Is a Top-Load or Front-Load Washing Machine Better?

by Waverly Wilde

The right washing machine can change your life for the better, but how do you find the best one for your lifestyle? We know that it seems overwhelming having to choose between two rather similar appliances— top-load and front-load —but if you look at the pros and cons of each, you’ll find that it’s much easier to come to a decision. Whether you’re looking for a high-efficiency washer to tackle large loads often or one that will have less strain on your back as you throw a load in, our top-load and front-load washer guide won’t let you down.

Finally, find out what the differences are between top-load and front-load washers to learn which one is better for you.


The easiest way to distinguish a top-load washer from a front-load washer is by the placement of the door. The top-load door sits on the top of the washing machine and opens to a large tub with either an agitator or an impeller inside. An agitator is a vertical post in the center of the washer tub which twists back and forth so that clothes can rub against it, allowing dirt and stains to break apart easily.

An impeller is a newer feature seen in top-load washers and replaces the agitator with low-profile rotating discs at the bottom. The impeller provides more space for larger loads while spinning the clothes in a way that allows them to rub together to clean.

Pros and Cons 

If you’ve ever washed clothes in a top-load washer, then you know how completely effortless it is to toss your pile of laundry into it. Because top-loads open at waist-height, there is no need to bend over when transferring your clothes. Of course, there is a chance that if you are on the shorter side, this may be more difficult – since you’ll potentially be on your tiptoes trying to remove the wet, clean clothes from the washer. 

One of the biggest perks that come with top-load washers is that you can continue to add more clothes to a cycle after one has already begun. Since the door is at the top, you don’t have to worry about waiting for the water level to settle down before opening like with a front-load washer. 

While top-load washers have been known to cause wear and tear on clothes, they are also very thorough providing a powerful deep clean. This GE top-load washer with Dual-Action Agitator (GTW725BSNWS) makes sure that those toughest messes are gone by the time the cycle is through. 

Also, if you’re not looking to break the bank buying a new washing machine, a top-load washer is a more affordable option than a front-load washer.


Named for obvious reasons, this washing machine style has a door in the front, usually with the ability to be modified so that it opens on either the left or right side depending on whichever is your preference. Instead of having an agitator or impeller inside like the top-load, the front-load washer uses the motion of water and the tub interior to spin the dirty clothes and loosen any dirt in the process. 

Pros and Cons 

When you want a high-efficiency washer to be tough on stains but gentle to your clothes, a front-load washer is just the practical appliance for the job. Without the central agitator, agitating your garments, there is less of a chance for your clothes to come out harmed in any way.  

Not only do front-load washers save your clothes from being obliterated during a cycle, they also save you on space. This Electrolux laundry pair (ELLAUEFME627UTT) allows you to stack your washer and dryer on top of one another in order to save some room for other things.

And most importantly, if you are looking to waste less and be more environmentally friendly, using a front-load washer is the best way to go. Front-loaders are built for efficiency and use less water and energy which will ultimately save you on your monthly bills. This Samsung front-load washer (WF45T6200AW) is Energy Star Certified meaning it has met strict criteria set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and use about 25 percent less energy and 33 percent less water than a conventional washer. And Although you’ll pay more upfront than you would with a top-load washer, you’ll save more in energy costs overall.

Quick Comparison Guide

Model Number MVWB766FW WM9500HKA WT7100CW WV60M9900AW
Top-Load/Front-Load Top-Load Front-Load Top-Load Front-Load
Brand Maytag LG Signature LG Samsung
Cost $899.99 $1,799.10 $719 $1,199.98
Size 4.7 Cu. Ft. 5.8 Cu. Ft. 4.5 Cu. Ft. 6.0 Cu. Ft.
Energy Star Certified No Yes No Yes

Whether you pick a top-load or a front-load washer for your home, the truth is, there is no wrong choice. Both options are suitable for any home, it all just comes down to what your priorities are. Do you require more room for large loads of clothing? Are you trying to be more eco-friendly? Are you on a budget? All are important factors to consider and fortunately you don’t have to do it alone!  

Our team at Don’s Appliances is always available to help you out with your appliance questions. Stop by the nearest location to you or give our store a call to speak with an expert! We’ll be happy to be your guide and figure out together which type of washing machine fits your lifestyle best.