I’ve had both in my time, and I definitely have a preference for one over the other.
But which is better? A lot of people are very passionate about one or the other. But what is good for you may not necessarily be good for someone else, it depends on your situation.
Here are the pros and cons of both!
Considerations in choosing a Top Loader or a Front Loader
- Are you on town water or tank water?
- Are you washing items like greasy work uniforms on a regular basis?
- Are you passionate about the environmental factors and want to save water and energy?
- Do you have limited space in your laundry?
Front Loading Washing Machine
- Now come with larger drums, so you can buy a 10kg front loading now.
- No agitator, so it is gentler on your clothing and towels.
- Front loaders are usually more energy efficient.
- Front Loaders rarely have ‘balance’ issues.
- As they don’t have an agitator, you can usually fit in larger items like blankets, quilts and doonas.
- They look nicer than Top Loaders.
- Front Loaders are usually quieter than Top Loaders
- Typically uses less water.
- You have to use special ‘low suds’ detergent.
- You can stack a dryer up on top with a special mat – so they don’t take up a lot of room.
- Can often have loads of mould problems in the seals of the doors.
- Takes AGES for a cycle to run. Sometimes up to three hours. The very long hours of waiting waiting waiting. (In saying that some models do have an express cycle that washes in 15 – 20 mins, but not all of them do!)
- You can’t just ‘pop open’ the machine to put in a random sock you found after you have already hit the go button.
Top Loading Washing Machine
- They are FAST!!!! Some have a 20 minute cycle.
- Easy to add that lost sock in mid-wash.
- Top Loaders are usually cheaper to repair.
- Top Loaders tend to last a lot longer than Front Loaders
- Top Loading machines are usually cheaper to buy than Front Loaders.
- You can soak items in a top loader.
- No special detergents required.
- There a wider range of top loaders available now – although this is changing.
- No need to clean seals.
- They use an agitator, which can be rough on delicate items.
- They take up a lot more room.
- You can’t load a dryer above them (unless it is really high).
- They use a lot more water.
So what do I recommend?
I have a front loader. And I HATE it. Yes it is good on water. Yes it looks nice, saves on space and all the things that are mentioned above. But I really miss my old top loader. It did a great job, was so reliable and seeing I had to do so many loads of washing with two kids, it was fast. Now with a front loader, I feel like I’m washing constantly as the cycles just take so long. So even though the Front Loader is a better fit for me (I’m on tank water too) – I do prefer a top loader any day of the week.
So for a person like me who does 10+ loads of washing a week – that is 30 hours my washing machine is running!