Washing machines are a crucial necessity in any busy home. Many of us wash several loads of laundry each week. So, it is important that you choose the right machine to make your life easier.
There are two basic types of washers; front load and top load. Each machine has its own pros and cons. So, here we will delve into whether you should choose a front load or top load washer for your home.
Top Load Washers:
As the name suggests, top load washers have a door sitting on the top of the machine. This opens into a large tub with either an impeller or an agitator inside.
An agitator is a post in the center of the tub. It moves back and forth, so the laundry rubs against it, breaking apart any dirt or stains on the items. An impeller is a newer feature in top load machines. Rather than having an agitator post, there are rotating discs that are low profile at the bottom of the drum. This provides more space for a larger load while the clothes are still spun to rub together and get clean.
The Pros and Cons of Top Loaders:
The main advantage of top load washers is that they are far easier to load. Since the door is at waist height, you can toss in your laundry without needing to bend over and reach into the machine. However, if you are on the shorter side, using a top loader can be a little more difficult. You may need to stand on your tiptoes, which will make removing wet laundry from the washer a challenge.
Another pro of top load washers is that you can add more laundry to your cycle even after the wash has already begun. As the door is located at the top, you don’t need to wait until the water level settles before you open the door. You can simply open the door and drop in more items if you discover some dirty clothing behind the hamper.
Top load washers also tend to be a more affordable option. They are typically cheaper to purchase compared to a front load machine. While they offer a powerful, deep cleaning for your items, they can cause wear and tear on your clothing.
Front Load Washers:
Front load washers have a door on the front of the appliance. This can often be modified to open on the left or right side, making it easy to fit into any laundry room. Front load washers have a moving tub inside that spins to move the water and loosen dirt from your clothing. This can also spin at higher speeds to extract water at the end of the wash cycle.
The Pros and Cons of Front Loaders:
The main advantage of front load washers is that they can provide a practical solution for high efficiency cleaning while being gentle to your laundry items. Since there is no central agitator rubbing against your clothing, there is less chance of wear and tear.
Another advantage of having a front load machine is that they can be space saving. Many models can be stacked. So you can place your dryer on top of your washer, using less floor space. This can be handy if you have a smaller laundry room or need your laundry appliances in a closet.
Front loaders are also built for better efficiency. They tend to use less energy and water per load. There are also HE or High Efficiency washers that can use 33 percent less water and 25 percent less energy compared to a conventional washer. So, while you may be more initially to buy a top load washer, you can recoup this with the savings on your utility bills.
Which One is Best For Your Home?
To determine whether a front load or top load machine is the best option for your home, you will need to think about your laundry habits and home layout.
- Are utility savings important? The first question to ask yourself is whether you are concerned about saving water and energy. Front load machines tend to use less water. You can also opt for a HE model that could save 5 gallons of water per cycle compared to a HE top loader.
- Do you have the space? You also need to think about the available space in your laundry room. Since front loaders can allow you to stack the washer and your dryer, it can save valuable floor space. If you have your appliances side by side, you will need to allow an inch on all sides to avoid noise and vibrations.
- Are you less than average height? While top loaders are easier to load, they can be more difficult to use if you are on the shorter side. You may also experience problems with a front load machine if you stack it with your dryer, as the dryer controls may be difficult to reach.
- Do you find additional clothing after you start a wash? Many of us have experienced the frustration of finding an additional laundry item once the wash cycle has begun. However, this is not a problem if you have a top load machine. Front load machines tend to have a door lock to prevent leaks, so you can’t just toss in a stray sock or that school shirt once you press start. While you can negate this if your front load machine has a pause button that aborts and restarts the cycle, a top loader is easier to do this.
- Mold and mildew issues: Finally, you need to think about the potential mold and mildew problems. Front load machines tend to be more vulnerable to these types of issues. If you allow the drum to stay wet between uses or use the wrong laundry products, it can encourage mold that will create a bad smell. This is a rare issue with top loaders as the moisture can easily evaporate away between loads.
Whether you’re looking for greater efficiency or need a machine that’s easier to load, there is no wrong answer if you choose a front loader or top loader. If you’re thinking about upgrading your washer, you can explore the options with our online washer collection. If you have any questions, you’ll also find our home appliance specialists are available to help.