Front-Loading Washers vs. Top-Loading Washers

This is not about brands of washing machines - just a comparison of models.

Front-loading models of washing machines compared to top-loading models. After using various models of top loaders for twenty-plus years, the laundry for the past 4 years at my house has been done with a front-loading washer. Here is my view on the subject:
It has been stated for years that front-loading washers are more energy efficient than conventional top-loading washers. One reasoning behind this is that front-loading washers do not have to fill the tub completely with water. And because they use less water, they require less detergent. They are also said to hold more laundry – meaning fewer loads and less energy.

From personal experience, all of the above has been true. One of the nicest things about the front loader is that there is no center agitator to take up valuable space, or to tangle and mangle your clothes.  The front loader uses a tumbling action instead of the agitator, which is much easier on your laundry and causes less wear and tear. They are also much quieter than the traditional washers.

Laundry tips for front-loaders - Because there is no agitator, some delicate items that may have been taken to the dry cleaner before, may be washed successfully on the “hand-washables” setting (depending on fabric content of course). And large or bulky items that would need to be taken to the Laundromat or professional cleaners if you had a top-loader can now be washed in the front-loading machine – saving you from outside-cleaning bills!

The spin cycle on a front-loading machine is also stronger, which extracts more water and reduces the drying time - another energy saving feature. The only down side – if you have a habit of adding an item mid-cycle – this cannot be done with a front loader.

Yes, front-loaders tend to be more expensive to buy than top-loaders, but the efficiency of the machine saves you money in the long run. Just how are they more efficient? As mentioned before, their capacity is larger, meaning fewer loads. They also use less water, so if the water needs to be hot, obviously less water is needed to be heated. Up to 90% of the cost of washing clothes comes from heating the water. And because the spin cycle is so much more effective for removing excess water, less energy is required to dry the laundry. They also use less detergent than the top-loading style.

As far as reliability goes, the most common problems of top-loading washing machines in our household over the years has included broken belts (too numerous to count), leaky hoses, stability/unbalanced loads (that annoying thumping), sensor problems. So far our experience with the front-loader over the past four years has been problem free (knock wood).