Difference Between Top Loading and Front Loading Washing Machines

Invented in 1908, the washing machine has ceased to be an item of luxury and has instead become a necessity today. At a time when life has become busy and people are pressed for time, a washing machine has become a savior when it comes to cleaning clothes after a long day at work.

Washing machines have seen a lot of changes since they were invented, and have evolved from semi-automatic to fully automatic top load to fully automatic front load. Proponents of fully automatic top load consider it to be the best while those that are  fan of the concept the front loading washing is based around swear by its effectiveness.

Let us take a look at both of these, i.e., top loading washing machine and front-loading washing machines and discuss their differences.


The top loading washing machine wins hands down in this department as they are cheaper than front loading washing machines. However, the latter are more energy efficient than the top load ones and thus tend to be more economical in the long run.

Working and features

The top loading washing machine’s washing basket is placed in a vertical position while in the front load washing machine; the washing basket is placed in a horizontal direction. For those having back problems, the direction of the washing basket in the front loading washing machine might be a problem as they need to bend down to put or remove clothes. This might be inconvenient for some.

The top load washing machines have a central agitator in their washing basket which is responsible for swirling the clothes in clockwise and anticlockwise direction. This swirling motion cleans the clothes.

The agitator is absent in the front load washing machine, and clothes get cleaned by gravity-aided tumble wash of the washing basket. The front load washing machines also have a lot more features than the top load washing machines, thus giving the users a wide variety of choices while cleaning their clothes.

Washing quality

The front load washing machine has quite an edge on this front as it’s much more efficient in cleaning clothes. The gravity-aided tumble wash feature washes clothes gently and does not add to the wear and tear of clothes – which is common with some of the budget top load washing machines.

Number of cycles

Front loading washing machines have a comparatively larger drum capacity than top loading washing machines and the users need to run fewer washing cycles in it (as they can accommodate more clothes in every wash cycle). One more point for Front load washing machine!

Water and energy efficiency

As mentioned in the first point, front load washing machines are more energy efficient than top load washing machines. In fact, they use one third of the energy used by top load washing machines.

The same is for water and detergent efficiency, too. To put some numbers out there, a front load washing machine uses 15-20 gallons of water per wash cycle while a top load washing machine uses double that amount. You can do the math!

Noise during spin cycle

The top loading washing machine is noisier than the front load washing machine. Though some high end brands have come up with noiseless spin cycles, they are priced much higher than the normal top loading models.

Almost all front load washing machines come with a vibration control feature. This ensures that they run in a way that does not make them annoying to you or other people in your family.

A Final Word

Finally, after going through everything we discussed above, it’s easy to conclude that while the initial cost of top loading washing machine is less than that of the front load washing machine, the latter turns out to be a clear winner when it comes to the overall features, functionality and durability.




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