

  Front loaders Top loaders
Pros
  • Higher spin speed, so your clothes will dry more quickly
  • Cleaner clothes and less damage to fabric
  • Consume less water
  • Have more features
  • Less noise during spin cycle
  • Smaller size, suitable for smaller spaces
  • Lower price
  • Consume less electricity
  • Easy to use
  • Safer for families with kids
  • Can be used with most detergents
Cons
  • More expensive
  • Consume more electricity
  • Can only use some specific detergents
  • Damage clothes more
  • Consume more water
  • Do not have as many features
  • Make more noise and vibrate more

Frequently asked questions about front-load and top-load washing machines

Our Top Picks

Choosing the right washing machine can be time-consuming. Electrolux is well-known for our high-quality and durable washing machines which were designed to fit in your budget without compromising the cleaning performance.

To streamline your search for the best washers, check out our Electrolux washing machines and washer dryer combo.

Find out more about Electrolux washing machines:

Sale
New
Free gift

฿ 30,990.00 ฿ 42,990.00 (tax included)

Installment
0%
Up to 6 months
Read More
  • AutoDose for precise dosage, less wear and tear*.
    • SensorWash with AI removes 49 different visible stains*.
    • No more visible detergent residue with UltraMix*.
See more
Installment
0%
Up to 6 months
Read More

฿ 30,990.00 ฿ 42,990.00 (tax included)

Discover now
Sale
New
Free gift

฿ 34,990.00 ฿ 36,990.00 (tax included)

Installment
0%
Up to 6 months
Read More
  • SensorWash with AI removes 49 different visible stains*.
    • No more visible detergent residue with UltraMix*.
    • HygienicCare removes 99.9% allergens and germs*.
See more
Installment
0%
Up to 6 months
Read More

฿ 34,990.00 ฿ 36,990.00 (tax included)

Discover now
Sale
New
Free gift

฿ 39,990.00 ฿ 41,990.00 (tax included)

Installment
0%
Up to 6 months
Read More
  • AutoDose for precise dosage, less wear and tear*.
    • SensorWash with AI removes 49 different visible stains*.
    • No more visible detergent residue with UltraMix*.
See more
Installment
0%
Up to 6 months
Read More

฿ 39,990.00 ฿ 41,990.00 (tax included)

Discover now
Sale
New
Free gift

฿ 33,990.00 ฿ 35,990.00 (tax included)

Installment
0%
Up to 6 months
Read More
  • SensorWash with AI removes 49 different visible stains*.
    • No more visible detergent residue with UltraMix*.
    • HygienicCare removes 99.9% allergens and germs*.
See more
Installment
0%
Up to 6 months
Read More

฿ 33,990.00 ฿ 35,990.00 (tax included)

Discover now
Sale

฿ 10,990.00 ฿ 11,990.00 (tax included)

Installment
0%
Up to 4 months
Read More
  • UltraMix prevents visible detergent residue*.
    • PowerJet ensures perfect washing and cleaning.
    • ActiveFlow lifts clothes to prevent tangling.
See more
Installment
0%
Up to 4 months
Read More

฿ 10,990.00 ฿ 11,990.00 (tax included)

Discover now
Sale

฿ 17,490.00 ฿ 18,990.00 (tax included)

Installment
0%
Up to 4 months
Read More
  • StainCare removes 40 different visible stains*.
    • UltraMix prevents visible detergent residue*.
    • PowerJet ensures perfect washing and cleaning.
See more
Installment
0%
Up to 4 months
Read More

฿ 17,490.00 ฿ 18,990.00 (tax included)

Discover now
Sale

฿ 18,490.00 ฿ 19,990.00 (tax included)

Installment
0%
Up to 4 months
Read More
  • StainCare removes 40 different visible stains*.
    • UltraMix prevents visible detergent residue*.
    • PowerJet ensures perfect washing and cleaning.
See more
Installment
0%
Up to 4 months
Read More

฿ 18,490.00 ฿ 19,990.00 (tax included)

Discover now
compare channel adviser image
Purchase

    Purchase In-Store